Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resolutions

2011I have had some time to reflect on 2010.  As I said in my Christmas letter it was a good year overall.  I want 2011 to be a good year too.  I remember that 2010 started well (or maybe 2009 ended well.)  I have to admit that I have had some challenges the past couple of months.  The last two weeks at work were tumultuous.  I don’t want to live in crisis.  I don’t want to just survive.  So given where I am at now, what can I do to enter this year with a sense of optimism?
First, I remember all that I did in 2010.  I know that I can do more than I am .  I was inspired by a blog I follow to write some resolutions.  I was inspired because I saw what she had accomplished.  I remembered that I accomplished things too.  And I think that it will be wonderful to reflect on what I have done.  Oh I was also comforted by the fact that some of the 2010 goals ended up on her 2011 list again.  So here we go:
1.  Run a 5K in under 40 minutes – last year I ran in two 5k races.  I ended up walking a lot of it.  Although it was huge for me to even finish or participate in such a thing, I wanted to do better.  A forty minute race is an average of 13 minutes per mile.  Right now I do about 19 – but I walk a lot.
2.  Spend one afternoon (or evening) per month taking pictures – I took a photography course in the spring.  I enjoyed it a lot.  I purchased a new camera and tripod for myself for Christmas.  I find taking pictures for a few hours relaxing.  I want to spend more time doing it.
3.  Reduce my debt load by $8000 – last year I purchased a new car.  I love the car but it put me in debt again.  I miss not having a line of credit to pay off.  So I would like to reduce my debt this year.  Last year I paid off $4793 from May through the end of the year.
4.  Spend 5 minutes per day in prayer/meditation – this seems like a lame commitment to God.  Actually it is.  I know myself.  If I say I will do an hour, I won’t do any at all.  My hope is that I will become addicted to it and spend more time doing it.
5.  Have 6 outings per month with friends – this is a tough one.  A long time ago I posted about a show I had watched that said that spending time with friends is one of the keys to health.  It doesn’t need to be expensive.  It doesn’t even technically need to be out.
6.  Make my front storage room into a more functional space – currently my storage room is full of empty boxes and recycling.  I would like it to function as a closet and make it easier to get my bike in and out.
7.  Spend one hour per week studying scripture – again, yes this doesn’t seem like enough and it isn’t.  I need to start somewhere.
8.  Attend Donald Miller’s  Storyline Conference in June – this would seem and probably is in opposition to goal number 3.  That said, Donald Miller is one of my favourite authors.  Blue Like Jazz changed the way I looked at Christianity.  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years was the inspiration for 2010.  My understanding is the conference is inspired by the book.  Even though it is expensive to fly to Portland, I really want to go.
9.  Eat healthy meals 80% of the time – I don’t think it is realistic to say I will never eat bad food.  That said, I know I need to commit to healthier eating.  So 80% or approximately 17 of my meals in a week should be healthy. I have my own definition of healthy that may not match others.  The idea is that it is something I cooked with fresh ingredients and well isn’t deep fried or full of  sugar.  I may refine this as I go along.  As part of this I would like to try one new recipe per month.  I enjoyed cooking in the early part of 2010.
10.  Work out 4 times per week 75% of weeks – again, I get sick or stuff comes up.  The idea here is that I want to be consistent in my workouts.  I want to remain healthy.  I want working out to be a part of my life so that when I hit the hard times, working out is just something I do.
11.  Post to my blog more often – I have been a terrible blog poster this year.  I think that it has been difficult for me to think of what to post.  So, my thought is that I can share my progress on my goals.  I am certain there will be more than statistics to share.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Letter

Better late than never.  This year's Christmas letter is posted:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Winter Moon

winter moon2I was driving to a friend’s house today and I noticed a full moon lighting the sky.  A recent series of snowfalls has blanketed the ground with white.  There is beauty in this season.  The bare trees now take on a new dimension with the snow sticking to the trunks and perching on branches.  It is not summer for certain.  But somehow this newness of fresh white snow covering the earth seems to bring hope.  The moon lighting the sky on top of a white horizon is a majestic sight.

I think I am feeling better.  I have a plan to get back on track.  Tomorrow I start working out again.  My fridge is stocked with healthy food and a meal plan has been prepared.  And this period of darkness has been different.  I have found myself reaching out sooner and hiding less.  I have felt held by my community.  I am grateful for that.

I can’t say that I am feeling on top of the world.  I guess the best way to describe it is to liken it to the new presence of winter.  There is beauty surrounding me.  There is a newness and a freshness that is different from spring but is just as necessary.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


bleak midwinterI wouldn’t be surprised if I have written a blog post titled November before.  When I was a kid, November was a month that was full of promise.  Now that has somehow been taken from me.  November reminds me of all I have lost.  The beginning of November has brought fear for me.  I am afraid of November.  I am afraid that by the end of November I will have nothing left for December.

At the beginning of this year I had a sense that this was ‘my’ year.  I even had other people tell me that.  Now I feel like the year is over in some ways.  It is just time to survive.  I am angry.  Somehow in my heart I think I believed that if this was my year that this wouldn’t happen again.

Everything is harder right now.  I know I promised to pick myself up but the reality is that I just don’t feel like it.  Connection seems harder to come by lately.  Mostly it is because the words just won’t come.  When people ask me what is wrong I just can’t explain it.  I feel like crap because I haven’t been taking care of myself.  I find myself struggling with temptation on an almost daily basis.  I am tired.  I am falling apart.

So there it is.  The truth is that in many ways I have allowed myself to get to this place.  But here I am.  I don’t know how to get out of it.  I can’t be honest with people because the words won’t come.  The only thing I can say is, “It’s November.”

Saturday, October 16, 2010


 support In the past few days I have found myself reaching out a little more.  I have been honest about where I am at.  I am not sure what I expected but I am grateful that I didn’t get it.  What I got from my friends was an overwhelming sense of grace.

I remember when I first started exercising and caring about my health I was hesitant to share with anyone.  I knew there would times like t his when I struggled to stay on track.  I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.  Yet as I started to post on Facebook what I was doing I had a bunch of cheerleaders instantly.  I loved the support I got.  So I guess when I was honest about what was happening I expected the same type of support.  I expected people to cheer me on.

That wasn’t what I needed.  I need people to stand with me and that is what they have done.  They have modeled God’s love to me.  I am overwhelmingly grateful for it.  I decided that what I really need is to get back to the basics of remembering how much God cares for me and how He sees me.  I am slowly becoming more active and eating better but that is coming out of an overflow.  I refuse to kick my ass because that isn’t what I need.  I need to remember.  The rest will come.

Monday, October 11, 2010


At the beginning of the year I resolved that when I fell I would get up again.  So far so good.  Yet as I reflect on where I am at right now, I wonder what to do when you recognize that you are about to fall.  Or maybe you have fallen and you just don’t recognize your fallen state…

I haven’t been exercising lately.  I have noticed that when I don’t exercise I tend to eat poorly.  I find myself being more and more tired lately.  I was waiting for this weekend to come so I could sit and veg a little or a lot to be honest.

So maybe I have fallen already.  I know that I need to get up or this hole will get even deeper.  I could use your prayer.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Remembering My Brother

It is ten years ago today that my brother passed away.  He left behind three children.  Their lives are shaped by losing their father so early.  My life has been shaped as well.  I remember it is if it was yesterday.

I received a call at work informing me that my brother was about to pass away.  I rushed to the hospital and arrived in time to see him take his last breath.  I remember being really angry.  I felt like ‘life’ had taken something else away from me.  I said to myself that I just couldn’t do it anymore.  I don’t know exactly what ‘it’ was.

It was at that time in my life that I became a Christian.  I knew that I could no longer live life under my own power.  I am grateful that God has taught me that even though I have suffered a lot of loss, death will not define me.  Rest in peace Rick.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Owning Who I Am

Since I have started changing my eating habits and exercising I have lost about 20lbs and three or four dress sizes.  My old clothes simply don’t fit anymore.  They either look really bad or won’t even stay up.  I broke down a bit ago and started replacing them.

I had pictured making do until I reached my final weight loss goal.  Yet I find that is taking too long and I can’t put it off.  So next week while I am on vacation I am going to replace most of my clothes.  I will also get rid of my old ones (that aren’t actually all that old.)

I think there is some wisdom in it beyond wanting new clothes (which is really enough to be honest.)  I need to own this new person I have become.  My body is different now.  I look different.  I need to pass on my old clothes because they no longer represent who I am.

Sunday, August 08, 2010


Today at church a woman was telling her powerful story about her faith journey. No matter what someone’s story is, it always makes me reflect on mine. Where are the similarities? What can I glean from the story? If I were to tell my story today, what would I say?

I haven’t been writing for a while. Mostly it seems that I don’t have a lot to say that I haven’t already said. I also realized that I needed to start going to God first before I told my story on this blog. The thing is, sometimes it is hard to interpret what I am hearing from God.

Today I wondered what story I would tell if I were to tell it. My story is full of trial and overcoming trial. A lot of things have happened to me that others find dramatic. Yet so much of that seems like history to me. I am wondering what story I am living today.

Over the past several months I have been very much focused on my health. I got to the point where I couldn’t very even function very well. I have seen a vast improvement. I am still focused on my health. I am wondering today if that is enough of a story. I am struggling with what else I should become involved in. I know that when I have too much on my plate I am vulnerable to so much. Yet I sense that God is calling me to something else.

Is it just to be honest about my health story? Or is there something more?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


On Sunday I was serving at church at the media station.  I don’t mind doing it but sometimes it can be stressful.  It’s also not the most social position to be in.  This particular Sunday I found it really difficult for some reason.  I realized part way through it was because I was already quite stressed.

I came home and I wanted to blog about what was going on in my life but I really can’t.  It’s hard for me because I try to be really transparent on my blog.  It is an outlet for me to process stuff.  Now there are things preventing me from speaking publically.  It sucks and it’s hard.

So instead of writing a blog I decided to clean my apartment on Sunday.  Lately exercise has also become a stress relief but I was too tired and worn down to run.  I know, it is not healthy to avoid stuff but hey, at least I did something productive – and I felt better.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Resurrection Sunday

I have been listening to Rob Bell lately on my runs. He has given me a lot to think about and I plan to post on some of those things later. In the meantime, I have to say this is my favourite version of the resurrection story. The video was just released last night.

Resurrection: Rob Bell from The Work of Rob Bell on Vimeo.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Bad Friday

This past week I have had the vague feeling that something is wrong. It’s one of those times when I am pretty sure that God is doing something in my life, that He wants to move me. I am just not sure where…

Today is good Friday. At our church we refer to it as bad Friday. Today the weather is pretty yucky. There is rain, hail, and wind. I managed to go for a run today. It was cold and miserable. I got hailed on. Yeah, it wasn’t a great experience.

But what I do know, is that God is good. This week I had the privilege to visit with my friend and her 5 day old baby. She is beautiful. I don’t care what anybody says she smiles. And today another friend asked me to take care of her baby while she was doing some things at church. What a blessing. Another miracle.

I don’t know what God is doing but I know He is good. And even though the weather was horrible today I was able to increase my running interval. I half wonder if the cold weather helped.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


It’s been a long time since I posted.  I hadn’t realized it has been so long.  I just returned from a nice vacation to the warmth of Arizona and Mexico.  It was nice to rest.  I feel like I have a new outlook on a lot of things.

The last post was about me hitting a wall.  I am happy to report that I did make it through the wall.  Unfortunately very shortly after that I injured my back and I was unable to exercise at all.  I went for long walks on my vacation but I haven’t been able to run in three weeks.  I miss running.  I am going to start getting slowly back on track today.

I was discouraged when I hurt my back but I also decided that I would not let it defeat me.  I went for physiotherapy very early on.  I got the help I needed right away to help me get back on track.  I also had a doctor’s appointment that caused me to reflect on where I have been and how much progress I have made.

The last time my blood sugar was measured I was on the edge of being pre-diabetic.  Now my blood sugar is in the normal range.  My resting heart rate is under 80, it used to be over 90.  My thyroid is under control.  I have lost 13 pounds.  All of this news came exactly when I needed it.

I am excited about my life.  I will do the 5K race no whether I reach my goal of running 10, walking one or not.  This is not about being perfect.  I am making progress.  And the awesome thing is that this feels doable for the rest of my life.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Hitting a Wall

Last week I announced to all of my Facebook friends that I was planning to run a 5K (3 mile) race in May. Everyone was so excited and cheered me on, just as they have cheered on all of my fitness goals so far.

Friday was the first day that I actually did a combination of walking and running the entire 3.11 miles. I was also supposed to be moving up to running two minutes at a time. I had a lot of difficulty with that. I thought it would get better on Sunday but it was actually worse. I just couldn’t keep running the two minutes.

Since half way through January I have been working out five times a week (instead of the four times I was doing in the fall.) I have to admit between working out that often and adding the additional run/walk time three times a week I am tired most of the time. My muscles are often sore. I have started to feel down.

Yesterday I began to regret telling people about the run. If I hadn’t I could just quit. Yet that is the reason I told people. I needed other people to know so that I had the support. I realized today that this is the hard part. I have to push through this. So I am asking God to help me push through the wall. I am asking you to join me in that prayer if you are so inclined…

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I used to be really annoyed with people who would tell me to stand on God’s promise.  And if someone said that to me directly I would probably still be annoyed.  However I find myself in a place where that is what I am doing.  I am trusting that God wants to and will bring me to new levels of physical health and emotional healing.  I know I am trusting because I am living my life as if I know He will.

Six months ago I entered a conference that changed my life.  Really I entered a room with God where he transformed me.  I shared my heart with Him and he showed me how he saw me….  as a beautiful woman who somehow mustered up the courage to dance before Him at the last night of the conference.

Every once in a while I would hear a voice that would tell me this wouldn’t last.  Upon reflection the past few weeks I realized that I have had the longest sustained period of happiness that I have ever had.  I can’t say every moment was perfect or that even every month was great.  I can say that overall I look back and see that I have had a relatively positive six months.  I am excited about what God is doing in my life.

Sometimes I still hear that voice that says this won’t last.  But then I realize that I have learned to get back up when I fall.  Today I am understanding that this is because I refuse to give up my belief that God has good things in store for me.  So yes there is some difficulty ahead at some point.  But the belief is what will help me stand up.  Standing on God’s promise is not a matter of somehow tricking myself.  It is seeing the Truth in every circumstance.

Friday, January 01, 2010

I Will Rise

I can’t believe it is 2010 already. Many people take this time to reflect on their lives and decide what to change. I think that is a natural and good thing. I spent many years not making resolutions. This year I decided to take a new slant on them.

Rather than try and start anything new I have decided what I would like to keep doing or expand on. This seems much less discouraging and overwhelming. I can’t help but honor all that his happened for me this year. I also can’t help but honor what has happened for me in the last ten years. To throw it out and start doing something entirely new would seem like I wasn't doing enough.

I have to admit that sometimes when I reflect on the good place I am in, I feel a sense of panic. I don’t want to let it go. Yet it is not realistic to expect that I won’t experience hardship in 2010. So instead I will make a declaration:

I will rise.