Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Unexpected

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This week I have been thinking about how God is always teaching us.  I never expected that my goal to run a 5k in under 40 minutes would bring me to such a place where I had to explore some of my deepest wounds.  I started sharing goals on Facebook last year which was a huge step.  I even talked about hitting a wall in my blog.  That said I have stayed away from really sharing about the struggle.

These few weeks I have found God calling me to move past that.  When I have shared that I am struggling people have been profoundly supportive.  I am bolstered by their support.  And I am happy to report that for the past two weeks at my running class I have someone to run with.

Sometimes I have felt like these goals are self-indulgent.  Now I know that I have been really living.  And God has been using these times to help me face my insecurities about not been able to keep up with the group to teach me about asking for and accepting help.  He has also taught me that people are willing to help.  There are runners that used to struggle as I do.  They tell me that once I get to about 7 minutes it gets easier.  They tell me how they had bad weeks and the next week got better. 

I also had two victories at work this week.  I think that God is showing me that the issues of the past are over and I need to look to the future.  I am nervous about the next three weeks (particularly the two weeks after this one.).  They will be very busy.  I am struggling to figure out how to fit everything in.  I have decided that it is important to keep up my three runs a week but that I may not get a forth workout in.  I am cooking as much as I can next weekend so that I will have healthy meals ready.  I am working to plan some outings with friends so that I can at least have some fun. 

So it is the last Sunday of the month.  Here are the stats:

Healthy meals: 78% (not too shabby)

Number of workouts: 20 (4/4 100% of weeks)

Friends: 9 outings (it helps when it’s your birthday)

Photography afternoons: 0 (it’s cold)

Blog posts: this is post # 5 of the year.  Considering I had 16 total last year, that’s pretty awesome.

I have decided to stop counting prayer statistics but I can say that I talked to God everyday.  I know this is something I need to work on.  I have also noticed that my other goals force me to talk to God.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Breath

God touchingWhen I run I typically listen to a Podcast that I have downloaded.  I have been downloading Podcasts from my own church that I have missed.  More often (since I don’t miss that many and there would only be one a week anyway) I listen to other pastors.  On Monday I was listening to Shane Hipps.  He is a teacher at Mars Hill Church in Michigan.  You may be more familiar with the lead Pastor from that church Rob Bell.

Shane was speaking on the concept of calling.  As I was in my last running interval he said something like this: “God wants us to do this stuff because he thinks they will be fun for us.”  He challenged the idea that if we don’t answer our calling we will anger or disappoint God.  He wants the best for us.  He thinks we will enjoy these things.  Will we always enjoy them?  Probably not.  In the learning stages and through some difficult times our calling will be just plain hard and no fun at all.  But overall, we are called to things that God knows will nourish our soul.  God knows how we are wired.

Then when I got home the teaching was still going and Shane was leading the group through a meditation exercise.  I sat down and went through the exercise with him.  He started with the typical breath in, breath out, just notice your breathing.  Then he said something I will never forget, “Remember that each breath is God breathing into you.  Each breath you take means that God has a purpose for you.”

At that point, tears streamed down my face.  I have been struggling because I made all of these commitments at the beginning of the year.  I am moving forward for sure but it has been difficult.  I feel like I am failing because I haven’t been able to consistently follow spiritual disciplines.  Yet what it comes down to is that every breath means that God has a purpose for me.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Running… Sort of

woman running in winterWell I have to admit that this week has been less than stellar in terms of resolution progress.  My food intake was only about 50% healthy.  I owe this partially to the fact that I wasn’t prepared going into the week and then my car wasn’t working properly with the cold weather here.  I did make some progress though.  I worked out four times.  I prayed most days. My Scripture reading isn’t where I want it to be.  That said I am realizing today that perhaps I can’t make all of these changes at once.  I will try again once I have a strong foundation of working out and I get back into a rhythm.

I signed up for a running clinic.  It started yesterday.  So there I was dressed in layers to run in –30 Celsius without the wind chill.  The weather itself didn’t end up that bad.  But to be honest II struggled.  I knew I ran slow but it became all the more apparent when I couldn’t keep up with the rest of the group (all beginning runners.)  The instructor came back for me a couple of times.  Still I had hoped I could keep up.  I honestly don’t want to go back.

Here’s the thing.  I have avoided running with others since I started.  I think that God is pushing me to shed the identity of the kid in the gym class who gives up.  So yes I will be behind the pack for now.  It won’t be that way forever.  I will do my practices this week and I will return next week.  I will eventually catch up.

At work we are starting a Biggest Loser Challenge on Tuesday.  Although I don’t have a specific weight loss goal I thought that this would help me work towards my goals of eating well and exercising.  The session is seventeen weeks which should give me a really good start.   

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Resolution Regret

After I posted about my resolutions I found myself coming across other things I ‘should’ have put on there:
- oh I shouldn’t be on Facebook so much
- oh I should clean out the closet in the bedroom
- oh I should have been more specific/strict about the definition of a healthy meal

And the list goes on.

All of these things are good things to do.  What I found out was that my resolutions focused me.  I was able to say, “yes but that’s not what I am working on right now.”  It seemed that none of them were more important than the things I was already working on.  And some of them might never happen or will happen naturally as a subset of what I am already doing.

I have made some progress on my resolutions.  I realized that I needed a plan and a way to measure them.  I am using a calendar I got for free to record the number of healthy meals, workouts, times I prayed, time I spent on scripture, events with friends, and photography sessions.

Working out has been going very well.  I ran outside today for the first time since the summer.  I actually enjoyed the cold weather keeping me from overheating.  I have a few logistical issues to work out but I am going to run outside as much as I can.

Food was pretty good until Friday came along.  But who cares.  Friday was my birthday and I had lunch out and a party yesterday.  Plus a friend made me cookies.  I felt so loved and valued at my party.  It was so much fun and the cake was AWESOME.  It was chocolate cake, with chocolate icing, chocolate filling, and chocolate chewy cookies crumbled on top.  What could be better?
posing in front of cakeblowing out candles for birthday

AND yesterday I registered for the Storyline Conference in Portland and booked my plane tickets on sale.  I am so excited I can hardly stand itSmile

Emergence and Whether Watching T.V. Is Okay

I remember the day I all of a sudden felt like I was ready to move.  It was December 30th.  In the days leading up to my vacation I had felt a considerable pull to watch television, play video games, have naps, read, or do anything that didn’t require energy or thought.  From about December 23rd on, I did very little.  I didn’t feel well.  I was tired.  I enjoyed my time with friends but I also felt like I needed considerable time at home.

I have typically viewed this as behaviour I want to change.  Yet knowing how I felt suddenly on December 30th I wonder if this is the way God built me.  My periods of rest involve things that others may view as ‘wasting my time’.   It wasn’t a waste of time.   I think it is what I needed.

If at that point I would have been exercising regularly, I would have kept it up.  Food is always an issue during the holidays but I think I would have had a better time of eating healthy if I had been doing that all along.  So maybe the key is not punishing myself for doing what I enjoy but creating a context for doing those things where they don’t detract from my health.