Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bucket Bracelets




I know I have been blogging A LOT lately but I have to get this entry in before the end of the year. 

I have so many friends who are making life goals and accomplishing dreams. I'm talking running after their dreams with all they have and accomplishing them!!! I have an idea and I am calling them Bucket Bracelets. I'm bringing back the charm bracelet (James Avery will be proud). I am urging all my sisters to get a BRAND NEW charm bracelet (if the only one you have has high school accomplishments and choir notes, like mine). We are starting fresh with a new bracelet and adding charms when we accomplish these life goals. 

Why "Bucket"? Watch the movie The Bucket List. It's a little slow going but it really is one of the reasons I have decided to run that marathon NOW! The basic idea is to make a list of things you want to do before you "kick the bucket"/die. I'm reminded of the Tim McGraw song where he went "sky diving, rocky mountain climbing, and 2.7 seconds on a bull with a names I cannot spell"  

Here are examples of how I would give charms 
for Bucket Bracelets to my friends:
Christina gets a Palm Tree for going on a Long term mission trip to Indonesia. I know this won't be her last but YAY for starting on that journey!!! You totally inspired me in ways you DO not know!!!

Jenny H gets a wedding charm because she is down to the same weight she was on the day she got married. I am looking for her a leg charm because her legs are about to be hotter than they already are!

I'm gonna go ahead and post the picture of the shoe because I will finish that marathon. 

Make a list of things you want to do before you die and start the process of doing them. It's the new year! Make some goals and set up some steps to achieve them. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Honest Scrap

I was tagged by Meagan Hogg to blog about 10 things about me that most people don't know... here it goes. 

1) I got my belly button pierced when I was 18 to rebel against my parents. It was really irritating and I ended up removing it less than a year after getting it pierced. The hole is still there (6 years later) and will not heal. I wonder what will happen if I am pregnant some day?

2) I organize the clothes in my closet by color. Then sleeve length. And in RAINBOW order, you know ROY G BIV. I think that all closets should be like this and it bothers me if they are not. :)

3) I HATE wire hangers. Can't stand them. I hate the sound they make when they "cling" against each other and how they easily get tangled. If I end up with a wire hanger I throw them away. Some day I will lock my keys in my car and regret this weirdness in me but for now I am okay with it. 

4) I used to eat my boogers and tell my parents what they tasted like. I would make things up like, potatoes, chips, or...candy. Don't worry. I stopped this during the first week of 2nd grade when Eddie Hernandez made fun of me on the play ground because he caught me having a "morning snack" during Monster Math. :)

5) I am afraid of the dark. Still. I think it has something to do with the fact that I have really bad eye sight and at night when  don't have my contacts in I still get freaked out. 

6) I want to be the next Beth Moore (I know) but I can't finish reading the Bible. I CANNOT make it through the Old Testament. I can't focus and so much of it is so very confusing to me. Can we get some order here people?

7) I waited until my wedding night to have sex and it is a miracle. I did not become a Christian until I was a junior in high school and prior to that I was boy crazy..okay I was still boy crazy once I became a Christian but am SO humbled that He protected me WAY before I ever even knew what He did for me on the cross. *sigh* 

8) I want 5 children. I have names picked out and I want to adopt 2 if not all of them. I feel a HUGE pull on my heart to give children a home. 
NAMES I LIKE:
*Joya
*Jaycie
*Kate
*Kendall
*Klayton
*Jake
*Jason

I used to want to have 3 girls named :Faith, Hope, and Joy. Triplets is what I prayed for 

9) I would live in Costa Rica and think Kyle and I should go there and start a church ;) I studied Spanish there in college for 3 weeks and it is the most amazing place I have ever been! Everything is so much simpler there! Pura Vida

10) I'm scared to death to run 26.2 miles. I put up a strong front but today I realized that 26 miles is from the Home Depot in Kyle (on 35) To Gruene, TX that. A little intimidating. 

THAT WAS REALLY FUN! I TAG JENNY H, NOCONA, JULIE C, AND JULIE W. 




Monday, December 29, 2008

Registered

I AM REGISTERED! Something feels great about it. I will need lots of support so please put February 15th on your calendar. I will need people along the course to hand me power gels and cheer! Keep praying for my training! It will be here soon!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ratliff


That's what Stephanie Elizabeth McGilberry calls me. My old last name. I love that it now sounds foreign to me and that I have fully embraced the name of my wonderful husband. I got to see Steph  and Christina on Tuesday. We called it our Christmas party and had a blast.
"The Girls" (that's what I will call them because both of their first names are ridiculously long) and I became friends in youth group way back when. I think we were all Sophomore's in high school when we met but am sure I will get corrected if I am wrong. After graduating from SVHS in 2002 we all went our separate ways but have managed to stay close at heart! I love love love them! Steph teaches 4th grade in Marshall TX and Christina just returned from a 4 month long mission trip to Indonesia. I equate our friendship to the sisterhood of the traveling pants and nothing can separate us. 

LOVE YOU GIRLS!!!!!!! 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Be Ready

This mornings run was the worst one I have had so far. 
Mistake Number 1: Didn't eat anything before I ran...WHAT??? Who can run 16 miles (or even think about running 16) on an empty stomach. I was dizzy by mile 4. 
Mistake Number 2: I have been putting off getting new shoes. The tops of my feet were killing me by mile 6. 
Mistake Number 3: I let my mind get the best of me and was in desperate need of encouragement. I didn't make it the full 16 but I also did not prepare myself to run 16. I now CANNOT wait to join up with my new running team. Please pray that I will keep pushing it to the marathon. 

ONLY 58 MORE DAYS

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rogue Running

I joined a running team today!!!!!!! It didn't take long to realize that running alone is, well, L-O-N-E-L-Y! After much difficulty in the last few miles of my half marathon I began research on a running program that would fit right for ME!! My husband's cousin Lynette trains with Rogue Running and she told me all about how wonderful it is to run with them. I went to the Rogue Running Website and found that the marathon training program had been in session since September 6th (which is what I figured) and I emailed the name listed as person to contact. Ruth wrote me back first thing this morning to let me know that they would be happy to have me join their program AND they would give me a prorated rate of $75.00 (instead of $300.00 if I would have started back in September)!!!!!!!! I am very excited and encouraged! She said she will be sending me emails with exactly what I should be eating as I train and we meet 3 times a week to run!!!

I will let you know how it goes! Other than that I have a 16 mile solo run in the morning to stay on schedule with them and will be able to complete it only because I know it will be my last long training run BY MYSELF!! HOORAY!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

20 Miles


My 20 mile race is on January 11th. I still have plenty of time for training but am frustrated by pain in my right foot from the half marathon. I finished the half in 2 hours and 27 minutes. 3 minutes faster than my goal time. Mile 12 was the hardest one. I really thought that I was going to be sick but when I could see the finish line I was able to make it. This is most definitely one of the most challenging things I have ever set out to accomplish. I think it might be more challenging then finishing 4 years of college (and I'm not kidding). I have a goal and must persevere. 

I hope that everyone is getting as excited about Christmas as I am!!!


Monday, December 8, 2008

Jenny Squared


I have only known Jenny Helm for 2.5 years and already she has become my supportive friend. She cheers for me daily in whatever I achieve and will be the first to pray for me on days of joy and struggle. We do a really good job of letting each other know what is going on in our lives and speak on the phone an average of twice a day. I love all of what the above picture represents of us. A picture is worth a thousand words and I will do my best to describe this moment. I think it's pretty significant:
*Jenny H started her own business making the very cute and inspiring banners that you see hanging behinds us. She sold them this past weekend at her first ever craft show (BudaFest) and you can order yours at Helm House Creations 
*I arrived at the booth to root for my dear friend after completing my first ever Half marathon in 2 hours and 27 minutes. 3 minutes faster than my goal! *NOTE* the word "half" on the shirt I am wearing. I don't allow myself to wear the race day shirt until after I have completed a race! 
*Jenny H has been working out and setting goals and achieving much at Gold's gym where she trains. She looks fabulous and her outlook on life is pretty inspiring. She beams and feels great and it shows!
*I am still running and training for that marathon because of the encouragement of my dear friend Jenny. On mile 12 I was about to throw up and I kept thinking about how in a few short hours I would be posing in my race day shirt with Jenny at her booth! 

I know that this is just one of the many things that Jenny and I will  go through in life together as friends but it sure feels good to have a friend who brings you up and who you bring up. There are so many things that I could not have done if it weren't for Jenny H and I am so blessed to have her as a friend. I think that this picture represents a world that is wide open for us and we just have to run with the challenges and go for it. I will end with a quote that I saw hanging on a high school wall about a month ago, "The truest test of relationships is not how loyal we are when our friends fail but how THRILLED we are when they succeed" Jenny H is thrilled when I succeed and loyal always. May we all be that kind of friend and be thankful for friends like that!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How He Loves Us

KIM WALKER
HOW HE LOVES US

He is jealous for me
Love's like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me.
Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us so.

Yeah, He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves.

So we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean we're all sinking
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way

That he loves us,
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves

Half

So here it goes. I am running the half marathon on Sunday. The race starts at 7:30 AM and should end for me by 10:00AM (most take approximately 2 and 1/2 hours). I am going to be honest here and tell you that I almost quit my Austin Distance Challenge but have been told by 3 different people that I have inspired them through my running. So here I go! Please pray for my right hip (it tends to hurt around mile 8) and that my feet don't start to tingle (I think I was wearing the wrong socks last time). I appreciate all of the encouragement and am reminded by my dear friend Ezy that I should not take my running for granted. After the race on Sunday I will have 3 more races in my challenge and am striving to complete the Motorola Marathon in February. I am thankful that I have a husband who encourages me in my running and inspires me daily with how he perseveres. 
Thank you Lord that you put things in our life that challenge us and push us to strive. Thank you Lord for my ability to run and I give you all the glory for every step I have run so far. I praise You because You already know the outcome of the race and that, "I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ so firm on YOUR promise I stand" -Desert Song (Hillsong United)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our God is a God Who Provides

On Thanksgiving day I was completely and utterly swept off my feet by the Lord's provision for His people. Allow me to explain: It was about noon and Kyle and I were all set to have a wonderful meal with our wonderful family (about 20 total) when I received a text from my friend Nocona that said, "My grandpa gave me a 2001 Explorer and paid for the insurance for a year!" My heart leapt up in my throat for that dear family!!!!! They have been following so closely and fervently to God and His call on their lives to start a church in New Braunfels TX and have been operating their household of 5 on one reliable car. The night before Nocona asked me for prayer while feeling kind of weary! 
The whole time we were talking and I was praying the Lord had a solution and wonderful gift ready for that dear family. I am reminded of a story that Beth Moore tells in her Believing God Bible study:
One day Beth was walking her dogs when she saw a few ducks on the sidewalk just walking around and bathing in a puddle. Just over the bump on the side of the sidewalk was a HUGE pond and she was telling those ducks to get in that pond! She reminds us that sometimes we splash in the puddle of life when the pond is within reach! Can you imagine the Lord's frustration when He reminds us that, "those who wait on the Lord will find new strength! They will walk and not grow weary. They will run and faint" 
Praise Him that He knows what we need before we know we need it and HE provides a way!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

THANKFUL

Here are a few things I am thankful for: 

  1. my husband
  2. my family
  3. my friends
  4. my cat Stetson
  5. pizza delivery people
  6. Sunday School
  7. worship music
  8. the ability to run
  9. chocolate
  10. music
  11. dangly earrings
  12. grace
  13. healing
  14. and much much more
I am thankful that we can approach His throne and that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven and INTERCEDES for ME! (and you :) ) I am thankful that the other night when darkness fell on me so very quickly I was able to speak His word and  truth over my life and sent that darkness packing!! I awoke to a new day and am thankful that His grace is new every morning. I am thankful that He came to my rescue once again and is mighty to save.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

There Will be a Day

So sometimes I struggle with depression. It comes at inappropriate times and usually when I think it is gone for good. I know that God heals and strives for my heart but darn it...I get tired of this trial. It has been almost 5 years since my world seemed to fall apart and I am so ready to not deal with that bit of darkness that is within me. I heard a song the other day on my way to New Braunfels that brought tears to my eyes (you probably can't believe that) and made me Love Him even more for reminding me that pain and suffering are temporary and He is here all of the time. 

Here are the lyrics from Jeremy Camps new song: 
There Will Be A Day 

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,
that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

(Chorus)
There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always

I know the journey seems so long
You feel you’re walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you’ve walked out all alone
(Chorus)
Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting

I can’t wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced
 To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery this is why this is why I sing 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Patches

The ultimate goal is to get this jacket:
Its the award for completing all 6 races in the Austin Distance Challenge   and it helps me keep on running. This past Sunday I completed the 10 mile run for the water which is the second of the six races. I have 4 more runs to go and am now even more motivated because after the last race they handed me 2 patches that can be sewn on to... THE JACKET!!! It kinda reminds me of girl scouts and patches and I am just so excited!!! After the first race (the 10 K) I started to doubt myself but am exhilarated to keep on running. 
When I hit the 8 mile mark of the ten mile race this weekend something extraordinary happened to me. I have never ever in my life run farther than 8 miles so I knew that every step after that was on uncharted territory (for me). I felt tired but somehow ecstatic! About that time Jeremy Camps, "Restored" began to play on my IPOD and I got goose bumps all over me. I can't even describe what I felt all over me. Some would call it "runners high" for me I know it was the Lord. I have never felt closer to Him in all of my life and I give Him all the glory for every step that I was able to accomplish on Sunday. I praise Him because He knows me better than me and that He knows just how excited and motivated I would be because of a patch. He thrills me like no other and I think He wants His children to try hard stuff. He wants us to keep pressing on. Here are the lyrics of that song that He spoke to me so clearly on my run! 
JEREMY CAMP
RESTORED
All this time I've wandered around
Searching for the things I'll never know
I've been searching for this answer that
Only will be found in Your love

And I feel it my heart is being mended by Your touch
And I hear it Your voice that's shown my purpose in this world

You have restored me from my feeble and broken soul
You have restored me (2x)

I've only come to realize my strength will be made perfect at Your throne
Laying all reflections down to see the precious beauty that You've shown

And I feel it my heart is being mended by Your touch
And I hear it Your voice that's shown my purpose in this world

You have restored me from my feeble and broken soul
You have restored me (2x)

Laying all these questions down
You've answered what I need
You've given more than I deserve
You're making me complete

You've given all these open doors
I'm humbled at Your feet
Because of what You've done for me


Friday, November 7, 2008

10 Miles???


I have come to the conclusion as to how I will be running my 10 mile race on Sunday. Some would ask, "don't you just run?" but no. There has to be some sort of strategy especially when trying to accomplish a distance you have never run before. My friend Sara originally said that she will be running for 5 minutes/walking 1 minute and so on and so forth for 10 miles. I was agreeing with her on her game plan but today felt really unsettled about it. So here is what I have decided:
 I will walk only at water stations AND for no longer than one minute. 
Whew! I feel much better now! 
Somehow I felt like I was cheating myself if I agreed to run 5 walk 1. I can live with my race decision now and no longer feel like a cheater. Now for the question of the night: Will anyone be around RUNTEX tomorrow between 10AM and 6PM???? I will not be in town during that time to pick up my running packet for Saturday and would owe the person who could pick this up for me BIG TIME!!!!!!!

Thanks and Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Favorite Things

I was inspired by Jenny H to tell the blog reader world of a few of my favorite things. I will let you in on 10 in no particular order. 

  1. Traveling- Not only do I LOVE seeing new places but I absolutely positively LOVE airports! I love to watch people reunite with loved ones with excitement and adoration. I love hotel continental breakfasts and I love everything involved in the whole traveling experience.
  2. Cheese Enchiladas- When I go and eat Mexican food at a new place I always like to try the cheese enchiladas. The best I have found so far are at Salsalito's in San Antonio off of Nacogdoches road. 
  3. Running!- I have loved running since the 7th grade when I joined the track team (and earned the record for the 200 meter dash). These days I am more of a distance runner and will be running a 10 miler on Sunday!
  4. Reading- I am a big book nerd. There is nothing better than curling up on the couch under my RANGERS blanket from high school and reading a good book. My favorite author is Nicholas Sparks and I also enjoy anything by Beth Moore. 
  5. Coffee- If you know me at all you will know that I start my mornings with a nice cup of coffee. If I had it my way I would have a Javachino from Mocha's and Java's which is the coffee shop where I studied my way through college in San Marcos. They are so very good!
  6. Laughing- I'm pretty corny and grew up with a dad who made everything light hearted and a joke. Sometimes its hard for me to take things seriously because my dad taught me to enjoy life and have a good laugh. 
  7. Sending/receiving cards- I love encouragement (who doesn't?) and I also LOVE encouraging others. Life is too short to not let people know how much they mean to you. My new favorite quotes is, "The truest test of relationships is not how loyal we are when our friends fail, but how THRILLED we are when they succeed" 
  8. Dessert- love it! mostly Chocolate!
  9. Journaling- I wish I wrote in my journal more ofter but hey, I blog..I think that counts!
  10. My wonderful Husband Kyle- He is the love of my life and I had no idea when we first met how much more I would love him with every passing day. He is my best friend in the whole world and the only one that "gets me" even though he isn't sure if he does :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Checking In

Get it?!? Checking in? Its been over a week since I told you about my 10K and all of the races to come. I wanted to share with you what occurred to me during our small group class this past Sunday. 
We were discussing Romans 5 and talked about how we have been set free but don't know how to live the life of freedom. If we really grasped how free we are in Christ we would have a skip in our step. I think a lot of times we all want a quick fix (I'm guilty of it about my morning coffee) but what God wants us to realize is that some of the darkest stuff in our lives, (sin, addiction, etc.) needs to be completely transformed. Not just bandaided (word?). So, when I am struggling with something I try to fix it by having a goal: "Tomorrow I will absolutely positively not ever gossip again" the problem with this is that the second that I fail I feel shame  and guilt and darn if if I don't have to start right back over again. So then I say, "no, tomorrow I will not struggle with comparing myself to those stupid skinny airbrushed ladies that plague billboards and magazines (most recently a TV commercial during prime time). Then when I find myself struggling again...dang it! I know "I" can do this. BUT!!!!! Oh YEAH! I am redeemed! Chosen! Adopted! Forgiven! Cleansed! Set Free! and I can't do anything! Only He can. Can anyone sense my sense of urgency on this? So here's what I'm saying:
We gotta strive every single day to know Him more. We have to have the sword of the spirit (His word) always on our minds and on our lips. We need to check in with Him daily and see where we are at. A lot of times my only prayer is for Him to, "Search my heart and see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting" Psalm 139:24 Do not give up hope for He is light in the darkest places of you. Do not lose heart. I urge all of us (myself included) to seek Him fervently every moment of every single day. He is all we need and more than enough for me!



Monday, October 20, 2008

Austin Distance Challenge

My original goal was to run a marathon this year. Then I decided that just maybe I should run a half marathon first. Then I ran into a man who told me about the Austin Distance Challenge and how if I chose to commit to it I would run a total of 6 races over 5 months finishing with the Motorola Marathon in February. 

I completed the first race yesterday finishing 516 out of 595 for the Distance challenge part. I must say that I am a little dissapointed by how far back I was in the rankings BUT am very satisfied that I finished 6.2 miles in just over an hour (1:05:09.0).

Out of all 723 women that participated in yesterdays race I got 544th
Out of all 1589 people who ran the race yesterday I placed 1341st. I beat 248 people! WHOO HOO!

The fastest person finished in 33.20 (WOW)

Needless to say people take this stuff seriously! I am blessed to be a part of it! 
You can follow my results on Go Jenny Go

Races to Come

  • IBM Uptown Classic 10K – Oct. 19, 2008 (COMPLETED)
  • Run for the Water 10 Miler – Nov. 9, 2008
  • Decker Challenge Half Marathon – Dec. 7, 2008
  • RunTex On the Square 20 Miler – Jan. 11, 2009
  • 3M Half Marathon – Jan. 25, 2009
  • AT&T Austin Marathon – Feb. 15, 2009




  • Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Are you kidding me???

    workout: 4.5 mile run whoo hoo

    Breakfast: 1 cup Kashi cereal and skim milk

    Lunch: egg salad on one piece of whole wheat bread

    Snack: protein water (special K)

    Dinner: 4 oz baked chicken breast with 1/2 cup of brown rice

    after dinner snack: 2 pieces of stuffed crust pizza from pizza hut that the lady provided at our meeting...

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?! 

    Food Logs

    I've been trying real hard to control what I eat but am struggling...terribly! I can work out every day but feel I "deserve" ice cream from sonic after a long run because hey..it was a long RUN!...

    Here are some other foods that I have a hard time resisting...









    Yes, the abover are Miss Ruby's Ya Ya peppers and YES I ate a whole lot of them on Saturday with a whole lot of Cream Cheese. 

    I would like to thank Jenny H for helping me to be aware of every bite that I eat every day...totally not in an obsessed kind of way. Just an aware kind of way. Maybe soon I will be able to write that it helps. I have lost 4 pounds though!!! WHOO HOOO!!

    Monday, October 13, 2008

    Running Skirts

    Whoever thought of running skirts is now my friend! I think they are so cute! yes, the pink may be a little obnoxious but I can't wait to wear mine on Sunday. I have my first 10K in north Austin on Sunday and am so very excited! It's my second ever race and I look forward to embracing what I have always loved to do! Now all I need is the top that goes with the skirt! Cheer me on!!!

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    Lighten Up!!!

    So the brown hair is lightening up and I think I like it even more! Not too light and not too dark. So in going with the theme of color 'o hair, I would like to throw out a few things that have helped to "lighten" the weight of this world AND *sigh* breathe.

    Kyle and I had the opportunity to have dinner with Paul Orberson who is the founder of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing. He was with another network marketing company in the early 90's called Excel Communications and with that company he became the most successful network marketer in network marketing history. He told us stories of how hard his first few years with excel were. He spoke of people he truly cared about speaking ill against his choice of work, he spoke of friends and family who said it could not be done, he spoke of prayers all alone believing that the Lord had set this task before him, he spoke of sleepless nights, empty bank accounts, and worry, and strife. He also spoke about victory, perseverance, what it feels like to fight, what it means to take the road less traveled, how is feels to be able to give. The most profound thing he said (which I believe might have changed me for life) is when he looked us straight in the eye and said, "you don't need any one's blessing over your life...if you are seeking someones blessing you are allowing them to play God in your life. The only blessing you need is from the one up above" This was pretty profound for a girl who tends to people please! It gets to me when I hear that family thinks I'm crazy or I do not feel that I get the accolades I deserve (its the truth). 

    Lord Jesus
    I thank you that my hope is in You Lord and in Your word! I thank You that we do not need to seek earthly approval because You approve of me! Thank you that I am blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed, and forgiven but thank You Lord the most that You Love me. Thank You that You died on the cross for my transgressions and knew You had to do that from the time You came down to win. I deserve nothing but hell. Thank you that those who hope in the Lord will find new strength. Thank you that we will walk and not grow weary. Thank you that we will run and not faint. Thank You that you keep me grounded. Thank you that you help me throw off anything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Help me fix my eyes on YOU Jesus the AUTHOR and PERFECTER of faith! I praise You Jesus for all you've done!!!!!!
    Amen!

    Saturday, October 4, 2008

    Liberty

    liberty |ˈlibərtē|noun ( pl. -ties)1 the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views 2 the power or scope to act as one pleases

    I found myself pondering the meaning of the word that we sing in songs about our nation by the age of around 4. It occurred to me that I wasn't completely certain of what the full definition of Liberty was but I have found that it is exactly this word that I have been searching my heart about. No, this is not a blog about politics or how great I think that Palin is. This my friend is a blog about STRONGHOLDS. I will go ahead and give you the definition of this as well. Its kinda frightening: 
    stronghold |ˈstrô ng ˌhōld|noun a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack.• a place where a particular cause or belief is strongly defended or upheld
    something that protects it (us) from attack. This is crazy! There are few things in my life that I have had a terrible time trying to shake but I had no idea that it had anything to do with something that I was trying to protect, strongly defend, or uphold! WOW! So I have been searching my heart a lot lately. I am trying to make sure that I am not wasting the very gifts that God has given me. (Remember the Parable of the Talents Matthew 25:14-28) I know that strongholds hold us back and I do not want to be held back. I have been taught LIBERTY! (do you see where I am going with this?) I want to be free and twirl around in a big twirly skirt without a care and sing at the top of my lungs because I am pretty good when I sing when no one is around..I promise! 
    I guess I should let you in on a little secret that is probably not much of a secret to most of you who follow this blog. A stronghold of mine is the need for approval. If none of you are around and I think something is neat at Target I will simply find a lady I have never met in all of my life and see what she thinks about such item. This might sound like a skimpy little stronghold but it really holds me back because sometimes I really want something so badly but will not proceed due to what others might say. I am making strides to eliminate such stronghold but still stumbles me at times. 
    I also thing that prejudice is a stronghold of mine. I am not talking about race, color, denomination, or even body build I am strictly talking about looking at someone and deciding whether I could be around them before they ever open their mouths. I know we all do this. Sometimes we won't walk down a certain isle in the store because "prejudice" is standing there and looks kind of shady. (am I making sense). I don't want things like that holding me back at all. What if that is the person that I am supposed to spread the love of God to? And I what? Miss it because of something stupid like a dumb fear like being attacked? Wow, we cannot operate like that well at all my friend. 
    Depression is another one of my mine. If I don't answer my phone on Monday I might just be busy but if you have not heard back from me by Saturday I might be feeling sorry for myself or I might not be able to respond. Whew..I said it. Things do get a little dark in this heart of mine but its okay right? I've been through a lot. My family and myself have been through a lot. It's..well..justfied (INSERT BIG LOUD WRONG ANSWER ON A GAME SHOW BUZZER HERE) No Way! I need to stop dwelling on the dang past and live for today! 
    I guess the whole point is that we want Liberty but we have strongholds and we must be willing to be honest with ourselves and stop trying to be perfect. 

    I think Pink sang it best, "So what I'm still a rock star, I got my rock moves, and I don't need you. So what I'm having more fun. Now that we're done. Im gonna show you" 

    So, So what you stupid strongholds you! I'm still a rockstar

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    G.L.I.T.T.E.R.S


    My friend Jenny Helm and I play scrabble via Facebook. Call us nerds if you will but I believe that this past time has made me a better person. If I recall correctly my friend Jenny and me (yes, also Jenny) have played about 12 online Scrabble via Facebook games and I have won only one! It's okay though. I will persevere. See previous blog! Two days ago we started yet another game of scrabble and her first word was GLITTERS. It was worth 64 points. Now I am losing 168-62 but again. I will not give up! 
    I am reading a new book called, "48 Days to the Work you Love" by Dan Miller (and a foreword by my fav Dave Ramsey)
    pg 48 of this FABULOUS book states, "considerable evidence indicates that expectations of your future do, in fact, tend to create your future. Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho, head of the world's largest church, says: 'What you have in your heart becomes your experience.' People often end up where they expect to end up. 
    It seems reasonable to spend some time determining specific, worthwhile expectations that will make your life more meaningful. Keep in mind that only about 8 percent of the general population can identify clear goals and only about 3 percent ever actually write those down. These are specific goals, not just the 'I want a bigger house' variety. With this process, you can quickly put yourself into the 3 percent category, noting that those 3 percent ultimately accomplish more than the remaining 97 percent." 

    Tonight I will let you in on the goals I have for my life for the upcoming week. Writing them down gives me an advantage. Write your goals down too! I want all of you in the 3 percent with me! In NO particular order. 

    1. run 3 more times this week and do one day of cross training with the 2nd dvd in Slim in 6.
    2. go to youth group at MBC
    3. pray through my work and give Him all the glory (pray for others too)
    4. continue in the study of Psalms (one a day)
    5. send out 3 encouraging cards to friends or family
    6. Sign up 4 more reps by Thursday 
    7. Sign up 4 more reps by Tuesday (the last day of the month)
    8. Complete laundry before the weekend
    9. Become Executive Managers by Oct 3 (when Paul Orberson will be here in Austin)
    10. Love and Encourage my husband Kyle every single day!!!!!
    Lord Jesus,
    Thank you for the energy and life that you breathe into me. Thank You that You are my strong tower and I will not be shaken. Thank You that you are creating a steadfast heart in me and that you are teaching me what it means to trust You. Lord, You have PERFECT provision on my life and know every need before we know we need it and I give You the glory for that. Hallelujah for all YOU'VE done! I praise You Lord and make my requests known to You so that I will not be anxious. I give You our finances. I give You our debt. I give You my emotions- I am so thankful that you "get me". I give You our business and know that every good and perfect gift comes from above. I am so very thankful that I have this time in my life to get to know my husband and work closely with him. Thank you for the support of our friends and family and for how they push us on. You are almighty. My savior. There is none like you! 

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    Yellow

    I was inspired by many things this week. Here is my attempt to share them with you.

    1. In the magazine Your Business at Home featuring Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (the company Kyle and I work with) there was an article by my favorite author, Joyce Meyer. Here is what she had to say about perseverance: "A person who refuses to give up WILL be successful...I believe determination and a refusal to give up are the key ingredients to success in any area of life. Anyone now enjoying fulfillment and contentment has already made the decision, possibly thousands of times, not to give up." In my mind I had already decided to stick with our business endeavor no matter what trials come but reading this expert from her book, I Dare You: Embrace Life with Passion has encouraged me to keep pressing on! 

    2. As many of you know I am an avid reader of Runner's World magazine and am inspired by fellow runners monthly. In this months edition on pages 88 and 89 is an article titled Get Motivated. In it author Yishane Lee gives runners 10 reasons why they should keep running! Since scripture tells us to, "run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1), I am constantly encouraged by advice within the magazine paralleled by what we should do in our lives as we strive to be more like Him. Here are the suggestions of why we should keep running given my Lee: 
    • Slim down- running 30 minutes equals burning 300 calories
    • Calm down- running relieves stress
    • Find energy- no matter how tired you are before a run you'll feel better afterward
    • Be well- running keeps your heart strong
    • Help out- running for charity makes running worth while
    • Be alone- running can be a refuge for those with lots of daily "people" demands
    • Socialize- there are over 2,000 running groups in the US. Join one. Make friends
    • Run a race- give yourself a challenge
    • Get out- running in 'adverse' rainy conditions reminds us that this is our chance to play and goof off like we used to in our non adult life
    • Run fast- set goals, achieve them and you will know the benefits of patience, perseverance, and work ethic. 
    3. While running this afternoon an old song came on my Ipod and it was as if I was hearing the lyrics for the first time. As I began my last few minutes of my run Coldplay's Yellow began playing. Read the lyrics below and I will conclude this blog for the night. 

    Look at the stars
    look how they shine for you
    and everything you do
    yeah they were all yellow
    I came along

    I wrote a song for you
    and all the things you do 
    and it was called yellow

    So then I took my turn
    oh all the things I've done
    and it was all yellow

    Your skin 
    oh yeah your skin and bones
    turn into something beautiful 
    Do you know you know I love you so
    You know I love you so

    I swam across
    I jumped across for you
    oh all the things you do
    cause you were all yellow

    I drew a line
    I drew a line for you
    oh what a thing to do
    and it was all yellow

    Your skin
    oh yeah your skin and bones
    turn into something beautiful
    do you know for you I bleed myself dry
    for you I bleed myself dry

    Its true look how they shine for you
    look how they shine for you
    look how they shine for you
    look at the stars
    look how they shine for you


    Everyone should know by now how much music speaks to me. I felt like the Lord was singing to me and reminding me just how much he loves me. I cannot fathom the love that he spilled for us on that day. Nor can I agree with those who say that this song was written about drugs, a girlfriend, or anything else. To me, Yellow represents joy. Read the lyrics above again replacing yellow with joy. Joy, bright, sunny, yellow. 
    Lets finish with Hebrews 12: 1 and 2 
    "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

    Theme of the week. Persevere. Love God and do not give up. Amen! Praise You Jesus! You are mighty to save!

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    The Blog Below..HELP

    PLEASE HELP!!

    I CANNOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO MOVE THE PICTURE IN THE BLOG BELOW.
    IT LOOKS FINE ON THE SCREEN WHERE I EDIT IT BUT THEN THE PICTURES STAY THE SAME. 
    MAY HAVE TO DELETE IT AND START AGAIN. AGH!

    Saturday, September 13, 2008

    Mi Familia dos


    Now for the rest of the blog! Here are some of my other favorite people!!!

    I absolutely love these two people and I love that I have this funny picture of the two of them together! 

    Carl Friend is the friend I made in college at Texas State. Right after graduating in May of 2006, Carl introduced me to Kyle Childress who ended up being my husband! I am so blessed to have Carl friend as a friend and am so excited for him! He became a Regional Sales Manager with Fortune Hi-tech Marketing!!!!! Way to go! He also has a band called Poetry for a King and they are great!

    Erin Knight is one of my very good friends and a life saver when it comes to my hair! I love having her as a friend because she tells it like it is and is usually so funny! She has a beautiful heart and loves me for who I am! She is the sister of my good friend Jenny H!


    This is Amanda 'Lyons' Bewley. She and I have been friends since we were three and she is very dear to my heart. This picture was taken at her wedding shower in May. She now lives near Dallas and I miss her being down here! 
    I love you Amanda!






    On the far left is my friend Stephanie Helm. She and I married our husbands about a month a part and it is fun to have a friend who is in the same stage of life as me. I
    Between Stephanie and me is my friend Nocona. Nocona and my husband have known each other forever and Nocona and I have a lot in common (emotionally) ;) She has 3 beautiful children and a great husband. They started a church in New Braunfels and we are so happy for them. On my right is Jenny H again. Everyone should know by now how special she is to me!


    Introducing.....CRYSTAL GELBER! Crystal didn't want to be my friend but I made her...haha j/k. Crystal and I met in our "Young Marrieds" Sunday School class at Manchaca Baptist Church. When we first met she told me that she never thought we would be friends. We have a really good time together and I can always count on her to tell it like it is (have you noticed that I have a lot of people in my life who do that?) 


    Last but not least here is my sister-law-Kelly. Kelly is used to being the only girl in the family but has accepted me just the same. She is full of personality and always fun to be around. She has become one of my very dear friends. Love you KP. 



    (Yes, that is Stevie Helm in the back ground. He is Jenny H's husband and Kyle's best friend!)

    A Night of Ike

    My mom's whole side of the family lives in Houston. None of them decided to evacuate. All are safe this morning! (almost afternoon). WHOO HOO!! I was up until 2 A M watching KHOU on television to see what was happening to my family. I was hoping we would at least get some rain out of Ike but it seems that he has only brought wind to Austin thus far! It makes me so ready for cooler weather! Thank you Ike for rubbing it in. 

    I am so glad that everyone is safe! Now I am off for a run in the wind around my apartment. Can't Wait!

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    Mi Familia


    THIS blog was inspired by a blog written by my dear friend who beats me at Scrabble every single time. Jenny H!  I would like to introduce you to the people who make me better and bring  me so much joy.

    Introducing my nephew Landon James! He is so beautiful! He and I even have the same cheesy smile! He was born on June 21, 2007 and since he lives in San Angelo we don't get to see him enough.  He is my pride and joy and has brought the whole family much closer!
    This is my sister Lindsey. She is three years older than me and I love her very much. When
     we were growing up we didn't have much in common at all but as we have grown older we have struggled through things that have brought us closer together. 
    She is the mother to Landon and I am so blessed to have them in my life. 

    This is my friend Jenny Helm. She and Kyle (my husband) have known each other for a very long time and when she first met me she didn't think they needed another "Jenny" in their group of friends. Now she agrees that they do. She is a beautifully strong women and I admire that she tells me like it is. It is wonderful to have a friend who prays for me and one who is so talented! See http://helmhousecreations.blogspot.com and buy your banner today!

    These are the women who have a very big chunk of my  heart. Stephanie McGilberry on the left was a student trainer when we were in high school and she thought I was snobby until we met at youth group and were inseparable. Miss Ruby (between steph and myself) was my boss at the store I worked at in Gruene all through college. I LOVE HER and would name a daughter Ruby but Kyle and I are sticking to "J" and "K" names. Christina Joy Coleman is on the right and she is in Indonesia on missions until December. I love her so much because she is adventurous and doesn't take negativity from anyone! Stephanie, Christina, and I all met in youth group in high school and we have a pretty special bond. 
    This is my husband Kyle and me at Jill's Wedding. Kyle and I met each other in June of 2006, had our first date on July 1, 2006 and were married on March 9, 2007. He is my best friend in the whole world and I am so blessed to have him in my life. He is my number one fan and believes that we can do anything we set our minds to. He is my hero and I am amazed at how well we compliment one another. God knew what he was doing! 
    I have several more people to add to this but I it is not letting me upload any more pictures to this post. I will post another blog tomorrow with the rest of you included. 

    I am so thankful for everyone who is a part of my life and am excited about all of the people that I get to meet every single day.