28 February 2010

snow..and lots of it.

I am almost 100% sure that the part of WV we live in has gotten at least 30 feet of snow this winter. Ok, fine, probably not that much but we really have gotten a lot, though I know other areas like PA and farther north have gotten record winters with snow accumulation. With all the snow that I've had the opportunity to look at this winter, I started thinking how much something so minor and little can change the landscape and roads.

During the fall, I looked out over the hills and mountains and just saw bare trees covering a hillside. You could actually see the hillside for once, and see the terrain. Now, after a bazillion inches of snow, it's beautiful. The trees are covered in the white snow, the ground is covered..and sometimes most importantly, the roads change and become icy and dangerous to travel at times! But all this change by simple snow..Frozen water (basically).

What simple things have you done in your life that have led you to where you are now? What minor changes and perhaps, at the time, seemingly insignificant decisions did you make that have affected (effected? Can't keep these two straight..) where you are now? One of the biggest examples I can think of is my senior year of high school when I was trying to decide my next step. I was just about determined that I was going to go into the military. Turns out, I'm medically ineligible with an inherited thyroid problem. But everything happens for a reason, and this is one of those instances I firmly believe this. What would have happened if I HAD gone into the military? I wouldn't have gone to Mount Vernon and played soccer..where I met some of my best friends AND my husband. I wouldn't have gotten married, probably at all, and definitely wouldn't be expecting a baby in September. All because of one small decision, albeit forced in this case. But still..

I don't think that God is necessarily concerned with what you eat for lunch everyday, but I do believe that He is concerned with you and your life. My decision to go into the military was backed with lots of prayer by lots of people and God shut that door, simultaneously opening another for me which led me to where I am. All the major steps along the way have been prayed over (some more then others) and here I am now. I believe in the power of prayer..and I believe big decisions should be prayed over. Big life events happen with little changes, possibly what seem as insignificant as a half inch of snow. But even with such a small amount of snow, the roads can be covered and icy. Small changes can have a bigger impact then you think..keep in prayer.

22 February 2010


If you turn on the tv, 9 times outta 10 you're going to see some "lose weight fast" plan that works wonders-- the actors they hired say so themselves! But do these supplements and pills really work and do the job of what eating right and exercising will do? Can a pill really replace good, old fashioned diet and exercise? They now have tv shows like The Biggest Loser which help people lose weight. Great! I'm all for that. But what happens after the show? I saw an interview of one guy who won. We saw the "before" and "after" the show pictures and he had really done it! He looked great. However, what happened 6 months later? He had put a good chunk of weight back on. Why is that? During the show, he was disciplined. After? He slacked off, skipping the daily exercising routines he had developed and the healthy eating.
Losing weight is just one example of one's life where disicpline is needed. No one can just wake up in the morning and say "I'm going to lose 50 lbs today" and actually do it. What is needed is a plan and discipline to follow through. Another example, me trying to train for this stupid half-marathon. I can't just wake up on race day and say "I'll right, let's go run 13.1 miles!" No, I have to train for it. I have to put in the time, energy and discipline run. There are days Jesse has told me to get up and go, he wasn't letting me skip. Everyone needs a cheerleader/coach when trying to do something that will require time and effort.
What if we put as much disicpline into our spritiual life? What if we worked as hard and stayed on task as diligently? I know many people who do, but I- along with many, many others- are not disciplined in this area. And why not? Same reason as every other person who has never succeeded in a diet or in a multitude of other areas. Those reasons obviously vary from person to person, but the bottom line is the same: other things get in the way. I'm as guilty as the next person..But why? It's a challenge to try and figure out what is more important that is keeping me from doing something I know I should..

04 February 2010

and away we go

Since WV is apparently going to be getting a wonderful snow storm this weekend, I didn't want to chance not getting in my long run in this week so instead of waiting until Sunday I ran the 5 miles tonight.
Something I should explain about the way that I run: I have all sorts of mental walls I have to get past in order to run long distances. I get very bored when I'm running and have to constantly talk myself into running and not stopping. For example, tonight I needed to run the 5 miles but really just felt like running 4.5, figuring if I walked the last half mile that'd be good enough. Not the case, I was able to push through but it was not easy. I realize it's only a half mile, but still.
Also, something to note, the Y is positioned on a hill with the treadmills and bicycles having this wonderfully large bay window to look out of. Down the hill is the interstate and another mountain on the other side. Since running on a treadmill is so boring for me, I listen to my iPod and look out the window and daydream, think or watch the cars drive by. Today, for the first 2 miles, I decided to count the number of red cars that drove by, but I lost interest after 200. So then my mind began to wander about how difficult it is for me to run sometimes which led me to one of my favourite Bible verses, Hebrews 12:1
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
Running is a struggle for me sometimes. But so is living with and/or in sin. While sin is easier to deal with upfront (and sometimes more enjoyable) it makes life a lot harder in the long run. In Hebrews, Paul (I think?) is saying that we have a support team, and with that support team we can strip off the extra weight that is holding us down and run free with nothing holding us back, no struggles or sin, just run. Your brothers and sisters, friends and fmaily are your support team. Lean on them and let them help you. Share your struggles and burdens with them and then let go and take off.
Another funny thing about all this..with the Y being situated on top of a steep hill I often wonder what it would feel like to take a running start and leap off away from the top and then just fall. Free falls kind of scare me, but maybe it's something that would be fun. And sorry if this was rambling, I'm very tired from my run :)

01 February 2010

Warning: this is going to be incredibly random and off-topic from anything else in the world.

So I grew up with cats in the house. My family never had a dog..we really didn't have time for one now that I think about it. There were some soccer seasons in middle school that between the three of us kids, there were 4 different soccer teams to follow for my poor parents. High school didn't improve, as we were playing soccer for a school an hour away.
When living in Arizona, Jesse decided one day he wanted a dog. A what? I was promised a cat, very early on in our dating relationship. A dog is NOT a cat..so I was obviously confused. As he continued to talk about it over the next 2 days, I realized I could get on board with this (let's be honest, all it took was him showing me some puppy pictures and I was sold). Within the span of 3 days, we had gone from not having a dog, to deciding we wanted one and making a spur of the moment trip up to Flagstaff to get a Boxer from a breeder. Needless to say, we're impulsive sometimes. This was in August, and it is now February. I thought that I would share some of the things I've learned in the few months we've had Zeke, both about having a dog in general, and having that dog be a Boxer.

1-- probably the most important and basic of Boxers..they are incredibly gassy and playful. An interesting combo, yes, but it also provides endless entertainment. I'm not going to go deeper into the first, but the second..oh the second. There have been many times people have come up to me and asked how old Zeke is. I respond with the appropriate age and the response is "oh my Boxer is 6 years old and JUST as playful and puppy-like as your dog!" Wonderful. Lots of play left in this guy. Also, he recently met a puppy similar in size but younger. Even though Zeke was about to drop from exhaustion of playing so much, if the other puppy as much as twitched Zeke was up ready to play again.
2-- just because one's husband PROMISES to get up in the night the first few months you have the puppy to help you take him outside, this rarely happens. My maternal instincts kicked in with Zeke. Where before we had a dog I would sleep like a rock and nothing short of a band coming into my bedroom and playing full blast would wake me up, now if the dumb dog so much as whimpers I'm awake and alert. Rats.
3-- house training Zeke was fun **note sarcasm**. Apparently with Boxers, you'll think you're doing really well and then they'll fake you out and have a huge accident inside a few days in a row. Back to square one. Then he does really well going outside then another accident. Quite exciting.
4-- treats make excellent bribes. For example: working on the "come" command. He will "come" to me if I have a treat in my hand. Brilliant. I plan on using this tactic with parenting as well.
5-- I also plan on using "move it or lose it, Buster" in parenting. Zeke knows, and understands what this means. After walking slowly in front of me and then being either kicked down the stairs or walked on, he learned.
6-- I have learned that I'm going to be a WONDERFUL mother. haha
7-- if he does something dumb and hurts him, well. He'll learn. He won't do it again! For example, licking a 9-volt battery. Jesse and I didn't want to lick it ourselves to test if it still worked (because yes, that is how we test batteries), so we called Zeke over and let him lick it haha he doesn't like them anymore.
8-- the same with Tabasco sauce. Dog is not a fan.
9-- just when you're about to throw in the towel with the dog, he goes and falls asleep on your lap and is so precious that he is completely redeemed.
10-- I'm learning how similar raising a child is to having a puppy. My mom was concerned when she heard me yelling at Zeke one day that I would also yell at my children. I explained to her it would be quite different. Zeke doesn't understand time-out, and therefore has to be put in his place to understand he is NOT in charge. Children understand time-out fortunately and I plan on using this to my advantage.
11-- shock collars are awesome. But if you're going to use one, you should try it out on yourself first, just so people don't think you're being horribly cruel to your pet. You can always come back with, "well I tried it myself."

I've learned so many other things and I'm still learning. Zeke has taught me patience, that is a definite thing. He has also taught me to love differently and to be more understanding. It's been an adventure that's for sure, but I often remind Jesse when he refers to Zeke as "your dog" that "MY" dog still hasn't arrived in the form of a cat yet, so this is "HIS" dog. He never has a comeback, therefore I win.