Archive | October 2015

God speaks running (part 1)

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These are my favorite shoes.  Besides the fact that they are the most comfortable of all I own, they are more than that to me.  They represent an effort that I find enjoyable even when it’s hard.  They take me outdoors and remind me that there’s more to any given day than the pressures and responsibilities and busy-ness that my list demands.  They take me away from the other voices, the other noises, and give my mind a break.  They take me to a place that God consistently speaks to me.

For my non-running readers, hang with me.  I believe as I share His runningspeak, you will be able to relate from the comfort of your robe and fuzzy slippers just as well.  I posted the following earlier this week on social media and will be periodically sharing the many ways God has used running to help me grow.  Perhaps you can relate…

As I sit here this morning with my second cup of coffee (slow start today…) and resist the temptation to visit the Dunkin Donuts which is just minutes away, I am thinking about exercise. Haha. As you may have guessed, I bailed on the aerobics class months ago. I had a really good reason – my summer office work hours prevented me from attending any classes except the one led by miss-serious-muscle-bound-intensity and I simply could not bring myself to endure this voluntary torture and the humiliation that would invariably occur. So I did nothing.

Now fall is here with better hours and cooler temperatures and it’s calling me out. I want to run. It’s always been my preferred method of exercise and tender knees were the only reason I re-entered the aerobic world in the first place. Now the knees are better and I no longer have to rise at 5 am to avoid triple digit temperatures. It’s time. I’ll have to start with walking, but it won’t be long and I’ll be running again. Woohoo!

My excitement builds as I consider the many advantages of running. Here are my top 10:
#1 I don’t have to count my steps.
#2 I don’t have to watch the minutes unless I want to. And if I want to know, I can wear a watch that will do that for me.
#3 The only skill required is the coordination to place one foot in front of the other over and over. Granted, I still struggle with this from time to time but the odds of me kissing the pavement are considerably less than the tripping and stumbling and falling that occur when I attempt to do the grapevine in time to rock music.
#4 There are no mirrors.
#5 THERE ARE NO MIRRORS!!!
#6 I am alone. There are no witnesses to my trips and stumbles unless I take CJ (the dog) and he doesn’t laugh. Well, at least not out loud.
#7 I choose the time and location that suits me.
#8 Run enough and I don’t have to feel guilty about the occasional Dunkin Donut
#9 The only investment needed is a good pair of shoes. And who doesn’t like to buy shoes, right??
#10 Perhaps the greatest revelation I’ve had: If I go at the right time of day, the image I see of myself is no longer the reflection of a poorly spandex-stuffed sausage in movements that can be best described as spastic, but rather a tall, slender, graceful shadow that gives me hope there will be a day when my waistbands no longer threaten to cut off the circulation to my entire body and a trip to my closet can be a moment of joy rather than despair.

So here goes. Time to lace up and get out the door. I am thankful I live in a neighborhood with leash laws and drivers who fully expect to see walkers and runners and cyclists and allow plenty of room as they pass. I’d invite you along, but I don’t have time to wait. Besides, being alone is always a time that God can speak and He speaks running.      🙂

 

God speaks running (Part 1)” was written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com

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Just a glimpse

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I have a new friend who shared a very thought-provoking post on social media this morning.  As I sipped my coffee and read, I applauded her honesty and the willingness to be vulnerable.   She could have had her “moment” all by herself with none of us the wiser.  But I’m glad she didn’t.

It has been easy to enjoy her optimistic and encouraging personality.  I’ve left our conversations wishing I had half her energy!  She has an engaging way about her, a wonderful family, and a beautiful new home.  Yes.  She is one of those people.  You know, the kind who have it all with not a care in the world…the kind we frown at should a complaint ever escape their lips…the kind of which we often think “if they had my life, they wouldn’t be so chipper all the time.”   At least that’s what we think…

It takes courage to be real enough to share the less-than-perfect moments of our lives, to open ourselves up to those who may choose to criticize.  Her post was the second thing I’d read this week that reminded me of how little we actually see of each other’s lives and subsequently, how ridiculously foolish it is to judge someone based on the small glimpse we get.  The reality is that we are all in this together, this thing called life.  We all need an encouraging word more times that we let on.  We all have an ugly side that surfaces more than we would like.  We all struggle and mess up and make mistakes in the midst of our loving and serving and giving.  And we all need the same Grace to cover it.

Tonight I’ll spend a little time with some women who are struggling.  They are homeless.  The glimpse I’ll get into their lives won’t be about their happiest moments.  It won’t show me how gifted they are or what amazing talents they have.  We won’t sit down on comfortable sofas over nice warm beverages and talk about our families or what new furnishings we’d like to have.  We’ll have only moments to discover what their deepest prayer need is that they are willing to share with a stranger.  We’ll be there to minister to them and it will be easy for them to view us as “those” people.  You know, the ones who have it all together…

My prayer is that I will simply be real.  That in the moment God prompts me, I will be willing to share the less-than-perfect parts of my life so that someone I know or another who I will probably never see again can identify with me and draw some encouragement from the Grace I’ve found.  To believe if God can take my life and make something of it, that He can most certainly do the same for them.

So, hats off to you, my sister!!  Thank you for the reminder that it is seldom our perceived perfection that encourages others, but rather our everyday kind of humanity.  Makes me want to curl up in my hideously comfortable pj’s and relax…

 

Just a glimpse” was written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com

None of my business

none of my business

Perhaps I’m not the only one who finds herself from time-to-time frustrated and worrying and even reacting to things that are none of my business.  Ugh.  Trying to control things that are out of my control because I was never meant to control them.  Sigh.  Oh, the benefits of hindsight…

I’ve struggled the last few weeks in trying to fulfill my own commitments in a setting that I don’t particularly like.  If I had it my way things would be different.  My arrogance unveiled in this very thought, I am embarrassed that I’ve gotten caught up in it.  I’ve found myself complaining on the inside even if the words never escape my lips, thinking that what works for me surely must be what will work for others.  If they would only listen.

In taking my frustration to God and asking for His guidance in how to move forward in the midst of these things that so deeply get on my nerves, He simply said “It’s none of your business.”  Whoa.  He reminded me once again that I am not in charge of everything and I don’t have all the answers.  Now, one would think that I would be acutely aware of these facts by this time in my life, yet here I am, struggling with it again.  Just who do I think I am?

Some of us tend to me more opinionated than others.   There are multitudes of things I do not care about and therefore have no opinion on those matters.  However, when I do have an opinion it is usually a passionate one and difficult to ignore.  Even when I am wrong.

We live in such a strange time.  People feel such a freedom to express their opinions even to the point of secretly photographing or videoing others and posting these opinions on the internet for the world to see. I doubt that my life is of much interest to these who feel compelled to do such things, I am only thankful that my poor fashion choices and embarrassing behavior primarily occurred before technology allowed for it to be recorded…

In the big picture, do our opinions really matter?  I do believe that God cares about us at every level – what we think, how we feel, what we want.  He cares so deeply about who He has called us to be that He has given us His Spirit to be the filter.  My opinions need to be sifted in order to remove the lumps of selfishness and clumps of manipulation that often exist in my “good intentions”.  When I allow it, He takes me deeper in the analysis of how I feel and what I want so that my actions will ultimately reflect His desires.  He calls me to surrender my opinion to His.

So this week I regrouped.  I reminded myself that all He has ever asked me to do is my part.  The things that are not my part are none of my business.  It made me think of Peter when he asked Jesus “What about this man?”  And Jesus replied “What is that to you?”*   I regrouped and rediscovered my joy in my commitment.

There is relief in this letting go of my opinion and the final outcome of things that are none of my business.  Surrendered into His hands, I can enjoy doing my part with the confidence that He most assuredly will do His.

*John 21

 

None of my business” was written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com