Thriving Thursday

thriving thursday reading your bible

One of my goals this year is to FINALLY read my Bible allllll the way through. I actually found a great reading plan on Pinterest and Huff the Hubs and I have been reading the passages at night, together. I’m telling you, if you want to help build up the foundation of your marriage–read your Bible together. Its done wonders for HtH and I. Now, there have been some nights we’ve missed reading them together. Sometimes kids need extra cuddles at night, lunches need to be prepped for the next day, or one of us is so exhausted we pass out before the other one comes to bed.

When those situations happen, I’ve been improvising when I feel rushed. The ONE moment in the day I get peace is when I shower. Mostly because I make a conscience effort to do it while the kids have their allotted tablet time. They have their screens and I have a nice, hot, uninterrupted shower. I’ve been opening my Bible app and listening to the audio of the Scripture while I shower. I’m able to focus and really hear what’s being said. Its awesome!

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Maybe your goal isn’t to read the Bible more, maybe you want to work on your prayer life. There are a ton of prayer challenges and resources on Pinterest (like the ones here, here, here, and here).

Maybe there are a lot of things you have on your mind and feel like there is no way you can possibly remember all of them when you’re finally in a quiet place to pray. Last year, I wanted to be sure I prayed for my family–immediate and extended–as much as possible. I grabbed a few popsicle sticks and wrote their names on them. I placed them in a small jar by my bed and every day I’d grab a few sticks out of the jar. I pray over each person by name. Then, when every stick had been taken out of the jar, I placed them back in and started over the next day.

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I also added in other things I wanted covered in prayer (wisdom for our finances, friends, and anytime I got a prayer request for someone who was ill I added their name as well) and put them in the jar. This was a great way for me to stay disciplined and also just to remember everyone!

The Bible app also has several daily devotionals and reading plans that can help you with whatever your spiritual goals are this year. I hope and pray that you reach your goals and feel uplifted by whatever plan you choose!

Do you have any goals related to your spiritual walk? Share in the comments below!

 

My First Marathon (Or, The Most Idiotic Decision I’ve Ever Made)

This weekend was the 14th Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. And, as you know, completing a marathon is one of the things on my 30 by 30 list. I’ve been training with my sister for the past 4 1/2 months and the day FINALLY came.

Saturday night, I was super nervous. We picked up our packets the day before and I was sitting in my recliner, looking at the course map. I could not believe it. My stomach started to churn and so many thoughts raced through my head: Can I do this? Can I actually do this? What if I die?!

I went to bed Saturday night confident that I could do the marathon. After all, I had run 20 miles just a few weeks before and I did fine! I was a little sore the next day, but I survived. And on race day, adrenaline kicks in and really takes your endurance to the next level.

The race was set to start at 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning. I got up at 5:00 to pump and get dressed. The news was on and the weatherman was predicting a lot of rain, hail, and possibly a tornado. I still didn’t worry. Two years ago, I did a half marathon in the rain and I did just fine! I’d be okay.

We got to the race and I could feel the excitement. There were so many people! I even met a Biggest Loser!

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As the morning went on, the weather started getting worse and worse. We were forced into a parking garage where we learned we’d be waiting for the next TWO HOURS.

 

When we finally started, my legs were tight (from the lack of fluids and from sitting/standing for TWO HOURS) but I was excited. I was ready to start this journey and check this off my list. Here’s how the race went…

 

Miles 1-3:

Its raining a little. There are A LOT of people running and even more people walking in my way. My inner monologue went a little something like this:

Get out of my way. Seriously, MOVE! Get. Out. Of. My. WAY. 

Oh geez, that was a big puddle. Are my socks wet? No, they’re fine. Whew!

Holy crap, that’s a steep downward hill. I’m going to slip. I’m going to slip. I’m going to twist my ankle and fall. 

You didn’t fall, good job. 

Where is the *&^%$#@ water stop?! 

 

Miles 3-5: 

Okay, first water stop and bathroom break. *Sigh* I feel MUCH better! I can do this! 

Oh, hey! There’s my dad and Huff the Hubs! *waves to them*

Ha! Look at that poster! *Stops to take a picture of the poster and points out Allonsy! on bib*

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Miles 5-8: 

Ugh. Is this “Gorilla Hill” up here? Crap, it is. 

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I hate this frakking hill.

I’m walking.

Better wave BB down and let her know I’m walking.

Might as well take a picture. 

 

Miles 8-15:

I want to quit. I want to quit. Tell your sister you want to quit.

Kill me. KILL. ME.

Why is it so $%^# hot?!

I’m dying.

There’s a medical tent. Just stop and tell them to take you to the finish line.

 

Miles 15-18: 

Me (to Bridget): “I don’t want to do this anymore!”

Bridget: “Too bad! Keep moving!”

Me (starting to sob): “Bridget, my legs hurt so bad!”

Bridget: “Then let’s walk.”

Me (crying and thinking): I’m crying but I can’t produce any tears because I’m so dehydrated! I’m like Howard

 

Mile 18-19: 

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Miles 19-21: 

I feel the blisters on my feet. Every step is agony. I’m wielding my arms like a granny power-walking at the mall. The sun is beating down on me and I realize I haven’t put on ANY sunscreen. I actually think: I’d rather give birth, right here, right now on this asphalt than do this! 

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Mile 21-22: 

*&^% @#$% *&^%$ @#$% ^&%$ *&^% *&^%

Get to the finish line so you can use your breast pump!

 

Mile 22: 

We meet a woman we’ve been keeping pace with the whole time. We start talking. She’s 45, from Little Rock, AR, and this is her second full marathon. We talk about our aches, our pains, how we weren’t expecting it to be so hot (88*!) and how ready we are for the finish line. We talk the rest of the way.

 

Mile 25.75:

The finish line is in sight.

Bridget: “Come on! Let’s run across the finish line!”

Me:

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Bridget: “MOVE!”

Me: “UUUGGGGHHHH!!!!” *wills legs to move and crosses the finish line*

 

At the Finish Line: 

*Gets medal and Finisher shirt*

I did it! I freaking did it! I completed a marathon! Thank you, God, for helping me get through this! And I’m sorry for swearing in my head so much. 

I can’t believe I did it!

Wow!

I’m NEVER doing that again. Like, EVER. 

 

Running (who am I kidding–walking) that marathon was the absolute hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Every part of my body hurt. I was starving; I hadn’t eaten in seven hours. SEVEN. FREAKING. HOURS. I was dehydrated, covered in salt and sweat, and burnt to a flippin’ crisp:

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But I did it. I finished it. And, actually, I’d say it was worth it. The months of waking up early every Saturday to do long runs; the solo runs through the neighborhood in temps of 30*; the sore joints and muscles…it was worth it. Why? Because I achieved a goal. Seven months ago, I was giving birth. Seven months ago, I never thought I’d be able to do this. But I did. am a marathoner. am a Finisher.

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(I want to say that there is NO way I’d be able to have done this without the support of my family. My sister was the BEST running partner I could’ve asked for. She was so incredibly supportive the entire time–training and all! My husband, my parents, my friends, my family; they were all so great! But mostly I could NOT have done it without The Lord. He gave me the drive, the dream, and the perseverance to do this. Even though I hated it at times, I am so glad I did this, and that He got me through it!)

 

 

 

Hug a Tree?

Climate change.

Global warming.

Hybrid.

Eco-friendly.

If you’re like me, you hate buzzwords like these. They’re annoying and used waaaayy too much. When I hear someone utter these words, I automatically shut down. It’s like talking to a Music Snob. The other person seems incredibly pretentious and makes you feel like you’re constantly watching that commercial with the crying Indian.

I used to think that people who were all about saving the environment were nut jobs; the same people that thought they’d get to ride a comet because they donned identical Nikes, and those that drank the Kool-Aid down in Jonestown. Now, however, I’m not as judgmental.

Don’t get me wrong, the folks that live in houses made of plastic bottles and drop a deuce in a compost heap still make me cringe, but I feel like I better understand where they’re coming from.

Since Katrina, I’ve noticed a lot of strange weather happening. There was the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Haiti. Then another off the coast of Japan. Hurricane Sandy practically destroyed the East Coast, and there was a freaking tornado in ITALY!

Now, I’m not a scientist or anything so I don’t know why all of these crazy weather events are taking place, but I can’t help but feel like maybe we should all do a little more to help the environment. I know we can’t stop things from happening, but maybe if we took better care of what we have, it wouldn’t be reacting so violently.

Even if it’s just as small as using reusable shopping bags rather than those plastic or paper bags. (And seriously, it reusable ones are SO much easier to carry up a flight of stairs to my apartment! Plus, most of them I got for free!)

Some may think that I’m getting into a hippy-dippy, New Age way of thinking with my belief that we should help the Earth.

I’m not.

I’m actually feeling this conviction because of my faith in God.

If someone you love gives you a gift, you want to make sure you take care of it, right? You want to keep it safe and protected and not let it get dirty or messed up. You do this because you want it to last a long time and show the gift-giver that you’ve valued what they gave you.

The same goes with the planet.

God created the world and everything in it. He made it for man and woman to cultivate and take care of. He didn’t give this to us so that we could dirty it up and destroy it. He wants us to value it; to keep it clean and protected.

He also created us to love him and care for other people’s souls as well.

So, maybe drive your Prius as you go downtown to pass out blankets to the homeless this winter or use your reusable bags to buy groceries for a needy family. Take care of the planet and its people.