25 June 2013

#lessonsfromGideon - Week 1

8:46 AM
I am excited because this study has been full of so many valuable nuggets.  I mean jam packed!  From the very first devotional by Beth two weeks ago...it gets better and better and better!

First let me just say, I LOVE PRISCILLA! She is so cute. So passionate. Such a great teacher.  When I watched the first session I was pleasantly surprised by her spirit. 

Like I said - there are so many nuggets in these lessons.  The foundation of this study is built on the notion that Gideon is among a nation of people who have stopped moving forward.  Can you imagine living among a people who have stopped moving forward?  Have you ever stopped moving forward? Oh I have. 

Priscilla challenges us.  Challenged me to the core.  She talks about how the next generation of Israelites did not know what their God had brought them through.  They did not know who their God was, therefore they didn't live up to the promise.  I thought about this for a long time because it is our responsibility to raise up the next generation of believers....of people with a passion and a fire to serve God.  Am I doing this?  Is my son learning who God is?  Does he have a passion for what God has done?  I recognize that is my responsibility.  As Priscilla says, "we have to make it our business to impress upon our children who God is". 

Here are some of my lessons from the first session:

18 June 2013

The 5 Love Languages

5:57 PM

Over the past several years I have done a lot of work on the inside to rid myself of many of the emotional blocks one creates: bitterness, fear, anger, unforgiveness, a closed heart.  For the past 3 years, God has literally shielded me while He loved on me and revealed my own value to me.

The process hasn't always been smooth. It actually was pretty painful at times.  There were times where I literally grabbed my heart and said "Lord, it hurts too bad".  He loved me anyway.  He showed me that even when it hurts, even when it is hard, even when it all falls apart, He still loves me.  That was so different than the earthly love I had experienced in my early 20s.

There were times over the past 3 years where I blamed God for everything. I blamed Him for it all falling apart. I blamed Him that my love story wasn't what He had promised.  Even still, He loved me.  He held me.  He wrapped me in His arms.  He forgave me when I yelled at Him.  He wiped my tears when I cried.  He gave me grace when I screwed things up big time. He romanced me when my heart was lonely.

He showed me a Corinthians kind of love.

So when I started being really honest with myself about where I wanted to be when I turned 30 and I opened my heart to a great love, I admitted that I had been wounded.  I've healed.....but the fading scars still remain.  I am grateful for them because they remind me of His grace, but in all fairness to myself and to the immense amount of time God has spent loving me, I needed to acknowledge that they are there in order to not re-open the wounds He has already healed.  

I also spent a lot of time praying about the woman I desired to be in my next relationship.  I certainly have not been perfect and made a lot of mistakes at a young age, and I wanted to learn from those mistakes so that the next time I had a great love, I could experience a more mature love.  I prayed for wisdom. I prayed for grace.  God answered.

The message of much care and respect kept resting on my heart.  It would come to me at the most unusual times and in the most unsuspecting circumstances.  One day while hanging on the back porch, I was moved to download The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.   A dear friend had talked about it a few week's prior and I am so glad I did.

The foundations of the book are basic.  In love, we generally speak 5 love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, physical touch, and acts of service.  I found it as a useful tool to begin recognizing the things I need in love and also the things I am willing and capable of giving in love.

It is certainly an answer to my prayers and desire for a mature love. I can now see why God kept me in waiting over the past 3 years while He loved on me.   He knew I needed to know what Corinthians love really felt like because He desires that for me here on earth.

I'll end with one of my favorite lessons from the book:

We needed love before we "fell in love," and we will need it as long as we live. 

13 June 2013

Don't fret or worry

8:25 PM
I'm learning to trust myself in love again. I was so enriched by the first devotional of our summer study last night. I woke up this morning excited in prayer about the fruit ripening summer I'm in! Then it happened....again. Fret. Worry. Doubt. Fear. All the things that love is not....so I easily recognized them for what they were - the enemy - and started to surrender them.

At some point I texted my girlfriend and said I'm having an insecure moment. My resolve to surrender wasn't working too well. I tried surrendering on my drive to work and decided the only way to cast out fear was to stand in love. So I did and my fretting and worrying took a back seat.

When I got home I just wanted to pray because what had transpired for my morning time with Christ this morning was totally different than the thoughts I was having just before stepping in my morning shower and for the rest of the day.

I started searching for everything about the mind and thoughts. Blessed assurance. Thank God for His Word. I found some true gems and The Message version of Phillipians 4:6-7 brought me so much peace tonight.

Summer Bible Study

4:48 AM
Here we go! You all know without a doubt how much I love the Word. You also have probably figured out that even with the best of my intentions, I fall short on completing a Bible study. I'm constantly trying to change that! So I'm committing to a small group study of the Summer Siesta series led by Beth Moore. I love this woman. She knows how to teach the Bible.

We are just starting and last night I watched the first devotional. Beth talked about summer since this is a summer study. The things she said and the scripture she used to back it up really just felt good to my soul. Sometimes in summer things can dry up. Have you ever had a dry summer in your life? I certainly have. Last summer was difficult for me. I made some not so great decisions concerning my contracts, which left me financially strapped. I also faced the realization that I had moved too fast in getting my new house and really should have just taken care of things while under my parents roof....just dry.....but God.

Beth goes on to talk about how summer is also the time for ripening of the fruit. She especially spoke a word that I receive - "there are summer fruits that are going to be picked in this season". Are you expecting the fruits of all your sowing to be picked this season? Are you looking for God to show Himself in your life? Do not get weary in well doing.....

I'm excited. I woke up excited about this Word. I woke up excited about Jesus. I woke up excited about my season of ripening. I've been dry. There was a time and place for that, but now I'm ready to pick my fruit!

It may seem like I'm bragging that life is all good right now. If you knew the intricate details of my life you'd know it's not.....but God gets the glory because its because of His grace that I don't look like what I've been through. Beth talks about how we can be so afraid that if we shout it'll look like we are taking credit for it. She encourages us to get our shout on so the enemy doesn't summer on our fruit!

I hope you are excited about this season whether it is dry or bearing much fruit. If you'd like to join our small group study on Facebook, leave a comment and let me know your name to connect on Facebook.

Blessings overflow! It's summer summer time!

06 June 2013

03 June 2013

May Running Recap

2:59 PM

Is it really already time to write a May recap!  Wow....this year is honestly flying by.

I started my May off running with a member of the Jamaican National team who attends my church, Mardrea.  She is amazing...and does a walk/run club weekly at our church.   She walks with those who are walking to encourage them to pick up the pace, then sprints ahead to catch up to those who are running.  At one point I looked at my watch and we were running a 6:10 pace...a light pace for her...and I freaked out.  It definitely was one of the highlights of my month.

I also started doing some track work because it makes it easier for me to hang out with my Munchkin and get a run in.  I ran 800s at my hopeful 5k pace, which was a training regimen from this month's Runner's World magazine.
Running on the track hurts!  I had what felt like developing shin splints for the next few days...but how can anyone resist trying to figure out a way to work out with this cutie?

I am so happy now that summer is here and Munchkin doesn't have to be to school at 7:45 that I now have time actually go running in the mornings.  My mileage has definitely increased because of this.   On Memorial Day, Runner's World issued the #rwrunstreak to encourage folks to run at least 1 mile from Memorial Day to the 4th of July.  That's 39 days of consistent running. How fun!

I even met my fastest 5k this month!  Beating my time from when I ran my fastest 5k in California last month.

Here are a few scenes from my runs last month.  You know I'm notorious for scoping out a spot to pop a yoga pose!
Something has me looking utterly disgusted.

The final tally:
16 runs, really only 11 because I did 5 -800s on 5/6.
36.6 miles
Average Pace: 9:15
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