Thursday, November 28

A Thankful Heart

15 Things I'm Thankful For 

15. Hallmark Movie Channel
There's nothing like wasting an entire Saturday glued on the couch watching happy (yes, predictable) Hallmark Movies. Oh and don't even get me started about Christmas Hallmark movies; haven't met one yet I didn't like!

14. Gluten-Free Flour
If it wasn't for GF Flour I may cry. From baking every weekend to not even being able to enjoy a cookie without feeling sick, GF Flour has been a Godsend!

13. AC & Heat
I used to want to live in the 1800's, but then I realized I wouldn't have AC or Heat and just think about how horrific that would be. No AC in North Carolina summers or Heat in Minnesota winters; yup I would've died.

12. Nike Workout Shorts
Come on, you know you live in yours on the weekend, after work, working out, after working out...

11. Jello 
Youbetcha. A nice jello salad is the best way to start a holiday season! It's happy and squishy and colorful; who doesn't love Jello?!

10. Starbucks Holiday Drinks 
Gingerbread latte. Eggnog latte. Tall nonfat white peppermint mocha with light whip. Bring it on. Got my Holiday Star Dash going on and I'm going to win.

9. Chick-fil-A
It's a staple in our household at least once a week during baseball season. The smell of waffle fries is enough to make you drool. Oh, and am I the only one who craves them on a Sunday?!

8. Books  
My bookshelves are overflowing with books and yet I always seem to buy more. I can't resist the smell of a fresh new book. Oh, and Yes, I do judge a book by its cover.

7. Joy of Writing
Writing is a release and such a joy. I'm so thankful that I get to sneak away and write whenever I can. I can express myself, share ideas, and it's amazing that other people like what I say and are inspired by it. So amazing.

6. The Ocean 
The smell of salt in the air. The foam of the waves. The presence of the Lord is so obvious that it's sometimes overwhelming. I'm so incredibly thankful I got the opportunity to live by the water for several years. 

5. The Gift of Travel
The thought that a year ago I was living in England is so humbling. If it weren't for the pushing of my family, I wouldn't have been able to do it. Now, one year later, I've been traveling for pleasure and for work, and have three trips in the works. How incredibly wonderful!

4. My Job 
This year, one of the biggest things I've been thankful for is God providing me with a wonderful first job that is not something I would've dreamed I would be doing. I've been able to travel, fly, and work with some wonderful people. Considering how many people haven't found that first job or are out of work, I'm thankful that I was blessed with this gift.

3.  Faithful Friends
This past year it's really been highlighted who are friends for a lifetime and friends just for a season. I'm thankful that friends have stuck by my side and encouraged me to grow personally and spiritually. Thanks for being a listening ear and a cheerful smile. 

2. Unconditional Love of Family 
To my family to always think better of me than myself; who push me to my limits because they know I can handle it. Who always try to thing in perspective and always make me laugh. We only have one another in this world, and I'm so glad we've grown our little family into a tight family unit. I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful family.

1. God's Plan
His plan for my life is bigger than my own and for that I am thankful, because if it was up to me to plan my life, it'd be a complete mess and I would never reach my full potential. You experience life when you're pushed out of your comfort zone, and God knows that I am greater than this. It's humbling to know that and I am thankful for his unconditional love even when I majorly screw up. It amazes me that even when I venture off the path and fall down a hill, he can bring me past a river and up a mountain to get back on the path, and most of the time it's greater than you expected.

So for these things, I am thankful on this holiday weekend and I encourage everyone to count your blessings this holiday season because there is so much to be grateful for- from the little things to the big things, we are more blessed than w realize. 

Sunday, November 17

Hi, I'm a Runner.

Some say that at a certain point during a run, you break through the wall and enter a "runners high" where you are in this incredible zone of freedom; you feel nothing, you sense nothing, and the only noise you hear is the rhythmic beats of your feet pounding pavement. Your lungs suddenly stop struggling to keep a steady breath and you can feel the wild abandonment that coincides with being able to run like nothing will catch you.

I have never had that feeling.
I hate running.

Running is literally one of my least favorite forms of exercises to do and most of the time when I arrive at Crossfit and I see running on the menu, I have to fight this urge to turn right back around and flee to my car. Running is just not something I enjoy; I can't get into a runners high and all I can think about is when is the torture going to end.

So no. I'm not a runner; but I run. 

Over the last few years I've pursued the wrong guys and been burned in the process. Offended and hurt, I retreated to the only thing I knew- the safe haven of the Lord and His promise for my life. "'For I know the plans I have for you' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future'" Jeremiah 29:11.  

I realize my list of expectations and qualities in a man are high, but by no means do I think they are outrageous. I did realize however, that I expected a man to be this incredibly Godly man who would be a prayerful leader of a household, and a man who recklessly pursues the Lord and His will for His life; but was I worthy of a man like that? A few months ago I took a step back and looked at my "list" and reflected on myself and my own characteristics. Would I measure up to a guys "list"? It made me humbly recognize that my heart wasn't completely hidden in the Lord, but it was just hidden in general from friends, family and myself. That's when I realized I was doing this wrong. How can I expect a man to have all the checklists of the ideal Christian guy if I am not 100% hidden in the Lord myself? So what did I do? I ran.

I run from all relationships and the possibilities of relationships towards God's love and protection. I realized if I submitted my entire heart to the Lord, he would keep it safe until the right guy (or sucker...depending on how you look at it) could actually keep up with me. Then, and only then, would I know that this guy was worth the while and see where things lead. 

So yes, I'm a runner. I don't run out of fear or rejection but I run for joy and fulfillment in the only One who can bring peace.