Fat Fridays: Cheerleaders

Today my exercise assignment from my trainer was to do some core exercises (crunches, planks etc) and then go and run/jog two miles. Already this week I have jog/walked twice, thirty minutes each time, but it was more walking than jogging and I didn’t have a distance I was aiming for, just a time frame. 

So, I did my core stuff and then headed for a nearby park that has a walking track loop. I have presumed that this loop is .25 miles. There aren’t any official signs that give you the exact distance, but it looks about the same size as other parks’ .25 mile walking tracks. 

Well, today I downloaded the “Map my Run” app and discovered that this loop is .27 miles. Not .25. And I just have to wonder…Why? Why would you do that? It would have been very simple to adjust the circle so it was only .25 miles! So, 8 laps around gave me a grand total of 2.1 miles, instead of 2. And when you are gasping for breath and flooding your brain with inspirational comments so that you will keep going, that .1 miles is a big deal! But I digress, back to my story…

So, I decided that I would run one lap, and then walk half a lap, then run a full lap, then walk half, etc, etc. This worked out pretty well for me as that half lap was just long enough to restore my breath and walk out some of the cramps in my legs. 

As I was gasping my way around the track, there was another woman walking in the opposite direction to me. She was an older black lady with brown circular glasses and a warm twinkle in her eye. The first time we passed, I nodded hello and smiled, she nodded back. The next time we passed, we made eye contact, but nothing else. Then the next time we passed we smiled again. (I live in the South. We interact with strangers. It’s kind of the expected thing to do.) We kept passing each other, and it didn’t take too long, I’m sure, for her to realize what a giant task this was for me to be jogging. The last time I passed her she grinned and said, “You’re doing great! Keep going!” I grinned and I felt my shoulders go back a bit and my legs got a bit stronger. It’s amazing what encouragement can do for a person. 

I was also encouraging myself the entire time. I had a little mantra going on in my head, in rhythm with my pounding feet and gasping breath, You can do it! You can do it! You can do it! Having a random stranger cheer me on was icing on the cake. 

I can’t imagine trying to do this weight loss journey without my cheering team. My family is my number one cheerleader. Of course, I kind of force them into it. Guess what! I lost 2 pounds!! Great mom! Good for you! I text my husband, Guess what! I just ran 2 miles! And then I expect him to say something positive and encouraging. I am shameless when it comes to eliciting positive comments from my family. But I need it, and they are willing to oblige. 

Any time we take on a hard task, it is significantly easier when there is a support team in the background, ready to cheer you and celebrate all your victories. I am thankful for all the encouragement that has come my way, and I hope that I can be an encouragement to others as they go on a weight loss journey too. So, just keep this in mind…You can do it! You’re doing great! I’m proud of you! 

Good Good Father

Good Good Father

Chris Tomlin

I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like

But I’ve heard the tender whispers of love in the dead of night

And you tell me that you’re pleased

And that I’m never alone

 

You’re a good good father

It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are

And I’m loved by you

It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

 

On this Father’s Day I find myself thinking about the Ultimate Father God. The wonder of being loved by him. The comfort of knowing that he provides all my needs. The pleasure of exploring his creation, delighting in the works of his hands. The wonder and awe and even some disbelief that he loves me. He truly is a Good Good Father. 

 

I think about my Dad and my husband, the father of my children. I think about the things I appreciate about them and the way my father fathered me, and the way my husband fathers our children…Both my Father and my husband are followers of God. They seek after him, make God the measure that they are trying to copy. They listen to the Holy Spirit and allow themselves to be changed to be more like Him. And it’s the following after God that has made them the men that they are. And it’s the following after God that has made them the Fathers that they are. And it’s their following after God that makes me able to step back and say, You guys are also Good Good Fathers. 

 

So, Thank you God for being the Ultimate Father and thank you Dad and Andy for choosing God, making Him first, and letting Him turn you into the Good Fathers that you are. 

 

I love you.

Surely Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Me

After posting earlier this week about what a bad day I had, it seems appropriate to write about today. 

 

I woke up in a good mood. 

 

Let’s say that again.

 

I woke up in a good mood.

 

Wow! 

 

This does not happen often! That’s not to say that I wake up in a bad mood every day. It’s more like I wake up with a mood of determination. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. And I keep saying this as I stagger around early in the morning and get dressed and fix breakfast and wake up kids and drive them to school and then feed the younger ones and get them settled. And then I finally sit down for a little while and I relax a bit and just try to get comfortable with being awake and up and moving. 

 

But today, I woke up in a good mood!! 

 

It was pretty crazy. I was cheerful with my children. Efficient. We quickly got all our chores done without me yelling and then made plans to go out shopping with the family for various seasonal things we needed: shoes, socks, underwear…Fun stuff. Though, my husband surprised me and got me a little three gallon aquarium in which to keep my baby guppy that I rescued a while back. (Baby guppy has been living in a large glass kitchen bowl). 

 

The day went smoothly. We got home from shopping, grilled hot dogs, then the kids played with their neighbor friends. Andy and I were able to just hang out together, talk, catch up after a crazy week. 

 

It makes me think of Psalm 23. The kids have been memorizing that psalm on the car ride to school every day. We just finished up the last verse this week. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” 

 

It’s been a tough week. It’s been a tough season. Sometimes I think it’s more like, It’s been a tough life. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” It seems like a lot of times it feels like we’re walking through dark valleys. But then the rest of the verse happens, “…I will fear no evil for you are with me…”

 

I feel like God has definitely proved himself over and over that He is with me. I do not have to be afraid. But, you know, even when you’re sure of God’s presence and his working in your life, it still doesn’t mean you feel cheerful. Determined. Yes. Encouraged. Definitely. But cheerful? That one seems to be a lot harder. 

 

Today I felt like God’s goodness and mercy were poured out on me.

Here. Here’s a glimpse of joy. Here’s a glimpse of heaven. Waking up in a good mood. Spending a good, relaxed day with your family. For a moment in time, simply narrowing my vision to my immediate surroundings, forgetting all the turmoil that is waiting out in the world, just consuming the goodness that has been laid before me: a bright Fall day, beautiful family, wonderful husband, God’s bountiful provision for all our needs…”You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

 

I shared my bad mood with you this week, so now I will share my joy with you. God is good. 

Morning People

Morning People. Ugh. I am not a Morning People. My husband is a Morning People. Ugh. My alarm goes off at 6:45. That gives me 15 minutes to get out of bed, get dressed and lay out breakfast for the kids. My husband is usually leaving the house about the time I get up. He walks up to me, all chirpy. His eyes are wide open, he’s grinning. He gives me a big enthusiastic hug. I passively stand there. Raising my arms feels like a bit too much work at this time of day. My eyes are barely squinted open. He laughs and makes some comment about opening my eyes up. I grunt. Barely murmur the words..Love you..and send him on his joyful way.

I used to think that I was a Morning People. When I was a young teen I would habitually wake up early to exercise or practice piano before going to school. I would read my bible and eat my breakfast and have a leisurely morning. Then college came and this thing called sleep deprivation. I remember coming home for Christmas break when I was in college. I would sleep in till noon every day. Of course it helped that we were in Alaska and the sun wasn’t getting up till after 11 am. I think that is some of the best sleep I ever got. I still remember it fondly.

Sleep deprivation has become a way of life. For the past 18 plus years, I have been pregnant or nursing a baby or had toddlers climbing into my bed. I can honestly say that I haven’t had a full, uninterrupted night’s sleep in 18 years. Of course, my husband really hasn’t either, but he still manages to be chirpy in the morning. So maybe I can’t use that as an excuse. Hmm.

Every morning I wake my kids up at 7, they get dressed, brush hair, put on shoes, come down and eat a quick breakfast and then we’re out the door at 7:15. Five kids going to school and often the baby and toddler ride along with us if they’re awake. I go to the elementary school and then the middle school. The middleschooler always rides up front. This suits me fine. The middleschooler has the same opinion of mornings that I do. We go over our Bible memory verses in the car, I pray for my kids, and the rest of the car ride is silent. Ok, my two little girls can be chirpy in the morning, but they sit further back in the van and I don’t have to hear them. My highschoolers walk to school. One time though I had to give my oldest son a ride to school. I can’t remember why, sprained ankle? Broken bone? I just remember that for a short time I had him sitting up in the front seat when we drove to school. He takes after his father. He likes to talk in the morning. Loud, enthusiastic talking. Telling me all about some show or movie that he really likes. And I’m just sitting there driving thinking…Stop, stop. Be quiet. Please stop talking. It is too early to be talking. Stop. Why???

I am fortunate that I am a stay at home mom. There is no pressure to be fully functional by 7am or 8am, or even 9am if it was a particularly rough night. I come home after dropping the kids off and sit on the couch with my two little ones. I zone out. I don’t do caffeine. I’ve never liked the thought of being addicted to any type of substance and so I’ve never developed a hot beverage habit. So, I just wait till my body finally says, Ok, we’re awake now. Let’s get on with the day.

Little kids, in general, are Morning People. Saturday morning they come bouncing into my room at 7am. What’s for breakfast Mom?? Me: hmmph? They climb up on the bed, hit me in the head with a book..Will you read this to me Mom??? Me: (barely whispering) Go away. Mom! Mom! Watch this! They do a somersault on the bed, landing on my legs. Me: AAAGHH!!! GO PLAY SOMEWHERE ELSE!! They finally run off to make noise in a different room. My husband climbs out of bed, says in a loud cheery voice, Well, I think I’m going to go work on some projects right now. Me: (thinking to myself, IT’S SATURDAY!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!) covers head with pillow and groans.

I am hopeful that one day my children will all sleep through the night and then maybe I’ll start sleeping through the night, and then maybe, I’ll just wake up early because I’m well-rested. And I’ll be cheerful and have lots of energy. We’ll see. I’m not holding my breath.