Monday, March 21, 2011

The Starting Line

Dad and I didn't just start running when I moved back in the middle of college. Actually, our running adventures started way back in the sixth grade.

My PE coach made all of us try out during class one day for the annual Field Day events that were coming up in a few weeks. The results that day would determine who got to compete against all the other Marshall schools.

I don't remember setting out to win that race that day. I honestly can't even recall how hard I was pushing or even if I wanted to race on the big day. I don't even remember what I felt or thought when I did, indeed, place at my school.

What I do remember is a father who practiced with me in the backyard. Not only did he have more knowledge in this area, but he believed that I was capable. I trusted his wisdom. And honestly, it amazes me to this day that as a very young girl I decided to go with his coaching rather than run with my friends that day.

You see, my dad told me that all the others would take off running towards the prize at a very fast pace and soon burn out. He told me that I might be tempted to run with the crowd as well. But he also told me that if I hold out and pace myself at the right time I can kick it into gear and win the race.

And that is exactly what I did.

The race started and everyone took off. Even my friends. Leaving me trailing behind in last place the entire race. One of my friends kept turning around telling me to hurry up so that I didn't finish last. I heard my father the entire time and, therefore, tuned her out.

I believed him. Pushing truth into the noise of the world.

And just like he said, at the right time, and something in me just knew when that time was, I pushed through and passed every single one of those people infront of me. I came all the way from last place that day to being the winner, with a few seconds to spare between the second place runner. Not just striving, but thriving.

I remember what it felt like when I realized I had won. I couldn't wait to find my dad in the stands. I just knew he would be so proud.

"We did it, dad!"

I don't remember hesitating to believe my dad that day. It was never an option to question his wisdom. I went with what he said... he is my father. he loves me. Why would he want anything less than victory for his daugther? Even if it meant exhorting some effort, increasing some faith, truly trusting and trailing behind at first.

So my father may push a little harder than i'd like to go somedays, but it's only because he knows that victory lies on the other side if only I believe it for myself. He wouldn't push me beyond my limits.

And there in is the truth of our Heavenly Father. He only plants desires and dreams into your heart and soul, and then dares you to believe them because He knows what your limits are and if you just hold out, victory is on the other side. His plans for your life are those that involve abundance, power, prospering, and fullness. Push His truth into the noise of the world. Believe His wisdom. He loves you. Victory. His name is Jesus and it tastes so good. And sister, He believes in you. (yes, you)

Dare to believe it too.

Whatever it may be for you.

For with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. So I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Matthew 9:26, Philippians 3:14

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Made for More

Believing ties into faith.

We can't truly believe if we don't have faith.

No matter what it is that you are trying to accomplish; whether it be running a real race, overcoming your life-long struggle with bad eating habits, being a better wife and mother or branching out to that one dream or desire that you feel tugging on your heart... you must press on, all the while increasing faith.

Dare to believe. Defeat the voice of impossible.

When we head out into these "areas" of our lives that we desperately want to taste victory, we can feel extremely vulnerable. The outcome is unknown. Exactly how we are going to get there could be unknown. Just how much energy and effort it's going to take is unknown. How long it's going to last is unknown.

push. dig deeper. slow down, but don't stop.

We will get a little taste of what it is to live beyond that place. From impossible to possible. And i'm tempted to believe that even the tiniest little sip of victory in His name will push you even farther in accomplishing many other things. to the glory of God.

We were made for victory. Sometimes we just have to find our way to that truth. - Lysa Terkeurst

You see, it isn't about "running" at all. It may be your way to finding that truth that Lysa is speaking of, but it's not about the running.

Lysa says in Made to Crave that remembering that truth - made for more - and saying it in the midst of all her mental assaults challenged and invigorated her all over again.

We were made for more.

We have to take the negative images and lies in our lives and find a truth to replace them. No doubt the assaults will keep coming, but the more you push the truth into it, the stronger you'll become and eventually.... you'll believe it.

We were made for more. Dare to believe it. Push past impossible.

How are we made for more like Lysa says? Why should we dare to believe that we can defeat that voice of impossible?

Because of the power available to us in Jesus name.

So yes, quoting Lysa once again, we need the truth of who we are and the power to live out that truth.

It's not about the running. It's not about becoming a writer. It's not about being a better mom. Those are simply the journey's and the circumstances that He uses so that you may know Him better.

He made us, not so that we can have perfect lives, but so that we can taste victory in the midst of our everyday mess. power. abundance. victory. all for the glory of God.

That's why we dare to believe and push past impossible.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:17-19

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dare To Believe

...Running is our thing. You know, me and my dad.

He not only taught me to run, but taught me a life-long lesson through running.

"You are stronger than you think. You can push and dig deeper than you think. You may slow down, but don't you ever stop."

Isn't that true with life as well?

We believe the lies.

We don't think we are strong enough. We can't possibly push any harder, so we'll just stop altogether and sit here in self-pity while attempting to look like we have it together.

We believe the lies.

The lies that persuade us that impossible is where we will live.

"You can't do that. You will never be good enough."

The lies are much easier to believe.

Not only will it require a lot of faith from you, but the on-lookers watching us seem as though they are staring directly at us. Watching our every move.

Will they think i'm crazy for even attempting such a thing?

I'm convinced that we don't try because we are positive we are going to fail before we even start. So it's easier to just sit and do nothing than have someone see us in that weak place of failure. But for some of us the failure is just too much for us to bare within ourselves. We beat ourselves up sometimes more than others do.

And let me branch out for a second to say that sometimes even when we taste victory the enemy does everything in his power to diminish it. You just did your very best and no doubt it was awesome, but he still makes some of us believe that it wasn't good enough and that we are worthless. We have got to begin pushing the truth of Jesus into those places of worthlessness. As soon as we sense any piece of our being leaning towards believing that lie that we aren't enough... you believe His truth over any piece of that decieving lie.

Will I look like a fool for coming in last place?

To see a person accomplish something they never thought possible. To see someone not only exhort effort, but also faith, is beautiful. You are by no means a fool. And you are not running for anyone else, but yourself and the Lord. So take your eyes off the on-lookers and run for something deeper. If you are running for security or acceptance.... you've already lost. It's got to be more than just running. It's got to be something outside of yourself.

I dare you to believe. To move past the voice of impossible.

It will require faith. It will involve you dying to the opinions and acceptance of others. But it will be worth it.

In Jesus name...

Team Molly

Kayla, Molly, Dad, and I ran a 5k this morning. It just so happened to be Molly's 30th birthday, and we surprised her by making Team Molly shirts for her big day!

While I use to be the camera freak that never went anywhere without my camera, I'm just not so much that chick anymore. All of that to say, I didn't even get a picture of my dad. Which makes me sad because he did awesome!

Running is our thing. You know, me and my dad.

He not only taught me to run, but taught me a life-long lesson through running. I'm just now unwrapping some of the spiritual parallels in those truths i've learned...

(Oh, and dad.... he got third place in his age group, running 3.2 miles in 24 minutes! We were so excited for him!)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Late Into The Night

A few weeks ago I shared this post with you. You know, the post about how Texas is going to cut a-hiney-load of Teachers because of a lack of funds and yada yada. And if you recall I told you that I wasn't worried and very rarely even thought about it.

And that was the truth. then.

Today. not so much.

Turns out, faith isn't really faith if it doesn't require faith.

Lysa Terkeurst said it a little better than me - To truly live a life of faith, we must do things that require faith.

Or in my words - go through things that require faith.

We were sitting around the table outside our camper when a member of our school board walked by and stopped to chat. Of course, this topic came up. It was at that moment that a tiny piece of anxiety/fear crept into my being.

A friend of ours was let go the Friday before Spring Break. Talk about reality hitting very close. I kept thinking man, I just want to let them know that Jesus, is still the same. And that it's allllll going to be okay.

But secretly inside I was thinking - ohhhhh so glad that isn't me. Sure, I cared about them and their well-being, but still I was so hoping it wouldn't happen to me.

The problem was - I hadn't really thought about what it would be like if I was the person losing my job.

Of course, I left the meeting over a month ago and knew that it was a possibility. And I told myself that I would trust the One who holds me. And I would believe that He is the same.

But I hadn't let my mind venture out to what I would do and where I would go if I were the one layed off.

I sat there frantically thinking, man I have such a peace here and a passion... what happens if that is ripped out from under me? Where will I go? What will I do? I can't work at McDonald's.... I need it to be somewhere where I have passion and peace. Do I try out for American idol? No stinkin way. gosh.. what do I do?

And so as I lay in bed last night realizing that none of this anxiety or fear was from God these were some of the thoughts that came to mind....

It's not my job to let my mind venture out to "what if" and create a Plan B for what i'm going to do if I lose my job.
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 a hope and a future.

It's not healthy or even beneficial to create a scenario of what might happen. We come up with these plans in our future that terrify us and we just know are going to hurt us, before they ever even happen. fear.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear.... though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled; though the mountains shake... Be still, and know that He is God; He will be exalted...

So I still have no idea what is going to happen (and ohhhh I don't want to lose my job), but I do know this -
He has plans for me.
plans that involve abundance and hope
and I am not called to worry or be anxious or fear even to the tiniest degree
because He is God and He is bigger than my problems....
He will be exalted.

Lord God, I come to you in the name of Jesus saying thank You for Your Word... not just words that we read on pages and then move on, but Words that speak to us late into the night when our anxiety has finally beaten our physical strength to fight. I want to live a life of faith. I want to be a woman after Your heart who is so full of You that it's completely evident and spills over onto others. So as much as I want to keep this job because it's the first time in my life when i've felt peace and passion to keep doing something and not give up..... I trust that You are up to something bigger and that You do indeed have plans for me. Not just plans that involve making sure that I have a job and money, but plans that bring me closer to You and thus, prosper and live abundantly in Your hope. Because without a situation that requires faith, we would never need to trust in You.... and I.... oh goodness... I neeeeed You. So thank You, even now for reminding me how much I need You. Be exalted Lord.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Comfy Dresses

oh.... this week is just too much for me!

Mom and dad left Friday night heading out to the lake to camp. Thankfully we camp within 30 minutes of our house so it's easy to make trips back in if need be, but have you seen the price of gas these days?

My perfectionist brain is trying to plan out my week so that i'm wise when it comes to gas. It's not working out so well.

It's really a good thing that the sister and I always wait a few days after the 'rents head out because mom always calls with a list of things she's forgotten. It's inevitable. (totally not sure if that's spelled correctly)

So here I sit... waiting on mom to call and give us her list before we head out. Casie is walking around the house, as mom tells her through the phone, gathering things. It's just a tad bit overwhelming.

I know i'm dramatic, but just bare with me.

We got home from church and immediately started packing some things for the lake. One shoe bag, one clothing bag, one bathroom bag, one camera bag, a few (okay... a lot) of comfy dresses on hangers, one teacher bag full of papers to grade, one pillow and a purse later and i'm filling ready to pull my hair out.

I have too much stuff!

THERE... I SAID IT. (And as the sister said - you come with a lot of baggage.)

and thanks.

I have this entire week to do all the things that I have zero energy left to do when I get home from work. In honesty, I will drive myself insane doing nothing and i'll end up back home cleaning out my closet and bedroom. I just can't waste this week.

Therefore, i'm filling a little overwhelmed currently and I just needed to let it out.

I'll rest, I'll hang with friends, i'll run a 5k, i'll do some spring cleaning, and I may make a trip to see a friend....

the endless possibilities.

I found my second gray hair this morning and although it's slightly humorous it does make me a little crazy inside. So as I continued to fix my hair while freaking out that all the others were turning gray before my eyes I decided that i'm going to reeeeeeeeeally start to soak up and enjoy my current season of life.

I'm single. My hair is still naturally colored black (minus two gray hairs). My body is free of stretch marks from being with-child. And many more things.....

I don't say that to make any readers feel sad about their season - each season has its own blessings! I'm simply choosing to embrace the one i'm in! I encourage you to do the same!

Now i'm off... thank you for sticking it out with my over-dramatic words and random, non-flowing post.

Peace and Blessings and Comfy Dresses! :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring is a Comin'

Well, Spring Break has arrived!

After the very cold winter that we had I've officially decided my favorite season(s) are spring and summer. And hasn't the weather been gorgeous?

We wouldn't appreciate Spring if there wasn't a Winter!

Spring rushes in thoughts of many things...

Spring Cleaning.
Bright Colors.
Warmer days.
Cleaner Cars.

Oh, wait! Maybe that last one is just true for me.

When it's cold my car is packed full of jackets. I could clean it out every week and it'd still end up right back where it started. It's tragic. So therefore, Spring means a cleaner car for Meggerz!

Another favorite is opening the blinds to let the natural light in! Yes, please!

No big travel plans for the break. We are camping, hanging out with friends, resting, and then running our 5k on Saturday. Still a very exciting week! :)

A few things before I leave -

Kayla introduced me to one of her friends blogs today. I think you'll enjoy her - so click here.

Emily shared a link to Simple Mom (Tsh's) blog where she is doing a series called Project Simplify - click here. This week girls all over the world linked up to show there before and afters of de-cluttering their closets. Definitely some Spring Cleaning going on over there!

Other than that, have a FABulous week!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Twelve Hour Work Day

Tuesday is going to be a long day.

We have Parent Conferences all evening to prepare for the end of the year. Once again, some easy conversations, some not so easy.

I am so not looking forward to the end of the school year and the last day with these children.


God is good.

He is what keeps me going in this trying time in the education field. His peace. His assurance.

This is exactly where i'm suppose to be. And although it drains me and stresses me out and tests my patients and all of the above.... I wouldn't trade knowing His peace for anything.

Lord, be my words as I speak with each individual parent and their specific childs progress/needs. Help me show concern and compassion, yet say what needs to be said. Fill my classroom with your Holy Spirit.... after all, it's not an accident that I am these students teacher. Each parent that crosses my path tomorrow was sent from You. Help me to remember that. Wow... You are good. In the specific name of Jesus.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Few S's

As I was walking to my classroom early Wednesday morning I passed two other teachers and overheard a lil' bit of their convo, "Yeah... a snake!!! Can't believe I found it in THERE!"

Insert a picture of nosey Meg halting abruptly.

"Umm.. Excuse me. I hate to butt in, but did you say a snake?"

"Yes! I found a snake in my teacher bag. When I got home to grade papers last night I saw it."

Apparently said teacher has those little rubber snakes in her treasure box and, typically, the boys select that at the end of the week if they've had a "good" week. At first, she thought one of her precious students was just being funny, but as she reached in to move a book the snake moved as well.

No bueno.

Did I mention that this teachers classroom was right next door to mine? That is a little too close for me. For where there is a baby, there is a momma... i'm just sayin'.

I was totally down for calling it a day and calling in the troops to find the rest of the fam. Appearently no one else felt the situation was as serious.

Thus, I taught the rest of the day with criss-crossed legs IN my lap, IN my chair.

Oh, the things I put up with at my work-place! :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Specific, Powerful

Okay, i'm going to interupt my Feminar posts tonight... because this is my blog and i'm the boss here!! :) You know I stink when it comes to series or organized posts on this blog. Don't judge me!

If you know me at all, you know that I enjoy singing. As much as I enjoy the opportunities to sing at different places, the times when i'm alone with no one to impress are some of my most intimate moments. They are special to me.

One thing that grabs my heart is speaking words of a common worship song, or hymn, instead of singing them.

Singing is natural. Especially when you learn the rythym and routine of a song. It just starts to flow. And hear me out when I say there is nothing wrong with that. But there is also something about stopping that normal flow and routine, and speaking the words. Slowly speaking, listening, and believing.

Jesus, Jesus, there's just something about that name.
Master, Savior, like the fragrance after the rain.
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,
but there's something about that name.

I once heard a worship leader end her prayer with these words - In the precious, powerful, specific name of Jesus Christ.

To this day I haven't forgotten those words and the truth in it. And honestly, I say it almost as a daily reminder to myself when I am feeling discouraged, hurt, anxious, scared, etc..

There are many moments in my daily life when I find myself speaking the name of Jesus outloud.

Specific. Powerful.

And you can think i'm weird, but it's as if I feel the peace and power coming out of my mouth as I say it.

All hail the power of Jesus' name....

There is something about hearing yourself say it that makes you listen. I mean it's not normal to talk outloud when it's just you in the room listening.

And so as odd and random and mixed up as this post may be, I challenge you to be different in your moments with the Lord. Why don't you simply turn everything off around you... stretch out your arms.... and then speak some worship songs to the Lord.

It may seem awkward at first, but I encourage you to stick it out. It's different. It's intimate.

...there is strength in the name of the Lord, there is power in the name of the Lord, there is hope in the name of the Lord...

I surrender all. I surrender all. All to Jesus, I surrender. Lord, I surrender all.