Thursday, February 11, 2010


Back in November, I started an adventure of running. I decided to do the Couch Potato to 5k running program (check it out!). I did about 6 consistent weeks of running - not missing a run, and if I did, I made it up the next day. It was great.

In the midst of those 6 weeks, my grandma died, which was the second (pretty sudden) death my family experienced in 2009. To say that those two deaths were hard and shook my world is an understatement. But, something I had after Grandma's death that I didn't have after Uncle Mike's was my running. It was great to get out there and run - just get all of the emotions of fear, anger, hurt, confusion, and just grief out in a good run is what I really needed.

Well, I wound up with a pretty rough respiratory infection around what was supposed to be W7D2 (Week 7 Day 2) of the program, and I slacked off a good bit. After gaining some strength and health back...about a week and a half later...I ran again, and I did a full 5k! It was amazing. I absolutely LOVED the feeling of knowing that I had just run 5k. The next run, however...not so great. lol I ran, but it wasn't a good run and I didn't feel as if I had accomplished much with it.

Here it, about two/two and a half weeks later, and I finally had another run today. It was great! I had forgotten how much I really enjoyed running. I think running became a good release for me as well, as I can tell a difference in my mood in general when I'm not running. I become more impatient and just not the happiest person. So, I reckon it's made me realize even more how important running is to me. Just gotta keep it up!!!

I have my first 5k race on Saturday. I'm definitely not looking to be anywhere near the front of the pack, but I'm hoping to finish strong! I'll let you know how it goes. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Before going to bed tonight, I pulled out a book that a friend of mine let me borrow. I really need to buy my own copy so I can give her this one back. I absolutely LOVE it, and have to remind myself constantly that it isn't my book and I can't mark in it.

But, this is what I read tonight. It's exactly what I needed. :)

Beyond the Horizon
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. Matthew 24:12

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever - do not abandon the works of Your hands. Psalm 138:8

It can be discouraging sometimes when we step back to take a mental scan of what is available on the man front. To tell the truth, the pickings look very slim. however, what your eyes see and what you have experienced in the past have absolutely nothing to do with God's plans. His ability to perform His promises. Perhaps we need to take our eyes off of the horizon line of our own rationalizations and get them fixed on the promises of He who knows where every good man is hidden.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see, according to Hebrews 11:1. Your hope cannot be in men or in the surplus that we cannot see. it has to be in God's word to you. he is the only man who cannot lie. If He says it, He will do it. Go on, dare to hope again and know that He will finish every project He has started on your behalf. he will make sure that you have the love and companionship you need to live a joyful and productive life. And that, my friend, is that!
from Sassy, Single, and Satisfied by Michelle McKinney Hammond

Thanks, God, for Your plans in my life - for Your hand and Your movement. Thank You for this time of struggle as I can feel You drawing me closer to Your side. Help me keep my eyes fixed on Your promises and Your will - that I may come through strong and be a witness to others. I love You.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Sometimes I want to just have a different life - somehow have different circumstances and experiences. I would love to take this life, throw it out, and start completely over again. Oh, the things I would change and do differently, and the great impact they would have on my life. Sometimes I wonder if things will ever change. Will I ever move out of my parents' house and get married? If not, will this feeling of intense loneliness ever go away or is it a constant that will always be there?

I'm terrified of my dear friends moving away. It's happening, and there's nothing that can be done about it. Yes, I am extremely happy and excited for them, but I am scared out of my wits at the same time. They've been there for me like nobody else lately, and it's hard to let go of that. Spending all of my spare time with them is my defense mechanism against my current pain.

Shifting your dependence from people to God is so hard, but I know it's necessary. Just a very hurtful way to go about it.

Sorry for the ramblings - just had to get some weight off my shoulders. Wish I could type out everything I'm thinking and feeling right now. Not sure that's possible though.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Something so quiet, yet so very loud. To think that somebody is here one second, but is gone the very next. Not gone as in on a vacation and returning after a time away. No, gone as in absent from this body and present with God. That is the ultimate state of "living" - living with our Father in heaven - standing forever in His awesome presence.

Yes, death is quiet. It is almost something between only you and God. Nobody else matters other than the Lord that is waiting for you to join Him - the Maker of both heaven and of earth. A quiet time of meeting your heavenly Father face to face and finally living in the true body and state that you were created for.

But, death is also loud. It brings on great celebration as another follower is shown his heavenly home in the presence of our King. To think of the great hands that are shaken, the necks that are embraced, and the smiles more amazing than any on this earth. It brings on great worship in the presence of our King - worship in His name, giving Him glory, and praise. Just as the old hymn says, even after we've been there 10,000 years, we have no less days to sing God's praise than when we first begun. Our time in heaven is not spent floating on clouds, but dancing, singing, shouting, and speaking praises to our King. Is this a quiet time of joining our Father in heaven? No, it is a loud time of joining the heavenly hosts in an eternal party of praise and worship to our King.

To those left behind, death is a very sorrowful and mournful time. It is a time full of questions and heart-wrenching tear-filled eyes. As selfish humans, we want so bad for God to give us our loved one back. We want to see their face, their smile, and their eyes. We long to tell them how much they truly meant to us all of these years. But, if we put off our selfishness and embrace the true rality of death, we find hope and joy knowing that although our loved one is gone from us now, he is present with our God, our Creator, our Master, and our King. The quiet, yet loud, sorrowful death now becomes a time of celebration in our Lord Jesus Christ and the hope that He brings.

Friday, January 30, 2009

things i love

I've been thinking a lot lately about life, enjoying it, and finding pleasure in the simple things. Actually, number 1 on this list is what started it all. I was thinking about my parents and how fortunate I am to have them and for them to have their health. Then, I started to think about things about them that I love - and making my mom laugh and laughing with her is one of the things that I just love in life.

Mom, I know you read this, so this post kind of goes out to you. Thank you (and Dad too) for introducing me to my Creator who is my first Love, and for making my life a pleasure. I love you.

Just thought I'd reflect and make a list of things I've really come to love and enjoy...

1. making my mom laugh
2. my dad's expressions of love and service to my mom, which make him a true man in my eyes
3. being an aunt
4. teaching
5. my family
6. water
7. mountains
8. reading
9. laughing
10. Zephaniah 3:17
11. hearing children laugh freely
12. photography
13. being around other people
14. missions
15. rain boots
16. sleep
17. my dog
18. the intense love my grandparents still have for each other
19. broccoli casserole
20. my teddy bear (affectionately known as Stewart)
21. smiling
22. learning God's word
23. candles
24. pink
25. clean socks
26. movies
27. long showers
28. singing
29. clean bed sheets

This list does not tell everything that I love and enjoy, of course, but it's just a quick thought process that went through my mind. There are still many, many other things that I love, but these came to mind for me while I sat here.

My hope is to never lose sight of the simple things in life. Sometimes, that's all you have to look forward to.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Every morning, I drive over the Catawba River bridge taking me into Fort Mill on I-77. I've always loved looking at the water anytime I drive over a bridge, so driving over the river every morning is a special treat.

I sometimes catch it just before the sun comes up. It still has a hazy look to it, and the bridge in the near distance isn't easily seen in this light. Regardless, I still consider it to be very pretty. Other mornings, when I leave a few minutes later, the sun is just coming up and the river has a gold and pink tint reflecting the morning sky's beautiful hues. Oh, how gorgeous! The neighboring bridge can barely be seen, and the stillness of the scene is breath-taking. But still, there are times when I drive over, and the sun has almost completely risen, and the light shining on the water is gorgeous. It's all I can do to keep my eyes on the road instead of on the water. The mirror-like reflection of the bridge adjacent to the one I'm driving on is completely picturesque. It catches my breath almost every time I see it, making my rushed morning of leaving way too late for comfort seem an okay circumstance after all.

It's the simple things in life - like a common day drive over a bridge - that can take your breath away. It's in those moments that God whispers the all-assuring promise of His love to you again and again.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

purposes now - and also later on

During one of my rough evenings, Jeremiah 29:11 kept coming to mind. I just couldn't get away from it, so I decided to read the whole chapter to get the context of it all. Here's what I realized and hang onto now...

This is basically to the Israelites concerning their current "conditions" and what they are to be currently doing. They had been carried from Jerusalem to Babylon and were in exile there. This is what the Lord told them,

"Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." (Jeremiah 29:5-7)

Now, this is what the Israelites were to be doing at the time. They were told to stay in Babylon and to increase in number - to grow in number as well as strength. The Lord God Almighty said to increase, not decrease. So, while they are in exile in Babylon - a situation I'm sure they weren't very excited about, they were to continue to grow.

And the story continues in verses 10-14:
"This is what the Lord says: 'When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill My gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to propser you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the Lord."

After the Israelites were "finished" completing their purpose in Babylon (which God said they would be doing for 70 years), God said He would then fulfill His promises to them - to take them out of that place and bring them back to Jerusalem. It is not until after He says all of this - their purpose now, the time they would need to wait, etc. - that God says the infamous verse that probably all Christians have recited to a friend facing struggles at one time or another - "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."

What does this mean for me? God has me where I am for a reason - for a specific purpose. God wants me to increase and grow, to become stronger in Him, and not to decrease. My current life-circumstances shouldn't dictate my current relationship with God - if anything, they should draw me closer to Him. I have 19 students under my care at school, and the love that I show them (or don't show them, for that matter), will either draw them to my love for God or turn them away. Also, my "city" is my school - the teachers I work with, parents I interact with, and administrators I teach under. I can either be an example of God's love in these people's lives, or an example of a hypocrital Christian.

It is important to not look at what cannot be seen in our lives, but to remember that God has us where we are for a reason. Once He has refined us, molded us, and made us new, He will then fulfill even more promises that He has given us - promises that ensure us a hope, a future, and a divine purpose.

What is your purpose right now? And what do you feel God preparing you for in the future?