Workin’ Out

I’ve noticed lately that many of my friends and acquaintances are regularly posting about their workouts, diets and supplements. Posts vary in extremes of intensity. On one hand, there are those who are training for mud runs, half marathons and marathons, on the other hand are those who are just trying to run a mile. The diets are varied as well. Some are simply trying to eat more natural and healthy, others are making drastic cuts and limits to what they can and cannot eat. Usually I refrain from sharing about my workouts and eating habits, but today I think I’ll share.

Biking yesterday left me sore in areas that don’t usually hurt. It was a good reminder to keep the workouts mixed up to improve overall fitness. On weekends, I like to look back on the week just completed as well as look forward to the one ahead. Reviewing the week helps me prioritize and set goals and benchmarks. This week my focus is on balance & flexibility, strength training, and endurance.

Balance and flexibility is important for all ages. Some periods of life a greater emphasis in these areas is necessary. There needs to be a balance between work and play, and enough flexibility to stretch when the unexpected occurs.

Strength training requires adding weights or resistance along with repetition. Strength doesn’t come from doing what I know I can do. It is evident when I am up against something greater than my ability. It is then, that I’m reminded from where my strength comes; it comes from the Lord.

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Isaiah 40:29 ESV

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 ESV

Because of some things I’m facing right now, I knew I also needed to focus on endurance this week. According to dictionary.com, endurance is “the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina.” Yes, there is a bit of fatigue and stress, and I definitely need increased stamina.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us Hebrews 12:1 ESV

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4 ESV

I guess that about sums up my workout goals for the week. In case you were wondering, I purposely did not choose speed for my goals this week. It seems life just keeps racing by at rapid speeds. Slow down! Enjoy and cherish the moments.

Simple Sounds

I’ve been too busy lately to jot my thoughts. However, just because the canner and stockpot are bubbling it doesn’t mean I am pushing God to the back burner. All I have to do is look around to see many beautiful ways God reveals himself and blesses me. Today, I’ve challenged myself to listen to hear his blessings. So here are a few of my simple sounds of joy from this morning.

  • Wind chimes making music out my kitchen door
  • Gentle breeze swishing through open window
  • Momma and baby swallows chattering from their porch perch
  • Peaceful quietness of home on the range
  • Boiling water rumbling in speckled water bath canner 
  • Ping of sealing jars
  • Crunch of gravel announcing Hubby’s arrival for lunch

Over and over, Jesus, told his disciples and the crowds he taught to listen. In our noisy society we can hear a lot of things, but how closely do we listen? In Mark 4:24, Jesus says:

 “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given, and you will receive even more.” NLT

Look what is in my pot today!

peaches

Can you guess what I’m making? The 1st person to guess correctly, gets a sample jar!

Thankful For…

Today, I am thankful for…..

 

Wait……

 

It’s coming…..

 

Today, I am thankful for MOSQUITOES!

 

 Calm down, take a deep breath, and read on….      

                             . 

It really is a love hate relationship though. They love me and eat me alive, and I hate that they eat me. However, I am thankful for mosquitoes because it reminds me that God sent RAIN. Blessed Measurable Rain!

Hubby & I have prayed and prayed and prayed for rain constantly for a very long time. Little showers have settled the dust periodically for which we were grateful, but one day I asked Hubby, “How many traces of rain does it take to add up to an inch?!” Finally, God decided it was time, and he poured down rain. Not once, nor twice, but several times within 2 weeks. Yes, it stalled wheat harvest and milo planting for a day or so, but I don’t think there were many farmers complaining.

Before the rain, the yard and garden were mosquito free. Now I am constantly swatting at them, which in turn reminds me to thank God for answered prayer. I am also thankful that someone was smart enough to invent bug spray, and someone else figured out how to get it in that snazzy can and come out the nozzle when it is pushed.

Thank you, God for answered prayer, and for little reminders of that answered prayer.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7,8 ESV

 

Projects

I love being outside. Sunshine and warm temps are like a magnet to me. I’d much rather work, create, play, and relax outside than cook and clean inside. This past month has been busy, busy, busy doing those outdoor things I so enjoy.

Today, I thought I’d share some of the projects I’ve recently completed between gardening and lawn mowing.

One morning, I turned some old wooden hangers into necklace holders.

2014-03-29 11.08.09

My mom requested a wall of planters to transform an eyesore well house into a focal point. Hubby and I teamed together on this project. We used salvaged lumber we had on hand so the hardware was our only expense. Mom purchased the planter boxes and plants.

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Our slatted park bench was not safe to sit on. The boards were sagging and rotting, and the iron ends were paint chipped and rusty. We took it apart, repainted the ends, and replaced the boards with some of the old wood floorboards we had left from a house project. With the boards stained and sealed, I practically have a new sturdy bench.

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The biggest project so far was completed with my daughter-in-love. I picked up this vintage swivel rocker for $10 at an auction. The frame was sound, but it needed the springs retied and a complete reupholstering. Although we are far from professionals, we had fun working on it, and DIL loves the finished chair.

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In our country of abundance and shopping ease, we have become a country of waste. However, junking, taking something old and giving it new or renewed purpose, is the rage right now. This is actually something I’ve enjoyed all my adult life. Recently, I scrounged around for treasures in an old dilapidated house on my dad’s property, and found this old chandelier light. Dad laughed when I picked it up and wondered what I’d do with it.

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My mind was immediately whirling with ideas of turning it into a solar light. With a bit of paint and some solar lights it is perfect hanging from my rose arbor.

photo 2

 

photo 3

The Grands are coming to visit, so Hubby brought more sand to refill the sand box. To add a splash of color at the sandbox and a bit of musical play, we made a xylophone from some pipe off the scrap pile. I can hardly wait for the boys to get here!

photo 4

June is past and July has arrived. Garden harvest, canning and freezing will soon dominate my days, but I can think of a few more projects I’d like to complete.

As I typed this, I’ve been sipping coffee on the patio and enjoying the oriels flitting back and forth, but my cup is empty, and I really must go clean my house!

What projects are you working on?

 

 

ANXIETY

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

What do you do when you are up against a deadline, time is running out, and everything that can go wrong does?

Does your stomach churn? Do you get snappy at everyone that crosses your path? Are you stalled from all the roadblocks, or do you hunker down to blaze the trail remembering with God’s help you’ve got this?

Yesterday was one of those days, and a day to practice what I preach.

  • Trying to get ready for a week of camp ministry for a record number of campers with only a few beds to spare.
  • Piled up laundry and the sewer backed up.
  • Discovering a pack rat in my garden chomping off my plants and trying to trap it.
  • Meal prep for Hubby and boiled over potatoes

Sadly I had moments where I failed to let God handle all my anxieties. I had to apologize to the mom who called wanting help finding a ride for her daughter to go to camp. I suggested calling another family with a daughter about the same age, and she replied, “My daughter doesn’t really speak to her.” Well, I did not respond very gently when I informed her that they would need to get over it, because they would need to get along and speak since they’d be spending a week in a crowded cabin together. I think my over-reaction took this mom by surprise. Unfortunately, I was a bit snippy, but a few minutes later with a returned call I was able to apologize for my behavior.

God knows we are not always going to handle anxiety, fear or stress very well. That’s why he gives us verses such as the one I began with. In the Bible we are also given many examples of people who needed the same reminders. At camp, we are going to be learning about Joshua. God repeatedly tells Joshua to be strong and courageous, don’t be terrified. Joshua is also assured that God is with Him. Although, Joshua’s assignment may have been monumental compared to what you or I are called, God’s promises are true for us as well.

It’s crunch time! I have today to complete the tasks of camp prep and pack. There will most likely be a few bumps in the road, but God and I got this! 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

Broken Promises

Can I rant a bit today? I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever really done that on a blog before, but here goes. When did it become so easy to break promises in our society? When I was growing up, I was taught along with most of the other kids in my community, that if you give your word you keep it. In other words, if you say your going to do something, you follow through and do it! It was a commitment to fulfill whether it was harder than you thought it would be. 

Today, people are quick to back out of just about any kind of agreement, verbal or written. It seems to be the norm. If something a bit more fun comes along, just cancel the first obligation for the more exciting one. You may have more fun, but the other party had been counting on you. Now they are left in a quandary. It seems the more frequent this happens with small things, bigger commitments begin to be abandoned. Bigger commitments often involve hard work – physically, mentally, emotionally. When obstacles get in the way, instead of working through the problem it seems to be increasingly more popular to throw your hands up and say “That’s it; I quit!” Relationships begin to suffer. These relationships can be work, friendship, family and/or marriage relationships. Sometimes, the hurt and damage is irreparable – a job is lost, friendship is broken, family members no longer speak, marriage becomes 2 living separate lives and may end in divorce.

Quitting when the task is not as fun as once thought, or when it becomes hard work does not make a strong person. Too many quitters, makes a weak community. Then the trickle down effect takes place. Children model what they see, and another generation becomes an even weaker link.

What if God kept his promises at the same rate that we keep ours? What kind of God would that even be? I find comfort, knowing God keeps his promises. 

It is time to change this downward spiral! Make a commitment and stick to it through completion.

“It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.” Ecclesiastes 5:5

Grit your teeth and sweat if you need to, but keep your word, and be the example to this next generation. 

My Feet Took Me Where?

Today as I was walking on the dirt road, I was grateful for the old habit of looking down as I walk because a small rattle snake was stretched across my path. Whew!

Watching my feet has been my habit since childhood. I was often reminded to “look where you’re going”, and “you can’t see much looking at your toes”, or “look around; be observant.” My mom loves to tell of the time I watched my feet climb right over the fence.

As a child, our front yard was fenced in. This was to keep us little ones safe from the cattle trucks, pickups, and tractors that drove in and around our farm yard. We knew we were not supposed to open the gate and go out by ourselves.  However, one day as I was walking, head down, watching where my little feet were taking me, I came to the yard fence. Mom was watching from the kitchen window, and she says I didn’t stop. I just kept watching one foot follow the other as I climbed up, over and down the other side of the fence. According to Mom, my head stayed down until I was out in the middle of the barn yard. Stopping abruptly, I looked up and around, and hightailed it back to the fenced yard as fast as my little 3 year old legs could take me.

I’m not sure why this habit has stuck all these years. I do it so unconsciously. When I am with other people I try to be aware of keeping my eyes up, but when I’m by myself I rarely think about it.

Now you’ve learned something new and quirky about me. :)

Did you know the Bible actually addresses keeping your gaze up?

Proverbs 4:25-27 says “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” ESV

This is wise instruction to remember. In our walk through life, we are faced with many trials and temptations. If we do not keep our eyes fixed on the truth of God’s word, we will surely stumble. Don’t even swerve towards that temptation!

What kind of trail are you on? Is it bumpy? Have you taken time to ponder the path you are taking? It is never too late to turn around and get back on the road that leads away from evil.