chapter 2

img_3738

Chapter 2… it’s what I’m on in my #amilewidebook. I’m not finding nearly the amount of time I want to devote to getting this book read, but that’s okay. I think perhaps God is being intentional with me to soak it in slowly.

img_3694

Along side this book reading is a sermon series I’m hearing our pastor preach about: mission and restoring God’s creation. The Bible’s true story, from start to finish, tells us that His mission is to rescue His creation and restore it to its original form. I got to thinking how yes, this is for the world and it’s people, but when you think about it, it’s for our bodies as well.

I think most of you who I have connected with would agree that we are working day to day to become healthier and stronger…. Restoration of our physical selves to a place God truly intended from the beginning. We want to move and be active and feed ourselves foods that our bodies were meant to thrive on and be nourished by.

But why? Why do we seek to feel better and live well? Getting healthy physically is our Chapter 1. So, what’s our chapter 2? I believe we should seek health to feel better and well enough to serve our world. To serve others. To serve Him.

img_3738

Chapter 2 in A Mile Wide is called “A Bigger Gospel”. Yes! We get healthy to then live beyond just serving ourselves… to live bigger! We live our chapter 1 to feel good so that in our chapter 2 we can serve more and add joy and goodness into the world. His world. His creation.  We should live at our best to give at our fullest

Chapter 2 is where we can do our part to start helping Him restore. Chapter 2… what’s mine? Honestly I’m still seeking clarity on the direction I feel God is stirring in me and I’ll keep you posted through this blog here. Chapter 2 is the beginning of the rest of the story. My story. Your story. It’s important. It’s where we meet others. It’s where God can really start using us.

Chapter 2… I’m seeking how mine will be written. What does it say for you?❤️

a tree out of season

 

Do you notice anything about the photo below ?  I spotted this little scene earlier this year on one of my many treks down Highway 6 to Target.  In fact, it jumped out at me so vividly, that I turned my car around and pulled over just to snap this pic.  When I look at this image, I see spring in full bloom, nice and green, fresh flowers, plants neatly growing with each other.  And then there’s the orange tree.  It’s gone ahead and jumped to autumn.  It’s out of season from the rest of it’s surroundings, doing what it can to grow in the season it appears to be in, but seemingly just a little out of sync.

image

Have you ever felt like this autumn tree?  Like, everyone is in their season of pretty… of all kinds of got-it-together-ness and you’re  ….. not?  I have!  There have been so many times that when I look out around me, I see everyone’s lives sort of like spring… bright and colorful, fresh, neatly planted.  They seem so in sync with their surroundings.  And all the while I’m sitting by my lonesome in fall… feeling more like those cheery colors are fading out and the now brittle leaves are getting ready to shed at any time.

Seasons can be good.  They’re often anticipated and expected.  They give us variety to life and can be something to look forward to.  They can bring with them a welcome change from what has been and encourage traditions and newness for the months ahead.  If it wasn’t for seasons, life could be pretty monotonous and dull.

But, not all seasons are times of refreshment.  Some seasons very much throw us off.  They can come unexpectedly.  And some seasons bring about change that we would rather not go through, much less embrace.

The bible  talks about all kinds of seasons in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.

A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.

A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.

A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.

A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.

A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

The seasons of life can be good.  And they can be scary.  They can be joyous.  And they can be full of worry.  And unfortunately, we don’t get to choose our season.  We don’t get to pick one everyone else is in, which stinks because I really don’t want a season of crying when everyone else is laughing.  That’s just no fun.  And I don’t want to be gathering my stones if everyone else is able to be carefree and tossing theirs about.  Nope.

I don’t want my scene like the one I saw on Highway 6 last spring.  I don’t want to be out of season from everyone else.  I would much prefer we all bloom and then we all shed.  All at the same time.  There’s safety in numbers, right?

But that’s not life.  We aren’t meant to be in the exact seasons at the same time.  I need to pay attention to what’s around me so that I see the full picture, not just my piece.  It doesn’t matter if I’m the autumn tree or if I’m neatly growing with all of my surroundings.  I need to be able to see the fresh blooms of some and the shedding leaves of others.  We are meant to lean on each other and do life together.  That’s where it’s beautiful.  That’s why the juxtaposition works.  Just look at this photo again.  The colors of both seasons very much compliment each other in such a beautiful way.  One stands out BECAUSE of the other.  Their differences are what makes it interesting.  And I think that’s how life works, too.  Fresh spring flowers and autumn trees- they CAN grow together in unexpected ways.❤️

 

 

 

bloom inward

image

I found out something yesterday. I learned that a fig is really a flower. It blooms inwardly and the seeds you see are dozens and dozens of tiny blossoms. It is a miracle of nature to see the inside of these delicate buds daintily hanging from trees.

At first glance they, for the most part, blend in with the tree as a whole. But when the right person comes along and opens them up, their beauty is revealed. They grow and bloom, unassumingly doing their thing on the inside, until they are shared with someone and that inner beauty is exposed.

I read this AFTER I bought these delicious looking figs at Costco yesterday. And I just couldn’t stop thinking about them being flowers. It’s just cool.

I think God was giving me this idea… this is what I want to teach our girls. They are teens and an almost tween… definitely in a crucial stage of life, growing blossoms of beauty inwardly. Blossoms of kindness and compassion, self-respect and respect of others, honesty, strength, and love. They may have times where they just blend in with their surroundings and that’s okay. They just need to keep unassumingly blooming on the inside until what’s there needs to be shared. Those dozens of blossoms are there for whoever comes along in need. It could be a friend at school or a person they meet while volunteering. It could be a random act of kindness with a stranger. It could be a sister you live down the hall from!

Bloom inwardly. Keep nurturing those blossoms that make you YOU. And when that is meant to be shared, open up and reveal who you are. A beautiful inside really is a true thing of beauty.❤️

inspiration, information, transformation

This. I’m about halfway through the book “Uninvited” by us a Terkheursr and I want to both sit and finish it all TODAY and spread it out over the next month so it won’t end… it’s that good and that applicable to life for me (and my girls!).

image

This quote in chapter 13 really jumped out at me as I read today. This is SO what I do. I’m a questioner and researcher and ask ‘why?’ about A LOT. I just have a curiousity to understand things better. And I am completely into encouragement and inspiration… Anything that is positive and uplifting…. sunshine and rainbows is what we call it with my daughter. ☀️🌈. I’m ALL about that.

But transformation? The DOING? That’s where I lack. That’s where either laziness or fear step in. Almost.every.time. The brainstorming and idea part is fun. The lets-make-it-happen freaks me out. This is true in every part of my life. I read and study daily. But applying it? That needs work.

I’m learning in this book that so much human emotion and repercution could be avoided if I would DO what His words tell me to do. I’m realizing the same is true in so many areas of life. Bible study, eating healthier, parenting, being a good wife, being a good friend… The list goes on. APPLICATION is what creates my TRANSFORMATION. Not good intentions. Not acquiring knowledge. Not motivation. I’ve got to DO.

For me, this was the perfect excerpt to read at this time of trying to practice intentionality.

Thank you, God, for finding me in the quiet and stillness this early morning and teaching me to apply your holy words to every step I take throughout the day. Every step matters.❤️

color us healthy

It’s a new school year, and I’m trying to start the school year with #goals. As a family, we have worked all summer to cook together and try new foods… Mainly produce items and colors but we tried cooking some new dishes, too.

image

This pic here is my attempt to track our efforts. Tracking has become a norm for me since starting weight watchers. This is just a tweak of what I’m doing on my own, really.  Every month we will use this board to keep tabs of what we cook and eat- the proteins and colors we use. We will either color in or write in what we eat… The goal to keep it balanced and get all the colors in.  If we are lacking somewhere, then we will hunt through my  cookbooks or Pinterest to find something we could try.  I have come to love having our girls in the kitchen with me.  It won’t be easy with all of our schedules, but I’m hoping this board will be a visual for me to make more of an effort.  We had some good bonding this summer over peeling, grating, sautéing, and stirring the roux FOREVER.  You can have some pretty awesome girl talk in the kitchen!  Sometimes they’re more willing to talk when you’re doing something while you chat. 😉

But in all honesty, in thinking this through, I realized I need to keep a focus on health being all-encompassing.  Because it is so much more than salads and smoothies, right?   So, we also added a workout pyramid that I adapted from the bible study “Fit to Serve”. It will be a guide to follow for how often we do different types of activity during the week.  I can already tell this will need tweaking as we go… But it’s a good place to start.  It should get them thinking a little less about couch time with candy crush and a little more about getting out and about with Pokemon Go!  Fingers crossed …

We also added a big noticeable part to focus on:  random acts of kindness.  There is a grid of ideas to get us started, but also blank squares where we can write our own onto sticky notes. In an effort to live well, it can become pretty easy to become self-focused. That is understandably so, but it really should be in balance. Getting yourself healthier is really just a basis to live and serve in the world better. My goal is to have us, as a family,  point our eyes outward into the world and see where we can add just a little drop of goodness towards others in our day to day lives.

And at the top… We will each pick a scripture for the month. Faith needs to be the foundation to it all. Each of us will choose one bible verse that we all will reference. So that means six bible verses for us as a family to learn about, talk about, and practice over the course of a month.

My hope and prayer is that we will stay focused and interactive with this. It’s a visible way to keep track of what we talk about often. We have four daughters that each learn in their own way.  Talking through things is good, but the visual of this is just another way to try and teach them how to live better…. to live well. I hope this helps develop healthier habits for all of us. It’s a way to be intentional, which is something I have been working on for awhile now.  I will follow up at the end of September with how we did.  #squadgoals in a mind-body-spirit kind of way.☺️

overrated comfort zones

image

This is where I teach class from. It’s a jazzercise thing for us to be up on a stage. It allows our customers to see us better when we #movetothegroove.💃🏻.

There was a lot I had to do and learn to become a certified instructor, but this stage was the biggest obstacle for me to conquer. I’m not naturally a put-me-out-front kinda girl. But… I was at a point in life where I was ready for something new. Ready to set a goal to work towards. Ready to get out of my comfort zone, which is scary but fun once you get your mind on board. I was ready for a challenge.

That was almost five years ago. Since I made that decision, it has been life changing. Fitness became not only FUN but my job- a priority. I grew as a person. A lot. I gained a confidence that has helped me since in other areas of life and I have learned new things about myself. Good, good things can come from getting out of our comfort zones!

I still get nervous before every single class. Every one! But a fellow instructor once told me that those nerves just mean that I care. I still want to do a good job. I want to encourage and motivate others. I want our customers to have fun! Do you have a comfort zone you’d like to breach? I will be the first to tell you it is worth it. You are worth it. The lives you could encourage are worth it. You never know what can come from getting out of your box… Or hopping up on that stage.😊