Sunday, March 1, 2015

OH....YES YOU CAN!

Well...it has been a bit since I posted last!!

Life is quite full! Lots and lots of bike riding mixed in with normal life stuff...makes for very busy days!

But..this weekend I participated  in my 1st group training  ride...a supported 33 mile ride that would be my 1st real test for my knee and my courage, post-crash!

I was exceptionally nervous the night  before and despite going to bed pretty early for me...I still managed to get minimal sleep! I woke up at 3:00 A.M. played out every possible  scenario in this crazy brain of mine...until...it was actually time to get up and go!

But...despite all of the nervous pondering, I was pumped  full of adrenaline and ready to go.

Now...of course, I could give all of you a blow by blow description  of the day...but instead I just want to say this...

Once again, God gave me the strength, the courage and the support  I needed to take on this challenge and finish!
My biggest  gift of the day...having 3 unexpected  guardian  angels who rode with me...despite my slow pace...encouraged me...coached  me and pushed  me to finish!

Every single time I think I CAN'T...God provides the Oh...Yes You Can. Without  Fail.

Today...after some rest, I met a friend for lunch and spent  several hours talking, laughing...truly getting a big dose of God's Grace! I left feeling Inspired...Loved...Encouraged and oh so very grateful!

Tonight, I go to bed with a full heart...a tired body, a strong desire to keep going and a voice inside my head saying Yes You Can!

Thanks to my guardian  angels...all of you...Every Day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

True Grit

GRIT-Definition
 
Noun
 
1.  Small, Loose particles of stone or sand
2.  Courage and resolve; strength of character
 
Verb:
 
1.  Clench, (the teeth) especially in order to keep one's resolve when faced with an unpleasant or painful duty.
 
 
Monday night, my phone rang around 8:30 PM. Monday was a holiday for me, so I had managed to get a lot done and was resting comfortably on the couch watching a movie!
 
On the other end of the phone, one of my favorite sounds ever broke the silence..."Aunt Jaime, I need to talk to you about something.  Of course, I was all ears.
She proceeded  to let me know that she had a school project that had to be completed by Wed....an interview...then she paused and said, do you know what "Grit" is...or what it means to have Grit?
 
I gave her my best off the cuff definition of grit...much like the 2nd Noun definition above...She said...yea, that's right.
 
She informed me that she had to conduct an interview with someone who had "Grit" and who had accomplished a big goal because of that Grit...
 
Now what is important to note here is that I, over the past year or so, have worked with Emily many times on homework assignments...so getting a call about school work was not particularly unusual.  But what she said next...well...was a bit of a twist...unexpected.
 
She said (and I am paraphrasing)...Well, I have to do this interview with someone that has Grit and I want to interview you...cause you have Grit...You know...the whole weight loss thing, and all the challenges and meeting Ms. Kerri, having the Event (Play it Forward)...you know all the Journey stuff."
 
Oh my heart! 
 
In that moment, that singular moment...I was so reminded about how amazing this Journey is...how God graces my every step and how someone else's view of my little life can open my eyes, my heart and my mind to "big"ness of life...in ways I could have never imagined!
 
So...I had spent a portion of my Monday "processing" my Journey to date with someone (someone whom I adore and that is WAY smarter than I)...talking ( a long damn time) about where I had come from, where I am and where I am going.  Now I will spare all of you the gory details of that conversation but sufficed to say, as I have from the beginning, I expressed some trepidation about the direction I am going...and the admission that I in fact, at times feel a bit lost along the way and question my courage to find the way.  Having the Faith that I will have the Fortitude...is the thought that pops into my head...and though I am not fond of this cliché...noting during that conversation, that I am definitely a "work in progress".  A WIP!!!
 
So...back to my call with Emily...Now you gotta know I was a little caught off guard...touched deeply and rapidly flipping through my thoughts about Grit...what it really means to have it...who I know that I think has it and am I really the right girl for the job...so to speak. 
 
Do I really have grit?...I know I grit my teeth a lot (SEE ADDITIONAL DEFINITION ABOVE) but do I have GRIT?  I hate Grits...I know that...have my whole life despite a strange insistence from people in my life that I try to eat them...but do I HAVE Grit?
 
Emily thinks so....
 
I sat down with Emily, answered the interview questions and took the opportunity to share with her that if I do in fact, have Grit...it is by the Grace of God and because I have some pretty amazing people in my life and some pretty amazing strength that I draw from others, their inspiration, their courage and their Grit. 
 
It was a great experience and I had this thought...
 
God in his infinite care and love for me is very funny, and a little sneaky...
 
You see...I, in the last week alone, have had a few very specific opportunities to question my fortitude...question my ability to keep pushing through this process and trust!  I spent a portion of Monday...talking about that very thing...Talking about how I still feel SO VERY compelled to follow this path I have been on for the past 2+ years...yet, really have concerns about my ability to keep Forging ON...as I like to say. 
 
I was questioning my Courage and My Resolve and my Strength of Character...and then, out of the blue, and from a voice that reaches my heart faster than most...I hear this..
 
You have Grit...
 
Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky...Why do I think it was sneaky...Because I am pretty sure that God knew I would NEVER say NO to that voice...that I would do my best to HAVE Grit because she believes I do!!!  Forced Grit!
 
By the way...Forced Grit...is much easier to swallow that Forced Grits! 
 
As I close...I am again in awe of how God works in my life...the subtle nuances of His guidance to those moments when I am left speechless ( a rarity).
 
I have some amazing folks in my life who ooze Grit...Who exemplify great courage, resolve and strength...thank you for setting such a great example! Thanks for living with True Grit!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Best Laid Plans

Hello to all...

I hope you all had a lovely, loving Valentine's  Day. 

As I sat in church this morning, I heard this:

"We can make our plans, but God determines our steps".

I have made many plans in my lifetime...some good, some not so good.

When I decided  to start  this Journey, I made a plan...with a very specific goal and strict timeline.  Very early on, I began to feel God's refinement  of my plan.

As most of you know...my specific goal and very specific timeline have changed, morphed, mutated into something  completely different than my original plan.

That at times, has been scary  for me...but each time  I feel off plan...off course...something  happens that keeps me grounded, safe and moving forward.

As I have planned...God has clearly  determined my direction...guided my steps...changed my heart...and cushioned the reality that my plans are not perfect!

I heard one more thing in church this morning...

"Nothing  can ever separate  you from the Love of Christ"

As I proceed with my plans and as I experience this God-guided Journey...I time and time again, am reminded of the above...reminded that when my plans fail, when my courage wanes and my flaws are exposed that nothing separates me from God's abiding  love...

Thank God!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Trust The "NO"

I have a problem with the word "NO".

Hearing  it....

And

Saying It.

The hardest part about NO...is trusting that there will, at some point in time, be a YES...and all the No's will suddenly  make sense.

Over the past few weeks...my body has been saying  NO quite a bit...making training  for a physical  challenge  quite  complicated.

In the past several months, I have been the both the recipient and giver of the dreaded NO in both my personal and professional  life...and daily, I have to say NO to food, fear and a huge desire to just be fluffy and complacent!

My challenge  today  is to trust the NO...trust its purpose...trust the lesson and trust that with every  painful NO...comes a better, brighter...YES.

The hardest part about NO...is not believing it is permanent!

As a practice  in Faith...I am working  daily to trust that the YES will be illuminated by God's  Grace and that I have the eyes to see it, the heart to believe it and the courage to accept
it!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Forty Eight...Feeling Great!

Well...today I woke up 48 years old! Wow...that's a lotta years...
I suppose  I could talk about getting  old...creaky bones...achy joints...the occasional  hot flash...you know!
But instead, I am going to take these few minutes  to just let you all know that I am unbelievably  ready to pack all the fun, laughs, love, adventure, learning  and blessings I can into this year that lies ahead.

I am fully committed to this Journey...to persuing  the best me...living with the best intentions...loving with conviction and embracing every single opportunity God  puts on my path.

Somebody asked me before my birthday if this year was a milestone  birthday....For me...each year I get to live my life in the pursuit of this path...this special  opportunity to change, grow, learn and "defluff"...IS a milestone!

So...I'm gonna suit up...show up...prepare for the next big challenge...pray for a clear mind and an open heart and enjoy the ride...to the best of my ability!

So...I will be bringin' it in this 48 year old body! Creaking, popping, hot flashes and all!!!

Started this 48th year of my life off the best way possible...surrounded  by friends, family...lots of love, laughter, great hearts and some serious fun!

Thanks to all who texted, tweeted, emailed, "Facebooked", called, etc...and made me feel special. A special  thanks to my weekend ge
taway  girls! You guys Rock AND Roll!
You make this Journey  Golden!

48 is feeling GREAT!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Time Well Spent

I lost a friend today to cancer.

He fought cancer with the full armour of God. He believed that God intended for his life to have greater meaning...to make a difference in others lives. He was right.

Steve and I were co-workers. He was kind, funny and humble. We lived in the same part of town...so we often started many a conversation by commiserating about the drudgery of our lengthy morning commute.

We talked about our families and had lengthy conversations about sports...AND American Idol! Yep...deep stuff!

Funny enough, though our topics of conversation were often light...they were never superficial.

Though we no longer worked together, over the past few years, we kept in touch, emails, quick conversations, a chance meeting with he and his sweet wife at a local restaurant...

When he was diagnosed with cancer, he sent an email to several of his professional contacts. I called him immediately to let him know that he had my support and prayers...at the end of the conversation he said this...

"You know Jaime...you are one of the best friends I have that I never hang out with."

Breaks my heart!

Since his courageous battle began, we have exchanged texts, shared a few thoughts on how God has graced our lives and how much our lives can change in just a single moment.

Time is funny...it is one thing in life that is constant...never ceasing...but time can feel like it zips by...leaving me in the dust...and conversely...can feel as if it is moving at a snail's pace....mind numbingly slow.
Time can seem in short supply and hard to come by...and at times, never-ending.

But here is the single most important aspect of time...It is precious...every single moment.

Today...I find myself wishing for a little more.

In the last 2.5 years, God has given me the opportunity to see, with unprecedented clarity, the fragility, value and importance of time.

He has offered me the opportunity to reassess my definitions of quality time, timelines, wasted time and time well spent.

Today, though I find myself deeply sad, I am also eternally grateful.

Steve would tell me to ditch the sadness...embrace the the gratitude! Live Life Fully

So I think I will...

Live with great intention...Love with my whole heart...and walk bravely...Head Up...Heart In It...Walking not by sight...but instead by Faith.

My friendship with Steve was relatively short in terms of time...but was infinitely special... time well spent.

As I close...this a prayer Steve shared just a week or two ago.

May I all I do today begin with you, O Lord. Plant dreams and hopes within my soul, revive my tired spirit; be with me today..." Amen!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Brick By Brick...Day By Day

This Journey has really been a "one step at a time kind" of trip...trying daily to build a new structure to my life...brick by healthy brick.

On some days...and in a certain light...I can see that structure rising up...I can see  the progress...and on others days...well...I feel a "few bricks short of a load"!

I was back in the gym tonight...just to do some upper body work in hopes of building strength there..while I try to heal or quite possibly wallow in denial regarding how injured my left knee really is...not looking good tho!

In my denial...I got on the bike only to discover that I could not even make a full rotation...bummed!

However...brick by brick...day by day...I plan to do my best to continue to build a healthier body!
Injuries and setbacks are part of life...but so are victories...and healing!

While I may actually BE a few bricks short of a load....I am still planning on suiting up (in full on Lycra) and pedaling my way to Austin...raising some money for a wonderful cause and continuing construction on this life of mine!

Forging On...albiet with a limp....but Forging On nonetheless!