Saturday, April 11, 2015

Until I Can

As I write this...I am in a really tough place.  Physically and particularly emotionally.  I am looking in the face of one of those life changing moments that we know are inevitable...that we try to prepare for and that we think we know just how we will handle when it comes our way....Until it Does.

This is no small moment...no easy fix and certainly not anything that gets figured out in a day.

This is one of those moments when we rally the troops...call on our closest friends and family, take the risk and ask for help...not really knowing if we will get  it...Until We Do.

This is one of those moments when we seek God's Wisdom....His healing and His promise that we will be safe...that we will not be overcome by our own fear...hoping  beyond hope that He hears our prayers and heals our hearts...knowing that He promises He will...but not quite sure...Until He Does.

This moment for me...is about having people in my life that believe in me...that believe in my strength...that believe in my courage and that trust in God's greater plan completely....Until I Can.

Thank you!

Monday, April 6, 2015

NOT QUITTING

So the MS150 is just about 2 weeks away. I knew the moment would come in preparing for this that I would begin to get the "pre-game jitters". Well...that time is now!
My level of fear is ratcheted up largely because after having a 2nd, pretty hard fall on Good Friday, I am even further behind the proverbial 8 ball.

With 2 weeks left to train...I have less than 40 to 50 percent mobility in my left knee...which makes pedaling a bike a bigger challenge than I expected at this point in my training!

It certainly feels as if I keep running into unexpected obstacles that make me question my own ability to complete this challenge.  Not the first time THAT has happened...sure it won't necessarily be the last...BUT...
I don't feel like giving up!
The reality is that I probably am a long shot for finishing...and further...most of the people that I am supposed to ride with will more than likely see me at the beginning of Day 1 for the last time until we meet at the end of each day!!
I am alright with that...
This challenge will not be about a great finish...may not even be about finishing at all...
But it IS about persistence....it IS about being a part of something that is much bigger than me...It IS about overcoming the "No You Can'ts and proving the Yes I Can's...it IS about giving back and it IS about staying true to my Journey.

Forging On Prayerfully...with Hope and a bit of a bee in my bonnet...NOT QUITTING!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Blessings

First, Happy Easter! I hope you all have had a day filled with great love and wonderful hope.

I shared with a friend today that Easter for me, is about the Ultimate Act of Love and the immeasurable hope that comes from the Promise of the Resurrection.

I am blessed to be surrounded by so much love and so much hope...so many great blessings and so many beautiful people.

Below are just a few moments...pictures...words...that remind me of how blessed I am...from the faces of my family, friends, precious gifts and moments filled with love. I love them all! 



Saturday, March 28, 2015

I Am Found

On some level, I have known that this Journey would take me way beyond where I expected to go from it's inception.

I did not have some psychic ability or some unique spiritual insight into what the future would hold. But I knew! Not in formed thoughts or grand words...but instead, in a quiet...strangely peaceful way...that was the perfect combination of God's Grace and my willingness to surrender.

The past few weeks I have come face to face with some old health challenges that feel uncomfortably familiar and at the same time, uncomfortably foreign.

I find myself feeling shocked but not surprised. Defiant...yet resigned...living an old behavior in a new life. Straight up confused and sadly, lost!

From a physical perspective...flattened...exhausted...sick...too pooped to pedal!
From an emotional perpspective...just a ball of worry, stress, and fear...a hot mess!

But today...God's Grace and my surrender met again.

To the naked eye...it may be hard to detect...but it happened...just as quietly as before.

Today...I had the opportunity to step out of myself...see, clearly, some of the blessings in my life. I had the opportunity to have a bird's eye view of what happens when a group of people momentarily put down their own worries and lives to be of service to others and I got to spend precious time giving back...in no grand way...but in gratitude for what I have received.

My words may not make complete sense to those reading them...but for me...these words represent a crossroads...another intersection of God's graceful guidance of my journey and my surrendering to that grace.

Some of the blessings of this day/week:

1. Working in unison with a group of volunteers who came together for a common cause.

2.  Meeting new people and seeing old friends...I am talking "back in the day"... "high school old"...friends.

3.  Spending time with family

4.  Getting to have a proud moment for one of the kids in my life...and getting to tell her how proud of her I am!

5.  Getting to hug two of my all time favorite teachers and tell them I love them!

6.  Having the honor of watching a man and his family work all day long at a fundraiser for the hospital that is helping him fight brain cancer.

7.  Having people in my life that see strength in me...even when I feel my weakest.

8.  Having those in my life who remind me I have come to far to turn back now.

9.  The spontaneous conversation with a former professional cyclist who assured me that I will finish the MS 150 :)

10.  The reminder that God provides all I need to do my best...even when my body and spirit are tired...and that doing my best is all He asks for...not perfection.

So...as always...this Journey continues  to take me one step farther than I think I can go...and in the midst of feeling Lost...I AM FOUND...

Amazing Grace.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Prayer Supported-Grace Driven

The last 2.5+ years have been nothing short of miraculous for me.  Sweeping changes in my life...better health...newfound inspiration...energy and all kinds of amazing adventures!

Many of you know most of my stories...and further know that the changes in my health have been the biggest blessing of this Journey.

Additionally, most of you know that I, by the Grace of God and the power of prayer, have been able to overcome many of those health challenges that kept me stuck...immobilized by my circumstances.

I have had the opportunity to do some pretty amazing things in the past 2.5 years...walking, running, climbing, playing volleyball, swimming...all kinds of unimaginable activities prior to this "lose the fluff" campaign!

Now...as I prepare to ride in my 1st MS150...I have hit a bit of a snag in my training.  I am experiencing a health setback that is definitely slowing my roll...so to speak.

My not so stellar immune system is not cooperating with my current  training plans...How Rude!

I'm not going to bore everyone with the details...BUT...because I so fully believe in the power of prayer...I am asking for you, one more time, to pray me through this bump in the road.
One thing I know...this Journey is and has been fully supported by the prayers and support of others...other people's grace!

I find myself relying on the courage that only comes from faith!

Thank you for reading! Thank you for your prayers and thank you for your graciousness.

29 DAYS TIL THE MS150...PEDAL ON!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pedaling and Praying All the Way

Well...31 days until  the MS150!
Training is going better...but am still a bit behind.
Over the last few weeks, I have spent a ton of time trying to recover from my fall and convince my body that it was "merely a flesh wound"!
Spending an obscene amount of time on a bike...wearing spandex and a funny looking hat seems an odd way to spend my time....BUT...I must admit, that each time I go a little farther, pedal a little faster or manage the hills a little easier...I find myself wanting to go again...give it another shot and see if I can pull this off!

As I make this final push...I am facing  some physical challenges I had not planned on...I suppose that is not shocking...all things considered....but it is something I am having to work around.

However, even with these obstacles, I still really cannot wrap my mind around the fact that I, after so many years of lethargy, illness and severe fluffiness, get this kind of chance to live differently...it truly blows my mind...

This Journey is one hell of a "do-over".

I don't want to waste this chance...too many amazing things....amazing blessings have already happened. The thought that I might miss something...miss another amazing moment...is motivation enough to keep going.

AND...IF you have an extra prayer to spare...I could use it more than ever!

I can tell you this..I will be praying my way through the next 30 days!!!

Pedaling and Praying All the Way!!! :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Lesson in Patience

From the very beginning of this Journey I have been challenged  by patience...

Being Patient

Having Patience

Losing Patience...

I am inclined to rush...figure out...analyze...constant mental motion.

So...as a part of this generally constant  state of change I have experienced over the past 2.5 years....I must work at settling  into God's timing...embracing  stillness...so that I hear God's  plan.

It is work for  me...part of the learning and living of this Journey.

Yesterday, I did my 1st "Hills" group training ride for the MS150. The ride was to be approximately 33 miles (37 miles actually) of "rolling hills" roads in the Huntsville, TX area. 

Going in to the ride I was pretty nervous...
A.  This was only my 2nd group ride
B.   The words....Ride...Bike...Uphill...are intimidating in the world of the newbie  cyclist....
C. A+B....and an inordinate amount of Fluff!

So...something important  to note....when I am nervous...my patience is often the 1st thing to go...with myself and others!

So...the ride begins...within the 1st 2 miles I had to stop...thought my chest was going to explode!

I was horrified!

Truly thought I was done....before I even really started.

But in retrospect...here is what happened...I took on that 1st hill absent  of any patience...Bull in a China shop style and it knocked me out!

So in order to continue, I had to practice, at times battle, and ultimately embrace patience...for 37 long miles.

The entire ride was a Lesson in Patience on SO many levels. A lesson in overcoming obstacles one at a time.

I had to compartmentalize each hill...take each hill at face value...with patience...patience with the hill...with the bike I was riding up the hill on and with myself as I learned to maneuver the obstacle.

As I reached  the finish  line...I was pretty  close to tears...exhausted...mentally  as much as physically. Having Patience is exhausting...it seems. :)

So many big lessons in that ride yesterday. 

Patience gives me strength...It gives me the space I need to be imperfect but not paralyzed by those imperfections.

Patience breeds courage...because courage can take time and needs room to grow inside of us all!

Patience teaches me to see the gift in the battle...to keep moving toward each "finish line".

Patience heals the heart...allowing  me to embrace those challenges that scare me...or that feel bigger than I can handle.

There is a line from a country song (by Lone Star) that says this...

"The good Lord gives us Mountains so that we can learn how to climb".

Still here...Still learning...Just Be Patient!