Monday, October 27, 2014

Does God Need Glasses?

So I sent a dear friend the quote below that was sent to me by my friend Karen at some well-timed moment on this Journey! 
It made me laugh when I received it the 1st time and I shared it here in a previous post.

You see... my friend Mary is in her 1st year of Medical school...a second career for her...a brave, bold life change that blows my mind and inspires me to keep pushing onward in my Journey! 

Med school is hard...a big damn deal! She is working her butt off...so in an effort to cheer her on from afar...I send her weekly text messages...a little something to remind her that I am in her corner...and more importantly, so is God!

What is important to know is that my friend Mary has the remarkable ability to make me think...AND laugh...which makes for some really good medicine! Heals the soul!

So today....I send the below...and her response (after a Thank you)...was..."Hopin' God doesn't need glasses!

I truly laughed out loud!  Funny enough though...it made me think.

As I continue this Journey...and particularly in the last several days...I have wondered...Am I as strong and courageous as God seems to think I am? Am I as much of a "badass" as I need to be to handle this Journey?? Does God need glasses?

But here's the thing...just as my vision gets cloudy and I begin to lose sight of the path...Amazingly...Miraculously...God provides some clarity...some guidance...some clear perspective that in fact, reminds me that God's vision is perfect!  It is me that needs the glasses...It is me that clouds the view...God's vision is crystal clear!

So...as much as I have pondered this Journey....analyzed the speed at which I am traveling or direction I am going....it always comes back to this...

I must live by Faith and not by sight...I must close my eyes and trust that God will see me through!

So Mary...I think God is right...we ARE badasses...as long as we let our imperfect eyes see His perfect vision!

Goodnight! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Too Legit To Quit

Training for the MS 150, the 180+ mile bike ride from Houston to Austin has begun.

I am back at boot camp...for a 6 week session...3 days per week and beginning to get some time on the bike (saddle time)  when I can.

Starting in November, I will steadily increase my time, distance and hopefully,  speed on the bike.

In January,  I will begin a more intensive 16 week training program to prepare for the Spring 2015 ride.

Right now...I am physically struggling through my workouts...largely due to an increase in migraines, I guess...but am doing my best to push through. 

I just want to keep moving...taking that one more step than I thought I could...knowing that this physical challenge I am preparing for will be one of the toughest yet!

I need to build stamina and strength...mentally and physically over the next few months! 

This week has been quite challenging physically.  My workouts are sluggish and a little on the ugly side...but I am trying to keep my focus...fix my eyes on the goal and take my best shot!

I am working on trusting the pace of the Journey....being patient with my physical body and remembering that every step counts...even when I stumble!  Replaying the words "Don't  Stop" over and over again in my head...Trusting that I am "Too Legit To Quit!" :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

5 Years From Today

Recently, I was perusing social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)...as I am prone to do...taking a peek at the lives of others around me as chronicled in this world of pics, tidbits, emoticons and the like....when I saw a post by Kerri Walsh Jennings that caught my eye and stopped my aimless wandering long enough to make me think and take part in a little pondering.  
The post was titled..."Where will you be 5 years from today"
Now I could write here that my immediate response was to begin listing all of my plans, dreams, goals in a steady stream...flowing freely from my energized and prolific imagination....but that would be a crock...in fact, my immediate response was to stare at those words in a frozen, glazed over state devoid of any thought other than "Huh"?
Kerri wrote that It is really important to know the direction of your life and that it is fun to imagine the possibilities...She is right...It is important and it can be fun...
 
Truth...I can forget the "fun" and fall into the "shoulds". I think that is why, when those "direction of my life" questions pop up from time to time...I stumble over them...freeze up a bit and find myself mouth agape and thought free!
 
But...let's just say that lately,  that whole "what's next?" "What are you going to do with the rest of your life?" "What do you WANT from life?", theme has been a frequent flyer in my world...from a multitude of directions...in unrelated circles and unexpected ways!
 
So when I see Kerri's post...it really just struck a chord with me and I begin to think!
 
My life has been in a state of miraculous flux for the past 2 years and the possibilities for the next 5 years have grown exponentially during that time.  Let's be honest, two years ago, I could not have imagined the direction of my path today...Not in my wildest dreams. Two years ago, most of my dreams were completely buried underneath layers of exhaustion,  grief, and a butt load of pain of ALL varieties.
 
Now...I am dreaming out loud...living dreams that I did not think possible and even find myself having the audacity to dream bigger! :)
But...still...I find myself reluctant to "dream out" the next 5 years...to believe in the possibilities.  In that regard, I continue to be a work in progress.
 
Fast forward to today...Sunday....sitting in church...when the speaker says...in so many words..."What are you going to do with the rest of your life?" But more importantly,  Why?
 
The Why got me...Yes...I have somewhere I want to be in 5 years...
 
  • I want to be a published author living a purpose filled life and living it passionately. 
  • In 5 years, I want to be healthy and happy and "lighter" than I have ever been.
  • In 5 years, I want to be surrounded by people I love, living by example, and sharing tenfold the blessings I have received.
  • In 5 years, I want to be able to say that I have conquered this goal I am working towards and have new goals to reach.
  • In 5 years, I want to be somewhere telling others about how they too, can overcome challenges that may seem insurmountable and live dreams that seem impossible. 
  • In 5 years, I want to be sitting somewhere reminiscing for the millionth time about how I watched my friend (and kick ass inspiration)  Kerri Walsh win her 4th consecutive Olympic GOLD Medal not on T.V. but courtside at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. (Bucket List) :)
  • In 5 years, I want to be planning the NEXT 5 years with no hesitation with no blank stares, no fear and having so much FUN doing so!!!
In 5 years...I want all of the "I Wants" listed above to be "I AMs and "I Have's"
 
But the single most important place I want to be in 5 years...Is firmly planted in the Will of God...Living as an example of His Grace....Living by Faith and Not by Sight.

In 5 years....I want to be living the Why....Loving and Living through God for God.

As the minister today talked about living the Why...He quoted a 1988 Life Magazine Article titled, "The Meaning of Life".  In this article, people from all walks of life were asked to define the "meaning of life".  I found the article and liked these 2 quotes.

Mike Ditka said the following,

"I believe we're here for a reason--created by somebody to live for somebody to return to somebody. I believe that I'm created by God to do the job that He's given me while I'm here, to serve Him and then to return to Him..."
 
 And Norman Vincent Peale said this:

"We are here to be excited from youth to old age, to have an insatiable curiosity about the world. Aldous Huxley once said that to carry the spirit of the child into old age is the secret of genius. And I buy that. We are also here to genuinely, humbly and sincerely help others by practicing a friendly attitude. And every person is born for a purpose. Everyone has a potential, in essence, built into them. And if we are to live life to its fullest, we must realize that potential."
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fighting a Few Old Demons

It has been a while since I have posted...at least, a while compared to my daily documentation of this continued weight loss, mind expanding, spirit growing, at times, ass kicking Journey I am on!

It seems that coming down from the mountain has been a little more challenging than I expected! 

I, before I left for Colorado, faced a few life challenges that I could have done without...work challenges and a few health challenges...nothing huge, but certainly not on my "to do" list.

So...upon returning from Colorado, it appears that I still have some obstacles to overcome in both the health and work arenas.

As most know, I battle the whole migraine headache thing...it  is one of my health issues that refuses to cave to my new healthier lifestyle.  It sucks quite frankly. Lately, in the last week...I find myself struggling with Migraine Associated Vertigo...a migraine headache with a side of dizziness!  Nice combo...not so much! I guess you could say I am just a Dizzy Broad these days!

It has really been an unfortunate little setback for me...really hard to battle and really easy to fall into old habits!
Throw in some job related stress...well...it can get ugly fast!

So...why share these bits and baubles of my life...well...because I feel like whining :) and because....these are the times when I struggle the most with staying on this healthy path.  These are the times when I turn to food to soothe, feel too bad to hit the gym and run a much higher risk of falling into old behavior patterns.

Pain and I don't mix...but...clearly,  relying on old coping mechanisms is not the answer either.

So I write about it here...get it out in the open. I find that giving it a voice...makes it smaller and less destructive!  No...I won't ever be perfect on this Journey....but I do want to daily do my best.

I can't give in to the false comfort of bad habits but instead, must prayerfully seek out ways to move through these moments that leave me dizzy....disoriented and feeling overwhelmed. 

These are the times...I must stay focused on how far I have come and who got me here...trusting that each time I face a challenge in a healthy way...I invite a change for the better into my life...A change For Good!

As always...your prayers are important and deeply appreciate.  As I fight a few old demons...It always helps to do so with a few, powerful angels!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

COMPLETELY BLESSED

While in Colorado and while I was standing on top of a mountain,  I decided that I wanted to take something home with me...something that I could always have with me that would remind me of the incredible blessing of the experience. 

Though I knew that nothing would be as energizing and exhilarating as standing at 12,000+ feet surrounded by some of God's best work...I wanted to commemorate this accomplishment in some meaningful way.

I wasn't sure exactly what that would be...a tattoo was an option...or not! Photographs would certainly be a great reminder...but I wanted something that had a special meaning.

So...I wear bracelets....several...everyday. Each of which has special meaning to me and two that I purchased on my last 2 trips to Cali.  I wear them as a reminder of the daily blessings in my life and as a bonus...when I purchased those bracelets, a portion of the proceeds went to a charity that has meaning to me.

So, on my last day in Boulder,  I decided to try and find a bracelet that I could add to my blessings collection that would serve as a sweet reminder of this part of my Journey!

I, at the suggestion of my friend Michelle, stopped in a shop called Alex and Ani.  Within just a few minutes...the bracelet below caught my eye...I thought it was perfect!  As I asked to see it...the salesperson said, "oh...these are great...these are our charity pieces"

As she began to explain...I had already made up my mind! This bracelet was the perfect reminder of this special part of my Journey. 

Below is the bracelet and the "story" that goes with it.

The words below speak directly to the heart of this Journey...ALL gifts in life do come directly from above...life IS full of promise and possibility...living in the present IS the ultimate gift...and we ALL are Divinely and completely blessed everyday in every moment. 

I found it wonderfully divine that I picked a bracelet that supports a children's charity...that helps keep kids healthy and happy! Made me smile...filled my heart! 

FAITH!  GRATITUDE!  COMPLETELY BLESSED!  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

12,200 Feet Closer to God

Today was yet one more unbelievable, soul shaking, miracle on this girl's Journey! 

Today...I climbed a mountain! 

Today...I believed I could do something that might have once seemed impossible...and I did it!

Today...I got to live and breath one more of God's perfectly planned days in this life of mine...in a setting that took my breath away...literally and figuratively!

Today, I met a goal I set for myself and felt great doing it!

Today, I learned that I could take one more step than I thought I could yesterday!

Today, I truly experienced the progress of this Journey.

Today, I stood 12,200 feet closer to God...surrounded by His gifts...His Love and His Grace!

Today...I found inspiration on a Mountain top and in every step it took to get there!

Today was an amazing gift....Can't wait for tomorrow!

Thanks to my inspiring friend Michelle encouraging me to do this...for believing I could and for leading the way!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Blown Mind...Rocked World

So today was a good day of acclimating to the my new surroundings!

Watched a little youth flag football this AM and my new 9 year old pal Logan make a few plays!

Did a little shopping and did quite a bit of walking...uphill!

Good news...I managed a 1.5 mile walk...a gradual uphill walk...without sucking wind!

I am begrudgingly drinking nothing but water in hopes of a successful hike tomorrow.

Not that I have not said this a million times before...but I really at times cannot believe this transformation...this opportunity I have to live life so fully.  The power of God's Love and Grace continues to blow my mind and rock my world!

So incredibly blessed. So incredibly grateful.

Here are a few pics from today.