Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gift or Expectation?

God brought a story to my remembrance this week that I read about a year and a half ago.  The reminder took me by surprise because I read it so long ago, and I hadn't really thought about it in quite some time.  He used it to show me how I was responding to a difficult situation in my life in a sinful way.  I confessed my sinful response, and every time I start thinking wrong thoughts again, this story comes back to mind again.

Let me set the story up for you.  A man wanted to conduct an experiment with people.  He decided that every day for 30 days he would walk down a street in a particular neighborhood and hand out a $100 bill at each home, NO STRINGS ATTACHED.

On the first day of his experiment, as he went from house to house, the residents seemed extremely suspicious--of his sanity.  They would hesitantly reach from behind their screen doors and then quickly grab the bills.  They reacted similarly on the second day of his rounds.

But by the third and fourth days, many of the people had spent the bills and found them to be the real thing.  The neighborhood was buzzing with news of these daily gifts of hundred-dollar bills.

The second week people were actually waiting on their front porches, peering down the street as they watched for the man to come.  They began visiting with one another, shouting in neighborly fashion across yards and the street.

By the third week, however, the novelty of the man's visits seemed to be wearing off.  The residents had a humdrum attitude toward the daily gifts.  The gifts were becoming old hat.  By the fourth week, when the pattern of visits had become firmly established, they were considered an accepted part of everyday neighborhood life.

On the last day of the month the man tried a different approach.  He walked down the street again but with no money to give away.  As he did so, a strange thing happened.  Residents threw open their doors, stepped out on their porches, and shouted angrily, "Where's our money?" and "You so-and-so, how dare you not give me my hundred dollars today!"

What had happened?  The people had come to expect and even demand something that was originally presented to them as an unmerited gift.  They had grown to feel that the man owed them the money.

We can be the same way...with God.  All our life--our families, our friends, our material possessions, our health--starts out as a gift.  As life goes on, we can begin to take those gifts for granted and develop expectations of how things are supposed to be.  If and when the gifts are withdrawn, we may become angry or demanding because we think we have a right to them.  Instead, we would be wise to determine to be grateful for whatever is given to us.

(Faith is Not a Feeling, Ney Bailey, p. 71-72)

It shames me to read this story because I know I have come to demand one of God's gifts, and it's taken a season of the gift being removed to see how I've come to expect the gift and shaken my fist at Him and said, "You so-and-so, how dare you not give me my hundred dollars today!"  I haven't spoken those words, but it's my heart's attitude when I say, "Why, God?  This is not fair!"  How could I say that to God when He has given me so much...and all of it is His undeserved grace and mercy?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So the Police Showed Up...

There is something very unsettling about the police showing up at your door.  At night.  I heard a slight commotion outside last night, and Dixie started barking.  I realized that I was hearing the sound of a radio going back and forth in front of my house.  Then it sounded like it was at the side of my house.  I finally decided to peek through the blinds and check out where the noise was coming from. 

That's when I saw the policemen.  At my front steps.  That's highly unsettling, people.  Highly unsettling!

They were looking for a man in a dark or red shirt.  A neighbor had reported that a couple had been fighting, and someone was lying or was thrown onto the railroad tracks behind our home.  I didn't quite understand the scenario, but again... HIGHLY UNSETTLING.

I told them I didn't know anything was going on, so they continued to walk back and forth and investigating around the tracks.  They didn't find anything, so they left.

Maybe if I put things into a context, you will understand why the scenario creeps me out.  I mean, just the idea of someone lying on the tracks is creepy, but there is more to it than that.  The context is that our neighbor gives me the creeps.  I wouldn't be surprised if he was the one that they were looking for, who had been in the argument.  He argues fairly regularly at the top of his lungs with his various girlfriends, cursing them up and down, out in the yard in broad daylight.  The police have been out here to pay him a visit before over other issues.  Not such a friendly visit, mind you.  More of a slamming-him-up-against-the-garage kind of visit while they searched his house.

Have I mentioned that this is highly unsettling?!?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Got a Question?

Rich took me out to Red Lobster for dinner, and I'm still stuffed.  I did not have dessert, though.  That's not to say I never considered it.  I just couldn't manage to put one more thing into my stomach, and it's probably a better choice to fill up on shrimp than, say, a Chocolate Chip Lava Cookie.  {sighing}  So at this point I believe it's possible all blood flow has been directed toward my digestive organs and away from my brain. 

Because of the restricted blood flow, it is hard to focus on a topic today.  I have some thoughts bouncing around in my head, but nothing starts to flow out onto the page.

Maybe it's time to open up for questions to help generate some blog material.  Anybody have a question for me?  Anything?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Love This!

I had my first opportunity to hear Patsy Clairmont speak two years ago at a Women of Faith conference.  Before then, I had probably heard of her name, but I didn't know anything about her.  Except that she is funny.  Oh my, is she ever!

I had forgotten how much I love her until I clicked through a link on her blog the other day to view a video segment of one of the stories she had told at a conference.  She has a way of telling a story that grips you and then moves you both to tears and laughter.  I love to listen to her!

She tells an amazing story about God and the way He works.  It's another reminder of how personal God is in His relationship with us.  Please watch this because it is so worth it!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Running Progress Report

For those of you who have been following my running career escapades, I thought I'd bring you a little progress report.  This week I achieved another goal.  I have run two full laps around the park with one walking break.  That makes for 1.4 miles ran.  I did it not only once, but twice this week.  Isn't this exciting?

Oh, all you non-runners out there, you don't know what you're missing!  Believe me, I know your type.  You say the only reason you'll run is if you're running AWAY from something, like a bear...or if you're running TO something, like an ice cream truck.  I used to be one of you, but I've changed.

And if I can change, you can change.  Really.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


The Lord says we are to give thanks in all things, so here are the things I'm thankful for today...

*For the grace God gives me to handle the storms of life
*Trials that come to teach me to live by faith and not feelings
*A deeper prayer life because of the trials
*The way God uses what I learn in my trials to encourage others in theirs
*That God is sovereign, and I can cast my cares on Him

If you'd like to share your thankfulness, leave a comment.  You can also visit Sting My Heart and participate in Thankful Thursday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Cooked!


Did you know that peppers will cook if you leave them in your car all afternoon?  Yeah, I didn't either!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I don't know how trials seem to come to your life, but mine seem to come in threes.  At least it seems that way.  And often one trial has a way of crossing into another, so that they are intertwined with each other.  One problem affecting the other.

I'm there.  I've been there for weeks. 

I've been quiet, but that doesn't mean I have nothing to say.  There's so much going on in my heart, and God is teaching me so much about Himself and my relationship with Him.  One of these days I may let it spill out before you, but not today.  And if you want to talk about the reality of discovering Liz, I am truly discovering this new person I'm becoming.  That old Liz is being purged.  The transformation that has taken place inside of me is an amazing discovery.  I don't know how evident it is on the outside, but knowing where my heart used to be and comparing it to where I am today, trust me when I say the change is amazing.  God is amazing.

That's not to say I've got it all together.  I've sinned in my trials.  God has been gracious to show me the sin quickly, though, and I've dealt with it.  But even that is a gift.  For God to show me my sin and my seeing it immediately, that alone shows me that something is changing in me.

God is good.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hmmm... Now What?

It's about time for an update on the old blog, dontcha think? 

Let's start with my dog.  Dixie went to the vet yesterday because she's been limping on her right hind leg.  It got very pronounced over the weekend.  My poor baby!  The vet found no fractures, torn ligaments, or anything out of joint.  She is leaning toward it being arthritis but isn't sure yet.  We opted for trying the anti-inflammatory meds for two weeks and seeing if she improves. 

We've given her two doses of the meds since last night, and she took them very easily.  She thinks they're a treat and just chews them up.  I can't tell you how relieved I was that we don't have to try and knock that thing down her throat twice a day for two weeks.  Of course, we ran into a complication today.  The meds make her sick to her stomach.  She started vomiting.  Now we get to give her Pepcid AC for a few days to settle her stomach and then try the anti-inflammatory again on Monday with the Pepcid AC.  These are NOT the perks of pet ownership.

The other thing I need to tell you about is concerning my colonoscopy.  I'm not going to have it after all, and it has nothing to do with my stubbornness, just in case you might think that.  Yesterday we received a letter from the clinic that was going to be handling the procedure, and we learned that we are responsible to pay our deductible for the procedure.  Pay it UP FRONT on Thursday, which isn't possible at this time.  So that's it.

If you happen to be wondering, Now what, Liz?  Join the club.  I'm asking myself the same thing.  But God has been teaching me for the last two weeks about being more prayerful.  I don't want to worry.  I want to experience the peace and joy that comes from exercising my faith, by humbling myself and casting my cares on my Sovereign Lord, and watching to see how He works.  I believe He's giving me these opportunities so that I will draw near to Him and learn how to be dependent on Him for direction in the next step to take.  I don't know what it is, but He promises to lead me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Blog's Mission

blogmissionbutton I've been thinking a lot about my blog recently. I'm considering its purpose and what my goals have been for it and what they should be. As part of the Blog Mission Tour, I decided this would be a good opportunity to state it for myself and for those who might visit.

I chose my title Discovering Liz to reflect my Christian life and my journey of change. Second Corinthians 5:17 says that when Christ becomes our Savior, we become new creatures and leave our old ways behind. Discovering that new creature who I'm becoming surprises me all the time. The Lord has changed me in ways I didn't know I needed to be changed in... such as needing to become physically active, for example.

Not everything I write is about a spiritual lesson. Sometimes I just write what's on my mind, talk about books I've read, relay an interesting story, or I try to be funny. I also try to be real about who I am. I'm not perfect, and I am honest about my shortfalls and what needs to change. I hope that by journaling my own experiences, it might encourage someone else in their process of change.

I enjoy the blog community. I think we're all in search of people to identify with. I enjoy connecting with people who have similar values and experiences, particularly on a spiritual level, and who can laugh at the crazy things that make up our day-to-day lives. If you happen to find that here with me, I will feel as if my blog mission has been accomplished.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Much On My Mind

Hopefully, I will get back to my old self and post some upbeat stuff.  (I know you're dying to read more about deodorant and my nightly TV viewing.)  I have a lot on my plate right now, so to speak.  Things on my mind.  Enough to make it difficult to focus on an interesting topic.

My dog is experiencing lameness in her back leg, and she's limping a lot.  I'm taking her to the vet in the morning.  My husband happened to meet a Sheltie breeder yesterday, and he mentioned she's limping.  The breeder says not to worry because Shelties are known for that problem, and it will come and go.  I still can hardly stand to watch her pull her leg up and run around on three legs.  At least she's not whimpering.

I've also got that big appointment next Thursday.  You know the one.  Remember?  The colonoscopy?  I'm not really dreading the actual procedure anymore.  I'm now thinking about what they might find. 

Beyond that, I am going through a spiritual testing.  Not that either of those previous things I've mentioned aren't a spiritual test, but this one isn't about the physical.  It's entirely about spiritual warfare.  I spend much of my quiet time reading Psalm 27 and meditating on God's promises of His strength, protection, salvation and hope.  I want my mind to stay there, but it tends to wander.

And that's what's been on my mind...

Friday, July 11, 2008

An Evening of Quality Entertainment

alfRich was lamenting the fact that since we don't have cable we couldn't watch 2 hours of Alf on WGN tonight, and there really wasn't anything else to watch.  

Alf.  Now there's some quality 80's TV viewing I have missed.  Yeah, right.  But in an effort to make him happy, I remembered that has old TV episodes to watch on the internet, so I pulled up the web site and checked it out.  Sure enough, they have some of Alf.  We watched an episode, which is probably considered a classic, in which the family thinks Alf ate their cat Lucky while they were away.

Since that was only a 20-minute episode, we wanted to watch something else that would last a little longer.  We landed on a newer episode of Monk.  Man, do I love Monk!  Now THAT'S quality television.  Since we don't have cable, we were able to see a show we hadn't seen before, and that was very enjoyable.

If you haven't checked out Hulu yet, you might be missing out on something.  You, too, could be enjoying evenings of quality entertainment with your family.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's a Tropical Paradise in My Armpit

I do apologize to those who come here to read quality, heart-felt writing.  There will be none of that today, since I've spent the whole morning in bed with dizziness and drowsiness (the effect of taking Dramamine).  In my feeble attempt at remaining connected to my blog friends, what I give you is all that I've got for today.  Mind you, Dramamine has always had a strange effect on me, and I don't know that I can be held fully responsible for what I write under the influence of the aforementioned pharmaceutical.

The topic for today is deodorant.  I am a Secret Platinum girl, but I ran out yesterday and don't know when my next shopping trip is.  No worries, though, because I do keep a back-up in the medicine cabinet.  The back-up is one of those tried-it-once-and-it's-not-what-I-thought-it-would-be items. 

So after I peeled myself out of bed and took a shower at 11:00 to try and feel somewhat human, I remembered I was all out of my Secret Platinum and went and grabbed the back-up out of the cabinet.  The current back-up is Suave Invisible Solid in the scent of Tropical Paradise.  Who wouldn't want to feel as fresh as a tropical paradise? 

I must admit that I am a sucker for the name of a scent, and I always judge a book (or a deodorant in this instance) by the picture on the front.  This packaging shows a lovely golden sunset with a palm tree next to a beach house.  Anyone who wears this deodorant is going to feel just like they're on a vacation, for sure.

But let me just say that I don't know what sort of testing they do or standards they have set at Suave because maybe I don't know what the precise purpose for deodorant usage is.  I'm not sure that I am actually supposed to smell like a Tropical Paradise ALL. DAY. LONG.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't I just want to keep the stinky away?  It's been hours since I applied it, and every time I move my arm away from my body or raise my hand to get a plate from the cupboard... I'm smellin' the Tropical Paradise!  Trust me, there is such a thing as too much tropical, no matter how much I love coconut, pineapple, and the scent of an ocean breeze at sunset.

Now I remember why this stick became the back-up.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I'm Okay With That

Something odd happened today.  I was out to lunch with some friends, and when we were leaving, my stomach wasn't feeling so hot.  That's not the odd part.  That's been normal for months.  I'm leading up to the odd part.  Anyway, I told them that I wasn't feeling well and needed to get home.  One of them jokingly said, Why don't you get a colonoscopy.  To which I replied, I'm going to.  They looked at me with surprise and asked, Really?  I said, Yeah, I really am.  I made an appointment and everything."

Do you know what?  And this is this odd part.  I was O-K-A-Y with that.  I am okay with getting my colonoscopy.  I've discovered it's actually freeing to have an appointment and know that there is a date that it will be over with and we'll find out what might be going on in the dark recesses of my body.

Alright... one of you has been praying for me.  Which one of you was it?

Monday, July 07, 2008

I Made The Appointment

All I really wanted to do this morning was to get it over with.  So I hit the call button on my cell phone to dial the doctor's office and schedule my oh-so-very-dreaded colonoscopy appointment.  You'll notice I said the doctor's office and not my doctor's office.  That's because I'm still not claiming Doctor D. as my own doctor.  I'm pretty sure I don't like him.  Pretty sure.

Anyway, I called and got transferred to the correct department for scheduling such procedures, and the mental picture I had of how this whole thing was gonna go down was slowly knocked down piece by piece.  For whatever reason, it's the mental pictures that make the dreaded thing okay in my mind.  It's a way of psyching myself up to do it.  The reason I had a mental picture is because Rich has already been through this twice at Dr. D.'s office, so I pretty much knew what to expect.  Or so I thought....

Apparently things change.  The procedure will be done across the street at another clinic and not at the doctor's office, like Rich's was.  They used to do the procedure at the doctor's office because Dr. D. has several specialists that work for him, but that's not how they do it now.  That other office will call me later to confirm the appointment and give me the list of all the fun stuff I get to swallow for the pre-procedure.  As of right now, I am tentatively scheduled for July 24. 

After I hung up the phone I realized that going to another clinic to have the procedure done might be an issue.  See, if it's done at the doctor's office, all my insurance requires me to pay is a co-pay, as if it's an office visit.  That may not be the case if I go to the other clinic, and they'll charge me for the procedure.  So now I'm wondering how much this is going to cost.  We can afford a co-pay but not the normal cost of that procedure.

I didn't want to have to be concerned today with the where and how and how much of the thing.  All I wanted to do was make an appointment, try to forget about it until July 24th, and then just go get it over with.  Now it isn't so cut and dried.  Why is it that when I finally break down and try to make the appointment, I STILL don't feel settled?

Life is so complicated, isn't it?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Changing Churches?

I'm thinking about leaving the Baptists.  They eat too much.  I've gained two pounds from yesterday

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24 ESV)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Church Picnic


I had a good time at the picnic.  I arrived at 11:00 and didn't leave until 4:00.  For some reason, the people who attended were all older than me, with the exception of two younger couples.  As always I was glad my friend Kelli was there because she sat next to me at lunch.  I don't know where all our young families were today.

It was really quite fun because they put up a tent behind the church, and I don't recall that they've ever done that before.  Usually we just eat in our fellowship hall, and it's a little cramped if a lot of people show.  I enjoyed being outdoors for a change.  This was also the first year that we've had our back acreage cleared out with grass growing, and it looks beautiful.  The only thing we have set up yet is a ball diamond, and some of the boys were already putting it to good use.  Aside from the tent, I was impressed by the grill they used to cook the burgers and hot dogs.  Someone has a relative who grills commercially, and he loaned us his very large grill for the afternoon.  It was awesome!

Picnic Food As all good Baptists know, the church functions are not really about the fellowship.  Nope, not at all.  It's about THE FOOD.  And I'm not one to argue with a standard that has been set, so I think it's only the truly spiritual thing to do in partaking of the abundance that God provided in all of those wonderful casserole dishes and dessert plates.  My personal favorite, spiritual experience was in partaking of the deviled eggs.  Twice.

After lunch one of the ladies asked if I would like to play a game with her.  Now, I really didn't plan to play games when I went to the picnic.  I'm more of the persuasion of eating and talking and doing that repeatedly throughout my time there.  No one else was taking interest in her game, so I decided I would be friendly and play with her.  Her daughter and granddaughter came over to play, too.  The game was called Spinner, a wild dominoes game.  I got such a kick out of the wild dominoes description, so I kept repeating it to anyone who came over to ask what we were playing.  Once they explained the game to me and we went through about 3 rounds, I finally got the hang of it.  I totally got into it, too, and I was glad I chose to join the game.  And would you believe I won the whole shebang?  When her son found out I won, he couldn't believe it.  He says she's usually ruthless when it comes to Spinner.

Later on, a couple adults and all the kids broke out the water balloons, and I knew I was sitting a little too close to the action.  I got hit in the back twice, but not enough to be soaked.  That figures, though.  I somehow manage to get wet, even when I choose not to participate. 

A lot of people left about an hour after lunch, but I stayed and talked with one of the ladies, who doesn't know as many people, for quite some time.  I was able to get to know her a little better, and I like it when I leave a place and feel like I know someone better than I did before I got there.

I missed my family and friends who I would normally spend more time with at a social gathering, but I had a really good time visiting with other people who I don't know so well.  Such a fun day!

To Those Who Subscribe to My Feed:

This post is going out to those who subscribe to my feed, particularly in Google Reader.  The other day I changed my feed to only publish partially in the reader.  The problem is that Blogger doesn't seem to give that indication because it doesn't use ellipses.  If you didn't know it was a partial feed, you may not know you've missed about 3/4 of my last two posts because they ended with periods.  I don't know how the posts look in other readers.  I'll switch publishing format back to complete posts, and that way I'll be sure everyone is reading entire posts.  Sorry for any confusion.

Finding the Perfect Gift

I'll be heading over to church pretty soon because we're having a picnic fellowship on the grounds.  I am going solo, though, because Rich is working again.  Church is like family, so it doesn't matter really.  My folks are getting back in town this morning just for the picnic, so we'll be together. 

Yesterday was my dad's birthday, and I'm looking forward to giving him his birthday present.  Shopping for Dad is a toughy every year because I never know what to get for him.  He loves books, but since he's a pastor, he picks up any of the books he's interested in on his own.  I run the risk of buying him a book he already has, so I steer clear of the books.  A gift card would be fine, but whenever I go that route I feel like I didn't put any thought into the gift. 

This year, though, things are different.  I actually got an idea for his gift two months ago and wrote it down on a piece of paper so as not to forget, and Rich went and picked it up the other day for me.  I hope Dad gets much enjoyment from it.  I think I picked a winner.

Friday, July 04, 2008

It's the 4th of July but...

It hasn't been the most thrilling holiday a girl can have around here.  Right now I'm sitting on my front porch alone.  Seems like I should be out with friends or family, fishing or playing or doing pretty much anything else.  But I'm blogging. 

Yes, I got to sleep in and take a paid day off from work, but still....  Rich has to work 10 - 6 today, so I'm home alone.  Unless you count the cats and the dog, and I don't think we should.

I went for a run this morning, but let's not talk about it.  It was hard, and that's all I'm sayin'.  Then I tried to do that bike thing, ya know, the physical activity I've had a craving for?  But we're not gonna talk about that either because...well...I only rode half a mile and my knees already hurt.  So I'm not talking about it.

I treated myself to Taco Bell for lunch.  I had a craving for a burrito supreme, so I went with it.  (Pretty much knocks out the running, huh?)  I even ordered a Diet Pepsi just for kicks.  That probably sounds ridiculous to you, but I only drink pop about once every 3 months or so because I think it upsets my stomach.  Yep, I'm livin it up Liz-style!

Anyhoooo...Dixie Groomed

Then I came out here on my enclosed front porch because it's a comfortable temperature, and there's a nice breeze coming through.  I decided this would be a good place to groom the dog, which is an event all in itself.  Grooming is one of those things that Dixie has a love-hate relationship with.  She loves it when I say the word "brush".  She gets a gleam in her eye, her ears perk up, and her tail starts to waggin' while following me to where we keep the brush and the grooming spray.  Then she spends the next half hour running away from me when I try to brush her with the brush.  If anyone can explain a Sheltie to me, have at it.

I bought meat to grill tonight, and I had every intention of grilling before today.  Now I'm sensing more of a need to just get out and do something, so I can get a holiday feeling.  Why am I so much about the feelings?  I think my husband still owes me a dinner from a week ago that we never had.

I guess I'm going to try and read a book now.  Those library books are due in a few days, and I've hardly touched them.  And if you're a regular around here and know about my whole library books can STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES AT ME NOW.

Have a nice holiday.  Hope your weather is as gorgeous as it is in Indiana.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I Do Not Run Aimlessly

A week ago a friend gave me her old bike because I had mentioned I was interested in getting one.  She's getting ready to move and is trying to downsize.  So my other good friends decided that since I had a bike to ride, they would take me with them to a local state park to ride the trail and go fishing afterward.  Pretty relaxing, you think?  Well...not entirely.  Do you know how long it's been since I've ridden a bike?  I'm guessing it has been 20 years.  Granted, I feel like I'm fit enough, as fit as a girl can be who can run .7 mileThank you very much.  But running and biking use different muscles.  Muscles I haven't used in 20 years.

As we got ready to start the bike ride, I was told that the trail was 3.3 miles, and we would have to ride to the end and back.  They were just saving that little tidbit of information until it was absolutely necessary to inform me.  That means I would be riding a total of 6.6 miles.  I was thinking, Uh yeah...I'm game!?!  The ride was grueling!  There were lots of hills and some steep ones, at that.  There were moments I thought I would die because of the searing pain in my knees and quads, but I just kept going.

When I woke up the next morning, I felt like I was sick.  My body ached, my head was cloudy, and I was so tired.  But it was Sunday, and there surely is no rest for the weary when you're in ministry.  I was finally functioning by the time I got to Sunday school, so I was glad of that.

Despite the discomfort of the challenge, I found myself wanting to ride my bike again.  I kept thinking about when the next time might be when I could do that.  That puzzled me.  Why wouldn't I dread it?  It was hard!  As I was out for my run on Monday, though, the thought came to me.  I like being physical.  I enjoy pushing my body hard, exerting energy, and striving for a goal to see just how far I can reach.  It brings me a satisfaction I don't get from other things in my life.  Suddenly, everything clicked in my mind, and I understood why I like playing tennis, golfing, biking and running.  It's because God made us to be physically active people.  He gave us muscles that we might be bodies in motion.  He puts it within us to do the grueling thing that we might learn to be disciplined.  Of course I find satisfaction in being physical.  I'm using my body the way God intended it to be used.

This is the last thing I ever thought would come out of my mouth.  I have always hated exercise.  That's why it confounded me when I started to crave going out to run.  I learned to be disciplined in my running, hoping that it would flow over into my spiritual life.  So I kept working at it.  Today I guess I feel like it's come full circle.  The spiritual is now effecting the physical.  I finally see God's purpose in the physical, and I believe they work hand in hand.

If you're not a physically active person, find a friend to help you get there.  It doesn't have to be like gym class when they made you do what the teacher planned and then gave you a grade.  Pick an activity that you're curious about or that you've always wanted to try.  Ask a friend to teach you how to play, or just ask them to take a walk with you.  That's where it started for me, and I can testify that a pushy friend is even better at helping you do the hard thing.  Just get out there, and do something.  You just might love it after all.

1 Corinthians 9:25-27a

25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control....

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Something just hit me like a ton of bricks a minute ago.  Everybody is traveling.  Everybody but me, that is.

I'm not just talking about the holiday weekend.  I'm talking about vacations, weddings, conferences and quick trips to see family.  And when one trip is done another one begins the next weekend.  It's all over the blog community.  It's all that people have written about in the last two weeks. 

I never go anywhere.  Never.  The last time I went out of town was for a funeral, and it was just a one day trip.  I really don't think that counts.  Before that, Rich and I took an overnight getaway to Grand Rapids, and it was so long ago I can't even remember how long ago it was.  Three years?  And we don't even have kids.

There's various reasons we stay home.  First there's the car.  Very unreliable, or maybe it's more like we're not sure what it would do if we took it out on the open highway.  I mean, it gets me to work and around town, but it's got some issues. 

The second reason is church ministry.  It's hard to get away when I'm both church secretary AND church pianist.  If I'm not there, the choir doesn't get to rehearse.  So they lose one Sunday of singing because they wouldn't have accompaniment, and lose the following Sunday because they didn't get to rehearse on the Sunday I missed.  It's quite a tricky situation when I'm the only one who plays piano.

The third reason is money.  Obviously, everyone is feeling the budget crunch these days.  Yet all of you are traveling in spite of it.  How do you do that?

I can't but help feel a twinge of jealousy toward all you travelers.  Everyone seems to have somewhere to go.  But not me. I just keep going to work and then come home and do all the same old stuff.  Over and over again. 

I want a vacation, too!  (I really needed to get that off my chest.)