Health, Life, Thoughts

Run, Running, Runner

I didn’t realize it, but as of three days ago, I’d officially hit three months as a “runner.” I put it in quotation marks because I don’t feel like a true runner: there are days when I literally can’t run more than 5 minutes because my calves are sore. My pace is an 11.5 min mile, and I’m still not able to run an entire 5K. I haven’t lost any weight, which is one of the main reasons I started running.

But I can run a full mile without getting very winded and in 11.5 minutes! Aches and pains that bothered me when I first started are gone. I can run two miles straight!

It amazes me what can change in three months: muscles and mindsets. Things that seemed impossible have been accomplished. Disciplines have changed.

Imagine what else can be accomplished in three short months.

Just a thought.

Life, Spiritual Walk, Thoughts

Patiently Waiting

I recently ran out of pages in my prayer journal and started a new one (the crisp spine and feel of the leather cover is heaven). Before I packed away my journal, I decided to spend some time reading over promises and prayer requests that I have recorded since I began in 2016. In doing this, I discovered I’ve been praying for the exact same thing for two and a half years.

For some requests, that’s not a lot of time, but this specific request is not hard. In fact, if I decided to do it myself, I could have it done in less than a month.But that’s not what God has called me to.

Time after time, God has called me to wait on His timing. It’s hard. I want things taken care of immediately. But over and over, God has shown me His unsurpassed love and perfect timing. Many times I’ve looked back on a sequence of events and said, oh, okay, I get it now.

Today, once again, I turn over full control and resolve to wait patiently.

Just a thought.

Life, Spiritual Walk, Thoughts

Let Your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’

This week I had a young woman–who I’ve had a few lovely spiritual conversations with–say hi and hug me in passing. As she left she said, “If you have free-time, we should hang out this week.” I quickly agreed, then spent four days not thinking about my hastily said yes.

The spirit challenged me this week that when I say ‘yes’ I need to be a person of follow-through. There are so many in our lives who let us down with empty promises. May I be a person of my word–especially when dealing with people who may look to me as the example. I need to show what it means to mean what I say and stick to my words.

May we be people who “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t'” (Matthew 5:37- NLT) and stick to it.

Just a thought.

Life, Thoughts

Lies We Learn

This week I’ve spent a lot of time with 7 & 8 year old children learning about music and playing a simplified version of a brass instrument. During these hours, I’ve felt the frustration creeping over me as children rufuse to play, complain about being tired (at 10am), or complain that they don’t understand and don’t want to try anymore.

This time has made me consider some of the lies I realize I believed about myself becasue of things adults or teachers said to me in moments of frustration.

“You still don’t understand this?”

I’m stupid.

“You’re crying again?”

I’m overly emotional.

“You should do something else.”

I’m worthless.

I pray that God shows me how to be a force of encouragement and love in the life of a child, so that no matter what lies they learn about themselves from the adults and peers they encounter, they have one memory of someone who said they are worth everything in His eyes.

Just a thought.

Rachael-2

 

Spiritual Walk

Shopping for Community

On Facebook I follow the page for the Transforming Center, founded by Ruth Haley Barton. I was scrolling through my feed on a break in my day and came across this quote that was posted:

“We Protestant Christians…shop for community the way we shop for a new house or a new car, and ‘picking a community and staying with it’ goes completely against our consumer mindset.” – Ruth Haley Barton

There have been a few times in life when I thought:

It would be so much easier if I was just over there.

That church actually invests in their young adult couples.

I would be fed every Sunday if I went there.

Today I’m challenged not look at my church and see the things that are wrong. Today I’m challenged to ask myself”

What can I do to invest in my church and in my community? How can I be fed and satisfied where I am with the people I’ve been placed with?

A thought for today.

Rachael-2

 

 

 

Books/Entertainment, Life

The Tale of A Good Book

This past weekend, I got lost in a good book. And it was like coming home to a long-lost friend.

The past 4-5 months prior to this weekend, I hadn’t so much as touched anything but my Bible. Now, reading that is always a noble pursuit, but I used to love getting lost in a book. I can still remember the hours as a pre-teen and teen when I would lay in my bed and devour a whole series in as little time as a few days. I remember countless nights where I would stay up until 2 or 3am, hiding out in the bathroom or under the covers, trying to just finish one more chapter. I wouldn’t be able to keep my eyes open for one more second, but I would push my way through just to find out what would happen next.

It was those nights, those stories, that inspired me to be a writer, get my degree in creative writing, and put the dream of writing my own book in my heart.

Continue reading “The Tale of A Good Book”

Books/Entertainment, Spiritual Walk

Book Review: Draw the Circle

For the past few months, I’ve been including Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson in my daily devotions. It is a must-read for anyone who has a dream, a request, or a concern that they want to bring before the Lord. It taught me some valuable insight and provided challenges that made me think, and prayer, differently than I had before.

I started in 2017 with a “read through the Bible” plan on Bible.com called the Solid Life “Whole Bible” Reading Plan. I start off my devotional time with reading and recording in my prayer journal any verses that stand out or speak to me. After that, I would read one of the prayer challenges, then journal on the topic and listen to what God had to say about it. It’s become a very big part of my prayer life to not only bring my concerns to God, but to literally ask God what He has to say to me. It’s at that time, when I’ve been fully concentrating on God, that I allow myself to just listen and write down anything I’m feeling. I’ll admit, He hasn’t answered every one of my questions, but I’ve received true insight during those times and I thank Him for the promises he has given me.

Draw the Circle made listening to God a daily task, and while I cannot say that I am confident that everything I write down in my prayer journal is truly from Him, I’ve been learning how to discern. Day 1, page one started off with a bang: “And when you pray to God regularly, irregular things happen on a regular basis.”

Continue reading “Book Review: Draw the Circle”

Life, Spiritual Walk

The Start of 2018

It’s a simple question: why am I writing about 2018 when it’s not even January anymore, but February? Why have I taken two full months off from writing this blog?

Honestly, these past two months have been a struggle, and I’ve felt like I didn’t have any sort of calling or purpose to work towards.

Every day I go to work and struggle with purpose. Yes, I can see the good that my job does, but is this where I’ve landed? Is this what I’m meant to do?

When I get home, I’m exhausted. I don’t have the mental energy to do anything, to write, to read, to pray. My relationship with God in November was on track and flourishing, and then I didn’t have the capacity to pick up my Bible and focus on His word.

What happened?

Continue reading “The Start of 2018”

Health, Life

Why I’m Eating a Vegan Diet

For the past year, I’ve been working on losing the 25lbs I put on after my wedding. Yes, you read that right: 25lbs on my already chubby frame. On January 1, 2017, I was the heaviest I have ever been in my life. I liked to fake affection and refer to it as my “happy weight”: I married the guy I’ve had a crush on since I was 5, we both have good, stable jobs, and we’re saving for a house. It’s easy to joke and talk about how happy we are, but when I’m truly honest, I know it wasn’t happiness that started my downward spiral.

A month after our wedding in 2015, my husband and I were visiting London for an international congress that our church organization was hosting. There were members from all over the world, and it was truly an amazing time of sight-seeing, meeting fellow believers from around the world, and experiencing the meetings.

After my husband left London to go back to our home in Brooklyn and his job, I was headed to a friend’s wedding in Northern Ireland. I was sitting in a hotel room the day before my flight when my husband texted me.

Continue reading “Why I’m Eating a Vegan Diet”

Life, Spiritual Walk

How to Find a Mentor

It was October 2016 and I was preparing for a conference that my department was hosting that month. My coworker and I were talking about last-minute details, specifically an area I was in charge of in the main hall with programs and resources for the delegates provided from our department and the main speakers of the event.

“One of the speakers wants to share a few resources. Could you print them and make sure they are available to everyone?”

Of course I said yes, so I proceeded to print out 400 copies each. And when I saw what the first resource said, I was irritated.

The speaker was discussing mentorship, and I still didn’t know what to do about a spiritual mentor in my own life.

Continue reading “How to Find a Mentor”