Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Waiting Game

John Dawson, president of YWAM spoke at our church a few weekends ago and he talked about promises that the Lord gives and how sometimes after the promise is given, there is a waiting period before the word comes to pass. John said that often when the wait is long, it is because the fruit from that promise is going to be great. Some examples would be the promise given to Abraham about a son being born, and how long he and Sarah waited for Isaac to be born. Another example would be the dreams that Joseph had and how long it took for those dreams to come to pass.

John also said that in the time between the promise given and promise fulfilled the Lord often takes us through the refiner's fire and allows stuff to be refined out of you.

It is interesting to me how at times the heat of that fire seems to be turned up and other times it seems that you have been all but fogotten. I think of Joseph and how he could have responded to the things that happened to him during those years in between, or how Abraham DID respond....right now I am in the midst of waiting for several promises of the Lord to come to pass....and in the middle of a season where the waiting feels really hard. And, I know the response I am giving is directly related to my trust in the Lord. If I trust, like Joseph in prison I wait. If I don't trust, I try to take things into my own hands and do it my way, like Abraham.

I am struggling with the wait, not to be hopeless about the promise or disappointed in the process. What this really boils down to is this, what is my relationship with the Lord like? Am I solid enough to patiently wait, or is it really a shaky thing that crumbles at the sight of struggle.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Some photos from this last summer

My friend JJ and I wine tasting in Lake Chelan

Dessert with a bunch of friends this summer

My roommate Lora and I at a Karaoke bar!

More friends and I at an event called "Love Tacoma." These events are designed to connect those who work and live in downtown Tacoma.

Roommates Lora and Kristie and I at a BBQ at my house this summer.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oh yeah!

I almost forgot.....roommate Julie got engaged a few weeks ago and so I will be in yet another wedding. I have a few pictures from dress trying-on that I will load and a bunch from this summer and fall that I need to add too. It looks like Julie and Tim will be getting married in March and the bridesmaid dresses are still being decided upon.

For those of you wondering, the wedding I was supposed to be in about a year ago never happened. The bride and groom not only called the wedding off, they are no longer even dating. It is actually, in my opinion, a good thing. I had felt like they were rushing into things, even told the bride, but felt at peace about letting the Lord do His work, and whaddaya know....He did. Still not 100% sure what the whole story is about how it happened, but there ya have it.

Kyle and Becky (brother and sister-in-law are preggers). She is due in May and they are very excited, as are my parents. They are not yet sure what they are having, but I am going to be an aunt!

And, finally, I have a gal staying with me this week named Rosy. She is from Switzerland and it has been grand to have her with us. She leads a snowboarders Discipleship Training School in Switzerland and I am thinking.....this winter??? A trip to Switzerland to go skiing in the Alps followed by a trip up to Germany to visit my friend Michelle who lives there now? What a fun adventure that would be! I would have to save my money (see post below) but wouldn't that be fun? One of the things on my life-list is to ski in the Alps, and here is my opportunity. All I would need would be a plane ticket and spending money as I could stay with Rosy. Hmm....I am just sayin'!

It's a Record

Wow, two posts in a must be record or something!

Anyway, thank you to all who either responded via commenting on the blog, via email, or even via Facebook regarding my marathon dilemma...and the dilemma is no longer a dilemma.....dun, dun, dun....I AM going to train for a marathon. In fact, the training has already started. I think I mentioned in my last blog entry that they recommend if you are not a strong runner (i.e. you don't already run longer distances) that you take as much as a year to train. This helps eliminate injury, eases you into the longer distances and just generally makes the process go smoother. So, the particular training schedule I am on takes 19 weeks to build you up to running 10 miles, then you plateau there for a while until 19 weeks before the marathon when you start building up to about 20-22 miles.

I am already learning a lot from the training even this early on. My friend Kristie, who ran the Chicago marathon says that physically, once you are up to running those higher distances, running the marathon is not that much harder on your body. But, she says that it is a huge mental challenge. And, I am seeing that even at short distances like 4 miles (side note: I can hardly believe that I am saying 4 miles is a "short" distance!). What I have noticed already is my huge tendency to want to either a. quit/stop or b. want to run the marathon, but not want to put in the work.

I have always said that Americans live in a "fast food" society: we want it all, we want it fast and we do not want to work at it. Several examples come to mind: we want to lose weight, but we want to be able to eat what we want and not have to work at self-discipline and control. We want to be out of debt, but we are not willing to put the work into cutting back expenses or not using our credit cards. We want a good job, but we are not willing to work our way up the ladder, or put the effort into going to school to get that job (or in some cases, we want to win the Lottery and not have to work at all!). We want to go on great vacations, but we charge it to our credit cards instead of saving up.

We want all of these things and yet are for the most part not willing to do our part to get them. Now, you would think that all of the discipline that I learned from losing those 50 pounds (and keeping them off for the last year and a half) would have prepared me for using that same discipline when it comes to running. Alas, this is not the case. And, maybe it is easier (I have had a lot of people tell me when I tell them about the marathon that "they could never do that.") for me than others. I do seem to have a bit more determination in me than the average person. But, that propensity to want something while not having to work at it still nips at my ankles almost ever time I run.

What I am realizing is that the first mile is always the hardest (why is that???). Once I push through those thoughts of quitting or stopping and get past that first mile, things seem to get a bit easier. However, even throughout the rest of my running, there are still moments when I hear the "just walk" phrase run through my head. In those moments, I am almost always not THAT tired. And, in fact, during the run I did last night I determined NOT to listen, and just keep going and I ended up being just fine and not at all unable to finish. In fact, I probably could have kept going for quite a while longer and been fine.

So, I can see what Kristie and others meant by how much of running can be a mental thing. It really is. I know I have thought that it is only a physical far can your muscles and bones take you. But, I see that there is a very big part of training that involves your mind and your will.

This will be an interesting journey!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Not trying to be a slacker.....I promise

OK, I know it has been like three months since I last posted, but every time I have thought about logging on to post, I have just not had time. Plus, in all honesty, life is not really that much different than it was a few months ago. In some ways life is always changing and I am always growing and learning new things, but in other ways, life seems to look a lot the same!

I had storm doors put on the front and back doors this fall. I had only had screen doors, which were great in the summer but never really did much in the winter. The doors I had added have internal screens in them, so in the summer they double as screen doors and in the winter help keep the heat in the house. My back door is pretty new and did not leak before the storm door was added, but the front door was terrible. There is already a noticeable improvement in the lack of draft from the front door.

Here is what they look like:

The garden around the house is looking cleaned up for the fall. I used to just burn out by the middle of the summer and then starting in March go through this frenzy of weeding. This year, I did a lot less gardening and so I have not felt as burned out. So, I have been actually doing a little bit of weeding this fall. I am hoping that this will equal NOT having to do as much this Spring. I have a spot in the back that is almost full shade that I am dreaming about what to do with starting this spring. Anyone with ideas for some nice shade-loving perennials??

I am hosting Thanksgiving at my place this year. I did this for the first time three years ago, and I had a blast doing it. It is hard work, and not something I would want to do every year at this point, but I am looking forward to trying my hand at it again this year. It is fun to be at my place and use some of the fun china and dishes that I normally don't use. Otherwise they just sit there and it feels like why should I even have them if I don't use them.

My friend Kristy just got back from running the Chicago Marathon and we had breakfast a few weekends ago and it got me thinking.....could I do something like this? Then, I read somewhere that Katie Holmes (nice pop-culture reference there) ran a marathon, and I remember that Oprah did one once too. And, I remembered that running one is on my life list of things to do...and so I have been thinking about doing one. Now, keep in mind that I have never run more than about 3 miles at a shot before! However, the one Kristy is thinking about doing next is in October in Dublin Ireland, and that just excites me. I know I would not be fast, but the challenge of doing one is starting to grow on me.

So, I looked up marathon training schedules and it looks like there are a few 4-month schedules and a few 5-month schedules. However, they both have you starting off running 4 or more miles...which I have never done. So, last night, I decided to go out and see.....and, I ran 4 miles! I am super-duper sore today, but I did it! So, I am seriously thinking about doing it. I figure, if I am really slow, and only run 5 miles per hour, I could still finish in between 5 and 6 hours. Slow, but it would be a finish. Kristy, and the websites I looked at all say the same thing: once you start running over 10 miles, most of the training is mental.....finishing is more a mental thing than a physical thing. So, we'll see. I really have until May (five months before the actual marathon and the beginning of a training schedule) to decide. So, I am going to start working up to see how far I can really go.....

My job is still going well. And, I feel like I am learning more and more how to have balance of things in my life. This has been SO important lately because more and more leadership is being given to me with things. Our singles ministry, which I am on the leadership team for, had a retreat and I got to speak at the retreat one morning. It is so fun. I am loving our ministry and all that goes along with it. I have even started a small group of gals off-shooting from the ministry. It has been so important to have this ministry, which is primarily focused on fellowship together because of how busy I have been with other things. I have had every area of my life stretched and pulled and more and more weight put on my shoulders and it has been such a relief to have an outlet for some fun time.

We have as a group done a bunch of fun stuff like, Mariners game, swing dancing, costume party etc. It has been nice to have a social life!

Well, that's all I can think of for now. I pray your life is well, and I will TRY to update more!