Now

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Right now.

I’m excited and nervous and ready to be there.

But I’m here. Now.

I will run my first Spartan Race tomorrow morning so I’m full of anticipation.

The best thing I can do now is to be all here right now and enjoy it.

Take it in. The excitement and the anticipation of the race. The wondering if I’m prepared. The uneasiness in my stomach. All of it.

That’s all we can do with now. Be here. Be in it and all in it.

I can’t be there yet so I will be fully present here now.

But how many times do I let now pass me by….waiting for tonight or tomorrow or next year….or even worse regretting yesterday or last week or 5 years ago.

And I miss it. The moment.

Now.

It’s gone.

We all have now. Right now. And all of the nows together will make our lives. And each one of them is unique….there’s not another one like it.

The average life will have over 2,200,000,000 of those. That seems plenty until you’ve already experienced over half of them.

I don’t want to miss them.

I’m going to treasure all the moments I get…….every now I can.

The ones when one of my children makes me laugh. The ones I get when driving to work and a favorite song comes on. A beautiful sunrise, a great cup of coffee, a vivid dream.

The ones when I’ve learned or tried something new. The ones when I find out I can do more than I thought I could.

The sweet ones when my husband pulls me tight and hugs me longer.

The late night talks with my children, the early morning ones too. The talk with the neighbor because we were working in our yards at the same time.

The ones when I understand something or find something I thought was lost.

The victorious one when I cross the finish line tomorrow will be a very special moment but the drive to the hotel tonight will have some good ones too.

But right now…….

I’m going to savor the “I can hardly wait” feeling.

 

“So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 ESV

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge Rare.

 

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Fun

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My youngest daughter drew this cute and playful unicorn one afternoon on our driveway with her sidewalk chalk. Her artwork lasted several days before an afternoon rain washed it away.

But what fun it was for those few days to see the brightly colored unicorn galloping across the driveway each evening when I came home from work.

 

 

 

In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge Fun!.

Maybe

Maybe isn’t meant to be long-term. It’s a temporary place. You can hang out there for a little while, play around with the possibilities, wonder about the what ifs……..but then you have to decide and move on.

Maybe can be a time of rest and figuring out and gathering your thoughts but maybe won’t make things happen.

Sometimes maybe is necessary and can be a good thing. But if you stay there too long it weighs you down and takes up precious brain space.

Maybe you find yourself there……in a dreary place of maybe. image

The only way to get out is to make up your mind. Yes or no. Make a decision and follow through.

Less than an hour ago I made a decision. I stepped out of the tentativeness of maybe and into the boldness of decision. Either way, a yes or no gives a clearer view. It’s not about whether it was a yes or a no.

It’s about NOT staying in the maybe zone. Maybe will keep you stuck and makes you forget your dreams. Maybe is in between…..neither here nor there. It’s full of hesitation and drained of confidence.

Now that I’ve made my decision I am more focused and I know what I have to do.

Are you stuck? Need to make some decisions?

I dare you to make a decision within two days. Gather the information you need, figure it out, then decide.

Because what you decide matters. You being unstuck matters.

Live like it matters.

 

 

Look

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“I don’t think people care about the sunsets as much as we do.”

That’s what my youngest daughter said to me last night.

I remember thinking something similar when I was a young girl. I was fascinated with whatever I saw when I looked up at the sky and I wondered why no one else talked about it. Couldn’t they see? The colors the sun painted the sky when it filtered through the clouds in the evenings. Or the bright full moon on a winter’s night. Didn’t they notice the way the clouds gathered angrily before a thunderstorm?

And the stars and rainbows and the way lightning streaked across the sky sometimes when there was no storm at all.

I hope I always look up at the sky……..in wonder……..of the One who made it all.image

But when I am walking around in the world unaware of the beauty around me I pray that it gets my attention or even better…..that someone around me says, “Look”.

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In response to the Daily Post’s Paint.

Train

In three weeks I’ll do something I’ve never done before. I will run my first Spartan Race. Six months ago I didn’t even know about a Spartan Race. All I know now is that my race is called a Sprint and that it’s a 3 to 5 mile obstacle race. Not only will I be running but I’ll be overcoming some crazy obstacles. We won’t know the obstacles until we run into them.

imageI’ve trained for the last two months with a group of women called Spartan Chicks, a small group formed at my church. A few of the women have run a Spartan Race but the majority of us have never done anything like it.

I’m excited because I’ve dedicated myself to the training and I feel prepared. I’m nervous because it’s new and there are a lot of unknowns.

I won’t bore you with all the “what ifs” in my head, but as nervous as the unknowns make me, the things I do know give me confidence I will finish the race well.

First, I have a team of women that have worked together, pushed one another to be better, and lifted each other. We’ve lifted each other not only with encouraging words but literally lifted each other up, helping each other conquer obstacles and fears. We’ll cheer each other on and help each other during the race if needed.

Second, I have prepared for the race. This is going to be hard. Really hard. But I’ve done things that I never thought I could do. My mind knows my body can do this. When it hurts I’ll remind myself of that. When I think I can’t go another step, I’ll remember the feeling of crossing the finish line of my first 5K. For so long I believed I couldn’t run but then I started to run. I found out I could run…..I just needed to train. I’ve trained for this and I can do this race.

I’ve made a decision to continue training………for something……..all the time. After the Spartan I plan to train for a 10K that I’ll run with my niece in the fall. Having a goal helps keep me motivated to eat “good for me” foods and exercise consistently.

I don’t stay fit to look a certain way or so that I can wear a particular dress size. I want to be as healthy as I can be because God gave me this one body and I want to care for it. I should care for it. I want to honor him with my life….my body and health included. That doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy a cinnamon crunch scone or eat a plateful of fettuccine Alfredo on occasion. Just in moderation.

I urge you to think about ways you can train for better health. Make one change…….keep at it until it becomes a healthy habit, then make another change. The point is for you to take better care of the one body you’ve been given. We can all make a healthy change. Get informed and find out what works for you. There is no perfect weight or size so don’t measure your progress with a scale. Measure it by how you feel.

Because your health matters.

Live like it matters.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.   1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

 

 

 

Salty

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV)

I don’t make the most of every opportunity. In fact I believe opportunities fly past me as I rush from place to place.

Jesus made the most of every opportunity. He noticed.

Everything.

Jesus would never avoid going down the cereal aisle when he saw your daughter’s friend’s mom coming from the other end.

Instead, Jesus would smile at her as he walked toward her. He would ask her how she was doing. Then Jesus would listen as he looked into her eyes. And he would be genuinely interested in what she was saying. Your daughter’s friend’s mom would leave knowing that she mattered. She would be so uplifted by that short but real conversation that she would go home and do the same for her family.

Then maybe her husband would do the same for his hurting co-worker the next day. And her teen aged daughter might reach out to a lonely classmate.

One conversation with Jesus can change everything.

What if I do the same? What if I take the time to notice? What would happen if I slowed down enough to see those around me. Not just see, but notice. Speak. Listen. Love.

It starts there. With the opportunities. At home. In the grocery store. At the salon. In your neighbor’s yard. At work or church.

imageBe salty. Not in the bitter, aggressive, sassy kind of way.

But in the way that brings out the best in others…..”seasoned with salt” as the verse says.

Someone needs you to see them.

Someone needs you to smile and say hello.

Someone needs you to listen.

Be salty and live like it matters.

 

Memory

I’ve been sorting through moments. The kind caught with a camera. And we all know what happens when you sort through photographs. You look. And you remember. Memories flood your heart and mind and you keep looking through the photos and you keep remembering and you smile and laugh and want others to look at them with you.

Then there are the photos that you’ve never seen before of people you loved and that loved you. You see these moments and you wonder and you learn something about them.

Another feeling comes when you look, really look, at these moments gone long ago. It’s a strange strong feeling. And it’s a new one to me. It has some yearning in it, mixed with a little sadness and some happiness, restlessness too.

But it’s good to remember because as Frederick Beuchner wrote, “…even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead.”

 

My favorite photos are the ones I’ve never seen. The photos of people and places and happenings before I was born.image

Like this school picture of my dad from 1956. He was 14. His dad died when he was 14. I don’t know if this picture was taken before of after his father died.

Or this picture of my mom with two of her sisters. She is the tallest one. Mom had two brothers and five sisters. She was the baby of her family and she was a daddy’s girl.

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Or this one of Mom and Dad on a beach somewhere. I never knew Mom wore a bikini but Dad always wore a hat.

They’d lived a lot of life before I was here. They had the same experiences common to all of us. Joy and pain. Sorrow and regret. Infatuation and rejection. Hope and despair. Friendship and betrayal. Fear and love and faith.

And then I became part of their story. And they lived more life and we had more joy and pain. Sorrow and regret and fear. And faith, hope and love.

And now they are part of my story.

“Memory is more than a looking back to a time that is no longer; it is a looking out into another kind of time altogether where everything that ever was continues not just to be, but to grow and change with the life that is in it still. The people we loved. The people who loved us. The people who, for good or ill, taught us things”.    Frederick Buechner

 

A Discover Challenge post:The Things We Leave Behind.