The Same Spirit

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While listening to a song the other day, it said, “I’ve got angels over my head.” This made me think: Yes, I really do, and I have the same Holy Spirit as the disciples and Jesus. So why do I have days filled with stress or feeling defeated? For me, I forget. I forget that I am a child of the King. I forget that this life is temporary and that I have 24/7 access to the Creator of the world. I forget that He wants me to come to Him and bring Him my thoughts, emotions, and worries. I forget that He wants to give me peace, joy, and love.


I forget that this life is temporary and that I have 24/7 access to the Creator of the world.


These last couple of weeks, I have been more intentional with my prayers. I’ve spent time telling God all my yuck and He keeps replacing it with good. I’ve been telling Him of individuals who are suffering right now with heartbreak due to sickness, disease and just being lied to. As I try and intercede for these and reach out to them with a text, dinner, or a phone call, my spirit is recharged and growing stronger and stronger. When we put others before ourselves and Christ before all, the same Holy Spirit grows even stronger. This encourages me more and more to become more sensitive to His promptings.


The world doesn’t want us to know who we belong to.


It is a daily thing to remember. We carry the same Spirit as Jesus. The world doesn’t want us to know who we belong to. God’s economy always blows me away. Everything is backward or upside down. Less of me is actually more like me than I ever could imagine. Less of me is when the Holy Spirit is allowed to use me more. I’m thankful for the persistent pursuit of the Holy Spirit. It changes me and keeps changing me for His good.

My Goal Race

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Most of my life, I have dreamed a little bigger than my reality, usually resulting in disappointment and heartbreak. About 16 months ago, after not having run even a mile in 20 years, I discovered that I loved trail running. It didn’t come easily to me. I was slow. But, I loved it. It brought me peace, it connected me in a deeper way to God, and it challenged me. I love a challenge!

After adding a few miles here and there to my runs, I decided that I really wanted to run an Ultra (50k or more). I really don’t know why. I always told myself that I couldn’t run and that I didn’t like running. For whatever reason, the challenge of being on a mountain trail for so many miles and the opportunity to push myself physically while out in nature greatly appealed to me. So, I found a race that I wanted to do and that became my goal. Training for it was not easy. Six kids, homeschooling, a husband and a part-time job made it pretty difficult to squeeze in long runs. Hubby and the kids were amazingly supportive, though!

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This past Saturday was my goal race. Stump Jump, in Chattanooga. It was a beautiful day! I had been pretty under the weather the whole week leading up to Stump Jump, which was stressing me out a little. But, come Saturday I felt mostly better. The race was amazing. Amazing people, amazing trail. Challenging trail! Running has become a very spiritual thing for me. God meets me every time. It is a precious gift He has given me. He was there on that trail. I felt Him in the cool breeze that blew across the top of the mountain and in the warm sun that shone through the trees. I heard Him in the trickling water and the singing birds. And all of the smells of the forest–the flowers, the wet rocks, the earthy ground–He was there. The feel and textures of the different barks on the trees.


“I just ran in awe of all that He has done for me.”


The things I saw with my eyes–so many kinds of flowers, fungus, rivers running between the mountains, moss-covered rocks, knobby tree trunks, little green lizards, huge rock walls, little creeks running down the mountain–all amazing wonders of His creation. I just ran in awe of all that He has done for me. The beauty that He surrounds me with. Not just in the mountains, but in my everyday life. I felt so loved and I felt so known by Him. He created all of this for me. He created all of this and more for everyone! He’s such a good God. I’m so grateful I get to experience Him this way.

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I didn’t finish my 50k. I made it to mile 28.6 and didn’t make the time cut. I was disappointed. I was so close! I was emotional. But I was so thankful! It was an incredible day! I learned so much about myself, about my strengths and weaknesses (both physically and mentally). And I just really enjoyed being out there and experiencing everything I got to experience. I am a little sad that I didn’t achieve my goal, but I will try again. I don’t quit very easily and I’ve got a lot of people on my side.

Pressing Through Dissapointment

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Have you ever been so overcome with stress and frustration that it has left you paralyzed? This is where I found myself a few weeks ago–utterly paralyzed and unsure of what to do. This is not like me at all. Those who know me, know I don’t do idle. I am the doer, the list-maker, and list-completer. I make the plan and execute it. I am confident. Not this puffy-eyed, ugly cried-out mess of a woman who is left raw and feeling defeated.

Whoever said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” in my opinion is a liar. That person has never owned their own business. When you do what you love, you work harder than for any other job you’ll ever do. I absolutely love what I do. However, every business has its ups and downs, and this has been a season of way down. I had racked my brain, looked at PNL’s, analytics, you name it. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why and where things had gotten off track. The thought of having to seek employment elsewhere to free up my income to keep the business out of the red has left me saddened and feeling like a failure.

One night I cried out to God asking for an answer on what to do or, at the least, some encouragement. Do you know what I got as an answer? Nothing. Just the ramblings of my own brain. I cried myself to sleep that night. When I woke up the next day, I thought surely I can figure this out. I searched through scriptures and found a few that gave some comfort, but I was still left feeling paralyzed and unsure. I left my Bible to collect dust and went through the next few weeks in a quite crabby and cynical state.

Honestly, I was mad. I was mad at God for his lack of response as I thought I had tried to seek him and was given nothing to work with. One afternoon I discovered Disappointment With God, a book by Philip Yancey I had purchased and then left forgotten on a shelf. As I began reading the book, I went through a roller coaster of emotions. I felt comforted, then puzzled, encouraged, then enraged. For a full day I refused to pick up the book and was sure I never would again, but in the end, I did. My mood wasn’t completely lifted, but I did feel a little lighter.


“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9


Tonight, I suddenly felt led to thumb back through the book to look over my highlights and notes in the margins. One section stood out to me. Yancey explained that the Israelites lived with directives and signs from God, yet both did not serve to improve their lasting faith. He posed the question, “Why pursue God when he had already revealed himself so clearly?” In my hot pursuit to get what I wanted and felt entitled to (an answer from Him), I had grown impatient. I had stopped pursuing Him with the intensity that He desires. While I was never given the word of direction or comfort I asked for, I got more. I got silence and I had to pursue him with an intensity that I hadn’t done in a long time. I also discovered he was there all along. With that in mind, by pursuing and trusting in God, I can face whatever the future may bring in both my business and in life. I love my business and I’ll keep doing it, but I may have to do something else in addition to it. And that’s ok. Though things didn’t turn out as I’d hoped for, it isn’t a failure. It could lead to something much deeper.

Walks With My Grandfather

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When I was younger I would walk and the pain in my feet would make me have to stop. I would make it less than a block and have to sit on the side of the road and wait for the throbbing to cease. My grandfather would sit next to me and wait for me to feel better, and then we would walk along. It was him on the outside and me on the balance beam of the curb as he caught me when I slipped. I was happy when I walked with him. The pain was worth it to walk and talk to my grandfather and I always knew that when I needed to sit down, he would always sit with me.

There are days I wish I could walk that neighborhood loop, sit down on that curb and look on the smiling face of my grandfather as he waits for me, but those days are gone now. I’m far from that neighborhood loop and the road I walk now is unfamiliar. It is much harder and filled with trip-ups, snares, and traps, and the number of people I’m walking with dwindles daily. There’s no curb on this road, and it goes against the flow of the majority making it far less popular than the nicely-paved, easy road of the majority.

This way is the way of God. He called me off the paved road and onto the rough path while I was still walking with my grandfather. Some days I try to walk in the right way, but it feels more like I’m in the way. God has tried to call me to walk with Him on His path, but I want to stay where I’m comfortable. I want to stay where I am; in the loop that I know in my neighborhood. I know what the snares look like and I am pretty good at overcoming them. I know the people who are walking here with me, but I cannot move forward because I am in the way and not on the way.

The paved road looks good and feels nice to walk on every now and then. The paths are smooth and the grade is easy. I can walk in any direction I want and there are a lot of people on it. No one tells you what to do or where to go. The more I walk on these paths, the more I want to stay on them. Something inside me feels wrong about this though. The knot in my stomach grows and the voice in my head telling me to move off this road gets louder and louder. Something is wrong about this path and I am told where it leads.


God walks alongside me through His Holy Spirit, living and active with me.


Today, I am walking on a new path. One that is unfamiliar. One that leads in and out of the wilderness, leading me to a small oasis to fill up when I’m running dry. There are new snares,  but on this road, I do not walk alone. The road is narrow and cliffs rest on either side. When my feet begin to hurt, my body breaks down and I need to sit on the ledge, my God sits next to me and smiles as He waits for me to feel better and then we walk along. It’s Him on the outside and me on the balance beam of the narrow way as He catches me when I slip. He is happy when I walk with Him. The pain is worth it to walk and talk with my God, as I see less and less of the paved road, and more and more of the adventure that happens on the narrow road.

This is the way God has called me and I know where this road goes. The more I walk on it, the more I desire to walk with God. The more I walk on it the more I desire to be more like Him and bring others with me, helping them see the dangers of the paved and easy path. I slip and fall but God graciously catches me and puts me back on the right way. God walks alongside me through His Holy Spirit, living and active with me. This is the road Jesus calls us to walk on and He has shown us it is worth it.

The Devil Made Me Do It

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We’ve been blaming the devil since the beginning when Eve blamed the serpent for eating of the forbidden fruit. And just like Eve in the garden of Eden, we are looking for something more, and Satan simply plants a seed of disturbance in our head.

So then what? Well, the way I see it, I have a choice for the next step I take (we all do really). Will I go with my heart, or will I seek counsel and turn to Jesus’ words, like in 1 John 4:4?


“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”


There comes a time in our lives when we realize being a follower of Jesus isn’t the easy road.  It’s tough and not some quick fix of “oh look how awesome everything is now.” No, that’s when Satan is going to throw whatever he can at you, and you are going to have to pick a team. It sounds odd to say but it’s true. If you’re not saying yes to God, you’re saying yes to Satan.

We make excuses all the time for ourselves or others. Yes, things do happen and we make mistakes. My heart breaks for marriages, children, parents and even the individual that is walking around with scales over their eyes, unwilling or incognizant to God’s love that restores us. I realize I make this sound far more simple than the months and years it may take to repair what is broken, but my main point is, as Christians we have to start realizing it is us sinning, not the devil. Yes, he is the tempter, but James 1:14 says:


“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”


What drives you? What do you long after? Where do you spend your time and money? If God is not in these decisions, then we need to know someone else is guiding our influence. But at the end of the day, God has given us the freedom to chose. If you’re being tempted, stop and spend time with God, wise counsel and do anything not to make a foolish, selfish choice that will follow you for the rest of your life.

God makes a way of escape.

Goldendoodle Wisdom

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“This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10

“But as for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.”
– Malachi 4:2


I want to emulate my Goldendoodle, Chewie (short for Chewbacca). Heart heart heart!

He has unconditional love always. He greets us EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. the same way. First, he barks because he is kind of a ding dong and is trying to protect his beloved family. But once our ditzy Goldendoodle realizes it’s us, even though we have abandoned him all day long and might have yelled at him as we were leaving, all is forgotten as he runs to the door and begins jumping for joy, kissing us repeatedly.

He is affectionate always! While we are watching TV, he will come up behind us and literally give us a hug with his big ole lanky front legs and rest his head on our shoulders. Or squeeze up next to us on the couch, lay his head on our laps and hold our hands with his furry paw.

He is fun always! He is never too tired to play. He never turns down a chance to go for a walk or run with one of us. Every object is a toy. And going outside never gets old! Like it’s his first outdoor experience. Each and every time, he is full of wonder and bounces around like a calf put out to pasture.

He is happy always! He adds life to the space he is in. I’ve never seen him mope, or act sad and dejected. He walks with a skip in his step, excited about life and in love with his people.

We’ve neglected him, disciplined him too harshly, rejected his love…

He’s pooped in the house, eaten Tucker’s sandwich, chewed up earbuds…

And yet he holds no grudges, has no regrets and has no shame.

Lord, help me to be like that! I want to be fun and love people well. Forgive quickly. Get over my stupid mistakes. And see the joy in every moment.

Thanking Jesus For Tiny Hands

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Motherhood is quite different than I imagined. It’s tiring and fulfilling. It’s snuggles and screams. It’s sleepless nights and long days. It’s lonely and beautiful. And it’s everything you hoped and more. Truth is, motherhood has taught me that life is meant to be lived raw. To give of yourself and sacrifice when you just want to do something other than nurse and be at home. To take the beautiful things and thank Jesus for them and embrace the hard and thank Jesus for them.

These little lives are gifts given to us for only a short time. And right now I’m just thankful for these tiny hands that hold my whole heart and that have brought joy to our whole family. Because I know – though the days are long…the years are short. And I don’t want to miss a thing in either of the sweet gifts in my life.

Mommin’ Ain’t Easy

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“I will lead them down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.” – Isaiah‬ ‭42:16‬

I will be the first mom to say that mommin’ ain’t easy. I have been blessed to be able to be a step mom for almost three years and now have the privilege of raising one of my own as well. Both roles are difficult in different ways but both are beautiful as well. They don’t tell you about the difficult times and the sleepless nights. Maybe they do but in your mind you imagine different. They don’t tell you about being so worried about either of them or praying for their future. They don’t tell you how deeply and completely your heart will belong to them.

If there is one thing I’ve learned these last three years and these last two weeks, it’s that being a mom should be hard because being a mom means sacrifice. It means giving when you are empty. Loving when you are hurt. Praying when you don’t know what to say. And hoping that through it all you can be a light in the darkness and a refuge from the storms in this world. God has reminded me that it is a blessing to be walked out with Him. Time with Him is crucial to not lose your sanity and patience. Prayer is our biggest weapon against the enemy and love covers all.

So while there are many days I have cried over these last few years, there are many prayers that have been answered. God continues to guide and show me how to walk along this mom path. Sometimes it’s beautiful and sometimes it’s just really hard. But at all times, He is God and He is with us. He gives us the strength we need for each day if we let Him.

Not Fitting the Mold

BrokenPencilI’ve blogged off and on for years now. I’ve written commercially about fitness, how to grow your gym, and how to motivate your clients. Somehow when it came time to write this blog (my first for #ThisIsLiving) I lacked the ability to motivate myself to do it. I’d write a few sentences here and there that I’d quickly go back and delete. I’d stare at my computer screen with the cursor flashing, daring me to write something. I even got a whole paragraph in comparing the spiritual pursuit to running- something that has way more parallels than you can imagine. Yet, I still found every excuse under the sun not to write a blog entry – something I had volunteered to do. Why?

After staring at the blank page for the better part of two months, I came to realize the reason I couldn’t write this is that I feel inadequate to impart any type of spiritual wisdom. I am in no stretch of the imagination what you’d expect a Christian to be. I am tatted up with a half sleeve, live in yoga pants, I curse more than I’d like to, I’ve been divorced, and I loathe the societal stigma that has somehow attached itself to being an Christian. So, who am I to write to you about anything to do with holiness?

…I came to realize the reason I couldn’t write this is that I feel inadequate to impart any type of spiritual wisdom.

On Sunday, the message at church was on Jonah. During which it became abundantly clear that like Jonah, I had been running from doing something that I feel God has called me to do. Don’t you hate that? When people say stuff like that? “God told me.” I used to hate that, too. It sounds totally cliché, but I assure you it is also totally legit. When I say that God called me to write this, I don’t mean I audibly heard him say it. It is more like something on my mind and in my heart that I can’t quite put into words. Obviously, it wasn’t something of my own creating. I’ve fought hard against it. Where is all this leading you’re wondering? Don’t worry I’m finally getting to the main idea.

Like Jonah, I was afraid and I had taken hold of a pagan idea and pretended it was true. I was afraid to put myself out there by writing and being vulnerable. I had taken hold of the pagan idea that Christians are supposed to be perfect. Since I don’t fit that mold, I felt I had no business in writing this. Then I recalled how Hebrew literature depicted some of the best of the best: David, Abraham, Jacob. None of these men were painted to be holier-than-thou and perfect. God used them in their imperfectness, and with their many sinful blemishes, to do amazing things. They knew what I’ve come to realize in writing this and through the message I heard…what I hope you’ll explore as well: “We can keep trying our plan, or we can yield to God” and “Sometimes, the thing you feel uncomfortable doing is the thing God’s called you to do.”

Loving Him Despite It All

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God was there in the beginning and God is Love, but I wasn’t there in the beginning…and I don’t feel that love right now. There are days when it’s hard to love others, but God says that those are the most important days to do just that. I stand with this reality in front of me on those days, and it’s difficult to say yes to a love that I do not see in action in others. I do not exist seeing the fullness of time knowing the eternal insignificance of my anger and the importance of love. I don’t want to see the fullness of time because the momentary affliction is too strong for me to wrap around my mind.

It is not easy to be the one sitting on the inside trying to look out at these issues. When the ones that I am called to love are fighting me at every opportunity they get, how can I be expected to love then? Sometimes I sit and wonder if it wouldn’t just be easier to not love at all. I wonder if I could exist in a world of solitude knowing that I don’t have to be hurt when my brother in Christ turns to me and looks me in the eye and lies. I wonder if it’s easier to exist in a world without commitment and accountability when he takes that advice I give him and spits it in my face. I wonder if it’s easier to love without covenant when my loved ones and I fight to the point where it gets too personal and too direct. When the resistance gets so strong I can’t stand, where is God’s teaching of love?


When the resistance gets so strong I can’t stand, where is God’s teaching of love?


What exactly am I expected to do? I turn to the books and I re-read them, but what I’m reading has lost its meaning long ago. I flip through the pages of my bible looking for the answer but the Spirit sends me back only with the commandment to, “love as I loved first.” These words sting in my ears because they are the very reality I am fighting against. Love. What a word to come from someone I have cursed out in my prayers and yet He stays there. Am I expected to understand the depths of love from Someone who knew my every action while sitting on the outside of time and said yes? How can I stand in between the pain of my brother and the ones I love with this knowledge in my brain and say nothing?

I come back to the depths of my mind and ask, “Where am I to go?” God sends me back to the beginning and asks me where I am. I look into the depths of Him and see myself there. In the beginning of time. When God was love, and I was on His mind. He loved me first, and I chose to fight Him every opportunity I got. He loved me first, and I looked Him in His all-seeing eyes and I lied. He loved me first when I cursed His Spirit as He called my life and made it personal and direct. He loved me first when the resistance got so strong and I said no to the forgiveness of His Son, and yet He still called me back with those three words. Love Me first.