Personal Record

This morning, I ran a personal record, clocking in one mile at 7 minutes and 32 seconds and I’m pretty excited about it! Personal records are supposed to be exciting- they are your best, so far!

I wasn’t the only person in the room who hit a PR. When our coach asked the group if anyone hit a PR, many hands went up. It was motivating and exciting to see that others hit a personal record as well.

When I got home, I saw that my friend also hit a personal record during her one mile run this morning! I immediately texted her to celebrate. She and I ran our best today, even though we didn’t run the same. 

I didn’t have to ask her for her time to know that she CRUSHED it because comparing her results with mine was and is irrelevant. Her running a 5 minute and 54 second mile (heyyyo!!!) took nothing away from my 7 minute and 32 second mile.

She owned her mile and I owned mine. 

In life, we are called to own our mile, to train better, work harder, run faster than our last time. While we work to earn our best, we are to encourage and cheer others on as they do the same. We are all in the same race and called to run with endurance, but we are not supposed to run the same. You and I are not experiencing the same season–some of you are further along in your journey than I am, and maybe I am further along in my journey than you are.

What matters most, is that we get better.

I know it can at times feel deflating when in one moment you feel like you had a victory, but compared to the person next to you, it quickly becomes a defeat–but it’s not my friend! The enemy of our lives wants to discourage you-he wants you to believe the lie that you are losing, that you are not measuring up… but listen to me, YOU ARE WINNING!

You are winning every time you decide to try again, every time you take on the challenge, put in the work and do the hard things that are before you. 

Our focus needs to be input minded not outcome driven. What do I mean? We live in a culture that celebrates the results, we celebrate the outcomes and then we hold ourselves to that standard-when we don’t achieve that outcome, we experience defeat. What we should focus on is input work–we can always measure our try, our passion, and our time we put into that goal or the ceiling we are trying to shatter.

Where do you feel like you’re losing? I encourage you to not compare what you are experiencing to others, but instead focus on your best. I know, when you do, you’ll realize very quickly that you are winning!

If you are not experiencing victory, I want to also encourage you to examine your input work–are you putting in the time and the work that you need to in order to get better?

 

 

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!

1 Corinthians 9:24

 

I’d love to hear from you and your experience! Are you a runner? What’s your personal best?

 

Please comment below & share your story. I’m cheering you on, friend!!

 

Rest

We need rest. I know, there’s a lot to do, people to see, places to go–I know all about the never ending piles of laundry, the grocery store trips (yes trips.. it’s never just one) I know about the dream in your heart, the to-do list and the 14 school projects that we can’t avoid or neglect. I know about the full time job and side hustle, trying to make ends meet or pay for that desired family vacation.  Oh and don’t forget about the kids-they need to eat and bathe every once in a while too, you know… I get it,  I’m right there with you.

All the more, we need rest.

Rest has been etched into our beings since creation. God himself demonstrated rest when he chose to work for six days and rest.

If you’re like me, you can easily associate or misunderstand rest for being lazy. Or maybe you just don’t see how you can ever truly rest. So, I hear you when you start to think-here we go again, another blog about the benefits of rest, blah, blah.

But, that’s not what I am going to do.. I just want to commission you, remind you and encourage to rest, more.

Our bodies, our minds and our souls were created to respond to a pattern or work and rest. So, when we don’t intentionally decide to rest, we quit.

Rest is not abandoning our  calling or taking steps back in the name of rest, that called  quitting. Resting is a rhythm and counter part to working–they go hand in hand.  Rest doesn’t make life more convenient and easier, it fuels you and replenishes you to continue.

Rest reveals a lot about who we are and what controls us- it exposes the idols in our lives. What we are not able to unplug from has more control over us than we think.

Rest reminds us that He is God and we are not. God works in our rest. He fills in, makes better and multiplies what we offer in our rest. Our ability to not do, shows that we are not doing these things in our own strength, but in His strength. It takes great humility to rest (sabbath).

We must be intentional and fight for rest. On my “rest days” I was finding myself, doing laundry, running to the grocery store, cleaning and preparing for our week. I thought, just because I stayed in my pajamas I was resting. But I was not… I was working in pajamas (something I wish I could do more, haha).

I have been asking God to give me divine strategy and insight to work more effectiently and effectively so that I can rest more effectiently and effectively.

Each of our lives are different, so I won’t try and attempt to give you the 9 ways to get more rest–but I will encourage you to seek God and ask Him. He will show you!! Why? Because rest is a part of His purpose for your life. God not only demonstrated a sabbath, but He blessed it and made it holy. He set aside a day for you and I to stop and acknowledge that all that we have, everything we do, belongs to Him. When we sabbath, we routinely place our confidence and our hope back into the hands of Jesus. We work 6 while the world works 7.

Something practical and helpful I began doing was-determining what were my “big rocks” / the things that are non negotiables in my life. For me they are: time with Jesus, my husband, my family,  gathering with others of faith (church) and working out… I began placing these items on my calendar and then I began adding REST to that list of non negotiables. Before I schedule coffee with a friend, or RSVP to a birthday party, I schedule in rest.

When something is on my calendar it’s off my mind and no longer something I’m considering or trying to make happen. I was finding myself exuding so much energy trying to think of when, where and how am I going to rest–how ridiculous, I know!

What kind of things have you done to assure that you get rest? How have you made rest a part of your life-rhythm?

Maybe you don’t even know if you’re truly getting rest-what do you think is your biggest rest stealer?

Whoever you are, however hard you are working, whatever you are trying to accomplish in the hours you have been given-be sure to rest, ok? It’s not only important and good for you, but it’s a commandment from God.

Homerun.

This morning while at work, I received a text from my husband stating, ” Bad Dad award goes to…. THIS GUY!” He was talking about himself and how today was Jett’s Dr. Seuss party–the kids were supposed to dress in green and we were supposed to bring Hawaiian rolls (it’s our go-to on the sign up) for the party, later today.

This week was Dr. Seuss week at the kid’s schools– Each day, doing something fun in celebration of him. Whether it was wacky sock day, mustache day or today, green shirts and party!

My immediate response to my DADDY OF THE YEAR husband was, ” NO WAY, you deserve all the amazing awards… you can’t hit homeruns in everything.”

I know we want to, so badly–but the reality is that we aren’t going to knock it out of the park everytime we get up to bat. Some days we are going to have a homerun dinner, or make it to school on time three days in a row, we might remember to put our kid in a green shirt, and we might remember the Hawaiian rolls for the party. But we won’t knock it out of the park every time.

And, that is OK.

Knowing that we won’t hit a homerun in every area (work, school, marriage,parenting, friendships, etc) frees us from guilt, worry and the constant desire to be driven by what’s demanding us of our time, attention and money. Understanding that we aren’t meant to hit a homerun in every area allows us to run at our own pace and focus on the areas that deserve our best.

My husband didn’t remember the Hawaiian rolls, and Jett didn’t go to school in his green shirt, but my husband woke up earlier all week long to make me and the kids fresh pressed juice, (yes you read that right.. fresh freaking pressed juice…and I’m not talking OJ. I’m talking ginger, kale, carrots, apples pears.. you get the picture, now) pack their lunches and kiss us all goodbye for the day. He fixed things around the house, hugged our babies, and he told me I was pretty, many, many times… he did all of this while leading our church and preparing everything and everyone for a BIG move.

Those are some serious homeruns, some serious RBI’s (google it if you’re not a baseball fan, lol). That’s where it counts.

So, if you are trying to knock it out of the park in all things, and beating yourself up for it, take a breath and remember, you aren’t meant to, and that is ok!

 

 

Happy New Year!

I love wishing people a Happy New Year even after being a few weeks into the month. There’s something about keeping the reality that it is a new year fresh in our minds and hearts that keeps us on track with all that we have set out to do, accomplish and become.

I’m not one to set New Years resolutions, but I do take time to pray, to seek God and ask Him, “What do you have for me his year? How can I love & serve, well?  I pray that He would give me eyes to see and ears to hear all that He wants to reveal to me. I pray that I would be immovable in His promises and flexible with His process & timing. I find myself with a verse from the Bible, a statement and even a word that I anchor in my heart for the days to come.

At about September of this year, I was finished–finished with 2016 and all that it had been for me. It wasn’t the year that I expected to live out, one that I wasn’t hoping for or anticipating. I wanted OUT. As I began to seek God, search within myself and pretty much beg God to GET ME OUT OF THIS YEAR, He showed me something better.

In the middle of my tears, snot (you know that kind of cry), my clenched fists and defeated posture, I had a BLOG moment. I wanted to GET OUT of this year but God asked me, “Sarah, What will YOU GET OUT of this year?”

I know it was a process He had been taking me through, but in a moment I saw it differently. Life can be hard, situations can be difficult and seasons can be dry–when those times come, our first response is usually to want out.

Rather than asking WHEN can we get out of it, we should be asking WHAT can we get out of it.

When we search for what we can learn, understand and grow from in the midst of our trouble, our pain carries a purpose. The truth is, our God IS a deliverer and HE will deliver us OUT of dry and tough seasons, but it’s up to us to get something OUT of it.

So many people wish to forget the passing year–burry it, burn it and even throw it away. But God doesn’t work that way. Although He makes ALL things new and desires for us to look forward, He builds on what we have experienced, walked through and even learn from. As much as I wanted to leave 2016 in the dust, I knew I needed to take some things with me.

I’m thankful for all that I walked through and experienced in 2016, the good and the bad. I don’t say that because it’s over, I say that because in September, while I begged Him to get me out, He gave me eyes to see what I could GET OUT of it all. In the middle of “that year” things shifted in me.

This understanding allowed me to finish the year in strength and walk into a new year with momentum and a renewed perspective.

What are you hoping to forget from 2016 that God is asking you to remember?

 

Do I Get A Reward?

This morning, my three littles and I hustled out the door with backpacks, lunch boxes and waterbottles in tote. As I looked at my babies walking a few steps in front of me, I realized that these babies are growing up SO FAST before my eyes. So, I did what any teary-eyed mama would do and I told them to stop for a picture. Snapping photos, recording videos and being ever present with these three is my only hope to savor and cherish these moments that seem to be flying by.

Not everyone was on board with my plan, but that’s ok. I snapped a few photos and carried on. We climbed into our van, buckled up and began our journey to school.

On the way there, Kennedi began to talk about how great she and her siblings had been doing at school–how they had gone to school every day, done their best in class and how they had eaten all their healthy snacks. I encouraged her and reaffirmed that her observations were correct. I let them all know, once again, that mommy was proud of them.

“So, can we get a reward? Can we get a surprise for doing good, everyday?” Kennedi asked.

I replied, “No honey, we don’t always get rewards or surprises for doing what we’re supposed to do. Obedience doesn’t always come with rewards.”

I know, I surprised myself with such a deep reply to an innocent five year old question. Especially since I hadn’t sipped my coffee or opened my bible yet. Most of the time, my responses go something like, “no.” OR “sure.” OR “let me think about that.”

Kennedi shrugged her shoulders and moved on–I had a BLOG moment.

I’m currently standing in the middle of obedience–doing what God has asked me to do. I feel like I’ve been standing in this place, day after day, doing what He has asked of me and, like Kennedi, I want to know, can I get a reward? Can I get a surprise at the end of this?

Obedience doesn’t always work like that–most of the time there is not big surprise or big reward that we receive when choosing to walk in obedience. Not the kind of rewards or surprises we are hoping for, anyways.

Kennedi does receive rewards for her obedience, everyday. She experiences positive consequences, positive affirmation, the list goes on. Sure, it’s not a cookie or a new toy, but the rewards she experiences, although are not packaged in the way she hopes they would, are far more valuable.

Learning to do things or to stay in obedience when we don’t want to or when tempted to do something else, is such a powerful and valuable lesson. One I am learning, daily.

Maybe you’re single and you have chosen to entrust your love story to God–you are doing this whole dating thing the “right way” being obedient and trusting God. But, you feel like you’ve been doing this for a long time…you see your other friends (who are not being obendient or doing it God’s way) and they seem to be having all the luck. You’re asking God, “Don’t I get my reward for my obedience?” I want to encourage you, the rewards of peace, security and confidence that you are receiving everyday as you trust Jesus far outweighs the immediate reward of meeting that special someone. Keep trusting.

Or, maybe you are being obedient with a position at work, your finances, your health…whatever ‘it’ might be that you’re doing day in and day out and seems to be no pay off for your obedience, know that you are receiving rewards that are far more valuable and necessary for you to posses so that you can be prepared for that thing/person you’re waiting for.

But I have some good news for those of you who rolled your eyes at the “these rewards are better than finding your spouse” comment–believe me I GET IT. Faithfulness in your obedience does result in rewards! Doing what God has asked of you day in and day out, believing and trusting does yield rewards. So, don’t give up, turn back or lose heart in the middle of your obedience.

You see, God can give us anything–the spouse, the job promotion, the finances. But, it’s in our obedience that He is building things in us. It’s not about the reward for Him, it’s about the person we are–it’s about our dependence and reliance on Him.

 

TRUTH: “Don’t grow weary in doing good, for in due season you will reap a reward if you faint not.”

 

DARE: Stay faithful in obedience.

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