Throw it Off

The "runner" that I am (insert chuckle), or at least the runner that I will be someday, wants to run a 5K this fall.  I've gotten my brothers and sisters-in-law to agree to do it with me.  So I've been trying to find a great location, between Philly and DC, on the right weekend.  My mom had made the comment that it would start getting cold, and we should do it early.  It makes sense, but I told her that runners do this all the time in chillier weather!  We aren't real runners quite yet, but we can try to dress like them!  I've known lots of runners and read a ton on running.  Runners wear layers.  

My friend, Suzanne, ran the Broad Street 10 Mile a couple of months back, and told me about this cool set up that they have.  You can start in the morning with many layers, and then as you need to take them off, you drop them on the ground, to be picked up later as clothes for the homeless.  I like that idea!  Of course in the end you may have to wear a shower curtain, because you're just down to one layer of clothing (a shower curtain-that's what Suzanne's mom brought to wrap around her at the end of the race), but you do what you need to do to stay warm at that point…

This morning I woke up at 4:44am.  To a handful of you, you understand the significance of that. 

 *Without going to much detail, a good friend of mine from Detroit, Alex, started waking up at 4:44am during a season of prayer and fasting in January.  He shared the "this-in-not-coincidental" story of repeatedly waking up at this time to pray for different people/situations/etc.  Then it has happened with a number of other people in our lives who have woken up at that exact time…so funny.  One friend, Leah, was lead to Ezekial 44:4, which would actually make sense. (She did this after looking up Ezekial 4:44, which doesn't exist:)  This whole waking up thing has happened to me a couple of times.  When it has happened, my realization of the presence of God has become so much more real to me.*

I'm a skeptic though.  I remember the first time it happened, I awakened with a desire to pray, but hadn't looked at the time.  I'd said to myself, "Hah!  I bet it's 4:44!"  Then I kept my eyes shut until I couldn't take it anymore, and it was 4:45.  Unreal.  That's what happened again this morning, only for some reason I was even more skeptical and almost fell back asleep…then I looked at the clock….4:48.  What do you do when you realize that God is waking you up?  Well, I mean, you get up of course…but what does that mean for you?  to you?  

In those 4 minutes, between the time that I woke up and the time that I looked at the clock, I had this urge to throw off the covers.  I wasn't too warm or anything, but I literally, with my legs, just threw off the covers.  And at 4:48, when I looked at the clock, so many thoughts flooded my head, and one of them was this.  It was a connection to me literally throwing off my covers, and for about 15 minutes I couldn't put the covers back on.

…let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…

What is it that I need to throw off?  What is hindering me?  I find it so inspiring that the author of Hebrews uses this metaphor of running a race, and throwing off the things that hinder us in running the race well.  Physically, spiritually, emotionally…there are things that I wear or carry that keep me from running my race well.  I could list several of them here!  God woke me up this morning to speak to me about this-really, to remind me of this-it was very humbling.  I'm so grateful that despite His BIGNESS, he spares a moment to wake me up and remind me that he is very aware of me.

Who Am I to be Brilliant?

Inspired by this thought today.

Who Am I To Be Brilliant? 

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world.  There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." 
~ Marianne Williamson 

For a lot of us, we tend to feel inadequate, and rightfully so!  I mean…compared to an Almighty God, we are inadequate.  But there's this verse in the Bible that we often forget about…here, in verse 13.  Everything I need to do, I can do with Christ.  Because I was made in God's image, I myself, am not the brilliant one (insert chuckle), but God is brilliant through me.  Now, when I am acting/thinking/speaking not-so-brilliantly…well, that's the human side of me.  Pride hinders us in this very moment to think about how brilliant we actually can be at times, but again…it's what Christ does through us that is this thing called 'brilliant'.  Every good thing from God-whether you believe in Him or not.   :)

Today I want to, as she said, "manifest the glory of God that is within [me]".  Worship Him. Adore Him.  Thank Him.  Trust Him.  Think about Him.  Recognize Him.  Smile. 

If I Were a Twitterer

So I don't have anything against Twittering, but I'm not so sure that anyone would really care what I was doing ALL day long…

Yesterday as I was driving, I thought to myself, "If I were a Twitterer, I would Twitter this…", and I decided to make a list so you can pretend like you were getting updates all throughout the last couple of days.

  • left the Braue house.  it was a tough goodbye. 
  • said goodbye to a good friend for the 3rd time @ target today. 
  • stuck in construction traffic on southfield freeway; trying to get to pittsburgh! 
  • arrived at andrea and jason's house.  can't wait to hang out with them. 
  • got a funky, tart-tasting frozen yogurt with andrea and jason.  unique and tasty. 
  • jason made me a cool coffee drink with coffee and sweetened condensed milk. 
  • enjoyed breakfast with andrea and jason, then said goodbye! 
  • lots of construction on the route to dc. 
  • listening to crazy love-the audiobook…wrecklessly awesome book! 
  • lots of traffic just outside of dc-hope i make my 3:15 appointment! 
  • definitely not going to make my appt…not cool. 
  • just got denied my appt…i was 45 minutes late, after all! rescheduled for tomorrow morning.
  • crap!  just got a $100 parking ticket for parking at a meter on a street where apparently you can't park during rush hour.  awesome.  better yet-the tow truck was pulling up behind my car just as i walked over to it… 
  • met a couple of girls that i might get to live with.  they're really cool. 
  • left to get a philly chicken cheesesteak (yum!); drove all around alexandria to check it out
  • the girls i just met offered me a couch to sleep on tonight so i can go to my rescheduled appt in the morning!  so grateful:) 
  • watching dancing with the stars for the first time ever.  enjoyable! 
  • eating organic ice cream.  very rich taste! 

Two More Wake-Ups

My friend and former coworker, Dana, taught me about "wake-ups".  As teachers, we like to count

Alarm  down to the free days of summer just as much as the kiddos!  So she taught me to count down with "wake-ups".  Starting about 20 school days out, I start posting on the board, "20 more wake-ups!"…then "19 more wake ups!"…and so on.  

This morning I woke up with more intense bittersweet emotions…only "2 more wake-ups here in Michigan".  

For starters, today was my last Sunday at Church of the King.  This made me sad, but I was deeply excited that I was going to be engulfed in a kids' gathering this morning, with worship lead by P 8:2 (Psalms 8.2) an inspiring group of kids that lead with JT.  Then JT was preaching, and I hadn't heard her preach in years…so this was a definitely going to be a highlight of the day! (She did an INCREDIBLE job, by the way…and as a side note, her and her husband, Eddie, are THE BEST kids' pastors a parent could ask for, and I've already decided that when I have kids we will have to be at whatever church the Galindo's are at, because I want my kids to learn from them.:)

And as I've reflected on my last couple of weeks spent here, I am glad to have been able to spend as much time with people as I have.  I got to go across the state to see my favorite Gocke's, Smiths, my very first teaching friend (Dana, from above….we're like Teaching Comrades for Life!), and the Waterman's-where I got to meet their new baby girl!  Then there were so many other fun breakfasts, lunches, dinners, a Cedar Point road trip, coffee dates, get-togethers…I am selfish at any moment to think that for one second I am not valued by people.  

Here I am, going into my last two "wake-ups"…tomorrow I will say "goodbye" to a few more friends, have lunch with a Grandma who inspires me EVERY time…the next morning say a few more "goodbye's", but then a couple more "hello's" to friends in Pittsburgh!  Again, it's the bittersweet of it all.  I am SO EXCITED to see Emily, Jason and Andrea in my travels!  Then, it will be wonderful to meet two girls who are looking for a third roommate in Alexandria, Virginia (really hoping this works out!) on Wednesday, after which I will drive up to Roslyn, Pennsylvania and kiss my parents goodnight!  The next day I will drive to see my sister-in-law, play with my nephew, Ryder, and scratch Ross' back.  

All in all, at the end of this week, my life will have officially changed completely.  My address will no longer end in a "48…" zip code, and there will be no more "mile roads" to help me figure out where I am:)  No one will know how to spell "Hamtramck" where I'm going, nor will they even care to.  I will not readily find a "coney island" on every other block, or "Michigan lefts", or hear about all the construction on I-75-heading towards the tunnel.  There will be no more trips to Meijer, Canada, or "up North", and most will have never even heard of Frankenmuth, Traverse City, or even Mackinac.  No one will even care that the Lions really stink, or that the Red Wings had a great run this year, or how the Tigers are doing, or what the Pistons will look like next season.  (Well….who can REALLY neglect some of the great Detroit sports teams?  Perhaps that's an exaggeration :0P)  I highly doubt many will care about whether you're an MSU fan, vs. a UofM fan in D.C. 🙂

I will miss the familiarity that life has brought to me on a silver platter these past 7 years.  I'm at home right now…in someone else's house, even!  BUT I am on the edge of my seat, anticipating this new chapter in my life.  I almost think it's a whole new book, and not just a new chapter, but at some point I'm sure there will be a great connection.  I'm kind of done crying, and telling everyone about my story…I'm ready to live it.  I'm actually ready to move!  Imagine that.  I'm not saying that I won't shed tears once I'm gone (or even pulling out of the driveway), but I am saying that my time here is done.  And while that is hard to accept in moments of weakness, God makes my heart just a little bit stronger.  

Oh, this adventure is just beginning…in just two more wake-ups! 🙂