The Night Before School Starts

So many thoughts run through my head on a day like today.  It's Labor Day, the last day of the summer without kids.  The day before I am, again, responsible for making sure that 50 4th graders are literate citizens…so that the prison system can be just a little bit smaller 10 years from now.

I woke up this morning with some tasks to complete for the greatest youth ministry in the Metro DC area.  Check.

Got to soak for some time and listen to some teaching by Bill Johnson and be encouraged.  Check.

Then I moved onto some personal errands, including what was probably the largest charge I've ever had to pay at CVS Pharmacy (nothing major, just the vanity of my skin:).  Check.

Thought about doing some school work, but didn't get much farther than checking my email.  Check. Checkmark

Got inspired to plan to go see a band of a couple guys who teach at my school for my birthday.  If you're around on September 17 and would like to come, please let me know!  All friends are welcome.  You can find a sampling here:  The Running Record.  Planned my birthday event.  Check.

I LOOKED AT a workout video online, but for some reason didn't actually do it.  Thought about exercising.  Check.

Found some new friends on Twitter, and am looking forward to following them…they're quite amazing people, so I expect to be inspired often.  Acquired more reasons to sneak on Twitter during my lunch break.  Check.

Looked on Craigslist (again) for a home for my friends who are waiting so desperately on Jesus to see what their next step is.  Loved me some friends.  Check.

Thought about some random facts:

-In 6 days I will be the exact age my mother was when she gave birth to me.  (my mother was married, and had her 3rd child the day she turned 32)  Felt behind.  Check.

-My nephew is the same age that I was when he was born.  Felt old.  Check.

Listened to this song on repeat-My Romance, with Rick Pino.  Romanced by Jesus.  Check.

I am currently on Sweep Me Away, with Charlie Hall.  Being swept off my feet.  Check.


Please allow me to share my monologue that I am processing with Jesus right now ….

Jesus, YOU are the center of my life.  You are the engine that runs my day and the oil that keeps that engine healthy.  I choose to walk in your Spirit, and to embrace who YOU are to me.  More than that, even, I choose to see myself how you see me.  I choose to be the woman of God that you've created me to be.  Whether I am finding new friends on Twitter, picking up a prescription, or soaking in your powerful presence, I want to be actively aware of what you are doing and how you are moving.  I want my sense of you to overwhelm the senseless voice that whispers in my ear…the crap that reminds me just how unvaluable I am to others, and that places other people's opinions higher than your opinion of me.  I want to know my value, even on my most worthless of days.  I want to want to spend more time with you than I want to spend it with people…and then to actually do that.  I repent of my choices to allow other people to determine my worth, and I present my heart to you…broken and ready to be whole.  I was made for more than this.  I want the overflow of how much you love me to overwhelm the people that I encounter everyday.  Meet me where I am.  I need your grace.  I need your love to move through me.  The enemy is very nervous about the ways that you're going to change the students in my classroom this year.  He is try to shake me…unnerve me…annoy the crap out of me with other people.   In my moments of forgetting that my struggle is against him and not the people around me, he has had measly thoughts of victory.  He has been wrong.  In my weakness, Lord, you are made strong.  As my muscles get broken down when I put strain on them in weight training, and then built up again when I eat healthy doses of protein, so does my spiritual muscle when it is strained…and you feed my spirit with YOU and your words.

"You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience?  This detour doesn't come from the One who called you into the race in the first place.  And please don't toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread.  Deep down, the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect. But the one who is upsetting you, whoever he is, will bear the divine judgment."  Galatians 5.7-10b (MSG)

My final thoughts before I hit the pillow for some more soaking time (I need to absorb Jesus' presence to the fullest extent before I hit that classroom tomorrow)…Jesus has more for my life than I can see in the natural realm of my sight.  God is bigger than what I can see or feel.  He knows every detail of every situation I could face and feel anxiety from.  He's know every insecurity that would tear me down when friends reject me.  He wants my heart, my devotion, my time, my thoughts…and He won't relent until He has every part of me.

Blessed beyond what I deserve.


Jan 2011-May 2011 130
Some stats from that are a bit exciting to me (Presidents Day to Today)…

Total Miles= 62.31

Total Hours= 19.82

Workouts= 37

Total Calories= 11,132

I am so pumped to be a Buddy Runner in the Girls on the Run 5k on Sunday morning!  I get to run with a girl from my class who struggles to make it through the run…but I get to cheer her on and encourage her the whole time!  Feel free to pray for me:-)  The race starts @ 8am.  Also feel free to sponsor me as I run!

It's funny because I look at pictures of me from this past weekend and compare them to how I looked a couple of months ago, and let's be honest…I don't really look all that different, but how I feel inside is night and day different from 2 1/2 months ago when I started to become consistent with the Couch to 5K program.  Seriously, do you know what it feels like to go from heaving after 60 seconds of jogging to running a mile at ease and being able to push through over 2 miles (even if I am slightly purple at the end of that one:-)?  It's more than I've accomplished before with this type of endeavor, and of course God always does more than I can ever ask or imagine of Him to do. 

Feeling awesome inside.

Signing Out,

Happy :-)

What do you call the out-of-shape, asthmatic girl with back problems, who hasn't even attempted to run in well over a year, or hardly even worked out in about six months, but who signed up for a 5K on May 15th to run with girls from her school, so she had to start training soon so she began the couch to 5k running program outside on a wet, chilly Presidents' Day?



Read about my new running endeavors here and I'd be honored if you would even consider supporting me!

There are three things I really want to do in life.  Love God, love others and run.

The Bruised Reed

Came across this title in a funny way today.  A guy that I was matched up with on EHarmony wrote that this was the last book that he'd read, and he noted that it was written by a Puritan author (Richard Sibbes).  Intrigued mostly by the Puritan thing, I Googled it and landed on this website

I'm not sure if the contents of the web page is the entire contents of the book, as if I'd bought it, but nonetheless it was a powerful read.  I only read pieces of it, and although it's filled with run-on sentences (what is with the run-on sentences?), I am able to see some truths that have captured my thoughts today.  Certainly, I haven't taken the time to truly sift through all that was written, to see what thoughts I do or do not agree with…but here are some points to ponder.

The bruised reed is a man that for the most part is in some misery, as those were that came to Christ for help, and by misery he is brought to see sin as the cause of it, for, whatever pretences sin makes, they come to an end when we are bruised and broken. He is sensible of sin and misery, even unto bruising; and, seeing no help in himself, is carried with restless desire to have supply from another, with some hope, which a little raises him out of himself to Christ, though he dare not claim any present interest of mercy.

After conversion we need bruising so that reeds may know themselves to be reeds, and not oaks. Even reeds need bruising, by reason of the remainder of pride in our nature, and to let us see that we live by mercy. Such bruising may help weaker Christians not to be too much discouraged, when they see stronger ones shaken and bruised. Thus Peter was bruised when he wept bitterly (Matt. 26:75). This reed, till he met with this bruise, had more wind in him than pith when he said, `Though all forsake thee, I will not' (Matt. 26:33). The people of God cannot be without these examples. The heroic deeds of those great worthies do not comfort the church so much as their falls and bruises do.

Are you bruised? Be of good comfort, he calls you. Conceal not your wounds, open all before him and take not Satan's counsel. Go to Christ, although trembling, as the poor woman who said, `If I may but touch his garment' (Matt. 9:21). We shall be healed and have a gracious answer.

We all live with wounds and bruises at different points in our lives.  What do we do with our wounds?  What's God's heart for these bruises? 


My friend, Andrea, just Twittered this verse:  Ps. 32:8 "the Lord says, i will guide u in the BEST pathway for your life. I will advise you & watch over u."

Needed that today!…and yesterday, and tomorrow...

They Don’t Even Know

Kid_in_armorWhen I was in ninth grade, I remember competing at a fine arts competition and hearing a particular song sung over and over again.  I recall thinking it was funny that so many people chose that song. No matter how many times I heard a girl (it usually was a girl:) go up on stage, in her poofy hair and long dress, sing that song that day, I teared up each time. 

Warrior is a Child, by Twila Paris

Lately I’ve been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight
People say that I’m amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don’t see inside of me
I’m hiding all the tears

They don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
‘Cause deep inside this armour
The warrior is a child

Unafraid because his armour is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I’m amazing
Never face retreat
But they don’t see the enemies
That lay me at His feet

They don’t know were words that resounded in my head…no one really knows!  Well, Jesus knows, but sometimes (if we’re really honest) we encounter crises of faith and we question whether Jesus even knows.  The fact of the matter is that the whole point of Jesus coming to join us here on earth for a season was so that He would know (as in experience), even as we know.  Jesus gets temptation, and He gets being let-down.  He gets it when Satan is telling Him lies and He has to decide to choose the Truth instead.  He may have never sinned, but He understands the human condition resulting from The Fall.

I guess these are really my pondered thoughts…Sometimes we just don’t know the battles that other people are facing inside, and sometimes others don’t know the battles that we’re facing inside.  Inside battles can be so enormous, and while someone might see a taste of it on your face, in a comment, or in a blog post:), they really don’t know.  But there’s something to intercession and fasting that I’m learning about-and not even as an intercessor, or a faster, right now. 

No matter what kind of battle I’ve been facing over the last several months, God has simply been blowing me away with His faithfulness.  I have been a warrior-but feeling like a child.  But God has been choosing stronger people in my life that are standing as warriors to fight for me.  How humbling.  I’ve had so many people telling me that they’re praying for me, and that God has been placing me on their hearts.  I’ve had people tell me that they’ve been interceding and God just puts my face in front of them…This has been happening for months!  Just like Hannah, He hasn’t forgotten me…although perhaps our physical goals are a little different:) 

The funny thing is that those people, they don’t know

People don’t have to know.  I mean, it’s good to share our hearts and struggles and sins with each other-that’s vital for growth.  But when people choose to go to war through prayer and fasting, they don’t necessarily have to know what’s going on…God just uses them in battle to fight because they’ve made themselves available to go where He is and obey.  I’ve been humbled knowing that none of the people that have been praying for me have known the depth of why they’re praying for me.  (I’m not even totally sure of that depth)  They’re simply obedient people who love God and love people…and boy do they love to pray:)

2 Corinthians 12.9

So, I’ve really begun to realize that I’m even more of a failure than I often realize.  Not to beat that into the ground, but I was just going back to look through some blog posts from the past and it makes me really sad, on so many levels.  I won’t even divulge you with details, neither big or small.  But probably the most comforting thing right now is this…

2 Corinthians 12:9 (The Message)

7-10Because of
the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big
head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch
with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he
in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around
high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged
God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

   My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
   My strength comes into its own in your weakness
I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the
handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s
strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride,
and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse,
accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so
the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

I continue to be challenged to pursue things that I’ve failed at in the past.  Jesus is cheering me on-I sense His presence doing that.  A friend of mine has recently been talking to me about my heart health….simply speaking life into my heart.  Oh how I’ve missed her these past couple weeks!  But Jesus took some great opportunities to do that through His word, moments of worship, and a book that I’m reading.  Perhaps now I can finally work on those goals that everyone’s been wanting me to work through.  We’ll see. 

I am still wanting to climb out of this thing that I’m in…I’m sure it’ll be obvious when that happens.  Until then, I’ll just take His grace every moment that I need it, and see what I can through the deep struggles and tears.

A Quote I Liked Today

"The sooner we give up the illusion that a church must be perfect in order to love it, the sooner we quit pretending and start admitting we’re all imperfect and need grace. This is the beginning of real community." – Rick Warren

*I have too much to say about many things, but no real time to say anything…But, yes, I’m still alive;)

So Blessed

Some thoughts for today (although technically it’s Wednesday morning, it’s still Tuesday night to me):

  1. I’m really blessed.  My friend Joi came and worked in my room for HOURS today, doing stuff that needed to be done.  She didn’t quite get the appreciation of how much she’d helped until I said, you just saved me 5 hours of work…Amazing, huh?  Plus, our maintenance guy, Alan, put up all my stuff today!  He didn’t have to do that.  He’s got teachers giving him orders all over the place, but for some reason he made me a priority today.  That was incredible.
  2. I found some tables for my room-the right size too!  It’s been so stressful to think about doing all these centers for this new way of teaching without actually having centers to send the kids.  Now I have 2 of them (yay!), plus a stand for my overhead (double yay!).
  3. The staff is really connecting with the things that we’ve been learning, and that truly blesses me as a teacher here at Hanley.  If only a few of us change our practices with teaching, it will benefit kids, but it won’t impact them quite like having all the teachers on board.  I’m not sure if we’re at 100% necessarily, but the people that have shared were kind of like "miracle teachers"…if they realize their need to change and are willing to follow through with it, then many of the other staff members will join suite…very cool.
  4. God gives me peace.  I really believe that!  Isaiah 26.3-4    You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

    God is so faithful.  He just kept bringing Scripture to my heart this morning, as I was frustrated by several little things that kept happening to push me behind my schedule.  I had my worship music on, and I just couldn’t help but praise Him.  I believe I said something like, "God, You’re still God no matter what happens today!  You’re still sitting on Your throne, and You still hold this world in Your hands.  You may not choose to change my situation, and that’s okay.  But I need You to change my heart and my attitude right now.  Please help me."  And He did.  I can’t "will" myself to do that.  I can choose my attitude, but only God can truly change it…

Oh my, I’m sleepy.  Wednesday morning will come early…oh wait, it already is Wednesday morning…:)

Ever Feel Like This?

Jeremiah 31:18-19 (New Living Translation)

18  …‘You disciplined me severely,

      like a calf that needs training for the yoke.
   Turn me again to you and restore me,
      for you alone are the Lord my God.

19 I turned away from God,
      but then I was sorry.
   I kicked myself for my stupidity!
      I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.’

…or of all I did yesterday…that works too.

Really appreciating God’s grace, once again, today…

Not to mention, this verse keeps popping out to me.  I read it a couple weeks ago…

Zephaniah 1:12 (New Living Translation)

12 “I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners
      to punish those who sit complacent in their sins.
  They think the Lord will do nothing to them,
      either good or bad.

In context, or out, the bolded portion describes my human nature sometimes…complacency sucks.  So I go back to the first verse and say, "Turn me again to you and restore me, for you alone are the LORD my God."