New name, Same concept

A few years back, my husband and I began attending a new church. The first Easter we celebrated with our new body of believers, I heard Easter Sunday called by a different name.

Resurrection Sunday

The first year, I found it odd. Of course, I understood why it was referred to that way. I just wasn’t sure about it. After all, Easter Sunday has always been called Easter Sunday. However, the more I reflect on it, the more I am beginning to prefer the new term.

Resurrection Sunday explains why we celebrate this day so much more than Easter Sunday ever could. For me, Easter means nothing more than a bunny and a bunch of candy if it isn’t connected to the miracle of His resurrection.

The death of Christ would have been just like any other death had it not been for one last step. One that no other prophet, teacher, or religious leader has accomplished. None other died a death for His fallen people after living a blameless life. To take it further, none other have returned after 3 days to prove that He holds the power over sin, Hell, and death.

For those of us who have chosen to believe in the very statements written in the  paragraph above, maybe it’s time we revamp our concept of Easter Sunday. This doesn’t mean we have to abandon all the fun and games associated with the day, but perhaps, we book end our celebrations by focusing on, remembering, and celebrating the reason we have the freedom to do so.

It may mean changing our perspectives, our priorities, our activities. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we avoid it all together. It may simply mean we make small changes to the fun and games. We replace some of the items in our baskets with faith-building fun. We place bible verses in the eggs we use for the hunt. We re-purpose the fun traditions to include the facts and history of why this day is so important to us.

In doing so, may we build families that look forward to “Easter Sunday” not for the fun and candy but because of the death and resurrection of Christ.

The song below has very significant meaning to me. It brings back amazing memories from my adolescence. I can not even count the number of times I walked into the apartment only to hear this song blazing, proclaiming this truth.

This song not only encompasses the events that happen from Good Friday through Resurrection Sunday, but I believe this is the same message the Father above is calling us to…

Will you accept the call? Will you arise in this new life?

I plan to. I sure hope you will join me.

Into Marvelous Light

Has it really been a month since my last post? *goes back and rechecks the date* It sure has.

With many tugs, I find myself back here. To write. To love. To share.

Many times in the past week I have sat down to write. I sit and try to type, but find my heart distracted. Unsure where to start. There was simply too much distracting me.

First off, props to those fellow moms. The ones with kids and still can find the time to consistently write. I pray for that to happen, but haven’t found the groove yet.

Secondly. The distractions. All of them. From financial issues, to medical issues, to work and looking for possibly a different work path, to marriage, to my quiet time, to every other thing that is on my plate and is slipping my mind. I can’t seem to get away from them. A much as I try, they haunt me.

Third, the launch. The launch of Impact Community Church. After much planning, praying, prepping, we hit the ground running today.

I’m convinced the third thing in the list is the reason for most of the things in the second. In fact, I can almost guarantee it. As we have an enemy who loves to strike right when we’re on the verge of something big for God. Something that is right in line with His plan.

The last 7-10 days have been absolutely crazy. First my body starts acting strange, after some conversations and research I know what’s going on. Then to discover little man needs a CT scan to see if he needs to have surgery before getting a helmet as his head still has quite the flat spot. The news from a loved one that includes further treatments in hopes of preventing things from getting worse. All of this on top of prolonged financial issues has put quite the strain on us as of late.

BUT we have a God who is bigger. A God who is stronger. A God who will prevail.

My hopes are to get back to this consistently soon, but I simply cannot make those promises. Not between appointments which should be set up soon, to all the possibilities that would bring. The emotions linked with every single thing going on are already running high. Honestly, they have been for quite some time.

So my request is simply this, that if you think of us, whenever you do, you simply say a short prayer. Even if all that comes to mind is “God help them” or something along those lines. It would be greatly appreciated.

Unexpected

Today we say an unexpected good bye. To a man who needed few words. Though he didn’t speak much, when he did, they impacted many. We say good bye to a man who was a rock for many. A man who was so capable of showing love by simply giving a smile your way. His compassion for others not measurable. How do I know these things of a man I’ve only spoken to a handful of times?  Because I saw it in his actions. I hear it in the words others have shared of him. The stories friends have shared.

As we look back, I see a missed opportunity on my end. The chance to know and learn from a wise man. So many times I walked passed him at church we’d exchange a smile, an acknowledgement of the other.

Barry, although we didn’t speak often, the impact you have made on my life has been more than you’ll know. You’re impact on those around you is greater than anyone can even explain. Even to those to whom you didn’t speak. We will realize many times over at exactly what you’re passing will change in our lives.

Our comfort is this: knowing you are out of pain. Even more, knowing you are sitting in Glory just waiting for those you love to join you. 

Barry, you were a great man. You will be missed by many.

RTW: Perfection

As the days tick on. I want to make this Running Towards What concept into a series. How long this series will last? I don’t know. How many topics we’ll end up covering? I can’t say. All I know is the more thought I give to what I see myself and those I care about running toward, the more posts that come to mind.

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As I reflected on my last post, I couldn’t help but think, how many times do I chase after this worldly ideal of perfection. Running towards the need to always do the right thing, the exact right way. Striving to be the perfect example of a Christian.  Longing for the perfect body. Working toward the perfect family. Driving for what we see as the American dream, because in our minds, that is the perfect life.

Failing to remember that sometimes the best step toward perfection is to admit that we are not and allow the One who is to step into those places.

However, in those times when we’re feeling less than perfect, or wishing that everything was picture perfect is when we need to grasp onto Philippians 1:6:

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

We have the guarantee that one day, probably on the other side of eternity, all this imperfection will become complete. One day, those of us whose faith is in Christ will see perfection. That is a promise that we can cling to.

Maybe, if I would be running toward a closer, more intimate relationship with my Creator who is truly perfect, then will I be able to even get a step closer to perfection. Not perfection as we see it here on earth, but perfection in an eternal sense. A sprint into the arms of Christ that I may experience even a glimpse of what wholeness can actually look like.

If there’s any one topic that may fit in here, feel free to share your ideas with me. 🙂

Get real!

I had started on a blog post about my first day of class…since I only have one class I actually go to, I decided not to. Plus I felt something telling me that there would be something else, something bigger, something better to write about before work. About that time, my friend Kristi’s most recent post popped up in my e-mail and after reading it I immediately knew that this was the bigger and better I was waiting for.

Kristi’s on a journey to get healthy in all areas, as are all of us at Must Love God. In the post, she challenges us to just be real. Then she did something scary…she actually shared the deep dark secrets the numbers. The ones on the scale, and the ones on the label of the jeans. Which is scary for the writer. I found it to be extremely inspiring when I read it. So, here’s my get real.

I am weighing in at 190lbs. My jean size is 13-16 depending on the jean/style ect. Since I don’t have any pics especially shot for this, I’m going to use my most recent pictures. One of the ones from my trip to the Cheesecake Factory with my sister.

The goals? They’re simple. Eat Clean. Move more. Refresh Daily.

Eat Clean:

What does this mean for me? I have been set on cutting my eating down to fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, and a little bit of bread and dairy each day. And scaling back big time on what I drink. Like drinking only water and healthy juices.

For me, if I don’t go strict, it won’t happen. If I allow a cheat day, I’ll make it two days, then a week, then a month, and the vicious cycle begins again.\

Move More:

Choose to walk/run over drive if possible, take the clients at work on outings to the YMCA or the Mall and just walk with them, make workout time a priority-instead of an option. Stand instead of sit (it’s proven to burn more calories). Walk in place when waiting in line.

Refresh Daily:

Make time with God an essential part of my day. Whether it’s at the start (where I typically prefer it) or at the end (where it’s more realistic to happen), make it a must.

How about you? Are you ready to get healthy? To live life to the full? To take the challenge to make maintain your temple? If so, let me know, in the comments! We’d love to have you join us!

New year, New word, New phases

…all strung together by the old word. The word I used last year.

So…let me start off with: This is my 100th Post I thought it was SO cool that my first post of 2012 was my 100th post of all time. I honestly didn’t think I’d see that number of posts when I set out on this blogging adventure. Nor did I ever expect the places that my writing would take me, the people I would meet through it, and the blessings that came out of doing so.

This is NEW YEARs day. I have been looking forward to this day for several reasons. The first being, the beginning of 2012 meant an end to a long, hard, trial-filled (both literally and spiritually), and mostly bad year for me.

The second is today is the day that a new website starts up. This site is one that we’ve been gearing up for lately. If you’re looking to get healthier in all the areas listed and more, then please join us here.Must Love God

The third reason is because two beloved bloggers and myself are partaking in a bible study. One that is going to challenge us to see God and Christ in a new light. One that should *hopefully* give us the tools we need to truly unleash God in our lives. It’s going to be challenging, but so worth it in the end. 

The fourth is because a bunch of us have dedicated to praying for our spouses for the first 31 days of 2012. This is similar to the book Power of a Praying wife, but has boiled it down to the simplest form. 31 days to pray for your spouse with hopes of making your marriage better, stronger, and ultimately more focused on God.

So this is something I don’t typically plan to do. Pick a word for a year. I did last year, and here I am this year, with a word on my mind. This one came to me late last night as I was in the midst of a pity-party falling asleep.

Before I get to my NEW WORD, I’m going to highlight and old word that I’m going to continue to build upon. The word I came up with last year was actually an acronym–SEMP. It stands for Spiritual, Emotional, Mental, Physical. I’ll share more about that a week from tomorrow at MustLoveGod, so if you haven’t subscribed yet, please do, if you don’t, I’m sure I’ll link to it on here too.

Now onto the new word. My word for this year is limitless.

A limit is something defined as a point or level beyond which something does not or may not extend or pass. That is not something I want in most areas of my life. I don’t want to limit love, laughs, friends, myself, my family, and most importantly, my God.

Limitless means just the opposite. Having no limit or limits; unrestricted. I love that. I want to have an unrestricted relationship with my husband, my *genuine* friends, myself. I don’t want to restrict the amount of love, or the number of laughs in my life. Most importantly I don’t want to limit or restrict my God and His works in my life.

With that being said. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my 100th post then with the highlights of the day. God amazes me. He allowed this milestone in my writing to fall on the day I’ve been the most excited for in several weeks, if not months.

I hope you’ll join me in all the fun and growth this year! Blessings on you and yours for all of 2012, we’ll talk again soon!

GFTGG: Chapter 2

Today I am going to cover chapter 2 of Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman

If you missed my overviews of the prologue and chapter 1 feel free to join me here and then come back. The more I read through this chapter, the more I felt like Emily had been given a magnifying glass right into my life, the struggles of my heart. Now, I’m an extremely emotional mess person (ask my family if you don’t believe me, especially my husband) but not once has a book or movie actually moved me to full, real tears. I’m here to admit that this chapter did just that.

As last time, the quotes from the book will be in red and my add ons will be in black. {new} Glimpses into my story will be in purple. Join me, would you? Chapter 2: Chasing Expectation

“…our masks mix with our personality and circumstance. Before we know it we don’t really know who we are, and nobody else does either.” 

This one hit me square between the eyes. I grew up hiding behind masks…a lot. Some were to protect those I cared about the most, others were to keep myself from getting hurt from anyone and everyone. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve discovered just how hindering these masks had become. These masks have lead me into asking annoying questions of those around me that were meant to help me see my worth to them boost my self esteem.


Expectations and Definitions

“I don’t like to fail and I certainly don’t want you to know I’ve failed. And I’m embarrassed at the predictable pattern that my life has become.”

Never does it fail when I make a mistake–no matter how small–when it comes to fessing up to it, I struggle with keeping my emotions at bay. Apologizing and admitting I’m wrong or have done something wrong was never something I was taught how to do…at least not well.


The Good Girl

“I had a good reputation to uphold, a sweetness to protect, an important list of rules to follow, an a long list of people to please.”

“Good girls are good listeners. Good girls are always there for everyone. Good girls don’t get mad. Good girls are laid-back. Good girls roll with the punches, go with the flow, follow the leader.”

“…life was a constant battle of trying to get something I didn’t think I had, of trying to become who Jesus wanted me to be, of trying to become a better version of myself.”

Does someone have a mirror? If so, point it right at me. These quotes describe my thoughts, motives, actions…word-for-word.

A Better Way

“When we believe that God expects us to try hard to become who Jesus wants us to be, we will live in that blurry frustrating land of Should Be rather than trust in The One Who Is.”

This one I shared my thoughts on before I read this. Not so much on what we believe, but how our language effects how we live. This happened to fall right in place with this post.

“We must work hard to perform for acceptance, and most of the time we don’t even realize we are doing it.”

 Lucy’s story


I honestly thought that Emily was telling part of my story, only changing the name…

“Things were not as they should be. Little girls are to be protected. They should not have to protect themselves.”

“Rather than collapse in despair or self-pity, she chose instead to craft a mask of strength and responsibility.”

“Behind my her masks of strength, responsibility, and good performance, she was a tangled mess. And I she was all alone.” 

“As good girls, we subconsciously label ourselves as the strong ones, the responsible ones, the sweet ones, or the right ones…But Jesus is calling us to a deeper, truer, freer identity.”

I could go into depth on each of these and some day, I just might. Using (at least) these four sentences to let you in on a little more of my life, my childhood, my story and Christ’s work through it.

If you’re as blessed as I am in being able to read this book, would you join this community and share your growth and learning as you take this journey coming out from under the expectations of good girls? I’d love to hear your thoughts, input, or whatever else you feel lead to share.