When All You Want To Do Is Quit


tearMy day began with waking up in the middle of the night to a message. I tossed and turn from 3am until I woke up for work. As I arrived at work, I walked into my office to find a horrible smell of musky, mildew. After searching for it, I finally discovered the carpet in front of an emergency exit door was saturated with water. For the remainder of the day, the door in my office was open with two fans blowing to help dry it out so they can begin repairs. The entire 8 hours at work was a struggle to make it to the end. All day my head couldn’t concentrate on anything at hand. I felt myself be “short” in conversations and not want to really give my best. About 30 minutes before I left work, a huge thunderstorm came through. I shut the emergency exit door in my office so rain obviously wouldn’t come in. As the rain increased, I huge waterfall of rain water came pouring down the door onto my carpet… the carpet we were trying to dry out all day long. The entire door frame was spilling water. After the workday, I go and pick up my daughter. As we are making our way to a class, she begins to tell me her belly hurts. Within 30 minutes she has pooped (in liquid form) on herself and in the car seat. She became hysterical. Embarrassed because of what had happen – and worried she would get in trouble. After class, we go to practice for our church service on Sunday. My irritability level went through the roof. Every small detail that could get under my skin – did.

The emotions I felt I really can’t explain. When I left the church building nothing would have pleased my flesh more than to quit my job, quit the worship team, quit anything else I was committed to and just do nothing. Lately, this indescribable feeling of wanting to just scream and let out the frustrations that I feel are sitting on my shoulders seems to be something I can’t quite shake. These urges to cry and release my own waterfalls of tears just seem to come on their own. Urges to just cry out for God to hear me. After reading Hebrews 5:7, I was comforted to know Jesus felt just like me.

During His earthly life,[a] He offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence.” (HCBS)

I read this line in an article – and it was so accurate for me: “Tears are so intensely personal that the praying soul can weep more naturally and freely when only God is the witness to the tears.” When I am alone with God, speaking of things and praying for things that no one else knows about, my soul literally weeps, and He hears every silent word.

I heard someone say a few days ago that “tears were intercession” on behalf of others to God. I don’t know if there is a scripture to support this but I know Hannah’s tears stirred God’s heart and He blessed her with a son – whom she faithfully gave back to God. Then because of her obedience was blessed with additional children.

I have felt this type of thing before; however, never this strong. These moments are much like labor pains – coming more often and increasing in pain with each additional time. I believe something is getting ready to be birthed! Now is NOT the time to quit – but the fact that I feel this way let’s me know it’s just going to be that much better!! Here’s to answered prayers and enormous breakthrough for myself and others God has placed on my heart in these past few months.

 

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Crossfit As Therapy?


I never would have imagined that I – of all people – would be participating in Crossfit. If you know my testimony, then you understand why this statement is true. If you don’t know my testimony, here are a few posts where I have chronicled my struggles:

Those Deep Dark Secrets  |  When “It” Returns To Haunt You  |  A True Confession

It didn’t matter how many times I faced my struggle, it seemed to find its way back. This is the first time I have started something, had my body make changes, and I actually accept them. Don’t get me wrong, it has not been a perfect road of no complaining, lol, but of acceptance – yes. For the past two years I have committed myself to running 2-3 times a week (totaling 7-11 miles) and toning based exercises/routines such as BodyPump. My goal was to feel and look thin. I didn’t want my thighs to touch because to me it meant I was fat. I hate anything hanging over the sides of my jeans because I feel like my “love handles” are 3x’ larger than they really are. If I looked thin (even without muscle) and I felt thin I was validated in some sick sense.

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What started as an exercise to grow my marriage to a new level has turned into a tri-weekly therapy session for my inner most person. After taking Crossfit classes for around 5 weeks now, my body is changing. My inner thighs touch at the top. When this first started happening, I began to cringe. My entire body was beginning to feel “thick”. (Side note – I have always had a muscular body type from dance  and I didn’t want to have it anymore!) I struggled for a few days, even debating if I wanted to keep doing it… could I really handle these changes to my body without losing my sanity? A single comment from my husband changed my entire attitude of whether I would quit or not…

This is the best your body has looked in a long time. Fit is the new sexy.

Well! If my husband was liking my new physique then it was something I was willing to take on. His opinion of me as my lifelong partner is extremely important to me. In marriage we grow and change everyday and I want to make sure I stay “in tune” with him even when it comes to my body. 🙂

Next came the struggle of food. The workouts were burning lots of calories but I wasn’t replenishing them like I should. I have always had a horrible relationship with food. When I started Crossfit I was at a place with food where I really could care less about eating at all. Food was a necessity to live and I wanted to consume the least amount possible. That meant less to work off. After a conversation with a new friend of mine at this gym, I had a new perspective on eating. She told me after a truth session regarding food, “it’s not about how much you do or don’t take in – it’s about fueling your body for the workout ahead.” I am not sure why this specific sentence made a difference but it did. From that point forward I didn’t quite look at food as an enemy, but instead, a friend.

All-in-all, this 5 week experience has been a positive one. In the last week and half, I have noticed changes in my body that I have NEVER seen in the years of previous working out. I am 32 years old and I am seeing “lines” I have never seen in my life. You read correctly… in 5 weeks I am seeing changes I have never seen in years. It’s encouraging and exciting. While many of the workouts suck, haha, it’s so worth it when you go home and see new lines of definition coming through – even when it’s muscle gain. I feel amazing – like I could take on the world.

I am not someone who intends on working up to lift 250lbs. For now, I am content with the challenge of seeing what I can accomplish, overcoming pieces of me I had thought were finally worked through only to find out they had not been, and seeing a new me my husband is intrigued by – <3. That drives me. At the end of the day, I know what I am called to do for the Lord. It pertains to helping people find freedom and face faith in this temporary life. How in the world can I help people who share my testimony if I still have pieces I need to work through? (I am so amazed how the Lord will prompt us to do one thing and yet it actually “answers” or “corrects” numerous things. I’m so grateful He is an all-knowing GOD and knows exactly what I need, when I need it. I just have to listen.)

I think it’s time to finally close this chapter in my life.

Breaking Through The Mountain


A mountain is a “large natural elevation of the earth’s surface rising abruptly from the surrounding level; a large steep hill.” A second dictionary gives a second definition of “a large amount of something.” And yet, scripture tells us:

I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. – Mark 11:23

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The definition of mountain and what scripture has given above are perfect examples of how we cannot look at our lives with the eyes on our face, but instead the set of spiritual eyes we were born with. Obviously, physically we cannot lift up a mountain and throw it into the sea. Perhaps piece-by-piece but this scripture gives the impression of lifting up the mountain as a whole. With physical eyes, we see the mountain (our problem) in front of us, but we have to see with our spiritual eyes that we can move it.

I have shared in this blog for almost 6 years now. Every story linked to some sort of situation either I was apart of, something that has happen to me personally, or something that inspired me enough through someone else that the theme of the that story had to be shared. For what feels like the first time, I have a mountain in front of me I can’t seem to move. What makes this worse is I received a word from God a few weeks ago that not only was I strong enough in faith to move a mountain, I could break through the mountain. Then why am I struggling so badly? Why do I feel defeated? Why am I struggling with the things that I am?

This mountain affects me in many ways, but most of all, emotionally. The struggle it brings me is a battle I just keep trying to face and have faith with but seem to lose it within a short time. I have made progress, which I suppose is better than nothing. In the beginning, I couldn’t see straight to deal with it – much less acknowledge it. Now, I am at a point where it is still a mountain of thorns in my side, but I can see when something is beginning to stir me up. I try very, very hard to deal with it appropriately. I enter into a prayer wherever I am and ask God to help me through. I ask the Holy Ghost to grace me with an uncanny ability to focus my mind. This process is probably the equivalent to carrying pieces of the mountain in a shovel to the sea. Far from lifting the entire thing up – or breaking through it completely.

I do not have a clever wrap up for this blog. This is just an honest portrayal of where I am. I have not written in weeks and thought it only fair to those of you who follow my blog to understand why you have not heard from me… I am going through a trial of my own and have needed some time to try to get through it. I hold tight to a handful of things Jesus has shown me between January and now. Documenting everything in a prayer journal so in times when I am feeling weak – so I can go back and find strength in God’s promises to me.

I cling tightly to what James says in chapter 1:

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.

(Side note: Every time I read these verses I have to just laugh inside at “faith produces endurance”. My next question is, “what kind of endurance do I need with what I am going through?!”  And the very next verse says, “but endurance must do its complete work… ” Heaven help me, lol.)

Ask for wisdom. That’s what I did. My prayer lead me to Proverbs 2. I read the following:

…if you call out to insight and lift your voice to understanding,  if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure,  then you will understand the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

And this is where I am… searching for wisdom, believing it will bring me God’s knowledge which in turn, brings me understanding – because I absolutely do not understand. I do not want to see this mountain in front of me anymore, but I just can’t seem to lift it up and throw it in the sea. #feelinglost #feelinginsecure #feelinghopeless

FACED

The 5K


Oh, the 5k. Exhausting. Satisfying. Accomplishing. Overcoming. These are all words I would use to describe my recent experience, running my very first 5k.

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For two years now, I have run on a treadmill 3-4 times a week. I started running after I had my daughter because of self-inflicted knee problems. It was all I could do. Literally. My runs started out at 4.0 mph for 30 minutes / 3-4 times a week. Over the next two years, I gradually made my way to running at 5.0-5.5 mph for 60 minutes / 3-4 times a week (and could even give a short burst at 6.0 mph!). The increase wasn’t fast, it was gradual. Pushing myself a little more when I felt I had become accustomed to that speed or time. Sometimes I increased my speed, sometimes my time, sometimes both.

Running a 5k had been a goal of mine since I had Kait. I had become fond of running. Since I was running on a treadmill, I eventually moved from music to Netflix. Watching different seasons of shows can really help you through some workouts! (haha) When New Year’s rolled around, I had decided this was the year I would run my first 5k. So I signed up for one! I chose one a month out – not too soon – not too far away. I wanted something where I could see the goal in the NEAR future. I pushed myself harder in running. I had many, many more times of stopping for a second to catch my breath. I pushed beyond my comfort level. My goal for my first 5k was to finish in under 45 minutes. Not the fastest time, but with not usually running on pavement, I felt it was a good first goal.

The morning of the run, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was going to set my pace like on the treadmill and just go. Not caring who passed me, I just wanted to run for me. I warmed up, stretched, ate half a banana, prepped my playlist… and started. Within the first 60 seconds of running it was really difficult. With 30 degree air filling my lungs, my body just wanted to quit. (Treadmills are indoors!) I pushed through, my playlist changed to the second song, and my body just set its own pace. I felt a little “pep in my step” kick in, lol. I kept the pace as long as I could – and pushed until I couldn’t push anymore. As I crossed the finish line I saw my time… 29:09. Not only had I beaten my goal – I had beaten it by a wide margin! I was so disoriented from pushing myself that hard (in that cold of temperatures) I actually wrote my age down incorrectly on my time card. I have just recently turned 32… I wrote 35. I was dizzy and couldn’t get my bearings for about 10 minutes. Imagine my surprise when I found out I had won 2nd place in my age group – in my very first 5k!!

For the next 3 days, I could barely stand and barely eat. My body had not experienced this sort of soreness in a long time. Being so sore you actually had body aches (really muscle aches) that felt like you had the flu. The very thought of food made me want to throw up. I ate as I could and tried to continue to stretch my muscles out – but it was a task each and every time.

I really felt like I was pushing myself when training for this 5k. I was out of my comfort zone, I couldn’t breath. I was drenched in sweat, I stunk to high heaven. My times increased, my mileage increased. However, on the day of the actual race, I realized there was room to push even harder. A LOT of room! I was not pushing myself NEARLY enough when comparing the two.

How many times do we do this in our spiritual life? Do we push ourselves to being just out of breath enough where we can stop for 30 seconds and hop back on? Or do we push ourselves so hard we can’t eat for 3 days? Life is a run. We have 5k’s, 10k’s and marathons within our life. In order to win these races we have to train. A runner does not run one time a week for 10 minutes. They train daily. The eat the right foods. They go for extended runs. In our spiritual life, we should be diving into God’s word everyday. Praying everyday. Fasting when HE calls us to fast. In order to win this race – and do it right – we must be pushed outside our comfort zone. I bet you are reading this right now thinking about how much more you could push yourself to seek God. You are thinking how often do you do what God has told you to do – and now you have prolonged the finish line. Every race we have in life is preparation for the next race. He gives us an opportunity to train – run the race – and gain the faith and endurance to face the next race. The race that is uphill. The race that takes you through months of struggle. The race that has you on your face crying your eyes out because you don’t understand why you feel the way you feel. The race that leaves you wondering is God even real. They are all real races but He has given you opportunity to be prepared for them. It’s up to if you will train to the point of exhaustion. To the point of being satisfied. To the point of feeling accomplished. To the point of overcoming the battle and winning.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15-16