90 Days

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need.

Colossians 1:11 (NLT)

 

90 days.

Some of you may remember the blog I posted at the end of June. I wrote it to let you know that I had decided (with a bit of heavenly encouragement) to participate in a 90 day fitness challenge.

The Challenge:

Follow a exercise program through 90 days.

While my summer filled up fast and I lost track of many of my goals and set plans, I am happy (and a bit surprised) to report that I completed my 90 day challenge!!

Don’t misunderstand me. This was a victory that was hard won, and not without its setbacks. (I am not sure what happened during week 8- but I am sorry to say that I know exercise did not.)

BUT… I didn’t give up. I didn’t give myself the usual out of “well, I blew the week, might as well wait till __________________ and start all over again….

I didn’t go back to week one. I didn’t even sit around and think about going back to week one. I looked at the schedule and I started week 9.

Understand, I am not one to skip and move on. And every fiber of my body just wanted to “repeat week 8” and just finish a week later. What harm could it cause? I had already lost the time. It felt like skipping a chapter in a book. (If you know me, you know the gravity that suggestion conveys).

While staying on week 8 may have been a good compromise between moving forward and starting over, had I not pushed forward I would not have learned two very important lessons.

  1. I realized that I could physically do Week 9 even though I had not successfully completed week 8.
  2. I realized that I would have been more prepared for week 9 had I completed week 8.

And as I recorded the week’s exercises and times I had a moment of clarity as a lightbulb went on.

Exercise is not the only thing I always “wish I did more” yet always “lose the time.” While I am able to keep myself disciplined in accordance with work and school… exercising is not the only “more personal” goal I have a tendency to put on the back burner when making it “fit” just feels too… hard.

(i.e. turning all my notes and drafts into the blogs I long to write.)

You see often (almost always) in life when I experience a set back- when I fail where I had planned to succeed- I sit back. I hesitate. I start to head back to the starting line.

And that makes absolutely NO SENSE.

When I stubbled or fell in a cross country race I didn’t go back to the starting line, or back to the last place I had sure footing, I ran forward. So why do I insist now I have to finish it (whatever “it” is) in one successful awe-inspiring swoop?

Why is it that I decide to put my goals and dreams in an unnecessary form of “detention” until I deem myself capable of attempting the pursuit again?

Maybe you can relate?

And all this had me thinking… what goals have I set for myself that instead of moving forward I have started back towards the starting line or worse- resigned myself to where I fell.

The lessons we learn from falling only take effect after we get back up.

So I am beginning another 90 day challenge. Actually, I am beginning several 90 day challenges.

Writing, Speaking, Studying, Budgeting… and setting the boundaries that will allow me to run towards them. (Also exercising – watch out week 8!!)

And while obstacles may still litter my path, and I still may miss week 8, I won’t be turning around and I won’t be staying down.

But in a holy and defiant endurance and patience I will run my race, and I bid you all to do the same!

We will probably come out with a few scrapes and bruises, I at least will definitely be a bit winded, but when we look back we will see progress. And whatever “defeat” there was that attempted to keep us from moving forward, will be trampled in the dust.

And an important 3rd lesson: Dream Big and Take Baby Steps.

My 90 day challenge for exercising was not a two hours a night 7 days a week regime. It was doable and flexible and fit in my schedule while still pushing me to make the time for it and commit to completing it at 100%.

However, not only can I run a 5K outside again (take that MS Heat Sensitivity) BUT I was able to shave 7 minutes off of my time. And while I won’t be doing any major weight lifting competitions anytime soon, I can feel strength returning to my arms and legs.

This is not 90 days of make it or shame it, it is 90 days of reaching for the stars and reaching for a hand up when you find you’re struggling to get up on your own. Make perfect plans and remember that you’re not perfect and accept that that is okay.

God asks for a little, and our little can do far more than we could ever imagine. Oftentimes it is in our weaknesses His strength prevails. So take a deep breath and dive in. Let yourself laugh and cry when you need to. Don’t go back to the starting line, your starting line moves with you and is wherever your progress has brought you. (However, never skip a chapter in a book… I am still hard pressed to imagine a time when that is okay…)

Cheers to the next and last 90 days of 2019! Let the race begin  continue.

Photo by Hanna Viellehner on Unsplash

Access

In him we have boldness and confident access through faith in him.

Ephesians 3:12 (CSB). 

I am assuming that I am not the only one who blinked and feels as if they missed the month of August?

Back to school, last minute vacations, fair days and all of the final summer celebrations that bring summer to a close and welcome fall in (heralded in by the infamous release of pumpkin spice everything!) 🍁

I had not intended to take a blogging “sabbatical” this summer… regardless I am back and I have missed you all a great deal!

Just to let you know where I have been; I managed to finish my three courses (and begin my new ones), wrote 1/3 of a book (which I hope to finish and share more on soon), graduated my first unit of CPE continuing my journey to becoming a certified hospital chaplain and…

Located a spot and moved into mine and Reyna’s new space!

The last few household items were put up these past few days (Thank you Grandma, Tom and Dad!) And we are officially moved in!

The picture above is when I first received the keys.

The Lord ensured I had plenty of time and I was very blessed to enjoy a “slow and steady” moving in process.

For the past two years the majority of my things were in a storage unit and then over this summer spread out between two households. So the gathering was quite an adventure in itself.

However despite the change and difficulties when making a move… and the colossal task of unpacking, I had a moment of complete gratitude.

Don’t get me wrong- this move was not one taken on as a solo gig and I was and still am incredibly thankful for every helping hand and encouraging word that continues to pour in- but this was a moment of a different form of thankfulness.

What I was thankful for had been buried, not readily on the surface, kind of out of sight. Needless to say, it took me by surprise, a sort of revelation.

As I walked through my halfway unpacked apartment I was “down on my knees” thankful to have access to things I had not seen in over two years.

Memories flooded in as I unpacked items dating all the way back to ten years ago when I first moved out to my first dorm room in Oklahoma.

And the reality is that I do not need these things. If everything I owned were to disappear tomorrow, I would be okay.

Because I have a God and a Savior and a Spirit that can never be taken from me. And at the end of the day they always hold my every hope and prayer as well as all my trust and love.

But as I look and remember, I am humbled and grateful for every blessing I have received and continue to receive that I did not and do not deserve.

The adventures this journey has taken me on and the wonderful people who have joined me along the way.

I thought about it for a moment, this concept of access. And I realized this was far from the first time I had stumbled upon a lovingly opened door.

And as I reminisced on all these lovingly opened doors of the past, some of which had also been lovingly closed- ushering me on to the next one- I found myself reveling at the door which by all human standards could have never been opened.

The greatest access I have ever been and ever will be granted is the access I have through Jesus, who opened the door that was by all human accounts impossible to open.

The key to which was something I would have never been able to possess and that which had to be freely given, the blood of my God walking alongside humanity in this broken world.

It can be hard to fathom.

But as the verse from Ephesians reads, it is through faith in Christ Jesus, that we can have bold and confident access to the throne room of the Lord.

Do you know when you pray in Jesus name, no matter where you are- on your knees, standing up, eyes open, eyes closed, a few words, many words, no words just a voiceless weeping- you have entered the throne room of God.

And you, yes you, have the full attention of the creator of the universe.  And He listens to you. He hurts with you. He celebrates with you.

In Jesus you have been given access to the Kingdom, he’s given you the Kingdom keys. You’re no longer a guest, you’re an adopted and battled for child of the King.

And our King loves to listen and talk to you. There is nothing too insignificant or small, He wants to hear about it all. He knows every hair on your head.

He is a King who has personally created you in His own image, purposefully crafted you together for a time such as this and who, not would but has, died for you.

Access.

It is not the first word I would have put on a list of thanksgiving. Yet, it is the beginning and ending of everything, in Christ Jesus.

I am excited to be writing again my friends. Please comment any prayer requests below or on the page listed in the tabs above. ♥️🙏

The picture at the top is when I first received my keys. Included below is a picture of Reyna preparing to enter our new “home away from home.” (Complete with “Give Thanks” wreath and “This house runs on coffee and Jesus” welcome mat!)

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