My Journey Along the Narrow Way

Archive for August, 2011

Run, Forest, Run…

Or I guess for me it would be: Run, Debey, Run. I have always wanted to be a runner. I’m not sure why it holds such a lure for me, but I really would love to be one of those people who run.

It really makes no sense. Anyone who has seen my short, stubby legs can tell that I wasn’t ever really built for speed. I’ve always been really jealous of people with long, lean legs to run on.
Anyway…I have to make due with what I was given, and I was given short legs.

Lately, I’ve gotten into the treadmill. I guess it was just hanging in there long enough to get past the “oh my gosh, I’m gonna die, when is this going to be over” feeling to start enjoying it some. Now don’t get me wrong, every minute I’m walking and sweating I’m not in bliss or anything, but I don’t HATE it now. I don’t feel like I’m going to die everytime I do it.

So one day I decided, why not? I’m going to try to run for one minute and see what happens. And guess what? I didn’t fall over dead. My legs didn’t fall off. I actually didn’t hate it kind of liked it.

After that I decided I would do an informal type of ramp up to running. I know myself, so I decided I didn’t want a formal, set-in-stone kind of running plan. I would just keep on going to the gym every week and run. So this week it is running at least 4 times for a minute each time during my 45 brisk walk on the treadmill. That’s it.

Next week, I will ramp up to at least five times for a minute or more. Last night, I did my four times but actually ran closer to a minute and 15 seconds each time.

That’s progress, right? I’m striving for baby steps with this as well as with my eating habits on Weight Watchers. Each baby step moves me a little closer to the goal.

I know a lot of people would need something a little more regimented. But I know myself and if I did that I would get burned out really fast and not want to do it.

Oh, and I’m walking/jogging a 5K next month! It will be my first ever. Which is exciting, especially for someone who hasn’t done anything like this since I was in about sixth grade.  I’m still looking for anyone who would like to join me.  Why don’t you give me a call?

But God…

People ask all the time what my favorite verse is in the Bible.  There are so many to choose from but if I had to pick one it would be Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  During the hardest times in my life I CLING to this verse.

But when I think of what words of Scripture are most precious to me, it would have to be this:  But God.  These have long been my absolute favorite words in the Bible.  And I see I’m not alone.  Just this last Sunday Shawn (our preacher) mentioned those two words in his sermon as well.  Google these two words and multiple postings, including many blogs, pop up.

For being two small little words, only 3 letters a piece, they are very powerful words.  What they say again and again in the Bible is:  man does _________ (which is usually something selfish, hurtful, stupid, etc.); BUT GOD __________ (fixes it, works it all for our good and His glory, hits us upside the head with a 2X4 so we understand, etc.).  How can anyone NOT love that?

For example…I was running away from God and his enemy.  I was literally shaking my fist at him…but God loved me, pursued me, called me to Himself.

Psalm 49:14-15

14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave;
Death shall feed on them;
The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning;
And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling.
15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave,
For He shall receive me.  Selah

I am mortal and I will one day die…But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave.

Acts 13:29-30

29 Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead.

Jesus’ earthly body died on the Cross, But God raised Him from the dead.

Romans 5:7-8

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We might lay our life down for another, but only if we feel like they are worthy…But God died for us – worthless, angry, sinful worms.

1 Corinthians 10:13

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

We are tempted and fail repeatedly…but God is faithful to help us either escape or bear the temptation.

Psalm 73:26

26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

We will rot and die…But God will redeem us forever!

I fail and fall repeatedly…But God
I hurt others and am selfish…But God
Satan attacks and tempts us…But God

I mean, how can you not LOVE this?  It reminds me again and again…it is NOT me.  None of it.  Nothing I do.  It is ALL God.  He is sovereign, He is faithful, He is in control.  And all I can say is Thank God!  If my faith was left up to me I would stumble before I finished typing this blog post, mostly likely before I finished typing this sentence.  But God is faithful to the end.

No matter what happens in my life, when I’m down, or disappointed, or I fail, I cling to these two little words….BUT GOD.

That Kind of Woman…

 I’ve always wanted to be one of those women like my mother was.  In fact, pretty much my entire adult life has been spent trying to figure out how to be her.  You see, my mom was one of those women that are so rare.  She had that “quiet and gentle spirit” that the Bible speaks about.  She was loved by all: I never once heard anybody at anytime say anything negative about her.  She was always calm, no matter what.  I never, ever heard her say one negative thing about anyone. 

For example, there was this one woman in our church growing up.  She had really bad arthritis, the kind where her fingers looked mangled.  She was absolutely the hardest person to be around.  She was extremely negative all the time.  However, my mother agreed to drive her to and from her doctor’s appointments.  My mother actually seemed to enjoy her time with “Miss Emma”. 

I want to be that way.  I want to be content, no matter my circumstances.  I want to take joy in everything I do…without grumbling.  The problem is, that is not my personality naturally and I don’t know HOW to be that way.

1 Peter 3:3-5, speaking to women, says:

3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.

That really, really is convicting to me.   And really, really impossible for me to attain.  You see, I’ve never been that kind of woman.  I’ve never been called gentle or had someone refer to my quiet spirit.  But I really want to be that woman.  So, I’ve asked God to help me in this area. 

Recently, I’ve had some success in this area.  I realize it is all God’s work, and God’s alone.  But He has helped me keep quiet lately when I was upset and stressed.  He has helped me tame my tongue.  However, I realize that this is definitely a work in progress.  And it will take a long, long time.  But, Lord willing, maybe one time I will be that kind of woman.  And one day someone will tell me I remind them of  my mother, or even better, that I remind them of Christ.

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
       but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

The Land of Broken Items, Part II…

Just a quick update about our sojourn in the Land of Broken Items.  Bud was here until Saturday morning when we dropped him off at approximately 6:30 a.m.  When he left, pretty much everything was in working order.  To add weight to my theory that there seems to be a disturbance in the force that the appliances can feel every time Bud leaves…at approximately 6:00 p.m. Saturday night, lightning struck the transformer that is at the bottom of our driveway yet again.  This in turn caused the thermostat for the air conditioner to quit working, as well as causing the computer to no longer recognize a mouse or a keyboard, and knocking the internet out in the area for over 24 hours.  It was quite funny to me that we couldn’t even go 12 hours into Bud’s absence when the Land of Broken Items came back with a vengeance.

It really would be quite funny if it didn’t test my patience so much.  I have a feeling that it’s that sanctification thing again…

 

He’s back…and then gone again…

So, as usual, when I get really stressed busy, I tend to either get crazy or move inward into myself.  Since my last post, apparently I’ve been doing both.  Things are continuing to move on.  We have been extremely busy staying busy doing all the things busy people do:  work, work-out, hanging out with the family, trying to hold it all together.  One thing I have been able to do is to look forward to Bud coming home for vacation.  We finally got the date – 07/30/11 – and started the flurry of activity to prepare for Bud’s arrival.  As usual, I got a little manic trying to get everything that I had determined needed to be done before Bud’s arrival.

Finally the day arrived!  What was really strange to me is that by the night before I was TOTALLY nervous.  Strange.  This is my husband of 25 years I was waiting on.  But there it is…I was feeling as nervous as I did on our first date.

After about an hour wait, Bud finally came up the escalator!!!  Bella, Joey, and I were so excited to see Bud.  Poor Bud…he looked like he felt horrible.  We came to find out that he hadn’t slept in about 30 hours and he got some sort of food poisoning or something on the plane and had puked for six hours of the flight.  Needless to say, Bud wasn’t feeling his best.  Add to that some lost luggage in case that wasn’t enough.

However, a nice three hour nap in the car on the way home helped him tremendously.

Once Bud was home he was quickly mobbed by the dogs.  They were SO excited to see him.  So were his parents and assorted family and friends.

I had a fabulous week with Bud.  Of course, God couldn’t resist using this situation to sanctify me a little bit more.  I learned (after some stress) to just enjoy.  To quit planning, quit stressing when things didn’t go the way I envisioned, and just enjoy every moment we had together.  After I finally got that, it ended up being everything I hoped for.  However, it was much, much too short.  And the next thing we knew it was time for him to go again.  Both Bud and I were sad it was over so fast, but it was much easier this time as he should only be there for approximately 2 months.

I feel like we were given such a gift during this time together. It was so much fun to feel that nervousness and excitement from the beginning of our relationship.  Most people don’t get to feel that after 25 years of marriage and 31 years of being together.  It was wonderful to feel that again.

I thank God for the gift of my husband and I can’t wait until he’s back again!