Monday, January 27, 2014

Rest



Alarm set - check.  Workout clothes laid out - check.  Water bottle in refrigerator - check.  iphone charged and ready to go - check.  New Jeff Galloway app - check!

I had the makings of a great run, ready to go.  I did not count on being up 4 times with our new puppy.  I did not count on insomnia, and only getting a few hours sleep.  So when my alarm clock went off at 5:15 a.m., I allowed myself permission to turn it off and roll over for another hour sleep.

I don't like not following through with plans that I have made.  Even the plans that involve only me, that no one else even knows about it.  I like the whole process of following through.  I feel good when I do.

I have learned though over the years, as I am sure you have learned, that things have a way of not always working out in the way in which you expected.  Have you ever heard that old phrase, "the best laid plans...?"
My curiosity got the best of me, and I did a web search to find out exactly what the rest of this phrase is and where it came from.  "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray" comes from a poem entitled, The Mouse by Robert Burns.  It means exactly what we all thought it means - plans change, when you least expect them to.

Even though my stubborn self was not thrilled with facing the fact that I would not be going for my morning run today, I understood that perhaps this was the way it should be.  I obviously needed that extra hour sleep.  Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew...

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

With the extra sleep, I was able to rise refreshed, and spend quiet time reading my devotions and praising God for the gifts He has given me - a home, warm bed, extra quilt my grandmother's best friend made for us, hot coffee, and endless opportunities to run another day.

Fitness professionals agree that rest days are important to schedule during your week, just as important as work outs.  Be sure to take a couple of days off to allow your muscles to rest and heal.  

_________________________________________________________________________________
It's Monday! We are starting a NEW tradition today! 

Make a Deal Monday! Look at your week, and decide today what fitness goal you would like to accomplish.  Make a deal (promise) to yourself that you will work hard to accomplish it.

My Make a Deal Monday deal is - to run/walk 23 miles this week.

Post back here or on our facebook page and share your Deal.  I would love to cheer you on!

Your Sole Searching Sister,
Julie

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ask. Seek. Knock.

The Scripture inspiration for today is
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  Matthew 7:7-8 NIV

Here in Matthew we are taught that no request is too big for God.  Thankfully His mercy and grace is not dependent on the measure of our faith, but rather the measure of His goodness.

I am not sure where you are on your Faith walk.  Maybe you are just beginning.  I want to share that I know that I personally have felt unworthy to ask of God the desires of my heart.  But after studying the Scriptures, I have come to understand that He does not see us as the sum of our failures and triumphs (like we often see ourselves.) He sees us as the child He created.

It's time we start seeing ourselves in the same light.  When was the last time you asked something challenging of yourself? If it was recently, I want to commend you! If it has been awhile, I invite you to examine the reason(s) why you are not asking more of yourself.  Is it because of fear of failure?

If the answer is Yes! Consider this.. You only fail when you quit.

Quitting means to stop trying.  Are you there, in that place? Where you have given up on a dream, or of losing weight, or of creating a healthier lifestyle? I can tell you that the obstacles you are facing can be overcome.. you just need to ask.  Ask God to help you, right where you are.  Then ask MORE of yourself today.  More than you did yesterday.  Start there.  If its fitness you struggle with, today ask yourself to give 15 minutes.  Ride a bike, take a walk, turn on some music and dance.  Fifteen minutes.  You can do this.

We all need encouragement.  Today, be that source of encouragement for yourself.  Ask, seek, knock.  God will be there to guide you and strengthen you.



Thursday, January 16, 2014

What's on your playlist?

I have always been fascinated with movie soundtracks.  Even as a little girl, I was very interested in how the background score attributed to or complimented the feeling of a scene in a movie.  Music can create the feeling of suspense, heartbreak, fear, and joy.

I have found that music, the right music, can cut right through a bad mood when I am in one.  It can help put peace in the middle of a stressful situation.

The other day I found myself feeling overwhelmed with the tasks facing me that day.  It was morning, and my daughter and I were getting ready for work and school.  Despite being up at 4:20 a.m. that morning, we were running a bit behind our normal schedule.  I found myself in my bathroom, blowing dry my hair, and without even really thinking about it I began singing Matt Maher's, "Lord I Need You." The next thing I know, a calm has taken over the previously stressed moment I was experiencing.

If music moves you, like it does me, I encourage you to surround yourself with music that has a message.  A message of love, joy, hope, and promise.  Give yourself the gift of mood changing, life giving, empowerment.  I would love to hear what songs do this for you.  I want to share a few more of my own favorites, many of whom are on my running/walking playlist.

Beautiful Day, Hold Me, Show Jesus - Jamie Grace
Overcomer, Stronger, & Good Morning - Mandisa
Steal My Show - TobyMac
Build Your Kingdom Here - Rend Collective Experiment
Gold - Britt Nicole
Your Grace is Enough - Matt Maher
Every Good Thing - The Afters

Until next time, may the music of life inspire you and give you hope!

Your Sole Searching Sister,
Julie




Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Out of Control...

There will be times in our life when we will feel weak.  This weakness can be caused by experiences such as stress, grief, feelings of unworthiness, or illness.  Basically, I have learned from my own experience, we often feel weak when we feel we have lost control of a situation.  

When we come to know God, we realize in time that we are never really "in control."  God has our future, and has made big plans for our lives.  He is the one that is in the driver's seat.  But we have to be His co-pilot and do what He is calling us to do.  For many of us, that brings fear.. fear of the unknown.  We may feel we understand the "call" on our lives, but perhaps do not feel confident in the way in which we should go about fulfilling it.  Or maybe you are still searching or discerning the call on your life.  This too can cause us to feel fear.

The scripture I want to share with you today is one of my favorites.  This is one that I encourage you to print out, memorize, and recall whenever you are feeling fear over "losing control.

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 NLT

If you haven't yet today, make time to listen to God.  Read this scripture, over and over if you have to.  Really examine the words He uses here.  God is not suggesting that we trust Him.. He is commanding us too.  He is telling us that when we trust Him, and know Him.. He will be with us wherever we go, even during the scary discouraging times of our lives.  He will never forsake us, if we just will come to Him and faithfully walk in His light.

Today, do something good for your body and soul.  Do something that will strengthen you.  Read the Word and then maybe do some strength training, or go for a quick jog or walk.  

Be reassured in knowing that being "out of control" is really you at your strongest... because you will be guided by our all knowing, all powerful Father in Heaven.

Much love,
Your Sole Searching Sister




Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Let us consider...

Inspiration for today's blog topic came to me while I was walking our two dogs this morning.  Before I get into that, let me tell you about my two little canine sidekicks.

Ginny, 8 years old, is a Fox Terrier mix that we received when she was a puppy.  Peaches is nearly 4 months old and we got her just two days before Christmas 2013.  It's been about 2 weeks now since Peaches joined our family.  And as some of you may have heard from me, the jury is still out on how Ginny feels about Peaches.

Everything we have read about bringing a new puppy into the family that contains other dogs has said to let the two work things out for themselves, as long as they are not physically hurting one another.  It has been challenging for each one of us to watch as our older dog Ginny seems to be sad or not as peppy as she once was.  It's hard to watch as Peaches tries to playfully engage with Ginny, and Ginny does not seem to really be interested.

But, we have noticed that there are moments when we see glimpses of a budding friendship, a future sisterhood.  Mostly, we see this when I take them on our daily 2 mile walk.  It begins as soon as the routine does.  They both run towards me as soon as they see me grab their harness and leash.  They stand side by side as I put on their harness and leash.  They wait together patiently as I turn on my music and unlock the front door.  They walk together, within inches of one another, as we tackle the 2 plus miles.
Coming home, they once again stand shoulder to shoulder as I remove their equipment.

Seeing Ginny and Peaches bonding over our morning walk reminds me of just how much I enjoy and rely upon my friends for encouragement and accountability.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25

Maybe there is someone in your life that needs encouraging.  Maybe someone that you know is feeling down, or is not putting themselves first.  Maybe that person is you.  I have found that the best way for me to feel encouraged is to encourage someone else first.  When you share inspiration with others remember the first person to hear the inspiration is you, in your own heart.  

Today, pray about who in you life needs to be "spurred on toward love and good deeds." If it's a friend, call them up or send them a heartfelt message.  If it's you, know that I am praying for you today.  I am praying that today is the day that your heart feels so encouraged you can't help but do something good not only for yourself but also for others.  

Your Sole Searching Sister,
Julie




Monday, January 6, 2014

Overcomer

When I run or walk outside, I love listening to music.  I have a running playlist on my iphone that I listen to nearly every day.  I have chosen music that will uplift me and remind me of why I am out there pounding the pavement.

One of my most favorite songs, and one of the most popular songs to hit the airwaves in the last year, is "Overcomer" by Mandisa.  It is a song that gives me a much needed jolt of energy and renew my commitment to a healthier me, and occasionally brings me to tears ... feeling emotional about just how loved I feel by our God.

This morning, I heard it while out doing my miles and I began thinking of how many people I personally know that are battling something in their life right now.  Some battles are bigger than others, but to the person fighting them, the size of the battle doesn't matter.  A battle is a battle.  I kept thinking, "if only more people could hear this song, and the scripture meaning behind it."

So today I would like to share with you Jeremiah 1:19:

They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.  NIV

And if you have never heard Overcomer, or the story behind it take a moment to hear it today:



My prayer for you today, is that you will acknowledge the power that you have behind you to tackle and fight the battle before you.  It's not about us, it's about God and His grace being more than sufficient.

Let Him be your strength today. 

Your Sole Searching Sister,
Julie




Thursday, January 2, 2014

When the days are foggy...

It was seriously foggy this morning as I set out to get my miles in.  I prepared for it by bringing my little clip-on blinking light, my cell phone, and stayed on the sidewalks.  I snapped this photo of one of the many street lamps in my neighborhood as I passed it by.  It provided comfort to me as a navigated through the dense fog.

Psalm 119:105 came to mind as I looked for each lamp on my route.

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.


It got me thinking about how in life, we all experience moments where our path seem distorted by unclear direction... fog, if you will.  Just as I had to prepare myself to run in the literal fog, we too need to be prepared for those foggy times in our life.  Here in the Psalms, we read that God's Word is a lamp for our feet, a light on our path.  He will show us the way.  But we need to put in the time and effort it takes to know His word and His ways.  do you have a go-to verse? A scripture that you have memorized that when recalled instantly centers you and comforts you? Mine is Phil 4:13.  I love reading it in the different Biblical versions.  My favorite is the NIV version, I can do all this through him who gives me strength.


Taking this concept even further, here we all are; making commitments to a healthier way of life in this new year.  Again, when things get foggy, our paths unclear.. we need to be prepared.  What steps are you taking now that will assist you when the road gets rough? Here are a few that may be of value to you:


-Set a clear goal for yourself.  If you value and benefit from accountability, by all means share your goal with your family and/or friends.


-Pray for guidance.  Ask God to be with you as you venture into this healthful journey.  Give thanks for the ability to move and exercise.


-Build or join a community with the same commitment.  I cannot imagine what I would have done if I did not have Team in Training coaches and mentors in 2009 when I started my own journey.  They were a tremendous help and inspiration to me.


-Educate yourself.  There are hundreds of books, magazines, and blogs out there that will give you the ins and outs of exercise, running, and walking.  Stop by your local library to check a few out.  Get the information that will help you and give health related benefits as to why this is all worthwhile.  Sometimes we all need a reminder.


-Look upon your past, but do not dwell there.  Some people may suggest that looking back isn't beneficial or all together helpful.  I personally disagree.  I think we need to see our past mistakes so we can learn from them and vow not to make them again.  Looking back also helps us to see how far we have already come.


It's day 2 of 2014.  What can you do today to follow the light that is shining just for you?


Blessings!


Your sole searching sister,

Julie


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day One

Here we are. 2014. I am so grateful for this opportunity to share with you and connect with you all. Each post will include a Scripture or inspirational quote. Focusing on this will allow us to set our minds towards our goals, empowered with the strength of God. I encourage you to use these words as you commit yourself to your daily or weekly fitness goals. Use these words as your inspiration for investing in yourself. Thank you for joining me on this journey...


 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
 Lamentations 3:22-23

 com·pas·sion noun \kəm-ˈpa-shən\ : a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.

 You and I woke up this morning, which is a gift all by itself. Maybe you woke up excited about the fact that it is the first day of the new year. Perhaps you woke up, already in a rush.. preparing for a gathering with family or friends. Your to-do list already a mile long. Or perhaps you woke up this morning with a heavy heart. Nothing to look forward to, or so it feels.

 As I read Lamentations 2:22-23, I cannot help but be drawn to these words: compassions and never fails. We look at the definition of compassion and see that it means that it is a feeling, a feeling of want to help those in trouble or sick. God wants to do so much more than just help us. He wants to love us, heal us, teach us, protect us, forgive us, and save us. Take a moment right now to let those words sink in. Then look at the final part of this scripture; "they never fail."

 I don't know about you, but I have failed many times in my life. I have had big failures, but also many small ones. To me, the small failures are the ones that haunt me most of all. The times when I let me emotions get the best of me, the days I spent in fear or insecurity, the times I put myself last. Those failures are the ones that I have the most trouble forgiving myself. The great news is that just because we fail, and we most surely will fail, God's compassion for us NEVER EVER fails. In fact, it renews every single morning.

 So while we may have woken up this morning with burdens or regrets, God's love and compassion for us remains the same. He sees you for who you really are. He sees the wonderful person He created. He wants only good things for you today and this year. As the rest of your day unfolds, don't worry about or meditate on your past failures. God isn't. He is looking to your future, he sees today as the greatest day of your life. Why shouldn't we do the same?

 Right now, commit yourself to being active in some way today. It's the best New Year's Day gift you can give yourself. Get moving for at least 15 minutes. Yeah, it's raining here. I know, there's always an excuse. Find a workout online you can do free. Youtube has a ton. I love Leslie Sansone Walk at Home series. Great solution to get a mile or two in on a rainy day. You can do this. I know you can. It' time for us to be the best we can be, by giving the best to ourselves.

 If you would like to join me and others that are setting a mileage goal for ourselves in 2014, message me via my Simply Sole Searching facebook page. I will gladly send you the link to our online, private mileage spreadsheet with instructions on how to log your miles. Take it from me, it is truly rewarding to set a goal and achieve it through dedication and hard work.

 May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the peace of Christ be with you and guide you throughout this new year.

 Julie