Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Liebster Award! (feeling so grateful!)



I am so happy and honored to be nominated for a Liebster Award from my new friend at A Pace of Balance.  (Please go check out her amazing informative blog!)

So basically the Liebster it a creative and fun way for bloggers (and their readers) to get to know one another and show support.  I love reading blogs.  I wish I had more time to do so.  I have to say that I often wonder about the person behind the blog, don't you? Well, the Liebster Award helps out with that. Here's how:

Liebster Award guidelines...
-You must link back to the person who nominated you-You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given by the nominee before you.-You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award-You must create 10 questions for your nominees-You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees.

So.. ready to learn more about me?? Here are the answers to the questions that I received from A Pace of Balance!

1) Why do you blog? I started out 2014 wanting to do something different.  I felt the real need to journal my inspirations that I felt God was giving me every day in relation to my health and fitness path, and just life in general.  Simply Sole Searching was born!
2) What is one thing that surprises you about blogging? For me, it's how I write for me.  That doesn't mean that I am indifferent to if others read it or not, but that it is personal.  I hope that others will read my posts and relate in some way or even that it inspires them.  But mainly, when I write, I feel like I am talking to myself - to the me that sometimes surfaces, the me that is down or feels like she needs a "pick me up." It's amazing to me how the words flow and I read them, and think, "whoa, where did that come from?" Then I sit back and smile, knowing it came from God.
3) What is your favorite quote, saying or mantra? I have a couple.  So bear with me! One of my all time favorite things to say, is something that I have said to my daughter every single day since she was born.  I used to whisper it in her ear when I rocked her to sleep as a baby... "There are no limitations, only possibilities." And I truly believe that. Secondly, I would share Luke 1:37, "Nothing is impossible with God." This verse sustains me on a daily basis.  It is my e mail signature, it hangs on a post it in my bathroom, and I write nearly every day on a little note in my daughter's lunchbox.  
4) You win a gift certificate for 2 first class tickets anywhere in the world.  Where would you go and with whom? Oooh, how daydreamy! Hmm. I would definitely go with my hubby.. and I think we would go to Spain!
5) What is your favorite childhood memory? I loved going to visit my grandparents and spending time with cousins.  We all grew up in different parts of the country, so any time we were all together was cherished.  Lots of back yard baseball games and cookouts!
6) What is your fitness strength? Hmm.. I would say my fitness strength is persistence.  I found out about 3 years ago, that while I have struggled with running, I am not willing to give up.  I will try and try again.  I set goals and I want to meet them.  I don't let myself say "no" to me.
7) What 3 songs could describe your life right now? "Every Good Thing" by the Afters, "Lord, I Need You" by Matt Maher, and "Overcomer" by Mandisa.  I have these three songs on my running playlist, and can never get enough of them.  "Every Good Thing" reminds me not to take the "little things" for granted and to always show my thanks to the one most high for providing them to me.  "Lord I Need You" to me is just one powerful song.  I sing it in the mornings as I get ready for work.  I sing it on the drive to work.  I sing it in the shower.  I love it so much.  "Overcomer" is an awesome anthem that gets me dancing no matter what.  I feel empowered by it's message.  
8) What is number one on your fitness bucket list? Right now it's reaching my 1200 miles in 2014 goal.  But I also really just want to PR at my next Half Marathon.  
9) What are you surprisingly bad at? Listening sometimes.  I love my friends so much and want what is best for them, but I know my mouth runs sometimes when I need to just shut it and listen.  
10) If money were no object, what would you be doing right now? Writing for a profession, either children's books or inspirational books for kids.  It's still one of my dreams!

And now, drumroll please... Here are the 10 blogs that I would love to nominate for the Liebster Award! These are just a few of the blogs I love to follow - they inspire me!

http://jackiesoutforarun.wordpress.com/
http://www.runnerdsrock.com/apps/blog/
http://www.runwithjess.com/
http://www.thismamarunsforcupcakes.blogspot.com/
http://whoneedstherapywhenyoucanjog.blogspot.com/
http://www.finishlinerunner.blogspot.com/
http://www.onfirefitnesspt.com/
http://www.tallmomontherun.com/
http://sowhatirun.com/
http://runsaltrun.com/

And here are their 10 questions..

1. What is your favorite way to exercise and why?
2. What is one fitness or health related obstacle that you have overcome?
3. What is your proudest moment in relation to your health and/or fitness?
4. What do you hope to accomplish this year, fitness/health-wise?
5. What did you want to "grow up to be" when you were a child?
6. What is your greatest fear?
7. Who is your fiercest supporter?
8. What is your favorite fitness or health related website or app, and why?
9. What is your favorite fitness or health related quote?
10. What does your blog mean to you? 

I cannot wait to read everyone's answers.  This is so much fun! Thank you for reading!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ready Set Liebster!

I am super excited and honored to be nominated by "A Pace of Balance" for a Liebster Award.  I honestly wasn't sure what that was, but learned from her that it is an award given to bloggers by other bloggers.  How awesome!

I was given 10 questions to answer, 10 blogs to honor with the award, and questions to provide them with.  So I will be working on that this week, and will post soon.

There are some awesome blogs out there that I follow, so I am really excited to share this award/experience with others.

Thank you again!
J

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Shine

I have said this before.. I love seeing others awakening to the greatness inside them.  I enjoy seeing friends and family realize dreams.  I take great joy in watching others work hard towards accomplishing goals.

Inspired people, inspire me.  The truth is, we are all an inspiration to someone.  Someone out there right now is looking to you for inspiration and truth.  

When I think about this, I wonder.. "what do they see in me?" 

Do they see someone who strives to take care of the body God gave her? Do they see someone who loves to eat healthy foods and exercise? Do they someone who still struggles with balancing it all? Do they see that God fills in the gaps, with His grace? Do they see someone who forgives?

I fully acknowledge that I do not have it all together.  Each day, God's grace and mercies renew, and I pray to receive it.  Each day, I wake up, and think of all that needs to be done.  I try my best to put my "game face" on and work towards accomplishing my goals; health, fitness, familial, and work related.  But I pray too, that my goals do not get in the way of real living.. connections with others, moments of friendship and inspiration.

Today, I pray that you will take a moment and consider who is looking to you for inspiration.  Is it your children? Your spouse? A co-worker, a friend? Who is searching for "more" in your life? Who is looking for God reflected in you?

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16


Thursday, April 17, 2014

What more could we do?



I love reading church signs.  I saw one last week that simply read, "What more could He do?"

It struck such a chord with me.  Truly, what more could Jesus do? He gave up his life for us, so we could have eternal life.

He gave us a great example of how to live a life of mercy, service, kindness, and forgiveness.

He chose to be a servant and teacher, and not an earthly ruler.

He lived humbly.

He chose to give than to receive.

He lived intentionally.

Every time I pass that sign, I am overcome with gratitude for Him.

I feel inspired and reminded.. "what more could I do.. give.. be?"

Where or on what/who do you spend most of your time and energy? Do you give God, family, yourself enough?

If the answer is "no," what changes can you make today to give more? What dreams and goals have you put aside? How can you take real practical steps to get closer to realizing that dream/goal?

I am praying for you today.  Praying that you will see your worth.  Praying that you will see you time and energy as a gift, not to be wasted.  I am praying that you will recognize all that God has given you the ability to do and accomplish.  I am praying that we will choose to live humbly and intentionally, not letting the days pass without efforts of making the world a better place.

Your Sole Searching Sister,
Julie



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Can you handle it?



Most of us have heard the old saying, "God only gives us what we can handle." For much of my life, I have believed that statement to be very true, and would often repeat it in my own mind when trials came my way.

If it is true though, do we know why we are able to handle trials? Is it because we are talented, capable, and wise? Is it because we are strong, willing, and determined?

Maybe.  Or maybe it's all of those things, combined with the fact that where we fail, we have someone in our corner that is all powerful and nothing, I mean nothing, is too big of a problem for Him to handle.

I know that nothing is impossible with God.  There are definitely things I have done in my life that I could have never done relying on my own strength or resolve.  I know that God was there, filling in the gaps.  Leading me, guiding me towards victory.

At the same time, the moments when I allowed fear, laziness, complacency, or other human emotions to get the better of me.. which allowed me to make an excuse of why I couldn't even try.. I know I failed because I didn't do my part.

Maybe today you are feeling overwhelmed with trials.  Maybe today you just don't feel like trying.  Maybe you feel like you cannot do this alone.

I have great news.. God never ever intended us to face any challenge or trial alone.  He wants you to invite Him to join you and He will help carry this load.  But, we have to do our part.  We have to want it.  We have to pray and be intentional about our efforts.

Maybe this applies to your job, your marriage, your friendship, your health, or your fitness.  For me it applies to each one.

Today, my prayer for you, and me, is that we acknowledge that we have a choice to make, once again.  We can choose to give up before we even start, blaming it on the trial or challenge that faces us ("It's just too hard/too late/too challenging,") or we can choose to face it head on and ask for God's help.

I invite you to share what challenges you chose to face today in the comments below.  I would love to support you!

Your Sole Searching Sister,
Julie


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Give me seven!



Can you believe it's April 2 already?? Today I want to talk to those of you who woke up this morning and saw the calendar and wondered where this year has gone so far..

I want to reach out to those of you who maybe set fitness or health goals on January 1, started out strong, and then life got in the way.  This post is for everyone out there that is looking for a gentle push to get motivated again.

I would like to offer up a challenge to you and to me.  It's a Seven Day Challenge.
And it starts TODAY.  And yes, I am aware that it is not a Monday.

Who says we can only make life changing decisions on Mondays??

I want to encourage you to take a good look at where you are and then where you want to be.  What are you doing right now, or not doing, that you know you need to change?

Next, and this is the fun part, create your own seven day challenge.  It can be anything! Here are some ideas:

Starting out? 
-Take a 20 minute walk each day for the next seven days.
-Alternate between walking, riding your bike, and maybe an exercise DVD each day for seven days.

Need to be further challenged?
-Add in a completely different workout or strength training to your existing routine for the next seven days.

There is really no limit to what this challenge can entail.  Maybe it's a food thing  you want to try.

Again this is totally up to you.  For your own support and accountability, I invite you to comment below with your own personal seven day challenge.  Then, when the week is up, let's meet back here and post how our challenge went.

Need additional motivation? I am going to be giving away two little "way-to-go" gifts at the end of this? How do you enter to win?

There are two opportunities to enter to win:
1. Comment below and share your seven day challenge.
2. Share pics of yourself during your seven day challenge with the hashtag #simplysolesearching7days on either Instagram or Facebook.

Two winners will be randomly chosen at the end of next week and announced here and on facebook.

My prayer for all of us is that we will use these next seven days to our advantage.  Work hard and you will feel awesome!


Your Sole Searching Sister,
Julie