Tag Archives: God

A Big Deal

Exercise in the morning before your brain figures out what you’re doing.

(Thought in my head every time I run in pitch black darkness. Do I love a 5 AM alarm? No. Is it magical to run when the rest of society is asleep and you can still see the moon? Absolutely. Is being done with your run before you even take a sip of coffee rewarding? For some strange reason, yes!)  Full Disclosure: I prefer about 7 pots of coffee before my run and an additional 2-3 after my run, but you can’t always have it how you want it. 🙂

Basically I’m kind of a big deal. The evidence is below. Some of you may already be aware of this, but for those of you that aren’t, brace yourselves. I, Jessica Buckland, was a supermodel for the Akron Marathon race guide in 2013 (bottom left photo). I’m a little late in reporting this news to you because, frankly, I forgot about it, but I didn’t want one additional moment to pass without informing the world that Andy Warhol knew what he was talking about. I’m living my “15” minutes and I’m capitalizing on it, taking my existing celebrity and turning up the volume. (All jokes aside Jonathan and I were interviewed on race day for the Akron Marathon commercial. Be on the lookout. He said we were so good that he thought we worked for the Chamber of Commerce.)

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In 2014 my “word” is alignment. For peak performance in body, soul, and spirit, I am instituting more frequent tune ups in my life. Alignment is a game changer, although its quest can include pain. If you have ever been to a massage therapist for deep tissue work or a chiropractor to get cracked, you understand that small things can be hindering an otherwise healthy person from achieving their personal best.

In my quest for “self actualization/living God’s absolute best for this one life I have”, I have hit up many friends, mentors, and confidants to speak into my life. This week, two such people said some things about areas of my life that could have been difficult to receive, but instead left me inspired to do more, try harder, and go all in. It is a blessing, not a curse, to surround yourself with people committed to seeing you succeed. Success is conceived in the “dark room” before it ever born for everyone to admire.

About 24 hours after one of the conversations, I saw this tweet from Donald Miller that resonated with me. I don’t know about you, but at the end of my life I don’t want saddled with regret. I want to have lived out my purpose.

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If you really want to be a big deal, surround yourself with encourager’s, yes. However, and most importantly, surround yourself with people who can talk about the tough stuff with you and make you leave believing that you are a big deal and that you are worth the effort and valiance of honesty.

It is imperative to know which people have your ideal destiny in mind rather than their own motives, distorted philosophies, and intentions. If the truths being spoken over you aren’t wrapped in love and pom poms, run from such people.

Not everyone has your best interests at heart. Some people aren’t healthy enough to have a front row seat in your story. Know which seat at the table of your life to put everyone in, and then just pursue your vision of an ideal future knowing that God has already gone before you and that goodness and mercy are chasing behind you. Everyone has an opinion, but not every opinion counts. You are a BIG DEAL, now just surround yourself with people that believe that with you and will help you maximize your potential.

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Silent Saturday

We use our powerful God-tools for fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.-2Corinthians10:5-6 MSG

Recently I have been learning the art of becoming a steward of my thoughts and words. Perhaps, to a degree, this is a learned behavior that comes with age, but realistically I’ve discovered the power of controlling your thoughts and actions is more of a habit that you have to actively pursue and develop. You don’t wake up one day with complete alignment in your thoughts, dreams, goals, daily tasks, priorities, and relationships. Rather, you have to  consciously reflect on the ways that you have been sabotaging both yourself and others.

On Silent Saturday, I challenge you to begin noticing, and if necessary, changing your words. The words that you speak inevitably impact the actions that you take and once that takes over your brain (holding your thoughts hostage), you have to work double time to conqueror something. The same is true in reverse. When you speak life with positive declarations and mantras and push through the dead zones, your words will change your thoughts and you will start believing that anything is possible. When you clear the obstructions of faulty thinking, your actions start to line up with your hope filled words. Before you know it, you’re accomplishing things you couldn’t have seen yourself doing under your old thought patterns.

We have the power to create whatever world that we want to live in. Do I want to live in a world where I let doubt and fear dictate my future, or do I want to live in a world where nothing is impossible? Do I want to live in a world where things out of my control determine my emotional trajectory, or a world where I realize I choose my response even if the circumstance was out of my control?

Anything I could ask or think or dream of, if my motivations are healthy, centered, and guided by mind, body, and spirit alignment, could become my reality. A simple clearing of my mental cache and  my actions are released to take me where I need to go.

I called this silent Saturday because perhaps there are some voices in our heads that need to shut up. It’s possible that we have heard these voices for so long that we no longer recognize them. At moments, the voices in my head have taken over my vocal chords and created a martyr or victim scenario, which take my power away leading to behaviors that drain and diminish the life force that I am.

 I can guarantee that there have been moments in your life where loose thoughts and emotions invade your world obstructing opportunity and maturity. Today is the day that we tell our thoughts and emotions who is boss. We will shut them up on this silent Saturday when they try to plant seeds that won’t result in the harvest we are looking for. We will replace them not only with more life-giving words and emotions, but with forward ACTION. I will control what I can control, which is my thought life, my speech, and my activity.

Disclaimer: Sometimes we struggle with inflated self thoughts and that is just as toxic as being a downer. Grandiose thinking needs to be taking captive too.

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Sidebar: We had to practice some thought captivity this morning. My sons basketball league  lost in a BIG way. We had to pep them up.

Stray Saturday

Train — like an athlete. Eat — like a nutritionist. Sleep — like a baby. WIN — like a champion.

I like the above quote, however, those of us that have raised babies realize that this is not realistic for an adult. Babies snooze a lot and snooze deeply, but they sleep according to their own whims and at their own discretion. I may feel like crying from 2 AM-4:30 AM as an adult like a baby would, but it doesn’t work out too well for my schedule.

  • (I have totally felt like crying all night long lately as my allergies have been out of control and keeping me awake. I have even gleefully plotted the methods I could use to remove my eyeballs from their sockets.  I am taking Claritin daily, but it is struggling to keep up with the reality that my neighborhood looks like a winter wonderland, and no, it’s not from snow but from extreme pollen.)

I have a lot of stray and random thoughts today, so while I desire to change your life,  motivate you, and elevate you holistically, I’ve been taught a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Therefore, I decided to just let the stray mental bullets fly.  Mind, Body, and Spirit are all at work today. Hopefully you’ll catch something!

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From the rosebush on the side of my house. I’m pretty proud of the fact we didn’t kill them all, just most of them 🙂 What I looked like after a hot 8 mile run the other day vs. What I imagined I looked and smelled like. We won’t have a visual for what I actually smelled like.
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What I looked like after my 8 mile run this morning, and proof that I completed it despite the mental gymnastics. My pace was not great  because I did not get up and run at 5 AM before the sun came out with guns blazing.Don’t be jealous of how gorgeous I am here.

I completed day 565 of my #Runstreak today.

  • (You can join a temporary #runstreak by aligning with Runner’s World and their Summer Streak. Check out #rwrunstreak. One of their holiday challenges is how I got started on my streak and I had so much fun streaking that I have just never stopped!)

My question is how did 8 miles feel like 3 miles just a couple of weeks ago but feel like an ultra marathon today? Thankfully I’ve been in the running game long enough to know that the weather, sleep patterns, stress levels, eating habits, and numerous other factors all go together to decide if a run is going to be easy mentally and physically, or if it is going to be a struggle in one of those areas. The good news is that no matter how bad a run is mentally or physically, the endorphins produced do not discriminate and flow footloose and fancy free through your mind, body, and spirit and make you very happy that you did what you did and that you are accomplishing your goals one step/one run at a time.

We have been having a heat wave (I’m actually loving it. I’ve been so ready for this long winter to end), so this week between the heat wave, the high winds, the humidity, and all of the thunderstorms, topped off by my tight hamstrings, I have really been working hard at running smart. I am thrilled to report that my sever hamstring issues were obviously from the weed pulling (my theory was correct), and are not some super long term running injury. I have run three 5K distances, a 6 mile run, and two 8 mile runs this week that will be capped off by my weekly short “rest day” run of only 2 pre-dawn miles early on Sunday morning, which could be a soaker because there is a 90% chance of storms, but I don’t have treadmill at home and it builds character and the mental prowess you need to complete marathon training and actually finishing races. (If you would like to purchase me a treadmill,I will be your new best friend.)

20130601-135323.jpgProof that the meteorological reports in Cleveland are inaccurate a majority of the time. Left shows the forecast (0% chance of precipitation) and right shows the reality out my windshield (monsoon).

20130530-215335.jpgI’m not sure how healthy this snack is exactly in terms of pure/clean eating, but it has been a go to favorite of mine lately when I want “junk” food. It’s not junky at all in reality, and it is sweet. There is quite a bit of fiber in each serving, as well as protein and it is decently low calorie. If you want a sweet crunch, check these out. They are a little on the pricey side, but too horrific. They cost about the same as a pack of Oreos, and if you eat the whole bag  it will  cost you much less calorically than a binge eating episode of cookies.

20130527-143501.jpgI’ve been spending a good majority of my life in Costco lately. I am seriously considering a move into the store. Our church is in a huge Summer Serve Initiative and I have been feeding just about everyone and their brother on the west side of Cleveland. I figure that a majority of Jesus’ ministry was spent around a table in fellowship with others, building common ground, and even showed us that the greatest thing we can do to honor is death on the cross is have communion, which involves the breaking of bread, I can model this and show my community appreciation with all of the goodness Costco has to offer. This is where we fed all of the teachers breakfast at the school we are holding our services at for no reason other than to show them kindness and let them know we are praying for them. I am loving our summer serve and can’t wait for all of the awesome things that will come of it.

20130601-135337.jpgMy husband getting ready to do an adopt a business summer serve project. With a pastor this hot, I don’t know why the entire population of Cleveland isn’t already a member of the Bridge Church.

20130527-143525.jpg20130527-143512.jpg20130527-143506.jpgLiving the mom life, raising intellectual super heroes poised for world domination. Here we are at an early morning school assembly to cheer Reese on and watch him get an award for Academic All Star.

20130530-215342.jpg20130601-135420.jpgIf moving to Costco doesn’t work out for me, I have pitching a tent at ball fields as a great alternative living arrangement. I have been spending numerous hours running all around creation at various baseball practices and games. Of course the boys would be on two different teams and in two separate age groups. That’s what being a boy in summer is all about though.

20130530-215350.jpgThings have been moving at warp speed lately, so thankfully, my work and church life piggy back with my mom life (Not that you can ever separate yourself into categories. You have to be all things at all times, but you get the point). I’m doing summer serves while earning mom points. The Bridge Church tee-ball team.

Where are you spending most of your time lately?

Any hot weather running tips to share? I will be sharing some of my tips this week as well as what I like to pack in my fuel belt. Liquids are a must for me in these temperatures as I sweat like a 765 pound couch potato. I guess I just have an efficient internal cooling system.

My first 5K

An attitude of “whatever is convenient” won’t accomplish very much. An attitude of “whatever it takes” is impossible to stop.-@women_sports

Yesterday was a first. I accidentally published a blog that I had not yet written and tweeted it out to the whole world. If you are one of the lucky ones that got to it before I changed it back to draft mode, you can celebrate my incompetence with me.

It has been a couple of days since I’ve posted because I have been busy living “La Vida Loca”. Life is so much more interesting to live and write about when you are actually living. I made a determination when I turned 30 three years ago that I would not be a passive spectator in life’s journey, but that I would make things happen. This does not mean that all of my expectations and dreams become reality, but it does mean that I have raised the expectation of my life to a new level and it has been a game changer. Being aware of mortality in your 30’s is a blessing, but the death of my dad when I was 24 is what has made me hyper aware. Every blessing has a curse, but I have allowed myself to learn through the struggle and I’m grateful that tragedy didn’t defeat me, but advanced me. The Bible tells us to learn to number our days and make them count. Too many people think they are invincible until they hit about 50 and then a major  mid-life crisis creeps in and they totally spaz out and ruin a lot of what they have taken decades to establish.

I am averting my crisis by living large, having fun, being filled with joy, and speaking faith and favor into every circumstance. Words are death or they are life.

20130520-200820.jpgAt the Cleveland Marathon Expo practicing stretches.

 

Because of the power of words, I try not to alter my life based on the weather forecast or curse my weather channel app. I have zero control over weather, but 98.45% control over my reaction. It does in fact get HOT in Cleveland though (not complaining at all. In fact, I am rejoicing. It was a LONG winter.). Because of the stifling humidity and heat, I was out the door at 5 to beat the heat/smash an 8 mile run for day 554 of the #runstreak

I ate a banana before the run, which I hate to do so early in the morning, and brought a Gatorade with me. I have to be far more cognizant of hydrating and fueling properly in the heat than I am in the winter. I have run 10 plus miles with no breakfast or drinks with me when it’s 20 degrees out, but I deplete instantly when I’m melting. Of course, I refueled again with a blueberry Chobani after my shower. No good workout is complete without a good dose of protein infused goodness afterwards.

20130520-200804.jpgIn the stands amongst our fans after the CLE 5K

My running had a super fun insertion into it this past weekend. I have never run a 5K in my life in an official capacity. I often cover the 3.1 mile distance by my lonesome, but I have never paid a fee, got a t-shirt and gathered with thousands of my closest friends to do one. I was the weirdo that jumped from not being able to run 1 mile into running numerous Half-Marathons and then the Marathon. My friend came into town with her husband, who ran the Cleveland Full Marathon, and was inspired to do her first 5K. I found out later that she snuck in a 5 K a couple of weeks ago thereby taking away my joy of stealing her 5K virginity, but I will still be her friend. She PR’d by 4 minutes and RAN the whole thing. To my knowledge she had never covered the full distance running the whole time before. I discovered that the 5 K was a lot of fun, but since I have no hope of winning one (5K elites are speedy little demons), and since it still costs money and requires great effort, that I would just save my sheckles for the long distance runs unless it is a charity event or something to inspire my kiddos. I like to do charity runs in my area to meet people, network, and give back to the community.

We had an epic run through the streets of downtown Cleveland and finished in Cleveland Browns Stadium with our finish on the jumbotron. I’m seriously considering a career in the NFL now. I’m not going to lie. It was amazing to get a taste of the glory those guys get every Sunday. It was pretty cool running beneath the building, past the locker rooms, and out onto the field. My boys, ages 8 and 5, were so jazzed by the 5K that they are running the Cleveland event with me next year. We got a pretty cool T-shirt out of it, although I was it was a technical shirt and not cotton.

20130520-200810.jpgChillaxin with the gals at the start line

 

 

20130520-200757.jpgLiving the high life. We helped our friend (the husband whose wife did the 5K) Carbo Load for the CLE Marathon at a Mexican Restaurant. I ate at this same place the night before the Akron Marathon, so I knew it would work like magic.

 

20130521-092726.jpgNo more Pre-School this year for this boy. He’s getting his vacation on while mom works in the office. We are praying for Oklahoma and realizing once again the vapor of life & how very little possessions mean. This sweetie may be catered to a little more today as I hug him close and feel the grief of parents whose children lost their lives in the Tornado. The most important investment we can make in life is people/relationships/God’s purpose.

Do you run 5K’s? What is your favorite distance to race/run and why?

Celebration Thursday

Running is a funeral for your fat. Let sweat and tears flow freely!

Today is Thursday and there has been a lot of celebrating going on. Thursday is an oft underrated day of the week.

First, last night was a milestone. I had ice cream for the first time since Mother’s Day. My  3 whole days of strength and will power are to be commemorated.

Secondly, we tried a brand new pizza place specializing in “healthy” pizza and it was amazing. It is called Pizza BOGO and their whole business model is around hormone free, antibiotic free, and organic ingredients. They have a flax seed miracle crust and were running a special for as many large unlimited topping pizzas you want just $5. I was in vegetarian, clean eating heaven. Anytime you tell me pizza is healthy, I’m going to make you proud with the vast amounts I consume. I will definitely be revisiting Pizza BOGO frequently.

The third and final celebration related directly to me is that I ran 6 hot miles thinking I was going slow, but realized I was going quite fast and had an epic run, seemingly without effort. Day 549 of the runstreak was completed well. I also had an epiphany regarding self-image during this run. I realized I don’t care what people who look at me and watch me run think. I used to only run in the metro park because you rarely encountered cars or people. I thought others were judging my pace, sweat, or stride. Today I’ll gladly galavant anywhere soaked in sweat and salt crystals. I earned my stride. I’ve fought for my pace. I’ve also realized that most people just stare because they are truly amazed you would run so much with no one chasing you. I smell admiration off them. (On a side note I passed a PTA mom on my run with her hair perfectly coiffed, fully made up, and a cute yoga outfit on doing a little perfume scented jog in the neighborhood. I did not let that deter my salt infused, hair soaking wet, BO scented self-esteem from running proud.)

20130516-175604.jpg Gentry celebrated yet another trip to the grocery store with mom. He gets free cookies when we go to Giant Eagle and gets to drive the car. We were also celebrating my very healthy choice to take advantage of the 4 (12 packs) for $11 coke zero sale. In all honesty, my soda consumption is significantly lower than it was a year ago. I’m baby stepping away from drinking it all together. I’m not even drinking a can a day, however I do dream of it often so that is why I write about it so much.

20130516-175611.jpgToday we are celebrating Reese’s amazing participation in our LifeGroup Bible Study last night. Of his own volition, he took out a notebook and pencil and wrote down scriptures, memory verses, and took notes on the lesson. He also participated like a champ. That boy is hiding God’s word in His heart.

20130516-175623.jpgWe are celebrating Reese running faster than any other kid at the Forest Elementary School Family Fitness night.

20130516-175631.jpgWe are celebrating how much fun we had at Gentry’s end of the year picnic at his pre-school with all of his friends and the fact that I ate no desserts at the potluck and stuck with fresh fruit and salad. I really am better behaved than I let on, but it’s not as much fun to share all of my good choices. Bad choices are more intriguing.

20130516-175648.jpgAnd the biggest celebration of the week is that Gentry graduated from Pre-K like a champ. He is now a certificate holding finisher of John Knox Presbyterian pre-K and armed with all the knowledge he needs to take Kindergarten by storm.

20130516-175700.jpgCelebrating family: Mimi with her boys at Gentry’s graduation

20130516-175716.jpgCelebrating Gentry’s stellar performance skills. This kid has no fear of public speaking, singing, dancing, and poem reciting. Be on the look out for him on the front page of your favorite news website someday. This beats his former no fear of removing his pants in public. Thankfully he grew out of that stage so you aren’t reading about him for less than savory reasons.

What is worth celebrating in your life this week?– I am celebrating that tree pollen seems to be climaxing. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. (As I look through watery, red, itchy eyes glazed over by springs finest torture makers)

What is one of your favorite new “healthy” food discoveries? Seriously check out Pizza BOGO

Necessary Tension

As a warning to those of you that follow me mainly for my life changing running stories and saliva inducing food pictures, this blog is going to be more along the lines of SEEDING and LEADING. Running, Eating, and Repeating will definitely take front and center stage again next.

20130512-153650.jpgAs you may or may not know, I am planting a church with my husband and basically I run the whole show. I do, however, allow him to show up on Sundays looking snazzy and allow him to take credit for all of my hard behind the scenes work……..:) In any worthy endeavor in life there is going to be an element of tension. Whether you are training for a marathon, fighting off a craving for a 3rd consecutive gallon of ice cream, or trying to keep your kids from running in front of on coming traffic. This blog speaks to the tension of the great commission (going into the world, preaching the gospel, teaching people, and baptizing people in Jesus name). I hope you enjoy it and if you are not a Christian or not in leadership at your church or another charitable non-profit, you will still get some great information from this. Entrepreneurs, business people, leaders in the marketplace, and even the neighborhood Mom PTA president all have to deal with tension.

Most of life is navigating tension. Not all tension is bad. Tension is good. Tension is what helps a rubber band stretch and as a result of that stretch, it hold things together. The tension reveals its purpose. Tension is what causes your muscles to function and grow within a healthy body. The thing about tension is that without it, nothing grows or is held together, but with too much, things snap. As a church whose mission is to reach those far from God and those that have never known God, we must learn to navigate the tension of seeing people come to Christ and experience new life, while letting God do his work in His time. We want people to come as they are, no perfect people allowed, but we trust that God won’t leave them in the same condition that they came. The tension in this is that as human beings, we feel a need to change people and situations too quickly. It is hard for us to relinquish the control of life change to God. We know that if people will just lay aside every weight and sin and surrender to God that they can run the race with greater ease and efficiency, but they don’t know that yet. Habits, hurts, and hang ups plague people and only the Spirit of God can lead to transformation and break through. We cannot speed up that process. Because of this, we will see many people stumble and fall along the way if we are truly reaching un-churched and de-churched people. In fact, even the most seasoned among us will trip from time to time.

Navigating church life with a vision beyond ourselves, a vision into our community, and a vision focused on those outside of our “religious” community will require moments that we have to sink into and embrace tension. It is like raising a child. You, as a parent, provide a loving and nurturing home and show your kids how to function, but you can’t ultimately decide what path they will choose. As a parent, you can’t force your child into the next developmental stage prematurely or you can cause harm. For example, I fully intended that at some point Reese will have a job and pay his own bills, however, it would not be wisdom of me to expect this right now. He is still growing, developing, and maturing. He still says things about me that aren’t true like “you never let me have any fun all you want me to do is work on homework”. My responsibility to nurture and guide him is not removed by the fact that he is choosing to create tension and spread falsehoods throughout the house rather than just surrender to what is best for him developmentally in that moment.

I thought Reese would never potty train. It was getting down right ridiculous at one point. I was frustrated. We were in a power struggle, and, there was at least one occasion that he looked right at me and pooped on the floor of our living room instead of heeding my call to the toilet. If he had Facebook he probably would’ve posted something like “I showed my mom who was boss. I don’t have to listen to this.” He has no recollection of this now because he is growing into maturity. He is slowly learning that what mom and dad say is for his own good. The power struggles haven’t even really begun, but I’m geared up for the rebellious years because I’m praying for my children and I also know that conflict and tension are not always bad. They are what make us grow and move onto new developmental stages.

As leaders and children of God, our job is obedience. Our job is a faithful heart. Our job is action. Our job is to move forward with what God has called us to do, and not get distracted along the way when the rubber band gets pulled tightly.

In a 21st century setting, we will be dealing with a lot of insecurities and attention seeking behaviors from some people using social media to become the center of the world. We will see this from the “churched” “de-churched” and apathetic toward church.

My advice to such people is straight from the word of God:
1 Timothy 4:12, “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

     We can’t control decisions made and words spoken by other people, but we can control ourselves. This scripture was advice from Paul to Timothy. Remember Timothy was a preacher of the gospel and was still getting attacked from people in and outside of the church. Paul’s reaction to Timothy was not to go publicly defend yourself, but to allow his life, fruits, and actions speak for themselves. If Timothy had Facebook, he wouldn’t have gone to Facebook to garner commentary and “likes” for his plight or to prove something about his character. He would’ve continued to use his Facebook to edify, build up, encourage, or just to keep in touch with people like it was intended.

The bottom line is that tall trees catch the most wind. When you are flowing with the wind of the Spirit and you are moving in a God given direction, there will be windbags and people with hot air to take the wind out of your sails. There will be storms that come and go, but I know that the identity of the Bridge Church and my personal identity come from Christ, not what other people say or do. I’m not IN-secure because I don’t look IN-side myself or to others for affirmation. I am in Christ, so therefore I am SECURE.

There will be people who say and do things along the way that shock us or hurt our feelings. This is actually GOOD news. A growing church, a growing body of believers, and people united in UNITY are a target for the enemy. If you aren’t being criticized it is because nothing is happening.

Stagnant ponds don’t attract surfers. There are no waves to ride on. Only oceans that bring in the tide and are moving with the WIND create waves.

Let’s be honest… sometimes, the church is the LEAST safest place for a human being, but this is NOT going to be said of the Bridge Church. We will rise with respect and honor and integrity for all people.

Speaking of Jesus, the book of Isaiah says, “He was despised and rejected–a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised.” It looks like false accusations and pain are sometimes part and parcel of pursuing Jesus.

Some people will USE the church at some point for whatever they can get from it and are not truly desiring life change from God. Whether it be money, attention, affection, or a whole host of other things they are seeking we shouldn’t be surprised. We can only pray that while their motives and intentions are not pure, that God can move on them and change their hearts. Only God can. We can’t. All we can do is create a space that allows people to grow. A space that allows people to throw tantrums during spiritual potty training (some people drop their CRAP everywhere they go because it is all they have ever known). We will teach them to go to leadership and talk things out. We will teach people who have been around God for a long time to have grace in dealing with people that are just learning to breathe. We will hold our tongues and not let our IN-securities as leaders make us jump to defend things that don’t need defended. We will hold our peace and let the Lord fight our battles.

Proverbs tells us that too many words stir up strife and the tongue of the wicked is the tongue wagging the loudest and brashest. The Pastor will deal with wolves that are trying to prowl on baby sheep and devour them, but know that sometimes baby sheep are learning to walk and learning to breathe and they will trip and fall on themselves over and over again. Sometimes there is no wolf and it is self sabotaging that is going on. Sometimes people just don’t want to take responsibility for their own behavior. They may break legs in the process. They may get cut. However, ultimately as a hospital and nursery, the church has to be a place of grace and healing and mercy.

Let God steer the ship and provide the correct amount of tension for our sails. Tension is necessary and forces us to grow and advance forward. Tension makes us stronger and wiser. We trust that tension in our lives means that God is working.

I Peter 4 Speaks to this tension far more perfectly than anything I could come up with.
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
18 And,“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

Let’s make the Church the safest place for the most broken of souls.
Let’s be the most accepting to the most unacceptable.
Let’s extend radical grace in ways that are foreign to all but Christ.
Let’s BE the Church.

The tension of the springs on a trampoline keep it together for maximum FUN! What other things in life are more fun with a little tension? (Hint: FULL BODY MASSAGE)

SuperMom

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Today is a very special day. I look at it as a day to say “Happy female empowerment”. While not all women are mothers, and while mother’s day does not conjure up warm fuzzies for everyone, we can celebrate that care giving spirit that God put into women today. I am thankful that for me today is a “Happy Mother’s Day” type of day. I was raised by a virtuous, faithful loving woman and I am privileged to be raising children of my own. I have a Godly, praying Mother in Law, and I’m praying circles around the future wives of my sons. We will not be the statistic.

As the mother of boys only, I am praying that this statement will not apply to my future “A daughter is a daughter all of her life, but a son is only a son until he takes a wife”. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

20130512-153639.jpgAfter I got up at 5:30 and did my short Sunday morning run (The pace of each mile was expedited by the fact a pack of deer were chasing me), I came home to these 2 amazing snuggly little guys bouncing off walls, filled with excitement to hug and kiss me while singing “Happy Mother’s Day to you” to the tune of the birthday song. I’m thinking that these moments are part of the riches of my inheritance in Christ.

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Just a few of the ladies, all of whom mean the world to me, willing to pose with their carnations today.

The Bridge Church was wonderful today. I was so blessed by the “Life Change” story shared by a friend of mine today at the opening of church of the power of God working in her life through the Bridge Church. This is what my life is all about. Chains be broken…..Lives be Healed….Hearts be opened….as Christ is revealed. The sermon was a glimpse into the life and mind of Mary, the mother of Christ. First, it wasn’t odd to her at all to be confronted with angelic visitation and the voice of God. Secondly, we choose which voices we want to have guide our lives and Mary chose to go with the voice of the angel and the voice/promise of God over the pressures and voices on the outside and over her own comfort. Even though my husband preached today with a male perspective instead of me with a female perspective, he’s a super mother lover and said I was his visiting angel, so it was amazing.

20130512-160213.jpgRocking the sermon

20130512-153620.jpgI knew you would be super disappointed and not able to live one more day if you didn’t see a picture of my food. I had the most amazing strawberry, pecan, feta cheese, and other random various fruits and onions salad as my appetizer. I wish I could have someone deliver me this awesomeness on a daily basis. I’m glad I was able to be with my mom and my boys at lunch today. There is nothing sweeter than generations attending church together and then eating lots of good celebratory food with each other.

(Repentance followed by gluttony followed by repentance. Gotta love the cycle)

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A passel of both purchased and homemade cards from my men. Be still my heart!

20130512-153553.jpgPeeking through all of my mother’s day flowers at the boys who call me “Mom”. (Eventually every kid in the neighborhood was in my yard. I hope their moms got some rest while I corralled all of their kids 🙂 )

20130512-153559.jpgA glimpse at a page in the book Reese wrote to and about me for Mother’s Day. I love his artistic rendition of my appearance and his views on my fashion choices.

20130512-153605.jpgThe card Reese picked for me. It plays a hilarious song. His perception of me totally cracks me up. I guess I’m pretty obvious! No more hiding my stealth type “A” get on top of everything skills.

20130512-153611.jpg20130512-153615.jpgCoffee with my favorite NBA stars, and a game of “Who loves mom?”.

20130512-153644.jpgThe grand finale of the SuperMom post is a picture of me exactly 8 years ago, 7 days before Reese entered the world and became the first to call me mother. He was born on May 8, 2005, which was Mother’s Day that year.

  • Do you ever wonder how in the world your belly, or your wife or mother’s belly, ever got that ginormous and then eventually returned to normal? The miracle of life is astounding!
  • What was the best thing that you have eaten so far today?
  • What is your idea of a fabulous mother’s day?