I wholeheartedly ran cross-country one awkward year during middle school. Always coming in last... breathing like a frantic maniac on deaths door....I gave the other kids, the athletic kids, plenty of room to stretch their sense of humor. My knobby knees made me gangly as all get out. That coupled with the fact that I was the tallest kid in class and came with a heavy southern drawl gave everyone a pretty good laugh. I couldn’t blame them. When we moved from Texas to South Dakota I was like a redneck fish transplanted to the mountains. I have a point....several in fact...stay with me.
I remember this girl, Olivia. She was the star. Always finished first in any race, Olivia was gorgeous with long, brown, curly hair. She wore the latest designer brands (Guess and Jordache come to mind) she was also popular, smart and rich. She had it all! The last meet of the year (if thats what they still call them) I once again came in last (not surprising, although I did improve my time by 2 minutes - beating my all time best!). Breathless, I glanced across the field .... I found Olivia crying and burying her second place ribbon in the ground......second place! She was pissed because someone had beaten her ....ONCE....and there I was thankful to cross the 13 mile finish line ALIVE (at least that’s where memories leave me.... maybe it was only 7 miles.....who knows!)
Well, I walked away that day thinking to myself. ‘I suck at running. Why do I even try? They told me I had long legs ... that I had to be a runner. These people were wrong.....just like they were wrong about me and basketball....that’s a whole other story’. Thank God I moved schools ... I never had to face those kids again nor did I engage in a my running activities:).
In an attempt to be real and vulnerable I wanted to share all this and let you into my mind process and how I know God is doing a work in me... but first, and this is super important ... let me step off path. And this is for YOU.... You know you were made for a purpose....for this moment. To use your gifts, your wisdom, your connections, your strength, your intuition, your power, your grace and your wherewithal (since I never get to use that word). The time is now. This is your place. Why wait? (Oh, darling, you couldwait till you finish reading this post:) I have a few other morsels for ya.
Back to my running story:
I’ve been on a roller coaster ride with the act of running ever since that race in SD.... successfully avoiding it until my senior year in NJROTC ... back in the big TX ...Commander Ortiz forced me to run 5 miles a day ... I was still huffin’ n puffin’ .... constantly pulling in last place...looking like a drunk giraffe running toward a mirage oasis in a desert.. It was embarrassing to say the least.
Then from age 18 to 40 I had a running block you could say. I never ran a block....I was under the mindset ‘why run if no one is chasing me’. Until out of the blue a couple years ago, I decided I was a runner. I must be a runner! It was just a feeling I had in my gut. So I started training. It took me a while before I could even run one mile down that quiet, dusty road amidst the cornfields of Iowa.....but then one turned to two as I ran the gravel road to the old church and cemetery and back again. When I finally built up the nerve to run a 5k, I finished a mile behind a pregnant woman pushing 2 kids in a stroller.....(it’s important to note: I did NOT collapse when she passed me with a ‘hey, you’re doing a great job!’) Success, my friends.
But hey, I’m not kidding. I. AM. A. RUNNER.
We’re in the gorgeous, mountainous city of Hot Springs right now in a very and I’m impressing myself everyday by running these hills.:) I call it my 2 mile miracle.....Y’all. I only just started... I’m just growing me and in the process changes are taking place in my mind ... I’m adopting new habits and it feels Oh. So. Goooooood.
Which brings me to the reason behind this entire post.
It started with a major light bulb moment I had this Tuesday:I really need to do something to improve myself. For real. It’s time to invest... in me. I want to be fit and strong as well as wise and understanding. I want to pass this power onto other people.....I wanna influence people to live their best life. YOU....my friend.
I instinctively and intentionally wrote two words in my journal
Wisdom and Strength
Strength is a pretty tangible goal ... for me ... running most definitely makes me feel stronger....like I’m making small strides toward the life I truly deserve.
Wisdom is another book all together. The Bible says that wisdom is the best thing ever so get it.....(my paraphras) AND there’s my beautiful brain to consider. Many of you know I’ve suffered major brain injuries; even a fractured skull and broken ear drum....twice!!!
I’ve put three aspects of change into motion with regard to my head space:
Physically, and this may seem odd but, I cover my brain in essential oils like Clarity and Brain Power by Young Living. I literally apply them to my temples and the back of my neck on my spine. (Highly recommended)
Spiritually, I cover my brain in prayer. I pray for clear thoughts and gracious words that actually make sense to come to mind and that my lips would deliver them skillfully. This happens to be a big faith project in me! I LOL’ed at the typing of those words. I can’t count how many times in a day I superimpose words where they most definitely do not belong. (‘Marshmallows’ instead of ‘meatballs’...’watermelon’ rather than ‘car’...’fashion card holder’ in place of an actual sign reading ‘caution fall hazard’.... remember the video?
Practically, I read my Bible and ask God for wisdom. I also listen to podcasts on subjects I’m interested in. Currently I’m feeding myself interior design tips, leadership advice, spiritual devotionals, and inspirational podcasts...this is just where I’m at and I wanted to encourage you to also put to question ....what’s up? I mean, on a deeper level inside of you? What’s going on in your heart? Are your thoughts decorated?
Where are you putting your ‘growing me’ focus? Or I might ask it like this.....how are you decorating your world by bettering yourself? Could it be exercise, the way you eat, or how you love? Or is it starting that book, going for that promotion, taking that class, reading more, leaving that job, taking a vacation, starting a business, deeper meditation, more prayer or whatever it looks like for you. You’re such a unique person with a colorful past and brilliant ideas and big dreams for your future.
Now is a great time to take an inventory of YOU. Your strengths, weaknesses, hopes and dreams, goals and future plans.....all of it. I hope we can all rise to the occasion of our lives and decorate with vision, resolve and ultimately victory.
There’s no time like right now to make small changes. They contain so much force as they build upon each other. Dive in. Live decorated. Don’t be overwhelmed. One small change is possible....and doable. Pick one.
Let us know ... what is ONE thing you will start doing today? Reading, walking, listening, playing.... many things. What is one thing you’ll stop doing? Maybe stop complaining. This is one I’ve been working with my children on (and me, yes, ok). Or stop listening to the lies you keep telling yourself (me too here).
Use what you already have.
Create what you want.
Speak what you envision ... not what you’re experiencing.
Anything is possible and nothing is impossible .... it’s true.
Grab your tomorrow by making a difference today.
It starts with you.
Your mind, your body, your relationships, your everything.
Make it yours.
Shine your light.
Be the one to make the difference.
Live decorated from the inside out and all around you.
“Today is an opportunity to be courageous, confident, and fearless.” Joyce Meyer
I’d like to add in vulnerable and mindful. Blu