I think I've shared a bit about enjoying fitness and working out, but I would never call myself a runner.
Yes....I've gotten used to the monotony of stationary machines when I'm in the gym, where my primary motivation is watching the clock slowly fade away to '0', but running? And, out in the open?
No, thank you.
I've run a couple of races, and every now and again I'll get on a 'kick', and log a mile or two here and there to change things up a bit, but IF I've run, I've always preferred to dodge daily traffic on sidewalks. In the suburbs.
Then I discovered Runyon Canyon.
How LA manages to fit the park in the middle of everything else? I don't know, but last fall I found myself in California for Thanksgiving, and out of sheer desperation for some exercise before Turkey day I drove 45-minutes to hit the trails.
Clearly, I went at the wrong time of day, because just a few minutes in and I was stuck dodging yogis and marathoners and dogs and strollers , and everyone else who all had the same idea as me.
But then I got into my groove. I didn't know what was at the top and I wasn't sure what I'd encounter on my way up there, but I moved to the outside of the trail and fell in behind the season runners who'd already paved the path to the top. At different points I got too far to the edge, my music playlist ran out, I had to ditch my too large water bottle and I stopped a time or two to re-tie stubborn shoelaces, but it didn't matter.
I got to the top and peered out over the Hollywood strip and It was exhilarating. See, it wasn't about the time or distance. The point was to get to the destination, and I'd gotten past the difficulties, stayed consistent and finished what I'd started.
Yes, Monday has rolled around, once again. Aren't you glad for that?
I once heard that most people breathe and live just deep enough to stay conscious. Don't check out of this week's challenges; rest in the presence of our Savior. Then, relax the shoulders, keep your head above your heart and run the race.
We'll start AND finish... together.
I got to meet Tracey Eyster a few years ago and I was immediately delighted. This woman lives to encourage others - moms especially - and the thing is, she doesn't even have to try hard to do it. The love she has for her family and her life as a mother comes shining through every word she says, blog she posts and books she writes. Her goal is to shine a huge, bright spotlight on the joys of motherhood and then pull others into its shimmering brilliance. Somehow she's able to accomplish this in a way that's practical, realistic and utterly relatable. . . .
like when she tells us to slow down long enough to create fall memories for our family that will make these cooler months absolutely delicious!
MMMMM. . .my mouth is already watering. Pumpkin. Spice. And Everything Nice.
He busted into our home headed towards his room to gather some “guy gear” and suddenly he stopped in his tracks, “What’s that smell? Are those pumpkin muffins?”
Interestingly, yet not surprisingly, he allowed his activities to wait, while he sat at the kitchen counter and chowed down on my “world famous” (or at least neighborhood famous) chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.
Along with the chowing down was him reminding me that was one of his favorite things about fall – that I always make my amazing pumpkin chocolate chip muffins! He also confessed that sharing them was always hard because they were so very good. I quickly let him know I had made a triple batch to help him remain unselfish!
I too have memories of tastes and smells of my years growing up with a mom and grandmothers who took the time to make homemade yummies for my siblings and me.
I know we are all busy, but allow me to encourage you to take the time to bake homemade treats for your family, they will appreciate it and they will stop, chat with you and shower you with words of gratitude...and mouths stuffed full of goodness!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 2/3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 Table pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
2 eggs 1 cup pumpkin
½ cup melted butter
2 ½ cups chocolate chips (miniature)
Stir flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda & powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix eggs, add pumpkin and butter then whisk till well blended. Stir in choc chips and pour over dry ingredients. Gently mix until dry ingredients moist. Put batter in muffin tins & bake @350 for 12-14 minutes, or until puffed. (Do not overcook.) Hint: All baked goods keep cooking even after removed from oven and muffins left to sit in the pan for a quick couple of minutes are more easily removed.
I wear my hair in a ponytail most of the time. Actually it’s not a real ponytail – like those cute ones that look like smooth waterfalls cascading from the back of those cute girls’ heads. You know the ones.
Most of the time, mine is in a make-shift ball of chaos that peeks above the horizon of my scalp like a misshapen moon. Runaway hairs fly all over the place and are never really part of the hairstyle. They are just orphaned, left to fend for themselves for the day.
It’s a mess.
And yet, somehow, it’s still my favorite style.
Before bed, I pull the elastic ring from my head and all my hair falls like a mop around my face. And, it feels like freedom. I’m serious. I can actually feel freedom. There is something so relaxing about taking a ponytail down at the end of a long day. My temples relax and any headache I might have from the day’s happenings (which might have actually been from my too-tight bun) dissipates. It feels good.
The other day, while doing schoolwork with my boys in a Maryland hotel room, this same relaxed feeling came over me. It’s the first year I’ve felt like this in regards to my kids’ schooling – cause it’s the first year we’ve homeschooled full time. Sure, we did it on and off, taking their classwork with us whenever we traveled together (which was often) but it was becoming increasingly difficult to merge our unconventional life with conventional schooling. It felt like the walls were closing in on us. Tethered to strict guidelines, timeframes and workloads that often butted heads with our family schedule and our children’s individual learning styles, we felt confined. So, for those reasons, (and because I felt badly for being that mom – the one who drives the teachers insane) at the end of last year, we changed our style.
Took the ponytail down.
And last week, in a hotel in Baltimore, I felt free – like I was walking around with all my hair uninhibited and cascading around my face in a gigantic curly, mop (except it wasn’t cause I needed to be able to see the boys’ papers). Each of the boys was able to go at a pace that was good for them, then we could stop when we wanted and go do something else. We could plan the day around other things not just school things. Life things. Connecting their science lesson on amphibians with our outing to the national aquarium on the harbor was a blast.
Our driving time to visit relatives was their reading time. And best of all, they could be in Maryland with me – to do ministry, spend time with extended family and see the world outside the classroom.
Homeschooling isn’t for everyone. Let’s be clear, I’m not even totally sure yet that it’s for us (check back with me in May). I’m not writing this post because I think it’s the way everyone should go or that it’s somehow more right than another educational choice. But I do know that for now, for us, it’s a blessing.
Do I know what I’m doing? Not really.
Do I whisper a regular prayer begging for patience? All the time.
Have I solicited help from others because this job is a bit too big for me? You bet.
Do I secretly wonder if my children might grow up to be one of those awkward adults who can’t find a real job and end up living at home for the rest of their lives? Ummmm. . .maybe.
But my hair is down. Temples are loose. Quite a few homework headaches are quelled.
We feel free. And, at least for now, it feels good.
A one of a kind night.
Were. You. There?!?!
We were a little bummed when we realized Priscilla wouldn't be able to make last week's highly anticipated Awaken event. It was SO HARD to keep a secret, but when Ms. Beth Moore graciously offered to take her place we were almost beside ourselves!
The incredible team at Fellowship Dallas hosted more then 1500 women for an absolutely fantastic evening! It's a unique moment that brings together women from all over the DFW area for a dual purpose: serving others and getting challenged and encouraged by the power of Christ's word living and active in us.
Not only did Ms. Beth deliver to us a powerful message on healing, and how our scars can be remade into a signature of Christ, in turn we got to pour into Jesus Said Love, a dynamic ministry dedicated to reaching out to women marginalized by the exotic entertainment business (get more information about Jesus Said Love and volunteering here).
Check out the rest of these snippets we grabbed from the event, then leave us a comment and tell us how Ms. Beth Moore brought The Word and ROCKED your world!
P.S: Just In Case You Missed It ...
You're officially invited to our very first 2014 Awaken with Priscilla on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at First Baptist Dallas. This will be an amazing night of fellowship, worship, teaching and encouragement!
The event is free but registration is still required (we'll have more information about that, soon).
Mark your calendars NOW, line up a babysitter, and invite your friends, family and co-workers to this special night!
Connect with us on twitter for updates and more information: @AwakenDFW
If anyone has taught me the beauty of writing it is Patsy Clairmont. I can’t even tell you how many books she has masterfully written and how many lives her messages have touched. She is an articulate and remarkable writer whose books, poems and songs are nearly as eclectic as her personal style. Put a pen in her hand and a message in her heart and you’ll see why thousands hang onto her every word – whether they come out of her mouth or trickle onto paper from her gifted hands.
I’m so grateful for her contribution to our blog today. It’s simplistically poignant and powerful all at once. I'm grateful for her wisdom, longevity and passion. Look between the lines of her post below and you'll see all three of these virtues poking through in between every single line.
When Luci Swindoll told me one of her favorite inventions was the alphabet I knew we would always be friends. I love words. I’m a bonafide verbiage collector. I love small words like gnu, descriptive words like dollop, and filler words like thingamajigs and whatchamacallits.
There’s something magical about lining up letters and finding the very thing you want to say. So imagine the jolt I got when a couple of my friends showed up at a conference sporting, “On Voice Rest” badges. “What does that mean,” I puzzled. They rolled their eyes and pointed at the confusing script. “On Voice Rest,” I squawked. Still befuddled I asked, “but does that mean you’re actually not going to talk?” They nodded. I was almost silenced, but then I rallied and decided I could talk for all three of us. So I was chatting away when one of them got up walked over to me and pulled from her pocket a backup badge and pinned it on my collar. Harrumph.
C’mon, not talk? Think. About. It.
I read once about a movie actor who fasted from words on Wednesdays. He said it added such a flurry of creative energy to his work and it helped him be more word sensitive when he did speak. Secretly, I admired his choice but I have yet to duplicate it. I have however remained silent on two hour flights only to get off and magpie anyone within a 10 foot perimeter. It’s like the accrued word count within me had percolated in my silence until when I disembarked I erupted into a volley of caffeinated chat.
I do have a propensity to go on-and-on. I know that. It’s like I have no edit button. When in truth I know it’s a matter of changing gears (slowing my pace) and installing a conscious (Holy Spirit) awareness of my need to at least minimize my word count. Voice rest has multiple benefits.
• Those who have grown weary of our deluge are relieved.
• We listen more closely, (because we are not busy crafting our response).
• Our new discipline will spill over into other frayed areas of our life.
• People’s trust in us grows.
• And our center stills. We feel less frantic and surprisingly, more heard.
So what about a wordless Wednesday or having a mute button installed for Monday mornings? Or being silent long enough to hear what God’s curriculum is for us? Think about it. I am.
“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” Francis Bacon
SO, we're in a season of give-aways here at Going Beyond Ministries. A couple of weeks ago we gave away copies of God is Able, then we chose some VIPS for our Awaken event who will receive a bunch of goodies tomorrow night when they arrive. And at the Awaken event, 2100 of my closest friends will be helping me to generously, outrageously bless the Jesus Said Love ministry with hundreds of gifts and donations.
And today, we've got something else we'd like to give . . .
Anyone who knows me knows that gifts are my love language - and not nearly as much in receiving them (although I like unwrapping a present as much as the next girl) as in giving them. I like to see the look on people's faces when they get their gift. The joy of watching THEM unwrap it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up! Gratefully, I work with an office full of women who feel the same way! We love to figure out how to bless others as much as we can. So, we figured it'd be fun to give you an opportunity to have one of our new favorite pieces of jewelry.
If you are wondering why "Beyond Beyond" just click here for an explanation. . .or you can just turn your Bible to Eph 3:20-21 and read a passage that will blow your mind!
We are giving away 3 of these sterling silver necklaces. Here's how you enter to win . . .
1. Copy this instagram image and post it on your social media for encouragement to your followers
2. Leave a comment telling us what your love language is. Gifts? Acts of Service? Quality Time? Physical Touch? Words of Affirmation?
Don't forget to leave an email address so we can contact you if you are a winner. We'll randomly select 3 of you on 10/30/13!
Have a fantastic day, my friend and remember that "He can and will do more than you ask or imagine!"
PS. . . you can find our Beyond, Beyond necklaces for family and friends here.
It definitely felt like fall in Texas this weekend!
It was one of those absolutely gorgeous weekends that started out very chilly and slowly warmed up throughout the day. As I was pulling out a couple of sweaters to keep me warm, I started thinking about one of my favorite fall dinners: chicken chili!
Mhmmm, and I can smell it now...piping hot with a cornbread topper or some crackers, it's perfect for a group gathering, Monday night football, or dinner at home with your family! I'm sure you could substitute ground turkey ,beef or, tofu for a vegetarian treat! Let me know if you try it!
What are your favorite fall recipes? #GBRecipeSwap
Glad you are here because today’s guest blogger is someone I’ve been dying to introduce you to. Fawn (don’t you just love that name) is a proud wife. And if you doubt it, you only have to take a look at the back of her car to be jolted out of your disbelief. She’s got “K. Weaver’s wife” inscribed on her license plate frame. Boom!
Tired of hearing folks malign the beauty of marriage and downplay the joys of choosing to say “I Do”, she decided to travel the world (I’m serious, she literally traveled all over the globe) to interview women in happy marriages and ask them what they love most about their relationships. Then, (and this is just pure genius) she started The Happy Wives Club – an online group that has been joined by hundreds and hundreds of women who want to put a stop to the terrible images of doomed and unhappy marriages that are more prominent now then ever before.
So, listen, you need to join the club sister! Join it today by clicking here and start making your way to happy (if you aren’t already there). Today’s blog post will be the kick in the pants you need . . .cause let’s face it, some of us literally need to be kicked or slapped or put in a headlock or. . .
. . .err. . .umm. . .excuse me. .
*clearing my throat
Fawn’s book is releasing nationwide and, listen to me now, it’s a gem of a book. I got my hands on it several months ago and have already read it. Couldn’t put it down. It is worth your time and energy (even if you are a single gal).
So, enjoy today’s post by Fawn Weaver then hop online and pre-order your copy of her book today!
When my husband and I married ten years ago, I was head over heels in love. With every year that passed, I expected that love might diminish. This expectation was not based on what we felt but rather the endless amount of poor advice we received that usually began with, “Oh, hold on to that love you feel because once you get passed your newlywed years, it’ll change”.
For years, I kept waiting for the bottom to fall out. Surely, the rug would be pulled from under us at any time. And then I had the mother of all aha moments.
Just as life is what you make of it, so is the case with marriage. My marriage was all I ever dreamed (and more) because we were intentional about creating it. Our days together got better and our love strengthened over time because that was our determination.
The love I shared with my husband on the first day we said ‘I do’ has only gotten better over time and ten years later, our friendship is stronger than ever.
You might be reading this and think what my husband and I share is rare. I want to assure you it is not. I spend my days speaking with happily married couples and last year I traveled to a countless number of cities in 12 countries on 6 continents interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more.
I journeyed around the world in search of the common denominator between those happily married. I wanted to discover what they all had in common regardless of race, religion, socio-economic status, culture or upbringing.
What I discovered surprised me. In spite of its knack for eluding the masses, the fundamentals of a happy marriage are incredibly simple. From Los Angeles to London, Cape Town to Sydney, the Philippines to Auckland, what made a marriage great was identical around the world.
In all, I discovered 12 secrets to a happy marriage, all of which are shared in my book, Happy Wives Club. But I also wanted to share three of them with you today:
1. Choose your friends wisely: Surrounding yourself with others who build up marriage rather than attempt to tear it down is a must. People who believe in the power of love and the ability for a marriage to last a lifetime, these are the ones allowed into the inner circle of those happily married.
2. Laugh your buttocks off! Don’t take yourself too seriously. Those happily married can joke about each other’s shortcomings, quirks and idiosyncrasies without getting offended.
3. Have no plan B. Have no plan B; it distracts from plan A. Removing divorce from the marital equation removes the pressure to come to a resolution on a disagreement immediately. It lets you agree to disagree and helps you ease into discussions rather than crashing into arguments. Having no plan B allows love to prevail above all failures, mistakes, and doubts.
A bunch of my girlfriends are going to be joining me for one of my favorite gatherings of the entire year!
Have you heard about it yet? Are you coming?
This event is so near to my heart because we dreamed it up specifically for the women of my hometown – Dallas Ft. Worth and surrounding areas. Now, we’ve got sisters who drive in from all over to join us and, listen, if that’s your plan you come right ahead. You are so welcome and we’ll be praying traveling graces over you while you journey.
But, will you excuse us if we mention a few things that are “DFW specific”?
Awaken is designed to do . . .well. . it’s designed to do just that, awaken local women to the things and people that are in our city - other women in Christ, their churches & their needs and then give us all an opportunity to pray for them and get involved in blessing them. I figured that since we are all driving down the same freeways, working in the same office buildings, sending our kids to the same schools, attending the same churches and running errands at the same grocery stores, we could pray that God would blanket all of us – all of us – with His protection and care.
And. . .we want to bless you! We want you to leave Awaken refreshed and renewed in your relationship with God.
Along with the encouragement that we pray you’ll personally receive, we are hoping that you’ll come with an open heart and open hands ready to reach out to others in your area. At each of our events, we choose a different outreach project for the Awaken sisters to get involved in. This time, I’m so excited to introduce you to “Jesus Said Love” - a ministry that bravely reaches out to women who work as dancers in local clubs and bars.
I want to talk to you about it personally so watch this short video and then meet me back here, ok?
Well shoot, please ignore my "nearing-forty-brain". I must have said "Jesus Loves Dallas" 800 times in that video. But, it is, indeed, “Jesus Said Love”! I guess the main part was right - LOVE! That's what they do and that's what we get the honor to do with them as well. So, thank you for joining with me and choosing to replace judgment with love. Together, our generosity will help the wonderful people at “Jesus Said Love” to establish a relationship with these women that will lead each of them to experience wholeness in every area of their lives.
So, when you come to Awaken please bring one or more of the following things:
1. A $10 gift to Target or Walmart.
2. A Bath and Body Works product. (8oz body lotion, 8oz bodyspray &/or 7.5oz hand sanitizer)
3. A $20 gift card to a local restaurant.
I’m so excited that I think I’m going to bring all three of these options! I want to do as much as I can to show these women, who very often feel marginalized and judged, the love and care of Christ. And I’m sure you want to as well. So, if you’re coming to Awaken on the 24th, tell me which of these options you think you’ll be able to bring.
If you aren’t coming to Awaken can I still encourage you to get involved with this ministry? Look them up on line here then send your gift directly to their ministry. No offering is too small.
Thank you guys for serving the Lord with me. It’s an honor to partner with you.
You are fiercely loved,
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Phil 4:6 MSG
Although I have heard this verse countless times before, it came alive to me this week when reading it.
So much of my time is spent fretting and worrying. Some current obstacles are the future, a friendship, a medical condition… the list goes on. All of these things cause me to worry. And that worry turns into anxiety, and for me anxiety is something that can take over many areas of my life that it does not belong.
Why do I spend my time fretting and worrying when my first response should be prayer? My reflection on my current situation does not do anything to change it. Only God has the ability to move and like our friend Priscilla has been reminding us, He is Able. I need to praise him for the good works he is doing in my life and for what he will continue to do, despite my current situation.
What are you facing this week? What is keeping you up at night? Let me remind you, Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying pray. Let petitions and praise shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. He is able.