Tag Archives: excuses

A New Meaning to My Half Marathons

As I peeled off the sticker that had remained on my car for what seemed like forever I began to remember the significance of my first half marathon. I remember that race like it was yesterday. I was so overwhelmed with thankfulness that I cried. With the Lord’s help I had ran 13.1 miles and completed a race that I never would have even imagined competing in.

In the process of three years, I had successfully lost 80 pounds and was healthier than I had ever been before. To me, my half marathon symbolized how far God had brought me and how He would continue to push me even farther.

The day after my half marathon I purchased a sticker at a local running store. It said 13.1 and once that sticker was on my car, everyone who drove by would know that the girl in the ruby red Ford Fiesta ran a half marathon.

As far as I was concerned, I had earned my bragging rights. I had literally earned that sticker with my own sweat and tears. 

Here’s the reality; Everyone could see that I ran 13.1 miles, but they couldn’t what God did for me. 

So two half marathons later with a third on the way, I found myself taking off the 13.1 sticker that I had become so proud of. I didn’t take it off because it was old; in fact, those large black numbers could be seen a mile away.

I was taking off the sticker because with every scrape, I was one step closer to completing an even bigger race. My life isn’t about my success and in no way do I ever want to glorify myself, so with one last scrape, the remains of the sticker were gone and a new symbol was made that day.

13.1

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

The absence of the sticker was the beginning of my discipline. In that moment, I promised God that I would run as fast as I could towards His presence and that day I made a commitment to give Him the rightful glory He deserves for  EVERYTHING He has done.

~ Lovelle ❤

I drove into the parking lot of the country club where my meeting was supposed to be and did a double take. “Surely this isn’t where the meeting is” I thought to myself. With determination and a little bit of desperation I typed in the address again only to find Google maps doesn’t lie… This was in fact the building.

As the realization hit, all the confidence in my abilities suddenly diminished. I had only been to a country club once in my life, and that was because I had gotten a scholarship to attend an event.

As far as I knew poor people didn’t attend country clubs. I didn’t even think they were allowed in.

I took one last look at my underdressed self through the rearview mirror and attempted to straighten up my messy hair I took a deep breath, and stepped out of the car.

Excuse me.” I said to the fancy lady at the front desk. “I’m here for the chaperone meeting.

She smiled and pointed me down the hall to the conference room filled with women who I thought were all better off than me. “What do I have to offer. They are so blessed.” I thought to myself. Those thoughts remained throughout the meeting and they almost made me change my mind about helping until God whispered a powerful statement.

Receiving blessings often means you have more blessings to give to others.

Boy was that a kick in the butt from Jesus… Here’s the best part. I was walking to my 2013 Ford Fiesta that the Lord had BLESSED me with! I was also reminded of God’s response to Samuel when he was picking the next king after Saul’s reign. Like any normal human, Samuel assumed the good looking tough guy would be the chosen king. 

Not Our Ways

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
~1 Samuel 16:7

The same goes for us. Making assumptions about a person is like trying to see in a deep fog. Just like it is impossible to see in front of you when it is foggy, it is also impossible to see the true character and beauty of a person when assumptions cloud your view of them.

When it comes down to it, we are all blessed. When we forget that we are blessed, we become jealous and lose confidence in who God made us to be.

My prayer is to ditch the labels and see people like God does. The next time I walk into a country club {probably a very long time from now} I will be confident and genuine because I know that every one in that building as well as myself was fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator who loves us deeply. {Ps. 139:14} 

~ Lovelle ❤

Healing from Abuse: Turning to God

I see a little boy going up to a his friend’s house because the girl hadn’t shown up for school. He finds the girl terrified and as the girl shakes with fear he suddenly realizes why she never wanted to go home all of those times before…

Jenny! Where are you!?!” her dad yells from the back porch.

The scared little girl grabs the boy’s hand and says, “run Forrest!” The intoxicated man throws the beer bottle on the ground and starts running after them. They ran as fast as they could only to realize that they can’t outrun her dad.

With one last ounce of hope she grabs the boys hand, gets down on her knees and yells in desperation, “pray with me Forrest!” and over and over again the girl says,

Dear God,
make me a bird so I can fly far far away…

The scene in Forrest Gump ends and the past begins to flood my mind. I begin to remember all of those nights that I would be on my knees asking God to take me out of my abusive home. I also remember how it didn’t happen.

As my husband holds me with his strong and protective arms and I am reminded of God’s mysterious ways. It’s easy to blame God and accuse him of not being there but what if I told you that He was holding you through every bad trial you endured?

While you look at yourself in the mirror, feeling dirty and when you feed into all the lies, God is staring back with the most adoring eyes.

When you feel alone and defeated, He is there with you. When you fall, He is holding you up. He is the strength that sustains you and He is the one deciding your steps when you feel you can’t go on anymore.

I know because it’s in my lowest that I feel God most of all…

Faith-is-Confidence-by-HolleyGerth.com_

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

Yes, I was abused.

Yes, at random times the pain still occurs.

However, I am not my pain or my past and neither are you.

The worst thing you can do to yourself is ask God “Why?” I don’t know why my step dad did what he did and I don’t care because my God is bigger than what was done to me. His love overcame it all.

God did what no man can do. He redeemed me. On that cross, He alone made me new. So in those hard times I will run to the feet of my Savior because answers won’t make me feel any better. Only His love can.

When Peter told his listeners in 1 Peter 4:8 that love covers a multitude of sins I know that he wasn’t only talking about the sins they committed. I believe that he was referencing the sins that were done to us, too.

You see, it takes love to save, but it takes love to forgive. Jesus was the first example of that when He was being beaten and spat at on that cross. We see true redemption in the words, “Lord forgive them for they do not know what they have done.”

Abuse is real and healing is a process. I love that even in my pain, when I can barely even whisper, “Lord make me feel better” I know without a doubt that God is there and He is better than what I am going through now.

That fact may not take away the pain but it helps me sustain. If you’re hurting today I just want you to know that God says it’s going to be okay…

~ Lovelle ❤

Another Form of Worship: Stepping Out and Loving People

As my feet hit the pavement my mind immediately began to relax. With my worship music in my ears I couldn’t help but think that maybe my runs are a way to worship God. It’s a way for me to drown out the world and focus on Him. It’s literally a way to run the race set before me. 

As the sidewalk turns my eyes lock on an older woman in what looked to be her late forties using a walker. Her face showed pain and just ahead of her was a little girl riding a bike with tricycle wheels. As hard as the woman tried, she just couldn’t keep up so on my way back around the trail I saw her up ahead, sitting on the bench while the little girl she is with burned the rest of her energy. 

As my feet began to continue past the lady my heart said something completely opposite and honestly, kind of scary. “Go pray with her”, that little voice inside me whispered. As excuses began to play over and over in my head about how random and offensive that might be to the woman, another thought drowned them out.

“What if I don’t?” What if all that woman needed was a little bit of socializing and prayer to feel better and I let myself bail because I was too scared. What if I refused to do something God has clearly told me to do?

That moment I realized, that I wasn’t thinking of the woman in need. I was only being selfish and thinking of me. 

I immediately stopped and turned around. With my head down, I awkwardly walked to the woman and introduced myself.

I’m going to ask you something a little weird,” I said. “Is there anything you would like me to pray for?

With a shocked look on her face, the woman answered with an abrupt, “Yes” and she began telling me about the painful situation she is currently going through.

It turns out this brave woman’s back has gotten so bad that no doctors will work on it. From observation I could tell that the woman was trying her hardest to be there for her granddaughter, but with the recent conversations she has had with many doctors, and an extreme amount of pain, Trish didn’t know if that was possible.

After our conversation and prayer, I left but as I was running back home I realized that Trish wasn’t the only one that got something out of our conversation.

Run the Race of Endurance

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

You see, When God speaks sometimes what He asks is a little scary to us. My situation with that woman made me realize why that is.

We think,

What if I fail?

What if I’m offensive?

What if what God said, really isn’t what I should be doing?

Do you see the correlation with all of those thought’s?

It’s the letter “I” 

In the midst of stepping out it’s easy to forget that it’s not all about us. Matthew 6:27 says it best by asking all of us if our worries add a single moment to our life..

It doesn’t… Instead worrying takes away time we could be using to benefit the kingdom of God.

Jesus commanded us to tend His sheep (John 21:17) and on that run I realized that one of the ways I can worship God is by putting aside the doubt, doing what He asks of me, and loving those in need.

~ Lovelle ❤

Six Ways to Live a Healthy Life Inside and Out

6 Ways to liveA HealthyLifestyleInside

As I stated in my previous post, I have always struggled with respecting and honoring my body. I used to be overweight, and this caused me to disregard the importance of a healthy lifestyle. I was wrong because I didn’t take care of the body I was given. Since then, I have lost eighty pounds and although I take care of my body’s health, I find myself disrespecting my body through my words and thoughts.

That’s where the Bible comes in. It turns out my friends were struggling with the same thing so after looking through scripture we have found six ways to live a healthy lifestyle inside and out.

1. Physical exercise

 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.  I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
~ 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is so important because it displays the care we feel for our Creator’s work. Running was one of the ways I got in shape, and this verse is one of my favorites. Exercise takes discipline. I have to make myself get off the couch and work out. I have to commit to do it on a regular basis. 

2. Eating Healthy-

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
~ Romans 12:1-2

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.
~ 1 Corinthians 6:19

Lisa TerKeurst explains the importance in an amazing way in her book Made to Crave. Her outlook is that we were all made to crave. Sometimes there are things we shouldn’t crave though and for me, it’s food. One of the ways I can give my body to God is by eating healthy. This means not eating when I am hungry and avoiding a lot of junk I don’t necessarily want or need. Eating chocolate once in a while is not a bad thing by any means but food and cravings shouldn’t control you.

3. Studying your word-

Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.
~ 1 Timothy 4:8

My friends and I are big believers on the importance of exercise. We also know that sometimes, exercise can aid our Spiritual discipline. Striving to live a Godly life is a workout and discipline of it’s own. Just like exercise, reading our Bible and praying should be done on a regular basis.

4. Kind words to yourself-

Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!
~ 2 Corinthians 10:12

As I stated in my previous post, one of my biggest struggles is comparing myself to others. If I don’t fit the mold I see in others, I tend to knock myself down through comments like, “you’re fat” or “you need to work out more” and this is wrong. I may or may not need to work out more but that is based on staying healthy and honoring God with what I do with my body that he has given me. It’s not based on trying to fit the mold of others.

5. Keeping your security in heaven

We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.
~Proverbs 16:1

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
~Proverbs 16:24

As poor college kids, my friends and I know how hard it is to keep finances and other worldly items from becoming our security and we know the consequences of that. This life has no certainty. The only thing that stays the same is God and he will take care of us.

6. Kind words to others-

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
~Ephesians 4:29

Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
~Proverbs 16:24

A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
~Matthew 22:39

Let’s be honest, girls can be pretty hateful and that hate often occurs through words. Little whispers of gossip and slander are not kind or necessary and hateful words to someone’s face aren’t either. You can never take back what is said. I don’t know a single person that hasn’t been really hurt by hurtful statements. The Bible says that this is wrong so it shouldn’t be done.

There are a lot of things that my friends and I want to improve on this year. We believe every day holds a chance for growth. We know that these six basic principles will help aid us in the process of our personal refinement. We hope these can help you too!

What are some ways that help aid you in living a healthy lifestyle inside and out?

~ Lovelle, Karley, and Cathy ❤

My New Years Resolution: 6 Ways to Live a Healthy Life Inside and Out

I step on the scale and hold my breath as the machine I dread so much decides my fate. I hope to actually see a change in my weight this week. All I want is to finally see positive results.

But to my dismay, the numbers are not what I want to see. I step off, only to get back on for a second time. Scales are always off the first time, right?

As the inanimate object that seems to have so much control over my life loads, I find myself saying a silent prayer:

“Dear Jesus, I want to lose weight. I’m sick of my curves and extra flab. I want to feel pretty. Please help?”

After what feels like forever, the number is finally revealed. It is exactly the same. It is not what I want to see. Those ugly red numbers are like a flashing light, taunting me. Every time I see them, a voice inside me screams, “You are fat! Not good enough!” and frankly, I’m sick of it.

I’m done looking in the mirror and seeing negative things. I’m fed up with working out regularly, only to put myself down. I need to appreciate my body. I am sick of degrading the body God designed, and looking to the world for acceptance.

This year, my New Year’s resolution is not to lose weight. My resolution is to respect my body and honor it. My body was paid for with a price. It is not my own, so from here on out, my body will represent its creator: God (1 Corinthians 6:20).

Even though the magazines and television shows tell us that we are not good enough, God says that you are wonderful and loved. He knit us together with his delicate hands and crafted us with a purpose (Psalm 139:13).

Ignore the lies the world feeds you and look up, because your creator is staring down at you with the most adoring eyes. You don’t have to change.

made

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

Respecting and honoring your body is easier said than done, so after a heartfelt conversation with my fabulous friends, we came up with a guide to help you walk the talk. To help you kick-start your year, next week I will discuss Six ways to live a healthy life inside and out. Stay tuned because you don’t want to miss this!

Update: I’m Changing Some Things!

If you have visited my blog recently then you have probably noticed that things are a little different. The pretty sunflower is gone and the layout is replaced by a boring one. As depressing as it is, I’ve got some amazing news! It won’t be like that forever…

Sorry

I’ve had this secret for a while but I wanted it to be a surprise. I feel like Mentos inside of a bottle of diet coke! I think I just might explode with excitement… I am in the process of rebranding my blog thanks to the amazing Lisa Larson from The Copper Anchor. I am so honored to be teaming up with this fabulous and talented woman and I am even more excited for the changes that are coming soon. Thank you for your patience! Just like any situation life brings, God has an awesome way of making beauty in our messes.

~Lovelle ❤