Praise You in the storm

It’s more than a song by Casting Crowns; it’s a strong recommendation of what we should do in times of struggle, like this afternoon.

This afternoon, Justin and I decided that it would be better if we weren’t in a relationship with each other. Even though it hurts and probably will for a long time, we’re both at peace with it. As I driving to meet my mom and talk to her about what had happened, I decided to praise God, knowing He was in control no matter what and after I said this, though tears were still streaming down my face, I felt at peace. That is the greatest feeling when something that you didn’t want to have happening is happening. I was almost about to jump for joy, I felt so at peace. The only reason I didn’t is that I don’t think it would have been appropriate considering why I was praising God.

I know that I have not been close in my relationship with God because I was choosing Justin over him and like I said, God knows what’s gonna happen even if I don’t. I won’t a promise I probably won’t keep but I’m gonna continue praising God through all my circumstances. Sometimes, God whispers to us and sometimes he thunders at us. For me, he shocked my world in order to bring me back to him.

Romans 8:28 / 2 Corinthians. 4:16-18
Psalm 42:5 / Psalm 121:1-2
Job 1:20-21 / Daniel 3:16-18

04/18-04/24

Another week has gone by and another one is on the way once again. Let me start off by saying that I’m really tired and can only remember the really big events that happened this past week.

Sunday – Robert Farrar had his Eagle ceremony with BSA and Stuart, Mitchell and Dad all participated. Justin stopped by on his way back from visiting his mom in Moneta, Va and…I lost my cell phone. I put it on the hood of the blue van and forgot that it was there when my parents took the car somewhere that night. Couldn’t find it whatsoever, so I’m hoping that the squirrels didn’t get a hold of it.

Monday – Opened on cash again. Had dance as usual. Crashed in my bed when I got home.

Tuesday – Yep, I opened again, however I got off earlier than normal. Justin came up again and ate dinner.

Wednesday – Nothing really happened that I can recall.

Thursday – I had a midshift on cash. I also got my new, but used, cell phone. My mom and dad upgraded theirs and Stuart got Dad’s old one and I got Mom’s.

Friday – Once again, I had a midshift on cash. After work, I came home and got ready to go see the play Les Miserables Spiritual Twist productions. The play didn’t start til 730pm and was over at 11pm and we still had to go home afterwards. It was a little different than the movie, obviously, but very good.

Saturday – Got up to go to a pancake breakfast that the Sanford Women’s League was hosting then I had to go to work. Hostess from 11-2, even though I was scheduled til 3. Ate lunch with Jessica Reed and then worked cash from 430pm to about 1130pm, meaning I closed on cash.

Verse of the Week – Matthew 5:13 KJV

13Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

We have all heard this verse in Sunday School or as the missionaries theme verse but notice what is in bold – but if the salt has lost his savour. While we cannot lose our salvation, we could, however, lose our joy, our earnestness we once had. Believe me, I sit here typing this, knowing I have lost that joy. If we lose sight of what we are supposed to be doing, whether it is reaching out to someone in need, or doing our jobs to the ‘best of our abilities’, we lose our savour, so to speak. When we keep God in the blinders of our vision(don’t worry, I’ll explain) we won’t lose our joy or hope, because it is the only thing we see.

Have you ever been to Central Park in NY and seen the horse-drawn carriages? Or any park that has horse-drawn carriages? Ever notice how they have those funny things on their faces, right around their eyes? Those are blinders, and are designed to prevent the horse from seeing anything but the path it needs to take. To prevent it from being distracted. When we focus on our Lord, we won’t be distracted and won’t be like salt that has lost its savour.

Running towards the goal…

….is harder than it sounds/looks. I have a fellow blogger named Christopher Fletcher who is currently in Boston for the Boston Marathon. Even if you know nothing about the world of marathons, cross-country, etc, you know this is the marathon to run in and he’s running in it. I have several friends who run cross-country and/or track (yes, they are two different things) and a couple of them won medals in today race in Broadway.

Wanna know what they have in common? Other than being friends with me? Their training. Christopher didn’t wake up and say, “You know, I think I’m gonna run the Boston marathon in a couple of weeks,” without having prior training. Alex, Max and Allegra Hogan didn’t run their 5k today without having trained first. P.s. Congrats to the Hogans for placing high in your divisions and Chris, we hope you do well.

Chris and the Hogans have been training for years for these moments in their lives. When Chris isn’t running, he swimming or biking or on the treadmill. When the Hogans aren’t running 5ks, they are in cross-country, track, swimming, or a combination of the three. The point is – they trained. They sweated, they cried out in pain, they probably got sick more than once, they felt like giving up and if any of them had, they wouldn’t be where they are today.

My Training:

My first ‘official’ run since middle school was this past Sunday after a concert. Justin and I were walking back to our cars and Justin said, “Hey, wanna run?” I was like, “Sure, but mind you, I’m a sprinter.” His reply was, “I hate sprinting. I prefer long runs.” Darn it – I was never good at that. Nevertheless, partly because I hate looking like a failure (especially in front of someone I love) and partly because I love challenges and partly because if it would make him happy, then I was gonna go with it (within limits, of course). I was able to run longer than I thought (that was the ‘don’t-wanna-look-like-a-failure thought process) but eventually I had to stop. I don’t know if he thought I was a wimp or what, but it was really embarrassing to me because I couldn’t keep up with my military boyfriend. About an hour I came back from my second run. Let’s just say, it wasn’t that good. Let me explain my track to you: flat, then downhill, flat, uphill, uphill, slight downhill, then slight uphill, downhill twice, flat, uphill and flat which is only 1.5 miles at best. I ran and walked it and felt like a failure the whole time. I believe that at one point I yelled at God saying, “I hate this! I don’t like doing it by myself!” And yet, I walked and ran it anyways. Why? Because I was challenged by Justin. To be more than I thought when it came to running. Am I ready for another run? Heck no, my legs are still throbbing and feel really weird still.When you are challenged by someone you love, you tend to do all you can to fulfill it because of love.

So…I wonder if Chris ever felt like giving up? Did Rachel (his wife) ever have to look at him and tell him to push through? Did the Hogans ever challenge one another when they felt like giving up?

Bible verse

Hebrews 12:1&2 – KJV

1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

These two verses say a lot.

1 – Since we have people watching us, our every move, we need to make sure they are seeing God and not us. We are ‘performing’ per se. I’ve noticed that the more we pretend to be like something the more likely we are to actually become that way.

2 – We need to remove every weight and obstacle from our doubts and fears to worries and laziness. If we are holding on to these things, it’ll slow us down. It’s like a runner holding a gallon of water in each hand during a marathon. After a while, it will slow him down and he’ll fall behind.

3 – We need to run the race with patience – aka run with a passion for Christ but not so fast that we bypass those who need our help more than anything. This applies to running real races as well. We need to run, not too fast that breathing is difficult but not too slow that we hand our opponent their victory on a silver platter. Patience is not just slowness. It’s also about the right thing at the right time.

4 – We need to realize that Jesus didn’t want to die on the cross. He endured because he saw that the end product aka our salvation in Him and the realization that we can be in heaven forever with Him was better than any pain he might experience now. Same thing with running. We continue running, when our legs feel like they’re gonna fall out, when our heart is pounding, and when we want to throw up or give in because we know that one day, we wanna run the Boston Marathon and make it to the top.

04/11-04/17

…has been ok, I guess. Nothing really big.

Sunday – Graham and I went to church (www.bccwired.com) and hung out a little bit before heading home for lunch with the whole family. Graham, Sparky and Dylan had youth group, as normal. Went to Fort Bragg to go to the Daughtry concert on base with Justin and went to bed really late. Made Monday very interesting indeed.

Monday – up at 430am, work at 530am til 2pm. Came home and attempted to relaxed before I went to dance. We finally got all the way through both our tap and ballet numbers and when I got home I crashed. Talk about exhaustion.

Tuesday – up at 430am, work at 530am. Or at least it was supposed to be. I don’t know who the opening manager was supposed to be, but let’s just say I didn’t get into Cracker Barrel til about 610am and we didn’t open the doors until 630am. Benefit – I got to go home early. Justin came up and hung out again – chili and rice and Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah’s Umbwella(inside joke – watch the movie).

Wednesday – slept in, but barely. I don’t consider it sleeping in until it’s like 9am at least. Ran some errands. Bed. Nothing much happened.

Thursday – mid-shift at work. Kinda interesting as we had our audit. Kinda pissed me off because I was asked questions and the answers hadn’t been provided to me yet. We did ok, I guess but it pissed me off though. A great thing though – Justin came and surprised me on his way up to see his mom in VA. I didn’t know he was there and all of a sudden I spot and I start blushing like crazy. Even my retail manager noticed it. Dang! He looks freakin’ sexy in his uniform!

Friday – opened on hostess. Not really busy but not slammed either. We had pizza and a movie last night – AstroBoy was the movie. It was kinda cute, actually.

Saturday aka today – opened on cash, Jean came in at 9 and I got something to eat. We were slow and I was out by 1230pm, not that I’m complainin’, mind you. Merely commenting, is all. Been doing some spring cleaning and laundry. Feel like crap – I really don’t like it when Mother Nature pays a visit, especially during work. Btw, my little brother Mitchell turns 10 years today.

86 400 sec….

….in a day – Don’t believe me, add it up. 24 hours x 60 minutes x 60 seconds. That’s all we have and we aren’t even guaranteed that, at best. In the Kris Allen song Live Like We’re Dying, Kris sings these lyrics, “86 400 seconds in a day, to turn it all around or throw it all away, gotta tell them we love while we gotta chance to say, gotta live like we’re dying.” Every day, every moment, every second, we are given the chance to make a difference. The difference can either be good or bad, but it’s up to us. We can turn our whole life around in just one day or we can throw it all away. And it’s not just our lives that are affected; it’s also the lives of those around us. We might not even know that we have changed the course of our lives, but every decision makes a difference.

Ok, you might be thinking, “My decision to stay on facebook for ten more minutes instead of going to bed isn’t really a big deal.” It might not seem like it, but it is. Btw, I’m preaching to myself as I write this down. But if you’re like me, those ten extra minutes turn in 30 minutes which turn into an hour or more, and that does make a difference. The decision to stay later at work because someone can’t make it, impacts more than you think it does. At the time, you might be thinking, “My boss must think I don’t have a life,” but in reality your manager is thinking, “So-and-so is always/usually willing to cover for someone or work late if we ask him/her. Maybe we should give them more hours/more pay/better benefits.” That decision to stay and cover for someone makes a difference, even if you can’t see it.

Imagine this: you’re walking down the road to your best friend’s house for a ‘School’s out’ party and you see “Charlie”. Charlie is a kid whose dad is a drug-dealer who just got arrested for possession and intent to deal on school property and whose mom committed suicide after killing his little sister in a fit of anger. Charlie’s the quiet kid you often ignore and when you do think of him, it’s with pity and amazement that he’s still alive. But tonight, you notice that he’s been crying and that’s something wrong. You initially walk past him, I mean, you guys aren’t friends and for all you know, he might be high on drugs, but you turn around and invite him to the party. He agrees, although he skeptical, and you guys get to talking. Later, you notice that it seems like he’s actually enjoying himself. Because school is out and you’ve been busy with work, you don’t see Charlie again til school starts. First day of school, first period and you notice that Charlie is really happy and has a ton of friends. Charlie comes up and says, “Hey man, that night when you invited to the partay? Yeah, dude, you changed my life.”

Now while you didn’t see this change happen, you were a part of it. Sometimes, the changes that need to happen, are the ones that are the least noticeable. Remember the whole ‘ten-more-minutes-on-facebook-thing’? Yeah, even an extra hour of sleep makes a difference. For all you know, you might have a pop quiz(how I hated those) in your worst subject the next day and because you actually got some sleep, you might pass it. Which means, you might make the grade, which could change the rest of your year in school. Who knows?

Remember: Every second counts, every thought, every action. Just because you can’t see the difference doesn’t mean there isn’t one.