Tuesday, July 31, 2012


A couple of weeks ago, I scheduled a doctor's appointment but felt uneasy about it. I've been having issues for the past few months, but wasn't confident that my doctor (who I love and think is fabulous) could really help. That particular Monday was an especially bad day, leading me to finally break down and call the doctor.

My appointment was scheduled for 8:30 the next day. I don't know how it works with your doctor, but appointments are never obtained that quickly with mine unless there is bodily fluid oozing out of an orifice.

In the waiting room, I was the first patient to be called back - despite the fact that others were there before me. The normal nurse was out for the day, and the fill-in chatted me up, helping take the edge off my nerves.

Then it was my turn with the doctor.  I told her my WebMD diagnosis and waited for her to agree with me.  Instead she asked my symptoms.  I twisted my hands as I explained my problems have been more intense the past few months, but I suppose they’ve been around for a while now. 

Family history was then discussed.  I always knew it was a problem most of my family had, but I had never considered it to be significant enough to mention to the doctor.  After only providing 3 examples, she interrupted. 

 “Do you ever…”

 “Have you ever…”

I answered her questions as honestly as I could.  I cried.  We chatted.  She explained.    I left her office with 2 new prescriptions and a sense of dread in my heart.  How in the world was I going to explain my need for medication to a man who doesn’t believe in medication?  Who had to be begged to go to the doctor when a power tool accident left him bleeding?

Resistance was met – from Jay, my Mother, and from a friend, but not how I expected.  All were showing a loving concern for my well being.  All their points were valid, and taken under advisement.

I am thankful for them.

I’m also thankful that the morning I began taking my medication, my Bible reading plan had 2 Kings 20:1-7 selected for me.  7 Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered. My study Bible commentary spoke to healing of God, and while some times He works in inexplicable ways other times God uses the current medication of the day for the healing of His children.

Tomorrow is my follow up.  I’ve been taking my anti-anxiety/depression medication for over 3 weeks now and am very pleased with the result.  Honestly, I’m not sure how much of my progress is the actual medicine and how much is just the hope that life doesn’t have to be that way.

I don’t have to live with a racing heart and mood swings.  I don’t have to grit my teeth into a smile at work, when someone steps off the elevator wanting my assistance.  I don’t have to use everything within me to resist yelling “awful!” when someone casually (and out of habit) asks “how are you?”

I will defeat this monster.  Through the power of prayer, hope, and Xanax as needed.


***I’ve had several “been there done that” friends who’ve been willing to chat with me about their journey through anxiety and depression.  I am thankful to have them in my life.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you are struggling. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

But I don't wanna...

God told me no this weekend.   And now I'm pouting.

I'll certainly be the first to admit that I have much in my life to be thankful for - a wonderful family, material possessions, and most of all a Savior who loves me.  I promise I realize my life is so incredibly blessed beyond what I deserve. 

While I don't want anyone to perceive me as ungrateful, the truth is that I am.  Having done mission work in the past, I'm in love with the idea of going to Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  I've never been on an international mission trip, but I have traveled out of the state on mission for Jesus.

At least the idea of the trip centered around working for Jesus.  I'm starting to think that mission trips, like running and triathlon training, are addictive ventures - once I went on one, I'm constantly looking for my next trip.  I want to serve God, and in my head I think it needs to be done in the form of a well-organized, church sponsored travel to a different city/state/country.

My church went to Guatemala, but Jay didn't feel comfortable with me traveling out of the country without him.  Trips to Cleveland and New York came and went without me.  I sought out the information but it just never worked out.  Then came Montana.

Jay even said he thought this trip would be an effective one (to reach out to an Indian reservation) and my parents offered to cover the costs.  Last night at church, our missions director took my email address and passed it along to the pastor (from another church) leading this trip. 

Once again plans aren't going to work out for me to go.

My disappointment with it all caused me to stop and question my motives.  If God doesn't want me to travel to Montana "for Him," who am I to argue?  Apparently I'm a girl who prefers going to doing.

I've known for some time I'm called to be a missionary in my every-day life.  Missional living some call it.  Sounds lofty and more important than regular-ordinary living, but in my head is a fancy title for people not committed enough to serve God on foreign mission fields.  Rather they just want to check off their "missions" box and pretend they are a missionary in life.

Upon further review, I was dead wrong.

Why do I run from missional living and run to going a mission trip?  Because a week long mission trip is easier than 50 years of being a missionary to my unbelieving husband.  Because I have another 22 years (Lord willing and the retirement qualifications don't change) with my coworkers - plenty of time for them to see I'm a big, fat, failure.  Because I want to be the "cool" aunt, and I haven't found a way to reconcile it with godmother duties. 

Mission trips are easier.  Of course anyone who's slept on an air mattress in a church Sunday school room or taken a week's worth of showers in a high school gym might beg to differ.  I did at first.  I sweated my rear off on a Memphis roof removing/replacing shingles one hot July summer.  I washed the clothes for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.  I provided meals and supplies for the homeless of the neighboring big city. 

In each of those situations I gave of myself, but I also go back.  I sat under a shade tree and listened to people tell their stories of seeking shelter in the Super Dome (only they referred to it as "the Hell Dome").  I received the hugs and thanks from the elderly woman who could now access her house via the ramp we had built for her. 

What do I get in return from missional living?  Sure - sometimes I get a "thank you for dinner baby" but I also sometimes get "I thought you said you swept?  More like swiped!"  (My reaction to this comment was not my finest moment this weekend.) 

Living for Christ is hard.  But it'll be easier when I decide to accept my call and put away the pouty pants.

How do you live for God by doing the ordinary?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Foto Friday - Love Notes

On my way out the door this morning, I grabbed the inventory lists off the freezer door.  The current list needs updating and the old list I wanted to scan/save forever. 

Each month, Jay and I budget $125 each for "personal spending" to be used however we desire.  For me, this includes race registrations and eating out with the girls.  Jay most often uses his money for tobacco.   Beyond the occasional 12 pack of beer, he doesn't spend his money on much else.  Often he goes under budget, not even bothering to "bank" it for the next month.  That's just money not spent for the month and put back into the general kitty.

This strategy does, however, create some angst in him because I do spend my money - all of it - each month.  Sometimes I go over, but if that's the case I spend less the next month.  Rarely do I ever return money to the general fun. 

One girls night out, I came home to find this note on my freezer inventory, next to the "pizza" column.

In case you have trouble reading the picture, here is the text:

I ate another one on 3/9.  This sucks marking this sh*t off.  Just count the fricking things yourself if you want to.  I'm in a shi*tty mood because you went out to eat a fancy dinner & I am stick eating this pizza that tastes like a combination of sh*t and cardboard.

In my defense, "fancy" was a local (very casual) Italian place where I ate for under $10.  In his defense, I got the "sh*t & cardboard" pizza on sale for $0.75 at Food Lion's going out of business sale.

I'm joining Christie for some foto Friday fun.  Check out her blog today if you need a good laugh or want to share your own!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tri Training Thursday

For the past couple of years I've been racing the Anchor Splash Sprint Triathlon in late summer.  Mixing up my running with biking and swimming helps give me a break in the hottest summer months, and changes up my training goals.  Sprint distances vary from race to race, so the goal was to do the same race each year for an apples to apples improvement comparison.

Unfortunately, this year the race falls on the same weekend as the Marine Corp Mud Run.  While I focus on triathlon training, the mud run has my heart.  I have so much fun at this race every year I wouldn't dream of missing out!

I can be a tough cookie, but following Saturday's mud run with the triathlon on Sunday is a bit much!  I decided to spend the summer in the gym focused on strength training with a few runs/cross trains thrown in.  

Until I got a half off coupon code for a different triathlon, that is. 

I'm officially in training for the Double Dip Sprint Triathlon: 150m swim in the indoor pool, a short dash to complete another 150m in the outdoor pool, 16.5 miles on the bike, and a 5K run.

Since sprints aren't easily comparable, I have to base any goals off my current training times.  While I am trying to get in the pool twice a week, its not getting a lot of attention from me.  I know I could swim those distances today (and probably will at lunch).  Any improvements to my swimming ability would only reflect a few seconds on my overall time.

The run is a distance I'm more than comfortable with.  Also, since there is little chance of setting a 5K PR following a bike ride, I will be happy with a strong 30ish minute run.  My running has improved since last year, and think I can manage this easily enough.

Most all of my focused training has been on the bike.  Last time I took for granted that my shiny new (to me) road bike would make me faster than my mountain bike.  What I found, however, is that old mountain bike + hard training = road bike + little training.  I wasn't familiar with the bike nor was I comfortable on it.

My race is in a month, and I've already logged a couple of bike rides at race distance.  I've gotten use to knowing which gear I need when, and tackled some pretty tough hills - despite the "flat to rolling" nature of the course.  I figure these will only build strength and increase time on the bike (since 16 mi on the course will go by quicker than 16 fighting the hills).

I'm very thankful to have found a rich yuppie subdivision where bikes and pedestrians outnumber the cars on the streets.  There are even several parking lots and a public restroom in the neighborhood.  Its the perfect place to ride for someone who's not comfortable braving narrow country back roads or riding on the highway.

This Saturday I'll be testing my new tri kit.  I found a matching tri top/shorts on sale (triathlons are expensive.  Where else is $30 per item considered cheap?) and hoping to try it out on my first real brick of training.  I'm planning on hitting 45 minutes to an hour on the bike then hitting the road on foot for 30 minutes.

If I'm brave enough to post a picture of me in the suit, maybe I'll do a blog about how I like the new gear.

How do you alter your training in the summer?  What are your hardest summer setbacks?  Heat?  The kids being out of school?  Too many other fun activities?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Meal Planning Monday

If I'm honest (and those who know me say I'm honest to a fault), I haven't truly meal planned in ages.  Sure I've looked at the calendar and guessed here and there.  Setting out at the first of the week to plan all of our meals?  Just hasn't happened. 

Life is busy and stressful.  And I'm lazy.  And don't enjoy cooking.  (Since we're already on the honest train.)

I am going to make a concentrated effort to get back at it though.  We've got a full pantry of things that need to be consumed and our grocery budget has been gradually creeping up month after month because of my laziness.

One awesome new change, is the addition of an extra cook in the house.  Jay has taken over Tuesday/Thursday food responsibilities.  I love being able to come home from work and just crash (or get straight to laundry/cleaning the bathrooms/dusting/etc.)

This change has come at the cost of healthy eating, but I just don't care.  I'm falling back on many of the tried and true easy dinners I use to fix a few years ago when we were first married.  For this week, time to make a plan!

Monday: Chicken Helper

I toss in some frozen broccoli to make it stretch a bit further.

Tuesday: Cheddar Brats

Jay's one request to taking over some of the dinner responsibilities is that I buy things at the store easy for him to prepare.

Wednesday: Ham sandwiches

I'm doing a Knoxville Track Club social run that evening.  If we don't stop by Barley's for dinner following the run, I'll just make sandwiches when I get home.  Add a pepper jack cheese, a hamburger bun, and a toaster over and all of a sudden sandwiches seem yummy!

Thursday: Pizza

Jay's perfecting the art of frozen pizza on the grill.

Friday: Baked Ravioli

I'm uber lazy with this one: some frozen ravioli, a jar of spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese.


What are some of your go-to meal ideas when you don't feel like cooking?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Daily Thanks - New Blog Home

Friday - Monthiversary
Not Only was it our monthiversary, but also Friday the 13th (aka the day we met).  Of course it wasn't the month we met, but we like to do a special celebration when the 13th falls on Friday.  We had dinner at 5 Guys then hit up NomNoms for dessert!  I had the strawberry cream.

Saturday - Place to ride

I've been worried for the past few weeks about how to find a good place to ride my bike.  Saturday, I packed up the car and headed to Knoxville.  The perfect spot had come to me in the middle of the night and it worked so well I'm excited to head back this weekend for another long ride.
Sunday - Lunch!

After church I went to my parents for lunch.  I've said a million times how thankful I am for them, so this week I'll celebrate the yummy lunch my mom had made.  Cajun pork chops, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, fried okra (fresh from the garden), and french bread. 
Monday - Working A/C

Monday was a rough day for me.  I was tired emotionally and physically.  Sunday night I'd come home from church to discover:

the thermostat wasn't working properly.  Jay was home, but for whatever reason didn't feel the temperature gradually rising.  He sent a text to our HVAC guy who was able to come out and fix it Monday while we were both at work.  It was left in the "off" position, but once I got home and turned it on the house cooled down within 30 minutes. 
Tuesday - Sleep

After Monday's rough day, I desperately needed good, quality sleep.  I'm incredibly thankful to have gotten it Monday night/Tuesday morning.  I was still sleepy, but not drained as I had been the previous day.
Wednesday - Suits

I'm a sucker for good TV.  This summer Jay and I have been experimenting with Netflix and some new shows our cableless lives don't have access to.  Suits is our newest favorite.  Unfortunately, its disk only, but last night we plowed through 5 episodes!
Thursday - Family

I have an incredible family.  I told you all yesterday about my family's need for prayer.  Today I learned we are having a family gathering this weekend.  My sister lives 2 hours away, but she (with my BIL, niece, and nephew) are driving down.  My cousin who lives near DC is flying in.  In times of crisis we freak and worry, but then we pull our crap together and support one another.  My family is good people.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Heavy Heart

Today my family has a heavy heart and I'd like to ask for your prayers.  My 19 year old cousin has been diagnosed with Lymphoma.  Please pray for his healing, courage and peace. 

I know a lot of us are dealing with heavy stuff on our own right now.  Please feel free to leave your prayer request as a comments.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The God of Fashionable Curtains

Its true what they say, girls become their mothers with age.  I'm slowly maturing into my Mama's clone.  And I'm totally okay with it.

A few years ago, I felt differently.  One afternoon she called me, proclaiming the goodness of our Lord in a mistake that was made in her JC Penny order.  Instead of shipping her curtain X (her choice), curtain Y arrived in the mail.  She called the company, notifying them of their error.  They let her know that she could either keep Y (for the price of X) or ship it back and they would replace it.

My mother hung the curtains and decided she liked these curtains better than the ones she had ordered.  "God took care of me," she claimed. 

"Seriously Mother?  What makes you think that God gives a rip about what kind of curtains you have hanging in your house?"

I don't think I realized how much hurt my words carried.  No one in my family is secretive about our struggle with confidence, self worth, and anxiety.  Yet my mother had finally gotten to a point in her life where she believe God loved her so much, that He sent a keying error to a customer service rep in order to bring a smile to her face.
As Christians, we believe Jesus left his home in heaven - forsaking the beauty of God for us, to bleed, suffer, and die because we have a problem with sin.  How then, is it such a stretch for him to do small, seemingly trivial things for us?  Especially if it brings him praise?

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17

Now I'm not going to argue in favor of JC Penny having "perfect" curtains, but I do believe God wants our praise.  I also think he proves himself faithful in the little things sometimes to give us the courage to trust him in the big things.

When I worried that I would run alone during the Knoxville Marathon training runs, Lisa prayed God would send her someone who ran the same pace as her.  He answered her prayer, by sending her me.  Even in my sinful state (let's just be honest that worry is not only a sin, but denial of God's power and authority), God used me to answer prayer.

Having not learned my lesson, I recently began worrying about finding a safe place to ride my bike while preparing for my upcoming triathlon.  Never did it cross my mind to pray about it, after all - God doesn't care about silly things like my training schedule, or so I thought.   Until I woke up Saturday morning with the perfect place in mind. 

This perfect spot isn't anywhere I dreamed up.  As a matter of fact, it hadn't even crossed my mind.  Until it hit me that morning.  I could say it was "out of no where" but I don't think that's an accurate statement.  The perfect subdivision came like a slap across the face from heaven "trust me, I've got this," the slap said.

Casting all your care on him; for he cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

I'm currently dealing with much bigger things in my life than simply training concerns (and promise to blog about them shortly), and I desperately needed this reminder, this assurance He's up there watching out for me.

I don't claim to know why some go to bed hungry each night, yet my mother gets sent curtains from God.  I don't know why I get the medicine I need to heal me, while others die of their disease.  I do, however, celebrate the God of the Universe who sent his son to rescue the perishing.  I celebrate the God has promised to meet all of our needs.  I celebrate the God of fashionable curtains, because he seeks after his lambs so that he may bring them back to him.

I'd love for you to share one way God has tangibly shown his love for you.