Countdown to FREEDOM

Monday, August 18, 2014

Staying Alert

Happy Monday – hope yours is going well so far.  I’m working on it but I’m finding that the closer I get to the end of the year, the more anxious I get and the less patience I have for the issues of the 9-5.  Anyway, let’s recap the weekend, shall we?

I always attend church on Saturday night as opposed to Sunday morning because I enjoy having one day that I don’t have to do anything.  I like to wake up naturally without the assistance of the alarm clock and just let the day unfold. 

This past weekend took a different turn.  Instead of going to church on Saturday night I chose to attend a pity party.
 

 
There was wine, cupcakes and hours of Netflix. 

It’s funny (not really) that when I sit at my desk and think about just relaxing in my bed and doing nothing, I imagine that it will be an enjoyable experience.  In reality:  not so much.  When I woke up on Sunday morning I felt miserable – not physically – I only had one glass of wine, so it wasn’t a hangover.  I was just emotionally wrung out.  Just blech! 

 I knew what I needed to do.  Before my feet hit the floor I prayed.  I asked God to forgive me for allowing myself to get in such a funk.  I know what the issue was (which I won’t share here) and it certainly didn’t warrant me taking to my bed.  I know better.  So, after I prayed I got up, washed my face – realized that I slept with my contact lenses in (ugh!), put on my running gear and went for a 9-mile run.  After the run, I showered and did my grocery shopping.  After that, I changed my clothes, put on my face and went to the 11:30 service at church. 

I love it when I go to church and hear a sermon that is directly applicable to what is going on in my life.  We had a guest speaker and the title of his message was, “Alertness in Prayer”.  The text came from Luke 21:36 – Watch therefore and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
While I was on my run, I noticed that during the last 2 miles my mind and body shifted into auto-pilot.  My body was tired and all I wanted was to finish.  When on auto-pilot I’m only focused on the end result, not the path that gets me there.  In the earlier miles I’m noticing traffic, birds, people, cars – everything. 

During the sermon, the speaker mentioned the importance of staying alert and not allowing our lives to go on auto-pilot.  We miss so much when we are not alert.  We think we have everything under control and then BAM!  You’re happy-go-lucky one minute and then depressed the next.  The Bible also says in 1 Peter 5:8 that we should be sober and vigilant because the enemy is just waiting to devour us. 
I was devoured on Saturday night.  I was in a crisis moment and instead of praying – I took to my bed.  Which is why I made it my business to repent as soon as my eyes opened and made my way to church on Sunday morning.  And again on Sunday night.  Being in God's presence and in the presence of other believers is exactly what I needed to get me back on track.

That’s what being alert is about.  Knowing that we cannot rest on our laurels.   I have a relationship with God but if I don’t work on it and stay in communication with Him, I am leaving myself open for negativity and doubt.

Lesson learned.  Stay alert.  Stay vigilant.

 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy Monday?

What’s up good people?  I am coming off a pretty disappointing weekend – but I must say a bad weekend is still better than a good day at work.

Anyway, let’s recap:
Friday – After work I met a friend for a light dinner.  We hadn’t seen each other in years and she recently moved back to the area.  It was fun catching up and I’m hoping that we are able to stay in touch on a more regular basis.  These days “stay in touch” pretty much means like each other’s statuses on Facebook.  Funny how times have changed. 

Saturday – It rained on and off.  I was supposed to complete a long run (8 miles) so I ventured out when I thought it was safe and once I hit the 2-mile mark it started sprinkling, then it started pouring.  I was drenched and started to head back.  I was miserable – not because I was wet, but because the rain was getting in my eyes and I couldn’t see and my phone (which I use to track my runs) was getting wet.  I ended up completing 5 miles, which wasn’t bad but it wasn’t 8!
After that, I showered and put on my comfy clothes and posted up on the couch to watch some Netflix.  I found this documentary and loved it.

 

It was basically about a woman who discovers the truth about her biological father and how this affected her and everyone in her family.  It struck a chord with me.  It reminded me that we all have the same issues, no one’s problems are exclusive to them.
That evening I went to church.  The message was entitled “How the Holy Spirit Can Help Us”.  The text was taken from Romans 8:26-28

26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose
Folks have a tendency to focus on the 28th verse, but we spent quite a bit of time on the 26th – the Holy Spirit helps us by interceding on our behalf when we don’t know what to pray.  When all we can do is groan.  Have you ever had days like that?  When you couldn’t even formulate a prayer and all you can do is groan.  God knows what you need in that groan.  He knows.

Sunday – I was supposed to have some pictures taken for my website but because they are going to be outdoor shots and the weather was crappy, we had to reschedule.  I was so disappointed.  You have to understand all that goes into getting prepared to take fitness photos.  It’s not as easy as showing up and smiling.  For me, it felt like I was getting ready for a competition – in that I was dieting and manipulating my water.  So on Sunday morning my abs were popping and I couldn’t take the pictures!  I was hungry, dehydrated and miserable!  The plan was to celebrate the completion of the photo shoot with a delicious pasta meal and a glass of red wine.  Let’s just say, I still cooked and ate my pasta (with a ton of mozzarella cheese) and had two glasses of wine.  The pictures will happen when they happen but I needed to eat!
To round out my Sunday, I gave myself a hot oil treatment, washed my hair, trained a client and watched True Blood.  I love True Blood but this final season is the worst!  It’s like the writers have short-timer’s syndrome and have just thrown anything together.  Disappointing.

Now it’s Monday and because of the two glasses of wine, I couldn’t get up at 4:00 this morning and go to the gym like I normally would.  Lucky for me, I have a home gym that I can utilize after work.
This is the month of prayer at my church and tonight I get to go to “soaking” prayer.  The only reason why I look forward to Mondays.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept of soaking, this is a time when the sanctuary is open to anyone who wants to come and pray.   The lights are dim, music is playing and the people can come to the altar, walk around the sanctuary or sit in their seat and just allow the Holy Spirit to speak.  So, for me it is a Happy Monday!

Hope it is for you as well!

 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

10 Things

I’m tired.  Physically and mentally exhausted.  I’m too tired to write this post but I have some things that I need to get off my chest.

1.       Words are important.  If you don’t mean it – don’t say it.

2.       Building a business is hard.  Creating a brand is hard.  Life is hard.  Not a complaint, just an observation.

3.       I’m having a difficult time making the transition from parenting children to parenting adults.  I don’t believe in gray areas but through this process I am being forced to recognize that there is a true gray area where this is concerned.  On one hand, everybody is claiming to be grown.  On the other hand, ain’t nobody paying bills but me.

4.       Hangry = feelings of anger borne from being hungry.  I really would like a pizza right about now.

5.       I have discovered why I am so discontented with my 9-to-5:  I don’t do anything meaningful all day long.  I’m a paper pusher and a messenger.  If I had a dollar for each time someone said, “Can you go to so-and-so and check the status of such-and-such?” I’d have a lot of dollars.

6.       I also realize that while I don’t think my job is “meaningful” others do.  I have received several monetary awards while in this position for outstanding performance, which is nice.  I guess.  It’s weird to receive accolades for doing something you’d rather not be doing.

7.       August is the month of prayer.

8.       September is the month I go to Hawaii for a week.

9.       October is the month I turn 50.

10.   I recognize that my “problems” are all first world.  That doesn’t negate the fact that I still see them as problems.  I’m learning to put things in proper perspective.  I have a job that allows me to go to Hawaii for a week and that’s not too shabby.  I’m surrounded by people who respect what I do and aren’t shy about letting me know it.  I’m blessed and I know it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lessons in Success




Here’s the thing:

Everyone is not cheering you on.

Everyone is not in your corner.

Everyone will not rejoice in your success.

And that’s okay.

That doesn’t necessarily make them “haters”.  The haters are the ones who purposefully do things to tear you down once you start being successful or believe the only way they can be successful is to tear you down.

Either way – let ‘em hate.

Some people cannot be happy for you because your success makes them feel bad about themselves.

Don’t let that stop you from doing what you need to do.  You were not put here to make other people feel good about themselves.  That is their job and quite frankly, none of your business.

It’s not all doom-and-gloom.  There are people who will genuinely rejoice with you and view your success as something positive.  They will look at you and say, “if they can do it, so can I!” and they will go on to do great things themselves.  Then you have an opportunity to rejoice with them.