Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Umbrella over my head...

"I ask God to rain on me...but I've got an umbrella over my head."

I love how God uses our little children to teach such BIG lessons. It always makes me smile when I feel like God is literally speaking through my precious Lucy. He does this pretty often, and today was no exception...

I didn't get much sleep last night. In fact, I rarely sleep very well these days. But, after being up with Lucy last night, I was especially tired/rundown/emotional this morning. I felt completely drained, and I knew that even more than physical rest, I needed some spiritual refreshment. So, I told Lucy that mommy needed to have some quiet time with Jesus. I got several books out for her and set them on the dining room table next to me and told her she needed to read quietly so that mommy could do the same.

It's no news to anyone that I'm a bit of a worrier. And as I was examining my current stresses, I found I was borrowing trouble more than anything. I was letting what-ifs rule my thoughts, and I realized I wasn't having much trust in my Jesus at all. I know in my heart He will provide me with what I need for whatever circumstances come my way so there's no need to worry about tomorrow...but then my human voice rang out to God, "But what about today's needs, Lord? I'm physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. Where is your provision NOW, because I just don't feel it."

So I sat there and prayed...mostly to myself, although it was partially audible. I don't know that Lucy actually heard what I was saying, but her response to my please was certainly right on cue. I was begging the Lord to refresh me, "Lord, I need you to rain down on me--I need you to refresh me..." And then I heard my sweet daughter's voice exclaim, "MOMMY, it's YOU!" as she excitedly pointed to a picture in her peanuts book. I smiled at her and said "It is?" and was about to go back and close my eyes when I felt compelled to stop and look at what she was showing me (Side Note: I'm really trying to work on giving her my full attention. I've discovered I so easily will half heartedly acknowledge what she's saying when I'm in the middle of something, and not really pay attention.) I looked over at what she was so excited to point out to me, and I'm so glad that I did...

I could hear God gently nudging me, and I couldn't help but smile, and then shake my head at myself. So often, we ask God to rain down on us, and all the while He is POURING His blessings and refreshment down on us...but we're so busy still trying to handle it on our own, and making sure we're prepared JUST in case He doesn't come through, that we miss out on Him all together. We're so busy protecting ourself from the rain in life that we remove the very way He is trying to refresh our souls. We ask God to rain down on us, but we've got an umbrella stuck over our heads.

Romans 5:1-5 says this:
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

It's a cloudy day here in West Texas, but I think I'm going to keep my umbrella in the closet, because I'm ready to freely accept the rain God wants to pour into my life. It may not be easy at first, but I know He is using it for my ultimate good, and more importantly, for His ultimate glory!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Triathlete!'s been awhile! I have a LOT to catch up on, so I'm probably just going to post several different entries...or at least that's my plan! I really enjoy blogging, and I used to blog daily. but, that was before Lucy and now instead of talking about her arrival, I spend my time playing with her!! (Definitely more fun now!!:-)

Anyway, I think in one of my last blogs I mentioned how I was training for a triathlon with some other ladies at church. Well, we actually did it! I can't believe I can say that I'm a triathlete now! I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I would fall in love with a "sport," but I totally have! I love seeing the progress from training and then going through the experience of race day. it's really an incredible experience and I'm so thankful my husband has been so supportive to allow me the time to train, as well as give me the encouragement I need to go for it.

Race day was a bit disappointing because I had some MAJOR issues with my bike. If you know much about triathlons (which we knew NOTHING going into this thing!) you would probably have laughed at us as we pulled into the race with our MOUNTAIN BIKES! It was so funny to see the transition area--all these bikes worth thousands of dollars lined the racks, and then, there in one big clump on a rack sat our enormous mountain bikes, sticking out like a sore thumb! LOL:) We knew it would be a disadvantage for us, but we really had no clue how much faster an actual road bike can go--holy cow! More on that later tho... Basically, after 3 months of training with MANY hours spent on my bike, my bike decided to give me problems on the actual race day. Bummer. But I still got to complete the race and while I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed, the excitement and the overall experience of it all outweighs any negatives. The best part was having my DH there, my Lucy-bug (she was so cute talking to me during the transitions!) and my little SIL, rooting me on the whole way. They've even decided to start training for a 5k now, and I cannot wait to run with them!! I'm so excited to be able to share in my love of this sport with my family!

So, what's next? Well, I've seriously fallen in LOVE with triathlons and really want to continue training for them. I'd like to do another one on Labor Day since I had issues with this last one, but it all depends on if I can get a bike or not. I had NO clue I had chosen such an expensive hobby! But, I have some money saved back and I have my eye on two different bikes. So now I just need to decide which one I want and am just praying for peace on when and where and how to purchase. So, we'll see...

I've also decided it's high time for me to start upping my running distance, so I'm working towards a 10k now, along with my triathlon training, and hope to run my first 10K in a nearby town in the end of September. I'm definitely most excited to run a race with my DH in October though!

Anyway, if you're on FB you may have already seen these, but just thought I'd share a few pics from the triathlon...

Not sure why they posted in reverse order, but oh well!

Here we are at the finish line! The lady in the green tank and the lady to her right in the stripes are the ones I've been training with.

Here I am sprinting to the finish!

At the start of the 14 mile bike ride:

And here's the start of the race--a 500 yard swim. Not sure where I am, but I was able to complete that portion in 12 minutes!

I hope it's the first of many more to come!