Monday, October 17, 2016


I want to tell you a story that I hope will encourage you to see how strong you truly are. 

Last week during my training session at the gym, we were doing "leg day." Now, let me start by telling you that my trainer is an Army guy. He's tough. I'd already done a ton of squats and lunges and all those fun leg exercises. We were running out of time and he gave me the option of doing one more exercise to "burnout" or finishing the last couple of exercises on my own. I'd never done an exercise to failure before so I chose that option. We went over to the leg extension machine and I got on. As I sat down, he told me I was going to do 100 reps. Continuously. Then he said that if I let the plates touch (meaning I stopped) he was going to raise the weight. 

Just for a little background... I do this exercise every so often, usually in 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps. I've never done more than 12 reps without resting. Also....I pretty much hate this machine. 

I started and got to about 20 before my quads started burning too badly. I thought at that moment that there was no way I was going to get to 100. I kept pushing. 30, 40, half way there! My legs were on fire and my trainer was urging me on...60, 70, 80. I couldn't believe my legs were still going! 90! At this point, literally my whole body was shaking from exertion. 

97, 98, 99, 100!!!

I did all 100 reps without quitting. The first thing my trainer said to me was "WOW! You really didn't want me to raise that weight did you?!?" Then he told me something that absolutely floored me. He said that I was his first client to EVER do that on the first try.  I was blown away. It made my whole day!

The next morning, I was thinking about it and I asked God what lesson there was in that experience. He's been teaching me a lot about myself and Him this way lately. What He said was "You can do so much more than you think."

Here's the thing. I used to doubt myself all the time. I didn't think I could do anything, so I didn't even try. When I started writing this sentence, I originally started with "Maybe you're like me and you doubt yourself all the time." Then it hit me, that's not who I am anymore! I don't doubt myself like I used to!

When I look back over the last 7 months, I am amazed at all the ways that I have been transformed. Yes, there are the parts that everyone can see, I've lost over 40 pounds. I run races that I never imagined possible. But the bigger transformation is in my mind and my spirit. I dream of doing things I never imagined and they all seem possible now! I'm excited for new things instead of afraid of failing. I want to try!

Through it all, God has been showing me who I really am. Who He made me to be. How strong and capable I am. The plans He has had for me from the beginning.

So if you doubt yourself, I'd like to encourage you to ask God to change your mind. Ask Him to show you who you really are.

Then.....go do that hard thing! You are so much stronger than you think!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” 
Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:5

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken has always been one of my favorite poems.  I think because it can speak to so many situations in our lives. We are never going to stop having to make big choices or even little choices that feel big. 

I feel like I'm at a crossroads in my life. 

I can see myself standing right where Frost describes. 

Off to one side is the well-worn path. It's comfortable. Safe. Easy to travel. Probably not too many surprises, maybe just a couple of small hills. 

Then there is the other path. It almost seems unrecognizable as a road. You have to trust you won't get lost. There are probably a lot of thorns and roots to avoid. It might even feel as if it is always uphill. 

I know which path to choose. Knowing isn't the actual dilemma. The doing. Taking that first step toward the unknown road, that's the hard part. Worried about where it will take me. Will I be alone? Will I know where to go next? What if I get off the path? 

But then....I think about all the wonderful things that only I will get to see on that path. All the beautiful gifts, planted there just for me because it is my path. Rays of sun breaking through the thick of the trees, tiny wildflowers, birds chirping and flitting here and there. 

It feels like an adventure now. And I know if I keep my eyes fixed on the maker of the stars I'll never be lost. I know He will never lead me astray. 

So I'm choosing the road less traveled, knowing it will make all the difference.