Friday, April 29, 2016

Fervent Friday: Your Past

For many (most? all?), our past holds a lot of baggage that can weigh us down if we aren’t careful. One of my God given talents is to be naturally good at forgiving and forgetting, both for myself and others. I honestly can just forget things, especially bad things, and let them go. This “talent" really helps in the not-letting-the-past-haunt-you department, but not so much in the lessons-learned department. 

You might think this is a good thing, but because I don’t typically have to work through processing those thoughts and feelings, when huge things happen that have to be handled and processed, I really don’t know what to do. I don’t handle. I don’t process. I ignore.

I am fine until it slaps me in the face again. Then I am fine for a few more weeks or months. Then another slap.

This is obviously a cycle that I need to work through, particularly because our past is forgiven. I shouldn’t be letting my past impact my current life. Instead I should be letting my past show off just how amazing God’s grace is. I should be using my past to teach others. I should be using my past to prove how HUGE Jesus’s love is for me. 


And for you.

Here is an example prayer about my past. 


(P): God, you never cease to amaze me. Thanks you so much for your grace and for showing me how huge your love can be.

(R): Please forgive me for living in the past, for letting the enemy use it to get to me. It is just so fresh and close and he knows just how to push my buttons with anxiety, fear, and worry. 

(A): God, help me to block that noise and instead seek your still small reassuring voice as guidance. Reassure me that your grace is sufficient. Help me embrace the truth.

(Y): Remind me that anyone in Christ is a new creature. The old things have passed away. Make them go away and flee. Bring new things to come.*

Through Jesus,


*2 Cor. 5:17


Week 4: Family

Week 3: Identity

Week 2: Focus

Week 1: Passion

Fervent Friday Intro

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thankful Thursday

This week I was thankful for: 

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Day 1

  • My grandma Beverly’s laugh when Ina showed her the dog face filter on SnapChat. Everyone needs a laugh like that.
  • My in-laws not only watched the girls, but also brought us dinner
  • Some of the Royals games start at 6:15 - I can actually stay awake past the 4th inning!

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Day 2

  • Both girls sleeping on a 2 hour road trip. 
  • The means to have my house cleaned by someone else. Since Dan and I started budgeting and looking for easy ways to cut costs, this has come up on the chopping block a few times and I am so thankful we didn’t stop. Coming home from work to a clean house is amazing.
  • The woman who cleans my house for not quitting after she left a piece of cake in my fridge I assumed she wouldn’t come back to get it so I ate it after I got home from my run. Imagine the awkwardness when she did come back...

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Day 3

  • Family to play with and help take care of my girls
  • Smoked turkey (mmmmmm)
  • Hard conversations in the car have to be resolved because you have nowhere to go.

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Day 4

  • Dan fixed our lawn mower! AND Dan mowed our yard! HUGE deal.
  • My daughters are throughly entertained by feeding fish. 
  • Aldi pizza

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Day 5

  • Cora slept through the night, or at least she didn’t wake me up. ;)
  • My 5 pound weights that were gifted to me by my cousin, but I think I might need to buy heavier ones(!!!)
  • This salad - so delicious!

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Day 6

  • The lilac bush that is blooming directly outside my kitchen/dining room window. Is there a better smell?
  • Honesty with friends
  • Staying safe during stormy nights

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Day 7

  • Cora’s 9 month checkup went well and she only had to get ONE shot. 
  • Meeting baby Isaiah James!
  • Ina has a new teacher at swim school. I know this is horrible, but she just didn’t click with the previous one, and I was kind of excited when they sent the email saying there would be a change. 

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

My Food and Fitness Plan (4/24)d

Good morning and Happy Sunday! 

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We pulled in the driveway last night after a quick 24 hour trip to the lake where both my children slept like the dead the entire way home after being sufficiently worn out by their cousins + the sun.

Pancake making were the only memories that were captured on my phone before I put it away, but hopefully I can share some pics taken by my cousin soon. 

We don’t have much on the agenda today, so I am hoping to get some food/meals prepped for the week ahead. Here is my plan:


Fitness: JM’s Body Revolution. The workout plan only has one rest day and I don’t know how I feel about that. I am putting the working on my calendar at 5;30 every morning and hoping to stick to it just like any other appointment I have. 

  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: Phase 1 Workout 1
  • Tuesday: Phase 1 Workout 2
  • Wednesday: Phase 1 Cardio
  • Thursday: Phase 1 Workout 1
  • Friday: Phase 1 Workout 2
  • Saturday: Phase 1 Cardio

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fervent Friday: Family

Good morning and Happy Friday! 

Any big weekend plans? We are packing up and heading to the lake for a last minute getaway. For now, how about another Fervent Friday post? (<—click there for the background info.)

I love food and exercise, but I am pretty sure it is clear to anyone who knows me here or in real life that my family is the most important thing in my life. 

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Likewise, because they are so incredibly precious to me, they render me most vulnerable. They are my kryptonite. Obviously Satan knows that about me and likely every other mom on the planet and uses our family to get to us and break us down. But, there is good news. We can fight back with strategic, passionate prayer. 

Praying for your family can be broken down into three main categories: children, husband, and other family members. A few notes and examples about each.

1. Children. Oh man, do I pray about my children. I pray for God to protect them. To love them. To show me how to raise them. For them to sleep (Cora, I’m looking at you.) However, something I never really did was pray with them. I mean, of course we say our “bedtime prayers” and God bless everyone including the woman at Starbucks. However, until recently, I had never tried to pray with them over a specific battle or obstacle. 

That all changed after I read this chapter. In fact, within a few hours. Ina was upset, hysterical really, over getting ready to go to swim lessons. So in the middle of forcing her swim suit straps over those tiny little shoulders I stopped, took a deep breath, put my hand on her and said, “Ina when I get scared or upset or frustrated I pray, so that is what we are going to do right now."

God, thank you for Ina Mae and for the opportunity for her to learn to swim. Show her not to be scared, help to keep her safe. Help me be patient with her. Help her to tell me how she is feeling instead of getting upset, screaming, or crying. Thank you for Jesus. Amen.

I am going to be honest and say that through most of that prayer Ina was still wriggling and pouting, BUT she listened. And, it helped to calm me down. In tough situations I don’t always remember to pray with her, but when we do, it always helps.

2. My Husband. I could talk about this forever (and ever and ever), because marriage is some tough stuff. But obviously it is a sensitive situation and not only my story to tell. One day I will write about more specifics, but today I will only say that I pray this every morning:

God, I know I can’t control my marriage, so I lift it into your loving arms. Hold us. Protect us. Heal us. Show me how to be a good wife and then motivate me to be a soft place to land. Help me to be like Jesus and to show grace. It is through him I ask these things. Amen. 

3. Others.  I never really had a prayer list until we started our small group a few years ago. Now, if I know you, you are likely on there. I used to “just pray” for a person, like, “bless Grandpa,” but now I try to be as specific as possible. Here is an example of a prayer for my grandpa that was totally and completely answered.

God, please heal grandpa. Help find a way to give him nutrition. Give the nurses, doctors, and therapists guidance and knowledge to care for him. Help him not be scared. Show him he is loved. 

Now, I literally have a list in my book that I pray the same words over and over again, until they are answered (or no longer necessary) and then I check them off. I really enjoy this practice, not only because I see how God is working in our lives, but also because it helps me to know how to respond or react to those situations, if that makes sense?

What about you? Do you have a specific way that you pray for your family or loved ones you find helpful? I would love to hear it!


Week 3: Identity

Week 2: Focus

Week 1: Passion

Fervent Friday Intro

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Good morning! I am trying something new with Thankful Thursday. I have been trying to write down three things I am thankful for in my planner everyday, as a practice to constantly be thankful. 

Here is what I had this week:

Day 1

  • I am thankful for help at work with big projects and for sending those big projects off. Finalized. Whew.
  • I am thankful for Dan’s grilled chicken. YUM.
  • I am thankful for Cora’s new baby swing. (Although Ina has pretty much commandeered it.)

Day 2

  • I am thankful for restaurants that cook me dinner so I don’t have to. And serve it to me. And do the dishes.
  • I am thankful that other people around me carry cash, so that I don’t have to do the dishes when restaurants are cash only.
  • I am thankful for my grandpa and grandma’s continued healing.

Day 3

  • I am thankful that Dan and I survived zip lining through the woods
  • I am thankful for the family we have that help watch the girls. This time it was Dan’s grandma at first, but then so many other people stopped by to say hi!)
  • I am thankful for Star Wars and that my whole family (even Cora!) enjoy watching the movies as much as I do.

Day 4

  • I am thankful for our lovely neighbors for letting us borrow their lawn mower because ours’ is currently broken down. (You know you are a redneck when you mow around a broken down riding lawn mover with another riding lawn mover…)
  • I am thankful for the woman at Aldi who saw that I had a baby and walked her cart over to me. She said that someone blessed her, so she was blessing me.
  • I am thankful for Jesus and the way he taught us to live by his example. We just finished up an awesome sermon series at church about Jesus’s words from the cross and I wanted to slow clap when it was over.

Day 5

  • I am thankful for the umbrella and chocolate bar I keep in my cube at work for “just in case” (I had to use both on this day)
  • I am thankful that our grass seed has finally started sprouting. Poor Dan has been pouring hours of his life into growing this grass and I am so happy that something has finally come of it. 
  • I am thankful for family walks and exploring.

Day 6

  • I am thankful that Dan finally chain-sawed down the bush/weed that was taking over the front of my house. 
  • I am thankful for my small group ladies and the wisdom they bring
  • I am thankful for our double jogging stroller

Day 7

  • I am thankful for my office’s generous party at fancy bowling alley. It was so great to be in a social setting with a few co-workers. To talk about work…
  • I am thankful for Dan turning my “meh” lunch leftovers into once of the must delicious meals ever by adding buffalo wing sauce. Mmmm…
  • I am thankful for friends that don’t like their clothes anymore, so I inherit them.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Good morning! 

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Dan is so good at finding four leafed clovers.

Yesterday we went on a family walk and ventured out to a new-to-us trail(ish) that is within a mile of our house. It was fun to walk Ina through the woods and talk about trees, wild flowers, birds, bunnies, and old soda cans... 

While we were gone, dinner (sheet pan chicken tikka) was baking in the oven and although it was edible, I probably wouldn’t make it again. I will continue the search of the perfect “bakes in the oven while we are away” meal. 

Other things:

-Cora hasn’t learned to pose for a picture yet. Unlike Ina, who freezes and flashes a smile anytime she spots someone aiming a phone at her. 

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-We went to a local donut shop before church on Sunday because Ina has a new obsession with sprinkled donuts.

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We sat Cora on the table that I assumed was against the wall, but soon found out it wasn’t when she knocked the pot full of 200 decorative rocks on the floor. Next time I will make sure to add time for disaster clean-up to our schedule.

-There is still something up with my neck and I feel like Frankenstein when I turn to look at something, so I am going to take it easy and walk/jog only for the next few days. BUT, I am excited because I just ordered JM’s Body Revolution and I can’t wait to start it. I love her workouts because they are short and effective and I can honestly feel and see myself getting stronger. 

Have a great day! <3

Monday, April 18, 2016

8 Reasons to Try Go Ape Treetop Adventure

Hey there!

I have got something extra fun to talk about today. Go Ape, a company with sites all over the country, recently built a Tree Top Adventure course in Kansas City at Swope Park and invited Dan and I out to try the course. When I received the email, I just read “zip line” and pictured myself leisurely scaling through the trees and immediately accepted the invitation. Boy was I in for a surprise. 

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Here are 8 reasons why you need to try this out. This weekend. 

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1. The staff are over the top friendly. Seriously, I don’t know if I have seen bigger, kinder, smiles in my life when we checked-in. They were beyond patient in teaching me at least 20 times the order in which I connected and disconnected everything. They were scattered throughout the course, always available for questions. When we finished they literally cheered for us. I wanted to be friends with all of them.

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2. The course is absolutely beautiful. I am sad to say that as a KC resident, I have never been to Swope Park other than driving through it to get to Starlight or the zoo. What a treasure this location is! There is just something about being high up in a tree in a forrest that is so pretty. Dan and I kept on talking about how this would have been a dream come true when we were kids. 

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3. Safety is a huge priority. Of course, zip lining and being 40 feet in the air comes with risks. However, I felt very safe the entire time. We went through an extensive training session before we started the course. There are safety checks and signs everywhere. Dan and I counted our connections out loud to each other before going down a line. 

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4, The course is physically challenging, which I was not expecting at all. You guys, this was some tough stuff, but in the best possible way. I wore my Fitbit and my heart rate was elevated by 40 bpm for almost 2 hours! I had to use strength and balance to get across many of the obstacles. There was one point where my arms were cashed and I basically had to fling myself up to the next stand. Dan got it all on video. Of course.

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5. The course is also mentally challenging and really forces you to think and strategize your next move. There were also a few times where we had the choice of which obstacles to go through. 

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6. This is a different experience that really pushes you outside of your comfort zone. The couple in front of us were on a very early date in their relationship, which I thought was a fantastic idea. Why go to dinner and a movie when you can zip through the trees? It would also show you very quickly how the person you are interested in deals with challenges and adversity. 

7. Relatively affordable, at $58 per person, it beats a nice dinner. Although, just to note, you will be hungry afterwards. 

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8. It was super fun - the best reason of all. I can’t tell you how many times I laughed. It was great. 


Seriously-so fun! #bloggersgoape #goapeusa

A video posted by Racheal (@runningwithrach) onApr 16, 2016 at 2:59pm PDT

Dan and I plan to go back again soon and bring some friends!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My Food and Fitness Plan (4/17)

Good morning!

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I hope you have had a fantastic weekend. Our has been mostly relaxed (restaurant dinners and Star Wars) with a little bit of adventure thrown in.

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More on that later. 

My #1 goal today is to fill my refrigerator with fresh produce. I haven’t been grocery shopping since before vacation and right now the only produce my crisper drawer contains is half of an onion that cannot be described as “fresh.” I get a weird anxiety when I don’t have plenty of healthy food options and Ina is sick of her only breakfast choices being a bar or a cheese stick. To Aldi we will go.

Here is my plan for the week - 


Fitness: I am really sore from yesterday’s adventure and I pulled something in my neck (entirely my fault). I am hoping that I will be back in the exercise saddle after resting today.

  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: 3 mile walk/run
  • Tuesday: Ripped in 30 Week 2
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: Ripped in 30 Week 2
  • Friday: Ripped in 30 Week 2
  • Saturday: Rest

I hope you have a fantastic Sunday! <3

Friday, April 15, 2016

Fervent Friday: Identity

Hello and Happy Friday!

I am back at it today talking about Fervent, a book guiding women in prayer. This week’s topic is identity, which is huge.  I could write about my struggles with my identity and their crippling effects for days, not to mention the struggles I see in the women I love. It is obviously an incredibly vulnerable part of my life, of our lives.

I have done a lot of work in this area and have made improvements, but some days Satan still gets the best of me. I think about something I said to Ina and before I know it I am doubting my abilities as a mother. I make a mistake at work and I instantly think I am a failure of a scientist. I write a post about prayer on a running blog and worry no one will like me...


But, I shouldn’t. 

I shouldn’t because I am a masterpieces. I was planned before creation, before time began. I have a God that loves me.

So do you.

Furthermore, when I give into my insecurities and believe the nonsense that Satan is feeding me I am dimming the light that God created me to be. He created me to be a mom, daughter, wife, sister, friend, scientist, blogger, etc. and anytime I doubt my abilities I am hindering myself and Him. Asking God to use me in those areas has been something I have prayed about daily for years and will likely continue to do so.

Here is an example of my prayer on identity: 


(P): God, thank you for this life you have created for me and the many blessings your surround me with daily. Help me to notice those gifts are from you.

(R): Forgive me for doubting myself, for listening to what the world has to say about me and believing it.

(A): Show me what you had in mind when you made me and what you created me to do. Give me the strength,  courage, and confidence to be that Racheal, to live out the will you have for my life. Use me as a wife, as a mom, as a friend, as a family member, as a scientist, as a pharmacist, as a blogger, as a runner, etc. Use my hands, my feet, my actions, and my words. Show me and use me. 

(Y): I know I am your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which you prepared beforehand, so that I would walk with and in you.*

Through HIm,



*paraphrase of Eph 2:10


Week 2: Focus

Week 1: Passion

Fervent Friday Intro

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Hey there! 

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The past few days have been doozies and I am burning the candle from both ends (and the middle!). I almost didn’t post today, but days like today are when it is most important (at least for me) to remember what I am thankful for.

I am thankful that my sister is also a women’s health nurse practitioner and after a FaceTime consult with her had no problem calling me in an antibiotic for an unfortunate nursing situation. Today is also her 30th birthday! Happy Birthday to her!

I am thankful that Ina’s mood has stabilized. Apparently she is having a hard time adjusting after vacation as well, or it may have been for some other unknown reason, but yesterday when I picked her up from Danielle’s she threw an epic tantrum. She was literally unrecognizable and just before I Googled “exorcist in Kansas City” she turned the corner. After a successful swim lesson and dinner at Applebee’s, everything seemed to be better. 

I am thankful for both my grandpa and grandma’s improving health. They are both rehab centers and just keep chugging along.

I continue to be thankful for our huge support system and all the help we receive from our family and friends. How do people do this parenting life thing alone?

I am thankful for sleeping in…a little. Cora has not been sleeping well, so I have been sleeping through my alarm, which means I sleep through my exercise time. I keep hoping to find time to make it up throughout the day, but that usually doesn’t come. So, I am just going to give myself some grace through this no-sleep period and really not try to freak out about it. 

I am thankful that Danielle took care of my kombucha while I was away. We are days away from trying out first batch and I can’t wait! Once I ferment an entire batch on my own I will write a post about it. 

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I am thankful for you!

Have a good day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Texas Day 2016

Hey there, remember me? I haven’t been blogging because I am been, well, vacationing. 

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For the weeks leading up to our trip to Houston, Ina woke up every morning asking if it was “Texas Day” yet. We would go through everything that had to happen before Texas Day - St. Patrick’s Day. Easter. Daddy’s birthday. Then, finally, it was time.

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The flights were much easier this time around - we are all seasoned travelers now. (Side note: Ina was just about as cute as she could be dragging her new suitcase through the airport. I was so tickled with her I could barely believe that strangers could walk by without noticing her. Ha!)

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Ina loves loves loves our cousins and aunt and uncle in Texas and she was absolutely spoiled the entire trip. 

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We swam, 

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went to the zoo 

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where we fed the giraffes. Someone was a little scared. 

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We went to an aquarium type restaurant that had rides,

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beautiful sea life,

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and a white tiger that was “playing with Ina.” She was scared of feeding a giraffe, but a white tiger was literally pacing back in forth inches from her, eyeing her the entire time, and she just said, “That tiger likes me. It gives me the laughs."

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The highlight of the trip was going to a county fair where Ina did just about whatever she wanted for a few hours. She rode every ride in sight. 

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Cora and I were also spoiled. We played cards, ate like kings, and was rocked to sleep (Cora, not me). Even though we only see this family a few weeks out of the year, being around them brings me so much joy and even though we were in Texas, it still felt like home. 

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We were sad to leave, but it feels good to get back in a somewhat normal routine again. The days after vacation are not always the best, but we are transitioning OK and I even threw a few things in the oven for dinner last night before small group. Win!

Have a great week! Hopefully Miss Cora Lee will give me some sleep soon so I can get back to a more regular blogging routine. Hopefully. I miss you guys!


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Outside Day + My Plan(ish)

Good Sunday morning!

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(I really can’t capture how pretty of a pink those flowers are in real life.)

Yesterday felt like a lot of days shoved into one. It started out with a 3 mile run with Danielle.

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I am so thankful she motivates me to get up early and get out there, or else I procrastinate my workout all day and it feels so good to start the weekend off with a run.

Then we spent the rest of the day playing and working outside. It was such a beautiful day and we got a lot done in the yard, even though there is still so much to do. 

It is funny how things change with your second kid. When Ina was a baby, and even when she was a little toddler, I was worried about taking her outside and having her play while I would work in the garden. I don’t know why really, but for some reason I felt like I could only work in the yard when she was napping.

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Now Ina is more than capable of entertaining herself in our backyard. Bubbles! Chalk! Sand! Dog poop! Just kidding...

Yesterday I discovered that Cora is pretty good at that too. I just had to give her one of Ina’s sand toys and she sat on her blanket for long periods of time while I uprooted dandelions and Dan mowed. Although things will change when she become mobile, which should be very soon.

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We called it a day around 5 and came in for baths, pizza, and a movie. 

Today we are going to church and tonight the girls are going to Granny and Papa’s while Dan and I head to Kauffman Stadium for Opening Day! 

Food: As you can see, I’m not going to be doing much cooking this week...

Fitness: I should note that anything past Wednesday could be replaced with water aerobics or rest. Ha! 

  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: Ripped in 30 Week 4
  • Tuesday: 3 mile run
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: Ripped in 30 Week 1
  • Friday: Ripped in 30 Week 2
  • Saturday: 3 mile run

I hope you have a fantastic week! <3

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fervent Friday: Focus

When I saw that Strategy Two in Fervent was on focus, I thought I was going to learn ways to become less distracted and more productive and efficient.  I suppose I was kind of right, but in the wrong way.

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I thought I needed to be less distracted by social medial. Instead I need be be less distracted by Satan.

I am going to admit right now that although I am a Christian and believe that Satan exists, until very recently I never really considered his impact on my day to day life. When bad things happened in my life, I always blamed myself, other people, or other things. However, after reading more and more scripture, I have learned that many (most? all?) times Satan is at work in my struggles. In your struggles.

So, instead of fighting yourself or someone else or something else, fight him.

This sounds like a good plan in theory, except I have tried it out, and it is hard to follow through. It is so much easier to be fight the person in front of you than someone you can’t see. In the heat of an angry moment it is hard to remember who to fight. And, when you do remember, it is hard to implement. 

However, Shire painted this word picture for me on page 45: 

"Success, to him means stirring up discord in your home, your church, your workplace, your neighborhood, and doing it in such a way that no one’s even aware he’s been in the building. He knows our natural, physical response is to start coming after each other instead of him - attacking, counterattacking, pointing fingers, assigning blame - while he sits out in the driveway monitoring the clamor inside, fiendishly rubbing his hands together, admiring just how adept he is…and what easy targets we are."

I am a visual person, and once I started picturing Satan out in my driveway rubbing his hands together, I had someone to fight. This was a game changer. This made me mad. Angry. Not at anyone else, but at Satan.

And not only that, when I took the focus of anger with myself or someone else off of them and on to Satan, what was left was a victim. Someone who was being attacked. Someone I was no longer mad at, but someone I had grace, love, and protection for. Someone I could fight for instead of against.

Here is an example of a prayer I had on focus:


(P): God, thank you for the amazing love you are that you have filled me with and surround me with. You are such a good father and I feel so blessed to be your child.

(R): Forgive me for not focusing on the true real enemy before now. I was distracted, but even when I knew Satan was the one to blame, I still blamed someone or something else. Why? Because it is easier or maybe even temporarily feels better? Man, he is good. BUT, you are better.

(A): Please fill me with your spirit and give me the weapons I need to fight him. Show me the enemy is behind my problems. Help me see through his curtains to the truth behind the struggles in my life. I know I already have victory through Jesus, but help me fight the battle.

(Y): God, rise up in my life. Scatter your enemies. Let those that hate you flee from my life*. Don’t let their influent be in my life anymore.

Through Jesus Christ,


*Paraphrase of Ps 68:1


Week 1: Passion

Fervent Friday Intro

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