Thursday, May 27, 2010

Outdoor Camping for Girlie Girls

Tonight I head to Colorado where I'll embark on an outdoor camping experience and endeavor to climb Hallet's peak. I think this is going to be a much more challenging experience than running a half marathon, mostly due to the opportunity to brave the outdoors without showering for 5 days. Yuck! (Glad Rob won't have to see me like that!) While I love adventure, I love being a woman, and being clean, and showering every day.

I'm excited to spend a few days in Estes Park and see the Rockies for the first time. I don't want to miss out on such a cool opportunity because I'm so focused on staying clean. I'm trying to understand the mind of a man, and think like one would, in regards to enjoying this whole camping thing.

I'll be back Monday, hopefully with some incredible updates on the weekend :-)

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Didn't Cry Saying Goodbye

Well, here it is the Monday after a visit (black Monday as we like to call it). Strangely though, I've not been in too sour of a mood. Usually after a visit, the following day or two is extremely difficult, not wanting to get back into the routine of things. Even though our time together was short (he arrived Friday afternoon and left Sunday evening), it was quite sweet. This little life interruption mixed with knowing I'll be there again in less than 3 weeks has made this particular black Monday the most bearable one I've experienced.

Just a few things that made this weekend sweet ~ my wonderful, loving, and kind Canadian boyfriend isn't too particularly fond of "tex-mex" food. Unfortunately that's what I grew up eating living in the south, and unfortunately for him, that's what I know how to cook best. But much to my surprise, he rather enjoyed my homemade chicken enchilada casserole! We also ventured into the creative world of making homemade spanish flan. And again, much to my surprise, turned out quite well for a first try. You ought to look up a recipe just to see how tedious it is to make :-)

Saturday we spent the morning hitting up garage sales where I found a treasure of a cookbook. That afternoon we picnicked at Hideaway Lake and enjoyed some good ole' Texas sun. No worries, sunscreen was purchased for Rob and he was spared from the lobster effect that tends to happen in Texas. Me? Ahh, I was blessed with a greeeaaat tan!

That evening we tried out Villa Montez in Tyler - I highly recommend the place! It's in an old beautiful home and they serve Latin food - different but extremely good.

Sunday we went to Gateway Church together once again. Goodness we love that church - Pastor Robert's teaching and his personal testimony has greatly effected both of our lives, and it's such a blessing to worship God together. Afterwards I took him shopping for some summer clothes, then we spent some time at Starbucks, and ended the day at the airport.

Sounds like a short time, and though it was, we prayed it would draaaag on. And hey, God is faithful even in the small things, and we definitely felt like it was much longer than it actually was. It was a wonderful gift, the perfect little life interruption. I must say though, I seriously can't wait until June 12th - it will be a glorious 8 days together :-)

*the picture is us being cute at the airport before saying goodbye*

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Countdown

The day before Rob and I reunite is always pretty odd. Today has proved nothing less. Work seems to be unusually hectic, which is problematic when you don't feel like working because you know he'll be here in a matter of hours. And actually, here it is almost 8 pm and I'm considering going back to the office soon...yikes! After work I nearly forgot that I needed to go feed Mr. Hasz's cat, so ensued an interesting dilemma. Couldn't figure out the garage door, the little rascal kept running all over the place and couldn't catch him, tried shutting the garage door so he wouldn't escape, couldn't figure out how to shut the garage door (lame I know). Then I head inside to feed the fish, and I was mesmerized by the motion censor lights on the stairs, so I kid you not I maybe ran up and down the stairs three times because I thought it was so cool. Fish fed, cat fed, mission to get the garage door shut. It took me almost 5 minutes - I almost called Mr. Hasz while he was on vacation. Yeah, pretty sure it doesn't get much sadder than that!

Alright, mission accomplished. So I drive to Lindale and I'm sitting at the stoplight by Walmart and a man dressed in a gorilla suit is standing on the street corner advertising for pizza. Lucky me would get to be stuck right there next to him as he pranced around waving a pizza sign in my I'm on my way to the gym. That's inspiring. I ignored his pleas and resisted the desire, and braved the testosterone zone of Anytime Fitness. The men seemed to be acting I could hear men grunting quite loudly as they lifted weights clearly too difficult for them to lift, and the manager grunting back at him from his office. All the while I'm wondering where in the world the other women are at!

Alas, now I am home, peacefully eating my dinner and chopping away at my frozen smoothie. Some of my girls are watching a rather loud movie in the background and popping popcorn. I'm downloading the sounds of Randy Travis's "Forever and Ever, Amen" to my iTunes and dreaming of the future like a giddy little girl. Though a more quiet evening would be my preference, I know I'm going to miss this. I'm reminded of parents who wish they would have enjoyed the hectic days of their children being toddlers and how they just grow up so fast. Yeah, it's kinda like that. I'm so incredibly thankful for the time God has given me here in east Texas, in this house, with these women..."they grow up so fast."


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Learning to be a Mary in a Martha World

Luke 10:38-42, the story of Mary and Martha. Check it out, though you are most likely already familiar with the story.

~As women, it's a natural inclination for us to see a need and want to meet it. We see a need, we find ways to help. In this story, Martha is much the same way. Jesus came into the home where Mary and Martha were, and Martha saw Jesus, tired and worn from his journey. She wanted to help him, feed him, serve him, etc. A key verse in this passage says, however, that she was distracted with much serving. The problem was, she was so distracted with serving that she couldn't see Jesus for who He was. This was the Christ, the Son of God, in her very home. HE was the one who had much to offer her. Mary saw this. She looked beyond the outward appearance of a tired man, and KNEW Him. She took the time to sit at her Savior's feet in expectation.

My house vision this year, and life vision for that matter really, is Selfless. It's all about laying down our lives, serving one another in love, surrendering our will and desires to meet the needs of others. I've not realized until now that one facet of being selfless is laying down our will and desires so that we may just sit at the feet of Jesus. So today, I pause from all of my serving, I breathe, and I rest at the feet of Jesus. I pray for a Mary spirit to replace my Martha mindset. Jesus is never too tired or too busy to fill me and sustain me.

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's only, scratch that, already May 14th!

I don't know what it is about this week, but all I can seem to think change. Nine months ago I can still vividly picture in my mind saying goodbye to Rob in the airport. I can still feel the knot, the despair, the blankness in my mind as I pressed my hand against the glass barrier separating us. Then he walked down the terminal, and I felt like my whole world was crashing down. The change I'd been dreading was now there in my lap as I collapsed on a chair, head buried in my hands.
*the picture above was our last one together before he left...we were driving to the airport on August 10th*

I look back at that now, and truly can't believe it's been 9 months since we said "see you later." We knew that going into this, we didn't want to just merely survive this year apart, but we wanted to thrive in the things God had called us to. And I can surely say, we have thrived! Though this year has been difficult, God has been so incredibly faithful to us! I love being a house director for seven beautiful, selfless women. I am so privileged to be David Hasz's assistant - I can't even describe the blessing it has been to work for him! I will never have another job like this one, I will never have a better boss, and I will treasure this year with him for a lifetime. My friendship with Emmie (Megan White) has grown so strong during this time. She has been a ROCK for me in hard times, my laughter when I've needed it most, and I will certainly miss going to Gateway Church with her and Chris every weekend.

I could continue on naming the blessings that have come out of this year. It truly has been incredible. And so, now I think about the new changes that are ahead. Nine months ago I was afraid and insecure about what the future held. Now, I'm just sad to know this season of my life is ending, but at the same time INCREDIBLY excited for the new season that's approaching. If I know one thing about my Heavenly Father, it's that He is faithful. He was faithful to me in this year, and His faithfulness never ends! I can trust that my heart is in His hands, and He has the best in mind for me.

Here's to making the most of the next three months, and a toast to what lies beyond.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why Running a Half Marathon is Like Being in a Long-Distance Relationship

Recently, I was able to accomplish a goal/dream I've had for several years. On April 11 I ran in the Dallas Half Marathon, then on April 25th I also completed the Oklahoma City Half Marathon. Not only was it an incredible feeling to run across that finish line, but God had a lot to show me along the course. With that said, this is why running a half marathon is like being in a long distance relationship :-)

13 months - the approximate amount of time Rob and I will have to spend being apart.
13.1 miles - the distance to run in a half marathon

Mile 1 to 4 wasn't so bad. It was new, it was exciting, I couldn't hardly believe I was actually in the race, running, and on my way to accomplishing something great. I was fresh on the course, I was strong, and for the most part I was really just excited to be doing it. Months 1-4 of our relationship were about the same. Our relationship was fresh, it was new, it was exciting. It was thrilling to actually be in a relationship, and even though we were far apart, we were still just getting to know each other.

About mile 5 I began to realize that I still had 8 more miles left to go. I wasn't tired yet, but just felt overwhelmed knowing how far I still had left to go. Month 5, December, I had the same overwhelming feeling. Still 8 more months of being apart. But in both situations I never felt hopeless, I was willing to do it.

At 6.55 miles, the halfway point in the race, I was overjoyed! This was totally possible; I was halfway done!! Back in February, halfway point of the long-distance thing, was this incredible, euphoric joy in knowing we'd been through six months already.

Then, just after mile 9, despair. I couldn't hardly make my legs move anymore. I actually started to walk, and did so for a few minutes as I contemplated the impossibility of making it 4 more miles. It was a tough spot, and it wasn't that I ever wanted to give up, but I really didn't know how in the world I would make it to the finish. But, I realized how far I'd already come, how many weeks I had spent training, not to mention the money spent to run the race, and I kept running, not stopping again after that. Month 9, well let's just say our relationship hit a few bumps. Realized we are human, we aren't perfect, we mess up, we do and say stupid things. We definitely weren't in that daydreamy land of lala relationship world anymore. I didn't want to think about 4 more months of a stinkin long distance relationship. It was getting more than a little frustrating! But alas, I realized how far we'd come, all that God had done in us and close we had become. Not that I EVER had the thought of quitting, but I knew I needed the strength and grace of God to make it to August.

When I saw the mileage marker for mile 11, there was absolutely no stopping me! I was almost done, I could just see myself crossing that finish line! Mile 12, I began to soar. It was the Holy Spirit empowered me and helped me to give it every last bit of strength I could muster. And then, I crossed that finish line, victorious! I had done it, I had seriously just run 13.1 miles! Words cannot describe the joy of that moment! June will be month 11 for us - I'll be up there for 8 days with him in the middle of June, and I just know there is absolutely no stopping us! I feel refreshed and strengthened, and can comprehend that August finish line. What victory that graduation day will be! And gosh, don't take this as cliche, but it is truly by the grace and strength of God that our relationship has endured this far, and that we have been able to grow so close despite our distance.

How cool is it that this thing I've dreamed of doing turned out to be so parallel to my relationship with Rob?! God is so faithful and good, full of grace and mercy. He cares about the details of our lives, and He deserves the glory. So for now, I continue to run ~both races~, and live this life to the fullest, looking forward to that finish line on August 7, 2010.