Posted in Mom Life, Photo Inspiration, Things That Make My Brain Happy

Take Care of Yourself In Order To Care For Others

 

Hi everyone, today is the day to share with you some images I took at the park a couple weeks ago.  I love the views at this particular park I just stumbled upon.  It was so serene and beautiful I felt a entranced by the lighting, the slow movement of the water, the birds chirping and just the peaceful feeling of the place.  Maybe you need to feel that calm right now. Have you had a week like mine possibly?  Maybe your son or daughter is at that age where they’re giving you some pushback, trying to assert themselves too much or speaking to you like you couldn’t possibly know a thing from all your life experience.  It’s tiring, isn’t it? Lord, help us with our children!  I keep asking him for instruction on how to deal with a preteen who is goofy & affectionate and then insolent & angry because I tried to make conversation when her song was on in the car.  I find myself thinking a lot, “Is this what I was like?” and “I don’t remember acting like this at eleven.”

Life can be a lot like a rollercoaster, can it not?

roller coaster ride
Photo by Angie on Pexels.com

The photos at the top of my blog post remind me to slow down, breathe, be still & know who God is, to turn off the TV, computer, cell phone, radio, podcasts, whatever… And to allow God to relax me with His views.  That first picture on the top reminds me to keep walking down the straight and narrow path and to keep following Him. It’s peaceful and brilliant.  I can remember hope and wonder filling my lungs as I explored the path; getting stronger with each step.  Ahhh, I love that relaxation I get when I’m outside.

It’s important to make time to take care of ourselves so we’re restored when we return home.  Like I did that day I went for a walk at a new park and shot these photos. We’re able to respond better to the challenges there when we take some time to breath and be alone with Him.  And if we can squeeze some time in to exercise, man, is that helpful!!  I went to the gym today and came back feeling like I could conquer anything.  Or do something artistic while listening to a great Christian book or a sermon.. I love it.  It calms my soul.  When I make the time, I don’t feel like I’ve completely lost myself in everyone else’s needs because I had that time I needed to be God’s daughter.

Sometimes, the stress of being a parent can leave us feeling like that one photo up top with the 2 gnarly trees.  Those 2 trees interest me because of their uniqueness.  They’re not your average trees.  They look a little complicated like our thoughts when kids test us and we’re trying to quickly figure out the best way to straighten things out. When things start to get complicated and you find the right time to sneak off and get with God, that’s not a selfish thing, that’s a necessary thing.  I know that about myself.  My time with God will lead me to feeling like that last picture on the right.  See the peaceful waters? I need the peaceful waters for a little while before I jump back in.

We all do.

 

 

 

Posted in Lessons He Taught Me, Things That Make My Brain Happy

Connected

Something I like about writing is the time I’m able to take, reflecting on my life and processing the ways God has been blessing me. For me, writing is another way I spend time with God. Going on outdoor runs is another way I connect with him.  As I listen to music reminding me of his promises and run through beautiful terrain that has his “fingerprints” all over it, I’m praising him.  I’m keenly aware that he’s with me.  There’s so much evidence in the trees, mountains, the rain and the rainbows, the sun showers that I’ve run through thanking him because he knows how much I love them. He’s smiling down at me as I’m smiling and looking up to Him, praising Him for giving me rest for my soul, filling me with light especially as I do these 2 things.

ARCO IRIS Chuva Sol Natureza Casa Colorido Desktop Backgrounds

In what ways do you feel even more connected to Him than normal? You’ll know what they are when you look forward to it each day.

Posted in Mom Life, Things That Make My Brain Happy

Race Day

Well, I’m not quite sure what happened but my last post posted today rather than a couple weeks ago when I wrote it from my mobile phone.  Don’t mean to confuse readers when you all see 2 posts on the same day. One talking about an upcoming race and the second talking about a race that happened yesterday.  Another one of life’s little mysteries, I suppose.

Hope everyone is doing well! I took the day off from work because I can’t put weight on my left leg. Despite that, I’m in great spirits! Yesterday, was a great day!  I woke up at 5:30 in the morning pumped and ready to run my first half-marathon.  I was especially happy because the night before I felt some pain behind and alongside my left leg, near the knee, but when I woke up it was almost entirely gone.  My boyfriend and I had prayed for healing the night before and he also gave me a leg massage to loosen things up a bit.  That combination of things worked well because I was feeling great and so, so relieved that all my training and efforts weren’t sabotaged by stubborn hamstrings.

As I got ready for the race, I listened to praise & worship music by Charity Gayle, Hillsong and a few others.  All I wanted to do was praise my God for healing me and hearing my prayer.  My worries about not being able to get through the race were dissipated.  There’s nothing better than having your hope renewed, right?

Once we arrived to the race site, it was so good to see everyone in my group, all stoked and ready to get their run on!  We planned on doing the 2018 New Paltz Challenge in part to support a woman from church who was recently diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease. It would be her first 5k.  Our pastor had t-shirts made that read, “Team Sabrina Parkinson’s Awareness” with 2 people running in the background and a large tulip overtop, which is the symbol for PD. Our running together was a message to Sabrina and all of us, that we’re in this together.  We do life together, fighting the good fight and running the race faithfully, until completion. (literally & figuratively)

Hebrews 12:1 New International Version (NIV)
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

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We looked pretty excited, did we not? In our group, though not everyone arrived in time for this particular picture, we had 9 people running the 5k and 3 of us ran the half-marathon.  Pastor Scott, his wife and I started our race at 7:30 AM.  Now, can I just mention how happy I am that races this long, start so early before it gets extremely hot outside?!  We couldn’t ask for a better morning to run.  It was nice and cool out. No humidity. Breathing was not a challenge.  We were almost taken out by a senile, old man trying to exit his apartment complex, however.  He slowly drove the front end of his car right towards 600 runners heading for the starting line, but luckily a few volunteers stepped out, insisting that he turn around and exit another way.  It was sort of an interesting way to start out.  I was silently worried about him, wondering if he should really be driving anymore.

Anyhow, the half-marathon went well! The course was definitely more challenging than expected but I kept my pace (something I worked hard on during the last couple months of training) and didn’t let the hills scare me.  I developed a new strategy I call “looking down at the ground while running uphill” so I wouldn’t focus on how far I still had to run uphill and just focused on keeping pace.  It worked! That and thinking about the movie Finding Nemo, reminding myself to “just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.” My strategies were very technical.

When I finally completed 13.1 miles, I was just so relieved to cross that finish line and hear the DJ (is that what I should call him?) announce, “Angela Phillips finishes the race at 2:21:5! Great job!” I saw my boyfriend, my daughter and my friend Heather standing on a hill smiling and waving at me. I mustered up an exhausted smile and walked over to a volunteer who handed me a bottle of water (oh, thank, God!) and my first medal for running.  I tried to keep walking so that I could cool down properly like I normally do, but I felt a little strange.  I tried to fight it and push through but my legs were weak. a I was also light-headed.  Cooling down was not going to happen. Standing was good enough as Makayla walked over and gave me a loving hug.  Then, Drew was there and we were laughing, “I made it…” And he said, “I know, I can’t believe you did it!” He looked so proud and happy for me.  Then, my father was standing next to me, “Ange! I can’t believe you did it either!” More laughter from all of us, mostly because we were relieved and the look on their faces really meant so much to me.

So, I should probably end this post with the paragraph above but that’s not quite how the race ended. (I’m laughing, just so you know.)  After the race, I was so tired, all I wanted to do was sit down to stretch, drink some water and use my first GU energy gel. I was in serious need of electrolytes and amino acids.  My leg muscles were tight and I was afraid I might faint.  Thanking God again, for something else–GU energy gel. It came to the rescue like nobody’s business.

While the GU helped with the lightheadedness, it didn’t help with my legs.  When I tried to stand up, my left leg was suddenly in so much pain, I almost collapsed! My father and Drew caught me.  My hamstrings were so tight I couldn’t straighten out my leg while putting weight on it.  Has this ever happened to you? If so, what do you do for it?  I’ve been icing that leg for 20 minutes on and off, resting, doing light leg exercises in my sister’s pool and laughing at myself as I crawl from room to room.  Despite the pain, we all had a great Father’s Day with family.  It actually made the rest of our day pretty hilarious!

 

img_20180617_105540_499-506224250441429640.jpg                                  This is a picture of my daughter & I before my near collapse.

img_20180617_113312_491-1-1770915349.jpgAnd, this is the sweet, nurturing guy who went to get his car and move it as close to me as possible while my awesome father and daughter helped me slowly hop over on the good leg.

It was all good! God answered my prayers for healing so I could run the whole race I had set out to do months ago AND he provided many opportunities for laughter and bonding afterwards.  God Bless!

 

 

Posted in Things That Make My Brain Happy, Uncategorized

Running a Half-Marathon

I’ve been slacking with my writing for the last month or so. Today, I’m commuting to work by train and thought I would work on a post. For the last five months, I’ve been training for my first half-marathon. It’s happening in less than 2 weeks so most of my focus has been on running when I’m not working or helping my daughter with homework. I’m stoked for this next challenge in my life!

A pastor at my church, who is also a runner, has given me some good advice for training and the actual day of the race. He recommended using GU, an energy gel packed with amino acids, 20 mg of caffeine and electrolytes. It works great! I had never heard of it before and did most of my runs without it. The first time I tried it I felt a big difference in my run. My legs felt stronger and capable of running longer. Amazing! There’s also another energy gel for athletes that I’ve tried by Clif. Loved that one, too! I’m planning on stuffing a couple GUs in my flip belt on race day. I’ll take one with water before the race and the second after 8 miles. They help so much as you’re sweating so much and need to replenish your electrolytes. The amino acids help with recovery after the race and of course, the caffeine helps with energy to keep you moving all the way to the finish line. Such a blessing that he told me about that!

I started watching videos on YouTube on tips for running, other forms of energy for your body on a long run and found some other great ideas as well. You know, those long, skinny tubes of honey people use in their tea? That’s another option and fits well in a flip belt. Saltine crackers was another idea and dried fruit. There’s so much great information there that I hadn’t thought of looking up until Pastor Scott told me about the GUs. I was just following the half-marathon training plan I signed up for on Runtopia.

For breakfast before the race, I’ve heard a couple pieces of toast with peanut butter and honey is a good option. What do you do if you have a gluten intolerance? I was thinking maybe celery with peanut butter & honey but that’s going to be a lot of celery! (Laughing) Do you have any other ideas for me for dinner the night before and breakfast the day of the race?

I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say in the comments section.