Monthly Archives: March 2012

I don’t get it….

Sometimes, I just don’t understand.

I don’t understand why people get cancer.

I don’t understand why people are suffering.

I don’t understand why beautiful couples can’t have babies.

I don’t understand why people are starving in our world.

I don’t understand how such a huge population in our world doesn’t have clean water.

I don’t understand how people can be so cruel to each other.

I don’t understand why people insist on arguing over ridiculous, minute details of theology or politics instead of learning to love each other and accept our differences.

I don’t understand why some people choose to live without any purpose, and tear down people following their dreams.

This list could go on forever.

Sometimes, I just don’t get it…….

It’s at these times, that I have learned to stop and realize that I might never have answers to these questions.  And it certainly doesn’t help anyone to pretend that I have the answers. Sometimes you just have to accept things you cannot change.

I can’t change many of these things. However, I can do my small part in helping to change some of them. And I can choose how I react to each of them – positvely or negatively. Sometimes, all I can do is be there for my friends and family who may be going through one of these scenarios. Sometimes, you have to just say “that sucks, but I’m here to listen and help.” Sometimes, you have to just sit with them, and let them know they are loved. And sometimes, you will be the person that helps them understand that they do matter in this world.

Sometimes, you just need to trust that tomorrow will be a better day.

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Filed under Authenticity, Encouragement

Gone from Sight

I can’t stop thinking about Jamie this week. I think about her so often. Every time I wear my Team Jamie tshirt, or my pink breast cancer hat, or when I see pictures of her beautiful daughter, Kayden.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since she’s been gone. I have written about lessons I learned from Jamie, and I have continued to be inspired by her friends and family.

Jamie’s Wish is coming true this week, thanks to the amazing efforts of those who loved her, and people who never knew her. How awesome is that? Not only was she extremely inspirational during her time on earth, but she also wanted those who were coming after her to have it better than she did. She was truly selfless.

Jamie was a big part of the reason that I made the decision to get healthier and stop making excuses. She would have done anything to be healthy. And here I was, slowly killing myself, by choosing to be completely unhealthy. Something changed in me when I made that connection. I could choose to continue living in denial, or I could choose to change. I chose to change, and I have not felt this healthy or strong in a very long time.

Unfortunately, I also learned today that one of my Senior Vice Presidents from work also passed away from cancer. He had kept his illness very private, so it was a shock to many of us. Our President of Sales sent out this poem that someone had given him when his father passed away. I couldn’t help but think that it described Jamie perfectly.

Gone From My Sight
by Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

And that is dying…

Death comes in its own time, in its own way.
Death is as unique as the individual experiencing it.

I continue to be inspired by Jamie and the legacy she left. Every day is a chance to make your mark on the world. To leave your own legacy. So, let’s get moving!

As Jamie would say,

Much Love,

Tammy

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Filed under Comfort, Death, Friendship, Getting Healthy, Life lessons

Our emotions

My pastor said something recently that has been sticking with me.

“Our emotions are a gift to us from our Creator.” ~Scott Hodge

He wasn’t just talking about joy. He was talking about every one of our emotions. There are reasons why we have them. For example, anger fuels us to action. If we didn’t have it, could we truly be passionate about something? That has made me think more about our emotions.

It seems like we live in a society where we are encouraged to suppress all of our emotions. We want to numb them. Because we’ve been told we should. I’m not really sure how that all started. Maybe because people just couldn’t get control of their emotions and others didn’t know how to deal with it.

The question he asked us to ask ourselves is “Why?”

Why are we facing it, feeling it, and what is behind it?

He showed a picture of an iceberg, which I think is such a great visual for our emotions. Typically, there are things buried much deeper below the surface.

A photomontage of what a whole iceberg might l...

As I engage more with people and dig deeper in relationships, this is something that I am really working on understanding more. I am also learning to dig deeper into my own emotions to uncover what’s behind it.

What do you think about emotions? Do you find it easy to stop and reflect on the emotion while you’re experiencing it?

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Filed under Emotions

Maybe I wasn’t stuck

The other day, I wrote that I felt stuck. And I did. But was I really stuck in a rut with my fitness and healthy eating plan?

Not really.

I have started adding running intervals to my walks. And I’ve continually stuck to my kettelbell workouts. I am working out at a consistency that I have not had in many years. I did have a little work to do with my eating habits, but they weren’t out of control.

So what was going on?

I think I realized it when I read this comment that my husband wrote on my Facebook post.

How can you be stuck when you’re motivating me?  You make it possible for me to pedal those extra miles.

I simply FELT stuck. In my mind, I was beating myself up. I wasn’t doing enough. I was going to start gaining weight back. I wasn’t dedicated enough. It is just too hard. I am destined to be this size forever. I don’t have what it takes to keep this up. It would be so much easier to just give up.

But when I read his comment, I was reminded of other people who have told me similar things. My healthy eating and working out routine has helped motivate some others, including him. They see me making an effort and working hard, and they feel inspired to start making changes. That’s how I started as well. By watching others make significant changes. And being inspired by them. I’m still continually inspired by people I work out with, and friends who are living active, healthy lifestyles. I will be writing more about this soon.

So, I have decided to silence that inner critic. I can do this. It is really not that hard. I am dedicated, and want to truly change and be a healthier me. I just needed to remind myself!

How do you silence your inner critic? Sometimes it feels like a constant battle, doesn’t it?

 

 

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Filed under Getting Healthy, Motivation

Feeling stuck

I have been in somewhat of a “funk” for the last few weeks regarding my plan to get healthy. Don’t get me wrong. Things have been okay. I have still been working out, eating healthier, and added running intervals to my walks. I even fit into pants that I have not been able to fit into for years! But, something has still felt off. I’ve felt stuck.

A traffic cone stuck in the mud of the old ent...
A traffic cone stuck in the mud of the old entrance to Bathurst Basin from the River Avon in Bristol. Français : Un cône de signalisation dans la boue à l’ancienne entrée de Bathurst Basin depuis la rivière Avon à Bristol. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 I kept thinking about it and wondering why I felt so off. I loved this image, because in feeling stuck, I also found a “caution” sign that hit me over the head.

This is the point I usually get to and then STOP!

As I’ve written about before, I have been a serial yo-yo dieter for most of my adult life. I was always in great shape growing up because I was an athlete. But once I got into the real world and wasn’t consistently working out, I put on weight. And then there were those kids! I took full advantage of the “I’m pregnant” excuse, as well as the “I just had a baby” one too. Okay, so it was six years ago, but that still counts, right? 🙂

Since I’ve had kids, I have had multiple periods of dropping weight and working out. However, I usually got to about this weight and size and then would start feeling extremely confident. I would start eating things that I had cut out of my diet. I would exercise a few times less per week. I would slowly start revisiting old habits.

The difference this time is that I have not been focused on the weight. I have been focused on getting healthier. And I understand myself a little better. This time, I am realizing that trigger BEFORE I put 15 pounds back on and then feel defeated. I am realizing that I need to start holding myself more accountable for what goes in my mouth again. It is the only way to push through this next level of losing weight and getting stronger and smaller.

And of course, you can apply this lesson to so many different areas of your life. Marriage, work, relationships, kids, dreams, etc. The list can go on and on.

So, how do you overcome feeling stuck?

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Filed under Getting Healthy, Persistence

Blue Like Jazz The Movie

This past week, I learned how little I know about the movie making business. I have followed Donald Miller and read his books, but I had not heard the story behind getting Blue Like Jazz made as a movie. Wow! It is a pretty incredible story.

Obviously, we all know that Hollywood has the market cornered on movies, how they are made, and which ones get made. However, movies like Blue Like Jazz and the story behind it are changing some of that.

Somehow, I stumbled upon a chance to sign up for a prescreening of the movie before it is released. It will come out officially on April 13th. Since I had never attended a prescreening, I learned quite a few things.

1. The time they tell you to be there is not when the movie will start. There are usually pre-activities. Lesson learned? Don’t get your popcorn and drink immediately. Wait until later!

2. You never know who will be there. I had no idea that Donald Miller, Steve Taylor (the Director) and Marshall Allman (the lead actor) would be there. They took time to meet everyone and get pictures. That was pretty cool!

3. There was time for Q&A after the movie. They really wanted to hear our questions and get feedback. They also asked us to fill out a survey on the film.

4. Opening weekend is everything. It’s what makes or breaks a film. Especially when there is not a huge advertising budget to continue supporting the film. To Hollywood, this film is a “barcode”. If there is not interest and a great turnout on opening weekend, it will not continue to be shown.

5. This is not your typical Christian film. It’s edgy, and real, and deals with concepts that many of us can relate to. I think this film has a broader appeal and can make a big impact. Steve Taylor says it best:

I made it clear to all our potential investors and/or heads of media companies, the vast majority of whom were fellow Christians, that this was not going to be a family movie.  The reason was simple: How do you tell the story of a college kid who flees his Southern Baptist upbringing in suburban Houston to attend the ‘most godless campus in America’ without showing what that environment is like?  And how can that environment be portrayed realistically in the context of a ‘family’ movie?  Doesn’t have to be rated R, but it’s probably going to be PG-13, right?

I would HIGHLY recommend this movie. I will be showing my support on April 13th when it opens. Here’s a sneak peek:

Blue Like Jazz trailer 

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Filed under Uncategorized

Your Pastor

I am so incredibly thankful for my Pastors. I have two. They are very special to me. Not only do they teach me (and our entire congregation), but I am also lucky to consider them friends.

I often joke with our lead pastor that there are light bulbs going off over my head during many of his sermons. God speaks to me through him. That used to really freak me out! But, over the last few years, I have learned to really crave that. It is pretty amazing how the Holy Spirit can take his words and spread them out among us in different ways. We hear exactly what He wants us to hear through him.

I have been fortunate to have had many special Pastors throughout my life. I’m amazed at how they have helped our family over the years. But, I think what makes my Pastors now so unique is that they are truly allowing God to lead their paths. They ask us to pray that they will always hear God’s voice and obey. And then they put the plan in action. In the past, I have seen so many pastors limited because they felt God wanted them to do one thing, but the denomination or congregation or others blocked them from doing it.

The other thing they are is real. I joke with them that when I first started attending, I was testing them because I didn’t believe they could truly be as authentic as they appeared to be. I was wrong. They are. And I can’t imagine ever being a part of a community again that doesn’t understand how necessary this is. I am thankful to my Pastor and his Dad for leading our church through an amazing transition that led us to this point. I was not a part of the church then, but I am definitely benefiting from their hard work and willingness to follow God’s plan. And I am truly grateful for that.

I had a conversation the other day with someone who said they wished their pastor was as real as an author we know. It made me sad. And, I’ve read many blogs and articles and books that describe Pastors who don’t feel they can ever be authentic with their congregation. That breaks my heart.

So, how can we help our Pastors? I personally pray for them, and their families. Daily. And, I encourage them at every opportunity I can. Unfortunately, that’s something they don’t get nearly enough. They typically hear complaints or frustrations.

So, have you encouraged your Pastor today? Try it, and see what happens!

 

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Filed under Authenticity, Encouragement, Faith

Intentionality

Intentional

This is one of my words for 2012. I am learning just how important it is going to be. I am starting a season of heavy travel. It is causing me to adjust my schedule.

~ The schedule that I have worked so hard to create over the last six months.

~ The schedule that my husband and family are used to.

~ The schedule of working out 5 times a week in the morning.

~ The schedule of eating healthy and losing weight.

~ The schedule that allows me to be home more.

And when I first realized this, I started to panic. Even though I had thought hard about this new job and what it would require. I had prayed hard about it. Rick and I had talked through it. I had talked to people in my inner circle. I had peace about my decision.

I still panicked.

How can I do it?

I’m going to be gone so much.

I will miss my family.

I’m not good at working out on the road.

I won’t have the discipline to eat healthy when I’m gone.

The voices in my head were LOUD.

I’ve never met someone who had a positive internal voice ~ Al Andrews

And then I realized the answer was that I would have to be more intentional.

~ I will have to be more intentional about my trip planning.

~ I will have to be more intentional about being present when I am home. Not on Facebook, Twitter, or blogging. Being present. I need to be with my family.

~ I would have to be intentional about my workouts. The days I am home are a must at Kettlebell. The days I am traveling, I will workout when I can.

~ I will have to be intentional about the food I put in my mouth. I have been trying to learn this anyway! Now I will have to plan better and make wise choices.

~ I will have to be intentional about organizing. I need to simplify where I can and make sure my family has what they need when I am gone.

~ I will have to be intentional about my time. My husband has always been great about giving me freedom to do things I want with friends and coworkers and church activities, etc.

While I can’t (and don’t want to) let these relationships go, I have to be more intentional about any time that takes away from my family. I will be saying no to fun things more than I typically do.

Will it be easy? No.

But, as always, it is worth it.

So, what kinds of things are you more intentional about?

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Filed under Authenticity, Family

Your gifts

Do you ever feel like you want to do something different?

Like you are not making a difference where you are?

Do you think – if God had me somewhere else, doing something else, living my dream – THEN I’d really be able to help people?

Sometimes I think that can be true. If you’ve gotten yourself in a position where you are completely stifled. You’re numb. You’re unhappy. And you don’t think you can change.You’re most likely not helping anyone when you’re in the state of mind. But that can change.

I’ve recently gone through experiencing some of this. I felt like there was something completely different that I should be doing. I felt like God would only use me if I chased a big dream and did something radical. The problem was I didn’t have a big dream in the same sense that many people do. I never wanted to be an actor, or a missionary, or write songs.

“Steward the talents you’ve been given and enjoy the surprises along the way.”  ~Jon Acuff

As I look back now, my deep down desire has always been to help people. To encourage them to do something more with their life. And in some small way, change the world. But how do you make a living doing that?

I’ve realized something through the help of prayer, Jon Acuff and Quitter, and talking with some of my support group. Sometimes, God has you right where he wants you. He just wants you to start truly seeing the people around you. To stop having surface relationships. To start showing people how much you care about them. To remember the gifts he gave you in the first place. And to use them.

This has been a revelation to me. One of my main gifts is encouragement. I have been doing an okay job of it. But there is always so much more I can do if I am truly looking to see the needs around me and obey when prompted.

This has already led to fun projects that I have been able to plan, as well as individual engagement with people I never could have imagined.

So, what are your gifts?

What is one thing that you can start doing today to impact people right around you? It’s usually much simpler than you think.

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Filed under Dreams, Encouragement, Life lessons