I’m Not 40 Anymore!

21 09 2013

I turned 41 yesterday, hence the title. I must say, being “over the hill” has been a great ride so far. I am in far better health now than I was 20 years ago. My cholesterol continues to decrease each year and is at an all-time low of 133. I can still do 180° right and left leg splits. My 5K speed continues to get faster. Spiritually, I am more in love with the Bible than ever and find prayer calming and humbling. Professionally, I continue to revise my curriculum every year. I am not content teaching the same stuff just because it’s easier. I just started working on my MBA. In terms of behavior, I am more patient all around and am much calmer in the car. When it comes to my family, I am ridiculously blessed with an amazing husband and two incredible sons.

I am also very goal-oriented, so I decided to take stock of my “40 Things to Do in the Next 40 Years” list that I wrote a year ago. (My updated notes are in parenthesis after each item.)

Physical
1. Do 40 military style pushups at one time, no breaks. (Still working on this)
2. Successfully finish a Tough Mudder. (Tough Mudder teased us with a Nashville race in May 2013, then moved it out of state.)
3. Swim freestyle for 50 meters without stopping. (Nope, practicing would help)
4. Run a sub 30-minute 5K in an actual race. (I’ve done several races this year, but not a straightforward 5K, not yet. I have 4 more races before 2013 is over, so I’m really hoping this will happen. I ran a marathon relay not too long ago and PRd with an 8:28 minute mile at one point.)
5. Do ab ripper at least twice each week, preferably three times. (Nope)
6. Bike once each week. (Nope)
7. Run two-three times each week. (Yup! I’m averaging 10 miles per week over 4 runs)
8. Swim once each week. (Nope)
9. Always remember to wear sunscreen. (Almost always)
10. Hike the Appalachain Trail. (Maybe next decade?)
11. Still be able to do 180° right and left leg splits 40 years from now. (Yup!)

Diet/Nutrition
12. Eat at least two servings of fruit each day. (Yup! Except on my birthday; then I get all my calories from sugar and lard . . . and maybe some cheese)
13. Eat at least two servings of vegetables each day. (About half the time)
14. Remember to take all my supplements each day—multi vitamin, calcium/Vitamin D, fish oil. (Usually)
15. Cut back to one sweet/dessert item each day (except on birthdays). (I’m down to two per day which is way better than it was a year ago.)
16. Try one new recipe each month. (Yup!)
17. Drink more water. (About the same)

Spiritual
18. Fast 40 hours straight once each week. (I still fast, but not for 40 hours—my body did not take kindly to that. I was getting too dizzy and lightheaded.)
19. Memorize one scripture each week. (Sadly, nope. I do read the Bible every day, and my knowledge of scripture is growing, but I just don’t officially memorize verses.)
20. Give half our income away, probably through Compassion International child sponsorships. (Well on our way!)
21. Teach my children to pray in all circumstances. (Working on it; this will be a lifelong lesson.)
22. Teach my sons the importance of sexual purity and protecting and honoring their bodies and the bodies of any girls/women they have relationships with. (Praying about this regularly and having age-appropriate conversations as they arise.)
23. Watch my sons grow into their own faith in Christ. (Yup! So cool to see my sons coming into their own faith rather than living out simply what we tell them to do and say and believe.)
24. Go on a mission trip. (Yup! Texas in March 2013 and India in June 2013)

Mental
25. Get my MBA. (Just started my classes! Graduation = fall 2015)
26. Get my PhD. (Maybe next decade; need to finish the MBA first.)
27. Not go crazy. (Debatable)
28. Read on average one book per week. (Pretty darn close)
29. Become fluent in another language. (If sarcasm counts, I’m fluent.)
30. Learn to play the piano. (Too busy; maybe after my MBA and PhD?)

Miscellaneous
31. Have a weekly date with my love. (Desperately need to do better!)
32. Play more games with my family. (Same #32)
33. Visit all the Wonders of the World. (Five down, two to go—Petra and Angkor Wat)
34. Travel to a new country each year. (So far, so good)
35. Grow my hair out to my wedding day length. (Almost there!)
36. Join a community choir. (Too busy with #1-35)
37. Watch no more than 1 hour of TV each night, except when Dancing with the Stars goes for two hours. (Yup! I have almost cut out TV completely, probably because I’m reading so much. I honestly don’t miss it . . . except Dancing with the Stars.)
38. Re-invent/re-paint/re-design several rooms in my home. (Consulting a friend who is an interior designer is on my to do list for the summer of 2014.)
39. Build a library with floor to ceiling book shelves in my home and fill it with great literature. (Also on my—as in my husband’s—to do list for the summer of 2014.)

Most Important
40. Remember that each day is a gift and to live a life that reflects how grateful I am to be alive. (I’m better at this than I used to be, but there will always be room for improvement. Can we ever be too grateful?)

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2013 Resolutions

31 12 2012

This is the first year in . . . forever, I think . . . in which I didn’t start thinking about my New Year Resolutions two months in advance. As it is, I have just over two hours left until 2013 arrives. So without further ado, or much thought, my 2013 resolutions:

1. Be content. No matter what I have, what I lack, what I desire, I want to cherish the moment and the place I’m in.

2. Be healthy. Exercise regularly, eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water, get more sleep, eat less sugar (HA!)

3. Practice discipline. Continue fasting, read through the Bible again, pray more, give more, serve more.

4. Practice the art of thankfulness every day. Be less critical, show more grace.

Most importantly, I want to “come near to God so that he will come near to me.” –James 4:8





40 Things

20 09 2012

 

40 & Fabulous

40 & Fabulous

I turn 40 today, and until a short while ago, I dreaded being that number.  It was so old.  Half of my life was over.  Then it hit me . . . I was at the age where I realized I turned into my parents.  Upon reflection I realized that wasn’t a bad thing.  How blessed am I to be able to say that?My attitude began to turn around from being negative and dreading this birthday to wanting to celebrate in grand fashion, which we did.

As the day approached, I also began to think about the next half of my life.  What do I want to accomplish?  Who do I want to be?

So being an ultra-organized, detailed-oriented, goal-setting, to-do queen, I did what came naturally.  I created a list.

This wasn’t merely a Bucket List.  I already have one of those.  There is a difference in this new list and my bucket list.  My new list is realistic.  My bucket list isn’t.  For example, I really want to throw a live grenade and watch something blow up.  I know that will never happen.

My new list is comprised of things I want to do in the next 40 years of my life.

Physical
1.       Do 40 military style pushups at one time, no breaks.
2.       Successfully finish a Tough Mudder.
3.       Swim freestyle for 50 meters without stopping.
4.       Run a sub 30-minute 5K in an actual race.
5.       Do P90x ab ripper at least twice each week, preferably three times.
6.       Bike once each week.
7.       Run two-three times each week.
8.       Swim once each week.
9.       Always remember to wear sunscreen.
10.   Hike the Appalachain Trail.
11.   Still be able to do 180° right and left leg splits 40 years from now.

40 & Fabulous (and still quite flexible)

40 & Fabulous (and still quite flexible)

Diet/Nutrition

12.   Eat at least two servings of fruit each day.
13.   Eat at least two servings of vegetables each day.
14.   Remember to take all my supplements each day—multi vitamin, calcium/Vitamin D, fish oil.
15.   Cut back to one sweet/dessert item each day (except on birthdays).
16.   Try one new recipe each month.
17.   Drink more water.

Spiritual

18.   Fast 40 hours straight once each week.
19.   Memorize one scripture each week.
20.   Give half my income away, probably through Compassion International child sponsorships.
21.   Teach my children to pray in all circumstances.
22.   Teach my sons the importance of sexual purity and protecting and honoring their bodies and the bodies of any girls/women they have relationships with.
23.   Watch my sons grow into their own faith in Christ.
24.   Go on a mission trip.

Mental

25.   Get my MBA.
26.   Get my PhD.
27.   Not go crazy.
28.   Read on average one book per week.
29.   Become fluent in another language.
30.   Learn to play the piano.

 Miscellaneous

31.   Have a weekly date with my love.
32.   Play more games with my family.
33.   Visit all the Wonders of the World.
34.   Travel to a new country each year.
35.   Grow my hair out to my wedding day length.
36.   Join a community choir.
37.   Watch no more than 1 hour of TV each night, except when Dancing with the Stars goes for two hours.
38.   Re-invent/re-paint/re-design several rooms in my home.
39.   Build a library with floor to ceiling book shelves in my home and fill it with great literature.

Most Important

40.   Remember that each day is a gift and to live a life that reflects how grateful I am to be alive.





2012 Resolutions

5 01 2012

Being the list-maker, goal-setter, and all-around do-er that I am, I LOVE coming up with New Years Resolutions.  I actually began thinking about my list in November.  My focus verse for the year is from James 3:17-18.  I want to be the kind of woman that embodies this type of wisdom, and yet I struggle greatly in so many of these areas.

 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure;
then peace-loving, considerate, submissive,
full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

Spiritual/Relationship Goals

  • Have a dynamic marriage.
    • Stop what I’m doing and greet my husband with a hug as soon as he/I get home from work each day
    • Pray together every night
    • Monthly dates
  • Read through the Bible
  • Fast 1x/week
  • Give at least 16.5% of our pre-tax income to charitable organizations (hopefully more)
  • Volunteer somewhere at least 1x/month

 Exercise/Activity Goals

  • Participate in an average of 1 race/event each month (I actually have 13 on my radar for next year and am looking for more!)
  • Run/walk 2-3x/week (6-9 miles)
    • Get back to a sub-10-minute mile
    • Do a sub-30-minute 5K
  • Bike 1x/week (6-10 miles)
  • Swim 1x/week (.25-.5 miles) 
    • Learn to swim freestyle (Out of everything on my list–this one is the most daunting to me.)
  • P90X Ab Ripper 3x/week
  • 40 perfect pushups by my 40th birthday

Nutrition Goals

  • Eat 2 servings of fruit
  • Eat 1 serving of vegetables (not counting potatoes)
  • Consume less sugar
  • Drink more water

What are your goals for 2012?





2011 Resolutions: BE-attitudes, not DO-attitudes

1 01 2011

I’m a list maker and goal setter to be sure.  I always get excited with the prospect of coming up with new New Year’s Resolutions every year, and this year is no different.  I’ve actually been pondering my 2011 list since November.   (Read my 2010 Resolutions.)

In 2011, I am going to focus on Biblical mandates rather than the typical eat healthier and exercise more resolutions.  I am focusing on BE-attitudes rather than DO-attitudes.

  1. Ephesians 5:1  Be an imitator of God.
  2. Romans 12:1  Be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
  3. Ezekiel 36:26  Give me a new heart and a new spirit.  Remove from me my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh.
  4. Philippians 4:5  Let my gentleness by evident to all.
  5. 1 Peter 3:3-4  My beauty should be that of  my inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.
  6. Ephesians 4:2  Be completely humble and gentle.
  7. Philippians 4:11  Learn to be content whatever the circumstances.
  8. Psalms 19:14  The words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart would be pleasing in Your sight.
  9. Ephesians 4:29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of my  mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs.
  10. Ephesians 5:4  There will be no obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  11. Titus 2:12  Say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and live a self-controlled, upright and godly life.
  12. Romans 12:8  Contribute to the needs of others, giving generously.
  13. Proverbs 31:20  I would open my arms to the poor and extend my hands to the needy.
  14. 2 Thessalonians 3:13  Never tire of doing what is right.
  15. 1 Thessalonians 5:13  Live in peace with each other.
  16. Colossians 3:13  Bear with each other.  Forgive as the Lord forgave me.
  17. 1 Thessalonians 5:16  Be joyful always;  pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.
  18. Colossians 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in me richly.
  19. Colossians 3:2  Set my mind on things above.
  20. Psalm 119:37  Turn my eyes away from worthless things.
  21. Philippians 4:7  Let the peace of God which transcends all understanding guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus.
  22. Psalms 34:14  Seek peace and pursue it.
  23. Hebrews 12:1  Run with perseverance.
  24. 2 Peter 3:18  Grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  25. Psalm 55:22  Cast my cares on the Lord, and he will sustain me.

 What are your resolutions or goals for 2011?





Small Victories

4 10 2010
No cussing zone

No cussing zone

Last night in our home church group, the gathering, the topic of discussion was “how do we make our religion worthless?”  We read from Mark 7:1-23 and James 1:26:  “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”  We spent some time alone with God then broke into groups of guys and gals to share.

When hearing/reading/listening to scripture on “the tongue” I am always first and foremost convicted about my tendency to cuss—mainly in the car and at computers.  When I look back on my life, I can point to learning this habit as a child.  I grew up in a home where cussing was standard fare when being cut off by a rude driver or if the computer wasn’t functioning properly.  After spending 20 years in that household, cussing is a part of me, but it manifests itself most while driving or working on a non-cooperative computer. 

When Caleb, my oldest, was two, I heard him utter his first curse words.  I was in the kitchen trying to get a lid off a jar and was getting frustrated.  I think I said, “ugghhhhh” or “grrrrrr”, but I know for a fact I didn’t cuss.  Caleb did.  He was sitting on the floor playing with some plastic containers, and he looked up at me, and smiled, and said “G—D—” in response to my irritation.  At that age, he had no clue what the words meant.  In his innocence, he only knew that’s what mommy said when she was annoyed, and he probably thought he was helping me out.

For a moment I was stunned into silence, then I cried while Caleb continued playing peacefully.  I was so overcome with guilt and conviction as to how completely ugly this habit was.  I prayed for forgiveness and for help in overcoming this struggle.  I have continued that same prayer almost every day of my life since then.  I do not want my children to grow up in a home where coarse language is tolerated and accepted as the norm.  I do not want to pass this behavior on to my children as it was passed on to me.

In the years following that incident with Caleb, Matthew 18:6 was a constant, harsh reminder to me of my charge as a parent to not only train my children to walk in the way of righteousness, but to do everything in my power to NOT be the cause of their sin:  “But if anyone causes one of these little ones to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” 

I am very blessed to have a child like Caleb whose sensitive spirit literally causes him to cry when he hears me go off as I do sometimes, mostly in the car.  Caleb has no choice, not being old enough to drive himself, so he is captive to my destructive words on the road.  I thank God that Caleb’s nature thus far is not to repeat what I say.  He is the one calling attention to my sin and encouraging me to respond differently.  He graciously forgives me every time.  God couldn’t give me a more tangible reminder of the love and forgiveness He continually offers me.

When Caleb was four, he told me of the three words you “never, ever say.”  I’m not sure how he came up with this list, but he said, “These are the worst words you can say, mommy.   Shut up!  Stuuuupid.  And F—.”  The first two he said with lots of emotion and expression.  The last one was very matter of fact.  My first reaction was to stifle a giggle.  But once again, I was quickly convicted that even my four-year-old knew the repulsiveness of those words.

Jason, my youngest son, on the other hand. . .his spirit is quite the opposite.  While he cracks me up and is a delight and joy, Jason is stubborn, headstrong, determined, fierce, and prone to ridiculous fits of anger (he’s two of course, but he takes after his momma quite a bit.)  Jason is the one who will pick up this nasty habit of mine by the time he’s in school.  Jason is the one I really have to watch out for.  I feel like time is running out on me to change this caustic behavior in myself.  I hate being the double-minded person James speaks of in 3:9-10:  “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers, this should not be.”

So last night, I brought up this struggle again in our small group.  (This is no surprise to my friends.)  I mentioned things I have done in the past to help:  pray, listen to music, sing along to a CD, talk to Caleb.  But nothing sticks for more than a few days. 

My friend suggests the root of this struggle is much deeper than being just a habit.  There is something going on with my internals that needs to change.  She suggested I become a woman of great compassion for people.  When someone cuts me off in traffic, rather than living by my defaults and rattling off a phrase a sailor would be proud of, pray for that person.  Who is he?  What kind of day has she had?  What is going on in his life that is causing him to be rude?  Did someone close just die?  Did he lose his job?  Is her child sick?  Is he hurrying to the hospital?  Maybe she’s just a jerk.  No matter, pray for them.

So I tried that this morning on the way to school.  I hope I am not jinxing myself, but the worst thing I said or even thought was “oh my word” when I saw the driver of a school bus full of kids completely blow through a stop sign without even slowing down.  I didn’t cuss.  There’s a small victory. 

While a step in the right direction, not cussing is still not equivalent to showing compassion.  I then wondered, what exactly does it look like to show that person compassion, practically speaking?  How do I show compassion to a person who does something so dangerous and literally places several dozen lives at stake—her life, the lives of the children on the bus, the lives of those in her vehicle’s path?

Then I realized that simply the act of praying for this bus driver was an act of compassion.  Another small victory.

Then I prayed.  Victory!

I cherish your prayers as I continue in my struggle to overcome this ungodly habit.





Re-evaluating My New Year’s Resolutions

27 07 2010

Yesterday I was thinking about the New Year’s resolutions I made for 2010. 

  • Read through the Bible
  • Start a prayer journal with Caleb
  • Try one new recipe each month
  • Eat one non-potato vegetable each day
  • Turn off TV/no reading during dinner (most nights)
  • Run 1/2 marathon and a few other races
  • Increase giving 1/2%

My current status on these items:

  • Read through the Bible:  On track!  I began in Genesis 1:1 on January 1, and I’m currently on Jeremiah 32.  I did this in 2009 as well, and it was amazing!  I hope to continue this every year.
  • Start a prayer journal with Caleb:  Not so on track.  Looking back, our last entry was May 17, but the one before that was February 28.  The plan was to write our prayers down every night, and then pray through them on the way to school the next morning.  I’m not confident this will go anywhere this year, but it’s worth re-evaluating.
  • Try one new recipe each month:  On track!  Most dishes have been amazing and only one has been an epic failure.  It involved cooking chicken breasts in a crock pot with lemon slices on top of them for eight hours.  Eight hours is way too long to cook chicken with lemon.   
  • Eat one non-potato vegetable each day:  Mostly on track.  I still need more veggie variety in my diet.
  • Turn off TV/no reading during dinner (most nights):  Not so on track.  I really don’t care about the TV, but I do read a lot while eating.  I seriously need to break myself of this poor habit and refocus my energies on my family during that time.
  • Run 1/2 marathon and a few other races:  On track!  I’ve run a 10K, the Nashville Music City 1/2 marathon in April and am signed up to run a 12-member relay from Chattanooga to Nashville (189.1 miles) in November, and will probably run a 5K or two this fall.
  • Increase giving 1/2%:  On track!  Our goal this year is to give 15.5% from our gross income.  I actually think we may exceed our goal!  Financial discipline leads to financial freedom leads to an amazing place to live.
  • I would love to hear what your News Year’s resolutions or goals were and what your progress is.

    Blessings,
    Kelly