Monday, July 26, 2010

My Rut

"Choose your rut carefully; you'll be in it for the next ten miles."
- Road sign in upstate New York*

This quote hit home with me today, as I thought about my progress in running. And in how we make certain decisions.

I think I'm getting the hang of running now. It's hard, but helpful. And fun. I find that I can run up the stairs at church, and can still breathe when I reach the top. Sometimes I find myself jogging in place to let out that nervous energy. The bad thing is that I'm creating tiny ruts in my carpet.

Ruts can be a good thing. Some ruts are made when we get stuck in the same spot, a spot we don't want to be in. But some ruts are made when we choose a certain habit that's actually good for us. Like for me, finally exercising. Our choices determine our ruts, like our steering on the interstate determines where we'll be for the next ten or so miles.

So what ruts do you want to be in? Or get out of? I have a list of the out-of's. My list of be-in's is growing.

*Quote taken from The Book of Positive Quotations, 2nd Edition. Steve Deger & Leslie Ann Gibson, ed. Minneapolis, MN: 1993.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Katy's Running-isms

I'm doing some research for my first book...a little jogging, a little running. I didn't think I could run anymore today until I caught sight of my neighbor's dog. A boxer, she was outside their garage, apparently not on a leash. After I overcame my momentary paralysis, I got my wits about me and started back up the hill. Faster than planned.

Here are 6 things I've learned from jogging over the past two weeks. And I can use all the help I can get. So if you've got a running tip, please leave one behind. My goal is to run a mile. I've got a long way to go...

6 Running-isms:

1. You can easily sprint uphill when dogs are involved.
2. Umbrellas aren't useful for only rain.
3. Little birds do sing to you.
4. You can run for just one more minute.
5. A cool breeze never comes too soon.
6. God likes the morning time.

So if you've walked or jogged for exercise, leave a little tip or something you've learned. And God bless you in the race of life.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Lesson in Love

Well, I didn't win in the scrapbook contest. There were other pretty things there. But I won in love. My friend who also entered and my other "teammates" cheered us on, and I found more delight in not winning (and getting to keep my entry) than in winning. Funny how things work out...

Friends are a breath of fresh air. Especially when times are hard. This summer is a hot one, and when the humidity is so bad you can't breathe, it's nice to have a fresh wind. The cool kind. Don't really get that here in July. But it's possible. Just like good friends who love you no matter what.

Who's a friend who refreshes you? How are they like a cool wind in the heat of summer? Share your thoughts and let's brag a little on the friends who mean the most to us. I'm grateful for mine.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Layers of Life

Flowers and knick-knacks, glitter and paint. Just some of things I added to my latest scrapbook page. I love scrapbooking, and I love finding all the best goodies to go on a page. Sometimes a little too many goodies.

This latest project I'll enter into a regional scrapbook show, that I'll go to with my mom and friends. We're excited about the show. It's just once a year, always in July. (Christmas in July!)

As I finished the page, I noticed how many layers it had. First the background paper with "Victorian" flowers, then the stickles on top, then the photos outlined in paint, then the paper flowers with metal accents (yes, they had to have glitter, too). Don't forget the peacock feather and the stamped message about love.

So many layers. Just like life, just like Godly character. Our different experiences and memories add layers to our lives. In each layer, God builds strength and grace and love into who we are, and the layers reveal a beautiful project. God's own handiwork. A beautiful character in the making. I never knew scrapbooking could so fun.

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

Thursday, July 8, 2010

St. Louis Adventures, Part 3

Networking has gone from being a computer term for me to a being a people term. At writers' conferences, a retail show, and even my favorite scrapbook store, I've learned how to network. People have ideas, and you do, too. They have things to contribute, a ministry to do, or words to say. We do, too.

In the body of Christ, we each have a part to play, a spiritual gift to stir up, and something to contribute to the greater good. When we join forces, we work stronger together than apart.

That's what I learned at this year's International Christian Retail Show. Businessmen and businesswomen worked together for the greater good. Amidst the coffee chats, book signings, and movie trailers, there was a significant purpose. To provide quality Christian products to the consumer, to get those products into the hands of people, so they're strengthened in the faith and so they can lead others to the faith.

I found the shopper in me wanting to go nuts while I was there. The paintings, the books, the movies. So while I had to restrain that joy inside, I found joy in watching the networking, and the collaberative efforts to make a difference through whatever avenue God had led each company to pursue. Thank you, ICRS and CBA, for a great event, and I hope to see you next year!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

St. Louis Adventures, Part 2

We got to stay downtown in St. Louis. I've never been a true city girl, but I was for four days. Tall hotels lined the streets, along with cyber cafes, the Macy's building (yes!), and of course, Starbuck's. Starbuck's was a favorite of those who attended the retail show. My dad was one of them.

Outside our 17th floor window, I witnessed repelling across the street. I watched as two window washers secured ropes on the rooftop, and prepared for their descent. I imagined it would be exciting to repel down 15 stories, but then I looked down at the street below. Maybe not.

The window washers worked together, staying on the same floor, washing windows in unison. They weren't in a hurry and they weren't slow either. Just the right pace. Just the right swinging from window to window. It was almost like a dance.

Unity. We've just celebrated the anniversary of a beautiful country, filled with mountains and rivers, skyscrapers and farms. Each part of our country is beautiful. I discovered that in the Midwest last week. Every part of our country has something to offer, like every church scattered across America.

As we move into the next year of our country's existence, may we strive for unity in Christ, oneness in faith and love, and always follow God's plan for our lives. We each have a part to play, a role in the dance of life. So keep dancin', and God bless your part of America.

Friday, July 2, 2010

St. Louis Adventures, Part 1

I lost my toothpaste at security. That was at the end of the trip. I knew I might slip up and lose something at the airport checkpoints. I just didn't know it was going to be toothpaste.

The whole trip to St. Louis was an adventure. From start to finish, I enjoyed it with my family. We laughed the whole time, met new people, and found some more direction for our ministry. Where do I begin?

I had my picture taken with Veggie Tales Bob and Larry, a real-life princess, and a dragon slayer. I met Sanctus Real, the Museum, and Jeremy Camp. We mingled with publishers, film makers, and authors. It was the International Christian Retail Show. A new experience, and one I hope we get to repeat.

Held every year, the show brings together the best of Christian retail, and seeks to uphold a high standard for Christian products. My favorite part of the trip was watching people network.

The last day, we left a little early and headed to the St. Louis arch. Although we didn't go up in it, we took a lot of pictures. The sun was just right, so in the reflection of the arch, I saw a pillar of fire. It reminded me of God.

He is always with us. Standing tall. Protecting us. Whatever adventures we plan, or that find us, He knows about them and He keeps us close to His heart. I wonder what all this summer will hold...