Forget-me-not, Oh Lord!

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us...

Find me on Facebook!

Friday, December 19, 2014

What are your holiday traditions?

I haven't participated in a blog linkup in a long time. I'm not sure why. I really enjoy getting to know other bloggers, and a linkup provides a great way to "meet" fellow bloggers.  Anyway, I was excited to find this particular linkup on a running blog I follow: Darlene at My First 5K.

The "Friday Five" is sponsored by three blogs: Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC and Mar from Mar on the Run and Cynthia from You signed up for WHAT?!

If you are interested in participating in future "Friday Five" linkups, here is what you do: first, write a post about five things (random things or things in line with the chosen theme for that week).  The theme for this week is holiday traditions.  In your post, you have to put the above pic and be sure to list and link to the blogs that sponsor the linkup.  Then all you have to do is go link your post on their pages.  There is an app that facilitates this.

So, enough "talk."  Let's get started!

Here are five of our family holiday (in our house, Christmas) traditions!

1. We have an Elf on the Shelf.  Our elf's name is George (Beth was on a Curious George kick when we got him).  Now, I realize that when it comes to the Elf on the Shelf concept everyone is in one of three different camps: team "I don't know what you are talking about!?" (#googleit) or team "We love our elf!" or team "I hate that thing; it's creepy!"  Whatever camp you find yourself in, just know this: our girls love Elf George.  They awake every morning to try to find him, and it is #sostinkincute

George returns every year on Thanksgiving night, and he always lands in the Christmas tree.
2.  Every year, the girls look forward to Back to Bethlehem at our church.  This is basically when the fellowship hall is transformed into the Bethlehem of Jesus' birth.  The kids get to walk through it and participate in a variety of activities while dodging the Roman soldiers. :-)

The angel with Mary and Joseph at Jesus' birth.

Listening to bible stories.
3. Every year before Christmas, we meet up with my husband's parents to eat and exchange gifts. It's a fun time for the girls.  They love their Nonna and Poppa!

ALWAYS ice cream for desert! 

4. We always make time to go see Santa at some point during the Christmas season!  Here are this year's pics of the girls with ol' Saint Nick.

Beth (7) - She wants a computer for Christmas.

Hannah (3) - What she wants changes every minute of every day.
5. And finally, every Christmas eve, the girls wake up to find that Elf George has brought them some early presents.  New pajamas are always included with the gifts.

There are more holiday traditions I could mention, but it's "Friday Five" and not "Friday Fifteen."

What are some of your holiday traditions?

Today's forget-me-not: Make memories.  Lots of them!

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's hard to understand why God loves me.

I know God loves me, but it's hard to understand why.

Sure, He created me, and everything He does is good and worthy of praise.  I know that.  But, there are so many evil things I've said and done and thought that make me wonder how He can see any redeeming qualities in me!  

I identify with bible verses like this one:
Isaiah 64:6  All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
The term "filthy rags" in the original Hebrew actually refers to the garments or rags a woman uses during her menstrual cycle.   So the above verse is saying that whatever we would consider our most righteous works, God would consider those acts disgusting garbage.

Now, that sounds right.  I often feel that no matter what I do, it's wrong. Because I am wrong.  I am terribly flawed. I am garbage, filth. 

How do you pull yourself out of the pit of negative self-talk when you feel as if you deserve nothing more than a regular non-verbal lashing?

The only thing that helps lift my spirits after I've talked myself down into a depression is to talk with Jesus.  Truly, whenever I find myself in the midst of a "I hate myself" mind-frame, I also find that I've gone without my quiet time with Jesus for, obviously, too long.

Because when a born again child of God spends time talking with Jesus, He doesn't call you a filthy rag.  He calls you righteous, a new creation, and redeemed.  He says you are reconciled, adopted, and chosen.  He refers to you as His friend and His bride.  

How do I know when I need to spend more quality time with my Jesus?  It is when I start thinking that I am not worthy of love. 

Jesus' death on the cross says otherwise.

Today's forget-me-not: Regularly spend time with Jesus, and listen to what He has to say about you.  He will lift you up!

Psalm 3

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.

Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
    Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
    break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
    May your blessing be on your people.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

About Forget-me-not, Oh Lord!

Hebrews 12:1 talks about running the race marked out for us, and what a race it has been thus far - especially where my blog is concerned!

I created Forget-me-not, Oh Lord! in August of 2010.  I started blogging because I needed a space to work through my emotions after the loss of our middle child, Angel.  I lost Angel to an early miscarriage. I was only eight weeks along, but as I believe that life starts at the moment of conception, the loss was very painful.  You can read our story in this post: "Because Angel Lived."

Writing has always been therapeutic for me.  It offers a type of rest for my soul.

At its inception, this blog was public, and I shared it frequently.  After receiving some criticism for that decision (because the posts, at that time, were primarily about my loss and were uncomfortable for some to read), I stopped sharing my blog posts, and eventually, I made efforts to hide my blog.

But in October of 2013, I felt God prompting me to publicly share my blog once again.

The reasoning behind sharing my blog is simple: God has brought me (brings me) through so much, and if any of my observations can help even just one other person as we run the race of life marked out before us, I want that.  That is my heart's greatest desire for this blog!

My posts are my observations; they are my forget-me-nots.

Over the past four years, I have written about a wide variety of subjects on this blog.  Be warned! There really isn't a topic I would avoid. I write as I feel lead to write.

I write about my relationship with Jesus.  I write about my children. I write about pregnancy and infant loss. I write about my job as a high school English teacher. And I write about running.

I hope you find something here that will help as we "run with perseverance the race marked out before us."

Hebrews 12:1-3 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 before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.   

Friday, November 28, 2014

Three reasons why you should consider running on Thanksgiving next year!

Some call it a turkey trot while others refer to it as a gobble jog.  Whatever the name, it is the same thing: a race to help assuage the anticipated guilt that will wash over you after overeating on Thanksgiving.

At least, that is one of many reasons why I run on Thanksgiving.  Yes.  Yesterday, hubby and I - for the third year in a row - ran a local gobble jog.

Official 5K race time: 34:43
And this got me thinking...  What are some reasons why everyone should consider running on Thanksgiving? I came up with three:

Three reasons why you should run on Thanksgiving!  

1 - Crush those extra unnecessary calories you will most likely consume later in the day.

The Caloric Control Council says, "The average American will consume more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day alone."  That is, on average, more than double the calories you need to eat in a day!  But do not fear, running can help; it is considered a high impact exercise and so burns more calories than walking or cycling.  It also helps to increase your metabolism, so you will burn more calories at rest - continuing to burn calories even after the run is over!    Lastly, running is easy to do - no gym membership or fancy equipment required :-)

2 - Typically, turkey trots and gobble jogs support great causes.

What better way to express your thankfulness for your many blessings on Thanksgiving than giving back to your community via a race?  The gobble jog my hubby and I ran yesterday benefited MUST Ministries.  This organization helps to provide food, clothing, housing, and employment services to those in need.

3 -  Running helps to improve your attitude.  

Perhaps Thanksgiving is a painful holiday for you? Perhaps it's associated with painful memories? Or perhaps you are just dreading the day with those relatives you hate?  Or perhaps you are dreading spending the day alone?  Whatever the illness, a run is just what the doctor ordered!  An article from Runner's World reports that running can help make you happier!  For depression and many other ailments, running can help improve your overall quality of life.

So, I hope I've convinced you to get out of the house next Thanksgiving and go for a run before popping the turkey in the oven.  I promise.  You won't regret it!

Today's forget-me-not: Sign up for a gobble jog in 2015!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Run For God

I ran another - yes, another - great 5K this past Saturday night.  It was a free - yes, I said free! - race sponsored by Run For God.

Hubby and I could not pass up a free race!  We registered and got my good friend and running buddy Jaimee to register as well.

Pre-run selfie!
It was a good race!  Although, I despise races where I have to loop three times to complete 5K - especially when there is a killer hill in the course, as this one had - I was pleased with my end result:

I was fifteenth out of fifty-two in my age group with a time of 34:50.

The race began and ended inside a high school gym - which was FABULOUS given it was really cold out.  Afterwards, a local church choir treated us to a song, and they showed an evangelistic video produced by Billy Graham. It was a wonderful way to end a race - with worship!

Run for God's mission statement reads, "Preparing people to be better witnesses for Christ... Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually."

I love that!  This is a group that focuses on aiding the entire believer and not just one aspect of his or her life. They sell devotionals - hubby got one - and they have a discipleship course which includes a couch to 5K program.  I could see Michael and I teaching something like this one day soon!

It's important to let God work on ALL of you - spiritually, mentally, AND physically.

We had a great evening!

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run; but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Today's forget-me-not: Do not neglect your training! #runningmetaphor

Friday, November 14, 2014

My Poem: "my struggle and my salvation"

I am really enjoying my current read: finding spiritual whitespace by Bonnie Gray.

In one of the chapters, Bonnie encourages her readers to find time to be creative:
"Do you ever find yourself thinking about her - the artistic you? God does.  He whispers, I see you. I made you. I love you."
The artistic me was exchanged for the practical me long ago.  Growing up, I wanted to be a poet, but I knew that wasn't going to pay my bills. So, I decided to go to college and major in English education.  I figured I could write poetry in my spare time. High school English teacher by day and poet by night! Well... it was a plan...

Anyway, I'm happy to say that after reading Bonnie's chapter on creative whitespace, I feel lead to try to write more poetry - and publish it here.  So, I hope you enjoy it!

"my struggle and my salvation"

my self craves control
I am the potter and I work the clay
the world is mine
I hear my mind say

but it is not
it is Yours
this is my struggle and my salvation

things I cannot mold
are the things I fight to shape
I squeeze and pinch the clay
and then I hear You say

it is not yours
let Me do the work
this is My struggle and your salvation

Today's forget-me-not: my inner poet

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Friday, November 7, 2014

It is time to make time!

It has been one of those weeks.

You know what I'm talking about.  A week where seemingly everything goes wrong...

Your children are particularly whiny and disobedient.
You don't sleep well because your mind just won't rest.
You run late to every engagement on your calendar.
You're the mom who forgets to bring the snack when it's your turn.
And to top it all off, you have a headache you haven't been able to shake for days.

You know.  THAT week.

Well, that describes my past week.  A week where I battled moments of depression and abused myself regularly with tirades of, "You suck!"

It's at times like these when I most crave quiet and rest and time with my savior.

However, how do you find the time for you when your entire day is dominated by investing in others from sunrise to sunset and leaves you physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted?!

This is my current struggle.

When I do find time for myself, blogging and running are things I enjoy.  But at the risk of sounding greedy, here's my real problem: I want more! I need more!! 

I want to start a personal journal - a space where I can clear my head of the mental vomit that has no business being published here.

I would like to train for another 10K - believe it or not.  

I want more time to sleep. I want days where I can sleep in and wake up without the assistance of my alarm.  

I want to run away to a cabin - alone - and enjoy nature and a good book!  

Am I wrong for wanting these things? Am I wrong for trying to make plans to deliberately fit these things into my life?  

Are moms not to have time for themselves?

I stumbled across a piece on Facebook entitled "To The Momma at Chickfila."  In this blog post, the author talks about how moms always put their needs second to the needs of their children.  She states that when it comes to our (moms) needs, "It will finally be our turn... later."  

And while that is a noble way of looking at motherhood, I don't think it's a wise approach.  Moms have needs too.  Needs that can't just be put off indefinitely until "later."

It's like what the stewardess on a plane says before liftoff when giving instructions in case of an emergency: if you are traveling with small children, be sure to put on your air mask before attempting to secure your child's mask. Now, consider why that advice is given: because you can better take care of your children's needs if you have first met your own.

Jesus understood the need for personal time and space.  

Luke 5:16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Matthew 14:23  After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.  Later that night, he was there alone.

Mark 7:24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.  He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet, He could not keep His presence secret.

Jesus needed alone time. It's something we all NEED. And it's something I have to make a priority in my life right now.

I think I have found the perfect personal getaway...
How do you make time for you?

Today's forget-me-not: Me.