Because I Can!

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The cold, dry air was burning my wet, dripping nose. The birds were starting to sing their morning songs. That weird lighting on the streets from the combination of the suns glow starting to shine and the street lights glow. I went for a 4 mile run this morning at 5:30am. I was determined to get out there and get back into running early mornings! I woke up and though, “I’m going to be skinny!”

Well, by the time I got about three-quarters of a mile my nose was running like Niagara Falls, my lungs were burning worse than my calves were, and I felt like my heart was in my throat. I was no longer determined and I just ran back home. My 4 mile run that used to be an easy warm up in the early morning was actually a mile and a half run in hell for me today. When I got home, I looked right at the shiny, red face in the mirror and thought to myself, what a disappointment! I beat myself up over it and then told my best friend about how down I felt.

She reminded me of why I’m even a runner to begin with! I run because I can. In high school I hated running! I hated running with a passion. You couldn’t even pay me to run without a soccer ball or softball around. To run track or cross country was such a miserable idea to me! Then, from age 18 to 20 I found myself having trouble with running. This trouble was no longer mental, it was physical this time around. If I tried to run, I’d get so light headed and weak and then pass out. I couldn’t even sing out loud in my car driving to school anymore without the fear of exhausting myself.

After a few times of passing out while hiking with my dog, Jolie, I decided to finally tell someone and get help. After many, many different doctors offices and seeing different specialist, I finally had the right medical tests done. Sitting in a cardiologists office, I was finally diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White. It was the answer to my many prayers and questions. I scheduled myself for surgery to fix the problem immediately.

16 Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship – a different kind of “sacrifice” – that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.
Hebrews 13:16 MSG

So today was just a rough morning. I’m about to go for a two mile jog (good or bad, doesn’t matter) and then sing my little lungs out on my way to work tonight!! Tomorrow morning I’ll give it another shot! Hope things go better!

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The Right Pace

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So I have accomplished a very successful 21 days of doing the Daniel Fast. I will admit, I cheated once and ate a bite of my moms homemade pineapple upside down cake- it was delicious, but full of refined sugar. Other than that, my Lord and savior provided for me. He gave me the strength and courage to get through so much! A lot has been going on lately in my life personally, but with His grace, I’ve been just right! Here was my last devotional from the church for the fast…

“Day 21

Prayer direction:

Pray that God’s favor might be upon your family and our church as we continue to put Him first in all things.

From the Desk of Pastor Dawn Jackson…

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 NIV

Long-distance runners know to make it over the long haul, you’ve got to have a steady pace. Run too fast, and you will burn out early and end up sidelined. Run too slow, and you minimize the potential within you. Running the right pace speeds you to the finish line and prevents injury and burnout.

Pace is also important in life. We often overestimate what we can accomplish in a short amount of time and underestimate what we can accomplish in a long amount of time. We live in a fast-paced world. Many people rush to and from exhausted at the end of each day, with nothing left to give to those closest to them. This results in shallow relationships and regret. Of course, on the other side of the spectrum are those who spin their wheels, never seeming to move forward, aimlessly distracted by insignificant pursuits.

Think also about the pace in which you live your life. With 21 days coming to an end, now would be a good time to make the necessary adjustments so that you might truly finish the race he has called you to run. Consider the following acronym as a guide in developing your pace:

Prioritize. Focus on what is most important.

Assign times of work and rest.

Consistency: doing what you say you are going to do.

Enjoy the journey.

God desires for us to have a full, abundant life, filled with meaningful relationships and the satisfaction of accomplishing purposes which honor his name. A healthy pace will empower you to both accomplish your tasks and build solid relationships.

The Lord is my pace setter…I shall not rush.

He makes me stop for quiet intervals.
He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity.
He leads me in the way of efficiency through calmness of mind and his guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day, I will not fret, for his presence is here.
His timelessness, his all importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity by anointing my mind with his oils of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Truly harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours for I shall walk in the Pace of my Lord and dwell in his house for ever.
A Japanese version of the 23rd Psalm by Tokio Megashio.”

Even now that it is over, I still eat healthy (but not as healthy..) and I am still keeping my faith clear of distractions. Nothing processed about my faith! Living and loving life, with a purpose!

Not-So-Far, So Good

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I know it’s only the fourteenth day into the new year, but week two of fifty-two has gone great! This year is looking good so far! I’m sticking to my fasting diet, working out everyday, and last two Mondays I’ve taken food for the homeless with me on my run with my friends running team. I’ve gone from being the worlds bottomless pit for food to a vegan, practically! Working out everyday is already kind of my normal so that hasn’t been much of a challenge. But carrying 20+ extra pounds on my back while running through LA was interesting.

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I’m half way through with my fast and already feeling stronger in my faith. This fast has really helped me clear away all distractions from my sight and really see what God wants me to do! I am much more confident that I am living the life He has set for me! This bumpy road of a path is bearable knowing He’s the one paving the way! I’m making clearer decisions and feeling good about them. Doing this fast, I’ve learned a lot about myself! Things like how much I love seafood, and cheese with my fruit! Ha! No, but really. I can already feel the stronger relationship I’ve built with God these past 10 days have been glorious!

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

James 2:14-17

I’ve also realized that my journey isn’t about me. I was put on this earth to love others. I have stuck with it and fed the homeless on my last two Monday night runs through Los Angeles. The team is running through Hollywood this month and it been quite beautiful! To see someone struggle during these runs isn’t something that makes you proud to be doing better, but something that slows you down so you can run with them, lift their spirits, and encourage your teammates to continue pushing! Runners do it for me and I’ve done it for them.

Although it’s only been two weeks into the new year, I’ve already grown this far, and have learned so much! I hope I have inspired more people to live their life with healthier habits and also let The Lord live through them! We can all help ourselves while helping others!

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