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Archive for September, 2012

Running the Race…

We have a guest post from Desirae Culp today…thanks for sharing with us, Desi!!! 

“I heard Phil’s sermon Sunday was intense…a black & white call to be present….to commit fully & not just in words. I wish I’d been there, but I was learning another important lesson that actually corresponds with Phil’s sermon.

I was running a half marathon Sunday.

This was my second one to run & in a weird way a much easier one. You see, I did no training for it. No prepatory long runs before hand, no everyday running to get myself ready like last time. Nope, I went from running 2 to 4 miles every other day to running 13.1 on Sunday.

Perhaps not the smartest thing ever, but the thing is, this time I had a running partner. Last time I had people waiting for me at the finish line, people I knew were cheering me on, which was great. But this time I had someone who stayed with me through the entire thing. Someone to encourage me, push me on, hold me accountable.

I can honestly say there is no way i would have finished the race this time without that.

When a friend & I were talking about the sermon on Sunday (she was there for it), it occurred to me that maybe that was what has made it hard for us to jump in fully, to be fully present. I know,to an extent, it has for me.

I walk around in my own little world trying to run this race without allowing myself accountability, without allowing people to run beside me & encourage me & push me on.

We want to walk in grace but we do it alone.

Ladies, we aren’t meant to walk alone.

The Springs Women’s Fall Retreat is coming up Oct 19-21…and the theme is all about walking in grace. I highly highly encourage you to go. Invest in people’s lives & let them invest in yours.  If you can’t go for various reasons, start investing anyway. Find someone that will walk beside you – & not just in the random go to the movies when you’re husband refuses to see the latest  chickflick kind of way – but truly walk beside you & encourage you & push you on & that you will do the same with. That’s my plan… 🙂

– Desirae

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Some of you may have heard my moaning and groaning and whining all summer long…I am now the mother of a middle schooler.  Ouch.

Middle school brings back painfully awkward memories for me…the first plants of the idea that I’m not ENOUGH –  “cool” enough or “popular” enough or “pretty” enough or “athletic” enough….losing the cheerleader election….none of the boys wanting to ask me to dance…not having a boy give me a mum for my small school homecoming (although – on this one, I have to admit, my daddy is amazing.  He bought me a mum and made me feel pretty darn loved).  Middle School was a time of learning to be more responsible or suffering the consequences when it came to papers, tests, athletics…

In all honesty – Middle School/Jr. High sucked…there’s no way around it.  (sorry, Mom…just couldn’t express it any other way!)

You see – that was the time in my life when I first stopped having grace for myself and became my own worst enemy and my number one critic…

So now, as my sweet daughter, Abby, embarks on her middle school journey, I find myself bracing for it…cringing every day she comes home from school.  Yes, I’m waiting for the eye rolls, the “fine” answer when I ask her about her day, the slamming of the bedroom door that often comes with being a middle schooler, but I’m also waiting for the heartaches and the bumps along the way and for glimpses of that “not enough” thought to raise its ugly head.

So far – we are through our third week and no major catastrophes.  She’s rolling with the punches and hasn’t changed into a preteen gremlin or anything.  In fact, she has made me smile just about every single day as she regales me with stories of her day…

Here’s one such story:

On Monday, Abby is getting her usual after school snack as she takes her
30 minute unwind time before hitting the homework, when suddenly, she bursts out:
“Hey, Mom!!!  Guess what!!!”
 
Me:  “What, Abs?”  – she seemed so excited, I couldn’t wait to hear what she had to share…
 
Abby:  “I got 43rd place in a race in pre-ath today!”
(That’s pre-athletics.  They are learning all about cross country for the next several weeks
and had a race, with a distance that totaled about 1/2 mile, she later told me.)
 
Me:  “That’s awesome, Abby!!!  How many were racing?”
 
Abby:  With a gleam in her eye and a nod of her head and in all seriousness, she responds:
 “46…..My goal – was to not get last!  YES!” as she pumps her arm in victory.
 
After I got my encouraging momma face
(as opposed to my wanting to fall in the floor laughing face) back on,
I responded with “That’s great, Abs.  Set a goal and work towards it. 
What’s your goal for next time?”
 
Abby says, without missing a beat, “Better than 43rd!”

What a sweet memory for me as a momma. I’m storing that one away.  You see, right in the midst of middle school, here she was walking in grace. Instead of hearing those voices telling her that 43rd place was not good enough and she wasn’t good enough, all she heard was a number that meant nothing about who she was and was only an indicator of whether or not she met her goal.  She was tuning in to hear what God thought about who she is.

For our upcoming women’s retreat – the theme will be Grace – Breathing In, Breathing Out and Standing in Grace.  Yes, this includes grace for others, but it also includes having grace for ourselves and understanding God’s grace for us and living right there in the middle of it…

Romans 5: 1-2 says:

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our

Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace

in which we now stand. 

And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” (NIV)

Registration for our upcoming retreat kicks off this weekend.  Make plans to join us – Oct 19-21, 2012.  Let’s learn together how to breath in, breathe out and to stand in HIS grace…

 – Kacey

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