Saturday, September 26, 2009


Today I went to the movies. I don't often go, but it's something that I've loved since I was single and working retail--taking in a movie by myself. I went to see Fame, as I remember vividly watching the show at my grandma's house when I was little.

As a bit of back story, a few weeks ago I went to the prophetic time at a church called DayStar. I got some amazing prophecy, but the thing that really stuck with me was the man relating that my spiritual gift is seeing "the beauty realm of God". I confess that I really enjoyed hearing that word, and it settled deep into my spirit, but I didn't really know what it meant.

Last Friday, I went to DayStar again with my friend Kathryn. She was talking about the ways that the enemy bastardizes the gifts God places within us, exploits them and seeks to use them to destroy our lives. In the last couple of days, that's become more clear to me. Before I was a Christian, I listened to gangster rap. Loud, angry, anti-authority music. The first thing I remember God changing in me in the weeks that I was walking toward Jesus was Him telling me that I couldn't listen to that any longer. Friends of mine listened to people like Nichole Nordeman and Casting Crowns, so I started listening to them, too. I didn't really know why, and my husband was perplexed, but I just knew that's what I was supposed to do.

Back to the beauty realm of God. So in the last few days, I've been realizing that I find God most through music and dance. I like quiet time, I enjoy being in the Word and journaling and praying and all, but I meet Him face to face through worship. The beauty realm. Music. Dancing.

Part of the word I was given said that what I bring is enough. This is a big thing for me, since I'm not (in my estimation) particularly talented at any given thing. I'm an ok musician, an ok writer, a poor singer, an ok dancer, a poor artist. Doesn't really seem like Da Vinci or anything, you know?

However, I think that that's not the most important thing, the outcome of my efforts. The import is in the meeting God in the effort. Wow. Isn't that amazing?! The fact that one could DO something because one LOVES it, not to strive or perfect or claw at something. I've never done that, not in anything. I've never really RESTED.

Lately God's been whispering Zephaniah 3:17 over me, mostly the line, "He will quiet you with His love". Quiet. Simplicity.

So what does any of that have to do with the movie "Fame"?! Well, in the movie, Charles S. Dutton's character is talking to Malik, an angry kid with a crappy past. He's trying to get to his HEART, to chisel away at the hardness and protection. He says, "The parts of yourself that you're ashamed of, the parts you want to keep a secret, they are who you are. That is your POWER".

Indeed. May I use it to the glory of God.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Row, Row, Row Your Boat...

...gently down the STREET! My friend Wendy posted that to her Facebook account yesterday, and it was totally accurate! In the Atl metro area, we've gotten 12-20" of rain in the last several days. There are four ways to get to our house, and three of them are washed out or flooded. The fourth way took us 3.5 hours yesterday. Listen to the harrowing tale...

Yesterday morning, the kids really wanted to get out and go to the gym. Against my intuition and better judgment, I said yes. We get to the gym without incident, and I did my first routine on the lifting plan that I designed for myself (more on that later). We were done about 11:45 and headed home. Since they closed the Bally close to my house, the one we travel to is about 25 minutes from home, which isn't terrible in a city this big. We spent about 45 minutes getting close, and saw that cars were floating in our intersection. Turned around and tried to take highway 92. Got turned away, as the road was literally washed away from flood waters. Tried a third way around, and the water was too muddy to see through, so we didn't chance it. Three kids in the car, there was no way I was going to risk getting stranded in the driving rain.

After I pulled over, called the Music Man, and cried for a bit from the stress, we decided to just go back the way we came, since there wasn't really any flooding in that part of town. We made it safely to a nice mall where the kids got to play on the soft indoor playground. Of course I didn't have a stroller with me, augh.

MM came to meet us there after school, and we all had a spot of lunch. Around 3:30, we decided to try the only way home that MIGHT still be available to us. At 6:10, it looked like we might be close, only to find that 2 miles from our house, there was major flooding on the road that intersects ours. Plan, um, let's see, we've already exhausted plans A-M or so, so let's say Plan N. I pulled up to the intersection and asked the officer if the last thing I could think of was still available. He said yes. Cautiously optimistic, we set out. As it turns out, we were able to make it those last 5 miles in under an hour, and I was home a bit after 7.

All told, we spent almost 6 hours in the car. My children had no naps, mall food for lunch, and got to play on their playground for an hour and a half. They thought it was a great day! Mom and dad on the other hand almost had a couple of breakdowns. Yet here it is 8:20 am and everyone is still asleep! Needless to say, since school is canceled today and we have nowhere we MUST go, we plan to stay HOME!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

P90X--Day 31

Yesterday was back and biceps, and it was intense. Good things: I do assisted pull-ups with the machine at the gym. You set it at a weight that's challenging for you, but it's in the negative (because it assists you, so if you set it at 100 lbs and you weight 140, you're lifting 40 lbs). The first week, I set it at 80 lbs, so I was lifting 60ish. Two weeks ago, I set it at 70. This week, I set it at 60. It's easier when I'm doing close grip or chin ups, but REALLY challenging when I'm doing wide grip (because you can't use any biceps in that position). Today my biceps are screaming, but my back feels fine. Bad things: even with weight gloves, I've ripped the crap out of my hands. Blisters, bleeding, etc. And my tendons are KILLING me. Good thing: Guy at the gym was so impressed that I do lawnmowers with 35 lb. weights. :)

Also yesterday I went to 1/2 of my Pilates mat class (long story, got there late because of some serious traffic) and then stayed for Zumba to get some cardio in. I might've overdone it a bit, but I ate quite a bit yesterday, probably about 1800 kcal.

Weight has stabilized. I haven't lost any more, but I haven't gained it back, either. I was concerned about my metabolism slowing b/c I've been eating so little, so yesterday I really worked hard at getting the calories in. I'm still not back to normal, but I can fight for my health, the progress I've made, and what God really wants for me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

P90X--Day 29

OK, so here's a quick update to bring you up to speed. Last week, week 4, was recovery week on Phase 1. Last week, everything hit the fan. We had three deaths in the family in 48 hours. Everything with my Russia trip exploded. I could not eat. I would get to the end of the day and realize, "Hmm, I've had 400 calories and it's 9 pm." Not good. I could not sleep. I did not exercise even one time. Now, y'all know me. Does not eating, not sleeping, and not exercising sound like me? Those are three of my VERY FAVORITE things!! I lost 6 lbs. In a week.

Thankfully, though I still have no appetite, I'm past the nauseated thing. I'm forcing myself to eat at least 1000 calories per day, and I'm back to the gym. I did a quick run/walk on Sunday morning. Yesterday I got back to P90X.

So chest/shoulders/triceps. Sigh. I had high hopes for this workout, but I don't feel like it's all that safe. The Y-presses create such strain on the shoulder girdle. I was doing it and one of the guys in the weight room, Duke (who is my grandfather's age) came over and told me to never do that again because it WILL cause injury no matter how perfectly you do it). The pourers caused something to pop in there. Bottom line, I feel like I have better options than some of those exercises because I have access to a gym. Chest presses, shoulder dips, and upright rows are safer and more effective, IMO. I'll probably keep the exercises I think are safe and sub out the ones that are painful. Still excited about back and biceps tomorrow!

Oh, and I am SORE! YAY!!

Tonight is Pilates Reformer. I'm switching some things around to make the schedule work for me, mostly subbing out Thursday yoga for Tuesday Pilates and doing cardio on Thursday instead. Will keep M-W-F weights as is. Man, I love being in that weight room. The guys look out for you and want to help you get where you want to be. The trainers look at you every. single. time. they walk through (not in a gross way, in a "wow, there's a girl in here" way). Duke even mentioned yesterday that he's seeing me make some progress. Yay!

I'll take pics soon, but I don't think it's fair since I dropped the weight due to stress. I don't see much progress, but I'm trying to remember that most people on the message boards say they don't see much physically until weeks 6-8. Also, I'm seeing DEFINITE strength gains, most especially in upper body. I'm hopeful that at the end of this 13 weeks, I'll be able to do pullups completely unassisted. Working hard!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Ok, so I still don't know if I'm going to Russia or staying home (or if the whole trip is going to happen). We have a meeting tomorrow and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about it. However, God is teaching me some things in the waiting. He's teaching me Who I can always rely on. He's showing me some areas of my emotions that are not healed. This situation has completely exploded, and my stuff, Ransomed Grace's stuff, and the other woman's stuff (we'll call her Freedom) are all touching each other. Actually, I shouldn't say touching. That sounds gentle. Our stuff is all rubbing and scraping and bruising and crashing into each other. It hurts, and it's icky, and I think we all feel pretty defiled at this point.

I'll be interested to see what comes out of the meeting, since it's one of those things that could be a real turning point for the team. I'm hoping that it's redemptive and that I'll be able to express my heart about everything that's going on. I want RG (and the rest of us, but mostly her) to feel at peace with whatever decision is made.

Last night I went to the prophetic time at a local church I enjoy. I got some prophecy that said something I'd never heard about myself before this week. Wednesday night I was told that I have the ability to change the energy in a room, both for good and for bad. Last night, that was confirmed by a stranger, so I'm trying to see what it means to really walk that out. In the meantime, I need to really check myself and my attitude!

This morning in my quiet time, I feel like God brought me to my life verse, which is Micah 6:8,
"He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."

He told me that in this situation I have NOT acted justly. I have NOT loved mercy. I have NOT walked humbly with Him. It brought me to my knees, this not fulfilling the verse that God gave me to live my life by.

I'll update after tomorrow, praying there will be calm resolution, resolution that leaves all seven of us with peace and certainty that this is God's will!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Are You A Disney Mom?

Have you been to WDW at least once in the last 12 months? Do you know more about Disney than anyone you know? Why not apply to be on the 2010 Disney Mom's Panel? You've got 10 days or until they have 20,000 apps in, whichever comes first. Go now!

Out of 20,000, they'll choose around a dozen(you know, the whole "many will enter, few will win" thing). Could that be YOU?!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm Pretty Sure This Isn't What Paul Meant

about "working out your salvation with fear and trembling".

For the last several days, things with my trip to Russia have intensified. As in, I may be asked not to go. It's far too much to get into right now, but I'm recognizing what this is doing to me. My hands tremble thinking about it. My appetite is nil. I'm sleeping 4-5 hours a night at most, and waking in the middle of the night to boot. I know that this is spiritual warfare, but I'm in a situation where people on every side, people who I thought loved and cared for me, are acting like I'm a pariah. And you know, maybe I am and I just can't see it.

I wanted to go to Russia because I felt like God was calling me to it. I still feel that way, even with all of this insanity. I can say that a year ago, I would've just run away. Just recognizing that feels like a big step for me, feels like I'm putting on my "big girl panties" and standing firm.

I dunno, y'all. Right now I'm just waiting for the team leader to decide, I guess. She's so upset about the whole situation that she says now SHE doesn't even know if she's supposed to lead the team. Yeah, it's that serious. So if you're the praying kind, please pray for wisdom for Ransomed Grace (who is leading the team), for clarity for she and I. For a spirit of reconciliation to permeate and be palpable.

I'll keep you updated.

Monday, September 7, 2009

To Russia, With Love

OK everyone, I believe I'm actually going. I've been praying for about three months, and feel pretty certain, based on some changes to the team that my relative certainly means I'm supposed to go. I'm going to need prayer and $2000 by November 15, so God's got a B-I-G task to accomplish! Here's my letter, if you're interested in prayer and/or financial support.

Dear Friends,

Imagine a place where atheism was the formal statement of faith of the government for most of the 20th century, where the population is dying faster than they're giving birth. Imagine a country where life expectancy for men has decreased by six years, and where alcohol is said to play a role in the deaths of nearly a third of the population. Imagine living in a place where your faith is determined largely by your ethnicity instead of the state of your heart, and where less than 1% of the population is comprised of evangelical Christians. Imagine going to a city that was right in the heart of the Russian Gulag and trying to bring light into darkness.

I've only once missed Thanksgiving with my family, and this year I will forgo my single annual pilgrimage home to go where I believe the Lord is sending me. To Russia. In the middle of winter. November 20-December 1, I will be traveling to Perm with a team from the Atlanta Vineyard Church. The purposes of the trip are:
1. To encourage the believers in a dark, lost part of the world and pour out spiritual refreshment from the Lord.
2. To allow God to work in our own lives as we watch Him transform hearts and lives through testimony and rhema word.
3. To pray "on sight with insight", setting foot on Russian soil and letting the Holy Spirit inform us of how to pray for this nation.
4. To develop and foster relationships with local believers, to make the world smaller geographically but explode it relationally.

I am excited about going on this my first mission trip. I consider it no coincidence that I started learning Russian in April and decided to apply for a passport in June, and then was asked to pray about this trip later that same month. I am writing to ask for both prayer and financial partnership.

While I'm comfortable asking for prayer support, asking for financial support is a bit more difficult. As you can imagine, a trip like this requires support from a number of people. I need to raise $2,000 by November 15, with $1200 due by October 1. If you'd like to be a part of this mission financially, checks may be made payable to the Atlanta Vineyard Church and mailed or given to me. A receipt for tax purposes will follow. I covet your prayers as well, knowing that this trip will not accomplish its God-intended end without covering. If you'd like to commit to praying for me as I prepare for the trip, please let me know. I so value your friendship and support.

Passionately Pursuing the Kingdom,


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Birthday CCM!!

Y'all, my son is three. THREE!!

Monster, you are a true joy. You make me smile with all of your cuteness, with your amazing vocabulary, your sweet kindnesses to your sisters. You potty trained yourself in about 3 weeks (!!) because you wanted to and knew you were ready. Son, you are the most fantastic little person. I cannot wait to see who you become in this next year. We love you, we cherish you, we can't wait to get to know you more.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

P90X Update

Just wanted to let you all know that I'm still "X"ing it every day. I haven't been posting because the first three weeks are exactly the same, so it didn't make much sense to me to bore you with my diet and details. Monday starts week 4, and I'll probably post how the "recovery week" workouts make me feel, as well as the changes in week 5. As I've mentioned before, I think I'm going to do P90X Doubles, just with my own favorite classes instead of just plain Cardio X each day. I'm thinking I'll probably just dance three days, as I burn more kcal in my dance classes at the gym than I do on plyo or Kenpo.