“…once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.”
~Proverbs 24:12

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Whoopsi Daisy

Remember when I first posted about my Lent #fearfast and I said that I'm sure there would be be some time that I fall on my face in attempting to face my fear of failure? Yeah... Is happened. A few times.

One of the big steps I've committed to taking to face my debilitating fear of failure is to run a half marathon. (Just a half, because, really, is anyone's body suppose to ever run 26 miles? I think not.) So I signed up to run the Music City Half Marathon in Nashville. I've been struggling with IT Band issues, which gives me quite a lot of pain in my knee. But after some great physical therapy guidance and prayer, I've been able to start building my miles. But not without some pitfalls along the way...

Confession: I'm not very lady-like when I run. No. Not at all. Before I started taking a more natural and organic way to help with allergies, I would have to slow down—you know, from my speed of sound pace *eye-roll*—to blow my nose. The tissue would flap up in my face, down into my mouth. Whoopsi-Daisy. It was just a mess.

While I've seemed to have found a great solution to my terrible allergies, I still have a spitting issue. And by issue, I mean, while I have the need to spit during a run, I'm horrid at it. Literally, half the time, it ends up somewhere on my clothes, or even one time, back on my cheek. Beautiful. Whoopsi-Daisy.

But I keep running.

This week, I'm up in Chicago, showing my kiddos where I grew up. It's been great being up here, and we still have quite a bit planned. How have I not had a Chicago dog or Italian Beef yet?! But each weekend, I have my "long run" days. Yesterday, it was 10 miles. I've never in my life ran that far in one day. I did it. Barely. But I did it.

I hadn't kept up with the physical therapy strengthening I need to do for my IT band. I stretch...most days. I had to skip some short runs during the week. That is quite impossible to not have to do, being a church plant pastor. So i was in quite a bit of pain after the run. well, for the last three miles, really. I think when I first decided to do this #fearfast, I simply thought doing daring things and trusting on God would be the extent of it.

But it's more. It's a lot more.

Any calling from God requires preparation. While I wish it were the case, I can't just sign up for a 13.1 mile race one day and expect to run it well the next. There is training—physical, mental, spiritual—that has to be done. I need to stretch my muscles, strengthen them, and teach them how to run long distance. I need to keep challenging my mind to go that one more mile, to stop walking and get back into my pace. I need to strengthen my faith and stand firm in knowing God wants me to do this, He will be glorified through this. He wants me to grow in this way.

I'd love to just be able to run the half marathon now. To feel the exhilaration of accomplishing such a big feat. But...I suppose...it wouldn't be as exhilarating if it were easy.

So I'll do my best to keep with it. Keep challenging myself, keep increasing my distance. With more "Whoopsi-Daisys" sure to follow, I'll just click for a Power Song and keep going.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ashes to Ashes

Wednesday was filled with firsts for us. It was our church plant's first Ash Wednesday service. I'm pretty sure it was Derek's first Ash Wednesday service...ever. Being raised Catholic, I have attended many Ash Wednesday services. (Memories of my high school friends and I going into the restroom after school Mass and "perfecting" the crosses on our forehead by dusting them off a bit came flooding back to me...) But for my husband, I don't think he had ever even attended such a service.

And that got me thinking...

Let me back track a bit. Derek is a pretty awesome guy. I know I'm biased, but I think the majority of people would agree. There's something...charismatic about him. He's a supportive husband, loyal friend, ridiculously fun "Papa," motivating leader, unique but upstanding pastor, and just all-around amazing guy. Wednesday evening made me realize once again how much he inspires me. How much he unintentionally prompts me to be a better...me.

He had never planned an Ash Wednesday service. He didn't have anyone with more knowledge telling him how best to explain Ash Wednesday to our church. He didn't have someone with more experience advising him how to coordinate such an event. The guy hadn't even BEEN to an Ash Wednesday service!

But he knew God was calling him to have one. And he listened. And he responded. There was never any fear of failure causing him to pause.

I thought about it as I was driving home that night. I thought about the impact the service had on the children of our church. It was interactive, tactile, spiritual, reflective—all things engaging for people 3 to 83.

I thought about the impact it made on people who attend other churches, but were looking for a place to recognize Ash Wednesday in our community. I thought about how it called people to reflect on their sins, their mortality, their needs, their love for God. I thought about it all and was inspired.

If Derek had let fear stop him from organizing such an event, God might not have been glorified in the way He was that night.

And what does that mean for me? How many times have I cheated God of receiving praise because I was too preoccupied with the fact that I might fail...?

This #fearfast is going to be good. It's already so good. And I'm so thankful for a man by my side who spurs me on in facing my fears. If he didn't face his, we would have missed out on a lot this Wednesday.

That picture right there ^^^ Those are Bennett's drawings—responses from the different stations at our Ash Wednesday service. And that guy fourth from the left? Yeah. That's Jesus. On the cross. Just another first for us Hunters that day. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Break out the feather dusters! The blog is back...and in desperate need of a face-lift. I'll get to that later.

So what's the deal? Why write a post? Why now?

I'm fasting. You know, for Lent.

In the past, I've given up—sacrificed—many things during Lent, from pop to red meat. In their place is a refocus on Jesus and what His life, death and resurrection mean. This year I'm doing something a little different. This year, I'm giving up fear. My own fear of failure.

Part of my problem has always been that I'm a perfectionist. I want to do everything 100 percent right on the first attempt. (Wow, that seems crazy after reading that back...) This has been debilitating, actually. Many times, I will stop myself from even starting something new, something challenging, if I don't think I can do it without error. (It's getting crazier...) I keep my eyes on my own strength. My own talents. My own inabilities. And I get stuck. At those times, gone is the voice that reminds me that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Yeah, I'm a mess!)

So, this season, that fear is out the door. I'm turning to God and giving it up. I'm listening to my Lord and moving forward. Facing my fear of failure might have me trying things, tripping and falling on my face. But I'm going to go. If He's calling me, I'm going to go.

Follow me on this journey. I'm sure there are going to be pitfalls. Laugh along with me as they happen. However, I'm sure there are going to be some pretty exciting mountaintops as well. #fearfast


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