Feb 16, 2015 - My Story, speaking, Writing    1 Comment

Seeking Rest for my Soul

I hear voices.

Well, one in particular. It whispers to me that it is unsatisfied with my work, my efforts, my productivity, and my choices. It tells me lies. It tells me that I have to do more and be more. That I have to earn rest and that work is always more important than rest.

Do you hear a similar voice inside your head that tells you to do more and to be more?

I shared my voice with these ladies last weekend at the Hays Hills Baptist Church Women’s Retreat and they understood. They didn’t scoff at my voice. They were acquainted with this voice and its lying words too well already. We don’t know how to rest well, or be still as a society. We might have periods of inactivity, but our minds, hearts, and souls continue to churn.

hays hills womens retreat

 

We fought for rest together. We fought for truth together. We fought for Sabbath together.

I’ve been thinking about Sabbath and rest for years and I was thrilled to share my research and thoughts with an audience. It was a huge boost to my confidence. I wrote these words with my friend and editor, Abby, and we were finally able to share them. Our gifts of writing and communication were recognized and encouraged. It was amazing to me that people were taking notes on my words. That they were asking me questions as if I was the expert. I giggled in glee that someone chose my words to write on her mug!

mug worry future

I would like to extend a huge thank you to Hays Hills Baptist Church for being so welcoming of me and for encouraging me through your questions and thoughts throughout the weekend. Thank you also to Aaron and Lindsay Kahler who were instrumental in getting me invited to speak in the first place. To the retreat planning committee who took care of every detail so that I just had to show up and talk! To Abby who has weekly picked apart this text with me word by word to make it the best it could possibly be! And a huge thank you to everyone who knew I was speaking and was praying for me back home. I felt incredibly encouraged and blessed this past weekend. Thank you for being a part of this adventure.

come to me and i will give you rest

Feb 11, 2015 - My Story, Running    3 Comments

Run Your Buns Off! And Write Your Thumbs Off?

That title will make sense — I promise!

star wars half

I ran the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon last month and had a delightful time. I set a personal record and cheered my good friend through the finish line.

AND as if that wasn’t enough– I got published! I submitted my article to a website called RunningAtDisney.com and was accepted. Running At Disney is a wonderful website (and not just because of the RAD acronym it creates.) It’s a place where normal people, not just Olympic runners can share their experiences and cheer one another on through each magical mile. It is a place where

I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my experience on multiple platforms. Click HERE to read more!

Or copy and paste this URL: http://runningatdisney.com/2015/02/11/run-your-buns-off-at-the-star-wars-half-marathon/

california adventure disney

Feb 4, 2015 - Humor    No Comments

Just for Laughs

I had no idea this was a trend! Sometimes I feel wide-eyed like this in life. Glad to know I have some traveling companions in the tunnel of life. Take heart, there is light at the end of every tunnel.

I hope it makes you smile as well!

Jan 24, 2015 - Devotional, My Story    1 Comment

My Empty Shelf

I have one empty space in my room.

Just one.

empty shelf symbol borders boundaries

I am a natural Tetris player and I swear I can fit more in any given space than the average human. So, needless to say, I have a ton of stuff. It’s all neatly put away, tightly packed, and sometimes vacuum sealed! After cleaning up and putting away the Christmas explosion of decorations, I left one shelf unadorned. It is not because I didn’t have anything that could go there. No, this decision was purposeful. I wanted a daily reminder that my life needs borders and boundaries. I’ve discussed this in a previous post. I learned from Leviticus that margins in gleaning and in life are incredibly important. I have the tendency to fill my time and space to capacity. Truly, I fill it past capacity! If I have something cancel on a Saturday evening, I often have two alternatives which can easily slide into the newly opened space.

My life is full  of both good things and responsibilities. It can seem as though it is filled to capacity with no room for change or chance or imperfection.

I’m giving myself one empty shelf as a symbol.

I long for margins in the midst of expectations and for breathing room to be able to enjoy where I am. My empty shelf will help with that. I won’t fill my life, time, and schedule to capacity. I will leave space for the unexpected and delightful.

What about you? How can your space help define your life?

Jan 18, 2015 - Uncategorized    6 Comments

Race Day!

I’m trying for a personal goal at my half marathon this morning. As this posts, I’m in the starting chute, stretched and ready to go. Often along the course, there will be little motivational posters set up to give the runners a boost. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Blisters are just Braille for awesome.

2. I like to run in the morning, before my brain is fully awake to stop me!

3. Chuck Norris never ran a marathon.

4. You’re running better than the government.

5. Life is short. Running makes it seem longer.

May this be true today! 13.1 miles…Here I go!running morgan freeman narration

Jan 13, 2015 - Writing    No Comments

Seeing the Story

I’m a writer.

I learn this about myself more every day. I compose prose in the car on my way to work and think about more powerful synonyms for common words when I’m running. Words are my friends and continual companions.

But even more important than my thesaurus, are my eyes. I long to notice what others ignore in life. I want to have sharp vision and a soft heart. I want to see the story.

I had this moment while walking to work last week. I work at a large hospital and have to park half a mile away and cross train tracks to the main building. It’s quite exciting every morning, especially depending on the train schedule! The other day as I was still bleary-eyed in the early morning hours noticed this on the train tracks:

sock on train tracks

If you can’t see it well. It is a neon pink and green ankle sock crunched down beside the train tracks.

I saw it, strolled past, giggled, and returned to take this image while thinking, “How in the world did this happen?” I wanted to know the back story. Immediately my mind began concocting possibilities.

Was this the left over of a modern-day Cinderella production where the heroine loses a brightly colored sock instead of a glass slipper?

Is this the evidence of a new semaphore system with colored socks instead of flags?

Was someone running away from a masked man who was in hot pursuit? Perhaps her feet were pumping in rhythms faster than her heart rate. When she heard the distant train whistle. Pushing through the aching and protesting muscles, she gritted her teeth and pushed herself faster than she thought possible. The guard arms began to flash and lower. She yearned for oxygen. Just a bit further. She dove, stretched out, diving in front of the speeding locomotive and simultaneously catching her right foot on the asphalt loosing both sock and shoe in the process, but also giving her self some much-needed separation from the cloaked pursuer. And leaving me a small clue to her whereabouts.

Or perhaps it just fell out of someone’s gym bag as she was headed to work just as I was.

The answer doesn’t matter. The ability to see and create the story does!

What do you think happened? What story could you create with this small prompt?

 

Jan 10, 2015 - Humor, My Story    No Comments

The Ultimate Challenge

2014 was the year of the Disney Selfie.

I have a photo album of over 700 photos of my face awkwardly riding attractions, and greeting characters, and seeing fireworks, and seeing all things Disney! Even Cheeky got into the spirit…

Cheeky Disney Hat

I was challenged by some friends to ride every attraction, see every show, meet every character, and basically hit every high point at all four Walt Disney World parks in 2014. To prove my efforts I had to take selfies for confirmation, get autographs, and log my work on extensive spreadsheets.

disney spread sheets ultimate challenge

I learned a few things competing in this Disney Ultimate Challenge. Firstly, I learned that I had to care a little less what others thought of me. Cast members would laugh or roll their eyes at me as I pulled out multiple stapled packets of paper to log my accomplishments. I got some strange looks as I waited in line to meet Duffy the Bear with a gaggle of four year olds. I did portions of this competition solo and got some plaintive looks as I was asked, “How many in your party.” “Just one!” I’d reply cheerfully as I whipped out my spreadsheets!

I also learned that competitions are fun, but so it going without a plan. And there were a few specific trips to Disney which were solely to get points and not to have fun! Many friends who accompanied me on these trips and were great sports to stand and watch me dance in the “Frontierland Hoedown” instead of leaving me to ride Splash Mountain! Planning an spontaneity are both good. Having a balance is important.

At the end of the year, I have 176 points, (solidly in second place!) and a collection of the most ridiculous pictures ever. Here are a few of my absolute favorites.

disney osbourne lights

disney character incredibles frozone

 

 

Gaston biceps

Kyle splash mountain

When  have you competed in something fun? What did YOU learn?

 

Feeling Seen at Christmas

I got my holiday schedule and noticed the plethora of days on which I had been scheduled to work. Including the entire week of Christmas. Sigh. I was initially grumpy and worried that it would be a hard week. I’d be alone in my house. Alone on Christmas. (Play violin music here).

But several factors made me feel very seen this Christmas. Seen and loved.

  1. Visitors! I had some surprise visitors including my parents, brother, and friend Tracy who adjusted their schedules to spend some time with me this Christmas. Their presence and willingness to adjust their schedules to accommodate mine changed my attitude immensely. Here are Tracy and I in our all our natural beauty.kelly tracy funny face
  2. Food! My sweet friends, Wendy and Mandi, made lunch for my team and delivered it Christmas Eve. It changed my entire day. I was able to notify my fellow therapists that an elf came to deliver treats! We were giddy. Truly. It had been a hard morning, and this magic salad turned our days around. These women were able to provide in practical ways to care for those who care for others. We all felt noticed and loved.IMG_2915 food delivery
  3. 3. Perspective! Many of my friends who heard about my schedule texted, called or messaged me to tell me how important my work was and how special this week could be if I went in with the right perspective. I was able to provide love, cheer, and tiny snuggles to my patients who were stuck in the hospital too. One of my friends, whose son has spent more than his fair share of time in hospitals, thanked me personally for working. It struck me how powerful that moment was because she knows what it is like to parent in the hospital. She understands what it is like to try to sleep next to her little one with monitor alarms and hourly rounding interrupting her. She has experienced staff with bad attitudes which can ruin an interaction and with good attitudes who can be a breath of fresh air. I’m determined to have a good attitude for her, her son, and everyone else in a similar situation.

    Thank you to everyone who cared for me while I cared for others. Thanks for making my Christmas memorable, merry, and purposeful.

What made YOUR Christmas merry this year?

Hospitals Don’t Get Holidays

To celebrate Christmas this year, I am wearing scrubs with a festive vest overtop and snowflake hair flair. This year I’m celebrating a working Christmas. I will be at the hospital performing evals, doing therapy, facilitating discharge processes and providing tiny snuggles. (And helping to make this little rehab patient!)

gingerbread candy cane walker

I must admit, I was pretty grumpy when I got the holiday schedule this year. It took some time for me to realize that this was not a curse, but an opportunity. I could bless my co-workers and allow them to celebrate with their families and I could provide love to my patients and their families in a very tender place as they celebrated Christmas morning in decorated hospital rooms instead of at home.

Truly, it was delightful. I dressed up ridiculously (as mentioned above) in order to provide a little holiday merriment to everyone I encountered. And I had purpose. I determined to provide a little love to those kids and babies whose families could not be with them this morning. I was going to hold, rock, play with, and pray for my patients. And it would be a beautiful day.

I provided hugs to a few family members who were grieving the fact that their little one was hospitalized instead of home for the typical Christmas morning experience. I adjusted bedding and positioning for babies to they could be comfortable, save calories, grow, and go home sooner. I helped another get out of bed after surgery so he could play with his new toys. It was a good day. Hospitals don’t get holidays because illness doesn’t take a holiday. So compassion and care shouldn’t either.

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