New Music…Andy Mineo

Well new music makes me happy. I commented on a local trainers facebook yesterday. She asked her readers for new rap for her playlist as hers was becoming “tired.”

I leapt to action and started telling her about Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tedashi, Andy Mineo and to basically just check out Reach Records. I LOVE rap, but I can’t stomach they lyrics of this love that grew out of a wicked and depraved youth. Ghetto Boys, Ice Cube, NWA pre and post Ice, Public Enemy, KRS1, Too Short, all dat. Needless to say, this Jesus lovin’ thirty-something mamma does herself good to steer clear of all dat deese days, besides it’s not good for my littles ears.

So the next best thing was to find some new music. Reach Records serves up a heapin’ helpin’ of fat beats and invigorating lyrics to cure what ails ya. Here’s a sample of something new…

Win The Game

We have struggles. That’s a pretty open idea for a blog post. I feel like discussing this with myself and I will share my inner dialogue with you…

We all have struggles. Some people have life altering problems, some have day-to-day struggles that are more like a pebble in their shoe, the formers problems are probably more like not having shoes. The older I get the more I get this idea that life is about pain. What a bitter-heart inducing realism, life equals pain. While I hold this thought true I also know that life is about love, to live is to love, to love is to hurt, to hurt is to love, etcetera, etcetera. Problem solved, when we accept this, all things fade and as we grab  hold of Gods giant hand we are raised like a Chinese monster villain walking through NYC. We are elevated, still feeling the heat, the problems, but looking at them from another view.

It’s the moments that make the difference. Those moments of crushing pain, the moments of blistering from the constant rubbing of the pebble in your shoe, the moments where choices are made. We’ve all seen the slogans, the status’, the pins, encouraging us to deal with these moments in grace and maturity, but actually acting in a way that is so counter to what our flesh wants to do is nothing short of excruciating sometimes.

She found true love, after fifty, now he’s dying of cancer.

She married her true love, had a few kids, and finds he’s cheated on her after several years of  “marital bliss.”

She has nowhere to call her own, a new baby and no plans for the future.

No one really knows her struggles with food, she eats several bags of Easter candy and finds herself hugging the toilet…again. She just can’t stop herself.

Everyday his wife makes him feel like child, she doesn’t respect him, just breaks him down.

He loves Jesus, but finds himself sexually attracted to men and the shame he feels inside is killing him, he has no one to talk to.

Pain.

Yesterday I was reading about this Ware dude, a basketball player, yes? I don’t follow sports, but his story was pretty incredible. Compound fracture, lying on the court, so many people watching him. All he does is lay there and yell, “WIN THE GAME.”

I read this article and I was encouraged. I felt like that is us, when we are immobilized by life, by the pain, by the hurt, the circumstances, we are lying on the court of life, the games is going to go on and we’re wounded. If we’re quit and still, if we stop and close our eyes, if we wait in the moment I think we can hear Him calling, deep within our spirit chanting…win the game, win the game. First in a soft hushed tone, almost a whisper, and then as we listen intenser still, louder it grows…WIN THE GAME.

Not to say life is a game…but there is definitely a strategy to it. These problems will get the best of us if we let them, this pain will wound us deep enough to kill us if we don’t listen to that voice and wait in the moment. I don’t know what that means for my examples, for me, that means I thank God for my problems, because if I let God use them, He will make me whole and strong. For me, this means I won’t always get an answer, but if I get up and hobble back into the game and keep fighting, there’s no limit to what God can do.

Blog from the Bike

I just finished my workout given to me by fireman trainer Gus. My partner had a date with a biscuit so I had to go it alone. It’s ok though, it’s done, and I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, mostly because my legs and butt and arms hurt so bad already. I sweat and I worked hard and I listened to “For Today” the Christian metal core band from Iowa during the whole thing and even as I post this.

Regarding Christian metal core; it’s awesome! I’ve never been a huge fan of metal, save the stent in high school when I hung around a bunch of metal heads, rap has always been my preferred workout genre. It’s definitely growing on me and I need some new bands to download. The fact that its Christian and metal core is…different? I can’t have negative, non life giving music in my head, but I need the excitement of the music. For Today combines the beauty of Gods encouraging spirit with fierce drum, guitar and melodies, and serious fuels my workouts.

That’s all…for today. Cheesy pun intended.

The > Good

Everything is connected. As I sit alone at this sushi bar, having a glass of wine barely past noon, I understand that. This moment, as all moments, are connected. I love the sound of the crowd, the woman who just laughed way too loud, her friends still relishing it, the constant chatter around me, and me, alone. There is a mother and son at the bar adjacent to me and I wonder if he’s graduated or why he’s here in the afternoon, I’m even a little concerned that they’re sizing me up, alone, a woman drinking just as the morning breaks. I love it.

I am anxious. A friend and I decided to split the cost of a personal trainer, he is a fireman, he looked serious, so we picked him. Out of all the beefcake dudes we picked him, on the advice of the manager who said he’d recommend him to his mother or sister out of them all. Hmph. The first thing I did was argue with him about nutrition, pre workout mind you. He worked me over in a matter of 20 minutes, he put my friend and I against each other in wall sits, planks, and squats. For example, “If she falls you both do three more sets!” She looks at me and says with determination in her eyes, “I won’t fall.” I knew right then she wouldn’t. My turn, wall sits, he found my weakness, told me if I didn’t hold them we would have to more, I screamed at him, and quit because I couldn’t take it.

I am anxious.

I have 45 minutes until my acting class and my wine is still full and my sushi hasn’t arrived yet. I’ve been looking forward to this all day, my moments alone and my writing. I have to thank a friend for this. Writing is something I love so much but often neglect when life gets hectic. Out of the blue she texted me yesterday paying me one of the best compliments received in a really long time. She said she’d read my entire blog, and it made her cry. I’m not sure why, I guess I have some emotional posts from time to time, but she went on to compliment my writing. I really needed that. I know that I am not a journalist, WordPress’s recommended edits assure me of that, but writing fills me up, and her encouragement fueled my fire.

My anxiety is waning, not sure of its the writing or the wine.

This morning in spin class, enjoyed in the company of three friends, I heard the teacher say something. This teacher, by the way, has lost over 120 lbs and kept it off for several years. He said always think about the greater good, this was during a particularly grueling segment of spin. He used the example of being healthier, looking better by the pool, etc. I felt like I could apply that in every situation, in every moment. As a Christian, each moment is one that we are faced with decisions. Many tests are failed and some are passed with flying colors, but every day presents new choices new challenges, new moments. Today I will think about the greater good, not just my good but the good of those around me, and I will decided accordingly.

Real world example: there is a man sitting next to me, he’s foreign, no one knows me here, I’m far from home. He has a pack of Marlboro lights next to him and I’m pretty sure he’d love to share. I am drinking wine which makes it especially hard to refuse tobacco, but it’s not good for me. It’s good for me to abstain. It’s not a good example for my kids, greater good.

Have a wonderful day…and may I recommend the Pino Grigio and the summer roll at the sushi house in Leawood, perfectly apropos for a snow covered day in early March.

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Unicorns in the Snow

I’ve been complaining all winter that is hasn’t felt like winter. I remember when I was young Missouri always got so much snow. I used to sled in my Granny and Granddads front yard, these days, it doesn’t snow like it used to. 

We’re supposed to get dumped on tomorrow. So much so, that nary a flake has fallen from the sky and school is cancelled. The bread aisle at the local grocery is empty, really, and it’s very, very cold outside. I can’t wait. 

Tomorrow will be a sleeping in, baking cookies, doing laundry, making forts sort of day.

I went to acting class after a two month hiatus today. It was, for lack of a better word, magical. I’m dramatic ok? I didn’t say anything about unicorns. 

I can’t help but feel like all my life I was supposed to do this. I don’t care to be famous or anything like that, but I want to move people with art that I create using my person, my body, my whole self. I want to be vulnerable and feel, I want to convey beautiful stories to others through the medium of acting. I don’t even think I said that right. 

I can remember being asked as a child what I wanted to be, I always answered, “a star.” Somehow I knew that what I saw those people do on television was what I wanted to do. I kept that dream until my youthful rebellion and a bitch of a drama teacher brought me to the conclusion that some dreams must die. 

But it didn’t, and it hasn’t, and it won’t. This, at thirty-nine years old is not my last attempt at stardom, it is me doing something I have longed for. I don’t know what will come of it, but for now, I will listen to my coach and try to be vulnerable and live in the precious moments that have been afforded me. 

And God…thanks for the snow.

seasons

Sitting here at my desk I feel the weight of the wet winters day. The wind is up, and the naked trees look fragile as they bend in it. I hear the screeches and yearnings of a train in the distance, and finally it’s whistling down some old railroad.

Today I am contemplating life. My daughter, my baby, is eloping. She’s twenty years old today, and she will be a married women by nightfall. Today I look back at my life, the life of my mother and grandmother and listen to my ancestors before them, they tell me to rest. Nothing is happening that hasn’t happened before, nothing can come that will separate the bonds we share. Process and proverbs, we all rise and fall to the beats God put in our hearts thousands of years ago.

My wish for her today is simple, that she learn to rest in this life. It seems today I am finding it so much simpler than I once had. There are big problems and small problems, but in reality, they are all but little moments in which we can practice surrender.

I am surrendering today. Like the naked tree in the winters wind I will lean into it, not looking graceful at times, not caring, my roots are firm. I know that spring is coming, and winter again. There is nothing new under the sun.

I am resting in the blissful idea that life will happen just as it should, and I will learn from it just as I should. In the spring and summer, fall and winter, there will bountiful blessings and sorrows alike, and I will soak in every second of this amazing gift called LIFE.

Happy happy happy

New year that is, my husbands new favorite obsession is Duck Dynasty and everytime I think of the word happy I think about that show, and my husbands chirping around the house, “Happy, happy, happy…”

I read a Christmas card from a friend recently who told me I should keep this blog going, and he’s right, I should, I’ve missed it.

So about doing life, I am, or rather, it’s doing me. Life has a way of taking you by surprise and just when you think you are in control of things, BOOM, you realize your actually in the trunk of life’s Ford Fiesta, well hatchback, and your hanging on and wishing Life would put down the can of Schlitz and pull over at the next bus stop so you can get out.

That made no sense at all, but yet, it did. I’ve had an interesting year, arguably one of the most interesting I’ve had in awhile. On February 28th last year, I decided to tackle weight loss. That summer I ran my first 5k and then did my first triathlon. Later I found out that I was going to be a grandma, and then a big job change, Thanksgiving, a hospitalization, Christmas and all the yummy goodness that it brings. January 1 I had some decisions to make, up 20 lbs from my lowest weight, 30 to go to get back to that dreadful place I once was.

Bottom line? I am learning to love myself more each day, learning that I need grace just as much as the underdog I am always defending, hrm, is that irony? I’ve never really understood irony.
I feel best when my stomach is empty but my heart is full. Don’t misinterpret that.

Today was easier than yesterday.
It’s not about a number, ever.
Feeling good is a place I choose to go.
By body responds to less carbohydrates.
I can’t wait for spring when I reunite with my bike.
Exercise is my prescription for feeling good, not weight loss, but they work together.
I am the same girl at any weight. I am still loving, and passionate, and worthwhile.

Just some randomness to begin 2013, have a blessed day.