Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Sometimes people come into your life and not only do you become great friends, but they also bring with them unanticipated benefits. Tracy Jeffries is one of those friends I write about and Denise Taylor is another. I'm still not sure that Tracy and Denise have any idea of the magnitude of what the Tennessee weekend did for me as far as my “mental funk” goes, but I will forever be grateful for the gift of their love, friendship and for Denise’s words that Saturday night.

Tracy has an amazing spirit about her. She is so very humble and doesn’t realize the impact she has on others. God has blessed her with the insight to see the needs of others and reach out in compassion and understanding even when they, themselves, cannot reach out and ask for help. She has done this countless times and isn’t even aware of it! She has shown her love to others by simply being who God intended her to be and she does it without any strings attached. She shows Christ’s love through her actions and words. She touches the lives of those around her with such a gentle kindness that her acts will be remembered for years to come. Thanks Tracy for always being there for me even when you didn’t realize it! :-)

Denise is one of the special ladies I met when I went to Tennessee whose daughter Jonnae is battling leukemia. She has become a huge inspiration to me spiritually! What a witness she is for Christ. Denise sent me two gifts, a bracelet which represents F.R.O.G., Fully Rely on God and a book by Og Mandino entitled “The Greatest Miracle in the World.” If you have never read this book, you HAVE to. It was powerful and blew me away. It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know it is Christ speaking to you. Well, that is what happened to me when I finished reading this book. IT WAS THAT POWERFUL. Now I carry this book with me everywhere, just as Denise does, so that I, too, can be a witness to others.

In the midst of her own struggles, she still finds the time to send personal e-mails, gifts and updates the Torch Spirit site so we know every day what is going on in her life as well as Jonnae. Her honesty and vulnerability have blessed me in ways I cannot begin to describe. Through her words, the Lord, is shaping me. I am thankful for the knowledge that, daily, with my words, I can offer prayers for her and her family.

In the last few weeks, after reading about Jonnae and e-mailing Tracy, I have come to realize that even though God doesn’t promise us tomorrow, he does promise us eternity—filled with life and love we cannot comprehend—and that one can in the throes of sickness and adversity point the rest of us toward timeless truths that will help us weather future storms.

So thank you Tracy and Denise again for your generosity of spirit, your grace and the love you share with others.

And to my dear friend Colleen who just finished her last treatment of radiation. It is time to
CELEBRATE. You are the bravest soul I know! Love you!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

"I have often been afraid, but I would not give in to it. I made myself act as though I was not afraid and gradually my fear disappeared." Theodore Roosevelt

My weekend in Tennessee was absolutely fantastic. I have never felt more encouraged, inspired and motivated. The Champions were amazing and the speeches were heartfelt. It is safe to say I no longer suffer from being in a “mental funk.” I am ready to hit the ground running and take my fitness goals to the next level.

I was pretty proud of myself. I was a bit nervous going into the weekend as I have social anxiety issues. Fear will sometimes sideline me. I am not proud to admit that. Sometimes I will sit at a table and not speak to anyone because I am terrified of what others might say about me but for the most part it is because I am just too darn timid to speak up. But over the weekend, I made it a point to introduce myself to others and interact with them…. REALLY talk to them and listen to their stories AND in the process I made new friends and reconnected with old ones. I can’t say that I have overcome all of my social anxieties, but I am taking steps in the right direction.

I know the Tennessee Weekend has inspired me to go forward with one of my fitness goals, but before I go forward I want to make sure it is God’s will. The desire is there but I still have fear. Fear makes us do all kinds of counterproductive things. Fear makes us shy away from trying new things. Fear makes us procrastinate. Fear makes us hold back from giving a hundred percent. Fear makes us too shy to speak up when we should. Fear makes us not ask for what we deserve. Fear keeps us from meeting new people and enjoying a new friendship.

I DO NOT WANT TO BE FEARFUL! I want to trust God and let Him lead me down the paths HE wishes for me to take. Perhaps right now, this is all a lesson for me to learn to trust God. For now I will simply pretend I am not afraid and do the things that scare me anyway. With God’s help, I truly believe my fears WILL gradually fade.

Here are a few of the pictures from the TN weekend (to view them all, go to my Facebook acount). Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Aaaah, Sweet Expectations

I have to confess I am not good about waiting patiently. In fact, I hate to wait. I often carry around inside me an inner three-year old, jumping up and down and whining, “I want it now, I want it now, I want it now . . .” Who enjoys be caught in traffic? Or waiting for someone to come pick them up? Or waiting on results of a test? Not me, that is for sure!

For me, the last few months have dragged on. I have waited for this weekend to get here. Impatiently… tapping my foot…..to meet some of the folks who have helped me through my fitness journey. As many of you know, I started Body for Life back in December of '05 and it has become a huge part of my life. I have met some incredible individuals through this group and have made some lifetime friends.

This weekend I am flying off to Atlanta and then driving up to Knoxville, Tennessee with a group of gals I met through Body for Life. Everyone who attends Champions Weekend in Knoxville is going for a purpose, having made whatever simple or grand arrangements it took to get themselves there. They will attend because they have a real passion about their health and fitness and because they saw this gathering as a unique opportunity for connecting with others who are eager to learn about, plan for, and take action in their own fitness journey. I know the last few weeks I have been in a mental “funk” about fitness and this weekend is just want I need to re-energize, refocus and get myself back in gear with my fitness goals. I know I will walk away from the weekend with new friendships, a new mission and a new plan on how to reach the next steps of my fitness journey. I, for one, truly NEED this weekend.

I know nothing is more powerful than the instantaneous impression people make about you the first time they meet you and I pray I make a lasting positive impression on all the folks I meet. I want to make a difference in their lives and make their weekend an experience they won’t soon forget! I hope all these folks are ready to get the stuffing squeezed out of them when I finally get to meet them. I have a lot of hugs stored up! ;)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Happy Birthday Elizabeth

I don't normally write on our blog because Elizabeth can compose thoughts much better than I can, but I figured that I would today in honor of my lovely wife since today is her birthday.

You know how people when they talk about their kids, refer to their ages in months? I really don't understand this. Is it to make it sound like they are older? My little boy is 24 months old! Or do they do it to make it sound like their kids are younger? My little girl is 12 months old! Or maybe it is because they say it so that you feel obligated to run out to the store and shop for clothing with that little number written on on the tag. I don't have kids so this is something that I just don't get. But I'm going with the clothing theory. So, today is Elizabeth's birthday and I promised her that I would take her shopping. I'll be on the lookout for clothing with 492 months on the tag. Happy Birthday Elizabeth, I love you! :-)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I don't know how the rest of you feel but this year seems to have slipped through my fingers. Where has the time gone? I am not quite sure. I realize as I get older, the months and years go by much to fast. Do you remember when you were younger and living at home with your parents? I remember when I was in grade school, junior high and even when I was in high school thinking I couldn’t grow up fast enough. I WANTED to be an adult. Time then, seemed to creep on by. I wondered if I would ever reach the age of “adulthood.” Now I wonder why I tried to rush through life…..

The question is, what was my hurry? Not that being an adult is so bad, it does have it perks, but why the big rush to adulthood? So I could do what I wanted to do? To venture out on my own to see what life was all about? Now that I am an adult, why am I still in such a hurry?

I still, from time to time, find myself wanting to hurry things along and most times it is too late to lecture myself not to. Just last weekend, I was out running errands and twice someone pulled out in front of me! To make matters worse, they drove slower than a baby learning to walk! I became so annoyed and irritated. How dare they!? Yet, I wasn’t late for a meeting (remember it was over the weekend) and I didn’t have any place special to be. I had no deadline to meet. So why get all passionate and annoyed about it?

Kevin says I don’t know how to completely relax and I couldn’t agree more. How can I change from being the fast-paced woman that I am to a more relaxed one???? Why am I always in such a hurry?

I guess I could blame society, our have to have it now society. I tend to get in that mind set of always being in a hurry, getting impatient, and not wanting to wait for something. Don’t ask Kevin about the times I have to wait for him after work when he gets stuck in a meeting and I have to wait for him at my office to be picked up!!! Holy schnikes….. :-)

Gone are the times of slowing down, enjoying the days, and being content. No more sitting on the deck, chatting with our family and friends or just being. There is always someplace we have to be right now or something more important that we need to do.

I, for one, am tired of being in a rush, being annoyed, and too busy to sit and enjoy the little things. I want to chill out and not contribute anymore to the ever fast pace of life, and the cruelty of time. I want to walk instead of run. I want to live in the moment, linger there and savor every little facet that makes up my life. I want to be content and not always wanting something that I don’t really need.

Perhaps these two drivers were reminders from God, prompting me to slow down and enjoy the beautiful drive. I need to appreciate the changing of the leaves on the trees and feel the warm sun pouring into the windows. I need to be aware of all that surrounds me, take it all in and RELAX ALREADY.