Shake it off!

Lean on Me as You face the circumstances of this WEEK, because I will never leave You or forsake You. ” 💜 And thank God this is the start of a NEW one!  Last week was a rough one … It started out pretty minor on Sunday having to cancel my lost debit card, (so NOT a big deal …) until Monday when I lost the only mailbox key (still minimal irritation because well lets face it – that can’t touch the kind of tough days that I have had). Sprinkle in some other progressively more difficult situations that broke my heart a little & I started to see a pattern:  In proper Mandy form I thought to myself:  “hmm, that’s all you got??” because I’m gonna be all the way real and tell you that I’ve been convinced for a long time that its often spiritual in nature: NOT engaging.  Nope, NOT today Satan.

So Wednesday rolls around and after a slammed day full of appointments and such I manage to gather up most of the fam to head to church.  We are running a lil’ late, but not to awful bad so I decided to jump on the freeway to hopefully avoid getting stuck at all the lights and get there a little faster.  Almost there .. coming around the sharp curve from 270S to 70E I can suddenly hear someone’s tires screeching – closer, closer, closer – this is WAY too familiar, panic rising in my chest because I remember this; just last time it came from in front of me instead – and you guessed it; the world moves in sloooooooooow motion and BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!  The kid behind me was discovering how fast his Mustang could take that curb & lost control and clips my passenger side rear.   YUP, me and my already traumatized family lose control also and slam into the concrete barrier .. (again).  I won’t even go into the things that happened in my head in those seconds.  TRIGGER much?  Not to mention the stuff I KNOW is happening in my baby girl’s head.  Are you kidding me right now?  

My first initial thought when I started writing was maybe I should write a book about all of the times in the last 5 years that  have been just absurdly, hard and the obscene amount of times that I have actually thought “this is my life and it is THE VERY DEFINITION of stupid!”  Utterly ridiculous & painful in every single way.  All of the times that I have wanted to succumb to a dark hole, to complain, scream, cry, put my hands on someone even …… for thinking they are having an “awful day because they spilled coffee on their shirt & had a low tire while running late for work. ”   But, as I always say comparison IS the thief of Joy! That, my friends is some real deal truth! 😂

But JESUS. Every time I feel like I just might not survive it – the Holy Spirit  rises up in me like fire & starts to burn away the frustrated, angry, flesh that is Me without Him & I remember:  JESUS. The Way to Peace, the ONLY way. ☮️  I remember the Word that is burned into my heart and mind – the promises that He has given me (& YOU!)  Somehow my car came to a stop instead of careening over the edge into oncoming traffic – although the kid who hit us was actually facing the OPPOSITE direction on the freeway, on a sharp curve we were ALL ok!  Instead of being trapped inside the car this time while my babies screamed for me terrified I was actually able to get out of the car and comfort and hold them.  Somehow, someway – miracles unseen by the physical eye He raises what I thought had to be all the way bad (ash).  He works it for my good and there I stand, (its just necessary to put some emphasis on that word) wondering what in the world happened that such an awful situation turned somehow beautiful?

Props to Pastor Steven Furtick & Pastor Tim Oldfield for always going where the Spirit leads – I started my week on Monday with Elevation’s latest sermon It had to happen” (having NO idea how insanely bad I would need every word) & ended it with a powerful Word from my home church at Potter’s House COG – Columbus.  (I will add the link when it’s available).  My car is totaled, we have some minor aches and pains but guess what?!?!  I’m just gonna Shake, Shake, Shake.  

Featured post

Wounded Vision…

Have you ever had a chance encounter with someone you thought you knew something about (and didn’t particularly like) & when you got to know them for yourself you found that you really didn’t know anything at all?! Maybe you assumed you knew their motives were wrong looking at a situation from the outside, or maybe you heard something about them and you assumed it was truth but then when you learned more about them you found out that what you had heard was completely UNtrue & totally taken out of context…..

For me (the me who loves people & works with people … Even more, the me who knows that we were ALL created in the image of God & wants to see others through God’s eyes) the above is a terrible tragedy. And even though I personally still struggle with it, It has turned into my absolute biggest pet peeve. I want to see others through the lens of The One who created us. I want to trust HIM so much that trusting imperfect people isn’t a thing that rules my world.

So here is what I know without a doubt to be true: EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. HAS. SOME. ISSUES.  No matter how different  those issues are than other peoples (more or less severe), they are still issues none the less.  None of us (not one) get to walk this thing called life out without a lil’ bit of hurt and hard stuff.  That hard stuff has a way of changing the way we see (view life, situations and even more PEOPLE)…..wouldn’t you agree?

Unfortunately, because of those wounded places INSIDE OF US 🤕 there are areas where our seeing has been blurred (because of our own hurt). Our wrong vision can cause others tremendous harm if we aren’t careful. Bitterness & anger can root in & when roots spread they tend to touch every part of our lives (including the people in our lives). Here’s a simple fact to process: Wrong Seeing is WRONG SEEING. (period.)

#Thoughtsfortoday 🤔 #Putyourglasseson

More tomorrow. (Or possibly Thursday)

Part of Obedience

I’m back!  I have not written for quite awhile, it’s not that I haven’t wanted to – It’s more that I’ve been stuck (and a lil’ crazy).  I feel like when He speaks to me – it’s clear, even if I’m not getting everything that He’s telling me all at once, I know that it’s Him.  So when I’m talking to someone face to face (or even on the phone) I can very much be Me and be very open and real.  I am a HUGE believer in transparency with people, but more:  Transparency with GOD.  He knows it anyway – why would I bother pretending?  I’ve been very frustrated because I don’t feel like that always comes through in my writing.  Sometimes I look at what I’ve written and I think – that makes it sound simple or easy.  I am here to tell you that almost NO part of my journey has been either of those words.  Nor do I believe that it’s simple or easy for you.  So I have allowed my frustration to stop me.  That has to change.  I need to be walking out the title of this blog, so here I am. 🤗

Obedience is the word that the Lord keeps whispering in my Spirit these last several days.  Obedience is the answer to the why questions that have been asked about several situations in the last several days.  Obedience was one of the key words in the sermon I listened to this morning as I lay in bed with pneumonia missing church.  Then when I got in my bible, working through the book of Exodus there was the whisper again.  Why did the Israelite’s wander for so long?  Hmmmm….  Ok Lord, where would You like to take me with this?

💜 Before I start there is something crazy-important that You are going to need to ask the Lord to root deep in your Spirit ~ it is this:  He LOVES You.  Beyond anything you can ever imagine, He LOVES You.  He will not EVER love You more than He does in this very moment.  He is the Creator of the Universe and He does not change (He is NOT a man).  My prayer is that You understand that going into a discussion on obedience.

So, I’m laying here looking at a stack of phones … a stack of phones that were taken from my kids because they crossed boundaries that my husband & I set for them.   When they lose their phones, almost every single time (even though they know the boundary that has been set for them) they almost always blame me.  Isn’t that interesting?  Even though they know exactly what they need to do to stay out of trouble; when they don’t do it they  then somehow decide to believe that “I am mean” & it is MY fault when the consequence of their action (or NON-action) happens. 🤷🏼‍♀️

What is also interesting to me is that somehow they do not understand that the phone that they are losing privileges to is something that we do not have to pay for every month and more:  we not only provide the service, we have provided/bought the actual item.  Is it really theirs?  🤔 I happen to know that it is a privilege and not a right.

Now, sometimes – in the busyness of life, expectations weren’t made clear or one of the kids was somehow not aware of a rule.   Of course they are not held to that consequence when that happens; so then we teach the rule/boundary and move forward from there.  But, from the point that they have been told (at that point they know) they are then responsible for the follow through.

  • God calls us His children for a reason.

Are you confused or frustrated about the places in life where you feel as though the promises of God don’t seem to be true for you?  Do you feel as though you keep going around the same mountain?  Wandering in the desert?  Have you asked Him to show you?  Or is there a chance that there is willful disobedience in your life?  No condemnation here, I have been there.  Seek answers, He will give them to you. He didn’t give you guidelines Beloved to hold you back ~ He gave them to you so that you could bear much fruit.

FAITH It til’ You Make It.

(Re-post from Facebook ~ November 2, 2016)

I was coming home from work at 6:30 this morning, after working 3rd shift, it was dark, quiet on the roads, peaceful … I had SO much on my mind, troubles of life, the hard stuff that really brings anxiety & sadness if you let it ~ to be really honest I was really starting to feel sorry for myself. If you know anything about my story I’m sure you can understand that on the most basic level. For me, those are the times I worship. Honestly the reality of it is that sometimes I just big, fat don’t want to – but I do it anyways because through every one of our trials and tribulations, the grief and the depth of loss that my family and I have endured I’ve learned that my worship shuts down the noise.

One of my favorite songs right now is Lauren Daigles “First.” As I went into battle with my praise .. the words of the song started to come ALIVE I could feel them in my Spirit slaying the lies… “Before I bring my need I will bring my heart, before I lift my cares I will lift my arms ~ I wanna know You, I wanna find You, In EVERY season, in EVERY moment. Before I bring my need I will bring my heart and seek You FIRST. More than ANYTHING I want, I want You.”

I started to remember papers that I wrote for school before we lost Elijah, conversations that I had with God before the accident … the way He pursued me, the way He showed Himself to me. That He would provide, that He would meet every single unmet need IF I would put down my own will and just allow Him to do so. IF I put Him FIRST … as I grew and let His Word and Truth fill my being and I climbed the mountain of lies that the world (the enemy) had built up around me He brought me to the knowing that NO MATTER WHAT His truth prevails. The Holy Spirit started to ask the question “Amanda, will you Trust Me?”.

During that time there was a song that the kids and I used to listen to often and it spoke to me much like this one … when It came on the meaning came alive and I knew it was for a purpose that it touched me the way it did. It was a song by Kutless called “I’m Still Yours.” I started to wonder If I lost it all … would my hands stay lifted? As God began to  heal all the lies I believed and started speaking TRUTH into my Spirit … as I grew in Him and Him in me I came to a knowing that I would, my hands would stay lifted. Then the accident happened … and I got to KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would. Hard stuff?  Definitely.

Back to today’s song and my revelation: the next line of the song hit me with enormous impact: “and in the midst of pain let me feel Your Joy.” With that verse He took me to some of the hardest things I have ever been through in my life, moments when you would think a smile and laughter may never happen again. Moments when ALL seems lost and the grief threatens to consume everything there is …. But you know what God did for me? He GAVE ME JOY. I remember the laughter, pure joy that came at the most absurd times … laughter at my baby boy’s funeral when the butterflies refused to fly and they stayed on us. When I left the hospital and had my very first REAL anxiety attack because I had been stuck in a room/bed for so long and I tried to run from it (in my wheelchair) because I thought I was having a heart attack! You didn’t know that you could run (without legs that work btw) from a heart attack??

I have laughed and had Joy in my life when there is just NO possible way that I could fake it. I have always hated that saying (Fake it til’ you make it) But the reality is; It doesn’t have to be faked because it’s not coming from this imperfect human, It comes from the One who created Joy to begin with. So I’ve adopted a new saying:  FAITH It til’ You Make it!!  Because I’ve been given the ability to do it and NOT in my own strength ~ That, is one of the many, many reasons that I will always put Him First.

It is probably true, some people just have a born in, God-given ability to fight, to re-frame any situation and look at the light instead of the darkness, but the fact remains that ability STILL comes from God and He is NO respecter of persons. Love you all!


Comfort Creatures ….

As I was studying this morning I read through my devotions & I came across Psalm 30:2.  I felt such a strong leading to create the verse image featured above – to remember the Psalm.  In You Version (my Bible App) you can choose an image to attach a Scripture to & there are a ton of them.  I love it and I use the verse images often to bookmark scriptures to help me with memorizing – or just because the verse speaks to me in some way in that moment.  In all of my humanness I want the image to match the verse that I’m saving.  Today, the scripture just didn’t need anything at all in my head – it was more than enough.  “Lord my God, I called to You for help and You healed me”  (Psalm 30:2, NIV).  So I’m sitting there adjusting the image (you can change the font, size etc.) and I got SO irritated that I could not get the words of the Scripture to fit inside the box. I probably worked on it for 15 minutes and it just would not work.  How irritating, right?!?!  Grrrr, I want it symmetrical, centered and INSIDE the box!!  You get it, right?  I just wanted it to LOOK a certain way!

Oh my.  All of a sudden I hear laughter in my Spirit.  And I couldn’t help but laugh …. a LOT …. and I could just feel Him laughing with me.    I love moments of laughter with Him.. Man do we ever think that we want a life that fits inside the box!  A precise order of what it will look like.  Symmetrical, centered and inside the box.  We are comfort creatures … we want consistency, We want things to be the same so that we can remain comfy.  We want to know what comes next and what time that next will happen.  When it doesn’t happen in our comfy, little, symmetrical, centered box; we get all growley and irritated.

In our moments of trying to figure it all out we have these moments where we think we really want a God who stays inside our human lines ~ A God that we can understand inside the walls of our extremely limited minds?  Crazy thing; my life has not ever fit inside that comfy box, so where in the world would that leave me????  I’m sure that there is a place in your life (at least one) where you can relate to what I’m saying.

Today; In the featured image above and in my life I’m embracing laughing with Jesus and living outside of that box, outside of those lines that we think we control.  Join me?  “Lord my God, I called to You for help and You healed me”  (Psalm 30:2, NIV)


(I’m still not on Facebook until  November 1st but my blog posts there.)

In the Process…

The journey:  We all walk this thing out called life and pray that the journey takes us to our most desired destination; we have this big idea of what it should look like and when it gets messy we get angry & we get crazy frustrated because we feel like we aren’t getting there fast enough – sometimes we even quit because we get sick and tired of waiting.

We want answers!  We want it NOW!  We want the marriage, the promotion, the house, the car, the perfect kids, the ministry & the healing.  We want deliverance, complete deliverance without the process.  NOW God, NOW!!  But then what happens when we GET those things before we are ready for them?

Now let me be clear:  I believe God IS ABLE.  I believe that He can give us whatever He wants to give us and take away whatever ails us whenever He wants to take it away.  He can deliver us.  But He knows us; better than we know ourselves –  He knows what we NEED, to get to our purpose here and the eternity that awaits us .. and it is far more important than what we want right in the moment – I think that often, if we are paying attention and staying connected to Him we hear when something isn’t for us at that time … we know in our innermost being, but we (as fallen, imperfect, fleshly human beings) are prone to temper tantrums.

I have had SO many people ask me since my amputation “Gosh Amanda, don’t you just wish you would have done this to begin with??”  The answer to that question is always a resounding NO.  No, No, No.  I was nowhere near ready to give up my leg.  The amount of loss in our lives at that time was so tangible that it felt as if I could touch it.  A pile of charred ashes in front of us – ashes that were supposed to be our life.  In that time I don’t think I could have withstood one more loss.  God knew way before me that His little girl needed the fight that was ahead to survive all of that loss.

 I will never forget my first day of physical therapy in a PT office OUTSIDE of home or a hospital.  I knew I had a long road ahead and I barely made it through the appointment.  At the end of it, as I lay on the table getting ice – I wondered how in the world I would ever walk again; just then Elijah’s favorite song from Rock Band came on The Eye of the Tiger.  I barely held it together – these lines of the song stood out in my mind:

It’s the eye of the tiger
It’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival 

Not sure I was ready to talk about the thrill of the fight; but one thing is sure – I know how to fight – I knew I had to rise up to the challenge of my rival.  He wanted to take me out – and a declared defeated foe (Colossians 2:15) was not getting ANY Glory from our story!  From that point forward I put my all into it – I set goals and worked hard.  I was determined that I would WALK on the beach come June of 2014 if it killed me.  I struggled, I had days where I was completely overwhelmed by how much of my life the accident had consumed … I got frustrated and angry at times, but that goal kept me going.  I HAD to get there and I DID!  I learned to walk again.  I WALKED ON THE BEACH.  I did it!

Then one day I was having a really tough day with pain – we had to go to the store and I was in my wheelchair .. a woman was in line in front of us and she was an amputee.  The moment stands out in my mind – I can even remember what she was wearing because I had been praying for answers – I was in so much pain .. I had been pleading with God Lord, how will I ever do the things that you have put in my heart to do if I am still struggling in this way.  If I’m on pain medicine in a fog, dragging my leg behind me?  She walked beautifully.  She didn’t appear to be in pain at all.  She was wearing SHORTS & SHOES!  It struck me at that moment – this was not to be my future; able to walk sometimes or confined to a wheelchair in agony.  Still not ready I pushed that feeling aside; after all – I still had my leg right?

Roughly 3 months later the pain had gotten far more intense; I went to see my surgeon and he confirmed my worst fear:  the rod in my leg had broken.  It was snapped in half and literally floating in my leg.  “Amanda, we are going to need to reconstruct.  We can schedule you for surgery this Wednesday (it was Monday).”  Well, the hell you can!  Nope.  Not today Satan.  I was NOT going through that again and certainly not this week!   I needed to PRAY, I had to do research, I needed to know my options.  My option were 2 (and I already knew them):  1.  Reconstruct AGAIN, again, again, again, again or 2.  Amputate.  Go back to my last paragraph.  When I saw the woman at the store I knew.  I already knew what I needed to do.  Can I tell you that I walked around every single day putting my life back together on a broken leg for about 6 months?  I did.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to tell someone to take your LEG off?  I prayed and processed and cried and I knew the answer the entire time.  God was with me.  He never left me.  He told me, He showed me.  He didn’t push me.  I NEEDED THE PROCESS.  I am known.  You are known.  Sometimes other people’s processes are easier than ours.  We don’t get to know why.  It’s really none of our business.  Worrying about it is just a distraction.

My leg was amputated August 24, 2015.  I recovered, I healed.  The FIRST time I put a prosthetic on,  I WALKED.  When I say I walked I mean to tell you; I walked like I didn’t have a prosthetic.  When I re-started physical therapy they couldn’t believe that I was walking so well – but I started anyway and I walked even better.  I was off all medication by the beginning of December of 2015.  I signed up to walk a 5k exactly one year from the day I had surgery & I completed it!  Don’t get me wrong – of course being an amputee is not easy… but most days as the day moves on, I honestly forget.  Other people do to.  It’s been a process.  But a process that He knew I needed, even more He allowed ME to know I needed it.


Trust Him.  Embrace your process, remember that Our God is Faithful, He is good.  He wouldn’t allow us to see something painful and leave us there, His plans for us are Good. (Jeremiah 29:11) Know that on the other side of it you will be better.  You will be stronger.  Persevere Beloved.  It will be worth it. (James 1:12)  Today, I’m STILL in the process …. and I’m ok with that.


When to keep your mouth Shut.

Ouch.  This was a necessary share for Meee today & with that, I will let the Word of God speak.

DON’T Open Your Mouth:

  1.  In the heat of anger.  (Proverbs 14:17)
  2. When you don’t have all the facts. (Proverbs 18:13)
  3. When you haven’t verified the story. (Deuteronomy 17:6)
  4. If your words will offend a weaker brother. (1 Corinthians 8:11)
  5. If your words will be a poor reflection of the Lord or your friends & family. (1 Peter 2:21-23
  6. When you are tempted to joke about sin.  (Proverbs 14:19)
  7. When you would be ashamed of your words later. (Proverbs 8:8)
  8. When you are tempted to make light of Holy things. (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
  9. If your words would convey a wrong impression.  (Proverbs 17:27)
  10. If the issue is none of your business.  (Proverbs 14:10)
  11. When you are tempted to tell an outright lie.  (Proverbs 4:24)
  12. If your words will damage someone’s reputation.  (Proverbs 16:27)
  13. When you feel that YOU need to be right.  (Titus 3:9-11)
  14. When you are feeling critical.  (James 3:9)
  15. If you can’t speak without yelling.  (Proverbs 15:1)
  16. WHEN IT IS TIME TO LISTEN.  (Proverbs 13:1)
  17. If you may have to eat your words later.  (Proverbs 18:21)
  18. If you have already said it more than one time (then it becomes nagging).    (Proverbs 19:13)
  19. When you are tempted to flatter a wicked person.  (Proverbs 24:24)
  20. When you are supposed to be working instead.  (Proverbs 14:23)

“The tongue has the power of life & death and those who love it will eat its fruit.”   (Proverbs 18:21)

“He who guards his mouth & his tongue guards himself from troubles.”                     (Proverbs 21:23 AMP)

Elijah’s Love

My Elijah:  What would you look like now? (Beautiful I’m sure, you would have yelled at me for saying “beautiful” because “boys aren’t BEAUTIFUL Momma, they are Handsome!”  But yes, YES you were.  Simply beautiful.)  What would you be like now? (Would you still be so proud of your family – would you still think that your Momma and your sister were the most beautiful girls in the world?  Would you still think our house smells better than any other house? ☀️🌹Would you love Jesus and still proudly call yourself a Jesus Freak?  ✝️ I can’t imagine you any other way … you were born so aware of Him.)  How would you feel about your big brother being in college and on his own now? (Annoyed, because you would want him home with us. 😂). What would you think of your little sister being in 6th grade?  (NO boys!! 🤣) How would you feel about the current dynamic of our family today?  (I think you would LOVE it! You always wanted to keep people with us.)

I am so grateful that my son was known.  I am no expert and God knows we are FAR from perfect parents – none of us are BUT … I thank God every day of my life that we listened when God prompted us to:

1.  LEAVE my full time job (even if it meant struggling from time to time),

2.  Hug and love on that baby all the time,

3.  TELL him a million times a day (if I felt he needed it) how special and loved he was/is,

4.  Buy him jammies to his sweet hearts content (because they were his favorite thing & that mattered to us),

5. STOP life, shut down & have movie days with every blanket in the house on the living room floor, roasting smores in the fireplace & letting laundry, cleaning & all mundane tasks go for a day to wrap those babies in love and complete adoration,

6. Admit to him when I was wrong AND APOLOGIZE,

7. Know his friends & invite them into our home & lives,

8. Help him when he didn’t know how to resolve conflict …

9. Knowing (really knowing) the character of the sweet child that God entrusted to us…

10.  GETTING INVOLVED (prayerfully because they need independence too).

There have been times when I have been told I was/am TOO involved.  Maybe sometimes I was/am, maybe not.  Regardless, my son knew that He and his brother and sister were adored and loved beyond measure.  OUR job was to parent him as an individual, Not in a One size fits all kind of way. With Elijah It didn’t always look the way it does for other kids, he didn’t want to stay so busy that he didn’t know if he was coming or going & Lord am I grateful for that today!

One of the things that Losing Elijah taught me is that NO MATTER WHAT, I will stay engaged in my kids lives, if that means that we do it the exact opposite of the way that most of the world does it – that’s ok with me.  I don’t need to keep up.  There will not be a day on this earth that I regret being ‘all in’ with Elijah & I sincerely doubt that I ever will with the rest of them.

Time seems to be in short supply for us adults, sometimes we forget that in childhood time is different – it doesn’t move as fast.  You will not EVER regret the QUALITY time you spend with your babies, Not ever.  Take the time to let them talk before bedtime, One-on-One .. maybe take it from 5 sports to 2, field & court time is just not the same. Know them, have meaningful conversations daily – this is SO important! Show them that you are human and fallible & it’s ok to make mistakes and fall short – it’s part of life & growth. We can’t be perfect here & that’s why God gave us a Savior & He is Mighty to Save!

Don’t blink – tomorrow may never come, it isn’t promised.  It didn’t for us … Let that sink in …

Today and Tomorrow we grieve and celebrate all at the same time –  my baby has been gone for 4 years & I can still hardly believe that we have survived it .. but even more; that in some strange, unexplainable way – we are stronger, better – I know that makes him smile. 4 years

later: Some days it feels like yesterday, like I’m still going to wake up from this horrible, horrible nightmare that he is not present in – it’s just too much & I want to scream and throw things & I have to be so intentional about my response to life … EVERY day I melt into Jesus because trying to live a fruitful, productive, persevering life in the aftermath would be IMPOSSIBLE for us. But Because of Him We will always carry around Elijah’s Great Love.


#4years #Writingitoutkeepsmeok #Jesuskeepsmebetterthanok

#ElijahsGreatLove #HesHome #JustPartedForAwhile #Overcomer #YouCannotUnderstand #Donttryto #ThankYourFatherForThat #AdoreYourBabies #WrapThemInLove #TeachThemJesus

#DontDrinkandDrive 💔

Finishing Strong…

The picture above popped up in my Facebook news feed & it took my breath away! The emotion that came just seeing the picture.  Is it crazy to anyone else how fast certain memories can blast through your mind and nearly knock the wind out of you?  In my head in less than 5 minutes I went from the emotion that the Victory of FINISHING a 5K brought; to the very day that brought me to sign up for it………..  and at least 1000 things in between.  I sincerely did not realize until 15 minutes ago just how symbolic that race was.

I have always enjoyed working out but not so much running. When I was younger I would faithfully work out at least 5 days a week but I just never had any desire what so ever to sign up for a 5k. I didn’t want to do it until I was laying in a hospital bed with a completely mangled leg wondering if I would ever walk again. Then one day (I must have been dreaming); I sat straight up in my hospital bed and yelled “I’m going to run a 5k!!” External Fixator (aka “Bob”; it was so big I named it) & all. My people are awesome & they believed me. 😂

3 years, 17 or 18 surgeries, countless Physical Therapy appointments & 1 amputation later – I completed ✅ a 5k! Now I say completed because I didn’t RUN it, I did however work my way to it with exercise & PT – (not intentionally, I didn’t know I was even going to actually do it) during parts of it I almost thought I wouldn’t survive (let’s face it .. my body has been through a lot). It wasn’t the most serious marathon – but it was mine & I finished … and I finished strong.

It’s interesting how we gauge our performance & success on what other people are doing & how they are doing it – Our marriage, our kids, our parenting, our career, our financials – our ministry & even our very walk with God.  I say these words in my house at least once a day:  STOP. Comparison is the thief of JOY!  I say them to you (& myself) right now.  We are individuals for a reason; all called to different areas and things for one purpose; what we have to do to arrive at what we were created for can be very different for each one of us.   Of course we are given a guideline to follow – but the reality is some of us take longer to understand that guideline and have to learn each lesson the most difficult way possible, others of us just get it (so to speak).

I just want JESUS. More than I want anything else … I want do everything that I do as unto Him; I want run this race out & finish well – I want to hear “Well done good & faithful servant”.  Ultimately, let that be your goal in this life.

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