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Truth...Plain and Simple

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Going through a valley right now and thankful that I came across a few things that tossed a log or two onto my Spark-fire.

I have choices, I can choose to sit here talking about what "I need to" do, or I can choose to get up and do it.



I can choose to spend my time sitting and bemoaning difficulties and obstacles or I can choose to rise to the challenge of overcoming them to the best of my ablilities.



I can choose to listen to the lies Satan tells me about myself when I temporarily fail in moments of weakness, or I can claim the power of GOD's truth(Eph.1:19-20) over my life and keep seeking his strength to rise to the me I know I truly am and am intended to be. I guess the only thing TRULY standing in my way is not any difficulty or obstacle, it is simply the answer to the question...do I want this? The answer is YES, I want it...and I want it bad. I have determined that for me, difficulties and obstacles of any kind, even the unforeseen and uncontrollable, are simply...excuses. No matter what the circumstances or context, I ALWAYS have a choice to be better, to do better. Thank you Lord for stepping on my proverbial toes, no matter how much it smarts!!!



No excuses. I, without a doubt, want IT bad enough! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALOVE1967 6/1/2012 9:16AM

    what a fantastic and motivating blog! You ROCK girl! I know you can do this...or as the saying goes, you've GOT this! You have no idea how much you motivate me every time I visit your sparkpage. In fact I have decided that I may keep my ears open for a 5K run/walk sometime in my future. I know that's no half mary, but for me, that's huge!

I'm right here by your side and we can encourage and motivate each other. Let's DO this damn thing already! emoticon emoticon

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ANEWLORI 5/31/2012 9:47PM

    (((Laura))) - LOVE what I read here, except to hear that you've been in the valley....had I known we could have been keeping each other company down in there! :) Girlfriend, I KNOW you want this and you WILL have it!!!! You are getting so close!!! Just keep looking up my sister, He will keep you going!! Love ya lots!!! (((hugs)))

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 5/30/2012 8:22PM

    What an awesome post!! This is so great! I love this attitude and it's something I need to work on. I have such a block over moving my spiritual side to my fitness side and I KNOW it's wrong. I KNOW that God is there for EVERY aspect of my life and that He wants me to be happy and healthy as much as I want it...it's just a matter of putting the thoughts in my brain into my heart. I needed this post...thanks!

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JCROWELL 5/30/2012 2:54PM

    I like the determination I hear in this post!!! I am sorry that you have been having a hard time, and if there is anything I can do to help, I hope that you know that I am here for you! You want this, You need this, and You totally deserve this, so like you said, no excuses!, Let's do this! ♥ & *hugs* ~Jenn

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SHANTODD420 5/30/2012 1:35PM

    Wow laura this blog is so very true thanks for sharing. I hope you are having a great week take care.

Shannon

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PATTOMMC3 5/30/2012 12:40PM

    emoticon So true!

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My 2012 Oklahoma City Memorial Half-Marathon

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

There truly are no words that could ever come close to expressing the soaring levels of emotion and true, pure joy that I experience during this race. This was my third half, and now that it is in the books it is time to not only look forward, but to also process, to fully absorb and appreciate every iota of what I was so blessed to receive this past Sunday. This race in particular will be a part of my life until I am no longer able to run or at least hold a cup at a water stop as a volunteer. What I experienced on and as a result of April 19, 1995 was a catalyst for courage and change in my life....I just would not understand the how or why until many years later. Were it not for the mission behind THIS race, I am certain I would never have had the courage to even consider it. Life is a precious gift that can be cut short in the time it takes for one cowardly, insane individual to light a fuse. To live in any other way than to squeeze every second of every day for all it is worth would be so dishonoring to those 168 wonderful,cherished,loved, and desperately missed people who are no longer here with us. Fear, doubt, and insecurity are no longer accepted in my life...I no longer allow them to keep me from squeezing with all my might.

Someone asked me why...why do you do this, why do you want to run, of all things? I run because....nobody, chiefly and including myself ever thought something like this could be possible for someone who spent the majority of their adult life over 320lbs. I run because my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had other ideas and revealed to me the truth and power in scripture....I CAN DO ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 I run because, maybe, just maybe....someone over 320lbs. who feels as hopeless as I did that life will ever hold anything aside from a butt-shaped indention on the sofa will read this and see that it IS possible and not wait another minute to make changes and begin to DREAM BIG!! But most of all, I run for those who can no longer run into the open arms of their loved ones, for those who haven't gazed upon the face of their loved one aside from a tear stained photo in 17 long years, for those who could not have known that it would be the last time they rocked or read to their little one...and that they would not be here to grow into the adults they dreamed of, I run to remember...and I will never, ever forget. That being said though....this race is a CELEBRATION of life and all that it can and should be....about having the courage to live boldly and accept challenges head on...and to be triumphant in the face of adversity, no matter what. I am so, so deeply blessed to have been but just a face in the very united crowd of 27,000 plus people who came from all over the country to celebrate alongside each other! So bittersweet it is over....so excited for next year....find your passion...get excited about it...give God the glory...it is the best...and only way to live!!!


Somewhere around mile 3 before the rain set in.


Crossing the finish line, soggy but with spirits soaring!


The picture says what words cannot. I was so honored to have crossed the finish line just behind the young man in black with the green bib, he lost his father in the bombing.


Cannot wait to do it all again.

I finished 28 minutes faster than last years time and knocked 14 minutes off of my only official 10k time. My garmin(I actually remembered to stop it this year,lol)had me with 13.22 miles in 3:14:06, my official time was 3:14:49 I think. I had to stop briefly at mile 11 to quickly stretch my calves due to some mild cramping. Other than a couple of "black toenails" that occurred way back during training, I am feeling great and ready to roll...saw a shirt at the expo I loved...it said "life is too short to have perfect toenails" lol! Amen! I was so surprised and encouraged by my time, I'm going to knock another 15 minutes off in the next year and be ready to attempt the full. YEAH!

So thankful to God that He has allowed me to have the abilities I need to experience all these wonderful things....don't sit back and think I'll start Monday...or even tomorrow...NOW,this very minute, is the time to take the first step towards the life you dream of!!! Don't let ANYTHING, not even yourself, stand in the way. "Go CONFIDENTLY in the direction of your dreams, LIVE the life you have imagined." ~Henry David Thoreau

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ITSHOWYOULIVE 5/21/2012 5:41PM

    Totally Awesome!! How cool and awesome times to boot!! You are doing great woman and love the joy on your face at the finish. Wow. Awesome blog...making me want to gear up for another 1/2 :).

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ANEWLORI 5/6/2012 10:29PM

    Ack! How did I miss this??!! (((Laura))), I am SO proud and in awe of you!!!! For one thing, you look absolutely AWESOME!!!!! For another, I know what you've been going through and am completely amazed by you - your courage and determination are truly inspiring. And your time - YOU GO GIRL!!!! WOO HOOOOO!!!!! I wish I could have been there! Big Hugs to you my friend...looking forward to hearing about your next race!! ;) Keep up the great work!!!

Comment edited on: 5/6/2012 10:30:31 PM

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NUTRIGIRL08 5/4/2012 5:18PM

    Way to go girlfriend!!!! Absolutely amazing!!! My next one is Andy Payne over Memorial Weekend!!!

Hey I haven't forgotten about creating a group. Might work on it over the summer. In the fall I will be teaching another Made to Crave as well as her Action Plan (which I'm in the middle of right now at church). Plus I'm going to get my personal training certification!!! Anyway, let me know what race you are doing next!!!

By the way, you look fantastic!!!! emoticon

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ABILUCHA 5/3/2012 9:48AM

    Great job! I was so happy to read your comment and your blog. It's truly a blessing to get to run that race! See you next year! :)

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NEKEL16 5/3/2012 5:21AM

    brilliant pictures. well done you did an awesome job xxx

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JENNYDJENNY 5/3/2012 1:39AM

    emoticon

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 5/1/2012 9:39PM

    Congratulations! You did an awesome job, and for marvelous reasons! *HUGS*

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SKINNYINMYHEAD 5/1/2012 7:04PM

    I've been on the sidelines cheering walkers and runners on since 2001... I've yet to miss one.. and I was there this year just before Mile 11 marker... on the left with my two dogs.. I'm sure I was screaming for you... then I moved over to mile 23.

CONGRATULATIONS! ... on your fabulous finish... and a great blog.
Annie

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SHANTODD420 5/1/2012 6:30PM

    Wahoo Laura way to go and what an accomplishment. You look great keep up the hardwork and dedication. Take care and have a wonderful day.

Shannon

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RUBYTUESDAY84 5/1/2012 5:20PM

    emoticon

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TNTSMOMIE 5/1/2012 5:17PM

    Laura, you are smokin! I knew you were losing weight and training hard for this marathon, but let me tell you -- you are a gorgeous, fit woman!! I love seeing pictures of you! :o)

Congrats on all your hard work here and what a blessing to see it all come to fruition. I am absolutely, so incredibly proud of you. You're AMAZING!! :o)

My 5k is in a month...I'll think of your hard work and dedication during those 3 short miles...and allow it to spill over as I continue my own journey.

Blessings to you!

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DEEJACKSON 5/1/2012 5:11PM

    Last year I ran the marathon, since the weather was so horrific then, I ran the half this year. I love this race!

I will always remember where I was and what I was doing at 9:02 am on 04/29/1995. I am from Oklahoma City, and was living there at the time. Thanks to this race, I can add something positive to that memory each year.

Good Job, Great time, Wonderful blog!!

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Choices

Saturday, February 25, 2012

You never know when "it" is going to happen. Your eyes are wide open, every sense keenly aware...your brain making a choice, setting in motion a response that your heart was not invested in. You are present, in every facet of the word...as hand goes to mouth, repeatedly...excessively...defeatingly. I devoured every morsel of illegal contraband that I chose to allow across the border of my resolve last night. I chose.

I let an emotionally tumultuous week goad me into weakness. But defeat in the moment is something I am simply no longer willing to surrender to. It is not God's best for me.

You never know when "it" is going to happen. Your eyes are wide open, every sense keenly aware...your brain making a choice, setting in motion a response that your heart was not invested in. You are present, in every facet of the word...as the heart dictates a tempo...and the lungs fill in compliance to the call...the legs and feet moving in fluid accord...willingly...resplendently...victo
riously. Today I devoured every moment of one of "those" runs, the kind where I can literally feel an athlete emerge...breaking free in emancipation from a body that no longer "can't" or just "won't". I chose.

Some choices...we could stand to miss out on for having made them. Some choices...WE would miss out for NOT having made them.

"We are only one good choice away from being back on the path of perseverance." ~Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUTRIGIRL08 3/1/2012 11:43AM

    Amen, amen sista! I absolutely love her book! I'm leading a class right now at my church. God is amazing! And so are you through Him we know everything is possible!!!!

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ANEWLORI 2/29/2012 7:59PM

    Awesome blog my sweet friend! SOOOO proud of you for going out running!! Way to NOT let the food situation drag you down into the pit. Blasted pit....oh how it tempts us sometimes, but 1 day, weekend or even week does not make or break the journey and you have proven that!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!! (((hugs)))

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NEKEL16 2/27/2012 3:14PM

    This really spoke to me my friend! a brilliant blog. we have come to far to let food dictate to us!

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TNTSMOMIE 2/25/2012 7:04PM

    You amaze me, sister!
I have to say that I, myself, was tempted by those pictures you posted...they were some yummy looking goodies!
What I like to do when i get into a baking mood is take most of what I've made and "box" them up. I take them into work and leave them on the table saying, "These are NOT going home with me." Did it with cookies a few weeks back. I think out of the whole batch, I ate 2 cookies, the kids had 2-3 over the course of a few days, and the rest were eaten by my co-workers or their children.
Do you have someone you can share with? A friend, neighbor, hubby's co-workers....whoever you see on the street who needs a cookie? emoticon

Proud of the run you did, too!
emoticon sauce right there!! (yes, awesome sauce is my new word with Tyler...he thinks it's funny)
You amaze me all the time and I'm so thankful to have you in my life. I look up to you, I look to you...and I'm just so grateful! Keep on shining, my friend!!
emoticon

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SKINNYINMYHEAD 2/25/2012 9:46AM

    Great blog!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 2/25/2012 6:53AM

    This is a great blog! You are SO right. "It" can strike at any moment, we just need to seize the opportunity or ward off the demon.

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If You Love Cheesecake....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Like I do...have I got a deal for you : ) I am always trying to find something good and quick to make a smoothie out of....something to keep it interesting and nutritious. I hit a combo that I love and thought I'd share....it makes a great meal, treat, or a perfect post workout recovery option. I make this in my magic bullet, but if you have a good blender, it should work great.

1/2 C. Frozen strawberries(unsweetened and thawed slightly in micro.)
1/2 - 1 Full scoop of vanilla protein powder(depending on whether this is a treat or meal/recovery snack)
3 T. Coconut milk (if it is solid in can, liquify in micro. so it will blend in better)
1/4 - 1/2 C. Fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese(again depending on calorie range/nutrients needed for either treat or meal)
Fill to cover with almond milk
1 Truvia packet
A few ice cubes...then blend.

This is so good and tastes so similar to cheesecake...I love greek yogurt and use it too...but the taste is tangier and not nearly like the cheesecake taste I love from the above. A vegan option is tofu in place of the cottage cheese....which is good...but not near the same. For an even silkier texture with a little extra oomph...1/4 of avocado thrown in is nice too. It is thicker with half a banana...but the banana always overpowers the flavor that I like. I have also done this with cocoa powder in place of the strawberries as well as blueberries....each equally delicious and decadent. It's not a calorie breaker...full of good nutrients/protein and satisfies that craving for something that taste good on the lips but looks bad on the hips : ) Give it try! Leaving you with something I saw today that spoke to me....I intend to look at it often....

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALOVE1967 2/20/2012 10:26AM

    I love cheesecake, but not sure I can have protein powder on this gluten-free adventure the doc has put me on, and wouldn't even know where to find coconut milk...? Sounds tasty though, although not sure about adding avocado to this, sounds like an oddball ingredient with that mix of other stuff.

Good picture and message!

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TNTSMOMIE 2/15/2012 5:08PM

    So, you're gonna have to talk to me about protein powder. I have another friend who mentioned something the other day about it -- but she is working out 2x a day with P90X and in mad shape.
How do you use it and what does it do??

Also, the recipe sounds yummy!
I have smoothie stuff in the freezer that I need to remember to use....I'm partial to berry/citrus smoothies. We have a Jamba Juice out here but they can be SO high in cals!!

(also, love the picture!)
Happy Wednesday!

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-AIMIE- 2/15/2012 9:39AM

    You had me at cheesecake ;)
Thanks for sharing! And I love the motivational photo at the end!!!

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ANEWLORI 2/15/2012 9:24AM

    YUM - I'll have to try it! And LOVE the sign....I'll have to print it and blow it up to hang at my desk and home!! SOOOO tired of starting over. Thanks for sharing my friend!!! (((hugs)))

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On Marathons and Mustard Seeds....

Thursday, February 09, 2012

I.Am.Struggling. It actually feels good to say, to own it, to acknowledge that things aren't where I thought or wanted them to be in this moment. Training for a marathon is a monumental undertaking for even the healthiest elite athletes. I knew it would be quadruple that for someone like me...heavy, semi-old and decrepit, and so desperately...S-L-O-W.

I have learned through the training for my two previous half-marathons, that diligence and commitment to training would be imperative for me to take on a full marathon. I knew that it would be time consuming and physically taxing, but I was not fully prepared for the sacrifices those around me would be forced to make as well, namely my children and husband, then secondarily, the state of disarray my home is in and size of my Everest-esque laundry pile, oy.

I had tried to factor in weeks that training would not go as planned, but missing two solid weeks to sickness has completely zapped the energy, distorted the focus, and erased the confidence that I had built up. The old enemies, fears and doubts about myself and my abilities have crept in through the tiniest crack in my resolve. They sneak in so small and quiet, almost undetectable...they lie in wait for just the right moment...and then before I even realize what has hit me, they are working tirelessly to hold me captive and debilitate me. Seeking to undo all God has so patiently been moving me towards for so long now. I have spent so many years afraid of what people think of me, afraid I am not good enough, doubting my worth and abilities...hiding from the very life I wanted to be living. Fear and doubt want to reclaim me...I cannot let that happen...how can two rough weeks be such a portal to this process?!

Just when I began to feel the immobilization setting in, God was so faithful to provide me(as He always does) with a message...a personal word for me, from Him...on Facebook. Yes, that's right...God is on Facebook ya'll. This is what He said in the form of an inspirational quote, unknown author, through a friends FB page: "It is better to have tried and failed then to have never tried at all and wondered what if. Thank God for successes and failures!"

I had already begun the process of reasoning myself out of attempting to reach this goal I had set for myself, been working towards...for years really. God's timing has been much different than the timing I have wished for in my own thinking. I have been frustrated and angry about that very thing several times in the past, but God was so good to keep me from being foolish and hurting myself when I was really not ready, mentally or physically, to take this on. In 2010 I was so stubborn and disobedient to the guidance God had given me in regards to the full-mary, that it took a severe case of plantar fasciitis to get my attention. God didn't make that happen, but He did allow it to happen....in order to keep me from completely crippling my fool self and likely experiencing a level of defeat that would have completely undone me altogether. I was beginning to feel the same way about this race. That possibly God was gently telling me...not now. But after reading that and after several other little messages He has gotten to me in the past few days, I am fairly certain in what I have felt since I started training this time....THIS is it. I try to seek God's will for my life before striking out on these crazy tangents anymore, I fail to do it as much as I succeed at it, but I prayed long and hard before I got my mind and heart set on 2012, and it truly seems in line with God's will.

I have to try. I want to try. I do not want fear of failure to be what I allow to keep me from trying. I do not want to let a fear of not finishing, keep me from being there to move at the herald of the starting gun. I have faith that this is where I am meant to be headed. I have faith and believe in the power of Phillipians 4:13 " I CAN do all things, through Christ who strengthens me." I am equipped to battle both fear and doubt like I have never been prepared to before. The truths that I learned in my Made to Crave bible study recently are still at play in my life right now. I am made for more...more than giving up on the life I want because I let the lies told by fear and doubt convince me to do so. Through Him, I am strong enough to pick up where I left off and keep moving to the finish line. I will have to work harder and longer than most, but I CAN do this. I need to hone my mental edge to it's original sharpness and that will only come with getting back out there. I am ready. I just have to relax and trust the process and be flexible with whatever it may bring. I must rely on my faith. Mountain...you better get ready to move.

"I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. NOTHING will be impossible for you." ~ Matthew 17:20


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ON2VICTORY 2/10/2012 10:50AM

    Ill send you some links to some of the stuff that I documented along the way to my first marathon. i wrote it with the idea of compiling the lessons learned to help someone else.

The time commitment is really huge and it only gets more involved as the mileage increases. It is going to take a team effort from all in order to see this through. it is like a second job but well worth it.

If everyone is expecting mom to do it all, this is going to be a problem. they are going to have to learn early that in order for mom to do this, everyone will have to pitch in. no if's and's or but's. Its not just the long runs but the recovery from them the day after... such as your first 18-20 miler.... you will need a day off and some TLC....

keep at it. its worth the effort.


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NEKEL16 2/10/2012 6:14AM

    wonderful blog I love the part about god being on facebook, You have a great positive out look on life & It will not allow you to fail. 100% believe in you emoticon

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ANEWLORI 2/9/2012 9:38PM

    A M A Z I N G blog my friend!!!! YOU have a way with the written word - oh my, you do. Powerful. You CAN do this....maybe you just needed a little break before the final stretch and thus the yucky enters in to force it! I hate it when that happens, but I keep hanging on to the thought that everything happens for a reason. If you feel that God is telling you that NOW is the time, then hold onto that sister and don't let it go!!! How much longer until the race? Just let go of the worry right now....I know it's hard, but you need to. Allow your body to rest, fill it with good things, take care of and love it - it will come back to carry you through, no worries. Your faith my friend is very powerful, our God is all powerful!!! MOVE OVER MOUNTAIN, HERE COMES LAURA!!!! : )

Comment edited on: 2/10/2012 4:35:44 PM

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SKINNYINMYHEAD 2/9/2012 8:56PM

    You can do this sister... you CAN... keep working.. keep listening... and OWN IT!... so happy for you..

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