Spilled Milk

The idea of gratitude has literally changed my life. I think it may be the single-most important attitude of a believer. In being grateful we assume our rightful posture of child receiving undeservedly from Father, Provider.

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I distinctly remember one holiday break home from college. I was dejected from a recent break up, sleep-deprived, fighting a sinus infection, and grumpy. I went for a long run in my parents’ neighborhood surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Texas hill country. I heard this idea once that when you’re sad, you should start saying aloud the things you’re thankful for. I voiced those things as I ran…and I just couldn’t stop. My two mile run turned into four and I returned home to our cul-de-sac physically tired but spiritually awake. I was overflowing with gratitude.

I’ve been grumpy for the past two weeks. Ask Joey. Finances. Friends. Loneliness. Family. Work. Finn. Sleep. Marriage. Dust. Spilled milk. Jersey. The broken headlight on our van. If you’re looking for something to complain about, you’ll find it. And I have.

Great Grandma Mary reading to my kids.

Great Grandma Mary reading to my kids.

Pastor Craig’s sermons are simple but powerful. Practical but prayerfully prepared. Full of wisdom. Tonight I heard his word from the Lord about gratitude. Tears filled my eyes and I felt like a little girl sitting in time out. I was humbled because I’ve been disobedient. I’ve been discontent despite the richness of blessings in my life. And it’s been everyone else’s fault but my own.

“Gratitude turns whatever we have into enough.” -Pastor Craig Groeschel

Jesus, forgive me for pouting and missing opportunities to praise you. Thank you for all the good things in my life. I acknowledge they’ve come from above. And thank you also for the difficult things. Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective anyway.

Rock Town OKC with Joey one lovely Friday in September.

Rock Town OKC with Joey one lovely Friday in September.

“He fills my life with good things; my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:5 AMEN.

I choose gratitude.

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Daughters

John Mayer serenaded me through college. One of my favorite songs of his is Daughters.

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughters too

As each year passes, I have some new revelation as a personal trainer. Diet soda drinkers are oftentimes the most unhealthy people. Clients lie about what they eat. Foam rolling does a body good. 20 minutes of hard work is better than 60 minutes of mediocre work. Do cardio at the end of the workout to save all your energy for strength training. Focus on behavior changes instead of outcomes.

This year, on separate occasions, I’ve encountered four beautiful women who have needed a little guidance along their fitness journey. These women are determined  and driven to make healthy choices. The biggest obstacle in their path? Their moms. Christian, well-meaning moms. Their mothers belittle the time and money they spend at the gym. They feel pressure from their moms to cheat on their nutrition plan, split a bottle of wine, or order dessert. Misery loves company. Or on the contrary, they scrutinize everything their daughters eat, drink and wear; picking them apart until they feel like the 5 year old version of themselves.

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Mothers have power to speak truth and purpose into our lives, but they can also be the voice of insecurity we struggle to forget. I’m so grateful that my mom has always been my biggest fan. She did not allow her insecurity to seep into my life, poisoning my expectations and self-image.

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Oftentimes my first reaction is to be critical (especially of those I love) because people I love are connected to me, and I’m most critical of myself. I pray instead that I would be a source of encouragement, acceptance and approval for Paisley. I love every little thing about her and she needs to know that…when she’s a toddler and when she’s a mother herself someday.

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If you’re a mom, give your daughter some grace. Cheer her on! She needs you, and you probably need her.