Thursday, November 8, 2018

Good Stuff

If a public figure could be a mentor to me, I have 2. Dr. Leaf is one of them! This article is so very good and I just had to share!

Our differences do not need to divide us. Regardless of what other people believe, do, or say, we can respond in love. Indeed, we can’t control people, but we can control how we react to people

Read article here:

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

New Season

If you would have asked me back in June what I was going to be doing on Tuesday Aug 14th with BOTH kids in school, my response was a resounding, “Find a field of flowers then run & twirl in it!” And I meant it! 

These past 6 years have come with so much joy but man, also so much work!! Every mom knows the first 5 years of a kids life take endurance and definitely are not for the faint of heart. They take patience and strength and hopefully each of us endure them with great fortitude. 
But as I sit here with many afternoons before me absent of kids....honestly, running in a field is the last thing I want to do. 

I absolutely love watching my kids grow and am SO excited for this new season for them (and me).....tomorrow I will stand back up but for today...I am going to sit and let the tears fall; embracing this little twinge of pain in my heart as I grieve (yet rejoice) this mountaintop view I face with this closing chapter. Here is to a new season.....💕

Friday, June 8, 2018

Lessons from SOTR

Well its been a few weeks, but….I DID IT!!! I completed my first century, a very very intense century I might add! It was 8,655 feet of elevation, and I felt every foot of it! Without being dramatic, it was the hardest thing I have ever done, truly! We have talked to a lot of people who have completed this specific century (100 miles of cycling) and the look I get over and over with the words following are, “Wow you completed that?! No small feat at all. 

I think for me, the physical side of this ride wasn’t the biggest accomplishment for me; it was the mental accomplishment of this ride that I am the proudest of. This ride required me to dig into a place in my mind that I have never tapped into before. I had to get to the point where—even if I was alone doing this ride, this was something I wanted to accomplish—and I did it! I pushed past the spaces in my mind that lie to me and say “I can’t,” and I said back to them “YES you CAN!” and I did. 

For me I fully believe outside of the love and support from my family and friends I would not have been able to complete this ride. There were so many spiritual aspects and parallels that happened on this ride for me as well. 

The first being, we were never meant to journey life alone. We weren’t. God has created us to be communal beings and I think one of the biggest traps of the enemy is tricking us into believing that we can run this course of life alone, or that it is better to run life alone. Its not. Running alone keeps us isolated and weak. 
I saw this on this ride. Within 10miles of the ride my husband and I picked up a lone straggler who was riding alone and we all chose to ride together. When one was slower the other 2 waited, when one had a problem with their bike, we all waited, when we rode faster, we rode faster together. We gained strength from one another. Life is better together. 

The second thing I saw on this ride is that life—while we were meant to journey together—we don’t always keep the same people on the course with us the whole time
Life has seasons; people come in and they come out. 
I saw this example on the ride as well. There is a section of this ride that is the steepest part of the climb. Its called Thunder Ridge and it is on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 13miles of uphill….elevation totaling 3,700 feet by the time you get to the top. It is an intense hour and a ½ of straight climbing, and it is hard!! 
But what I saw on this section of the ride was this…..we were all struggling together! We all were in pain, together! 
There were times when riders would come up alongside you for a few miles and just chat, and then they would be off. There were times on the climb you would need to pass someone because they weren’t keeping the pace you needed to keep, so you climbed on ahead. There were times where you would need to pick a rider to focus on because their cadence was faster than yours so it took your mind off the pain for a little bit. Then there were the ones that were ahead of you a little ways and you would have to focus on them knowing once you got to where they were there was only a little bit left.  
And finally, in these seasons of life, there are going to those that come alongside of you to encourage you and the very moment you need it most. 

This is so indicative of how life really is. It is so important to recognize that the seasons in your life don’t last foreverSure, there are going to be those that run hard alongside us for our lifetime, but there are going to be some seasons that we run with others that don’t last as long, so make the most of them, and take no day for granted.  

So I guess my question to you is, are you running life alone? Life is meant to be lived together so if you are; take a risk and find a community, commit to it, and refuse to run alone. You won’t regret it.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

SOTR 2018

SOTR 2018

For those of you who don’t know, one huge milestone in a cyclist’s life is to complete your first century. That is, riding 100 miles in one day…..I will attempt this in a ride called SOTR (Storming of Thunder Ridge). It is a big ride that happens in my town each May. I signed up for this with a friend who asked me to do it with her to complete this “impossible” goal. And as I do; I wrangled another friend in as well as my husband. After all, if I’m going down, they are coming with me. 

As time as past, I have been training really hard for this, and one by one the friends I was doing this ride with have had to back out due to injuries. I am a “do with” type person. I don’t like “do alone” activities often. I like my alone time for about an hour a day and then I’m good. I like to be with others and accomplish things together. So the thought of them not riding this ride with me sent me into a defeated mental state. So I was faced with the question: Why am I doing this ride??

So I made a “why I would do it” and a “why I wouldn’t do it” list….then I met with my nutritionist and I talked with her about this whole thing; the possibility of being faced with riding it alone. She gave me a really good filter. 
She said, “If that day came and went would you have regrets about not doing it? The more I think about it the more I know I would regret not doing it. I have been training for this, and then to just not do it…doesn’t sit well with my soul. 
As I looked over my lists the reasons on my “why I wouldn’t do it” list are all fear driven….I would totally have a huge regret about it if I went into age 40 knowing I trained for this and then gave up. I’d be so disappointed in myself that I let fear control me yet again. 

And as she was talking to me, the tears were streaming down my face, I couldn’t control it. This whole thing is so indicative of my whole life. I push and I can challenge myself to a point, but then when life gets to a place that I deem “too hard” I quit. I give up. I see it all over my life. 

 My life has been controlled by fear. I have mental toughness to an extent but when it is time for the point where I need to have a mental break through I give up. 
And why? Because I’m afraid.
I’m afraid to do this ride alone….so then I asked myself another question, “Why?? Why are you so afraid?! “
And the reason is because I’m afraid of this ride being too hard. It is 100 miles WITH 9200 FEET of elevation!!! That is more than I have ever done by 6000 feet! I’m also afraid of failing and not being able to finish it, I’m afraid of it being too hot, I’m afraid of slowing my husband down, I’m afraid of it all……..and this is the pattern in my life. When it gets too hard or I push to the point where there may be some actual true breakthrough---I give up. I sabotage and I walk away. I stay in my ‘safe place’ of “good enough” instead of allowing God to truly take me into the unknown with him. 

I honestly am wondering if God is intentionally stripping people way so I can’t lean on anyone but him for this. This will be the hardest thing physically yet, but the hardest thing mentally I have ever done….and the thought of that terrifies me. 

Ultimately, If I looked down past my life and I did give up and I didn’t do SOTR I would regret it, and I would know that the reason I quit is purely because mentally I gave up. Because at this point that is what this is—physically I can…..its the mental part that has me believing “I can’t”.
It’s almost as if, completing this ride will be like I’m taking that little girl who is inside of me that was made fun of back in elementary school and was told lie after lie of how she wasn’t “enough” and its as if I’m saying to her, “You are not her anymore!!You don’t have to be!”  Its about changing the tape loop in my head to say “I CAN DO IT!” 
I’m doing it. 
I’m going to ride my own race, and I’m going to push my mind past what I’ve tricked myself into believing that I can’t do….and with Jesus on that bike with me—we can! 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am WEAK, then I am STRONG.”

SO in my weakness I will attempt my first Century on May 20th! I’ll keep you posted!    

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Long Hard Run

End of April?
Have four months really come and gone?
Well indeed they have. I knew this would be a long hard run, but I didn't really know how long and how hard it truly would be.

2018 started off with me at the start line and when the gun went off. I started in a full out sprint. And have been sprinting ever since. Over committed? Yes. I for the first time in my adult life know what it means to overcommit now. This past season has been the hardest season, and outside my relationship with Christ, I'm not sure how I am about to cross the finish line.

You see, the last half of 2017 was a very difficult year in marriage. I haven't really had a season where it was just hard. like plain hard; until then. Sure we have had our weeks when we just don't connect and things are off, but we always come back around and connect after a few days.
There was no coming back around and connecting during this time. It just felt difficult over and over, and there was no light at the end of the tunnel...that I could see at least. There were many things contributing to this lack of connection; mainly me. I say that in all sincerity too. When your mind is off and focused on toxic thinking--your life will be full of toxic thoughts.

January 2018 rolled around and I was so happy to see a new year come. "New year New you" as they which my sprint started. I was in a new leadership position at my church; one I felt totally unqualified for. I was trying to lead and messing up along the which that brings needing to clean up the messes that were made. Conversation after conversation. In order to connect more as a couple, I agreed to join another environment to serve with my husband in for 6 weeks. It served its purpose, connection happened, but so did exhaustion. Serving in two different relational areas is not for the faint of heart. On top of all that, I said yes to speaking at a women's conference that was supposed to happen the beginning of March. This would have been my very first big speaking event. I was a breakout speaker for this conference and I was going to be speaking on having Hope in our insecurities (a topic near and dear to my heart). The weeks leading up to this conference were filled with so much stress and sleepless nights. You see, public speaking is one of my biggest fears, if not the biggest. So there were many nights of tossing and turning knowing the day of the conference was fast approaching. You see, knowing you can trust God and ACTUALLY trusting God are two very very different things. I know that now. Well the weekend of the conference got there, and would you believe it....there was a random storm that came and knocked the power out of the church building where the conference was going to be hosted and THEY HAD TO CANCEL IT!!! Shocked??? Um yes!! Me too! I was like whaaaaaaaat?????? HOW did I get out of speaking!?!?!?!?! I thought laughingly. Then as if I smacked into a brick hit me.....that still small voice of the Holy Spirit, "See Janna, all those weeks of fretting, stress eating, worrying, fearing......for nothing. All of it, just wasted breath for nothing."
In shock I stood there--I wasted WEEKS of my life worrying about this conference. Fretting. Fearing. Dreading. For. NOTHING. Matthew 6:25-34 is true people--worrying adds NOTHING to you life. Nothing. It was a huge marker moment for me in my life. One I will cherish forever. It is one thing to KNOW you can trust God with things in your life, but it is a totally different ball game to actually trust God with the things in your life. There is a difference, and I now know I trust him with my life.

The conference, or lack there of, came and went and I was on to the next leg of this sprint I have been on. I committed to 6 weeks of teaching a Bible Study I wrote about 8 years ago, called Made for More. As I have been venturing through these past few weeks, I realized the March conference canceling needed to happen for me to get through these past 6 weeks. I have had to trust God with all of me as I've walked out this long hard run. Its been so hard pouring out all of me in front of a group of 60 women each week. I think it might have been easier if I found some sort of joy from speaking in front of people, but it is purely an act of obedience for me; which is why I think it feels so exhausting. I am entering into the last week of teaching tomorrow, and I am glad. Not because I haven't seen God moving; in fact one lady accepted Christ as the Lord and Leader of her life during this study!! YAY!!! But I'm glad because I am ready for a season of rest. This long hard run, has well, indeed been a long hard run, and I am tired.

I fully plan on getting back to my first love, blogging more (I hope), and seeking out the next adventure the Lord has for me on the horizon. I am not quiet sure what it will be, but what I do know is that he is so worth trusting and following. So! wherever you are in your long hard run called life, I pray you are finding the beauty in the chaos as well.
Till next time! xo

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Year in Review 2017

I honestly can't believe December is here and half way over no less. This has been a huge year with many different challenges, and ups and downs. But there is one challenge that sticks out more to me than the others.
For my year in review, I am grateful for the determination that I set on Jan. 1, 2016 and like most of Americans, I set to reach a specific weight loss goal--which I did NOT hit--BUT I did stay consistent all year long with eating right and exercise, and for that I am proud!

You see, I have been on a journey nearly all my life to loose weight....I would say, "I just want to be at a healthy weight" over and over. But it wasn't until 10 years ago that my focus changed. It went from "I just want to loose weight" to "How can I honor you, God, with all of me?"
As, my focus changed and I my view turned from being on a "diet" to "how can I honor you Lord with what I put in my mouth" attempts always seemed to fall short.
 As you know with weight loss and attempts at remaining healthy ebbs and flows; seems to me that you are either gaining or loosing.
Well last Dec (2016), I was SICK of my roller-coaster of gaining and loosing, and at that point I was up 30lbs. I was so down. So frustrated. The rollercoaster of up 30lbs, down 30lbs, up, down over and over as the cycle goes, HAD to stop!
I was determined.......through a friend, I found out that my work provides a dietician that I have FREE access to!! So I lowered my pride and went in on December 15, 2016 and cried and cried at how I was frustrated at myself for getting to the place I was AGAIN---UP 30lbs!
My dietician, turned dear friend, told me December was the worst time to try to come in and start a weight loss program, but I assured her that no, it was the best time. So I began, and I set a goal to loose 30lbs by Dec. 15,  2017.
Which I did not do....I am currently only down 22lbs, but I think the proof is in the picture.

While I did not reach my goal of loosing 30lbs, I gained so much more. I have a new perspective on health, and I gained a dear friend. She helped me see where I was blaming others for the choices I have made all my life. She believed in me, empowered me and gave me hope that I too could succeed in this journey I have failed at most my life.
More importantly, I have learned to rely on the Lord in a deeper way. I am no longer a slave to my mouth and what I put into it. Sure have there been slip ups? And will there continue to be at times? You bet ya....but as my dietician said, just get back up the next day, do not let it keep you down!!! 
I bought a necklace for myself yesterday and it says:
Still, I rise.
And in 2018, still I WILL rise, until my goal is met. The Lord is with me and ever so present. Its not even about the number on the scale (even though it doesn't read what I want it to at times), but what truly matters is the health of my mind, soul, and body. I feel empowered and with the Lord behind me, still, I rise.
Hope and pray this inspires you, sure inspires you in a way to reach the goals you too have set for yourself if you have weight loss goals, but more than anything, I pray it inspires you to seek and find the Lord in ALL areas of your life. I pray that when you read these words in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "But He said to me, "My grace IS sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" that you would gladly boast in the magnificent power of Christ in you, too! Seek and find Him, he is waiting.
What a work he has done! To HIM be the glory, now and into 2018 too! xoxo

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Dream Big

There have been dreams and changes and life happening lately! Hence why little blog you have been neglected! I am sorry & am still here....lots to say and share....but for now I pray you are still dreaming big dreams! Till next time!  xo