Monday, December 27, 2010

Work Out or Chill Out

My family is a very active one to say the least. My dad works out for at least 2 hours everyday, my mom hikes and plays volleyball, and my brother is a college soccer player and does workouts on the side (He's crazy). I play Division I college soccer but have never been the kind of person to enjoy lifting weights or running for miles like everyone else in the family. I'd rather play volleyball, soccer, or basketball for an hour or two to get my work out in. I'm totally aware that playing one of these sports for a few hours doesn't work all the muscle groups but I get bored doing any other kind of workout.

Dad using my brother and I instead of weights
Finals week ended December 10 (our break from soccer began the week prior) and I headed home for the holidays. I went snowboarding a few times the first week back but didn't do much physical activity other than that. I don't think someone has to work out to be healthy, so long as you are moving around during the day and eat decently. I went from working out for nearly four hours every day to practically zero in an entire week. I've also been eating more food because I missed all my moms home cooked meals in college and I feel like I need to eat a semesters worth to make up for it. None of this would be an issue if I didn't have to go back to playing college soccer full time come January 7 but I do. I'm terrified that I'm going to be out of shape and everyone else who kept up with the work out plan (we got a HUGE packet of daily workouts for the break) will be incredibly fit. Oh well I guess I'll just have to work twice as hard to get back into shape.

I feel tides changing thought (kind of). For Christmas my brother got P90X (an intense workout regime) and we thought we'd go to the gym today and try it out today! Now that's a work out!! It moves from exercise to exercise quick enough that I don't get bored in the first few minutes. I wouldn't say I enjoyed it but I didn't mind it nearly as much as I thought I would! So here's to getting off my butt and actually doing something for a change. Hopefully I can keep it up until I get back to school and soccer.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's Gotta Be More Like Falling in Love...

One of my favorite songs is by Jason Gray called More Like Falling in Love and the lyrics are remarkable. It's a great reminder of how God changes lives. Check out some of the lyrics:

I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
to sweep me off my feet...

All religion ever made of me
Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free

I was lost, lonely, and needed something to live for. Friends and family were enough to keep me on the "right" track but I knew I was missing something...Something BIG. I'd been told to "do your best", "make good choices" and "love yourself and others" but WHY? What if my best wasn't good enough? What if I made a poor choice? What if I didn't care? There had to be something more to this life than pleasing others and doing the "right" thing. I realized fairly quickly that what I was missing was something spiritual. I'd tried religion before but I felt like church was just a place for old people to socialize and discuss beliefs over doughnuts and coffee. I'd go to church thinking I'd feel better but usually I left feeling more guilty about my sins and that I had to clean up my life before I could become religious.

Long story short, I was introduced to a youth group and for the first time met people my age who cared about me. For several Sundays I watched my friends sing, pray, and listen as if they were communicating with someone they loved deeply. I realized they weren't at church to show that they believed in something, they were there to have a relationship with someone. And that same someone cared about me too even with all the flaws I have and all the mistakes I've done. His love began changing me in ways I never could have imagined. The song's chorus (the title of my blog) and closing line reads:

It ought to be more like falling in love
than something to believe in
More like losing your heart
than giving my allegiance
called up, called out, come take a look at me now
It's like I'm falling in love...

It's more than a name, faith or creed
falling in love with Jesus brought a change in me

How incredible is that? God can't just be something we believe in on Sundays and put aside the rest of the week. Knowing him "ought to be more like falling in love" and you wouldn't fall in love with a person only to ignore him/her six days of the week. You would want to spend every minute learning about them, caring for them, and spending time with them and that's how our relationships with God should look like. Our hearts should be so consumed by Him and everything we do should be done for Him. So instead of constantly trying to please people I changed my focus to trying to please God knowing that He is more powerful, loving, and forgiving than any person on this earth.

I now have something to live for! Jesus Christ became man and died so that my sins would be forgiven and He deserves all the thanks and praise I am capable of. So it makes since that I live for Him because He died for me. My relationship with God isn't something that comes and goes and it's not an opinion I can change like a belief would be. It's like I've fallen in love and that is way more than just having "something to believe in."

Picture This

Here are some pictures of me doing life...and enjoying every minute of it!

The Day After Christmas Blues...

You know the feeling that comes when loved ones leave, new toys become used, you realize the clothes you bought someone don't fit and everyone appears to be exhausted? I call those The Day After Christmas Blues but though I've experienced them in some form almost every year, they won't be getting me down this time because today I have no reason to be unhappy!

We had no extended family come into town (so no hard goodbyes), we were blessed that the gifts we received were all practical things that won't expire, and we had an incredible meal with just our family. It was one of the first meals we've had together with just the four of us since my brother and I have been back from college! Today I get to go to church (first Christmas since I've become a Christian), learn more about the new photo editing software I received, watch my dad still be amazed by what we got him, download songs from itunes with my new tunes gift card and I was able to watch my uncle, who is stationed in Iraq, send a shout out to his family on the news!! I'd say this day has almost been better than Christmas!

New photo editing software (It's CRAZY)

I'm anxiously anticipating my road trip to Nebraska to see family for a few days. I love having kids hanging all over me  and the constant background chatter of being around lots of people. I just can't wait to see them! It has been a pretty special Christmas and Christmas season! I love it. So no The Day After Christmas Blues for me this year. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 24, 2010

About Me

I'm a nursing major at the University of Wyoming and I also play soccer for UW. My time management needs work but I do my best to make the chaos enjoyable... I prefer deep conversations, I love black and white photography, and I am a firm believer that a bowl of ice cream can solve any problem. I believe in a God who loves me unconditionally and my faith in Him has grown tremendously in the past few years!

My family is truly incredible! My mom is one of the smartest, hardest working people I have ever met, my dad has a heart of gold (seriously, it's amazing) and my older brother has a great sense of humor and is crazy athletic (thankfully he has been patient enough to teach me some of his skills). We care deeply and genuinely about each other and I thank God that I have them in my life.
A view of Jenny Lake in Grand Teton
National Park, WY during a hike

Like I said before, I believe in an awesome God and my relationship with Him is more important to me than anything else in this world. He loves me even when I find it hard to love myself, He has a plan for me even when I feel lost, and He forgives me even when I don't deserve forgiveness. How AMAZING is that?

My favorite thing to do is sit outside somewhere that has a spectacular view. I don't bring a book or anything to write with, I simply find a comfortable spot to sit and appreciate the beauty of God's perfect creation. I love that the same hands that crafted the breathtaking views that I enjoy so much, made me too! It's crazy to think that in God's eyes we are just as beautiful as those majestic mountains and vast oceans even when we feel far from that.

I have an incredible life and I can't wait to see what God has in store for me.

*By the way, the background of the blog is a photograph I snapped in Seaside, Oregon. A couple holding hands, a girl running with a dog, a women looking out to sea (which can't be seen behind the posts), and a beautiful ocean all in one... this world has so much beauty and I absolutely LOVE it*