2017 – The Year of Grace

2017. What can I say? You were everything I didn’t expect you to be. I was excited for you. I saw boundless potential in you. I had ideas of how the year would unfold. And here I am, on the other side of you, looking back and saying “see ya later and please don’t come back.”

You started off well. I was getting comfortable in my new role at work. Life felt comfortable and I had people around me I called family. I was dating someone and it seemed to be going well. I wasn’t the new person anywhere for the first time in a really long time. I loved my church and my small group. I even got to go on a vacation for the first time in about 3 years. So when my word of the year “grace” was revealed to me, I thought, oh, maybe God is giving me grace this year in the form of an easier time than how my normal life goes.

“The reality of loving God is loving him like he’s a Superhero who actually saved you from stuff rather than a Santa Claus who merely gave you some stuff.” 
― Criss JamiKillosophy

Come March and beyond, and my life quickly went crashing in. To name a few things… My aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer, my dog almost died from a GI bleed, the guy I was dating turned out to be an absolute jerk, my sister went into early labor (thankfully it was able to be stopped), relationships in my life I thought were fine exploded in my face, my brother had a stroke, and God made it absolutely clear I was to leave my comfortable life in Illinois, take a pay cut, and move back to Indiana (that sounds exactly like what someone would want to do, right?). Following that move between the address change issues, the insane amount of time it took to get my title transferred, working way more hours than I was before, no longer having my support system, moving expenses that seemed to be endless on top of taking a pay cut, and dealing with a mouse issue in my apartment for the last month — I’m exhausted.

“When life doesn’t meet your expectations, it was important to take it with grace.” 
― Patricia BriggsWhen Demons Walk

I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss Illinois. I do, I miss it, the people, and the familiarity with every fiber of my being. However, I would also be lying if I said I felt like I heard God wrong about moving back to Indiana. It was one of those situations where God spoke so clearly, I cannot even in my weakest faith moments, doubt this is what He asked of me. Isn’t that the hardest thing when you’re in the middle of some place you don’t necessarily want to be —Knowing God has you exactly where He wants you. That you are wrapped fully in His grace, even amidst the chaos.

“Grace is what picks me up and lifts my wings high above and I fly! Grace always conquers! Be graceful in everything; in anger, in sadness, in joy, in kindness, in unkindness, retain grace with you!”
― C. JoyBell C.

So as I review what I’ve learned in 2017, I’m honestly overwhelmed. I’ve learned a lot, much of which I didn’t want to learn, but needed to learn. And I have such a deeper understanding of that grace that took place on the cross. I’ve learned that I can’t be so hard on myself (it’s funny how giving yourself a little grace in rough patches is much better than being hard on yourself). I’ve learned that a lot of times on the other side of a what seems like good is great, even better than I imagined (especially in the world of dating). I’ve learned what it means to be stripped of all the comfort and feel like you’re standing naked, in the crowd, just waiting for the tomatoes to keep flying at you. And I’ve learned that on the other side of a very, very tough year, I can still be thankful for that year, but never want to live it again. Lastly, I have learned that I am capable, brave, significant, and strong even when I feel like I am absolutely not.

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
― AnonymousHoly Bible: New International Version

So, as I round out the final days of 2017 I enter 2018 with a different mindset. One that is full of a heart that is open to whatever it is God may have for me. One that is open to this new life He has for me in a place different than where I pictured ending 2017. I trust that the Creator of the universe still holds my future in His hands. And I trust that whatever word He has for me this next year will teach me everything I don’t expect it to. But isn’t that the greatest thing about serving a God that is larger than life, knowing He has something unimaginable in store?

#Chase2015: 7 Enhancements for Better Living

We’re already well into September, where exactly has 2015 gone? I am still asking that question. This year already my family has experienced a few additions. My brother got married and my sister gave birth to a second beautiful baby girl. To celebrate the new additions to my family, I decided to make a few positive additions and changes to my lifestyle:

Chase2015_edited

Here is my top 7 enhancements I have made to #Chase2015:

Using a Fitbit

My pedometer died on me and I was left with the decision of get another or invest in something a little more. I went to Target and using my Cartwheel app (which by the way it is my favorite app that saves me lots of money!) I got the more expensive one for a decent price.

Protein shakes

I have once again started drinking a protein shake on my way to work. It is sustaining and helps fuel me through the morning. I find that when I choose protein over carbs, I don’t like I used to and that is wonderful.

Panera

This quick on-the-go choice has the most healthy options I have found yet. The only downfall at this point is simply that it costs a little more. I can almost always find something to eat that doesn’t kill me in calories for the day. Favorite food choice so far? Turkey and Avocado BLT (minus the tomato of course!). Healthy and fills me up? Count me in!

Increase quiet time

I don’t always succeed at this one, but I at least try to set some quiet time aside to pray, meditate, or just practice being. That is a really hard one to strip yourself down so that you can really enjoy peace and quiet. I still am not all the way there yet, but it gets easier the more I keep trying.

Wunderlist

This is an organizational app that you can get through the Apple store (it is free). I can sync it to my computer, set up reminders that are sent to by email, and I can stay on top of my game. I seem to end up going in a million different directions and this helps keep me on task. So far in the week I have been using it, I feel more organized, more productive, and not so scatterbrained. They have pre-made lists like work, family, groceries, movies to see…as well as the ability for you to change and create new lists. I like also that you can create a network of others with this app. Add others to your network and help delegate tasks. I like using this as a shared network.

Writing skills

So, I am taking two writing classes. Yes, 5 weeks of pen and paper bliss. This is something that I have needed to do for my work and mostly to build confidence in my writing skills. I have moved into a creative marketing position so the need for brushed up writing skills is now needed more than ever. I am hoping this investment in my personal skills will help me achieve success.

Massage and adjustment

I have been getting wellness massages and adjustments from my chiropractor about once every 6 weeks. This is how I deal with my stress. I carry so much of it in my shoulders and when everything is off–it makes my demeanor, my mood, and my fuse short. While I can afford it, I have really tried to work on balance and these two steps have made a major impact on my emotional and physical wellbeing.

Over all, I feel better. I know that I need to work on balancing better and these 7 steps have helped me achieve more balance than I have had in a long while.

Despite stress still being there, I am managing it much better than I used to because of these small enhancements.

How are YOU enhancing your life?

Anchor Drop Chooses to Live Healthy

I don’t know about you, but summer seems to have come and gone and with the busyness there were plenty of bad habits acquired. We as a team at Anchor Drop have decided to shake some bad habits and pick up some healthier habits this fall and we are excited to share this journey with you. Some of us are making diet changes, while others are making changes in schedule, others are choosing to be more active, and others are choosing to make more time for themselves. Any combination can help each of us to be healthier and happier individuals.

 

Travel with us

One of our favorite things about the AD team is that we are all at very different periods in life, but we can all relate and do life together. We encourage you as we share our changes and journeys towards healthier lives for you to share your journeys with us.

Living healthier is something that is a daily decision. No one will be perfect every single day, and we all need cheat days. Some of us don’t need to work on our diet, but do need to work on our schedules. Others are doing really well at making time for themselves, but they aren’t being as active as they should to reap the health benefits.

So wherever you are, and whatever health changes you are choosing to strive for, we encourage you to journey with us.  We can all take steps to being healthier one day at a time as we chase out the end of 2015!

Running and Learning: Half Marathon Progress Update

At the end of August I did something crazy: I signed up for a half marathon. Why is this so crazy? Well, because it’s 13.1 miles. That’s a long way and I hate running. No, seriously, I hate it. Even more than five months into training later, I hate still it. I’m still only able to run a little over a mile before I need to walk for a minute.

image1 (1)This training has taught me a lot, though. I’ve learned more about myself and my physical capabilities than I ever before. I’ve learned time and time again that my body is strong. It’s stronger than I knew. My original goal was just to finish the half marathon. Now, I can maintain a pace and set a time goal. Continue reading “Running and Learning: Half Marathon Progress Update”

6 Tips for Beginning Runners

I am not built to be a runner. I don’t have long legs and a great stride. I make running look hard. The truth is, it is hard. At least for me. I know a lot of people who it is not hard for. People who have been pounding the pavement for years like they were born to do it. I bet you know some of those people too. And I bet they intimidate you.

I used to be like that. I used to see people running as I drove past and thought, “I could never do that. I can’t run.” I was wrong though. I can run. I made a choice to try. I decided to put in the effort and work it took to become a runner. I still can’t run long distances, but I can walk/run/jog for a lot of miles.

One of the hardest things for me was getting started. It was deciding to go from a walk to a run. But thinking back over it, there are some tips I have for people who want to start running.

Tips for Beginning Runners

life is a

Before you go:

Fun Gear. Fun and comfortable clothes you want to put on are key. Make yourself believe you are going to have fun. Or at least you are going to look good while you try. If you get the clothes on and lace up your shoes, you have won half battle. Now you are dressed and ready to look good!

Fun Music. Whether it is upbeat pop music, hip hop, rap, hard rock, country, classical, any kind of music that gets you going and makes you want to go, listen to it. There are many apps you can use, like Pandora or iTunes radio, or you can make your own fun playlist.

Stretch and Walk. Before you leave stretch! Look up stretches online if you need some suggestions. And do a warm up walk. Don’t just run, walk for a few minutes to get your body all warmed up and ready to move.

Pick a Program or Schedule. If you are looking for an easy starter program to help you get to running, try a Couch to 5k program. These type of programs will tell you when to walk and run to build up to doing a 5k (3.1 miles). Personally, I prefer programs that tell me just how many miles I should do to train for a race. For example I am now using a training schedule to get me prepped for a 10-mile race. It gives me three running days with the miles I should do and two cross training days each week. It’s a personal preference on what type of program you like. You can always experiment and see what you like.

Do Not Compare Yourself. One thing I did in the beginning was look at other runners and think “I can’t run as far or as fast as them, I must be doing something wrong.” But the truth is, my ability and fitness level is different than everyone else’s. You cannot compare yourself to anyone else. Just go out and do what you can do. And if that means you can only run two blocks and then have to walk, great. But keep going. In the beginning I could literally only run one block, then walk one block, and I would just rotate those. Now I can still only run about a mile, then have to walk for a little bit, and can run again. But I get my miles in. I do my training and I keep going.

Find a Partner. Like any exercise program, having a partner or someone to keep you accountable can be a benefit. If you need someone to say “Hey, get your butt up and do this!” then find someone to help you out and get your butt out the door.

If you want to be a runner you can do it. It is going to take commitment and effort, but if you want to do it, you will. And here’s a secret, those people you see running who look like they have been doing it forever, they are nice people. And they are encouraging. I have never met a runner that said, “you need to go faster” or, “you aren’t trying hard enough!” I have met so many who are encouraging and will motivate you to no end.

So give a try. Lace up your running shoes and get out there. What do you really have to lose?

How I will Chase 2015

Did you read Erica’s post on choosing a word to inspire your year? If not check it out here. I love this idea and just reading hers made me want to chase the year too.

Chase Hope

So I thought I would let you in on what I am going to chase for 2015. And go a step further and let you in a little on how I plan to chase some of these things. So here goes…

1. Healthier Eating – I addressed a lot of this in my post Back On the Wagon. Just getting down to eating cleaner and less processed food.

2. Give More – I want to give more of myself to people. I give a lot to my children and husband, which fills my heart with joy. But I know that now that I am no longer attached to a baby constantly, I have the time and ability to give more of my time and myself to things like volunteering and helping friends. I plan to be more involved in our church and really become vulnerable and closer with friends.

3. Physical Challenges – My biggest physical challenge is coming up in 4 months, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. And on top of that I want to challenge myself to complete 100 miles of walking/running in a month (I have yet to choose the month, but I will). I also want to sign up for more fun runs that include obstacles to be challenging and fun.

4. Grow Closer to Christ – I want my children to be able to see the love that God has for them through me. To do this I need to become closer to Christ so I can be more like Him. I want to show the love, kindness, generosity, and patience that He has with us everyday.

5. Save Money – My husband and I both know we want to start saving more money and are working on plans to save monthly for things like Christmas and birthdays. Also to start saving money to one day (after Navy retirement) buy a house.

I challenge you to chase this year. Chase the things that you want to accomplish. Find even just one thing to actually go after with all you can. Come up with a plan to do this and be intentional with your plan. Don’t just say you are going to workout or spend more time with your family. Plan out your workout days and family fun days. I challenge you to truly ‘Chase 2015’ with all you can!

Chase 2015

This time of year everyone seems to spend time reflecting on the last year and what they want to change about the year to come. I am definitely included in that. Having worked in the field of lifestyle change for many years, studied it in school and beyond, and being a nurse presently; I am more than aware of how hard change is for people including myself. I’ve read the statistics and how hard it is to predict if someone will stay with a change such as a regular exercise pattern. Let me tell you, the statistics are not encouraging. Change is hard.

Chase

Continue reading “Chase 2015”

5 Ways to STAY Committed to Your Fitness Goals

Raise your hand if you’ve said to yourself, “I’m going to exercise, eat better, lose weight and be healthy.” I would wager that the vast majority of you reading this right now would raise your hand.

“You have to be healthy, slim, beautiful, fast, swift, chiseled, ripped or toned to be beautiful and happy” is the uncontested message global (that’s right, not just American) media propagates to the world. “If you’re not just like this model, you have a lot of work to do.” Who’s been there? I have.

Marathons are all smiles when you're no longer running them.
Marathons are all smiles when you’re no longer running them.

I would bet even MORE money that those of you who initially raised your hand would also raise our hand if I asked, “Who among you has QUIT a fitness/health program?” It’s sad, but true. Statistics show that more than half the people who begin a fitness program will quit within the first three months. There are many reasons why they quit. They:

  • Don’t see results
  • Go too hard, too fast and burn out
  • Set unrealistic goals or expectations
  • Restrict too heavily and become ill
  • Aren’t interested in/excited by what they’re doing
  • Don’t celebrate small wins

Continue reading “5 Ways to STAY Committed to Your Fitness Goals”

My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training

I am a rules person. Rules make sense to me. I have a fond appreciation for order and organization. I think these reasons are why I enjoy math.

Math has a ton of rules and it has answers that are concrete. For me, it just makes things easier. When I started training for this half marathon, I decided to come up with some “rules” for myself – to make things easier.

Some may seem silly, but they motivate me and help keep me on target. I am two and a half months into training and so far, it seems that the rules are working!

So what are these rules? They are simple and short, but helpful. They are as follows:

My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training

Running #selfie: let's do this!
Running #selfie: let’s do this!

Continue reading “My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training”

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