Detox.  Cleanse.  These are kind of buzzwords lately.  I’ve done some detoxing over the years and read a fair amount on it.  I’ll share my thoughts today.

There are lots of ways to detox.  In my opinion, the first and most important thing, by far, id to make sure you are eliminating well.  If you’re not, any kind of cleansing r detoxing will just stir things up, and probably make your situation worse.  By eliminating well, I mean at least a bowel movement daily.  Get that working first before you attempt any kind of detox.

Next, I would say don’t bother detoxing if you’re not going change your life (if it needs changing).  If you aren’t willing to make a commitment to good eating, detoxing is kind of pointless.  You clean the body, then keep throwing garbage in?  Why bother?

Detoxing can be intense or gradual.  Which you choose may depend on several factors.  One of the very best (and easy and free) ways to gradually detox and stay healthy is to fast one day/week, from after supper one night until breakfast a day later (so really, more like a 36 hour fast).  Drink plain water, teas, possibly fresh juices.  (Or if that is really too hard for you, you could do a raw food fast for that time, eating just fresh raw fruits and veggies- nothing like salad dressing.)

And simply eating well is detoxifying.  A healthy non-processed vegan diet will over time aid greatly in detoxing.  (And, again, in my opinion, NOT eating  healthy vegan diet will led to toxicity.)   Lots of fresh and raw foods, lots of pure water, fresh juices, and so on.

One aspect of detoxing many forget or ignore is that toxins on our bodies come from places other than the foods we eat.   What kind of environment do we live in?  Our homes?  The air we breathe?  Are they laden with toxins?  Our clothes, the soaps we use?  I am a real stickler for whatever we might put ON our bodies directly, onto our skin.  Long ago a I heard about and did an experiment that opened my eyes- try it!  Take a cloves of fresh garlic and thin slice it.   Place the cut pieces on the bottom of your foot (arch area) and tape in place.  Put on a sock.  When I did this, in twenty minutes there was a STRONG garlic taste in my mouth.  Proof to me that what goes ON our skin is easily absorbed into the body.  My simple, easy, general rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your body.  (This includes things like nail polish, shampoos, and so on.)  I am not 100% on this (I use regular shampoo), but it is a good rule to keep in the back of your mind.

Another very significant toxin many of us have in our lives that is often overlooked is negativity.  Being around negative people, negative “energy”, negative opinions and comments is toxic.  Our thoughts actually create chemicals in our bodies.  More and more science is discovering a vast body/min connection.  Being with a  person who is always a downer can be just as toxic (if not more so, than having a Big Mac and Diet Coke).   Fear is toxic.  And I’m referring to real physical effects in our bodies, not “just” thoughts or feelings.   So detox your mind, emotions, and influences around you.

Now we finally get into what most people think of when they consider detoxing.  There are lots of ways to do it.  Saunas help detox.  The skin is the largest elimination organ we have- sweating will get rid of toxins.  Many recommend a program of herbs and/or supplements to help rid the body of toxins.  Often in particular these act on the large and/or small intestine.  Some protocols insist on enemas (plain, coffee, other kinds) and/or colonics.  Sometimes eating is allowed, sometimes not.   Some last a day or less, some go on a week.  Google “cold sheet treatment”.     (I’ve done that, along with many others kinds of detoxing.)

My opinion is that there are probably a fair number of good, safe and effective ways to do this kind of detoxing.  For many, especially those new to this, consulting professional may be wise.  Various herbs and supplements may be a good idea.  Be wise and use common sense.

But the key here is that while detoxing may indeed be a beneficial health treatment, it is absolutely critical to get rid of the toxins going IN to your body as much as possible.  Once you do that, you are on your way to good health.  Without doing that, I doubt you can truly achieve good health.  So, ditch the beer and pizza, Twinkies and cheesecake.  Go deaf when your complaining mother-in-law comes over.  Stop using _____ product on your body.  You’ll be better off for all of it!

May you have continued and lasting good health!

Success stories- Peter and Anne

A couple success stories.  You don’t have to “follow the crowd/ fit the mold”.

Two of my kids.  They’re not yet “done” (are any of us?), but well on their way!

We have Peter, 20.  Let’s see, in the last month he has gone away for a week to a 4H program where he and 30 other young adults (16-20) learned and rehearsed a show.  Came home for a week, tehn went back to the State fair for 14 days to perform this show 3-4 times daily.  He didn’t get paid for this, but all his expenses for both trips (food, lodging, a “night out on the town” ) were all paid for — I think, maybe they had to chip in something like $100.  And spent some awesome time with terrific young people- winners!

He came home from fair, slept about 2 days.  Then stopped in at McDonald’s where he used to work.  First thing they said was, “Do you want your job back?”  He liked working there, but when he said he wanted a higher wage (like $11/hour) they said they couldn’t do it.  The managers and owners wanted to, but “corporate policy” wouldn’t allow it.  So Peter said, “It’s been fun, but so long.”  He called another old boss and will be working construction for a month, then he will head off to a monastery for discernment about becoming a brother.

All his jobs (except the “traditional” one at McDonald’s have allowed him to work as he desires.  So he’s had time to  do things like take a week plus and “work” as manager of the 4H food stand at the fair (more for fun than income).

Peter has had lots of people tell him he needs a “real” job, he needs to go to college, etc.  (Mom and Dad do NOT say this- we see Peter as quite successful.)  Peter looks at them and thinks: I have no debt, I have about $4000 in savings, I have about 5 people who’d hire me in a second if I asked them to, I can do what I want when I want (like go to the monastery), I’m happy.  WHY do I need “college” and a “real” job?

We have Anne, 18.  She’s in her 2nd year of college.  She just posted on facebook that’s he got a raise at her “favorite” job (she has 3 jobs, by choice.)   She gets $10/hour to work at Community Education at a rock climbing gym (she belays), and to take people out canoeing, kayaking and sometimes geocaching.  When things are slow, she sits in the sunshine and reads her book.    All of her jobs are also ones where she can work pretty much when she wants.  So this summer she went to New York with her choir and sang at Lincoln Center (mostly paid for by school), took another trip with a friend to Tennessee.  She’s also in demand as an employee.  And has no debt (nor is acquiring school debt- college is free as she is still considered a high school senior and the state pays for it all), and more than a few thousand in savings.   She knows who she is, what she believes, and how to stand up for herself.   Yeah, right, she needs a “real” job, like Peter!

Some folks go the “traditional route” and that’s fine.  But you can be happy and a success without doing that, if you want.  Just as important as any academic skills are good character traits like dependability, integrity, MANNERS (amazing how many people lack plain simple manners), and more.

How and why did my kids end up like this?  I certainly am not taking credit, but do think my husband and I may have had some influence.  John has worked his own business for over 35 years.  While I wouldn’t call us wealthy, he has been able to support a wife and 7 children over those decades.  We get what we want and need, including what a lot might consider “extras” (like a trip to Hawaii, family cruise vacation, and more).  I’ve never had to work outside the home.  We’re debt free, including out home and 5 acres.

John works hard, but also has freedom to do as he likes.  If he and I take two weeks to go to Hawaii, we can.  He has no boss besides himself.  He’s home 95% of the time.  So the kids see dad providing well for his family, yet not being tied into an “employer” and someone else telling him what he has to do and when.   We’ve always encouraged the kids to work hard, but do what THEY want to do.

We’ve home schooled all of them from K-12 and been careful who/ what they were exposed to.  We’ve never told them they had to get “real” jobs, we’ve encouraged all kinds of alternatives (though there is nothing wrong with a  “real” job if you want it).

My point is not to brag, as I said, I’m not taking credit.  My point is to illustrate that kids/ young adults can do well outside the “system” and thrive.  Give them a  chance, encourage that if you can.

What you say, your attitude (Story/ Sean)

Here’s a story I wrote some time ago. It keeps popping up in my head. I think there are good lessons to be learned. So I’ll share it and some comments.

He was pushing Sean in the baby swing, while Patrick was climbing on a dome type structure a little ways off. Suddenly Patrick yelled for help. Steve gave Sean a good push and walked over. “Help, I stuck.” Steve looked carefully, he was not stuck, per se. He was at a point about 3’ off the ground, clutching the struts tightly, afraid to move. Steve was real big on letting the kids figure things out themselves, encouraging independence. He asked “What can you do to get yourself unstuck?”

“I dunno. Help! I fall!” Steve looked pointedly at him, then at the ground. He said, “And what happens if you fall?” Patrick said, “Owie!” Steve asked, “Big owie?” Patrick shook his head no. Steve continued, “So, if you fall, you fall. No big deal.”

“Is there maybe something you can do with your hands or feet to get yourself unstuck?”

Patrick looked at where his hands and feet were, and then slowly, carefully, moved his feet and inched his way down. All Steve said was, “You saw what you needed to do to get down, then you did that. You moved your feet and hands so you could climb down. You figured it out.”

Steve always tried to describe what he saw, instead of outright tell them something was good or bad. If they could learn to see things, they could provide their own judgment and learn not to rely on others for what they thought. By describing what had happened, Steve was letting Patrick form his own unconscious judgment. Hey, I DID figure it out, and I DID get down. I can do things. I am capable.

Steve thought this was much better than him saying something like, “Good job.” He also let his boys know that there was nothing wrong in failing, in falling. That was okay. It meant you were trying. As long as you got back up, didn’t let the failure defeat you, it made no difference. It was just a learning experience. In his opinion, way too many people were afraid of doing things for fear of failure. He didn’t want his sons to be afraid of failing.

Steve went back to pushing Sean. Patrick played a while round the base of the dome. Steve watched out of the corner of his eye. He climbed back up a little ways, maybe 2 ½’. And fell. Steve said nothing, pretended he didn’t see it. Patrick looked his way, rubbed his knee, sat a few seconds on the ground, looking at the dome. Then headed back onto it, climbing- cautiously- about 3 ½’ this time, up and down successfully. When he finally got back down, you could almost feel the satisfaction he had, the confidence in having accomplished something hard. Steve smiled.

A woman walked over to him who had been sitting and playing with her young (maybe 1 year old) daughter in the sand box. “Hi, I’m Melanie. That was really interesting.”

He extended his hand, “I’m Steve. What was interesting?”

“The way you handled that with your son. Most parents would first of all have said, ‘BE CAREFUL! DON’T FALL!’ And then they would have plucked him off when he asked for help instead of letting him figure it out. Are you a child psychiatrist or something?”

Steve laughed heartily, “No! I just think it’s better to let them work things out on their own, as long as they’re not in any serious danger.”

I think the way this was handled is good for us to do as parents, as friends, and even with ourselves. (It really does become second nature when you do it enough.) Also note that Steve didn’t solve the problem for the boy, nor tell him what to do. When he was stuck, he merely offered a little guidance.

(I posted this originally for my writing group/ course, so the following example pertains to that, but could apply anywhere in life.) So why has this been on my mind all day? I think it might be helpful for us to consider how this might work with the little voices (liars) we have in our heads and our writing.

Example: a person thinks they aren’t a writer (or a good writer). If they stop a minute and think about – and describe- certain scenes, they might come up with something like this: the other day when I was telling my friends that story about ____ they were really interested. They paid attention and listened. What I had to say was worthy of their time and attention. And they laughed at the funny parts.

So your own judgment could be something like: I can tell stories well, hold people’s attention. What I have to say is valuable. I speak coherently in front of small groups of friends. (Try to use words more specific that “good”.)

Relating this to writing, you might ask yourself how you can transform those positive traits into print.

So, the process is describe, then form your own judgment.

Note: if need be, a description may not necessarily be positive. Sometimes we need to face things we aren’t good at and deal with that. I prefer to focus on the good, the positive as much as possible.

I was thinking more about this last night. What the common response might have been: “Be careful, you’ll fall.” That reply really is rather negative when you think about it.

First off, simply saying. “Be careful,” implies you’re not being. Chances are good most of the time we ARE careful about our actions (certainly we are likely to be careful if climbing on a jungle gym, I’d think). So you are in a one sense belittling the person (or YOURSELF) that they don’t know enough to be careful.

Second, “You’ll fall!” Well, one of two things here (or both). You’re projecting your fear of his falling onto them, planting that idea into their heads. And you’re again assuming they are not capable of doing the task. Negative thinking all around. It even presents the (erroneous, I think) idea that falling is bad. So they fall, big deal. Most of the time, for most of us, our falls are small ones. Small falls, before we get in too deep can serve to teach us things, and not be permanently damaging. The kid who falls a few times off a 3’ jungle gym will figure out how to do it so he doesn’t fall. And then go to 6’ and higher. Or if he is truly not the athletic type, and can’t get it, possibly abandon jungle gym climbing and move to swings. Or wait until he is older, more coordinated. Or have someone show him how (or watch the other kids).

I used a story to illustrate this, but really, how often do we do this? It’s the little liar (voice) at work. This may show a way to treat our kids and others, but also ourselves. Maybe as a challenge today try to pay close attention to what you say to yourself. Are there any phrases like:

I can’t do this/that.
____ won’t like it.
That won’t work, no way to do it.
It won’t be right.
He/she can do it better than me.
I’ll “fall”. (This can be said in MANY ways.)

(Think about what you say to yourself as well as what you say to others.)

1/10 th mile

One tenth of a mile. Not far. I try to walk 3 miles a day. Sometimes I do it all at once, sometimes I spread it out. (I think walking is good for fitness, I’m not much into the, “You must do it all at once to get aerobic benefits and you must ___ and ____.” My goal is to get my 3 miles in, 5-6 days/ week.

I don’t walk real fast, but I can do 1/10 mile in under 2 minutes. It’s pretty dog gone easy to do 1/10 mile. Repeat 30 times in a day and I’ve done 3 miles.

I like watching the Olympics. I need to share about our “TV situation”. We don’t watch TV. We do HAVE a TV for occasional movies we get (usually borrow from the library). We live rural. When the antenna is hooked up, we get one channel (which happens to be NBC, the Olympics channel). So when the Olympics are on, someone goes and climbs on the roof, attaches the antenna wires to the chimney and feeds it in through the window. Then it gets attached to the TV. Hey, it works. (And we have no cable bills, nor temptation to watch “garbage”.)

Problem: the antenna cord isn’t very long, the TV is in my bedroom (by the window). My treadmill is on the other side of the room, around the corner. Watching the Olympics while treadmill walking would be good. I could move my treadmill but that’s too much hassle, plus there is not really room over by the window. So here’s what I do. I treadmill walk with the Olympics on. When the good stuff comes on (there is so much commentary that simply listening to suffices) I go and watch.

However, then during the breaks and commercials I go ad walk. I can usually do at least 1/10 mile during commercial breaks. And they have lots of those. Before you know it, my 3 miles is done. (I do NOT spend all day watching the Olympics, usually some in the afternoon or only evenings).

My point is that you can get a significant amount of exercise in in a day by doing little spurts of things now and then. 1/0 mile here and there. If you’re going upstairs for something, do a double or triple trip, going up and down 2-3 times instead of just one. Takes but a minute. But ALL those minutes add up. Go for it!

Judging- One of my Favorite Topics!

ALL the time we hear, “Don’t judge”.  Supposedly it’s even in the Bible.


I judge all the time.  So do you.  It is good and necessary.

I judge that it is prudent to wear a jacket today because it’s cold.  I judge that this movie is better than that movie.  I judge that a vegan diet is better than a high protein one.  I judge that this restaurant is excellent and that one is unfit to eat at (like an unnamed fast food restaurant- my daughter just started working there and shared a few things…).  I judge that this laptop is a better buy than that one.  I judge that I won’t buy from ____ because they support _____.     (Or I WILL buy from ___ because they support ____.)   I judge that I will have enough time today to do all my work AND still have time to go out to supper.   All day long we form judgments.

I used to think it was okay to judge “things” but not people.  Again hogwash!  We judge people all the time, also.  Again, this is not bad.   I judge this person to be (or not be) a suitable babysitter for my children.  I judge this political candidate more worthy of my vote than that one.  I judge this speaker worth listening to over that one.  I judge this author worth reading as compared to that author. (I suppose in a way that is judging their writing, not them.  But I might pick up a certain author’s book based on what I know about them, based on a judgment I have made of them.)  If I am an employer, I will judge this job applicant more suited for the job than that one.

Dictionary definition : judgment (  the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion

Now, if we are smart, we will make wise judgments, and gather as much information as possible to make good and sensible judgments, especially in more critical decisions (such as what diet is best, and who we will vote for as President, where we will live, what career path we shall take).

And we will base judgments on what we see and hear.  I (and you) will form very different judgments of a man dressed in an Armani suit with impeccable grooming as compared to one with stringy dreadlocks and a tattered T-shirt.  This doesn’t mean one person is BETTER than another.  But what people (we) say, how we act and dress DOES affect how people judge us.

Can we be wrong in our judgments?    Certainly.    Happens all the time (to varying degrees).  So if we find we are wrong, we adjust as we are able.  If I hire a babysitter I had judged to be good and find out she’s incompetent, I’ll hire someone else.  If I vote for a candidate who wins and turns out to be a “bad” president, I’m stuck with it (except for political activism to remedy that which I see/ judge to be wrong).  There’s no sin in being wrong.    Rash judgment is foolish and imprudent.  Sometimes we have little information with which we can make a judgment.   (Say you’re out with friends and on the spur of the moment go to the local theater with seven movies showing, none of which you really know anything about.  You can ask your friends, or the theater staff, you can look at the posters, but you really have limited information and time to make a good judgment of which movie to see.)    If that’s the case, do the best you can.  As I said, find out what you can, then make your judgment.

Back to the Bible.  When the Bible refers to not judging, what it means is not condemning.  To condemn is wrong.  To judge is good.   I cannot condemn another for their actions.  I can judge certain actions to be right or wrong.  If I think abortion is wrong (and I do), and I see a 13 yo girl get an abortion, I cannot condemn her.  She may have been forced into it by well-meaning parents or adults.  (Really the same for a 25 yo.   But I judge that a 13 yo pregnant may be less able to make good decisions, like not aborting, than a 25 yo.   But that judgment may be wrong sometimes, maybe the 25 yo is unable to make good choices.)  So judge, but don’t condemn.

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is “right judgment”.  This means the gift of being able to form good, accurate judgments.  So don’t tell me the Bible says not to judge.  (As I said, condemnation is different.)

There IS right and wrong.  You can say that is my opinion, so be it.  But there is right and wrong.  Everyone thinks so.  We may differ in WHAT we consider right and wrong, but it is there.   No one would condone child abuse, everyone would say that is wrong (except maybe a very very few).

And yes, I WILL tell you what I think is right and wrong, and try to convince you I am correct.  How fervently I do that depends on many things.  If it’s the movie, I really don’t care much so long as it’s not R-rated.  If you’re my 18 yo daughter, unwed and pregnant thinking about abortion, I will go to great lengths to convince you that is a wrong choice.   If you’re my husband and watching internet porn, I’d work real hard to get you to see the errors of your ways.   I won’t force my views on anyone, but I will share them, and share why I think they are right and why you could adopt them as your own.   Sometimes I think people get confused about sharing what’s right and wrong and “forcing” their views on someone.

If I were to tell my 18 yo pregnant daughter with no job or financial resources that if she has an abortion, she can’t live here anymore, even that is not forcing my beliefs on her.  She is free to make her own choice, is she chooses abortion, she also chooses not to live at home anymore.   I’m not “kicking her out”.   (By the way, I’d never do that.  I’d never give a person in that situation that kind of ultimatum.  Like I said, I’d try mightily to convince her abortion is wrong, but if she chose it anyway, I’d still love her and try to help in any way I could.)

Again, I could be wrong in my judgments.  But I’m going to live my life based on what I think is right, knowing I’m not perfect and may err sometimes.  I try to be open to new ideas, and I am more than willing to revise my judgments.  Sometimes I learn something new, or have certain experiences that lead me to rethink something.  That is good, wise.

A key when talking with people is knowing what terms mean, knowing what the other person means by certain words.   THINK about what you say.  So when you say (or hear), “Don’t judge,” does the speaker really mean, “Don’t condemn?”  I think usually that is the case.

So, go about your day today, and your week this week thinking about judgment.  Call people on it, if they say, “Don’t judge.”  Ask them if they really mean, “Don’t condemn?”   Teach them that judgment is good.

Set the Bar High

I was going to title this You Can Do More Than You Think.

That’s not true.  If you don’t think you can, chances are highly likely you never will do it.  I hear that saying a lot.  More accurate to say: If you change your thinking, you can do more than you previously thought.

I did the marathon.  If I thought to myself (and kept repeating), “I can’t do this.  It’s too hard,”   I never would have done it.   I KNEW I could do it.  I will admit to tiny bits of doubt now and then, but I quickly and easily dismissed those thoughts.

Change your thinking.  S t r e t c h.  Set the bar higher than you have in the past.  Believe you can do it.

How?  Educate yourself. You can’t do something you don’t know.  So learn what you need to know.

Let’s use the marathon as an example.  I’ve never “run”.  I’m not big into physical fitness (I do, out of necessity for good health, try to stay fit by daily walking, but I’m not into training or workouts or gyms).   Someone (that is Someone with a  capital “S”) put the notion of doing a marathon in my head.   At 57.  With cancer.  And a tracheotomy. And unable to speak.  Sure. No problem.

So I started looking around, found some support groups on the net.  One fellow posted (just in passing- yeah, sure, that again was the Someone who inspired him to post) that Hawaii has a very walker-friendly marathon.  Now THAT sounded good (both Hawaii and walker-friendly).

I learned more about marathons, the Honolulu Marathon, walking a marathon, etc.  It didn’t take me long to decided to do this.  As it got closer, I hired (on-line) a coach.  Her assistance was invaluable.

My bar was set high, but I knew I could do it.  I knew what, I knew how, I trained for it.  Easy?  NO!  Possible.  YOU BET!

See my photo on the sidebar: Mile 23, thumbs up, smiling. AND that’s after about 9+ hours of walking.

Set your bar high, then plunge into it.  (And if you have kids, set the bar high for them as well.)

And back to yesterday’s post.  Guess what?  If you knock the bar over, set it again.  How many high jumpers NEVER knock down the bar?  Happens all the time.  Get up, try again.

Set the bar high.   (Within the next few posts, I’ll share my next “bar” with you.)  What is yours?  What new one will you set for yourself?

Have an awesome day!



It’s Okay to Fail

There is nothing wrong with failing.  It’s not getting back up that will stop you dead in your tracks.   Didn’t someone once say Edison discovered 10,000 ways NOT to make a light bulb?

I recently had a mom who will be starting homeschooling ask em about curriculum.  She’s stressed over choosing the right one, that if she doesn’t get the perfect books for her children, she will fail them.  Here is my reply:

E, you WILL fail them, sooner or later, in something. You’re human. You will look back and think “I should have done ____ or not done _____.”   It will happen.
All anyone can do is their best at the time and place they are at. In 20 years you will be at a different place and make different choices based on your experiences. That doesn’t mean you failed your older kids. It means you have learned and grown and discovered something else might be better (in ANY part of parenting).

You are a very conscientious mother, Ellie. You try (and succeed) in being a good mom. Your kids will be fine. And if they don’t get every little tidbit they need form you at the very moment they need it, so be it. They’ll figure it out later. You’re not perfect, never will be. Yes, try. Yes, do your research. Yes, work hard. Make your best decision. Then just keep going. Revise as/if necessary. (Again, applies to all aspects of parenting.)

In all areas of our life, sooner or later, we will fail.  Don’t use the word failure.  Consider it an “opportunity to learn something”.  Pick up the pieces, get back up and move on.  And probably, when you consider it, the more you fail, the more you are DOING.  Life is not for sitting around watching (see my earlier post on the Greatest Adventure).

So, while you certainly don’t need it from me, I hereby give you permission to fail, make mistakes, blow it, be imperfect.  But do get back up.

Have a great day!


Comparing Yourself to Others

I take my daughter to speech therapy.  While she has her 30 minutes of therapy, I walk on the track (it’s in a  building with physical therapy, occupational therapy, all that kind of thing).  I walk for fitness, for exercise.  I’m not fast, but I do try to put in 3 miles daily 5-6 days/ week.  And usually do.

So, I’m walking along, doing my laps.  Another lady, older than me, comes in and starts walking.  She’s faster than me.  This is not uncommon when I walk there.  Often I am alone, but when others are there, usually they are faster than me (not always).  I was sorely tempted to compare myslef to her.  Some of my thoughts were, “She’s older than me, but faster.”  Then I recalled something I wrote a few months back regarding the marathon and comparison.

The Marathon- Comparison- Part 3

Don’t compare yourself to me.  You’re NOT me.  You don’t have the same challenges/ gifts/ opportunities/ talents/ support that I do.  Yours aren’t any better or worse than mine, just different.

Be who YOU are, who you are called to be.  I was called to do a marathon.  (And DO listen to that voice inside you!  I never realized the full ramifications of finishing a marathon, and I know there are yet many many more good things to come of that.)  There are some “nuts” out there who do something called Nine in Nine.  That is they do (run) one marathon EVERY day for NINE consecutive days!  NOT me!  Kudos to them!

Back to comparison.    I could easily have compared myself to the other marathoners.  As I was still maybe only 7-8 miles out the “out” course paralleled the “return” course for a few miles.  The fastest runners were already near the end, I had a long ways to go yet.  I could have gotten discouraged had I compared myself to them.  I didn’t.  I had MY plan, suited to ME.

The Honolulu Marathon is a big one, well over 20,000 entrants.  (Plus a 5K “Fun Run” held at the same time and place that attracts thousands more.)  Over 19,000 finished ahead of me.  So?   I repeat, SOOOO??????

I wasn’t last (or even near the last), but even if I had been, so what?

My plan was to finish, and to enjoy at least part of it.   I mean, a Sunday afternoon walk in Hawaii in December?  How could you NOT enjoy yourself?    Actually, I’ll digress yet again.  I think you could not enjoy yourself.  If you are so focused on the technique, the timing, the details, the method, you could miss the beauty along the way.  I wondered if those fastest runners had a good time?    For myself, I quit keeping track of time about 1/3 way through.  I was on schedule- MY schedule- but time didn’t matter.  Focusing on that was too distracting.  I just walked, and looked at things.  So much beauty in Hawaii.

I did finish and I can say there were many times (even near the end) when I truly was enjoying myself.  I met MY goal.  I don’t care what anyone else’s was.

Set your goals for yourself.   Based on what YOU want/ feel called to.  Your goals are not any better or higher or worse or lower than someone else’s.  They are yours.  Let them be the best and highest ones for YOU.

Compare yourself to YOUR standards that you set for you (hopefully after prayerful consideration).  Are you better this day, this week, this month than yesterday, last week, last month?  That’s the only place for comparison.

(This is not to say we can’t have role models we admire and look up to.)


Protection is a good thing!

I have been thinking today about protection.  It is good to be protected.

If you have a 4 yo and a fenced in backyard, he is protected from dangers.  Dangers he may not be aware of, or forget about if his ball rolls into the street.  The fence protects him.

Okay, it is close to 100 degrees here in Minnesota, but in January when it is 30 below, I appreciate being protected by my goose down coat.

I am under my husband’s protection.  That is GOOD.  It allows me to much better fulfill my vocation as wife and mother.

As a nation we are very protected by a strong military.  I don’t have to worry about a bomb being dropped in my neighborhood.  (Thank you servicemen and women!)

When one is unprotected, there is fear.  If I were to be riding on a motorcycle (versus my heavy car with steel and airbags) I would feel uncomfortable, unsafe.  I much prefer feeling protected.

Sometimes being protected is a bummer.  The child doesn’t want to stay in the fenced in yard.  The goose down coat is big and bulky.  Sometimes my husband makes choices that involve protecting me that I don’t like (for example he might say we are leaving a party early because the weather is getting bad, when I am having fun and don’t WANT to leave the party.)

We have a choice, usually.  We can choose to remove ourselves from protection.  (Okay, how STUPID!)  We may think we know better, that we won’t get hurt, that we can handle ____.

Again, and I think my point in today’s rambling is that if we choose to remain under protection, we can much better live and serve others.  We do not need to divide our time, attention, and energy to keeping safe.

Your thoughts?

The Greatest Adventure

I have always liked this song.    From The Hobbit.  The words are so true!

The greatest adventure, Is what lies ahead,
Today and tomorrow, Are yet to be said,
The chances the changes, Are all yours to make,
The mold of your life, Is in your hands to break.

The greatest adventure, Is there if you’re bold,
Let go of the mood, That life makes you old,
To measure the meaning, Can make you delay,
It’s time you stop thinking, And wasting the day.

The man who’s a dreamer, And never takes leave,
Who thinks of a world that is Just make believe,
Will never know passion, Will never know pain,
One who sits by the window, Will one day see rain.