Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library

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Running with a Purpose {In the Gym}

Running {Living Outside the Stacks}Truth: I haven’t been running as much or as consistently as I had planned. In fact, I’ve been a total fail at the whole running thing. And don’t get me started on meeting up with my new running group; I have yet to get the time and place right. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, seriously, but I’m gonna get it right.

Anyway, yesterday, I went on 3.11 mi run and it felt good. I’ve been trying to incorporate some of the lessons that I’ve been learning from The Runner’s Devotional: Inspiration and Motivation for Life’s Journey… On and Off the Road. Right now, I’ve just finished weeks one, two, and half of three of the readings; the themes are running with a purpose in both my spiritual and physical life and having a goal in mind. The readings talked about how running can be used in two ways: running away from something or running towards something. In our spiritual walk, we should be running away from sin and running towards God. Both of these acts {as does the physical act of running} requires faith, strength, and endurance.

So, yesterday, I decided to do three things to change the way I run, just to see if I could make that spiritual connection:

  • Pray before and after I run ~ I asked for endurance and strength; I ran my first mile non~stop in 11 min 40 sec. It was like I was mounted up on the wings of an eagle {Isaiah 40:31}.
  • Listen to gospel music ~ There’s nothing that inspires more than hearing people sing praises to God and, OK, lemme tell ya, when I Can Only Imagine came on I just wanted to run harder and faster into my savior’s arms.
  • Smile ~ I know that sounds weird but it made me feel so much better. My daughters told me that I look mean when I run, so I thought why not try smiling. Not crazy lady smile, but a softening of my facial area. I felt more relaxed and people responded to me differently. And I responded to them differently as well.

Running {Living Outside the Stacks}I’ve also learned a few things about how the things I do or don’t do affect my runs. Some of these are no brainers but I’m going to share them anyway:

  1. Eating breakfast is a must ~ If I don’t eat breakfast, I’m starving by lunch time and this leads me to eat junk. A run fueled by junk is not a good run. At all.
  2. Drink water like my life depends on it ~ No matter how hard I try, I cannot out run dehydration. It’s hot. I’m sweating. Enough said.
  3. Always stretch before and after a run ~ Even seasoned runners have to stretch their muscles, so you know I have to flex. I’m 40 and new to running, things aren’t as bendy and flexible as they used to be.
  4. Sometimes pain is pain ~ One of the first sayings that I pinned on Pinterest about running stated: “Pain is fear leaving the body.” As nice as that sounds, sometimes pain is pain and you just have to stop.

My goal this week is to focus more on God while I run and listen to what He has to say to me.

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No Greater Love {In the Church}

No Greater Love {Living Outside the Stacks}

The hubs likes to say “love is not a feeling, it’s an action”; it demands the individual to do something that requires sacrifice on his or her part. Jesus set the example for love when he gave his life for us way back on calvary. John 15:13 says: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” Even in our sinful state, Jesus loved us enough to call us “friend” and take the punishment for our sins.

And this was not just any death, this was a most brutal death. He was whipped, spit upon, beat up, battered, bloodied and then nailed to a cross. His death was as gruesome, ugly, and nasty as the sins we commit. But, here’s the good part, out of something so awful, came something so beautiful: the gift of eternal life. To receive it, all you have to do is confess with your mouth and believe with your heart that Jesus is Lord, then you are saved {Romans 10:9~10}.

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Seeing His Word Clearly {In the Church}

We must worship in spirit and in truth {Living Outside the Stacks}

When I was about seven years old, my mom took me to have my vision tested. My teachers had noticed that I was squinting a lot and having a difficult time reading the chalk board. Up until that point, I didn’t realize that I couldn’t see. I seriously thought my issues were due to white chalk on a not~so~clean blackboard. It wasn’t until the doctor started playing with the lenses and asking me to pick which one was clearer that I realized how little of the world I was seeing. Once he settled on a prescription, the doctor ordered my glasses and told us to come back to pick them up.

I remember the day we got the call that my glasses were ready; I was so excited to pick up my new specs. I thought of all the books I’d read, TV I’d watch, games I’d play… I skipped into the optometrist’s shop and modeled my new glasses in the mirror, smiling as I saw myself clearly for the very first time. What I wasn’t prepared for was what happened when we walked outside and I saw trees for the very first time. I mean, I really clearly saw the trees and was flabbergasted. I tugged on my mom’s sleeve, looked her in the face and said “Mom, I didn’t know trees had separate leaves.”

All of my life, I’d only seen trees as brown sticks with a blur of green, red, and yellow on top. I saw individual leaves on the ground, but never individual leaves growing on a branch.

Sometimes that’s the way I feel when God’s word speaks to me; like I’ve read the verse but never understood the individual words. I see things through a haze and a blur until I take the time to view His word through His lens. John 4:24 {KJV} says: “God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” When I try to focus on His words on my own, I feel like that little girl, squinting and struggling to see; but when I stop and pray, I see the individual leaves…

I’m linking up with:

Internet Cafe Devotions ~ Word Filled Wednesdays

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