Friday, October 28, 2011

Endurance

It's funny how you hear from God at the most random places and in the middle of the least "spiritual" activities. It happened to me last night at my Zumba class.

Photo Credit: http://jessielah.wordpress.com/

My favorite instructor was on leave. Heard about her being on the road with her touring musician husband.

Therefore, an couple of alternate Zumba instructors were doing the classes as substitutes. I personally find it difficult to adjust to new teaching styles every time I attend a class -- whether it is a fitness class or just a regular learning environment.

Last night was especially hard to adjust to. The instructor was the sweetest, nicest lady but I just could not get my rhythm on with her teaching style.

I was messing up on every routine. I am a bad dancer to begin with. While my favorite instructor had basic, high-impact, non-stop dance moves, last night's routines were a little more complicated.

Needless to say, I was struggling in keeping up with the class. Halfway through it, I was contemplating whether to leave the class or not. The indoor track at the gym looked way more appealing. And truthfully, going home, making some dinner, and watching the latest Parks and Recreation episode seemed the most appealing.

And yet I couldn't. It started becoming an issue of endurance when facing a difficult, almost unbearable situation.

I do not mean to "Jesus Juke" (after all it is just a Zumba class and I can't stand Jesus Jukes) but Romans 5:3-4 immediately came into my heart. It also happened to be my morning devotional Bible verse.

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope ..."

I started challenging myself quietly. If I cannot endure the difficulty of the remaining 30-minute class, then how will I respond when I start training for charity runs? How about when I am faced with really unpleasant leadership while working on a project? Or even on merely having to wait for 30 more minutes until a really bad conversation is over?

I knew that my character is not the best when it comes to endurance. I cannot stand long periods of suffering. In fact, I am terrible at it. I admire people who know the difference of what situations to endure and those that are clearly just a waste of their time.

I want to be able to withstand an uncomfortable situation. I want to someday run mile after mile and feel great every step of the way. I want to be able to discern events I have to put up with and the ones I can clearly walk out on. I want to be able to patiently wait on the promises of the Lord even if it is taking years to be fulfilled.

I do not know how long it will take for me to get to that point but I wanted last night's class to be the start.

Tell me:
Describe a time when you had to endure something so unpleasant. 
What was the Lord's revelation to you?
 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Home

Today, I am trying to fight homesickness. 

I am happy where I am now but I am heavily burdened with two good reasons why I would like to be where my family is.

Happy Birthday Mommy! I miss you so much. 
A year and a half is just too long a time to be away from you.


Rest in peace, my grandfather who we all fondly call "Tata." 
It's too difficult not to be there to see you off.




No words to properly end this post. Just trying to put my emotional pieces back together. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful of the day I will see my family again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Link Love: October 12, 2011

Hi friends! I caught a virus Friday night which left me pretty much stuck in bed since Saturday. While I was not at my best physically, I refuse to let this downtime dampen my spirits.

I, instead, chose to cheerfully catch up on my reading. It's amazing how great books have piled up by my bed! I also bookmarked a lot of great content from the web and managed to read through them.

This resulted into -- ta da! -- a lot of link love for you today. Hope you enjoy the content!


How Not to Be a Jerk on the Internet by RELEVANT Magazine
I have written so many drafts about the same topic but it never went live because I am just not as good a writer as Jon Acuff. His commentary on this matter is on point.


The Importance of Under-Scheduling by SCOUTIEGIRL
For those who bite off more than they can chew. I have found myself being that person at times.

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Google+ by Digital Photography School
While I personally feel that Google+ has not gained its momentum at this time, it is still a legitimate channel in increasing your online presence. This guide is meant for photographers but it also helped a regular gal like myself.

The Beltline Bike Shop
A non-profit organization in Atlanta that take in donated bikes and then invite kids to earn a bike of their own through community service.

What I've Learned After a Year of Blogging by Chris LoCurto
Valuable and honest. Especially helpful to people who want to get their blog going.

Ten Signs You Are Near a Burnout/Meltdown by Perry Noble
I have seen this happen to people in ministry and thankfully, I haven't. It's always good to stand on guard.

31 Days to Find Your Blogging Mojo by Bryan Allain
For anyone who wants to gain blogging momentum. Only $4.99.

Dear 18 Me
If you write a letter to your 18-year-old self, what will you say?

Rock My Run
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned marathon runner, this is a great website to go to for running music playlists.

Decorating with Photos by Holly Mathis Interiors
A rice resource on how to personalize your home with your favorite photos. Perfect for people (like me) who takes pictures of pretty much everything.

Even Though They Seem Obvious by Refine Us
Justin Davis talks about three things things that have helped their marriage and how they love each other deeper every day. You might also want to check out their testimony and their ministry. A great display of God's grace and mercy.

Pastors' wives under pressure in husbands' ministries by Church Executive
A very alarming article and yet not surprising. My husband and I are deeply committed to praying for married couples (whether in ministry or not) -- that marriages will never be destroyed by infidelity. We all should be vigilant and praying daily.

Pastors' Wives Under Pressure by Leading and Loving It
A great commentary by Lori Wilhite on the article mentioned in the previous link. This is also a great website for pastors' wives who long for meaningful connections.

Society6
Affordable quality art prints

37 Great Quotes from Catalyst by Tim Schraeder
Schraeder is my go-to guy on detailed conference note-taking. Robert and I were, once again, blown away by Catalyst East 2011 in Atlanta. I am doing a photo recap soon but in the meantime, here is the list of thought-provoking statements at the conference.

Best of Nashville 2011 by Nashville Scene
I can't say I agree with all the 'chosen ones' but it is a good, comprehensive list. If you plan to visit the city, this is worth checking out.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Book Review: JOLT!

The end of 2011 is right around the corner. If I were to reflect on the central theme of this year was like to me, one word resonates loudly: change.

Our journey required drastic adjustments to how we lived, how we budgeted, how we managed time, and how we looked for resources. We were in a position where we had no other choice but to make changes.

This is why the book 'Jolt!" by Phil Cooke spoke directly to me. It gave me the pep talk that I needed when my desire to fully embrace change was losing steam.


I felt encouraged to dream again -- nothing was off-limits. I was ready to take in whatever God wanted for me and my husband as we took on new roles.

The book also pushed me to make a more realistic approach in determining goals that are attainable. I took a hard, reflective look at my God-given gifts, and how I can passionately put them into action.

One of my biggest things in finishing a book is the way each thought is compartmentalized. "Jolt!" does a very excellent job in dividing it into five critical sections with helpful review questions at the end.

The sections are: Jolt Your Direction, Jolt What Matters, Jolt Your Potential, Jolt Your Heart, and Jolt Your Future. Because of how it was topically arranged, I was able to fully engage in each of the 25 chapters without feeling overwhelmed with information.

If you are currently embracing a major life change or even considering one, this book is an outstanding step-by-step guide into helping you make wise decisions as you take on a new journey. Change is good for you and me. Let's use this resource as we take our next courageous steps!


Additional Resources:
Buy Jolt! on Amazon
Get Jolt! on your Kindle
Follow author Phil Cooke on Twitter

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson as part of their Blogger Review Program called Booksneeze. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."