Monday, May 30, 2011

There's a Light

(Beth Nielsen Chapman)

Today I am feeling lonely. That's the bad news. But here's the good news, feeling lonely doesn't mean I deserve to feel lonely. It doesn't make me a bad person. It doesn't make me undeserving of love. It's a simple feeling. I'm not anesthetizing this feeling. I'm just letting myself feel it. Dad used to say, "You get one day, Michelle. Go ahead and feel bad for one day, but then put it behind you and move on." So today...I'm feeling lonely...and tomorrow, I will put it behind me.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Continued thoughts on running...

One of the things I didn't write about in my last post was how I was feeling coming up to the race. Having had some knee problems, I was scared to race. I felt like I wasn't prepared and that I would do a terrible job. In my life, I avoid things that I feel like I can't do well, instead of facing them head on. All week long, even this morning, the tape playing in my head was, "Maybe I won't feel well on Sunday." or "No one will know if I don't run." or "What reason can I come up with to not run?" I started with justifications and reasoning myself right out of it. Even this morning, I arrived early and didn't see anyone I knew for 35 minutes. I thought about leaving.

But, I didn't. I ran.

I pushed myself to stay and see what would happen. This morning I also prayed A LOT! I wrote down scripture verses about fear and repeated them to myself. Once I ran into my friends who were running, there was no "escape", Thank God!

Once the race began, I felt great. I wish I could describe the feeling of running and what it means to me. Words fail me. I felt strong, motivated, happy, alive...see these words come close, but don't encompass the experience for me. I kept thinking, "I could have missed this!" And that's what I want to remember...the "I could have missed this!" feeling. That feeling will keep me running. I am truly proud of myself today. I made a real change in my life. So, June 11th...four mile twilight I come!

I am a runner.

"Chariots of Fire"

I wasn't planning on blogging about running, but then I thought...why not? This morning I ran my second 5K in Ashburn. I was literally scared of running today. My knee has been bothering me and I was scared that I wouldn't finish. My success is showing up and running it this morning when all I wanted to do was hide and skip it.

My first 5K was on April 30th...Run Me Home, sponsored by my church, LUMC. It was an amazing first race. I loved everything about it. The morning was cool...race started at 7:00, much of it was on the W&OD trail, lots of friendly faces around! (Runners are some of the nicest and most supportive people around!) Here is a picture of my running in my very first 5K....

Today, May 22nd, my second 5K was in Ashburn Village. The race started at 8:00, LOTS more people, very crowded, NO shade, LOTS of hills, and the 5K and 10K started together...didn't like that. But, I had my new Enell Running Bra on, a hat to keep those whispy hairs from flying in my eyes, my iPod with my killer playlist, and my positive attitude. 

Every time I run, I learn something new. That's one of the reasons I love running. Today I learned that I need to continue to work on my cardio. My knee, my legs, my body was prepared to keep running, but I couldn't catch my breath. I am looking forward to continuing my training to fix that problem. I need to remember that I began running February 28th. Before that I was completely sedentary. My running journey continues....and I am loving it! 

This morning I found some scripture verses to inspire me to continue. There are the ones that helped me this morning: 

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 NIV

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) (American Standard Version)

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

Psalm 27:14 New International Version

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


(Michael W. Smith)

I just walked in from a dinner with friends. Feeling grateful, content, and giddy from all of our giggles. There's something special about time spent with friends. Sharing, talking, laughing...I find it inspiring. These friends came into my life about a year ago and my life has changed- for the better- since knowing them.  We go to church together, we pray together, we share our successes and failures...we are present in each others lives. They are accepting, kind, smart, funny, beautiful women who have made me better for knowing them. There's a song about friends that keeps running through my head...

This video is for you, my friends...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

"These are the Days"


It's been eleven days since I've posted here...sorry about that. I started another blog for my students which has been keeping me VERY busy.

Then the past three work days: Snow days! Yippeee!

I want to write more, but I don't know what to say. Hmmm....that's not usually a problem for me. I will at least post this so I am not MIA anymore.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Little Moments

(Brad Paisley)

All around me I see big things happening...friends getting engaged, starting new relationships, friends dealing with serious name a few. I feel like I am holding onto "little moments" to steer my way through the big ones. It grounds me. Helps me see where I am going.

In three days, I will celebrate the last of my thirties, heading into the next decade. Where will I go? What big happenings or little moments will be coming my way?

It's only 19 days into the new year and all of that enthusiasm I had for all things new- this blog, gym, etc- it's waning and I am feeling overwhelmed. This is when I have given up. Hidden. Made excuses for myself. Instead, I recognize that I am getting involved in my church. I've been a good friend to my friends. I am dealing with stress at work that is, at times, crushing. So, I need to steer the ship towards this place, towards the gym and running. I need to continue to build! Build on what's started and don't give up.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"Down the Road"

(Kenny Chesney and Mac McAnally)

It's been almost a week since I've posted here. Honestly, I've spent a HUGE amount of time getting my classroom blog off the ground. So far, it's a huge success! This week...there are no words. I feel like a used dish towel that's been rung (or it is wrung) out and used over and over again. The good news is I survived and learned many lessons. 

1. God is really with me. I felt alone and low at times this week and whenever I reached out for help (which I'm not good at doing) it was there. That was new for me. I repeated Isaiah 41:10 to myself (suggested to me by my friend Jessica) over and over. I physically felt lighter. 

Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
 2. Believe in myself, even when others don't. Many parts of myself have been questioned lately. Personally and professionally. This has led to some introspection and questioning. I do believe that I know who I am. I like who I am. 

3.  This week, because of some unexpected troubles, and LOTS of work, I didn't build much of anything that I'd planned on building...this blog, running, etc. I will not punish myself for that. I am back here tonight. I will be returning to running tomorrow. I will recognize the fact that I built some mus-cles, as my dad would say. That time spent was just as valuable. I will appreciate the fact that I am doing the best I can living the life I am living. 

4. Music and prayer. These two things really helped me! I've come to depend on both. Thanks to Trinity I have been obsessively listening to Sara Groves' album "Fireflies and Songs". I'm so grateful. Thanks to Kelly and Jessica, I've been reading the Bible and repeating verses of Scripture that saved me this week. 

As I look down the road, I know that life holds great things for us all. 

Here's my the video of my new favorite song "Setting up the Pins" by Sara Groves

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Setting Up the Pins"

(Sara Groves)

Have you ever bought an album on iTunes and then not listened to buying a book from a bookstore that you just have to have and then it sits in your bookshelf indefinitely...never to be opened? Then have you ever been re-introduced to "said" music by fate?

I bought Sara Groves "Fireflies and Songs" awhile ago. It was recommended because I bought Steven Curtis Chapman's "Beauty Will Rise" (which is an amazing album). I never rely listened to it-until last night. I was reading a friend's blog and she posted a video of this song. I was hooked. Inspired. It's still running through my head and I'm hoping it will be enough to get me through a very busy week.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

(various artists)

It's Friday. There's some snow on the ground, but not nearly enough for every teacher's dream....snow day! Bummer. I'm grateful it's Friday. It's been a long week and I'm ready for the weekend. Not much to say today...tired, bummed out, overwhelmed.

Here's to a happy Friday!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stuck Like Glue

I think a mark of a day well-lived is a good night sleep. Sleep has not been coming easily for me lately, until last night. I slept peacefully until my alarm sang to me at five a.m. And what a feeling that is! Especially after a workout that wasn't so great. My plan was to run. I am following the couch to 5k program. After 11minutes, I got off the treadmill. I couldn't do anymore. Here's the good part....I didn't just leave I didn't give up. I built on my beginning, i persisted and rode the bike for twenty more minutes. I ended up riding/running/walking for 31 minutes and I rode/ran/walked for 4.8 miles. It wasn't what I planned. It wasn't what I set out to do. It wasn't perfect. It was exercise. It was healthy. It is done!

My lesson for yesterday, the one that kept showing up in different ways over and over again, was doesn't need to be perfect, but just keep going. This is exactly the reason why I love picking a word of the year! In my head I thought I knew where this would focus me, and already I am learning new, unexpected, and totally necessary lessons. It feels good!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Winner Takes It All

(from "Mama Mia" soundtrack)'s one of those days. It's a day where I feel like giving up on everything already. (It's only January 5th...this can't be good) except I am paying attention to that feeling, addressing it, and moving past it. So, here I am writing on my blog again and soon I will be packing my bag for the gym.

This isn't a particularly interesting post and I may not do a great job running today, but I am showing up. Doing it. Building. This has been such a weakness for me because in the past I've avoided instead of persisted. If I can't be great, why bother....was my old philosophy. My new philosophy is show up everyday. So here I am.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Don't Rain on my Parade

(Glee soundtrack)

I did it! I did it! I did it! I ran/walked a mile and a half! I also finished my first book of 2011. The running felt great. The hardest part was packing my bag and getting there. I loved the feeling of being n the treadmill. I pushed myself. It's awesome. Im celebrating this so much becuse i want to build on it. I want to continue and have it last.

My other accomplishment...finishing my first book..I'm shooting for 111 books in 2011 AND keeping track of the books i read by building a list i can reflect upon and maybe even share with students. I read Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea. It's a story of a teacher and his impact on his students, as told by his students. It is so beautiful and touching! This is one of those stories that will stick with me. I highly recommend it.

Busy it only Tuesday? Well, Tuesday, here i come!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Girl I Mean to Be

(from The Secret Garden soundtrack)

Ok...I'm back! Loving being back here. It's Monday morning and the first day back to school after an interesting winter break. I see all of my teacher friends dreading the return...and while i understand, i don't really feel the same way. Going back to school makes me happy. Seeing my friends, and the kids, and even getting back to work. I'm great at beginnings, maybe that's why I like these days. It's the follow through that I sometimes struggle with...but I will work on building
on beginnings.

Happy Monday to you!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Word of the Year 2011: Build


This is the third year I have chosen a word of the year to guide me throughout the next twelve months. My first word was (2009) mettle. I loved that word! It just fit! The next word (for 2010) was engage. Again this word came to me easily and it fit. This year I struggled to find just the right word. I had settled on another word...until I some BIG things happened to didn't fit anymore. I consulted a friend and build seemed the best fit.

Build my relationships.
Build my faith and relationship with God.
Build my professional achievements.
Build myself.

Specifically, there are a couple of wats I plan on achieving this.
1. I want to a race.
2. I want to on this blog, amongst other places.
3. I want to take pictures...maybe take a photography class.
4. I want to read the bible...the whole bible this year.

So, 2011...I'm ready to build a great year!!!

Musings and thoughts...