Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 31

I had the somewhat startling thought today that July is over. Tomorrow is August. Deep breaths. Wow! August is going to have some great stuff (senior high camp, family trip to the beach, Josh's wedding, starting my new job at Davis, and my 30th birthday), but July wasn't too bad either.

Looking back at the calendar, I think I spent most of my month at the YMCA! Ha! That's kinda funny. Lisa Kloster and I have a standing daily Y date during the week and have had the utmost pleasure in meeting and conversing with the wide assortment of interesting folks who also happen to be on the 4th floor between the hours of 10 and 1. (Don't be too impressed with the three hour time bracket -- a great deal of that is spent chatting.) Just today we met Alex, a short Hispanic guy with the most perfect teeth I have ever seen. And get this -- all three of his kids have braces. It amuses me to no end that I know that -- who has these kinds of conversations at the gym?!?! Well... I do!!

In the realm of activity, July has also seen the reappearance of yogging on the workout plan. I'm up to 4 miles now, which seems so long and yet I remember when a 5-miler was my short run. I'm training for The Human Race -- Nike's 10K that is being held in 25 different cities and, for me, in Yakima thanks to my Nike+ iPod sensor. It is on August 31 -- yep! I'm celebrating my 30th year by running 6.some odd miles. Bring it on. What makes it even more enjoyable for me is that I used the video converter from church to upload onto my computer the audio tracks from my favorite movies (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Mickey's Christmas Carol, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Peter Pan, Robin Hood, and Annie) so now my runs are very diverting. I'm glad I don't have an audience when I run because I sometime have to perform choreography or play the jingle bells. Heh heh heh.

July also brought a great day at Mt. Rainier with my friend Susie. The trails were quite snowy and I was unprepared (as isn't very surprising) so my feet were SOAKED by the time we came down from the mountain. But it was gorgeous and she is such a fabulous friend.

July has also given lots of time to spend with the little people. Erin is quite the swimmer and Bennett took soccer and golf lessons this summer. They just make my heart bubble with affection!! I LOVE BEING AN AUNT!!! Even when they're being stinky. :-)

And that is the report for the month. Hard to believe that in one month more, so much will be different. Ch...Ch..Changes! Let us enjoy the rest of the summer!!

sunshine and smiles -- marah jean

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A reminder from Wayne

On Monday, I attended an afternoon leadership seminar at Life Center Church in Spokane that featured Wayne Cordeiro from New Hope Church in Honolulu, HI. I've heard this pastor speak before at the Leadership Summit Simulcast that Willow Creek Church broadcasts each summer. I'm so glad that I went -- totally worth the seven hours in the car that day. Not only did I get to see a few of my friends that I made at senior high camp last summer, but I was challenged and encouraged in a few fundamentals that will be invaluable as I move through the summer and into this next season of my life.

Before I left for Spokane, I had been reading Uprising by Erwin McManus as we are in the middle of a sermon series based on that book, and I'm preaching this Sunday. In it, he uses the Parable of the Talents as evidence that we must be faithful in the small things if we want to hear God say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." As we are faithful and as we persevere through the pressure cooker of life, we will gain wisdom. The strongest message I received from the afternoon in Spokane resonated with that same idea.

Pastor C. shared this idea:

85% of what I do could be done by anybody.
10% of what I do could be done by anybody who has had some training.
5% of what I do can be done ONLY by ME.

Yet our lives are so often taken up with the 85% and the 5% gets neglected. When we do that, though, we are not fulfilling God's best for our lives. And God is not going to hold us accountable for what we do; He's going to hold us accountable for what He's asked us to do that we've done. When Pastor C. said that, I had one of those spiritual whiplash moments. Yeah -- God's asked me to do some specific things, and when I don't do those, it doesn't matter how good of a racquetball player I am or how many movie lines I can quote.

So here are some things in my 5%:
~maintaining a vibrant and growing relationship with Christ: nobody else can spend time with or obey God for me
~being Auntie Marah to Bennett, Erin, and Jae; sister to Rachel, Carrie, and Joe; middle daughter to Marlyn and Jaurene: this is my family; to ignore them is to neglect the health of my foundation
~Getting and staying physically in shape: if I'm gonna live the life I've been called to, I need to have the energy to do so.
~Enjoying life and beauty with family and friends: nobody else can do that for me.

Part of me says, "Well, duh, Marah. That idea isn't rocket science." But it is easy to gloss over because 95% is a big number, but how I take care of the 5% will determine the kind of life I end up having.

The reminder is also good because it lines up with sermon stuff for Sunday! Hurray!! I'm really excited about this Sunday. Sometimes when I preach, I just dread it. I get all nervous and second guess myself. Not this time. I'm jazzed for it. I just don't want to overplan and try to fit 3 sermons into one. That's not good either.

And those are my thoughts this morning. much love to all my faithful readers... (which is maybe Jayme and Colin... love you two!!!)