Tuesday, September 14, 2010

God Knows YOUR Name!

(Enjoying this book by Beth Redman.  It is nourishment for the soul and encouragement for anyone who's ever felt less than worthy.  God loves each and every one of us!!)

God Knows Your Name
An excerpt from God Knows My Name by Beth Redman.
©2010 Cook Communications Ministries. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

“I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isa. 43:1)

A name is given and considered. A name imparts meaning, value, identity, and significance. Your name was chosen specifically, and especially, for you. A name gives both humanity and dignity to a person. The Enemy would have you live a nameless existence—feeling anonymous, illegitimate, unknown, unimportant, inglorious, and unfit to be named. Nineteenth-century London was a time of such material, emotional, and spiritual poverty that “children were so utterly uncared for that some were even without names, and were known to each other by nicknames.”

In direct contrast, God says that He has a name for us. Where we feel worthless and insignificant He bestows worth and significance upon us when He calls us by name and chooses us for His glory.

Anyone expecting a child has flipped through baby-name books, looking at the meanings and origins of names and thinking about how they sound. I’ve found names I loved and then been dismayed to find out they meant something like harlot, wench, or crooked nose!

Click here to watch the God Knows My Name book trailer!

Someone recently told me of a child who had been named Jezebel Harlot! That’s a pretty negative connotation to speak over a child every time she is called. Ideally, a name needs to suit the person carrying it. When my husband suggested that we name our third child “Rocco Redman,” I thought he had gone a bit mad! Normally my husband’s track record in making decisions is spot on. There really is no point arguing with Mr. Matthew Redman because over the years I have found he is nearly always right. However, on this occasion, I wasn’t so sure.

I wanted our third child to be called Benjamin, but Matt got the older children on board—and in the end I came to peace with the fact that if he was anything like his dad and his brother and sister, he would easily live up to something as strong and bold as Rocco! The name means “rest,” and so far he has turned out to be the most relaxed, peaceful, deep-sleeping, and gentle-spirited boy… and he has the confidence and joy required to be Rocco Redman. In new environments, his name still causes a little reaction, but it is so perfect for him, and I love that every time I write or call him by his full name, Rocco Benjamin Courage, I am affirming and speaking rest, sonship, bravery, and boldness over him.

In the same way, your Father God named you as precious, chosen, and beloved. You may not be named Rocco, but when God calls you, He speaks over you His truth, freedom, and life. Your part is to make a good choice—to continually believe and live under those things He named you and never to seek to hide behind another name. Many of us each day live under other labels that the Enemy has given us from past or present experiences—unwanted, failure, doubter, ugly, unlovely, needy, drama queen, mistake, disgrace, shamed, forgotten, and many more lies.

Click here to download Beth Redman’s song “God Knows My Name,” written exclusively for this book.

Those thoughts and feelings cannot possibly originate from God—for He is the giver of good and perfect gifts, and the God of all comfort. Those negative impressions of yourself and the words my own dad wrote in his email to me originate from the Enemy—who we know to be a dirty liar.

Perhaps you think your problems and insecurities are too great to overcome. By the kindness and mercy of God in my own life, I can assure you that this is not the case. I was abused physically, put down verbally, and rejected. I suffered humiliation many times and sadly began to act out how I felt about myself. In public I felt wretchedly insecure. I couldn’t go out with friends without feeling self-conscious and unimportant. I hated myself inside and out.

Then Jesus called my name. And everything changed. I hardly recognize the person I was back then. Our names may conjure up memories, but not always truth. I know that ultimately I am defined not by what others think of me when they hear my name, or what my earthly father says about me. Instead, the authority and compassion of the God who called my name define me. He loves, He shapes, He convicts, and He lavishes us with affirmation.

It’s time we heard His voice the loudest.

God Knows My Name: Never Forgotten, Forever Loved by Beth Redman
David C Cook/July 1, 2010/ISBN 978-0-7814-0365-8/188 pages/softcover/$14.99

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Bridge Walk 2010

It has become tradition for us to walk the Mackinac Bridge with Mom and Ron every Labor Day.  Well, actually, Hannah and I walk and Jim and Kaylie meet us at the Levering Cafe (aka "Big Chicken") for lunch.  And we don't technically walk with Mom and Ron, as Mom is usually trying to set land speed records and leaves us in the dust shortly after we start walking.  I was really worried that this year we were going to have to walk in the rain, but the weather turned out great!
7:00am: Bus ride to the north side of the bridge
Mom & Ron (and the arms of a really loud lady sitting in front of them)  Take a good look, you won't see them again...(until the walk is over)
7:45am: Port-o-potty lines.  Fortunately this year Mom didn't have to go
7:48am: No Running.  Unless you join the Governor on her "fitness jog" before the Walk begins.  Would love to do that sometime, but you have to get picked from a lottery.  With my luck, by the time I got picked, I'd be too old to run it.
7:49am:  We're walking, we're walking...

7:57am: Yay!  Sunshine!
8:15am: Almost to the first tower

8:22am:  Looking down:  This is the base of the pillars, as seen through the grates on the bridge.  At this point, I think we are about 200 feet above the water.

8:22: Looking up: The towers rise over 550 feet above water.

8:30am: I love sunbeams!!

8:33am:  Dudes at the top of the south tower.  I bet that is an amazing view!
8:42am:  Self portrait.  We have matching freckles. 
9:09am:  The end!!  Five miles complete!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Running on Empty

Friends, this is a blog entry I posted on Spark People.  Since I've been doing horrible keeping up this blog, I've decided to post some of my SP entries here as well.  At least then it looks like I've been blogging. :)  On both fronts, I am sure very few people read this or care, but I am getting it off my chest and this is my blog, so in this little corner of the blogosphere it is all about me.

(I need to start taking a dictaphone with me when I go jogging or walking. I come up with all these things I want to say while I am walking and then by the time I get home, shower, do a few chores or go to work or something, and then sit down to put my thoughts on paper, I forget half of what I meant to say. I might be the next great American novelist but for a dictaphone...)

I ran four miles today!!! I was so proud of myself. (Note the "was". This will come up later.) We are up at my mom's and I went out and ran the streets around her home. They have hills and everything - no hills in my neighborhood, so that was a nice change. So, I'm out there, I'm feeling good, my HRM isn't squawking at me to slow down, I'm running hills, I've got all the time in the world, so I am adding distance, and life is good. I ran a whole hour.

(Yes, I know - don't do too much too soon. But the hills were really unavoidable (unless I want to run past the neighbors house upwards of 10 times, which I don't) and for once I wasn't trying to squeeze in some quick exercise before running (ha ha) to the next thing on my calendar. And it was cool, so I did not feel like I was going to internally combust, so I kept running.)

At this point I must interject (yet again) and say 1)I could never be the next great novelist because I have too many tangents when I write and 2)I feel dishonest saying I ran four miles and for 60 minutes. I didn't run 60 minutes, I did what someone on one of the message boards has dubbed "wog"-ing. (Kind of like the Mog on SpaceBalls, the movie, but yet totally different) When I run, I am still at the point where I walk, then jog, then walk, then jog, then walk, etc, etc, etc. This week it was 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes jogging. I know Jeff Galloway (and whoever else) says I'm running, but I'm not. I'm walking. I'm jogging. I'm walking. I'm jogging. (Lather, rinse, repeat) Spark People, defender of the reasonable, advocate of moderation, doesn't even consider what I am doing to be running or jogging, as my pace is generally more than 12 minutes/mile. I don't know what to call it, but it ain't runnin'.

Which brings me to the letdown phase of the blog post. Back to me right after I ran: I'm exhilerated. I did hills, I did distance, I did time, and I felt great. At the end of the run, I still had more in me - I wasn't totally exhausted by any means. This is something I never thought I could do and were I not physically there to witness it, I would have sworn it was all a dream. Can't tell you how many times in my life I have tried to run and couldn't make it 1/2 a mile. Including back in my "in shape" days when I would power walk with a stroller loaded with 2 kids, a diaper bag, sippy cups, hats, snacks, etc. And here I am, 38 years young, and I am running. For 5 minutes straight at a time. And not passing out from lack of oxygen. Never underestimate the power of the "I did it!!" feeling you get when you overcome a physical hurdle. It is incredible.

Until you get home. And you realize that in those 60 minutes, you only ran 4 miles. Which gives you the unremarkable time of 15 minutes/mile, your slowest jog/walk logged to date. And your hard work netted a calorie burn that would barely offset a mocha. Why can't I just appreciate that I did hills, extra distance, extra time, all while doing a better job than normal of keeping my heart rate in range?? No, I have to focus on the depressing fact that I "walked 15 min/mile" and burned a very puny number of calories. It totally threw off my groove. (Another side note, I think the cooler temps made a BIG difference heart rate wise - will be interesting to monitor this as we hit fall and I get more conditioned (hopefully)).

I have come to grips with being a scale-oholic and am at a good place on that front, only to found out now that apparently I am a fitness calorie-burn monger who feels like a loser if she doesn't achieve a certain level in the fitness tracker. Bah humbug. What is wrong with me?

Superwoman Revisited

So, I finally finished Chasing Superwoman (see original blog entry below).  Have I mentioned that I'm stubborn?  If not for my own stubborness, I would have dropped this book after the first 50 pages.

I feel guilty for not liking it, but yet, I didn't like it. Not sure how much of my dislike is that it wasn't what I expected. I thought the book would offer some kind of insight on work/life balance as a mother, but it was more of a collection of stories about the author's life with a few spiritual thoughts thrown in at the end almost as an afterthought.  Not even great stories about her life.  Better outlet for her ramblings would be a blog or something (which I think the author also has, actually); then she can do what I do and get it off her chest and it may never been seen by human eyes, but you feel better because you've rationalized whatever you're doing at the time that is leaving you guilt-ridden.  Surprised this manuscript got her a book deal.  Surprised and jealous - I could so do what she just did.

I wasn't even going to finish this book, but stuck to it expecting something to pop out anytime and it just never did. Fortunately it was a very quick read, so not as frustrated about spending time on it as I might have been.
Well, so now you know...