Limits, Powerlifting, Self-Esteem

RAW Learning …

This  past weekend  I competed  in the 100% RAW American Challenge National  Championships in Zion Crossroads, Virginia.

I took First Place in squat, bench and deadlift for my weight and age group.  The winning squat was 80 lbs, bench, 72 lbs and deadlift  was 185 lbs. I weighed in at 113 lbs.

Although I won I learned a lot about the technical aspects of powerlifting.  I made all my lifts but three were not counted because of technical mistakes.  I can point to why I made the mistakes on the discounted lift. On every lift that didn’t count the mistake took place directly after a split second of doubt entered my mind. It was my first full competition preforming all three lifts: squat, bench and deadlift.  It takes a lot out of you and I probably was not 100% mentally prepared.

Lay your hands on him; remember the battle—you will not do it again! ! ~Job 41:8

I’ve learned there is no room for any self-doubt.  Next time I’m going to have to go into competition KNOWING I can do the lift and stop thinking about it while preforming it. Also, I have to work a harder on building strength and stamina.

I am glad  I made the mistakes that I did (although not in the  moment) because I learned a lot about  what  I  have to work on and therefore improve myself. I am grateful to God who put me on this path. I had no idea that I would be in this place a year and a half ago. Thank you to my husband, Ryan, for driving  me to and from competitions, thank you to all my coaches who are incredible, and to all my teammates  who help motivate and encourage  me.


Memorial Day

Definition: a day in which those who died in active military service are remembered.  Traditionally observed on May 30th, but now observed on the last Monday in May.

Some think this weekend is an excuse to have a cookout, drink, and gather together. It’s not. Some think Memorial Day is a “nothing” holiday because we don’t give each other gifts or decorate our houses with bright lights or hang stockings by our fireplaces.  We don’t bake cakes and put candles on them, but it’s definitely not a “nothing” holiday.

We do indeed receive a gift.

Our gift is the freedom to cookout, drink and gather, or do and think whatever we want. The thing is, the freedom we enjoy everyday came with a huge price paid by someone’s son, daughter, friend, father, or mother; Someone’s aunt, uncle, cousin, grandfather, or grandmother. They said to themselves, “let me give myself, all of me, so another can live free.”

I’m not saying you shouldn’t celebrate this weekend in whatever way you want,  just remember why you are able to. Although it’s not what Memorial Day is about, the next time you see a soldier in uniform please remember they are putting you and everyone else and this entire country above themselves. Say thank you to them. They’re willing participants in fighting for everything this country stands for. In the process, they are sacrificing, at the very least, time away from their own family and, at the very most, some day… their own life.

Please give them your respect, hold dear the liberties we have, and honor the flag.

Military personnel who gave it all are the reason for this holiday.

Family Life

2017 Can Blow Cookies

I’m so sick of 2017!

Best part about being sick…

Since January my daughter, Anaia, has contracted flu A (which I, in turn, got), flu B (which thank the good Lord and an entire bottle of “Airborne” I didn’t get), numerous colds (of which I got a few), strep throat…. and most recently, a rebound of strep again.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.~  3 John 2

My coach and dear friend Jill and her family, has had numerous stomach viruses and other illnesses, which, in my estimation, should have been cause for her house to be under quarantine. Now… I’ve a sinus infection. All of this has put a wrench in my training, which has me nervous because Nationals is only a few weeks away. But God is in control and all I can do is my best and see what happens. That is exactly what I intend to do.

My husband, Ryan, by the grace of God and his busy work schedule, has escaped the clutches of the plagues descending on both our houses. Everywhere I look there’s a mess; laundry to be done, dishes to wash, a dog or a cat that wants food or to come in or go out. I’ve no energy to do any of it. Here’s where I give a very big, dare I say, mother of all “thank-yous” to Ryan for trying to hold the household together.


We love because he first loved us. ~1 John 4:19

Mowing for Jesus

I love you and greatly appreciate everything you do for us. I know you feel that you’re being pulled in every direction. Just today vacuuming and mopping the house and getting a fire call in between school bus runs. A very nice Father’s Day is definitely in store for him. He said, “It’s like you have to keep up with the Jones’ but the Jones’ are Peter Pans and of course you can’t keep up with Peter Pan!” That’s how the poor guy feels! Maybe I should give him a trip to Neverland?

Ryan said that jokingly,  but life should never be about keeping up with the Jones’. You should never feel what you have, or how your house and property looks, isn’t good enough or doesn’t fit the neighborhood. If you and your family are happy and healthy, that’s what matters.

Healthy? Oh right… we aren’t.

Peter Pan, here we come! BTW now Ryan is mowing the yard and, yes, he does mow for Jesus!

Contemplations, Self-Esteem, Uncategorized

When eye splinters hurt

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.~ Matthew  7 1-2

Anyone regularly reading this blog knows I step in every now and then to add a post or two. Usually this occurs after an in-depth conversation with Linda over life and all the crazy it dishes.  So here I am, taking over the blog this morning after one such conversation.

It’s very easy to assume things of another person. Assumption rears its head in my life every so often and I am sure it does in many of our readers, and it’s frustrating for anyone to face. For me,  I’ve been called a“bad influence” on Linda. A bad influence means something or someone is teaching  others to do wrong or to make them have bad thoughts about someone, encouraging wrong actions and thoughts by example.

This would be a gross assumption, and for the life of us (and others who know us) Linda and I cannot figure out why that idea was created, yet there it is.  It sinks my heart to know such ideas are out there.  When I recently asked Linda why she thought this judgement existed she replied:

“Because you encouraged me to be independent.”

That was a powerful and humbling thing to hear her say. “Can’t” shouldn’t be  anyone’s vocabulary. The only thing I ardently believe she can’t do on her own is put her hair up in a dang ponytail.

So why judge others? Why attach labels and shove our assumptions in front of fact, thought, and reason? Assumption is a taking to or upon oneself to know what is true and right according to what one needs or wants to hear.

We judge because internally we find a weakness in ourselves. Instead of maturely addressing our shortcomings and insecurities we take it out on others. Instead of getting to know people so we form opinion based on hard core fact, we assume we know all, put up walls, and look away. Often, those we abuse by wrongful judgment do not deserve the mistreatment.

A habit of not addressing our flaws by casting judgment on others is a hard one to break.

Judging others…that’s gotta hurt

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? ~Matthew 7:3

Our instinct when judged may be a rush to defend ourselves. That’s an equally hard habit to break. I admit I’d love to write a blog defending myself, listing to the world all the reasons as to why I believe I am not a “bad influence,” but I’ve learned, through very hard lessons, that there is a time and place for true defense. In the end God knows my intentions. He is my judge; the Holy Spirit will convict me.

Reflecting on what caused this blog, my feelings of anger, outrage, and being hurt have dissipated into pity toward the one who assumes so much about me. I wish  habits of judgement and assumption could change. It’s terribly hard to look at the world through scratched lenses. I’ve lived like that and it really sucks, and I know Linda’s lived like that as well. Together we know how painful it is to compare oneself to others, to ignore our hurts and hang-ups and to be in such denial  of what makes us human…

…our flaws.

If judged, pray for the person judging you. Pray that God softens hearts to vulnerability. It’s good to be vulnerable. I will always defend Linda, of course! If anyone wants to get to her they will have to go through me. That’s a little life disclaimer!  Forgive those who cast judgment because God first forgave you.

That doesn’t change my  opinion of the circumstances or situations I’m in, but does polish my glasses with empathy.

~Jennifer Deschanel



Motivation Masks

Motivation has many different faces. It can be born out of fear, happiness, anger, avoidance or sadness. Some causes of motivation are healthy, good, and even essential to experience. Some are unhealthy and detrimental to your well-being. If you stop and take a moment to see what motivates you, you could surprise yourself at what lies deep within.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~ John 14:27

The cause of why you make certain decisions, I think, is imperative in leading a happy and healthy life, meant to be lived with a great sense of contentment. Someone might be successful according to the rules of this world, but why they are a success, or the catalyst behind their success may have many different reasons and varying results.

Always striving for more and always wanting to find ways to do “it” better is not bad in itself. To feel that way because you’re running away from something or to feel nothing is ever good enough is harmful. I’ve learned you can’t keep running. Life will always catch up to you. You have to deal with whatever difficult and hurtful past situation is driving you away. If you don’t, it will keep returning time and again to haunt you until you do deal with it. Stand firm, look it in the eye and confront the ghost of your past.

Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. ~Ecclesiastes 7:10

I kept finding myself in unhealthy (in one way or another) relationships with men who were fixer uppers. It was much like buying a house knowing it needs a new bathroom or a new kitchen floor. Minor in your eyes, but when you go and rip up the bathroom floor you find black mold because the plumbing is shot and you fork over thousands of dollars to get it up to code. If you find this is your relationship, it will cost you a whole lot more than money.

Come to think of it… I wouldn’t recommend a fixer upper man or a fixer upper house.

In trying to evaluate why I made the same unhealthy choices with men, I found how I viewed myself played a huge role. My self-esteem was in the toilet. You can’t pretty up someone else (nor should you want to) when you are a fixer upper yourself. Before going and looking for a HEALTHY relationship, it’s really important to work on getting yourself healthy first. If you don’t, you won’t find your heart’s desires.

I realized, as I worked on myself, what I looked for in a relationship changed; what I expected a man to change, the qualities he should have changed. Where I looked even changed. All changed because I viewed myself in a different light. Praise be to God! He definitely had his hands full with me. Thanks be to Him.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.~Romans 12:2

This applies to all aspects of life not just in relationships. Why do you always want the latest iPhone, a new car, a better job, or even a better spouse? Take a good hard look at what is inside yourself and then reevaluate your own motives. I recently learned it doesn’t matter what happened to you in your past or what kind of relationship you had with your parents growing up. What matters is how you view yourself. I’m constantly reminding myself I’m a King’s daughter and a warrior. In the book “Girls with Swords” the author says, “being a warrior is a way of life and many of the battles they fight are with enemies unseen.” How many of us are at war with the critical voices in our heads? How many of us fight with ghosts of the past? How many of us don’t even know we’re at war?

Here’s the good news! Struggle strengthens us. Pressure makes a lump of coal into a diamond. Fire can refine and reshape us; it doesn’t have to burn us. And here’s the best part… water… water quenches the heat of the fire. Like the water of our baptism, being born again of the Spirit, it sets up and hardens us into the shape the fire molded us into.

We don’t have to drown in our struggles.

cerebral palsy, Powerlifting

Local New York Paper Picks Up Powerlifter’s Story

Thrilled to step in here to say that Linda’s story and blog has been picked up and shared by a local New York newspaper. Such a great article to help spread the word about what determination and belief in God can do to transform a life. ~Jennifer Deschanel

 …My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.~John 4:34


Being a Royal Dork

Recently I’ve felt the need to slow down and reset. It’s been insanely busy and a very emotional few weeks. My husband has been working crazy long hours since he’ been working three jobs, a dear family friend passed away way too soon, and one of my best friends has a spouse who ended up in the hospital on Easter Sunday from complications from alcoholism. I feel that everyone close to me is just so exhausted, including me! Exhausted mentally and physically by this fallen world…

 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. ~Ephesians 6:14-18

I hardly ever see Ryan these days because he’s always working, and God bless him, when he’s home he tries his hardest to be a part of the family. I end up telling him it’s ok to be tired and to go to bed.  He’s very happy to do so. At the moment, I’ve been having seizure auras. I may be coming down with something.

This should be all we ever need….

I feel the need to sit at the feet of Jesus and take a deep breath. It’s been a long rough year already.

I’m so looking forward to a visit from Jennifer Deschanel next week. We plan to build a fire pit in my backyard and put in some plantings. I think that’s just what the doctor ordered. It’s so easy to get caught up in this world. I indeed felt every thing around me was swallowing me up until my Pastor’s wife called me a DORK during the last women’s group. Yes… I’m a dork a daughter of a righteous king.

In the women’s group we are doing a book study on Girls With Swords by Lisa Bevere. I’ll probably do a full review of the book when I’ve read the entire thing. It’s a wonderful book for women of faith. I highly suggest you check it out. It’s available on amazon.

Anyway back to me being a dork…

It’s so easy to lose sight of who we are and where we came from. I think it is vital in keeping one’s mental and physical well-being in balance to never forget this fact. In Girls With Swords the author says we’re transients, passing through this earth with our roots in heaven. She says we should “choose to live as a stranger in this land. ” Lisa Bevere goes on to say this means you should live with the understanding that “we are just passing through this world.” Our life comes from the Lord, and therefore we are rooted in Him.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God~ Colossians 3:2-3

Don’t let your roots grow deep in this world, but don’t let life get so overwhelming that we forget to check in with Jesus.  Recall what matters to us. Laugh when called a dork; remember those parted with smiles and laughter knowing we will see them again; pray for the ones who need strength, and look forward to times with those closest to us.  If we don’t wear ‘s God armor Satan will attack us by striking at our hopes, our passions, our energy and want to be quiet and calm.  We will forget what matters and worse, forget to care for ourselves. When times are rough and emotions rougher, that’s when we need to just sit a Jesus’ feet and be still. From there we can reset our minds and bodies and be able to live out His purpose for us in life, without life…. getting in the way.

We should look to the Lord and give out into the world what we receive from Him.