Saturday, April 28, 2012

To Run or not to Run?

My brother, Andrew, recently asked me to run a 5k with him....I's not that big of a deal, right...but it is if you haven't been in the habit of running for quite some time. What is a 5k 5 THOUSAND miles or something!?;-)
My sister-in-law is an avid runner, but because of her ever-growing baby bump (yay little buddy, I can't wait 'til you get here!).....I was asked to fill in as the running partner :-/
I think I can take it...right?  I mean, I subjected myself to the pain of the Chiro-Pirate.... so this should be a piece of cake...?
I figure putting this on my blog will motivate me...or just hold me accountable that I said, publicly, that I was going to do it :-/
Feel free to comment below with some encouraging words, raps or ryhmes you wanna make up to motivate me...raps are actually preferred...thanks!

Here's a plan...maybe?

5K Training Schedule for Beginners

1Rest1 mi runCT or Rest1 mi runRest1.5 mi run20-30 min run or CT
2Rest1.5 mi runCT or Rest1.5 mi runRest1.75 mi run20-30 min run or CT
3Rest2 mi runCT or Rest1.5 mi runRest2 mi run20-30 min run or CT
4Rest2.25 mi runCT or Rest1.5 mi runRest2.25 mi run25-35 min run or CT
5Rest2.5 mi runCT or Rest2 mi runRest2.5 mi run25-35 min run or CT
6Rest2.75 mi runCT2 mi runRest2.75 mi run35-40 min run or CT
7Rest3 mi runCT2 mi runRest3 mi run35-40 min run or CT
8Rest3 mi runCT or Rest2 mi runRestRest5K Race!

Seriously....please give me some supportive comments....OR I will be forced to get my motivation and tips from  less than 1 minute of Youtube clips from one of my favorite T.V. characters....Micheal Scott, who hosted his own 5k "Fun Run" Race for a cure for a disease....that already has a cure...

So that's the plan. One of my closest friends is a track/cross-country coach (who also happens to be growing a baby bump of her own)....What do you think, Christine? Is it do-able?  Any suggestions besides what Michael Scott recommends.. like to eat lots of fettuccine alfredo RIGHT before I run....and that  I gotta have some sort of cause to run I will run for the eradication of splinters...ya know, like the kind you get from picnic tables....or decks or something- who likes those, right?  This is a cause that reaches beyond the boundaries of religion, race, one likes a splinter.

Waiting expectantly to be motivated by you :-)

One of the only ways I can do this, is if I take you with expect some running video logs :-)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Short update: Look who I found!!?

We found her!!! Sister Hope Chest! And she IS arm-less...just as I remembered her :-) Maybe I will attempt to perform reconstructive surgery...if my Mom says its okay, of course.  And I promise, no cosmetology will be done to this little sacred dolly :-)

Sigh...I feel like I can breath again now that the little nunsy is back!

Now I just need to find my New Kid on the Block, Jordan....I'll keep my eye out for his rat tail :-) I don't think these two dolls have ever been in each other's presence about the colliding of two worlds! Sister better hold tight to her rosary at the sight of Jordan's smooth style ;-)

Ok, so I know this is Random...but this song came up at band practice last night, and my Jordan doll reminded me of this era.  I shared that I actually sang and danced to this song in a 5th grade talent show...maybe I will post the video of that...if I can ever find it...but most likely NOT....EVER. 

Ace of Base: The Sign

Second disclaimer: No nun dolls were harmed in the making of this blog....yet.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Jane Doe and the thrill of the chase

I was talking to a lady recently, we'll just call her..."Jane."  Jane is a divorced Mother of three.  At a young age, after realizing that her brand new husband was an abusive alcoholic, she knew she had made a mistake...and after enduring it for a decade - they untied the knot.

She shared with me her deep, deep need for comfort and human connection and how she had been online dating for years to try and fill the void.  The men she's dated through the years have been able to superficially tranquilize her loneliness for a time...but the pain always seems to resurface.  These men, because of their own pain from the past, say that they are never able to commit to someone again, and she is left...again....with the sting of loneliness.

It broke my heart to hear her story, and though part of me wanted to shake her and tell her that she is worth more than this, I couldn't blame her for her desperation.  You see, Eve was always meant to be cherished....and, unfortunately, I guess that dwindled after the incident with the apple...

When Adam was alone with God in the perfection...God still saw something lacking and said that it was not good for the Man to be alone.  That is an interesting thought.....Really, God?  It's not good for Man to be alone when he is literally walking with the Creator in paradise!!?? How lonely could he be in this scene? But the Creative One had something in the works...
Wow, this Eve character must be something pretty special then, huh ;-)

In a lot of Christian environments, I have heard the phrase, "just go to God," as an answer to all issues of loneliness, despair, confusion....etc. God could have said to Adam that he should just be fully satisfied only in Him, but instead....He said that it wasn't good for him to be alone.  So, if it wasn't God's prescription for Adam while he was still with Eden....then why is, "just go to God," our answer now, when we are not even physically with Him....and have fallen from Eden? Shouldn't it be even worse for us to be alone here....lacking both the physical God and an Adam?

You see, we were made to need human connection.  This doesn't fulfill our need for God- and while He is a bridegroom God, He doesn't physically come down and marry every this is where Adam comes in.  God didn't give Eve to Adam after the make up for some sort of lacking because of sin....He made her as a gift....while human-kind was still....without sin.

While I believe, "Going to God" is obviously a good thing, :-) it is not the only thing.  This is offensive, I know.  Because we want to believe that God, alone,  fulfills our every desire...and He does, but it was right and good for Him to fulfill part of Adam's desire with Eve...and vice versa.  We don't have to feel guilty about our need for deep human connection...after all it was His design. "Jane" doesn't have to feel guilty about her need for an Adam...for in God's design, she is to be cherished by him.

I wonder...
Is it just the thrill of the chase that makes the hunter enjoy the sport?  Isn't it the find that is most rewarding?  I mean, if you are a hunter, but you never catch any are really just a wanderer in the woods with a weapon; if you are a fisherman, but you never catch anything, then really, you are just in the business of hooking worms to a string and holding them in a body of water...
Is my point coming across?  My point is: what is the point?  Why do we go after what is fleeting?  Why are we afraid to commit to what is lasting?  I know, with time, our culture has become less attracted to the idea of marriage- but that is to be expected, right?  I mean, we've been going downhill since that moment of giving into temptation in the garden...
But I believe that, in the heart of mankind, there still lies a pure desire for the find and not merely for the thrill of the chase.  After all, Adam didn't even have to chase.  He just woke up...and bam! there she was...."bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." (Gen 2:23)

Here is a video that my friend found on Youtube called, "What Christian singles hear"....Humorous....but SO true!

Much Love. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Hope Chest

I was an inquisitive kid...and not much has changed.  In the file cabinet of my brain, the question, "Why?" probably has the largest folder...except that comparing my brain to something so organized as a filing cabinet, is probably a little bit inaccurate.  No, my brain is more like... a hope chest...if you don't know what a hope chest is, please allow me to explain. The definition of a hope chest is: a chest used to collect items such as clothing and household linen, by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life but this isn't really what I grew up knowing a hope chest to be.  

My Mom has a hope chest that, I think, has been in the family for quite a long time.  When I was little, I used to LOVE to explore the hope chest.  I can still remember the nursing-home-y smell that wafted toward my nose as I lifted the top.  There were lots of keepsakes in the hope chest, but mainly it was filled with very RANDOM things. My favorite was my Mom's very old nun doll...anyone who knows my Mom probably smiles just thinking of her having a nun just makes so much sense.  There are very few people that I can think of who, in my opinion, would make great nuns, and my Mom is one of them....I, on the other hand- as a nun, would have been much more like Julie Andrew's character, Maria, in The Sound of Music (my very favorite movie growing up) The song, How do you solve a problem like Maria, from the movie comes to mind when I think of myself as a "sister" :-)  My Mom and I are pretty much opposites....Perfect example: My mother had a nun doll, I had a New Kids on the block doll with a rat's Jordan!!!! He's "got the right stuff"

This is the best picture I could find of him, and unfortunately it doesn't showcase his rat tail as much as I'd like, but I must admit that his one gold hoop earring makes my heart flutter a little ;-)

Here is the hope chest, and when I opened it to look for the nun doll, that old smell made me smile. 

So when the inspiration came to write this blog, I searched all over the house for the nun doll so I could share her with you all, but she was nowhere to be found. When I looked in the hope chest, this is all I could salvage of her:

I told my Mom that I didn't remember her ever having arms...but then again, the dolls from my Mother's childhood that she let me play with tended to have a few limbs missing, or a ratty mess of hair from my "washing and styling" it....or sometimes I did their face make-up...well, with permanent markers, but my intentions were good.  This is probably the most bare arm of a nun I've ever seen! hehe - is that wrong?

OK well I am going to call it a night...
Disclaimer: No real Nun's were harmed in the making of this blog, and in no way am I suggesting that the rat tail should come back in style...

Monday, April 16, 2012

When life hands you lemons...make lemonade - and then SPIKE it! ;-)

Just kidding, of course...sort of.

The title of this blog reminds me of a conversation I had with one of my dearest friends. I won't mention her first name, but it is spelled and pronounced exactly the same as mine... and she used to be my boss - other then that...I'm not saying ANYTHING....oh....well, except for that both of our names were inspired by this really random one-hit wonder.....

bahahaha that is just so funny to me....imagine hearing this song and thinking...."Wait a minute...Yep.....YEP.....THATS IT, there's the inspiration we were looking for...and her name shall be called Julie, because of Bobby Sherman's deep, inspiring lyrics!" The chorus repeats our name 12 times in it over and seems as though the choosing of our name was the automatic response to a mind trick rather than because of the awe-inspiring lyrics of a song :-)

So this unnamed friend and I talked about a specific scripture verse concerning giving alcohol to those in despair to "forget how poor and miserable they feel"....probably because we were both feeling a little poor, with a heaping side of miserable :-/
Now before anyone gets their undergarments in a wad, the purpose of this post is not to interpret this scripture, neither is it to make an argument that condones or condemns drinking alcohol- I am just making a point...

Hmm OK so you know how they call the 5:00 hour, "happy hour"....and lots of bars and restaurants will give half-price drinks and what not?  So around this time, many hard-working men and women will make their way from the office to one of these establishments in search of some relief from the stress of the work day...and/or the trials of daily life in this lovely, fallen world we live in.  There is no doubt that we all NEED relief and something to help us cope...even if just for that one blissful hour of forgetfulness.  So it seems to me that, because we Christians are just as human-y as all of our other fellow homosapiens, we are not somehow exempt from this need for relief, right?
So while I am not suggesting that we all have a big Christian Woodstock, where we get drunk and forget our woes (and listen to Bobby Sherman and decide to name our children), I am making the point that we are in need of a....Happy Hour...A time to, say, "cast our cares".....or to get some of that sweet peace that "transcends all understanding".....or to be free from inhibitions, in faith, "like a child"...

I am going to take a bit of a risk and be vulnerable here, but most of you know this about me already.  I have battled, almost my entire life, with an eating disorder.  It has been explained countless times that it is, "not about the food, but about using the food to cope."  This can be applied to all of us - eating disorder or not.  Just fill in your sin or struggle here:

Hi, my name is _______ and I get my relief, (though momentary and fleeting), from ________ .... and it always leaves me wanting.

I think that our Christian lives should be one big oxymoron if we would just let them be!  Let me explain...
Think about it- how much did Jesus, by our human standards, "make sense" - and how much did He say things that either...pissed people off or boggled their minds?" Because we are so earthly-minded, many of the things that Jesus says are so offensive to us and do not "make sense."  So, which should we trust as a rock to stand on, our finite brains and roller coaster emotions, or the Creator of the heavens and the earth? Picture how some of the kiddos in Africa jump and dance and sing in worship to the King while simultaneously, they may be starving, sick, or even dying....amazing, right? doesn't seem to make much sense. It shouldn't make sense, the kingdom of God is an upside-down kingdom. So here is some encouragement to live in contradiction.....the tug-of-war between flesh and spirit. If we weren't living in this battle, we would be in Eden before the fall...but we're not - we went our own way and we were in desperate need for an offering to bridge the gap.

So I am charging myself, and you too- if you want to be charged, to receive His offering.  I am going to spike my drink with some of THAT and let it make me happy....let it bring me relief. I am going to believe that the Lord is my Shepherd....and in having Him.....I shall not be in want. I am choosing to believe that He breathed life into my lungs so that I could do just that - live.  Not so that I could be bound by the ________ that we filled in above.

So the friend I mentioned in the beginning, she shared with me yesterday just how much she sees in my heart and what I have to offer the world...and I am making it a point to trust her and receive her compliment that God has made me special...and so has He done with you.  I will not let _______ steal my joy or steal His worship.

I recently, so thankfully, stumbled upon the wonderful singer/songwriter, Jimmy Needham.
So take a few minutes and listen to this song and let it make you Happy...because music has a tendency to do that :-)
And if you don't like this style of music...well then, I will pray for your soul ;-)

Did you know that you are Dearly Loved?

I plan to play and sing some of his songs, and as soon as I can figure out how to post them here from my phone, I will. I really want to pursue a desire I have to play and sing music like this. Maybe not even in a "worship" setting -how we would normally think of it, but just in any venue to provide a place to allow God to restore hearts to Himself.  I want to be a vessel through music by fostering the Spirit of the one who brings true relief.  Who knows? Maybe I'll have a cafe' called "Happy Hour," where I sing and worship like this at 5:00 pm and all are welcome ;-) We will serve lemonade and "spike" it with some Godka....ridiculous - I know. I already have ideas for a drink list, or a list of Spirits: instead of a bloody mary, a Virgin Mary... A Godka tonic.... :-)

"So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun."
                      -Ecclesiastes 8:15

OK- quick question....nothing against Bobby Sherman, but - seriously....after hearing both of these guys, who do you think would win in a fight?  Bobby Sherman or JIMMY NEEDHAM? You know my answer. Jimmy....God bless him and his extremely blessed wife! :-)

If no one has told you today, you are worthy of love...because God has given you breath.

Much, much love from me to you.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blogging Therapy in the South of France


I just sat down to a nice session of blogging therapy.  I am sitting here in my Grandmother's electric chair (hmmm...I see how that could be misconstrued :-/ Don't worry folks, we do not electrocute our Grandparents in this household, the chair just reclines electrically :-)'s relaxing and therapeutic. I'd rather do this than a lot of other things that rhyme with the word, "blogging"....such as: going jogging, or receiving a flogging.  As I sit here, reclined, listening to the gentle hum of my not-so-hip HP Compaq laptop.....I feel like I am on a beach somewhere in the South of France (hmm I'm not even sure what is in the "South of France," but the phrase, "South of France" just sounded so nice.)  So in the spirit of accurate blogging, I google'd some beaches in the South of France so you, too, could experience what its like for me while I blog:

umm...yes please.

Well, I guess this experience is a little bit different from being in the South of France, because since dropping my laptop on the concrete, while trying to wave hello to a friend, the "gentle hum" has morphed into the sound of a small plane- gearing up to take flight in my living room. If you look closely at the above picture, you can almost see me, I'm blogging on the edge of one of those cliffs and...GREAT...I just dropped my laptop while waving hello to you...ugh
I am sure that I'm one of the more clumsy/ less tech-savvy bloggers out there, but I am down with the lingo and the cool brands, so I've decided to sit on a grannysmith while blogging so that when people call and ask me what I'm doing, I can respond like this without lying: "Oh nothing, I'm just surfing the web on my Apple"  

Despite the lighter tone of my blogs, I have been quite sad lately.  This has been the routine: have a good cry, then feel all inspired and decide to blog (intending to change the world with my super in-depth philosophical powers and the widespread fan-base I have ;-)...but then, once I've started typing, I'm suddenly all cried-out, silliness takes over and before I know it- I'm making a video with a mud-covered face while singing the blues.

I love to laugh, and I am certainly not a slacker when it comes to crying- if I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it well.  I can't help it....and I've never been able to.  Call it a gift or call it a curse, but I've learned that if I just let the flood gates open, once its over, I usually feel much better- and when I've counted my losses, I'm just out a roll of toilet paper...or two, and I've gained the puffy-eyed look that, I hear, is all the rage in fashion these days :-)

First Osh Kosh scripture verse:

"There is a time for everything under the sun,
A time to use toilet paper for weeping,
and a time to use it for wiping."

                                                                                           -Book of Ridiculous Ch.1,verse 1
(If you are puzzled by this new translation, refer to last blog)

Ok, stay tuned, because I'm getting more in-depth and serious by the moment....and I can feel a cry coming on ;-)

Au Revoir for now...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hospital fun and the Pneumonia blues

I am all about those in-depth versions of the Bible... my very favorite is the amplified, but sometimes it makes me smile to read those versions that sound like they were interpreted by a little kid wearing OshKosh B'gosh overalls...
The simplicity is refreshing:

"If you are cheerful,
you feel good;
 if you are sad, you hurt all over" 

proverbs 17:22 (Contemporary English Version)

So true, right!?
Who's for writing an Osh Kosh version of the Bible?
Vote here:
         ___Yes     ___No, I'm mean  ;-)

The past season of life has been trying.  So often, I have experienced deferred hope and a lot of pain, but I am setting my heart to hope in God- come mountain or valley.  So in honor of that is a light-hearted blog post that will hopefully make you not, "hurt all over" :-)

I recently had the honor of staying in the 5-star resort of St. Mary's hospital in the beautiful and budding, Langhorne, PA. I would recommend this specific room of the lovely bed and breakfast to take care of all of your heart's desires: the cardiology wing.

Here is a short video blog of me with my personal R2D2 robot.  I am thinking of writing a comic strip entitled, The Adventures of I.V. girl, where the young girl is taken over by her I.V. and heart monitor, and she escapes from the hospital - wreaking havoc on the town.  Then she is picked with another young boy from her district to be tributes, and they are forced to enter the Arena and fight to the....wait?
Hunger Games shout out ;-)

When I was finally diagnosed with walking pneumonia, I did what anyone who has walking pneumonia does when they can't sleep and its 4:00 a.m....I recorded myself singing on my phone.  Bummer...I don't know how to upload it here :-(
On a more serious note-

This verse has been so close to my heart lately and I thought I'd share...
Happy Easter Everyone.  There is one great love- and He gladly, willingly did this for us:

Isaiah 53:2-6

There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
    nothing to attract us to him.
He was despised and rejected—
    a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
    He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
    it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
    a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
    crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
    He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
    We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
    the sins of us all.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Release

My first bloggy-doodle-doo :) (I actually wrote this one like a month ago, but it was my first, so here it is)

I just had one of those releases...and the pain came out through the ducts. 
Not the enjoyable tears that one might experience at the end of a sad movie, but rather the kind where it feels like your stomach eats your heart and then vomits it back into your chest cavity...poor heart...another rejection :/

You might be thinking, "Wow Julie, what an intense way to start your first blog," and you would be right, but that is sort of how life is right now: serious, yet funny...devastating, yet hopeful.  

I've been wanting to start this blog for some time now, mostly because the responses to many of the stories of my life have been..."are you kidding me Julie!?"
Some of these tales were hilarious in the moment, while others were only hilarious.......WAY AFTER the moment had gone...and some- were just plain crappy (literally, like when I was on a jog and my phone flung out of my pocket and landed in a fresh pile of dog diarrhea...which I proceeded to wipe onto my sweatshirt in a quick, thoughtless reaction- followed by a stinky jog back to my car and a plethora of perplexed stares from onlookers). 

Oh the joys :)
We'll get to those stories in time, when I'm feeling nostalgic.  In the meantime, I'd like to focus on what life is at the moment...which is - drum roll please:

Turning 27 and moving back in with the parents into a 55 and older community!!!
Don't knock it 'til you try it.

There are other neato things going on... I am in massage therapy school and I am pursuing my dream of singing and playing in coffee shops, cafe's, and maybe (if I'm lucky) at some sweet elderly partaaays 'round here ;)

So welcome to my life.  I'm going to try to write daily... Maybe I'll get addicted to writing and be able to lay down my other vices!
I was looking at some old pics and this one with these little lovelies in India made me smile.
Hehe...not sure if they all know what a "kissy face" is supposed to look like. Or maybe I'm the one that didn't get the memo and we were supposed to be doing fishy faces. Precious.

Yikes this pic makes me wanna die my hair red again....somebody stop me!!!

Here is a much more recent picture of me with Marilyn in N.Y.C.
There was this weird guy looking down at us and we were like...."uh, what? we are just hanging out in the in my winter coat and her and white."

P.S. Maybe no one will read this blog, OR maybe my blog will get as big as facebook and I'll have to fight off some twin Harvard Jocks for the rights to my new site that is SWEEPING THE NATION!
Just sayin'.