Fun Fit 5K Plus

Having fun, getting fit, loving life

Counting My Blessings

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148. I am protected and shielded and guarded by God.

One morning I was walking by myself on the 5k path where my friend and I train every week.

It starts in a very wooded park.

It was dark and I have quite the imagination!

So as I am picturing some creep jumping out at me,
I also see myself fighting as if there is no tomorrow.
He would not want to mess with me!

And then I envision the best help ever-
Two big guardian angels walking behind me.
I mean big!
As in bad!

You know,
Saying “she is a child of God.
Don’t even think about coming close to her!”

I was smiling as I was moving.
They were there.
I just knew it.
How much more secure could I feel?

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149. The example and strength of those who go before us help inspire me to be a better “me.”

I read this book about the life of Padre Pio and was uplifted by the amazing heart he had.
This wasn’t that long ago that he led so many to Jesus.

He was born in Italy in 1887 and died in 1968.
From the start he was unlike any other.
Often running from his friends when they said bad words,
He was drawn to the sense of obedience.

He was tormented by the devil as much as he was guided by Jesus.
He is known because he bore the stigmata for much of his life.

Many received miraculous healings in his presence and conversions were often made after speaking with him in the confessional.
There is so much about his story that I didn’t know. The torment he endured from not only demons but from people within the church.

I urge you to read this book that is very well done.
I finished in a couple of days,
As I was drawn into his world.

The most important message I received was obedience to our Father and true love of neighbor.

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150. Great fiction, steeped in fact, stimulates my thinking and creativity.

I love the works of Jodi Picoult because of her ability to write about subjects that are challenging.

This book revolved around the holocaust.
Written from the viewpoints of a survivor and a Nazi, this book is cleverly done.

You can tell Jodi does a lot of research as she always includes tons of actual facts.

There were twists and turns to the very end.
I am always left saying,
“No!!! Don’t end there!”
It’s almost torment to finish her stories.

Another great work and very thought provoking.
I didn’t even realize that I was finished reading it at the beginning of Holocaust Remembrance week.

A topic that seems to touch all of us,
I am deeply moved by movies and stories of one of the most tragic times in history.

There are people today in different regions that still have experienced being killed and tortured and cast out of their homes.

Modern day holocausts include Darfur.
Here is information on Darfur.
Genocide in Darfur

I hope you will join me in praying today (and often) for those suffering from these atrocious occurrences.

We are all human.

We are called to love.

The images shown,
Brings me to tears and feelings of helplessness.
And then I remember that shield.
The one that covers me.

I pray Father that you cover and protect your children.
I claim them in your name and pray for their peace and protection.

Let us all picture that covering wing over these most lovely people.

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151. Thank God for the beauty I am privileged to touch and smell and see and hear every day.

The freedom that I live in is very appreciated.

I am happy to say these awareness weeks plant seeds of gratefulness in me.

I must not take for granted one free breath,(152.)
Step, (153.)
Hug,(154.)
Peaceful rest,(155.)
Belly full of food,(156.)
Warm home,(157.)
Opportunity. (158.)

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So it’s not perfect,
But this is my latest product from my art class.

159.My art teacher, Ann is enthusiastic in encouraging me to keep coming back.

I get lost in time,
As I move over the blank canvas with determination.
“This one will be the best I have done. ”
“I will take my time to get this right. ”

Ann lets us stay and work til we are done.
The 2 hour time frame is always abandoned and I am so grateful!!

160. Zumba is tonight!

I love Zumba because its dance at its most passionate state.
Mostly Latin based,
Hips are moving as fast as our feet!

I am always smiling while we dance and we always sweat like crazy!

Once again I am so amazed at the amount of blessings in my life!
Until next time,
Don’t forget to count your blessings!

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9 Comments »

I Can Love

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What can I do?

That small gesture,
You know – the smile, laugh, opened door,
actually speaking to that stranger in line…
Is it enough?

That small movement
That really didn’t stretch me to the point of exhaustion,
How hard was it?

I reached out.

Someone.
Maybe not just one,
Needed it today.

Maybe they couldn’t call a friend,
Maybe the family doesn’t understand,
Maybe they feel alone,
Maybe today is the day they feel hopeless enough to disconnect from society.

Can we afford to let that happen?

How can we be so absorbed in our own possible discomfort
That we neglect someone in need?

To love our neighbor,
Doesn’t mean
Only those we know.

Have I done all I can?

Have I gotten uncomfortable for loves sake?

What part have I played in the destruction of another’s day
Or the reconstruction of their day?

Each of us do make our own decisions,
But have you ever been
jolted
Out of your mood by a stranger?

Saying something funny to you
or
Really looking into your eyes as if they knew you?
They gave just a little,
Maybe even bought your coffee when in line…
But wow!
The impact one gesture can make!

As silly as it seems,
As corny,
As idealistic,
As naive,
As unbelievable,
As “whatever”-

I do think one moment can change a day, a thought, a life.

I may never know
If I
Actually
Made a difference.

If I reached out in the right way.

We can’t afford to think,
“I am too
Tired (or fill in the blank)
To deal with strangers.”

That person in line next to me,
The person who just got on the elevator,
The person sitting behind me at Church,
The lady with that beautiful scarf,
The man restocking shelves,
The people in the car next to me…

Don’t we all just want to be heard and seen and really understood…?

What can I do?

If nothing else,
A smile and a prayer.
God bless this person in the way they need it most.

Have I not felt the nudge,
Pushing me to say something?

I did today and it was hard.
My friend.
Who has cancer.
I didn’t know what to say.
But I had felt so strongly to mention “Mr. Bean.”

“How did you know?”
She said.
“I love Mr. Bean!”

If I hadn’t said it.
If I hadn’t pushed through the discomfort.
Would her life have changed ?
No.
But still…did I discover what I need to do with her?
Yes, most certainly.

When I reach out,
Sometimes I may touch just one.
And sometimes it ends up being me.
Always,
I know
If I did it
I am passing along a little
Hope.
A bit of love.

And if not received?
Am I lost of anything?

My tears over innocence.
Those little faces…
Those heroes…

What can I do?

I can love.

Only God knows if that one moment will be enough
To help a lost soul.
And if more than just I
Love ?

Only God knows…

But I know this for certain
I
Can
Love

16 Comments »

On The Path To Macquarie

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The morning wake up was as per usual this week,
Squeaky door opens,
Little toes slapping against the cold wood floor,
Giggling girls snuggling in to
“Aunt Chelle’s” bed.

We enjoy looking at photos of Coogee and Cooper,
An old video of me sledding down our freshly snowed lawn on a special Christmas while “uncle Brian” narrates between laughs,
Old and new photos which Bring questions and smiles and early morning discussion.

I didn’t want to leave the warmth.
Just one more photo.
One more memory to wrap in stone.

Then I remembered,
I wanted to take the path to Macquarie.

I wanted the cooler morning air
And the feel of pavement under foot
And the smell of flowers floating from bright lawns
And the music in my ears.

So I took the 5k path to and from
Macquarie.

And this is what was on that path.

A man on a mission,
I passed him by to later see why his gait was slow.
I found him praying
So beautiful,
A dance.
Face looking up into the sun.
I felt the warmth.

Two women ,
Old friends.
Getting healthy on their walk.
Words escaping faster than their feet moving.

A man kicking an empty jug in a field of green.
Why?
Was he angry, sad or lonely?
Did he see me walking by?

A bridge to walk under.
Tagged by artists late at night.
Full of colour and expression.

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Skate park quiet at this hour.
Yet I could hear the wheels skid by.
Curves and ramps sit idle
Til perhaps after 3:00.

Mother duck and her children
Watch me closely as I pass.
What’s her hurry – seemed their thought.
Slow down and take it in.

20 bikes sporadically whiz by as they race off to work.
Helmets and backpacks
Concentration planted on their face.

A whiff of something sweet.
Beauty in a smell.
Smile comes after
as I breathe in God’s
“Good morning.”

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Next I see an ageing couple,
Perhaps their daily routine.
Holding hands,
Supporting each other.
Hope and love rolled into one.

One last scene on the path from Macquarie,
Two sweet dogs headed my way.
A proud owner,
I can relate.

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This morning,
On the path to Macquarie.
I woke to find this day.
A mystery.
Full of wonder.
What next is on the way?

2 Comments »

Drifting

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Drifting.
Floating along the wide expanse
Above the noise of everyday life
The world at a standstill
As you move slowly without purpose.

Never quite able to touch the soft and subtle clouds.
They giggle as they escape the clasp of your long fingers.
You take time to play, imagine, ” be”.
Stress filled lines full of tension
Give way to peaceful sighs and
The wrinkles that go with smiles.

This scene as you drift
Creates an ambience found nowhere else.
Forever sound and smell and
sight and feeling
linked to memory
Memory to smile.

Drifting.
Floating.
Gracefully floating.
Senses on high alert as constant colors and scenes of life from above
Fill the mind.
Overwhelmed in a good way.

The books you could write
If more time was spent drifting.
Aware of the present yet
Not yet reminded of duties that await your return.
The phone that will beep with texts and emails and calls-
Forgotten.

Deep breath as you let your mind drift to the feel of cold air on fingertips.
Living in the moment.
A breath
A break.
Thanksgiving comes natural in the midst of allowing yourself to “be.”

Drifting.
You know the end is near.
It has to end.
There would be no peace without knowing angst.
But now
After this breath
You can step back into reality with a relaxed face.
Counting your blessings and ready to take on what is to come.

There will be another day
Where all you do
Is
Drift.

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Autumn Brilliance

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I love a great fall leaf.
I mean in the midwest we have such brilliant yellows and fluorescent oranges and bright reds.
None in our yard, but still…

Brian and I are forever looking for that perfect tree that will add the ambience and peace of autumn.

I had a favorite tree that used to be across from Brian’s apartment (many years back).
I never took the time to photograph and freeze that glimpse of God in nature.
It grew old as we grew up and several years ago someone took it down.

It was a sad moment for me,
Probably because of memories related to Brian and I in our early love stage,
Remembered because we would often look out the window to see the bold and outspoken presence of that tree.

Remember the book,
“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein?
(If not please check it out.)
I am often reminded of that book when thinking of these glorious trees in their splendor.
Giving all they can, even when we may not appreciate it.

I believe them to be the best works of art God created.
The shapes and bends and twists and blends of colors…how can you define a tree as “just a tree?”

And autumn trees shine above all.
So many people drive through the countryside each weekends to capture their beauty in a photo they can frame.
People arrange their vacations around this season so they can go to Vermont or Maine solely to be in the presence of such glorious colors.

The brilliance of it all…
Calling us to reflection and quiet.
Begging us to come outside and just “be.”
We are urged to open up windows and to stop and take it in.
The Master of art-
He did it.
Perfection in leaves and branches.
Whispering..,
“Breathe. Peace. Love.”

So…
We will continue our hunt for the perfect blend of that orange or red leaved tree to bring home.
One that will inspire and grow and give.
One that whispers.

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Grace-Fall

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A yellow, crisp autumn leaf falls from the overhead leaning branch.

Does it make a sound as it floats effortlessly to whichever surface it ends up on?

Shhhh.

It’s grace.
Falling gently into the realm of all who choose to see it and feel it and take the time to recognize the beauty in it.

The grace-fall.

The leaf has changed,
Once green and new
and hardly noticed among all of the other fresh, green leaves.

I noticed.
I noticed the change.

No longer blending in with all of the others.
No longer just one of many.

This one took the leap.

The change happened while I blinked.
The grace that changed ordinary to
Bright and bold.
Was it painful?
To change in such a dramatic way?

To leave the old behind.

The grace-fall.

Yellow and crisp, a seemingly normal
Autumn change when looked at from afar,
But as it moved further from what it had been,
From what it had known,
The leaf had become extraordinary.

Thanks to the grace-fall.

2 Comments »

Ms. Blogging Etiquette

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Maybe there is a Ms. Blog Etiquette,
But she has yet to approach me with the official blogging rules.

I have been blogging for about 5 months now,
Trying to fulfill that insatiable desire to put words on a page.

My question for myself (and you),
“Am I
(are you)
Living up to the unspoken blogging communities expectations?”

This question brought up the fact that there must be some etiquette for readers and writers.

Readers:

-1. Do you even read the blog?!
Please don’t randomly “like” a page without even skimming the material.

It feels good to get those likes,
But then I am left wondering,
“Wait. Did they read it?”

I must confess,
I have been guilty of quickly liking some posts without fully reading.
(gasp)
Please forgive me.
I an much more apt to reading the whole content now that I have been blogging for a little while.

2. Do you comment on the pages you read?
Please take a little time to at least,
once in a while,
place a thoughtful sentiment on the blogs you follow.

I mean I try so hard to do this.
Even if it’s a “wow” or “great blog”,
Please note –
I just had to reply because I felt something from what you wrote!

I appreciate all the comments I receive as they are so often encouraging words.

-3. Do you pass on those great posts?
Please forward posts that astound you,
Make you want to read more or
you just can’t stop thinking about.

Ugh.
Guilty.
I need to pass on more of those posts to you and blogs that I follow.
I will resolutely do this more in the future.
(Starting tomorrow.)

Writers:

1. Are you aware of how many words you have written?
Please consider your words wisely.
It may or may not be necessary to write a hundred word post.

Ok so I tend to write shorter posts and was wondering if there is some kind of guideline.
Are “professional bloggers” considered so because they write a certain number of words?
Most blogs I connect with tend to be short or at least a great story.
But there are some blogs that intimidate me just because of the length of their posts.

Some have to be longer because of the details and pictures and beautifully laid out thoughts.

What do you prefer or does it matter?

2. Do you share personal experiences and matters from your heart?
Please add personal stories and matters into posts to help connect you to the reader.

I love to read about you and your lives!
I try to include my stories (including the embarrassing ones ),
So that you get a small glimpse of who I am.
Thank you for all you share!

I may just be speaking for myself,
But those moments you share make me laugh and cry and feel good.

-3. Do you edit?
Please edit all posts so that the content is readable.

I try!
I really try.
I am not always great at it and
I am sure I have a million grammatical errors.

I try to sift through the mindless ramble and considerate thoughts.
Which to toss,
which to keep?

I hope I have been a blogger with etiquette thus far.
I will continue to share my stories and feelings and books and life.

Hopefully you like what you read.
Hopefully you read what you “like.”

12 Comments »

Fall Feelings

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I think I changed.
I think I am one of “those” people.

An “early decorator” that jumped at the first sign of fall in the shops.
After spending time with my sister-in-law, Sheena, going through the craft stores filled with bright oranges and yellows, browns and reds,
I believe I bought into “it.”

“It” being the belief that fall was here.
The story that your house is not a home without some leaves and acorns and pumpkins.

In my mind, by the time I arrived home,
It was fall.

I pulled out the swags and pumpkins and wreathes and candles that lay waiting in the storage room.
Our home is always bathed in beautiful colors that reflect the warmth of autumn, so a few
strategically placed arrangements add such coziness!
(I mean of course there is some in every room!)

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I was once again in love with fall.
Goodbye hot and dry summer!

Hello crisp air brushing against my cheeks as my husband and I drink coffee on our deck.
Welcome back sweaters that feel like you’ve snuggled into you’re favorite blanket.
(Never mind that none of this has happened yet this year.)

Ahhh.
Fall.
The decor had already swept me away into my own little fantasy world.

Imagine my surprise to hear,
“You’ve already decorated?”
My reaction,
“Well…yeah. It is the end of August.
It’s practically September!”

After the first person questioned my
Apparent hasty actions,
I heard from another and another.

But…
we love fall.
It’s our color palate!
Our whole house just fits right into the season!

Please tell me I am not alone in jumping the gun!

I confess.
I am one that normally complains that Christmas is present everywhere
By October.

So I caught myself in a weird moment today as my mom and I explored Target,
“Why don’t they have fall and Halloween decorations up yet?”

Gasp.
Me?
I am saying this?

Yes.
It happened somewhere between
Hobby Lobby and Michaels in Kansas with Sheena.
The moment I first caught the fall fever.
The moment I became “one of them!”

Will I forever be converted to celebrating seasons way too soon?

Tune in to find out.
(If I tell you my house is decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving,
It has happened.)

9 Comments »

Reach The Summit

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A mountain lay before me
Majestic and wonder-filled

I must reach the summit
See beauty from above
The ultimate goal is at the peak
Just beyond my grasp

Climb, breathe
Breathe, climb
Keep going
Stumble, get up
Move
One step at a time

I am not alone
I feel the wind
Pushing me forward

Motivation calling
It’s just there
Around the next bend
Beyond reach today
But tomorrow …

So I keep getting up
Brushing off the dust and dirt
Putting my shoes on
Getting down to work

It’s hard work
But the summit
It’s just right there

I will reach the summit
See beauty from the pain
The work paying off
The fight gives way to reward

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Weathered

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Weathered

There is a moment when you realize you aren’t as innocent as you once were.

Like the flag which started out bright and bold, waving proud for all to see, you too were relatively wrinkle free.

Young and fresh and full of color.
Nothing could stop you.
Determined and driven and happy.
Youth was on your side.

Suddenly you look at your aging hands and hear your creaking knees.
Battered by the winds of life.
You survive storms and gusts that you were sure would break you.

What happened to the sharpness of your life?

Tears have been repaired.
Yet you will never be the same.

Forever you are weathered.

A badge of honor,
The years leave you wise and distinguished.
Yet their presence comes with the darkness of loss.

You have grown a more compassionate being and while lack of innocence equals moments of pain,
these experiences are forever imprinted in your soul.
God’s love picking up the heaviness left behind.

You are weathered and worn.
To some this may be negative.

They actually feel sorry for you.

You smile at this.
There are lessons, they too will learn.

They will become weathered.

There is a beauty in that old flag.
The life that was lived was worth every fading stripe.

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