Brazil

Got back from Brazil this week. Our church does a short term mission trip there every year. It was my first year to go and it was incredible. I’m still trying to process everything.

It was so cool to see how God answered prayers while we were there. We even got to see some of the fruits of our work while we were there. There were some rough times for me personally but overall it was just wonderful and I can’t wait to go back next year.

I might write something more detailed about the trip at some point in the future. I’ll have to plan it out.

Normal Anxieties

Remember how I was excited about getting back to my goals? Well, I ended up catching a cold. Coughing, sneezy, runny nose, body aches. So much for watching my diet and exercising. Haven’t eaten much. Haven’t moved much. Pretty much sucks. This kind of sick just has to run its course. It better hurry up, because I’ve got stuff to do!

One week until I start seminary school. Later this week is orientation. I’m super excited to get started already! I’m ready to learn! I’m also getting nervous. What if it’s too hard? What if I can’t keep up? What if I fail? These are normal anxieties. A lot of people feel this way when they step up to something big. But that’s why they’re big dreams. Not everyone has the courage, will, and determination to do it. So here I am, making my attempt, answering the call. And I will be successful. It’s a path that I’m ready to take on. Each step will lead me to bigger and bright things in the future.

 

“May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth,

your saving power among all nations.”
(Psalm 67:1–2)

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”
(Isaiah 60:1)

A Dream

I watched from afar the storm coming down on the city. Giant waves crashed into the skyscrapers in the middle of the city. The City became flooded. I watched from the other side of the bridge. Half demolished buildings surrounded me. It was dark. The streetlights had been smashed to pieces. The posts holding the bridge tore apart and crumbled into the flood waters. I watched as they shattered to pieces. Wave after wave the city was being destroyed. The wind blew apart the skyscrapers and shattered windows. The waves. The giant waves. Under the darkened skies.

Then the dragons came. Giant beasts. Shimmering midnight blue scales. Their nostrils flaring. Their monstrous veinous wings flapping slowly. Their thunderous hind legs and giant claws clutched the demolished buildings. They descended onto the shards as the buildings crumbled under their great weight. I watched in horror hoping they wouldn’t see me. So small in the dark.

The men came in on horses wielding their elegant swords. They entered the abandoned buildings. Searching for any life. Battling the fires. Then a dragon came upon me. It’s yellow eyes looking into me. It slowly approached. Then suddenly it lunged at me as I jumped back. It got a hold of my arm. And just as suddenly a man on horseback wielding his sword came and struck the dragon in his side. They battled. Up and down the broken tower. They fought. So strong this man. And finally. The dragon was defeated. The man came to me and wrapped me in his arms and comforted me. He was like an angel. His bright blue eyes. His warm smile. He held me until the storm passed.

My Fitness Story

I played a lot of sports when I was a kid. Even in high school I tried playing some things. Mostly I had given up on trying.

In college somehow I decided to start working out at the gym across my dorm. I did really well. Lost some weight. But by second semester my enthusiasm was gone. I hated how I looked. So I gave up. I let myself go completely. I was in horrible health. For another 6 or 7 years I struggled with my weight.

My first job out of college had a gym before you leave the office. So I stopped by every day on my way out to do a light workout. Soon I was able to join the lunch time crew who worked out way better than I could ever have done on my own. And then I started Kung fu. And life was amazing. I felt great. I was fit. I had to buy new clothes. It was pretty cool.

Fast forward a couple of years. I end up in Fort Worth with my parents and with no job. So I found a Muay Thai gym. Earlier when I thought I was fit, I was delusional. Kicking, punching, elbowing, kneeing… and then CrossFit on top of that. Then I can safely say that I was fit. And that I looked like I was fit. But in my own skin I couldn’t see it. I still felt like I was heavy.

New job prevented me from working out so much. This has been the theme for the last five years. Every year I put on more weight. Sure, I do things every now and then, but I’m not fit, and I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been.

So. With all of that running through my past. I joined a CrossFit gym. I’ve been going since August. Five days a week. I haven’t seen a weight change because of my medicine, but I know that I’m getting fitter! All the people are awesome. Every day is different but it’s always challenging. I finally feel like I can actually reach my goals this time and sustain them.

Isaiah 43:2

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.”

Isaiah 43:2 ESV

 

Camping in the Ouchitas

This story begins with an idea that started with a thought. The idea was that we go on this backpacking trip. We get all our gear together. We gotta plan the routes. Find out our water cache locations. And then hit the trail. Shouldn’t have been a big problem. And in the end it wasn’t a big problem at all. We arrived Thursday night at 1 or 2 AM and slept in the car. In the morning we looked for the water cache locations but it was taking a long time. We decided to give up on trying to find the water cache locations an instead get some campsites for the rest of the length of our stay. We arranged that quite easily. Two of us went on a short 3 mile hike,. While I stayed at camp and rested after the relative chaos of the past few weeks. Saturday we hiked 8 miles. 2.5 to the Potato Hill Vista. Then we continued on to our 4 mile marker. We ate our lunch and then head back just in the nick of time before it got completely dark. It was a great hike, getting us right back to our campsite. So much fun! Sunday we did a shorter hike. Three miles around the lake. Leisurely. But we were still tired. And glad that we only did 3, anymore it would have been excessive. From there we drove out to Panorama Vista to see the sunset. It was beautiful and worth it.

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We talked about our journeys through life. We made sarcastic jokes. We got along well. We talked about Jesus. It was a good time to connect and learn about our group. It wasn’t the trip that I had planned. But it was the trip that we needed to do. And I still want to go backpacking with these girls sometime in the future. God always knows his plan, and God is always putting his plan into action. We just have to go along with it. The next trip will be different, but it’s going to be wonderful.

Tomorrow

Trying to think about today. You know what, forget today (it was a good day) but let me move on to tomorrow. Tomorrow’s going to be a long one.

I start work at 6AM. It’s my first shift back to work after taking leave for my mental health. I’m both excited and nervous about it. Mostly It’s going to be good. And I enjoy working there. I’m looking forward to my coworkers. It will be fun.

I’ll have a few hours after work to get some coffee and brunch before I have my psychiatrist appointment. I’m looking forward to that as well. I need to talk to her about the medicines making me put on so much weight and making it ridiculously difficult to lose any of it. Plus some work related things. Mainly I just want to be off my meds so I can get down to a reasonable weight. Right now as it stands I’m officially obese. I’m way past the overweight category. I’m smack in the middle of certifiably obese. I do not like that word and I do not like what it means. It puts me at risk for all kinds of preventable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc. I don’t want those things. I want to lose fat and build muscle. I want to be healthy! Ok enough of that rant.

After the doctor’s appointment I’m going to workout, and straight from there I have my lecture and group session at church. I’m supposed to have written a Psalm of my own.

It’s a jam packed day. The only problem I have with it is how early I have to get up and leave the house. I wonder if I’ll have time to do part of my Bible study in the morning. I better make time for it. That’s super important and will set me up for a good day. I’ll try that.

In Summary:
Work. Study. Doctor. Read. Workout. Group.