Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Double Portion Inspiration pray you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  We've enjoyed sharing our life journey with you over the past nine months.  We are taking time away from the blog, until the first of the year, to enjoy family and the true spirit of the season, Jesus Christ!

Each day over the next few weeks we will spend quiet moments reflecting on our vision for the upcoming year. 




As you move into 2012, begin to focus on the goals for your life, career, and relationships.  Here are just few questions to get you started:

  1. What is your passion?
  2. Who are you?
  3. Where are you headed (life, career, & relationships)?
  4. How will you get there?
"The greatest tragedies in life are people who have sight, but not vision."                 
                                                                                                          ~Hellen Keller~

From our families to yours, Merry Christmas and blessings toward a prosperous New Year!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lessons Learned From a Virgin


I absolutely love the Christmas story and what it means for mankind everywhere.  This year I've found myself  drawn to Mary and the role she played in the greatest display of obedience.  Just think about the reality of the virgin birth.  A young woman, engaged to be married, receives a visit from an angel.  I imagine she woke up on that day like any other day in her life. 

Little did she know, her life was going to change forever in an instant!

The angel shared that she was highly favored and that she would give birth to a son.  I can already envision the questions I would have for the angel.  I would have probably held the angel up for the rest of the day with questions.  "Exactly what am I supposed to tell my fiancee", would be the start of the questioning along with the need to know when and where I would deliver.  The most important question of all......."Are pain killers involved in this scenario?"

When I focused on Mary's reaction to the angel's proclamation, I realized she only had one question, "How will this be, since I'm a virgin?"  The angel responded with some brief comments on how the birth would take place and confidently declared that God's will would not fail to confirm that she would give birth to our saviour, Jesus Christ.

Without hesitation, she made a simple statement found in Luke 1:38 (MSG), "And Mary said, yes, I see it all now: I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say. Then the angel left her."

That was all she needed. 

Mary only required a profound declaration from the angel.  She didn't need to interrogate the angel like I would have done.  She said yes, in advance of knowing about her travel on a donkey (while in her third trimester) to give birth in a manger.  Most doctors won't even want you flying on a plane in your last trimester and here she was traveling on the backside of a donkey to fulfill God's will.  Even more compelling to me is that Mary said yes, even before she knew that she would have to endure the pain of seeing her son crucified at the tender age of 33.

The next time you hear the gentle whisper in your ear, pushing you toward destiny, listen and obey!  It's just that simple. (Posted by Renee)

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

Merry Christmas
This is my favorite time of year.  I enjoy seeing the lights, Christmas trees and smelling the aroma in the house as we bake cookies.  December should be filled with joy and delight.  Anticipation builds as we get ready to celebrate the reason for this holiday season-the birth of Jesus Christ.

Normally, what I see in people is completely
 different.

Think about it. God sent His very own Son to be the Savior of the world.  Jesus' birth was a little different.  His mother was a virgin and he was born in a manager which is a feeding trough for animals. Even in that, He was the anticipated Messiah the world had been waiting for.  He was called Emanuel which means God is with us

The very presence of Jesus indicated new life. A miracle was performed.

Fast forward to the reality of today, and you will find that most people struggle to find any happiness.  We seem to be more stressed with longer to do lists, gifts to buy, and houses to decorate.  Our delight can easily turn into depression if we don't intentionally choose to remember the reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Here are a few ways I try to bring the spirit of Christmas into my home:

-bake Christmas cookies
-make goodie bags for homeless
-read the Christmas story weekly (Luke 1,2)
-smile when faced with a Scrooge
-attend a candlelight Christmas Eve service
-play Christmas music at work/home
-decorate with lights, ornaments and wreaths
-send out Christmas cards
-pray for those who received one of my cards
-speak the words Merry Christmas to others around me

Whatever it takes, find a way to remember the true spirit of Christmas.  Give to those who are needy.  It doesn't take money to give a gift.  It is amazing how a simple hello or a smile can change the mood of another person.

Stress and anxiety can turn into joy if we receive the Baby in Bethlehem as the King of our hearts! (Posted by Roslyn)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Surviving Black Friday

Thanksgiving is on Thursday and that means the biggest shopping day of the year is upon us-Black Friday.  I have over 20 years of retail experience and wanted to share some of my top shopping tips with you.

Black Friday is the biggest and busiest shopping day of the year.  It kicks off the Christmas holiday season.  The key to surviving the big day is to be prepared and have a plan.

Tip #1-Research the stores most important to you

-whether you are buying a washer/dryer, tv or laptop you want to figure out which retailer has the lowest price on that item
-bring all your advertised prices to the store because most stores will MATCH the competitor's price
-use a website that compiles all the information like: http://www.blackfriday.info/

Tip#2-Be prepared to stand in line

-we often laugh at those that are 1st in line and camping out overnight to get a great deal but that is truly one of the ways to get the item you want
-Insider secret: most stores only stock a "few" of the advertised items so get there early

Tip#3-Most stores are opening earlier this year

-Macy's, Walmart, Target are opening at 12am
-Eat your turkey, take a nap and hit the stores

Tip#4-Shop with friends and spread out

-shop in pairs so you can visit different parts of the store at the same time (this increases your chances of getting your advertised item)

Tip #5-Shop online

-some retailers will have black Friday specials online on Thanksgiving Day (while the turkey is in the oven surf the internet to find these hot deals)
-be aware of shipping/handling fees

Tip #6-Bring a snack and wear comfortable shoes

-die hard shoppers know that Black Friday leads to a "shop 'til you drop" mentality
-bring food to stay nourished and wear shoes that will help you quickly move through the lines and traffic

Tip #7-Cyber Monday

-Cyber Monday is the Monday after Black Friday and was created to lure customers to shop online
-Same rules apply-do your research, have a plan and shop from the privacy of your home

I hope you enjoy hitting the malls this holiday season.  Stay calm, patient and enjoy the experience.  Happy Shopping and Happy Thanksgiving! (Posted by Roslyn)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Finish Line Friday's-10 Great Tips-Week 6


Guest blogger-Casie Dussia
Founder of Run with Endurance
 My first half marathon is Sunday and I'm taking the week off from blogging.  If you missed last week's hair tips click here.  Guest blogger Casie Dussia is sharing her top ten tips to help you stay focused, healthy and injury free!

1. It's all about the shoes!
What is the most common conversation among runners? Shoes! They make all the difference! I highly recommend that you go to your local running specialty store and take advantage of their knowledge. Ask them how often you should replace your shoes. They will answer that question in miles, so keep track of how many miles you put on your shoes. If you're keeping a running log, this is simple - put a star on the date you start using your shoes! And only use your running shoes for running!

2. Drink some water, then drink some water, run, then drink some more water!
General rule: take your weight, divide it in half and drink that in ounces per day. Add to that "base" amount approx. 4-6 ounces per every half hour that you run. For example, if your base amount is 70 ounces and you're running for 1 hour today, you want to consume approx. 80 ounces of water. During the hot summer months, you may need to consume more.

3. 3 essential supplements (in my opinion)
Daily multivitamin, quality joint maintenance (I recommend Anabolic Laboratories), and vitamin C supplement (I recommend Emergen C taken once daily, unless you feel a cold coming on, then take twice daily). Studies support that when runners take vitamin C, they have stronger immune systems.

4. When increasing mileage, add about 10% per week
If you're currently averaging 15 miles per week, add 1 1/2 miles next week, about 1 3/4 - 2 miles the week after, and so on. About every 4 weeks, take a "recovery" week - decrease mileage, going as low as your base weekly mileage, which in this example would be 15 miles. Then, resume where you left off, provided you're healthy and injury free.

5. Stretch, stretch, then stretch some more!
I like to use the rubber band example: Have you ever taken a new rubber band and stretched it several times? It feels a lot more flexible and softer. You're muscles and tendons are no different. Nice, low impact stretches with no "bouncing" are most effective. I recommend stretching before and after your run. The only time you don't want to stretch is when you're outside in very cold temps and your body isn't "warmed up". Stretch a bit inside before going out, then use your first mile as warm up, taking it easy.

6. Cross train!
Not only to work different muscles that support key running muscles, but also to mix it up. Bike, swim, elliptical, hill climb, anything that elevates your heart rate and keeps your body guessing.

7. Focus on 3 key running workouts: speed work, tempo run, long run.
Let me know if you need info on any of these and want to know the most effective way to incorporate these into your personal fitness level/goals. An ideal weekly workout schedule might look something like this: Sunday - off or cross train, Monday - speed work, Tuesday - strength train, easy run, Wednesday - tempo run, Thursday - off or cross train, Friday - core workout, easy run, Saturday - long run. NOTE: distances depend on what you're training for and your current fitness level. 

8. Strong core = strong runner!
Your core is the center of your strength! A weak core leads to lower back pain, tight hips, and a sloppy stride, forcing the rest of your body to work harder than it needs to!  Search recommended core workouts for runners online.

9. Learn your body!
Research your aches and pains and log what hurts and when. Rule of thumb: if it's back, knee, or ankle/foot related, you're probably over training. Try icing the area to decrease inflammation, decrease your mileage, and replace with cross training. If you have tight muscles/muscle spasms, you may be dehydrated. If you have foot/shin pain, you may need new/different style shoes. Trying these possible solutions will help narrow down the problem. These pains can mean something serious, so if they persist, stop running and seek professional advice.

10. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Embrace each run as an opportunity to grow stronger for God's purpose. Don't get discouraged! Life happens - we might have to skip a run or 2 every now and then. We might have an "off" day and have to cut a run short. At least you're out there doing it! Remember that building endurance is an on-going process - it's a journey. You're a runner - God's runner! Enjoy it!
~Casie Dussia is the founder of RWE, a small business owner and a personal trainer that ministers to women’s soul, mind and body. She has a passion for health and fitness, and has made a commitment to help other women become healthier.  Click here to visit her website~



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finish Line Friday-Hair Tips-Week 5

 
Ready to run UNCF 5K



 My running series is coming to an end and it's hard to believe that my race is next week!  In the previous post I shared my training schedule.  If you missed it click here.  Last Saturday I ran a 5K to prepare my body for race day.  The weather was beautiful and I successfully ran 3.2 miles in under 35 minutes. 

I'm sharing some great tips for maintaining your hair during a training program.  I'm sure there are some that feel this is a vain topic to cover, however, you would be amazed how many women forfeit exercising to protect their hair. 




Francoise "Frenchie" Gomes
For the past 10+ years, I've trusted my hair to Francoise Gomes**, owner of Frenchie's Hair Design.  She's been in the industry for over 20 years and graciously agreed to provide a few tips on maintaining healthy hair. Since there are many differences with hair type, texture, and length, the advice she provided is general in nature.  She highly recommends that you consult with a professional stylist for customized advice.


Tip #1:  Wash hair on a regular basis
  • Most athletes sweat a great deal during a workout.  If you are anything like me, you sweat profusely.  Sweat mostly contains water and salt.  Consistent removal of sweat from the scalp will keep it clean and healthy.  Depending on your hair texture, you may only have to wash the hair once a week.  With a finer hair texture, it's not uncommon to cleanse the hair on a daily basis.
Tip #2:  Keep your hair moisturized
  • The salt component in sweat dries the hair causing it to become dry and brittle. If moisture is not added back to the hair, overtime the hair will begin to shed.  Consider using a shampoo and conditioner that will return moisture to the hair.  Remember to discuss with your stylist which products to use to compliment your hair type. 

Tip #3:  Stay away from heat
  • The use of flat irons, blow dryers, and hot rollers are damaging to the hair.  They also cause the sweat to penetrate deeper into the hair follicle.  Limit the use of these items.  If possible, allow the hair to dry using cool air or let the hair air dry (if time permits).
I will be the first to admit that maintaining healthy hair while working out is a very delicate balance.  You will normally find me wearing a silk scarf over my hair during my runs to protect the hair from humidity.  It's not the cutest option available, but it works for me. 

As women we are blessed to have numerous options available to us.  Whether you have natural or relaxed tresses, wear weaves or wigs, NEVER allow your hair to hinder you from becoming fit and healthy.  Matthew 10:30 states (KJV) shares...."but the very hairs of your head are all numbered".  Since God knows the number of hairs on our head, surely he will give wisdom and guidance in maintaining each one!(Posted by Renee)  

**The tips provided were an excerpt from a conversation during a recent visit.  Frenchie's Hair Design services men and women of all ethnicity.  Frenchie is a Certified Stylist with Design Essentials and Influance.  Click here to visit Frenchie's Hair Design Facebook page.  **

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Monday Morning Inspiration

I recently had a conversation with a young, bright college student.  The student asked me if I ever felt like I was "wasting time".  As the conversation progressed I realized she was wondering-what path do I take.  There are times in our lives when the decisions we make affect us only in a small way.

This student realized that the decsions she is making will impact her future for years to come.  Don't we ALL have moments in our life when we wonder if we are making the right decision.  What job to take/leave, person to marry, when to retire or start a family. Life is a series of choices.

"There may be a thousand little choices in a day. All of them count." ~Dr. Shad  Helmstetter


Don't be discouraged if you feel like you are "wasting time" because of a decision that needs to be made.  Your choices are setting the direction for the rest of your life so CHOOSE WISELY.

Don't be afraid, God offers great encouragement:

"You will see your teacher with your own eyes, and you will hear a voice say, this is the way; turn around and walk here."  (Isaiah 30:21)

Decisions made with God can NEVER be wrong decisions.  (Posted by Roslyn)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Finish Line Friday-My Training Schedule-Week 4

I’m less than three weeks away from the race and I only have two more Friday’s before I will end this running series. ( If you missed last week’s post, click here.)  This week I’m going to share my training schedule.
I initially assumed that running to build endurance needed to be my complete focus.  Boy was I wrong.  Variety in your training exercises is vital.  Make no mistake, you will need to run to build endurance, but in addition to your runs, make sure to incorporate strength training.  The combination of running and resistance training will help to strengthen your body, prevent injury, and increase your race pace.  When you incorporate strength training, focus on the lower body and core.
I highly recommend that you follow a proven training plan designed for the race you plan to run.  I chose to follow the plan provided by Women’s Running magazine in their 2011 January/February issue.  Click here for a link to their website.
On average you will want to start a training plan 10-12 weeks before the race.  If you start to early, you will burn out quickly.  When starting a half marathon training program, you should be able to comfortably run three to four miles.  Most plans suggest you exercise five to six days a week. 
My October training schedule
I use my wall calendar to track my runs and exercises each day.  I normally start the week with an easy run of about three to four miles.  Twice a week I cross train with either P90X or an at home workout of squats, planks, lunges, push ups, and calf raises.  Since I don't have a gym membership, I use dvd’s and light hand weights.  Wednesday’s are normally reserved for tempo runs or sprint drills.  This helps to increase my pace.  Friday’s are my rest and recover days before my long runs on the weekend. 

Training for a race is intense.  You must have a passion, will and determination to cross the finish line.  When you set out on your long runs, find a great trail where you can truly enjoy the journey.  Running in your neighborhood is great for quick runs but you will need the beauty of nature to inspire you when setting out for six, seven, or even ten mile runs.

~ "For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall.  But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind." Isaiah 40:30-31 (MSG) ~

(Posted by Renee)

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Things Never Work Out For Me


 I recently had a conversation.  The person speaking told me, "Things just never work out for me."  I wanted to agree and give into the pity party this person was throwing for themselves.

I'm sure there are many people that you know that have the same sentiment.  You may even feel this way. You have given up on life and become negative.  You feel helpless. Each time you don't get a fair shake in life you get down on yourself. The events of your past caused you to develop a hard shell in your heart so you won't ever get hurt again.

Here are a few ways to pick your head up:

1.  Change your perspective
  • The person who said these words didn't take time to look at the blessings that were around. We must focus on what we've received.  Don't worry about what others have.  We spend so much time looking at how the "other" person might be getting ahead.  Stop and count the blessings you possess-health, car, job, family, house, etc.

2.  Praise through trials
  • We must start appreciating what we already own before we can be blessed with more.  A heart of gratitude during life's hardships helps take the focus off the wrong in our lives.  Don't wait until Thanksgiving to be thankful-make it a daily goal. Becoming a volunteer is a great way to give to those less fortunate.

3.  Personal Consequences
  • We have to stop having "adult-sized" temper tantrums.  Many of the hardships we face are self-inflicted.  The truth is never easy to hear.  But I've realized that where I am today is a sum total of the choices I've made in the past.  Count the cost before making a "big" decision (ex. getting married while seeing "red flags" in the dating process is not a good idea). Pray that God will guide you through your next decision.  Listen to His voice and not always the voice of friends, family or co-workers. His still, small voice is speaking the question is-are you listening?

4.  Use your words correctly
  • In that statement I was told, "things NEVER work out for me".  Never is a strong word to use. It means not at any time.  This person was 63 years old and I can almost guarantee they've had some accomplishments/successes.  Using strong language at the wrong time turns our heart and mind into a negative force.
~Our words have power.  Life and death are in the power of the tongue.~  

Be careful how you use your words because you can't take them back.

Let me end with this-Be encouraged!

 2 Corinthians 4:17-18-"For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long...for the troubles we see will soon be over..." (Posted by Roslyn)

Make sure to join us at the end of the week for Crossing the Finish Line Friday.  Renee shares her tips and resources as she trains and prepares for her half marathon.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Finish Line Friday-Crossing Hurdles-Week 3

Taking on hurdles!
The weekend is hours away and it's already week three of our running series.  Everything you need to start in a training program was discussed in the previous weeks.  If you missed it click here

By this time you probably have your shoes and training attire.  Maybe you've even signed up for your first 5K. 

What happens when you are well into your training program and an injury occurs? 

A broken toe, a sprained ankle, or a pulled hamstring.  They all represent a number of injuries that can attempt to derail you from the ultimate goal of finishing the race.  That's the hurdle I had to face just a few months ago.

I was two months into my training program when I found myself face down on the floor in intense pain and unable to move.  Just seconds before I slipped on the floor trying to run my son into the kitchen before his upset stomach spilled all over the carpet.  It took months to build my endurance to run just three miles and in a moment it all changed.  A visit to the ER confirmed that my toe was broken and I had to take six weeks off from running.

What?  Were they serious? 

Recognize that life happens.  You will have hurdles, obstacles, and challenges to overcome.  It's a part of life.  Don't let it stop your forward progress.  That's the decision I had to make. 

Instead of stopping my training, I focused on building my core strength.  Yoga and pilates became a part of my daily routine.  It's important to listen to your doctor and rest the injured body area.  However, once you are released to engage in light physical activity, modify your training, or try a new routine that will have a lower impact to your body.

Paul shares these words in Phililppians 3:14 (AMP), "I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward."  My prayer is that this post will encourage and inspire you to keep moving toward your goal! (Posted by Renee)

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mid Week Encouragement

Happy Wednesday! 

We are just a few days away from week three of Finish Line Friday's.  Hopefully you are finding the training tips helpful on your journey to become a runner/jogger.

Roslyn and I want to pray for you this week.  We understand that there are challenges in life that only prayer can help.  Let us pray on your behalf.  Prayer is an opportunity to speak the blessings of God over your situation and listen for His gentle voice to give guidance.

Please feel free to leave your prayer request in the comment section below, on Facebook, Twitter (@doubleportionin), or send us an email at doubleportioninspiration@yahoo.com.

Stay inspired!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Finish Line Friday-Running Attire

Today I am exactly one month away from running my first half marathon and I am beyond excited.  It's week two of Finish Line Friday's and I'm dedicating an entire blog post to training attire.  Hopefully you had a chance to watch the video from last week.  (Click here to watch the video and read last week's post)

Running is one of the most economical exercises to take part in.  You don't have to buy costly equipment to participate which is a great advantage. 

~Your success is contingent upon good shoes and the right clothing.~

I highly suggest that you visit your local running store.  Sure there are plenty of sporting goods stores around and even athletic wear sold in Walmart or Target, but I don't feel anyone understands running better than the associates in your local store.  Most of them are runners themselves and know what's needed to make the time on your feet enjoyable.

The purchase of a good shoe before starting on your journey will prevent injury and provide a smooth transition from walking to running/jogging.  When you visit the track shop, dress casually.  Most likely you will be asked to walk around the store, jog outside, or run on a treadmill so that they can properly fit your foot with the perfect shoe for you.

For those that love to shop, this purchase is not about buying the cutest running shoe displayed on the wall.  Your shoe will probably be selected for you solely based on how well it fits and conforms to your foot.  Because your foot rolls forward when you run, you may have to purchase a larger shoe size or in my case, get placed in a men's shoe because it was the best fit for me.  Selecting the perfect shoe can be the difference between running on air or feeling like your running in heels.  Remember, this has to be a part of your initial steps in the training process.  The last thing you want is to sustain an injury from wearing the wrong shoe.

If you are an established runner, don't forget to replace your shoes often.  On average you can get 300-500 miles out of one pair of running shoes.  Depending on how often your run, that can equate to changing your shoe every 5-6 months.

Now to the clothing.  Make sure to purchase attire that is made of dri-fit material.  This will help to wick the moisture away from your skin.  Whether you run in hot, cold or beautiful fall weather like we are having now, at some point, you will sweat.  The removal of toxins from your body through sweating is good, however, it can cause damage to your skin or infections in females.  Most running shorts have built in underwear and a small pocket for a single key.  I love Nike or Under Armour athletic wear.  They mutually perform very well on both short and long runs. 

I'll end with this, on your travels through life, you will need the proper attire to fight through the challenges you will face on a daily basis.  Ephesians 6:13-17 (NIV) gives specific instructions on what to wear from head to toe. 

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 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."

Don't forget that the appropriate attire is vital whether training for a marathon or running this race called life. (Posted by Renee)

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Who do you look like?

I have always stood out in crowds because I am tall.  You would always find me in the back during class pictures because of my height. Being blessed with a twin sister has also caused me to stand out and easily be remembered.

It was extremely difficult, especially during my middle school years, to tower over most of the girls in the school.  I was often called, "amazon or giraffe" (kids can be so cruel).  But, the lesson I learned at an early age was priceless.  I was not going to be "one of the crowd".  I wasn't going to be able to blend in.

Our world is filled with negativity, and darkness.  We find an entire nation trying to blend in purchasing the latest Tory Burch shoes or the same lip gloss as Kim Kardashian.  We analyze what others are wearing and try to create the same look within our homes.  We want to speak like Oprah or have a billion dollar idea like Steve Jobs.

We were never meant to be like someone else.  We must stay true to ourselves.  Stop looking to the world to define who you should be.

It all starts with the power of ONE.  At a sporting event the wave starts with one person standing up and cheering. The next thing you know the entire stadium is doing the wave.  Look at the man in the mirror and realize YOU have the power to make a difference-not your neighbor or spouse but YOU!

I love the words from Romans 12:2 (MSG)-Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.  Instead, fix your attention on God.  You will be changed from the inside out...God brings out the best in you!  


Here's your question this week:  Who are you starting to look like? (Posted by Roslyn)

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Crossing the Finish Line Friday's-Getting Started

Welcome to Finish Line Friday's.   Hopefully you had a chance to watch  the intro video that gives a glimpse into the journey we will take over the next few weeks.  I'm often asked why I decided to run 13.1 miles.  Honestly, I'm not sure.  My girlfriend asked, and after a few days of thought, I said "why not."  I've been training about five months and never imagined that my preparation for the race would provide so many life lessons.

Most don't realize that when I committed to run, I couldn't even jog a 1/2 mile without heavy breathing, knee and back pain.  Despite that fact, my journey started with a decision

Maybe you're sitting there without the ability to even run/jog one minute.  Don't let that intimidate you.  If you have the determination to commit to your decision, you can do it!  Perhaps your training will begin with alternating between a one minute run and a two minute walk.  Whatever it takes, just start and stay dedicated. 

This may sound easy but it can be one of your biggest challenges.

Each week I exercise 5-6 days.  Most mornings I wake up about 6AM and head out for my morning run.  Some of my buddies run at an earlier time.  The promise to keep training cannot be based on a feeling.  There are times when every fiber of my being wants to stay in the bed, however, I get up despite my feeling keeping in mind I Corinthians 9:24-24 (Message) "you've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard."

After you make the commitment, sign up for a race.  A 5K (a little over 3 miles) is a great place to start.  It's also a wonderful motivation.  Give yourself about 90 days to train.  Most races will have a nominal fee that normally benefit a non-profit organization.  If you are anything like me, once you have a date to aim for, the excitement builds and you are well on your way to success.  Here's a great article: Couch to 5K Running Plan.

Next week I'll share some important guidelines for buying the right attire.  Remember, place one foot in front of the other and see where the journey takes you......(Posted by Renee)



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Sunday, October 9, 2011

What to do when God is short on details

I absolutely hate waiting.  I know those are strong words but I find myself waiting in the doctor's office, at the grocery store, or in traffic.  Even at the baseball field I'm waiting an hour for the game to start.  I try to wait joyfully, but honestly that is not always my demeanor when I am waiting.  I know I am not alone.  I am surrounded by people everyday who also hate waiting.

What about when God asks you to wait?

Many times we recognize that there is a task for us to complete. A "call" is on our life or we are waiting for a dream to be fulfilled.  But what we don't have are the details to move forward.  We are forced to wait to figure out the next move.  So what should you do?  In the years that I have spent waiting I have found a few ways to wait joyfully.


  • Remove distractions 
Social media is a huge advantage in our society.  We can network and connect with people. But please realize, social media can also zap us of precious time and energy.  Balance the time you spend watching tv, scanning Facebook, Twitter, etc.  The reason you can't hear from God isn't because He is not speaking, you are to distracted to hear.
  • Keep a razor sharp focus 
Never lose sight of the dream God has given you.  Your plans might have a little detour (ex. a new baby, health issues, a family member that needs help) but keep moving forward to the finish line.
  • Stop complaining 
It doesn't help anyone when you are negative.  The waiting process is never easy but keeping our thoughts and words positive will help encourage not only us but others around us.
  • Pray 
Most likely the task that has been assigned is overwhelming and daunting (ex. starting life over after divorce, waiting for a spouse, taking care of an elderly parent, etc.).  You will need God to help you complete your assignment.

The angel Gabriel simply told Mary three things:  you will get pregnant, bear a son, and you will name him Jesus (Luke 1:31).  He didn't give details about giving birth in a manger with the animals or the horrible death her son would encounter.  Our directions from God most likely will be simple. We need to keep our ears and mind open. Stay tuned to the next step on your journey.  (Posted by Roslyn)

Little reminders: See our new Fall look, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @doubleportionin

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Finish Line Friday

Happy Friday!

Starting next week we will begin a new blogging series called Finish Line Fridays.  Many of you have asked that I share my running tips and the blog seems like the perfect place to reveal my great training tips and resources.  As the date of my half marathon draws closer, we will cross the finish line together.  Stay tuned and stay inspired! (Posted by Renee)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Into Something New

Fall is in the air.  I am currently in Alabama where the temperature is a "refreshing" 46 degrees.  I love this time of the year.  The air becomes drier and the temperatures will soon drop.  As you enter a new season, it's always time to change it up.  Put away the summer clothes and pull out the cardigans, long pants and boots.

~ Most people enter a new season the same way they did the previous season.~

A week ago I went to get my routine hair wash when my hairdresser asked me to try something different.  I agreed. She's been my stylist for 14 years so I knew I could trust her.  My mouth dropped open when I started to see my hair falling on the floor.  She was giving me an updated haircut. I am always reluctant to try something new. All I can say is that I am SO happy for my new haircut.  It's fresh, edgy and I feel thankful for "falling into something new".

So what will you do in this new season?  You never know when the opportunity will arise to try something different.  Embrace the changes in your life

In that same spirit, we have updated our website.  Please feel free to see Double Portion Inspiration's new look.  We are excited to reveal it first to our faithful followers.  For those of you that ask about the books we are currently reading, we've included a list of some of our favorites. We have pink pages in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the most common cancer in women. Early detection is possible with a routine mammogram and monthly self breast exams.


Roslyn's new haircut!

Our website has information about us and our mission to inspire the world. So grab a cup of coffee and be inspired to Fall Into Something New this season. (Posted by Roslyn)



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sick but DETERMINED!

I was home caring for my 3 year old when his actions revealed a wonderful life lesson.

For about two days my son was unable to keep food down. He wanted to eat but when he did, it would come up. It was hard to watch because a child that is normally full of energy and all over the place, was laying on the couch without enough strength to play with his toy cars (his prized possession).

For those that know him, shall we just say, he is all boy. He constantly runs, jumps and plays. The phrase "bouncing baby boy" is an understatement for him. A rapid heart beat, sweat running down his face, and at times, the beginning of a wheezing cough won't stop his desire to be energetic. You can only imagine how it felt to see him in such an exhausted and weakened state. He barely had enough strength to sit up on the couch, however in the midst of his anguish, he wanted to be in my presence.

I snapped a picture of my son (above) after he gently whispered the words, "Mom, I want to watch you cook." I turned around and there he rested on the hard tile floor. It was obvious that he was really sick.

After sharing this picture with my girlfriend, she quickly pointed out that despite the way his body felt, he wanted to be with his mother. For that moment, he didn't allow his physical feeling of nausea tocontrol his actions. Instead he mustered up enough strength to come into the kitchen and lay down.




~What a lesson we can learn from the actions of a toddler.~






We are living in a time filled with challenges. So many are walking around tired, frustrated, and hungering for change in their lives. Possibly you've stopped going to church. Maybe you've never even tried to attend church. If so, I want to extend a personal invitation for you to get into His presence, despite how you feel! Realize that even though you think you've left Him, or never found Him, the Bible tells us that we can never escape Him.






"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there." ~ Psalm 139:7-8












  • Start getting into His presence by reading the Bible. Life is often confusing. The book of Proverbs is a great place to start to find answers, wise counsel and sound advice.






  • Get connected to a bible based church that will guide you through the challenges you face. Don't allow your problems to pull you away from Christ, instead, run to Him.



I promise, He will provide the solutions you need! (posted by Renee)




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Thursday, September 15, 2011

PARENTING TIPS!



When I was a new mother, there were words of advice that I never forgot. I thought I would share a few of them with you.









Don't wake a sleeping baby.










  • I was still in a daze from giving birth when the labor and delivery nurse gently whispered those words in my ear. I never forgot them. I allowed my son to wake up on his own for a feeding. He's now three years old with awesome sleep habits (12 hours a night).





Don't do for kids, what they can do for themselves.










  • My sister gave me this advice. When you are a first time mom, there is a tendency to make our kids dependent on us for everything. We brush their teeth, comb their hair, put on their clothes and sometimes hold their sippy cups for them. We forget to realize that our goal is to raise our kids to think and do for themselves. That's why they always scream, "let me do it." For once, just give them a chance. They may not do it like you, but over time, they will learn.





Teach your kids to pray.










  • My mom knew what she was talking about when she shared this with me. Our babies (even our teenage babies) will encounter challenges throughout their lives. We must instill in them the power of prayer. Whether they want better grades or confidence to deal with a school bully, God is there to meet their needs.


We want to hear your parenting words of advice. Feel free to leave a comment or click below to leave a post on our Facebook Fan page. (Posted by Renee)



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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Labor Day


It is Labor Day!

The last official holiday of summer.  For many of us that means that we get a day off of work.  Studies show that most American workers do not use all of their vacation time.  We feel so overwhelmed when we come back from a vacation we just decide it is easier not to take one.  The other option is to take a "working" vacation where we spend time away but we are constantly checking our email and voice mail so we don't fall behind.

When we make this choice (not to take vacation) we miss out.  Vacations serve numerous purposes:

1.  They help us stay healthy
2.  They help stave off burnout
3.  It helps strengthen our bonds (especially with our family)
4.  It helps our job performance
5.  It helps relieve stress

Deciding not to take a vacation or "mental health day" causes us to feel stressed and overwhelmed in the work place.  We often don't really realize how much we NEED a vacation until we take one.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." ~Matthew 11:28

I hope this Labor Day you spend the day lounging at the pool/beach, grilling, relaxing on the couch or doing whatever delights your heart.  The end of summer is already here and now we get to look forward to a new Fall season of football.  Go Gators!  (Posted by Roslyn)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Detour Blessings



I hate road construction. There I said it. It's everywhere. A recent survey in my area informed that no matter where you are in the local vicinity, you are always within 10 miles of road construction.





Over the past 18 months, the main road in front of our subdivision underwent a road widening project. Even though I despised the highway expansion, I knew and understood that it was necessary.










Tearing apart the old road was part of their initial work. It took months to remove the street that was more than decades old. During the days that passed, intense destruction and hauling away took place. The final months gave way to detours, dump trucks, repairs, and repaving. New dirt, new asphalt and new striping. New sod and street lights make the four mile ride enjoyable once again.







This morning I was able to drive down the road at 55 mph vs. 25 mph in bumper to bumper traffic. I took the time to glance over and take in the magnificence of it all.






Midway through the drive, it hit me.






The road construction project was painstaking, frustrating and annoying but essential to experience the effortless drive that will last for years to come. What seemed like eternity was just a brief moment in time to now reap the harvest of a wonderful, stress-free drive to work.






You maybe experiencing a "highway project" in your life right now. Perhaps you are moving toward a new level of faith in your life that can only come through situations where you can't see your way out. If you can see your way through the challenge, it's not faith. Maybe you are in a moment of detour. Life's journey is moving down a different path than you originally anticipated. Maybe you are being torn apart, hauled away and removed to make way for a new person, attitude and strength you couldn't see possible. Finances, spouses, or even children are being stripped away. Trust me, I know what that feels like.






It is HARD.






I know intimately the pain of being in a season of life where your faith is tested to move you into a deeper place of trust in Christ. I can tell you from first hand experience that it is difficult in my own strength but peaceful in Him. When you submit and yield to the "construction" process, it will provide encouragement. You move to an understanding of it's purpose in your life. Just like with new road construction, the development of your faith is only for a season in time. It will come to an end and give way to a great new "drive" in your life. (Posted by Renee)



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Back To School-Part 2




With today being the first day of school for our daughter, there is so much excitement in our home. The anticipation of meeting the new teacher, wearing a new outfit and sharing summer stories with friends adds to the enthusiasm.







Parents and students share the responsibility of making a school year successful. Here are some helpful tips from our mom. She is a retired educator with over 30+ years of classroom experience.



    Advice for K-12 graders:



  • Make the teacher aware of any medical conditions concerning your child. Don't depend on the information to be relayed from the application completed during student enrollment.
















  • Realize that the teacher/student relationship is not a friendship or a "love affair".




While growing up, there were times when I would tell my mother that the teacher didn't like me. It was my form of an excuse to explain away my grades. In her eyes, that wasn't justification for mediocrity. There was always an expectation of greatness achieved through trying your very best. Emotions and feelings didn't play into the equation.









  • Communicate with the teacher throughout the school year.




There is a tendency to have contact diminish after the first few months. Make sure it continues. Read the papers/notes sent home on a daily basis. This is VITAL. The messages provide an opportunity for the teacher to share information. It also offers you the chance to share concerns or comments. Always check to see if homework is assigned. Help your child with the project to help understand what your son/daughter is learning.
















  • Become familiar with the plan of the classroom.








Understand the class rules and teaching style of the educator. This will help strengthen the teacher/parent relationship.


Advice for parents of college students:


For some reading this post today, it is the first time you will begin the school year without your baby at home. You won't be there to drop them off to school or give them a kiss at the end of their day. Mom's advice for you is simple.


Let them go.


Realize that you have done your part. You can now rest in the assurance of Proverbs 22:6 (KJV). "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Find comfort in the wisdom spoken from this verse. Our almighty, sovereign God will protect, shelter and keep watch over your precious angel.


We pray these helpful hints will make for a successful school year. Please share your advice with us on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments section of this post. If you missed 'Back to School-Part 1', click:


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(Posted by Renee)









































Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BTS-Back To School!

Can you believe how fast the summer flew by? Many of us are getting our kids ready for a new school year. A dear friend of mine is getting ready to drive her daughter to college. I am proud that she is driving her to the University of Florida (my alma mater). Her heart is filled with anxiety and also excitement. It is amazing the amount of emotions that live inside one body! Her text to me today inspired this post.

As we get ready to enter into a "new" season, we have to leave many things behind. For instance, a late night run to Cold Stone or the freedom to sleep in late. We move into a season of homework, schedules, extracurricular activities, and early morning alarms. Each new season, even in life, allows us the opportunity to continue to grow. We must let our little ones go into a big new school or college campus and know we have done the best job to love and teach them to be independent thinkers.


Here is a simple prayer as you enter your new season:



Lord, thank you that my life belongs to you. I am not able to control all of my emotions. I don't know what my future holds but I am assured that YOU hold my future. I commit (insert your child's name) into your care. Thank you for allowing me to partner with you to raise this child. I am filled with gratitude knowing that you will keep him/her safe from danger. My child WILL excel in all things. Amen!



A rich king once said, "Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon that path." ~Proverbs 22:6



In your moments of being worried, let a gentle Savior whisper in your ear: "Don't be afraid". I will need that same whisper as my oldest heads off to middle school on Monday. (Posted by Roslyn)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Train Hard!

This is the time of the year for kids to head back to school. For those of us who live in South Florida we have about 2 weeks until the start of school. If you have kids you know that means buying supplies, uniforms, and shoes to get our little ones ready for a successful school year.

As a mom of 2 boys I am constantly buying sneakers. On my last visit to the Nike store I saw this poster and was intrigued. Both of my boys play baseball and the last thing they want to do is lose. The thrill of winning is what keeps you coming back to the game. The funny thing is, sometimes the amount of time spent practicing really sucks! It is August in Florida and sitting at a 3 hour practice on a Saturday morning is NO fun at all. My boys quickly learned "how you practice will be how you play" ~Tyjuan Rice



Now for the life lesson: How are you practicing at the game of life?





We are all on a life long journey but it is interesting to find so many people not practicing or building muscles to prepare themselves for the "game" we call life. Here are a few ways to prepare:

1. Don't live life ruled by emotions
Many of the decisions or mistakes we make are because we allow our emotions to "rule" us. Step back, take a deep breath and think intentionally. Usually the decision you make after you have cooled down and prayed will be the right decision.

2. Shh, it's time to think
Our world moves at a fast pace. We are receiving information constantly from social media, news, email, and text messages. We need to spend time alone reflecting on the events of our life. We don't want to go around the same mountain two and three times because we didn't learn our lesson from the beginning. Slow down and think! Allow God to speak His will into your life.

3. Your words have power
You hear your voice more than any one else, so stop being negative about yourself and others. Declare that you are strong, intelligent and not weak willed and desolate. The words you speak and the thoughts you think, will soon become your reality. Think and speak positively!







Training is not always fun. But the reality is that storms WILL show up in your life. Life's interruptions come in many ways like death of a loved one, negative health report, loss of a job, etc. You want to be prepared. Remember losing is the hard part, but God has already declared we are winners! (Posted by Roslyn)




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Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Life Disrupted



A week ago my life was interrupted and it only took seconds........



It started out as a regular Sunday. This particular morning, my son kept complaining of a belly ache but I didn't know why. Suddenly he hiccupped and I knew within my gut that he was getting sick to his stomach. To avoid a disaster over the rug, I ran him into the kitchen.



I slipped and in a split second, I was on the floor face down yelling for my husband.



The pain radiating from my face and foot brought me to tears. Kneeling down next to me was my baby boy. He was in my arms when I fell and the incident caused him to scream uncontrollably.


I was helpless. In that moment I was dependent on someone else. I could not help my son or myself.


When you are an independent person, it is hard to find yourself in a place where you must depend on others. Why did this have to happen now? I didn't have time for this in my life. Didn't God know I was a wife, mom, successful career woman, community and church volunteer along with training for a half-marathon? It's hard to believe that less than 24 hours before, I was supporting my husband in the hospital as he made the difficult decision to withdraw his father from life support.


Here I was, the very next day in the same hospital, except now my husband was wheeling me around in the emergency room for CAT scans and x-rays. All things considered, I would live; just with a black eye and broken toe. During the days that followed the accident, I reflected on the timing and reason why this happened.



  • I realized that it was a divine way of forcing me to rest.


For some he may allow a cold/flu, a weakend immune system, or a temporary injury to bring forth a season of relaxation and restoration. I would often hear my mom and sister tell me to slow down, but honestly, I wasn't really listening to their gentle words of advice. In my mind, God had equipped me with endurance for each movement through my life journey.



  • In my world, I could do it all.


Our bodies are not meant to endure seven days of rigourous schedules. When God created the world, on the seventh day he rested. It was the ultimate example of how He wants us to schedule our daily lives. Genesis 2:2 shares that on the seventh day of creation, God finished his work and rested from ALL his creation.



  • When was the last time you allowed your mind, body and soul to rest?

Find time to slow down and enjoy God's beauty and plan for your life. Reflect on the many blessings that he provides. Start TODAY! Observe the picture above while taking in a deep breath. Imagine yourself laying on the hammock beautifully nestled between the two palm trees. The warm breeze tenderly brushes across your face and toes. Hear the ocean waves crashing against the shore while you slowly close your eyes and take a catnap.


My prayer is that this will inspire you to take a day each week to rest from ALL your activity. Stay inspired! (Posted by Renee)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Last Time God Failed Me

~ Today's guest blogger is Paige Henry. She is an identical twin who hails from Detroit, MI. ~








At least for me, it's difficult to find things in this world to trust in. I long for something stable, something consistent to rely and trust in. If I were to ask you for a solution to this problem, I am willing to bet my bottom dollar that you would point me to Christ. After all, He is the obvious solution. So it amazes me how I, and I'm sure others, have developed trust issues with God. Often I find myself worrying about one issue or another. I find myself working hard to protect my own self.





If I am honest with myself, it is because I haven't fully surrendered every part of my being to God's will.





I must admit that there are times when I'm skeptical of God's plan for me. At times, my lack of wisdom leads me to believe that I may end up disappointed if I completely exchange my hopes, dreams and aspirations for His. Yet if you ask me for the reason of my distrust in Christ, I could not give you a reasonable response.





If one were to ask me about the last time God failed me, I would have to reply that He never has.





But for some, maybe you would have an experience where it felt as if God failed. A time when you were disappointed by the pain this world can sometimes bring. For me there were times where I felt unprotected. I was upset about bad experiences I had, and fearful because God didn't guarantee that I wouldn't have painful experiences again.





I was comforted by a story I read in a book awhile back. The story is about a true experience of a soldier in the army fighting in a tank during a battle. This soldier was a devout Christian.





Bold in his faith.





Bold enough to publicly profess God's power and anoint his tank with oil before going into battle. However, the soldier did not find the easy victory he expected. Instead his tank lost communication with his fellow troops and was blinded throughout the battle. This man later developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and decreased faith in God. His perception was distorted and he failed to realize that God still protected him. The soldier was unharmed, but God's protection came in a different form than he expected.





I had to change my perspective to realize that God is always protecting me and working on my behalf. He allows trials into my life to show me His power and to develop wisdom and my relationship with Him. The next time you begin to doubt God's plan for you, I would encourage you to reflect on the last time God failed you.





So what are you worried about again?





~ Paige Henry is school social worker and independent music artist. Check out her music at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/sydneyandpaige?sk=app_2405167945 or http://sydneyandpaige.com/. ~