Monday, February 27, 2012

Pain Has Purpose

My boys just had their six month visit to the dentist. The news after their examination wasn't fun.  Both boys had cavities.  I took them back to get their cavities filled.  Thankfully, it was easy and painless for them. Numbing medication is a life saver.


We had to wait about 10 minutes for my son's mouth to become numb. During that period, he had to have a cotton roll inserted into the side of his mouth. I asked the doctor, "What is that for?" The dentist told me, while his mouth is going numb, kids have the tendency to bite their lip or cheek. It feels weird to them so they start nipping at it. Because there isn't any pain, they can literally chew through their lip. He told me a story about how it has happened in the past. Sure enough I saw my own son start to bite on his lip.


It was at that moment it became clear, pain has purpose. Pain allows us to have a present awareness of danger that is around us. It alerts us to an impending injury. If we couldn't experience pain we wouldn't know we were "chewing through our lip".


Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. 
~Lance Armstrong




On a spiritual level, pain pulls God's greatness out of us


How far will we know we can go if we don't allow the process of pain to stretch and refine us? The freedom of being able to experience and embrace pain with God is far more comforting than going through painful situations without Him. God offers enough grace and sustaining power to carry us through any and ALL storms.


The good news, pain is temporary


God declares in His word:


He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4 NLT)

A prayer for pain filled hearts:

God please help us embrace and experience the pain that has come our way. Thank you for this refining process. Reveal to us Your strength. Give us a constant awareness of Your presence. We know You are in complete control (sovereign). Your plans for our life are for good and not to harm us. Thank you Lord that pain won't last always. Amen! (Posted by Roslyn)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My 2nd Half Marathon Experience!

Last Sunday started different than most.  My morning began at 3:30 am in preparation for my 2nd half marathon.  An early start was necessary so that I could meet a few ladies from my BGR group.  By the time most were waking up out of their warm beds, I was well into my frosty 13.1 mile run.  When I agreed to run the race, just the week before, I would have never imagined the Florida race would commence in nearly freezing temperatures. 

This race would be different for a number of reasons.

  • My twin sister wasn't there
    • That was a huge difference for me. We've shared everything from a womb, dorm room, and even our first half marathon finish.  She was my encouragement every step of the way, despite difficulties she faced along the race course.  I depended on her to encourage me and keep me motivated in the times when the journey became difficult.  Although she couldn't physically be at the race, her phone calls at mile 6 and mile 11 (yes, I answered with very little breath) were the best gifts.
  • An angel in the race
    • LaFern and I around mile 11
    • Even when we don't think things are going our way, He will send you the support you need, even if it looks and feels different than what you imagined.  LaFern was just that person for me!  We met once during a BGR group run just one week before the race.  We immediately clicked and found out that our run pace was similar.  We stayed together the entire race and I am truly grateful for it.
  • Lack of training
    • I agreed to run the race just one week before the half marathon was to take place.  Sure I'd been running since my last half  in November, but this time was different.  Very little training could spell disaster.  Eating what you want, when you want, and how you want it could catch up with you on race day.  Unfortunately, it did just that for me.  The lack of proper preparation for the race caused intense leg pains during and days after the race.
Here's my realization. Running is a metaphor of life.

I did it!

You must train daily for the journey.  Even though I finished the race strong and cried at the sight of my family, my lack of training for this race caused walking difficulty after the race and a prolonged recovery period.   

Prepare daily for life.  Hold fast to your faith and your knowledge of what is true and noble.  Renew your mind in that truth daily.  The sacrifice of your time to train and stay fit (physically and spiritually) will lead to an end reward that is well worth the cost.  Don't allow distractions to lead to excuses. 

If I did it, you can too!  Put one foot in front of the other and enjoy the journey along the way.  (Posted by Renee)

New to running?  Enjoy our six week blogging series: Finish Line Friday's.


Monday, February 13, 2012

I Hate Valentine's Day

I hate Valentine's Day.  I know these are strong words coming from someone who is called to be "inspirational" but I must tell the truth.  I think more than the holiday itself, I hate the commercialization of it.  Being in retail, I experience people scrambling (always at the last minute) to buy the perfect and affordable gift that says, I love you.

How can you sum up love in just one gift?  

How can the actions of your love really be summarized in a last minute stop to the local grocery/drug store to buy flowers and candy?  Most people don't put much thought into one of the greatest words we should ALWAYS hear-LOVE!  The love and care felt that day is (in most cases) contained only to February 14th.

Now for my positive side:  God is the greatest example of love.  The only reason we are capable of love is because He first loved us (I John 4:19).  His love was sent to us through His son Jesus.  I don't think this is what most people think about on the most romantic day of the year.  Even if you do not have a date or Cupid hasn't sent his arrow your way, love where you are.  Not just on today but all throughout the year. Have a sensitive spirit to the needs of others.  Listen and pray for those around you.  If your heart is open you will see hurting people everywhere.

I saw this photo on Facebook.  Although it talks about running I also see it as a motto for LOVE.  Love might not always have the perfect conditions.  Every relationship will have to endure ups and downs.  But true love is patient and kind and doesn't come with a laundry list of conditions.

Love never keeps a record of wrong.  It believes the best in people.  Love never gives up and is always hopeful.  It endures through every situation.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. ~I Corinthians 13:13

Aside from how I feel, I wish you a very Happy Valentine's Day. (Posted by Roslyn)


Side note:  I am happy to be a Pink Mama.  I am guest blogging this month for my dear friend Sandy Hall.  Here is the link to the post.  
http://www.sandypinkmama.com/p/pink-ladies.html

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our tribute to Whitney Houston

We love you Whitney!
1963-2012


There has not been anything else, this weekend, that has affected us as much as learning about the sudden death of Whitney Houston.  Renee and I grew up listening to and loving her music.  She was the ultimate musical inspiration for us.  She was someone who relied solely on her gift of singing to catapult her into stardom and success.

I remember attending a concert of Whitney at a jazz festival and I was spell bound by her voice and beauty.  She was our black American princess who has now been taken from this earth way to soon.

Our hearts and prayers are with her daughter (Bobbie) and her mother (Cissy).  I, like most people, am glued to the tv/radio watching her videos and listening to her songs.   No matter the cause of her death, we choose to remember her gift and talent.

The Greatest Love All
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I live as I believe
No matter what they take from
They can't take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all


What is your favorite Whitney Houston song or memory?



























Sunday, February 5, 2012

Wanna Blog? Our Top 5 Lessons

Have you ever wanted to blog

Most of you know we celebrated one year as bloggers on Wednesday!  Some of the highlight's from our first year were shared in last week's post.  We are often asked how to get started and what are some secrets of the blogging world. 

When we started we didn't even know what it meant to be a blogger.  You may feel the same way so let's start with a quick definition of blogging.  Plain and simple, it's sharing your ideas with the reader.  In more formal terms, Wikipedia defines it as a personal journal published on the World Wide Web.  Bloggers use their blogs to share their thoughts, opinions, and life lessons through journal entries called "posts".

Roslyn and I have learned so much over the past year.  We thought it would be cool to share our top 5 blogging lessons.

  • You Can Do It
    • If we can do it, YOU can do it.  If you've been intimidated by blogging in the past, take comfort in the fact that there are numerous websites, blogs and printed resources to help you get started.  We will share some of our favorites later.  With very little research but a determination to get it done, we started our blog.  Just go for it!  I guarantee you will learn a ton along the way through trial and error.
  • Be Consistent
    • Before you start blogging, make sure that you have an idea of how often you would like to post.  On average we post once a week.  We also attempt to regularly post on the same day of the week to maintain consistency with our readers.
  • Blogger vs. Wordpress
    • I don't profess to have the most technical knowledge in the world of blogging (there is still so much we don't know), so we needed a blogging platform that was user friendly and effortless to maintain.  We've opted to use Google's Blogger as our platform.  You can visit Blogger.com to set-up a FREE blog.  Wordpress.com is also a great blogging platform.  There are pro's and cons to both so here's a great blog post to sort it all out: Blogger vs. Wordpress
    • We opted for Blogger because of it's ease in set up.  They have trendy designs and fonts to help you get started quickly and creatively with very little effort. Research your options before you start blogging.  Once you select a platform to use, it can be cumbersome to switch.
  • Subscribers & Comments
    • It is important to allow readers of your blog an opportunity to receive your posts through their inbox and to leave comments at the end of each post.  Instant interaction with your reader is one of the biggest reasons blogs are so popular.  The engagement of your reader is vital to your blog's success.  Involve them with questions, surveys or solicit their comments/feedback concerning your blog topic. 
    • The subscription is important because it allows regular updates to your blog to be delivered automatically via a web portal, news reader, or email inbox.  Blogger uses Feedburner as their email subscription service.  I love it because we are able to manage our subscriber list and keep track of our readers.   
  • Helpful Resources
We hope we've inspired you to start researching the world of blogging.  Send us a comment below with any specific questions.  (Posted by Renee)

Wanna be a guest blogger for Double Portion Inspiration?  More information coming soon..........Stay connected with us through Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter @doubleportionin.