Friday, January 18, 2013

Why I Run

I started running this past November.  I'd tried training with the C25K program the summer before but had been benched by an orthopedic doctor for a knee problem, and I thought the responsible thing to do was to quit.  By the end of this past year, the chronic pain in my stomach was driving me crazy, and I tried running again as a trial for pain relief.

I was starting to give up on the medical community for answers, and I needed a healthy way to handle the stress of it all.  


After jogging one mile out of shape and gasping, I realized that my stomach ache was almost completely cured.  I was hooked.

My running partner and me after a jog last November.
It's mid January now, and I am still running.  I shoot for jogging at least a couple of miles three times a week. Sometimes, I get to do it more often, and sometimes, life happens and I get benched.  But, I keep going.

I run in the sunshine.  I run in the rain.  I run when it's warm and nice, and I run when it is so cold that the neighborhood dogs refuse to chase me.


I don't run because I find it easy.  I don't run because it makes me look cool.  Every run, I have to decide that I am going to finish it before I start.  I'm pretty sure I look like a flapping, skinny crane going down a runway every time I pass someone on the street.  Sometimes, I even laugh at myself, because I know I look awkward.  But, I don't care.

When I run, it helps me cope with life.  It reminds me of what it means to be a Christian.  In the good times and the bad, I run, because it reminds me that even when life seems impossible and overwhelming, the reward is coming.  Through the gasping and the struggling, I am being transformed into a newer, stronger person each time I stick it out.

At the end of every run as I cool down, I am glad that I didn't give up.


In the same way, I pray that at the end of my life, I will look back at this race have run and sigh with satisfaction knowing that I did my best in Christ's strength and that I ran my course well.  I didn't give up.  I finished by God's grace.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.(Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Building Update for Church@The Square

For those of you who have been following along with our church planting journey, here's a short video update from my handsome hubby.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sarah Mae Giveaway

If you're a tired mom, Sarah Mae's blog is doing a huge giveaway over the next 48 hours to promo a new book.



You can enter here:

http://sarahmae.com/2013/01/hug-a-book-in-a-bookstore-day-link-up-plus-free-massages-for-a-year/

I mean, what mom wouldn't love free massages for a year?

You can also enter below for a free year of housecleaning.  Super sweet.

http://sarahmae.com/2013/01/its-the-desperate-launch-week/

A Little Teaser


Who am I?  That's the question we ask ourselves over and over again.  I recently joined the street team for Pastor Mark Driscoll to promote his new book, "Who Do You Think You Are?" and received a free copy of the book to review it and promote it on the social media outlets I'm on.  I can't tell you how excited I am about this book coming out right now.

God is so gracious to give us resources to serve and love Him better when we really need it.  This book is timely for me.

I'm not even halfway through with the book yet, so this won't be a full review.  That's still coming soon. I'd like to share a little about my personal journey with identity struggles.

I grew up being the "smart kid" in class.  I didn't choose the label- it chose me.  In fact, though I naturally like to talk to people and meet people, I became more and more introverted as I progressed through school.  I figured out pretty fast that if I didn't talk much that I could hide how "smart" I was from everyone else.  I absolutely resented my intelligence being the only thing people knew about me.  I was so much more!

Year after year goes by, the "smart kid" label sticks, so I give up.  I submit to the identity, so I decide that if I'm the smart kid that I better choose a "smart kid" career path.  I did.  I chose to go towards the medical field... the obvious choice in my mind for successful people.  So,  I took AP classes.  I scored high on tests.  I became the valedictorian.  When people teased me, I comforted myself with the fact that one day they'd be working for me or wish they were me.  It was sad.  It was selfish.  It was true.

"In the eyes of God, our choices, values, expenditures, words, actions, and thoughts are all acts of worship. They make up our identity. The only question is, what is your object of worship?" Mark Driscoll... Who Do You Think You Are?


Fast forward to college, I'm dating a guy I want to marry, so I choose to become a nurse instead of a doctor.  I thought that would be easier with a family life, but I'm still completely career driven.  I work hard, make good grades, graduate in the top of my nursing class, and secure a great job with decent benefits. I'm married in the midst of it all but don't slow down any with climbing my career ladder that I have planned out. Then, crash.

A car accident later, I'm stuck in a wheelchair, angry at God, and helpless to do anything without my new husband's assistance.

Enter: the identity crisis.  I was no longer able to be defined by how "valuable" I was.  In my mind, a "smart girl" in a wheelchair was still a cripple.  I was so stuck on being perfect that anything less was broken and ruined.

It's been almost six years now since that terrible accident, and I am so very grateful for it now.  God used that abrasive life interruption to completely change my life course.  It was there in the stillness, the pain, the shame, and the anger that God began to work in my heart and teach me who I really was in Christ.

I wasn't a cripple.  I was the daughter of the King.  God didn't know me just as a "smart kid."  He knew me inside and out.  I was dearly loved.  Treasured.  I was His.

God wanted to use me to tell His story through mine.  Though my whole life I had been striving to make much of myself to cover the hurt I felt inside, God invited me to make much of Him and find peace by living life His way for His glory instead.

"You aren't what you do but rather what Jesus has done for you." Mark Driscoll... Who Do You Think You Are?


I'd like to tell you from that point on that I have had my identity figured out.  It's been a journey.  God has led me through many different seasons and changes, and each time I have learned to let go more of an identity I had tried to make for myself.  I'm learning to find out who I am in Jesus.

Being married to a church planter, I meet tons of people and learn about their joys and their struggles.  We are all searching for an identity.  Few find it in Jesus.

It's my prayer that as I work through this book myself that God will solidify who I am in Christ and that I will be able to share this review with you to help you figure out who you are too.

 I invite you to take this journey with me.  You can download a free chapter of the book here. 

As of today, you can also buy the entire book to read yourself.  So here we go, dear friends, let's explore who we were created to be.



Since today's the day to promo for the book launch, use the hashtag #WDYTYAwin if you tweet about it. That's a unique hashtag for myself and all of my followers to enter to win a copy of the hardback book AND study guides. Feel free to retweet my posts to enter to win!
 You can find me on twitter here: https://twitter.com/annacirlot 
Full Disclosure: I recently joined the street team for Pastor Mark Driscoll to promote his new book, "Who Do You Think You Are?" and received a free copy of the book to review it and promote it on the social media outlets I'm on. 
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