No Plans Here

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” -Matthew 6:33

My position at Operation Christmas Child ends in December and I have  been starting to think about what will come next for me.  But the more I try to think about it, the more God reminds me not to plan.

The Lord has blessed me with great friends, a welcoming family to live with here in Charlotte, a supportive family back home, and Godly co-workers. I am so happy that I get to start each morning in devotions at my office and throughout the day I share worship songs and encouraging scriptures with my friends and co-workers. This job has helped me grow in my relationship with Christ and I can only hope my next opportunity continues to let me grow spiritually.

I would like to stay in Charlotte for the next chapter in my life – but who knows what will happen for me.  I’ve been thinking about traveling, volunteering on a mission trip,  or working. Who knows where God will take me, as I am slowly learning to trust not knowing what will come next.

“In their hearts humans plan their course,  but the LORD establishes their steps.” -Proverbs 16: 9

I Run.

“So I run straight towards the goal with purpose in every step.” – 1 Cor. 9:26

At this point last year, I was not running a single minute of my life. But my friends had this crazy idea of running the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February and we did it. (More about that here). Since then, I have continued to run three times a week since that day, but never more than a 5k.

On Saturday Sept 10 I ran in the Big Red Shoe 5k for the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte and I really enjoyed the course, atmosphere and crowd. I struggled with the actual running part of the race experience though. After being disappointed with how I performed, I started thinking about why I have kept up running and what running means to me.

Well besides the physical benefits of exercise, I enjoy pushing myself a little further and a little faster each time to see how I can do. I love being alone and my stress just melts away when I run because I focus solely one what I am doing in that moment – running.

When I started working for Operation Christmas Child, I met a lady named Carol. She is one of our administrative assistants and she was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. She still comes to work most days of the week and tries to maintain a full life outside of chemo. I can’t imagine the endurance required to work a job and battle cancer. Hearing her story just reminds me that health is a gift and I need to thankful for it every day.

Like most women, I have gone through phases of not liking my body- thinking my thighs are too big or whatever the case may be, but running makes me proud of my body and thankful that it can do all the things. I am blessed to have good health and am proud to say I run – no matter how slow or short my runs are.

“Set daily, monthly, and long term goals and dreams. Don’t ever be afraid to dream too big. Nothing is impossible. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve it.” –Nastia Liukin, USA, 2008 Olympic all-around champion

Balance is key

Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying to get involved in the Charlotte community beyond work. I attended a Charlotte Junior Chamber meeting and jumped at the chance to  volunteer for a prom that will be held for Levine Children’s Hospital patients (coming up on the 23rd), and I have signed up for a painting class using a LivingSocial deal. I have also been attending a couple of churches to try to find the best fit for me.

Besides being overwhelmed with the amount of opportunities in this city for a young woman who likes to stay busy, I have been adamant about working out after work. I just completed the Big Red Shoe 5K, benefitting the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte and I am  running in the Charlotte Race for the Cure in 3 weeks.

I am reading Kerri Strug’s Landing On My Feet, and  she talks about the triangle she used during her gymnastics career  to keep her life balanced – training, school and home life. She says she is happy when all three elements are kept in balance. I think this is true for all of us – to obtain success and happiness we need to have balance. I know for me personally,  I need fulfillment in  work, exercise, social, and spiritual area of life for peace and happiness. My first week of work was boring because I would come home at 5pm and be bored with no one to talk to and nothing to do.

I am slowly learning my life balance as a young professional. I am getting involved, but don’t want to overcommit myself either. I want to meet new people and try new things, but don’t want to be exhausted all the time.