"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bring It Aretha!

"Meaningless! Meaningless! says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is Meaningless."
Ecc 1:2
With the  holidays going and coming we are faced with many issues.  Most of us have swept them under the rug, danced around or all together avoided them over the last several months. I continue to hear statements like:
"The Holidays so stressful."
"I just wish it would come and go."
"I just want to stay home, or go away."
How do we find JOY in the midst of so many battles? We have expectations, we have hang-ups with others, we have bitterness that we have not worked on and in it all we get so confused on what we should or should not be doing.
December is not my favorite month, but in the tears, I have also found great laughter and JOY.
Some day's it is a lot of work, other days it comes easy.
Most of us do not like confrontation with others, let alone ourselves.  
Today, mom and I were cleaning Maw Maws house. Moms made the statement "Anita, what am I going to be like when I get older? I am getting so honest...."
I laughed because mom has. I love it. We get in so many snickeredy little debates. But again, I love that she does not agree with me, I love that she shares her own thoughts and ideas. "Anita, I think I got that from you." She continued with laughter.
I love that she feels she can be honest with me and know that I love her even if we do not see eye to eye.
We have learned that we don't have to share the same thoughts, ideas, or concerns. We have learned that by stuffing down our hurts or hang-ups that does not solve anything.
Pick Your Battle
If you are angry or bitter, most likely you have stuffed yourself with years of garbage and are fat on resentments.
It is really difficult to communicate properly in this condition.
We have to first conquer ourselves, fighting the battle that is raging within us.
At this point, we will discover what other battles we should fight, how to be victorious and what battles no longer need to be fought, that are MEANINGLESS.
It is all in the Approach.
Let Love Lead
When I step off the platform of The Anita Show, I can see how miniscule I am. How Meaningless many of my battles are.
When I see HIS purpose for me is greater than my purposes, many of my battles dissolve. When I let my LOVE for HIM become greater than my battles, I can find JOY.
Meaningless, that's what many things become. Love for Him reminds me to love like Him.
When LOVE leads I am reminded that "I" am even Meaningless. It's Not The Anita Show.

The last few days have gone like this:
Sunday- Played HOOKIE from Everything! Took the Boys to Frankenmuth

Lacey called and we ran a new loop, a perfect 7 mile loop. I ran half naked in shorts that morning! It was 45 degrees out!


Wednesday-TODAY! I hit the gym. 30 minutes of weights and stretching. The track was calling my name for an easy mile. But I saw a regular, an older guy running just a few feet in front of me. I quietly came in behind him. That mile turned into 3 fun miles. I found myself dancing on the track to Aretha Franklin.."Yeah Baby!" "I aint gonna do you wrong..." "Just a, Just a, Just a..."
I was running and pulling out the guns dancing on the track. I felt my shoulders shimmy and a big ole grin painted on my face as I was running in my own party.
I am sure I had a few giggling, but I was having so much fun I really didn't care!
"OHHH your kisses are sweeting than honey... RESPECT..."


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Find Your Fight.

This has been the week from the bad place. A week that has sucked the life out of me. A week of stomach aches and hypersensitive nerves. This has been the week of hurt, disappointment, confusion and pressure.
The week of sleepless nights, tear stained pillows and raw emotions.

I have had these break through moments that I actually told myself, "One Day you will Laugh at this."
I even found myself laughing over some of my secret issues.
The laughter is enough to soften the blow, however, reality sets in to remind me of how hard parenting is.

I see the faces of those who chatter in my ears, I read the words that create pressures even on this 40 year old. I feel confusion grow inside me, insecurity knocks at the door and even creeps through the cracks.

I know that I need to run. I need to sweat, I need to work it out of me.

I found myself shadow boxing in the corner of the gym. I tightened my grip on the weights in my hands watching the veins bulge across my shoulders.
Jab, jab, uppercut, dip, dive..

After 45 minutes I came down to the track. Red faced and sore, I did a mile cool down, walking.

I could still feel my body shaking from the inside out.
I headed to the treadmill.
I hit the incline and started running. The incline continued to increase. So did the sweat and my pulse. The chatter began slowing to a whisper...

Then I heard the voices of defeat..
"Slow down, your at a 9.0 incline, just walk."
"H@!#  NO!!" I shouted.
Ephesians 6:12
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Don't Quit...There is NO other OPTION. You Fight like hell. There is something out there you should be fighting for. And You better figure it out before its too late.
Maybe its your marriage, maybe its you children, maybe its your health.
We are in a CONSTANT battle just on a interpersonal level.
This world is broken and a mess. You better quit making excuses for it and your reaction to it. You better learn to fight to be set apart, fight to do the right thing in the wrong situations, fight to have integrity, honesty or just fight to stay true to yourself. Make NO MISTAKE if you are just chillin out eating Bon Bons you are a easy target for a life of apathy and regret.

"GOD help me, I cant QUIT". It truly is in my weakest state, my most vulnerable condition, that I am so humbled, on my knees in emptiness begging God to provide me of my inadequacies.

Psalm 31:24 "Be Strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!"

I felt the vomit churning in my belly, my chest was heaving as I tried to figure out when that last interval would be finished. It was the longest interval in the history of intervals.
Determined I dug in with everything I had and everything I begged for. I could see the situations I was struggling with being applied as I persevered.
Failure is NOT an Option.
I'm not gonna quit.
I will go to my grave fighting. I will fight clean and I will fight dirty...But I will Fight.. The Enemy doesn't play fair.

I will fight, I will fight for my children and I will NEVER quit.
Let them chatter, it doesn't matter what other people do or say.

Just when I thought I saw my life flash before me the treadmill began to decline. Relief. Air. Victory.
It was finished. I fought, I never quit, I never compromised.
I Thanked God.

It's Simple:
Find YOUR Fight.
And Never GIVE UP.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Dear Mother..

Every Day Its You I See
You nose, your chin or even the smile that I see,
Are just a couple of the similarities between you and me.
Whether it is the good or bad or the old or new,
Everyday goes by, when I do the things you would do.
I can not deny what has been done between you and I.
All my feelings and emotions I can not lie.
Your trip so far in heaven, but you could never leave me.
For everyday in the mirror it's my mother that I see.

Anita Cook
April 4th 93'
Today, is the 22nd year since my mother passed away. It sounds so simple put in those words. It was far from simple. It was agonizing and horrific. No 18 year old should ever have to make the choice to have their mother taken off life support.
I discovered my folder full of poems that I used to write. I have always used writing as an expression of my heart. It is my way of trying to make sense from senselessness.
So the Christmas tree is up, but I feel empty. The lights are sparking but it still feels dark. There is beauty but I feel broken.
It is just a day. Or maybe it is the month. I ran, it didn't help. I prayed, it comforted. You gotta just keep on keeping on.
Dear Mom..
Your so far away when I hold your hand,
Its not really you beside me I stand.
Dear Mother, where is it that you really lay?
Has God now taken my mother away?
Did you feel the pain that science had injected?
Or were you so far away that you were not affected?
Were those your eyes that sometimes opened when I spoke?
I asked for a miracle, I sign is what I hoped.
Can you hear the love I speak to you faithfully?
Can you feel my tears I cry to you gratefully?
Do you know I am there when I don't speak a word?
Or when I reminisce am I being heard?
Dear Mother, walk your children in the right direction,
Lead us to the roads of a mothers satisfaction.
Know that each step we take your love leads,
And all our dreams and goals must proceed.
Dear Mother, please hear us, touch us, please know we love you.
Dear Mother, forgive us, hold us, don't forget we love you.
Dear Mother, strengthen us, pick us up when we weaken,
And know that everyday its our Mothers Love that we are seeking.
Nov10-Dec 10th
I started this as my mother lay in a coma at St Joes Hospital. I finished this and read it at my mothers funeral with my sister and brother beside me.
Never Forget to Remember,

Runners Gift List Ideas 2014

Gifts for the RUNNER you LOVE!

25 Running Gifts with links for all Runners and those who Support their favorite Runner. 

All Runners

  1. Metro Park Pass (Car sticker)
  2. Subscription to Running Magazine (Runners World)
  3. Garmin or Running watch with GPS
  4. Apple Nano:8gb 149$
  5. Socks
  6. Running Journal/Devotional/Training book
  7. Order picks from a recent race
  8. Medal Holder/ Bib Holder (GoneForARun)
  9. Registration for a Race
  10. Road ID

Half Marathoners/Marathoners
  1. Fuel Belt/ Running belt with pouch
  2. Fan Faces (Spiritline)
  3. Armwarmers/ gloves
  4. Foam Roller (Trigger Point)
  5. H2O bottles, hand held

Stocking Stuffers
  1. Sunblock
  2. Epson Salt
  3. Chomps/Chews
  4. Shoe Pouch for keys/credit card
  5. Chapstick
Some great sites that have discounted running shoes, accessories and clothing.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Remember to Never Forget.

I had many great intentions today. No matter what store or what isle I have been shopping in, I can not seem to find "MORE Time", I have found Thyme, but it is useless to me.

I was able to get my run in. Danielle and I met Hillary out at Indian Springs this morning.  Hillary runs at Indian Springs almost every morning. She asked me if we could meet for a run out there.
We had so much fun.

The day was an emotional day. As high as I was from running,I struggled with some memories. I intentionally tried to do everything to stay positive and joyful.

As I drove down the back roads towards home I could feel the memories burn in my heart. The people that I miss so very much.
This time of year is the hardest time of year for me. My mother died this week and my grandma and I shared Christmas birthdays.

As dark as life was growing up, when my mother laughed, everyone laughed. She could fill a room with joy. I came to a deep thought today. As the tears gently warmed my cheeks, thinking about that amazing matriarch my grandma and almost hearing my mothers laugh,  I wondered why I was still so sad.
It was the dark times, the scary nights, the hard seasons of life that brings a simple smile into perspective. A light laugh, a glittering eye, a warm touch were all so precious. They were like a bright sunny sky in January in Michigan.
I miss them so very much.
I loved every little special moment. I miss those moments. I wish I could just visit my grandma and listen to her tell me stories of her dancing. Or wait for hours as my mother got ready to go for a simple walk. I wish I could hear my grandma tell me how we were both Christmas babies.

I wanted to write my Christmas favorites list. But I needed to remember to never forget.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A week in Review!

I haven't written in 1WEEK!
I am not thinking that anyone was out there chomping at the bit to read my daily ramblings.
Nothing like I was doing as I was trying to get my husband registered for the Bayshore Half marathon. My fingers were shaking as I tried to type and talk to Lacey sitting next to me. As fast as I loaded all the information into the computer my phone was beeping with notifications. I was receiving pictures and text messages from friends who had ALREADY gotten their confirmation back. I barely had Andy's shirt size loaded. I laughed as my fingers shook. Lacey was there to run after we registered and by the looks of my hands shaking I needed to let off some bent up energy!
Confirmation, confirmation, confirmation!
We were all IN! Danielle text me and was confirmed to run the full. And Kay from CC, text me that she was all confirmed to run the half too!
2015 has 2 races on it:

  1. Rock CF : Sunday March 29th
  2. Bayshore Marathon: May 23rd
As for the last week:
Good News: I can still fit into my britches!
Bad News I think I ate pie every night before bed.

Good news: Terri brought me my first Sweet Potato pie.
Bad news: I didn't want to share it!

Good News: My first Pie Day at the new house went off like clock work. We had such a riot!
Bad News: LAST minute location change for Thanksgiving moved to MY HOUSE.

Good News: Thanksgiving at my house holding almost 30 people went off without a HITCH.
Bad News...There wasn't any!
MORE good news, Thanksgiving was so easy I was able to meet Melissa and Lacey for a trail run before the overload of calories and characters!

Good News: Aunt Lois received word that she is CLINICALLY in REMISSION! Praise God!

Good News: Jeff quit being a wuss and came back to the gym! He hasn't done anything but eat Little Debbies cookies the last 7 months since Boston!
I let that knucklehead talk me into a spin class today. I felt like that rowdy kid in class that laughs at everything. The more I sweat, the more the instructor said to "UP your gears". I looked at Jeff as he just made fun of me. I considered crying because no one would notice from all the sweat dripping. I decided that would take up too much energy that I needed. I kept looking out the window to see if they're were any  EMT's on standby for the newbies.  I couldn't go all soft because the instructor kept calling out the newbies. I was only 1 of 3, and for some reason he ONLY remembered MY NAME. "Come On NITA, your a runner, Up on your bike and sprint." I could hear Old Jeff laughing at me.
I had several names I wanted to call him but I was laughing nervously. The mirror in front of me convicted me to be nice to Jeff..in public anyway!

Good News: Andy has not ran in months either. He did however, get very excited when I informed him that I was able to register him before the Half Marathon CLOSED.

A little Piece of ME:
I am keeping my miles down. Because November and December are so busy, I have found it almost easier to follow a very flexible plan. I am not taking myself or my schedule too serious.
The more ridged my expectations are on myself and on others the more disappointed I find myself. I find myself disappointed in myself when I can not make the expectations I had set forth on. I also find myself disappointed in others when they fall short of expectations that I have put on them. When I release the reigns of control and just show up with a good attitude any disturbance just becomes a small blip on the radar.
When I choose to put more effort on managing my attitude rather than my actions or others actions, that is when I find myself most effective! Having a Good attitude often brings good actions!

Don't take yourself so seriously. Life is FULL of unexpected circumstances. The only thing you can completely control is YOUR RESPONSE to it. If you harvest a good attitude you will always have an abundance of JOY, PEACE and LOVE.



Monday, November 24, 2014

Warm Fuzzies

The day had to be executed perfectly in order for me to check everything off my list of errands.
Drop off Austin at 7am, drop off Alec at 7:30 and point the wheels to the gym.

The temperature left me very confused. It was great weather to run outside. Back and forth I pondered, all the while driving towards Grand Blanc to the health club.

I walked into the gym to see a friend of mine holding her smoothie cup in a awkward position. Apparently, she had sprung a leak, leaving a trail of smoothie throughout the gym.
This was the beginning of my Monday. Laughing at some
one else's misfortune. I actually thanked "Beth" for the laugh and she even joined me in the morning giggles.

That must have left an impression on my jawline. From that moment on, I had a smile attached to my face all day. If I had a dollar for every double take I received from smiling at people, I would have my Christmas fund accounted for.

Smiles are so contagious. They even feel good when you don't feel good. My smile even widened when people noticed I was smiling at them. They probably thought I was a creeper, my grin was so cheesy.
I even winked at a couple people when they felt obligated to smile back.

Yes, traffic is getting bad.
Yes, people are a little on edge.
Parking lots are like a war zone, emotions are tense, people are hustling around, the weather is funky and the kids are coming home...
I loved it when people smiled back at me. Maybe they thought I was a weirdo, maybe they felt sorry for my unshowered pathetic looking self..whatever the case, I received A LOT of smiles today.

The Rundown:

At the gym I was chatty Kathy. I practiced eye contact, I chatted with ladies in the locker room and I encouraged some others working out.
"God Bless YOU" one woman told me. I just love that this woman has the courage to share those 3 words. She is Middle Eastern. She is always so kind, today she even offered me her lotion when I went into the dry sauna. I politely declined but was overcome with warm fuzzies.

*35 minutes of weights and stretching.
*25 minutes of biking
*15 minutes Cold Plunge
Rushing out the door unto the next thing on my list!

Don't let the hustle and bustle of the holidays steal your Joy. Be someone else's Joy, Share a smile!