Monthly Archives: April 2010

You’re tearin’ it up, Girl!

“You’re tearin’ it up, girl!!!” …that’s what my 80-year-old gym companions usually shout when I’m on the treadmill.

You see, I’m not a member of Gold’s or Bally or any other reputable fitness establishment.

NOOOOoooo…not me.  I’m a member of our church gym.

It’s actually a real confidence booster because no one under the age of 75 is a regular guest/member of our gym. When I’m on the treadmill running, I look like a superstar because my treadmill neighbor is usually wearing a heart monitor and shuffling along at a steady 1 mph pace. I’m like an olympic athlete to those folks!

Except for today….

Today… lost in a sea of deep thoughts and running at a pace much faster than normal…I inexplicably flew off the back of my treadmill and ended up face down on the floor. That was bad enough, but for some unknown reason (maybe it was shock or stupidity…either works here) I tried to recover and hop right back on the treadmill from the back end while the belt was still flying at a healthy speed. Needless to say, the results were not graceful. Lying on the floor after my second failed attempt, I began to wonder who was watching. I was suddenly self-conscious. I hobbled up on one leg and began to dramatically inspect the still moving belt pretending to look hard for that darned banana peel…my acting skills were for naught…my senior citizen, hard-of-hearing friend was completely unaware of my mishap….apparently the Regis and Kelly TV program was much more entertaining than me.

Whew….that was a close one. Do you now see why I choose to workout with senior citizens?!? Even when you fly off the back of your treadmill, you can still be a superstar!!

When I drove in the car line to pick up Jordan this afternoon, she took one look at me and said, “Mom…what in the world happened to you?!? Geez, when are you going to stop getting hurt…you look like you had a bike wreck or something….just look at your knees!!!”

It’s true…there’s no skin on my knees or elbows. I also have a garden variety of bruises.

Today, I really tore it up!

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What do you know?

Life’s a lot to think about sometimes.

It’s too big… and in my case, there are too many days to count. The weight of it all can knock you off your feet like an ocean wave. If you don’t get up soon, you start sinking in the sand, buried by the continuous wash of debris.

The ebb and flow of my moods is exasperating. I find myself frustrated that such little things cause me to buckle and sink. I want to think I am stronger but in reality, I cannot rely on my own strength to get through this. It’s not enough.

Before Chris was deployed, if you asked me about my faith in God I would have said it was strong. I was a cradle Christian. My mama took me to church. I never knew a time in my life where I didn’t hear about Jesus. While I’m blessed to have this upbringing, it also creates a history where religion becomes something common and calm. Blue-eyed Jesus surrounded by children and lambs is what I remember from my felt-board Sunday school days. It’s a sweet image, but lacking in the passion and conviction that can be found on a Damascus Road conversion. Up until recently, my faith was never seriously challenged or put into question.

It’s one thing to say you believe in God, it’s completely another to say you know God and trust in His sovereignty. It’s easy to say all the right things and give lip service to Christianity, but when your back is against the wall; what do you know?  What’s God’s honest truth?

I find it interesting in today’s culture, it’s popular to say you’re an “agnostic.” By definition this is a person who claims that they cannot have true knowledge about the existence of God (but does not deny that God might exist). It’s non-committal and non-confrontational. It’s sitting on the fence. It’s politically correct. It sounds peaceful and accepting. It’s simply saying you don’t know.

But is it that simple?!? …To not make a decision is to make a decision by default.

They say the devil is in the details. It’s a saying that usually gets thrown out in the midst of  party planning. But there’s a seriousness to this idiom; it is a warning of sorts. Satan plants a seed of doubt, an “I don’t know”,  that has the potential to grow into something warped and deformed. We end up debating the details until we end up with a pile of minutiae that’s useless. The devil’s plan is to confuse, frustrate and render us ineffective. He knocks you down, hoping you will lie in a lazy unconvincing heap with a question mark on your head.

I’ve never been much of a fence straddler (I married Chris Neeley … politics, religion, barbeque and mayonnaise are all appropriate topics for table conversation and open for a healthy conversion). I guess that’s why I am so frustrated about my roller coaster ride of faith. I thought I knew. What I am learning is that knowing is a process. It doesn’t happen all at once. It also isn’t an intellectual pursuit, but an emotional one.  Just like any relationship, it takes time to get to know one another. Each day when I get up weary, I have to ask God to give me His supernatural strength to face whatever the next 24 hours hold. At the end of the day, I find myself praising Him for the small moments and mini miracles that have sustained me. Granted, it’s not a burning bush where God is speaking directly to me, but this experience is building something solid and durable. I’ve come to understand that God is more faithful than I will ever be, and that’s the way it should be. Life is bigger than us. We are not self-made or self-sufficient beings. God knows all about our weakness. He is present and there for us. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect or have all the answers. Instead, what God wants is for us to accept His help and trust that He knows more than we ever will.

That’s all I need to know. What about you?

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For cryin’ out loud

Most of the time…when people ask, I offer a smile and say I’m okay.

Today….I’m not.

Usually, I cry in the car or in the closet.

Today, I’m cryin’ out loud.

Sometimes things are just not okay.

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Weed and Feed

Well, it’s time to shake the glitter off from our fabulous spring break week at the beach.

We’re back on Tadpole Court!

As I drove in the driveway, I couldn’t help but notice…our yard.

I think it is safe to say we will not be winning the neighborhood coveted award of “yard of the month” this go round.

I would take a picture, but Chris would hyperventilate in Afghanistan. I can visualize him stumbling around like Fred Sanford clasping his heart… It’s the BIG one baby!!!

Cause: over indulgent weed and feed distribution

Guilty party: Janie and Tuck Neeley

Explanation: Tuck was driving his Little Tike’s Truck and wanted some fertilizer in the back….really, do I need to add any more to that story?!?…it’s self-explanatory.

Effect: A yard that reflects my mental state and most recent hair-do. In short, our yard looks like it has the mange.

My neighbor from across the street greeted me with a bottle of wine, hugged me and said…”Look on the bright side Janie, by the time Chris gets back…the grass will be dead again…and he will be none the wiser.” 

Tuck was already on the “bright side.” He ran inside to grab all of his plastic army men. He was entirely elated and yelled…”Mom, it looks like a real battlefield out there!!”

Yes, son…that was my goal.

If anyone else asks…I’m saying, “It’s modern art.”

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

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Don’t Let My People Go

This is what happens when Moses' people go out of town for the weekend

Poor Moses!

Unlike the Biblical Moses, our puppy is begging his people to…”STAY!”

This past weekend while I running the bridge, Jordan was off with a friend and Tucker was at my parents’ house…. Moses, our faithful friend and family beagle, suffered an injury. The details are somewhat fuzzy, but apparently Moses engaged in some ambitious acrobatics while we were gone.

My Mom offered to be “in charge” of Moses for the weekend. It was going to be a “fair trade” since I would be feeding her cat and visiting Rebecca at the nursing home while she was away at the beach this week. The words “fair trade” are in air quotes if you get my drift. Feeding a crazy outside cat that doesn’t look anything like a cat and taking Mountain Dew to Grandmama are not items for barter…at least in a free market. Moses would also agree that this was not an “Even Stephen” deal….afterall, he ended up with a cone on his head at the end of his weekend.

My parents haven’t returned from the beach yet. Let’s just say, I have a “cone” ready for the cat or Rebecca…it could go either way.

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