The Role of Faith

Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t. – Daily Prompt

faith (2)Merriam Webster defines Faith as:

1.a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty

(1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions

2a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion

(1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust

3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction;especially : a system of religious beliefs <the Protestantfaith>

Faith to me is first a belief in a power greater than myself.  I define mine as God and have faith that there is some rhyme or reason to why things happen the way they do!  There have been many reasons I have this faith and they all date back to growing up in a Christian home with strong values.  My faith in God is and has always been strong especially through the challenges I have faced in 40 years of life.

More recently faith in myself has been what I have been working on.  Not to say I do not have self-worth or self-esteem, I’m just saying that as I try new things (like whether to train for a marathon or starting a new job after grad school) I tend to lack faith in my abilities.  I am starting to really understand that it is these challenges that make me grow and give me more confidence but it’s hard!  I know because each day I meet with people face to face who describe these challenges/trials/insurmountable obstacles and ask me for help.  I waiver in my faith in myself that I can do it and sometimes I can’t but I have found that I am just a director, a person to help steer them to grow and face their problems on their own helping them to have faith in themselves.  It’s crazy how that word keeps popping up in my day to day life.  So how can I not have faith? faith (1)

Right now I am challenged because I want to do something more with my running.  I am pretty sure I want to run a marathon (the longest distance ever in my life!) but my faith keeps wavering.  Nice questions pop up in my head like, “Really, do you think you can really run that far?”, “Are you crazy?” (that one’s my favorite because I know the answer is yes), “Once you get out there 13.1 miles you have to get back do you think you can do that?”.  So this is where my faith in myself and my ability to train and prepare need to get me through.  I feel like the little engine that could, “I think I can, I think I can.”

And isn’t that what Faith is really about anyway?!  Thinking we can, trying it, and whether we succeed or fail at least we tried and that in and of itself builds our faith.  Every day I am unsure whether I can give the right advice or really hear what a Client is trying to say, yet I try it anyway.  I do no harm and have faith in my ability to empathize.  Every day I am challenged to continue my faith in a power greater than myself, God, and I continue to believe that He will give me the words to say and the abilities needed to make it through.  Every day I am challenged to get a run in to keep training for the next race or just to stay in shape and when I am finished with that run/workout I have stronger faith in my abilities.  This is how faith plays a role in my life.  How about yours?faith

Picking a New Word….

First of all let me say “Sorry you have not heard from me in a while”.  Obviously the excuse is the holidays and the craziness that ensues during them.  Secondly, my Christmas was great!  Thanks for asking.  How was yours?  I hope just as good if not better.  Thirdly, how have your runs/training/just plain exercising routines been going?  Mine, not so great but I have been able to do at least one run each week.  This week oddly enough I made it to the gym twice so far and it is only Thursday.  (4 mile run on Christmas eve before church and then 4 mile run this evening).

cherish2Now finally, the reason I decided to blog tonight and what has been going on in my mind…(this should be fun, you inside my mind!  Have fun!)  Last year at this time I decided to start something new.  Instead of a new years resolution I decided to take a word and focus on it throughout the year.  My word this past year was gratitude.  Quite a word to use as my first word because it brought all kinds of tests for me of which I should probably write about in a different blog later (maybe after the first of the year or this weekend which ever gives me a moment to share with you all).  Anyway…. I have been thinking about the word “cherish” as my new word and wondering how I would integrate it into my life.  I believe I will continue my gratitude journal so I could write about a cherished moment I had during the day, use the word to remind me daily to take a moment and cherish my life, make a cherish jar kind of like this one: memory jar

and fill it with events that have happened throughout the year to cherish and remember.  Not really sure how I’m gonna do it but I think I have picked my new word for the year.

Why this word?  Well look at the definition:

1.   a : to hold dear : feel or show affection for <cherished her friends>

           b : to keep or cultivate with care and affection : nurture<cherishes her marriage>

     2: to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely<still cherishes that memory>

I think these are two good reasons to pick this word.

How about you?  Ever picked a word to focus on for the year?  If so which one?  If not, why not?  How about new years resolutions, do you make them?  Do you keep them for the whole year?cherish1

Christmas Survey just for fun!

Christmas2Totally stealing this from these two blogs: The Hungry Runner Girl and my friend at Fit for a Year.

  1. Favorite Christmas Album/CD/Song? Love Amy Grant’s Christmas Albums/CD’s  They are in my CD player until New Year’s Day!
  2. Run on Christmas morning or take the day off? Hopefully I will run sometime during the day.  It will be my only day off that week so I would like to enjoy it with a good run.
  3. What do you usually eat on Christmas morning? Bacon, eggs, and cinnamon rolls but we will eat anything because we love breakfast!
  4. Favorite holiday or Christmas tradition? Each year I give my daughter a new ornament(or two or three ornaments) for her tree.  Now after 18 years she has a full tree and she can use when she moves away in the future.  Also Christmas Eve service with my family and a midnight service if we can find one.
  5. Real tree, fake tree or no tree? 5 fake trees put up Thanksgiving night or within the next few days after Turkey day!
  6. Christmas pajamas, yay or nay? Nay.  Just stick to my old T-shirt for bed.
  7. Where do you spend the holidays, at home, with your parents, extended family, in-laws or friends? We spend Christmas morning at home opening gifts and then go over to our extended families home for dinner and more gift giving.
  8. What’s your favorite Christmas food? I love the desserts, hence the reason I run!  My favorite cookie to bake all during this season are Ginger Snaps that are soft and chewy instead of snappy!
  9. Open presents all at once or take turns? We take turns.  I love to see what everyone gets!
  10. Favorite Christmas movie? Love Elf, Home Alone movies and the Santa Clauses.

Now it is your turn.  Share your info on your blog and link it back or leave it in the messages.  Would love to know more about you and your traditionschristmas1

A week in somewhat of a review!

christmastree1I am so happy it is Friday.  The unfortunate part is that by the time I write this post and get it posted, it might be Saturday.  But I don’t care, I’m doing it anyway!  Not even sure what I am gonna write about but I felt the need.

I guess I will start with what I learned this week:  I learned that being a therapist is hard!  Okay, I already knew that but this week was a real challenge for me (especially in the midst of what felt like my own breakdown/breakthrough).  I got into therapy to help people and I guess with it comes the unfortunate wanting to “fix things” for everyone.  But, hey guess what, that can’t be done.  I know this but have to constantly remind myself I am just there to help others find their strength.  They have it inside them, I’m just there to help them.  So I guess that is a pretty big lesson to keep reminding myself of or just relearn again, over and over again!

I don’t know about you but I was also overwhelmed this week by the fact that this month has gone so fast.  I once heard someone say (and I totally believe) “we rush through our childhood wanting to grow up and then when we grow up we want things to slow down so we can enjoy them.”  I’m screaming for things to slow down!!!  Can you hear me?!  Not sure whether it is effective because life still seems to be cruising by.  So this weekend my goal is to try and slow down.

I did take a great step in slowing down tonight.  We had a Christmas show (I performed a tap dance with my daughter and it was wonderful) and then poof it was over.  Everyone cleared out and the place was quiet.  I waited around for the person to come back to lock up and I just sat in the silence.  I looked around at the trees that decorated the facility took a couple of pics (here is one)christmastree and just tried to relax.  I thought about my week, about the tragic news in Connecticut, and just thought “I need to continue to enjoy my family, tell them I love them, and never be afraid to be who I am because life is short.”  Maybe that is why you are getting this rambling blog tonight.  Maybe I want you to hear, “Life is short.  We must take every opportunity to cherish what we have.”

This weekend, this is my focus and something I want to continue to practice throughout the month as well as next year.  Maybe that will be my word of the year.  Last year’s word was “gratitude”.  Maybe this year will be “cherish”.  I think it sounds like a plan.

How was your week?  Did you learn anything new?  Are you glad it is Friday?  Do you ever pick a word and think/reflect on it throughout the year?  Why or why not?  Love to hear from you!

A Breakdown or Break through?!

breakdownEver thought you might be having a breakdown?  Maybe it was a break through!   What were your symptoms?

Over the past couple of weeks I have felt overwhelmed, cried to songs on the radio, wanted to turn around after it took me three hours to drive into Boston which is normally a 50 min drive and was pretty much in tears, as well as moments of begging for help from my Higher Power (God) to give me the strength and words to say to clients when I didn’t feel like I could help them.  Does this mean I am having a breakdown?  Believe me I sometimes feel like it!

But the breakthrough came when I realized that really I wasn’t taking care of myself like I am use to.  I have not been taking moments for myself to just breathe.  I remember this time last year I was pretty seriously training for my first ½ marathon ever.  I made the commitment to go to the gym and research how to prepare my body to run that distance.  This included rest, weights, and lots and lots of running. breakdown1

So recently I have been attempting to get back to that type of mindset.  Today I was able to start my day later and get some things done and end the day with a trip to the gym for a run.  I’m not saying that I may not be having a breakdown, I’m just saying that I have had a break through.  I need to take better care of myself.  The breakdown may have to wait.  Also if you lived near me you would see me driving down the road crying to songs on the radio like Rascal Flatts song “My Wish”.  Remember I do have the last one graduating this year and I love this song!!!

So breakdown or break through?!  Good news is that I’m moving forward and so could you!

My Hero

hero1So today’s daily prompt is to write about your hero.  When you think about it, it sounds like it could be really simple but I am not sure it is really that simple.  As I look at my life and think about the people in my life who have helped me get to where I am, I can think of many people I consider my hero.

My first thought is my grandfather.  He died when I was just 19 but I remember spending so much time with him. One of my favorite moments was making cinnamon rolls on the weekend and then giving them out to people in the neighborhood because really there is no way we could eat 8 pans of cinnamon rolls (or maybe we could we would just be 3000 pounds!)  What I loved/love about him was his commitment to God and how he would practice his faith on a daily basis.  He also would go and preach/speak at nursing homes on Sunday morning to those who could not leave and go to church.  When he passed away I was lucky enough to get his bible.  Every once and awhile I open it up and really feel his presence.  I feel so blessed to have him in my life (I can still feel his presence on a somewhat daily basis).

A career hero I have is my friend Ed.  He was my internship advisor as I plugged along through grad school and tried to make my way.  He was/is always there to challenge me and help me to become a better Clinician.

My daughter is a hero of mine too.  She is courageous for all she has gone through in her short 18 years on this earth.  She is a constant performer and when she gets on stage to dance, I am overwhelmed by her courage, grace and ability.  I love to watch her and feel blessed that I have been given such a wonderful human being to raise and be a part of her life.

Another hero of mine is my partner in crime, Dave.  We have been together for a long time and have been through many, many ups and downs.  I admire him for how he provides for our family and how he would do anything for all of us at any time (even going out and getting gas when it is freezing and I don’t want to get to cold!).  Also that he has been there for me when I have been challenged to the point where I don’t think I can go on.  I know that he is my rock and even though I am strong and could make it, I would never want to try without him! hero

These are just a few people I consider my heros.  It is so hard to name just one.  Do you have the same problem?  I guess I just get a lot from the people in my life and I believe that that is how it is supposed to be!

Who is your hero?  Why?