Progressing through the Process: T Minus 10 days till Triathalon

Experience in the pool is paying off.
I’m having confidence in my ability.
I keep focusing on my rhythm and pattern of breathing and stroking on two, and I’m making it.

I swam 7 laps and I only had 10 to go. HA! Only 10 to go – I love that I thought that!


Experience in the pool is paying off. This afternoon as I approached the pool, “I’m excited,” is what I thought as I kicked off my flip flops and began to step in. Yesterday I had done it. Now, it was a matter of just getting it done. I had just biked 10 miles and ran a mile and a half and I was showering off preparing for my swim, and thought to do 17 laps today, because I could. 😊

It gave me energy too – having confidence in my ability.

I got in and got right to it. Had the pool to myself for starters. I went for it. I was better able today to breath as I swam. Perhaps it’s because there were no distractions. Yesterday as I swam, I found myself distracted and had a hard time regulating my breathing, concerning myself instead of those around me which eventually worked me into a panic attack of sorts because my strokes and breathing were off, and I was projecting the possibility of drowning if that happened at the meet and I couldn’t stop along the side to catch my breath.

That freaked me out and kept occurring. I began to think on applicable scripture to cover me which eventually led to me forgetting about my distraction, and, focusing instead on my pool maneuvers! I got my stride eventually, and all was good.

Today, I was doing so well. I remembered the feeling of the stroke rhythm I got yesterday with my arm helping me propel from the water. Today my other arm felt like it was doing all the work, and it hurt. I wasn’t sure why except maybe I did something to it while on the weights earlier that I hadn’t noticed. I’m not sure. I just went with It, not worrying about it, and kept focusing on my rhythm and pattern of breathing and stroking on two!

By the time I got 7 laps down, I only had 10 to go (HA! Only 10 – love that I thought that!) and was doing so well I thought I’d just sing a song. Nothing else was occupying my mind. I was doing it!! Well. 😊

I wasn’t distracted, I was able to breath, and I wasn’t worried about drowning. No songs came to mind. I began creating silly little rhyme sayings that went along with whatever lap I was on.

I on 9 and doin’ fine. I’m on 8 and feeling great. I’m on 7, I’m in heaven, ain’t got no leaven. I couldn’t think of a good rhyme for six. I got to 3 and I was free, I was on 2 and I was almost through, and finally I was on one, and I was done!

Well done! My times are not fast, but I’m making progress.

That’s one of the reasons I think I am keen on process – there is progress!

We all enjoy progress.

I have only worked out 14 hours in 3 weeks. That doesn’t seem like much at all but I’m making strides! Especially with the swim! I’m so glad I’m making it!!

Rounded Tracking Distance/Time:

Swim – 4 hours – don’t know my distance, but over 2 miles (No, I wasn’t swimming in a wave pool!!:))

Bike – 6 hours, 108 miles (Avg: 3.3 mi/hr – this can’t be right! – I’m NOT that fast! Today I did 10 miles in 42 minutes.)

Run – 4 hours, 22 miles  (Actual avg: 11.53 mi/hr – this is totally right – I’m pretty slow. Funny when I figured my time I remembered what it was in high school – I ran a 12-minute mile. I’m making progress!)

My goals for the next 8 days (taking 2 days off) will be to ramp it up more – more triathalon training – all three events in one day. Maybe do spin classes – I can do 14 miles in 40 minutes there! More running too – maybe outside to better condition myself to the reality I will endure. We’ll see. Happy I’m making progress.

I have so much energy tonight it’s encouraging.

I have previously been so spent as I have trained, but the more I exercise, the more energy I have.

The more we do, the more we get.

Loving progressing!



I’ve Lost My Training Squeals and Found My Rhythm

Trains squeals are any mental thought I’ve heard inside my head that conflicts with my objective. These are naturally natural, I guess, when learning anything new or training, however, focusing on them is what will lessen my performance, impede my progress and maybe even thwart my goals all together, if I give them more focus and more weight than the accomplishment toward which I’m striving. This is what I have realized.

Finding my rhythm has been more than finding the physical balance of patterns I recognize I need while training for swimming. It’s been finding my mental focus and determination beyond my circumstances.

Rhythm is more mental – internal, than the external pattern of coordinating legs, arms, breathing, swivel, etc.

My internal dialogue will determine my rhythm and my stride, or whatever it is I’m doing. My mental, internal speak will dictate how I will perform. This is what I am realizing.

I’ve been helping a young girl learn to swim, and as I’ve been practicing and training myself, I’ve recognized some of the same “squeals” coming from my own mind. Though the verbiage may be different, the sound is the same – its discordant, inharmonious – and the effect is the same – it’s unfocused and difficult, making goal achievement elusive or a boring struggle more so because of these squealing complaints.

I was swimming in the ocean inlet recently when I first recognized this in myself. The tide was abnormally strong making what I find already challenging, extra difficult. My mental complaints were due mostly to the current which was making my swimming like I was in a wave pool – I was going nowhere, hardly, despite my trying to swim strongly. I literally swam my top off – I laughed when I stood up at one point and realized it had come loose.

The complaints, the distracting observations, the truths that inconvenience performance, the anything that lessens my ability to perform on some level, or want to perform, are all part of what I have recognized as going on inside of me, and what I have coined “training squeals.”

Trains squeals are any mental thought I’ve heard inside my head that conflicts with my objective. These are naturally natural, I guess, when learning anything new or training, however, focusing on them is what will lessen my performance, impede my progress and maybe even thwart my goals all together, if I give them more focus and more weight than the accomplishment toward which I’m striving. This is what I have realized.

I left the inlet that day a little deflated, feeling like I had not pushed harder or beyond the squealer. I realized my squeals that day. The contrast of how I walked in the water and how I walked out is not one I wanted to relive, and I haven’t since.

I walked into the water that morning feeling so accomplished because of a 3+ miles run I had just completed, but I left with less than that because I let the squealer win out on the swim.

I have heard the squealer since, but I have not let her win. I have pushed beyond her noise, and made focus my focus as the squealer screetched on. Focus wins out, and the squealer is silenced.

I have found in this training that there is nothing like “doing it,” or knowing you really pushed and gave it what you had. That is one of the best feelings – accomplishment. There is truly nothing like it, however small.

The screetcher is loud – hollering, “it hurts, I’m tired, I got water in my mouth, I’ve got hair in my mouth, I’ve got water in my eyes, it’s too hard, I can’t breathe, I’m not good at this.” Whatever its truth or whine, it’s distracting from the goal. Fix it and move on, or get over it, or, if you can’t fix it, in the case of a strong current, do what you can, and focus on what you need to do to overcome it, and stop complaining about how hard it is because that only makes it all the harder.

I went to swim in the ocean a couple of times last week. The first time was scary primarily because of the possibility of sharks. There was of course the dread, too, because my mental fears putting up obstacles about how I’m not good at it, and it was going to be difficult. Screech!

Do your best – what you can.

That is what I came to at the inlet too, eventually, which first got me out there. I first psyched myself up as I rode around the park trying to delay my entry. What I came to was the fact of how unrealistic it is to think I can do the whole thing right away, and of course it is a challenge – it’s new. It’s training! I need training, and it’s a step at a time!! So, that gave me boldness, and I got off the bike and got to it.

I waded in and out, but finally went in and gave it a go. I did alright. The squealer was present, but she helped me to realize I needed to focus.

Reach don’t screech! I focused on what I needed to improve. There is always a lot, but I keep focusing on what is right in front of me. I felt good getting out.

The next time I went to the ocean I was more focused. I felt pretty glad to be there. I waded out and got with it. I swam and swam.

Same thing – difficulty, screeching present, refocus, screech, focus, go, go, go. I found myself at one point, within myself, not my internal cheerleader, but my spirit, said, “I did it.”

I just knew I did it. But what? I’m not sure, but I accomplished something, somehow. Maybe it was the distance, or the constant continuous focus and eventual achievement from making a sincere effort. Not sure, but I liked that feeling! I swam on.

So, I have had no idea how far I’ve been swimming, however, when I have swam, I always try and swim what might actually be the 3/8 mile distance, whether I have to stop along with way or not. I always try and go the distance.

I have swum laps at the gym before, but only a couple of times and have had no idea how far I was going and have lost count of the number of laps I was swimming. As I’ve progressed with my swimming, I got a little more earnest about the laps and training.

I figured out a way to methodically count my laps as not to lose track, and went for it the other night. My goal was to swim for 20 minutes. I swam for 18 minutes. I’d done 12 laps. I thought to go for two more. I ended at 22 minutes, and 14 laps. I still hadn’t found my rhythm, but that was okay. I’d struggled with a new squealer and was doing what I could to focus on staying above it so I would stay above water – I felt like I was sinking. I actually had to counter the screeching with scriptures and positive thoughts this time – it had nothing to do with focusing on form – that came later. I had to find my mental focus first and swimming focus followed. I’d done it. I completed my 14 laps, and 22 minutes and felt I’d overcome what obstacle I faced that night well, and I headed out.

I found out the length of the pool and would later figure out the calculations of my distance. I headed to Starbucks for a celebratory and recovery latte, eager to know how far I’d swam. I figured the number of laps I’d have to swim to make the distance I would be required to swim at the meet was just under 14! I’d made my distance! That was the last event I had to do to make my distance. I’d already done my run and bike, and even put them all together one morning, but not in their entirety. I was on my way. I’d made a new accomplishment.

I felt my progress. It was good.

The next morning, I’d already planned on mixing up the work out a little – mornings were what I found worked best for training, but I thought I’d work out later in the day or even the evening again, as I had the night before.

Having produced quite a bit for work, I headed home, but after pulling in the drive, pulled right back out and I hit the gym. On the way there, the turning point happened. For the first time, I wanted to swim.

I was thinking on how the water would be on my skin as I swam through it. I was enticed and excited for it! It was then I realized I’d turned the corner, and…the training squeals were off.

When I arrived, I ended up riding and running first. I’d run hard. It made me sick. Headed home instead of following up with my swim there.

When I got home, I felt better. I jumped in the shower, rinsed off with a quick shower, and jumped in my suit. I’d decided to go swimming there. The water was about 80 + degrees, not refreshing. My googles were also not only leaking, but come to find out, the rubber had come off, and I was struggling to figure out the way to fix them. I figured it wasn’t in the cards for me to swim that night, but felt like maybe that was a…Screetch! I took a couple of laps without goggles, but that wasn’t working for me. I then gave an earnest attempt at fixing my goggles, with success! I put ‘em on, headed forward, and managed to swim for 30 minutes!  And…finally found my rhythm. I’m a two stroke, and breath, girl with a swivel and lift, as I come out of the water!

I felt happy. It was good. The training squeals were off. Positivity and focus were on. I am on the way to a new path.



Reminders of the Little Ways God Loves Us, and…How to Make Herbal-Infused Vinegar

Showing up in little ways, God reminders not only help us when we want or need something, but they are reminders that God cares about the littlest of things that are important to us.

Having finished praying this morning, I got up, and what I noticed at some point was that there were dried flowers next to my bed. How interesting. From where did that come, I wondered? Flowers to turn up randomly like that made me wonder why. So, what it brought me to were…plants.

I have dried flowers in different places around my house, but they are tucked in between things. This was not. It was ready to remind me of an event for which I’d already planned and had on my calendar for a while, but about which I’d forgotten and was not on my radar!


I immediately thought of the Herbal Society meeting, and I wondered, “Is today the day of the meeting?” I was planning on attending the Perfecting the Art of Herb-infused Vinegar class. But then I thought, “Oh, no. I missed the meeting this past Wednesday.” I checked my calendar, and sure enough, it was today. Yah!! I didn’t miss it. So glad!! I checked the time, and it wasn’t until 10. Great! This will give me time to go for a run and get to the meeting on time.

I got ready, headed to the bridge, and ran a few miles, then took a quick bike ride to stretch out my running legs, then I headed back home to shower and prepare myself for the meeting.

I walked in and greeted everyone with a, “Good morning!” I was maybe a few minutes late, but I was glad to be there!

There were about 10 different types of herbs spread all over the table and it smelled like spaghetti sauce cooking in the kitchen. There were also many bottles of different wines spread throughout, bottles of apple cider vinegar, lemon rinds, peeled garlic cloves, and pepper corns all displayed on the table.

Miriam, the curator of the garden, was at the head of the table, ready to teach us. She got me set up with a table cloth, and we got ready.

About an hour later, many of us had made different types of vinegars – the two of which she gave us recipes for were Italian (rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, parsley, basil, garlic, sage, peppercorns) and Lemon (lemon basil, fennel – only because we didn’t have any dill, chives, cilantro, parsley, lemon rinds, peppercorns.)

Italian (L); Lemon (R)

Of course, you can use any combination you see fit and appetizing for you.

If you’re making these: The peppercorns always go in first. If you’re using garlic, then the clove(s). Then the herbs, and finally the wine and vinegar – we were instructed to use a 50/50 ratio of wine to vinegar. I later tried, instead of only apple cider vinegar, using rice vinegar. Mix it up. See what’s good.

In addition to the other items, plus the jar or container you choose, if you’d like to make these, you will also need a funnel, and a poker, we used chop sticks. From there, you should be all set to make these beautiful concoctions of herbal-infused vinegars – fit for home or gifting, and fun to create.

Something to consider, when putting in herbs, once the fluid is added, the herbs will rise to the top, so consider where you cut the stems if you want them to span the size of the bottle. You may also choose to put in some herbs first and some later, after you have added the liquid, depending on the shape of the bottle. One of my bottles was long and narrow. See below, left. I actually added the thyme at the end because there was space on the top for more herbs – the original herbs I used did not rise completely to the top in this case because of the narrow shape of the bottle, and the width and strength of rosemary.

Notice the arrangement of herbs at the top of each bottle. Herbs, and the shape of bottle, both contribute to the overall effect.

You can keep them for up to a year for their visual appearance only, but after that time, herbs will likely break down and you will want to strain (maybe) the wine vinegar before you use it. Red wine barely shows off the herbs. Even in a lit window, they are very faint to view. I only used a slight bit of red wine mixed with the white for a darker appearance.

White Wine only (L) versus White/Red Mix (R)

This is just one small way I appreciate the Lord and how He works – helping remind me of things I want or need to do. He shows up for me with the little things in my life. I love it!

Many people think or say He’s got more important matters of which to attend, and He doesn’t care about small things, but I disagree. If he knows the number of hairs on our head, why not help us out with the little details of our lives, like helping remind us of what matters to us and will bring us joy? He’s good like that, too😊

God gives us the desires of our heart when we delight ourselves in Him, according to Proverbs 37:4. I’ve been working on loving more which I think would be delighting myself in Him – what His essence is. 😊 He is love, according to 1 John 4:8.

He knows I love plants, and they are a desire of my heart. His prompting my memory this morning with that little dried flower brought me joy today. I got to meet new people, revisit others I met previously, and I got to learn something new and useful about plants! Fun! Now, here’s hoping it tastes good. We’ll see.

Thank you, Lord, for helping me to remember, and for showing up with the little things in my life that matter and make a sweet difference.

Thank you,




Podcast: My Healing Journey

The recovery process has had its literal and figurative ups and downs. I heeded the verse that instructed me to strengthen my feeble knees, and the result of me getting up off my bum, of the keeping of persevering despite every physical set-back I had, of the continually holding fast to the truth of what I know scripturally, and by continuing to speak healing over my knees as they ached while running or otherwise, I have been made well.

Following is a 27 minute audio podcast. I have put a couple of excerpts below, but take the journey with me. This is a fun audio podcast of my experience being injured while running, and how healing took place through other mechanisms of exercise. This is rife with scripture, major lessons learned, fun and joy in my process of recovery God took me through.

What God did was to help me out anyway. As I was readying myself to read the bible one night, I opened to this passage “accidentally” which listed my instruction for my knee. It is found in Hebrews 12:12-13 “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down and the feeble knees and make straight the paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.” Amen to that.

God’s way may prove hard, but He will always give us the grace to accomplish whatever we need to do, as well. God may be working other things, too, necessary for our growth about which we have no knowledge. I like to say, as I have experienced, when teaching, God has used this profession to work things in me and to work things out of me. But, He is always working to perfect us, to help us. That is what we are called to be, “Perfect, as He is perfect.” But the good thing is that he helps us accomplish this through His son, Jesus Christ, through accepting Him, then God sends His Holy Spirit to aid us in all we need to do.

God always tries to help us, to divert us from disaster, but we have to choose down which path we are going to follow. He even tells us, choose the path of life. God could have touched my knee and made it perfect, but he chose to take me through the long route for which I am grateful. Otherwise, I would have missed out on so much. I would have missed out on the growth process of healing. I love that. I love God showing up for me. That’s the neatest. That is truly awesome. Growing is part of this journey, if we so choose, life. The journey can be fun too. The journey is great. The progress is cool to witness too. I like that. The ups and down are all a part of it. The destination, then, is the celebration. Then, there’s another journey.

The four plus years I have endured of this leg pain has found me at the end of these four plus months in a pleasant place. I am healing. It is working. I’m strengthening. I am keeping working out with weights, running and biking. I continue to heal. I can now successfully run on the beach too which I like a lot – watch out Jason Bourne. I like the treadmill too. My healing has enabled me to do what most take to naturally and without any thought or pain: bending, walking, stretching or sitting. One of the greatest achievements is that I can actually cross my legs now without any pain. That was amazing when it happened the first time. I didn’t even realize it until it happened. I just naturally tried to cross my legs without thinking about it, and then voila, there I am all cross-legged excited for my recovery. That was so huge when I realized that. That continues to this day. Kneeling was a similar feeling of achievement. I love progress.

I can walk down stairs with only minor pain, I can put on my pants, shorts, etc. without the need to kick out my leg, and I can run on concrete, but that causes the most pain maintaining its first place position for the #1 worst exercise for me. I can, however, also run over the bridge, a favorite exercise of mine, without being out of commission for three weeks which is incredible! I am healing, continually. I’m learning to control my desires to run more even when I want too to slowly build and not to destroy the progress I have made. Moderation and not overdoing it is how I am progressing well.

I will say I love the transformation of my body. I’ve never had to worry about weight in my life, but having hit 40 and beyond, gravity was winning the skin’s losing reality. However, I have found that what’s headed south is seeing its way back up north again which makes me very happy. Another triumphant moment in my life transformed.

The recovery process has had its literal and figurative ups and downs and it’s been a good ride. It’s been a good run as they say. I doubt, however, if I did not have this condition that I would have ever been diligent enough or persevering enough to have stuck with it. I like that it’s shaping me up. It’s helped me to disciple myself too which is so crucial in life for success and I have needed that desperately – peace has come as a result too which was promised in the scripture – less pain, less worry about the pain, less fatigue because of the pain, and therefore less overall stress is what I’ve gained with all of this. Follow-through on the short term makes the long-term a whole lot better. I feel better, I look better, I am better.

I am grateful for lent, a period of 40 days in the Catholic Church of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.  I’m grateful because part of what I did for that was to commit to working out at least 3x/week (I fasted slothfulness/lack of discipline), every other day with the exception of Sunday. I don’t know if I would have stuck with this if it weren’t for that. Diligence is a man’s precious possession.





Happy Hour at Starbucks: A Reward of Giving…Receiving

I was going to hog up the promotion and get two of something for myself – one for now and one for later.

So the law of giving and receiving, sowing and reaping, was fully in effect for me the other day. I was at Starbucks and was going to take advantage of this BOGO promo they have going. Happy Hour

I was going to hog up the promotion and get two of something for myself – one for “now and one for later.”

I offered the drink to a girl instead who I noticed only had a water – I didn’t know if she didn’t have money for a drink or what, but offered her the drink, instead. She accepted. I “took her order” and went in – 3 times. There were issues.

By the time I got her order right based on the parameters, I went back in and went from the front of the line to the back, where there were now 4 people in front of me.  This barrista, however, maintained my place and was already on my order. He popped over, and asked me if the drinks were hot or cold. “Hot,” I told him. He proceeded to make them for us.

He eventually looked my way and asked about size, “Grande.” “Yes,” I told him, then proceeded to inform him I wanted large, instead. So, my drinks were going to be ready quickly, but I was not. I was still four back and goin’ slow.

The kind barrista motioned me over to pick up my drinks, and I informed him I needed to pay for them, still. He told me, “Don’t worry about it, they’re on me, (Bravo) and by the time you got through the line they’d be cold.” This latter part was bunk, but I would not debunk him. He was very happy and gave them to me with a smile. I was very happy and accepted them with a smile!

I was so grateful. I took it as a gift from God gift away, as always. I thanked him and said, “God bless you,” smiled and went off. What a doll he was.

I walked outside and gave the girl her order. She liked it and so do I. What a good thing for us all. It feels good to give and good to receive. Beats being a coffee-hog. Thanks to God for His little gifts. They’re so sweet. One thing I’ve learned about God is when I give, He always does too, in some way, whether it’s joy, gratitude, coffee or all of the above.

Luke 6:38 explains: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Bam! – Luke came alive really quickly – I gave a vanilla bean caramel latte and got the same measured to me, and a little joy and gratitude, to boot. 🙂 Thanks, God! Your word does not return to You void.


Now Is Forever

Now Is Forever

This thought came to me as I sat on the couch the other day remembering some of my entries in my old journal I’d read recently that mirrored my current thoughts. What I found was myself in a state where I was downing myself for one imperfection or another – my lack of production over this summer, primarily!  Persecution got me nowhere, ever, but feeling badly, and failing to move forward with any specific productivity worth speaking of.

I thought about how I began to perpetuate that reality as I continued to think in that manner. So, I almost instinctually, and very quickly, decided to just change my mind, to change my thoughts, to change my reality. And, so, I did.

I will have a new now. I will have a new forever. “Now is forever.”  Now is positive. Now is Good!



Giving Myself a Smile

“Sometimes, the best smile we get in life, is the one we give to ourselves.”

So, finally, I got in the pool beginning my triathalon swim training. Last week I tried in the ocean, where the event will occur, which got me about 30 seconds to maybe a minute or two. But I was not able to breath well enough to continue comfortably. Swimming is

not (yet) a strong event for me. Holly love BeachFeeling unsuccessful and weak, I banned it for a while, focusing instead on my bike and run events, each of which are progressing nicely along. At any rate, I made it a goal yesterday to get swimming, finally.

When I went to the gym, I rode the bike for 45 minutes and thought I’d hit the lanes after that. Finding that they were occupied, I happily cruised-out of there, but I knew I was not off the hook. I have a pool right outside my door. Given it’s much smaller, the absence of excess chlorine and the presence of sun shining on me as I swam, I was cool with that during my first official train. I needed those quick fraction-of-a-second breaks too while turning around at each short end to help me with my breathing.

I hymned and hawed with getting out there initially, but eventually made it. First, I did pretty much every chore on my list! My house smelled great, my fridge, floors, kitchen and bath were all clean! I was out of chores besides laundry which was also occupied. However, the benefit to that, after my accomplishment, I would get to come back in to my nice, clean pad and enjoy the rest of my evening.

Having my bathing suit on already, I stuck on my head my cap and goggles, and in considering the end, I claimed to myself, “I am doing it,” and with a smile on my face, I gave myself the thumbs up in the mirror, and I walked outside.

Don’t think of it too much – pull off the band-aid – just do it!! This is where I was at.

Breathing is a priority for me and this is a challenging event in that regard!

I gave myself a five to 15-minute limit. I jumped in, put my goggles down, and finally headed through the water. After a while, my shoulder began bothering me. I pressed in, instead of using it for an excuse to quit, and just made my strokes even more deliberate, focused. Eventually, I was pain free.

After a little while longer, I stopped. I’m finished. I looked at my time, and had swam for over 15 minutes. “I did it!“ I was so happy!

Pleased with my progress, and happy I made it with seeming ease, I jumped out, with a smile on my face, and pressed on toward my evening!

As I readied myself for my shower and prayed gratefully, I considered why the swim was seemingly so easy for me, and I then recalled that maybe it was because a bit of grace was shed upon me as I swam, in response to my prayer I shot up earlier, “Please help me, God.” Thank you, Lord!

Accomplishments and fulfilling my goals fills me up with joy and makes me happy. I have found that sometimes in life, the best smile we can get is the one we give to ourselves.


“God Loves You”…

When I took the pizza back to him, I told him I got him a soda too in case he’d like a little something else besides the beer! Also, as I parted, I told him  “God loves you” because I wanted him to know that truth!

That’s when he told me, “I know. He’s showing me through you. Thank you.”

We are to the be the hands and feet of god in this world. “Where is God?” people may ask.  Believers, we are God’s emissaries. We are to do his work for helping and loving others where we can.

I told this to a man, Tim, I’d met earlier tonight just before leaving him. “I know,” he replied. “He is showing me through you. Thank you.”

I pulled in to the area where I was going to get my dinner. This car pulled out and was blocking me from going in front of where I was going to park. I had to pull in or cause a scene that was unnecessary because I’d seen this young man sitting on the sidewalk and I didn’t want to park there.

I figured things weren’t great for him. I didn’t want to park in front of him and deal with his issue. Looks like I’m not getting out of this. I had to look at this. Why does this bother me? You can help him. There is inherently, at least within me it feels, I think an anger that rises up, like, why are you on the street? What happened? Why aren’t you doing your part? Why do I have to be the one to help you – to take care of you? I think it’s almost a resentment in that sense, but, before I let that go anywhere too far, I remembered that I can help him, simply – no need to take him in and take on all his issues, but I can give him something if he needs it. I didn’t have to do anything either. I just went with it – where I was being placed – in front of a man seemingly in need. I can help, if need be. I never used to think twice about giving money to people on the street.

I went in the store. On the way out, I had a hand full of money and my cream. “Hey lady, can you spare a couple dollars?” “Sure.” I went in my car, sorted out my situation and got my money card too because giving him a couple of bucks would cause me to need my money card. I got out of my car and went to him and handed him the money and inquired as to what is going on with him. He informed me he’d be on the street a minute because he’d had a fight with his cousin. While we talked a kid brought him a beer in a paper bag. He shared that alcohol is the only thing that makes him feel better right now. I took it upon myself at that point to ask about his salvation being that he was blessing me earlier with God after I’d given him the money, and I told him that God can give him peace beyond all understanding. I told him that God loves him and His will for him is not to be on the streets.

He told me he once lived righteously and chose the path he is on now again. I shared I’d done the same and it hurt me and others, but I chose again, and that God through Jesus will help him too.

My intention on talking to him about the Lord was that Jesus has the words of life. My few bucks would do no good in the long-run, but what I could share and pray for him may be what changes his mind and life in the long run, or plants a seed that is watered later by others, and brought to fruition, later still, by the Lord. But by whatever means it works out, I felt for the first time the urgency of providing the truth to this boy and sharing my testimony, in part, as well. If he lets Jesus in and trusts God with his life, he can change – God will shepherd him. That is more important than money. Still, I left him with a few bucks, told him the Lord loves him, and hopefully shared the good news in some saving way while I also prayed with him.

I prayed that he was saved among other things, but finally, too that he know the love of Christ and God as his Father. That is so important, at least it has been for me. I left it there, closed it out in Jesus’ name and went to the place next door to get my dinner. I’d asked him before I proceeded forward if he’d like some pizza, and he agreed to it! 🙂

When I took the pizza back to him, I told him I got him a soda too in case he’d like a little something else besides the beer! Also, as I parted, I told him  “God loves you” because I wanted him to know that truth!

That’s when he told me, “I know. He’s showing me through you. Thank you.”

We are to the be the hands and feet of god in this world. “Where is God?” people may ask.  Believers, we are God’s emissaries. We are to do his work for helping and loving others where we can.

For the first time, today, I truly spoke to and prayed for another, not out of my obligation of being a Christian (though those initial truths coming forth were not very Christ-like at all!). Today, I felt like I could really help him – that he needed help and Christ can truly help him. I know this to be true. For that, I felt I helped him, and that was good!