Friday, August 7, 2015

Savoring Summer

 The last week of summer break approached faster than I could imagine.  It hardly even seems like we had a summer.  I spent every moment I could outside, soaking up the sun.  I love summer weather so much, I don't know how I get through the rest of the year.  This summer was one of the best, but there's still fun left to be had, always things left that I want to do.  Here are some things that I squeezed into that last little bit.
I had this little event planned for at Panther Creek one morning to invite people to do a little devotion and bring items to donate to Food on Foot as they have a rush of needs at the beginning of the school year.  They are always open for donations and volunteers, and I believe that this is a great way for anyone in Morristown to help the people right here where we are.  This world is a pretty dark place, but God is the light that overcomes it all.  When we are filled with Him, we are also a light that He uses to reach out to others.  I am really motivated this year to live differently, do new things, make my life a better gift to the Lord!

This is the view of the lake from where we met.

I have a friend who graduated from Tennessee High a couple years ago and now runs cross country and track for ETSU named Macy Carrier.  She is such an example to this world of how to be a light!  I see her heart for others at work all the time, and it makes me smile and want to do more myself.  Living life like that really is contagious.  You don't have to boast in all you do; people notice.  "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."  2 Corinthians 10:17  She has gone on mission trips, babysits, and is just a positive example in general.  The past two years, she and some friends have even put together very successful 5k races to raise money to build a well of clean water and to raise money for a children's home.  I came upon this article about her from her town's newspaper that tells a lot about how great a girl she is and learned some things even I didn't know!  I just wanted to take a moment to share a little about her!
 There for a while, it rained at some point, usually multiple times, every day for a couple weeks.  That obviously frustrates me!  I redecorated my dry erase board with this verse and picture to try to keep my perspective right.  I am blessed, and I shouldn't let a little rain ruin that!  (Although that is one of my most difficult times to be positive.)

"Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all the living creatures of every kind on the earth."  Genesis 9:16

I couldn't believe it; after our team's cross country camp, I made RunnerSpace again!  This was two weeks in a row!  (Jessica and I were flying high-bottom right)
I don't watch a lot of tv, but when I do, it's usually with my mom and dad at dinner.  We always watch sports if there's a good one on or Big Bang Theory.  That show just cracks us all up!  However, my dad laughing so hard, or as mom says, "getting tickled," is funnier to me than the actual show.  Sheldon is my favorite.  Here he is with all his cats. 

This summer the weekends just did not work out for the lake, which makes me sad!  I am used to spending all Saturday and Sunday out at the lake, as well as the long weekend Mondays!  This year, I have only been out 3 or 4 times total!  Mom and Dad went a few more times, but between house projects, family events, vacations, camps, and bad weather, this was the least we have ever been out to the lake.  We took a couple weeknights to go get some skiing water while we had the chance.  It's so nice at night; there are few people and calmer water.  It's quite peaceful!
We had to take a picture together to prove that I really did get to hang out at the lake some!  Erika and I have literally grown up together on the lake.
When you have a long day at the lake, dinner to go is convenient.  By that time, we're usually pretty hungry, too!  We often stop by Taco John's.  They have room for us to park the boat, too, so that helps!

I actually found this verse a while back, but couldn't find a time to work it in, but I gotta share what I learn!  I hate feeling like I'm wasting time, so this verse goes right along with that.  If you waste the time God gives you, you're not going to have anything good come out of it, or you may find that your free time is taken away!  When you put your mind to doing good, God will help you succeed.

As a little kid, I would daily sleep in until around 10:30 when Mom would come drag me out of bed.  There's no time for that anymore!   Sleeping in is considered 7:30-8:30, sometimes 9:00, but I do cherish a good night's sleep!

I really like this quote.  Every day is a new one.  Take it on as a challenge!
Another positive quote I came across was from Aristotle:  "Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work."
New phone wallpapers!

"...See how the flowers of the field grow...If that is how God clothes the grass of the field...will He not much more clothe you?...So do not worry...But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Matthew 6:28-31, 33

I got paid a couple times during this last week of summer!  I dog sat for my neighbor's grandkids and bathed my own dog for mom and dad.
Even more money!  I find change almost every day.  I am a professional runner.  I get paid.  Kinda...

After losing my beach tan during the weeks of rain when we got home from the beach, I have finally gotten it back!  This weather has been pretty great lately, hot, humid, sunny.
I feel like this is how my parents look at me all the time.
And speaking of food...
The Florida State coach came over for dinner and dessert one night to talk about me and their running program, which was really cool!  We fixed grilled chicken salad because that is something just about every single person, especially athletes, likes, and it is simple to make!  I had to snap a picture because it was the prettiest salad I've ever made.
The meal on the right is a new thing I've decided that I like together.  It is also one of the best post-workout meals I could make, too!  It's sweet potato with it's cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg topping; fish with some seasonings; and chia seed on top of it all!  I added some turkey sausage to this one, too, for an extra umph.

More new goodies I've found at the store for heading into school
I am stocked up on protein bars for like months, but there are just so many varieties of flavors that I love!  Kind is also a great brand with tons of good-for-you ingredients.
On our way back from a visit to Alabama, we stopped in the Target to look around, nothing special in mind, but you just can't pass up a Target!  I ended up getting these two gelatos and a yogurt to have for my road trip dessert!  I also got a new granola to have on hand, which is a variety available exclusively at Target!  These were all new products to me, and they were all a success!
These are two new protein bars I found at Walmart.  They're pretty good, but not my type.  After I finish them, probably not getting anymore!  They are very chewy!
We have a new race this year at a new location, so we had practice there one afternoon to try it out.  It is in a mowed hayfield, so it's pretty hard to breathe!  Along with the recent weather and no shade to be found, it was a tough afternoon.  But there were some really pretty sunflowers!  You can find good anywhere if you just think about it. 
"For all people are like grass, and their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of the Lord endures forever."  1 Peter 1:24-25

My main goal (going along with using it for the Lord):  Enjoy Life.
"So I commend the enjoyment of life because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad.  Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him."  Ecclesiastes 11:8
 Simple, yet so wonderful!  Here I was participating in "enjoyment of life...under the sun,"eating a dark chocolate chip waffle, drinking coffee, and followed the rest of the day with even more joy in what I did!

Last thing before school started on Monday:  sub deb pledge tea at the country club.
We all got dressed up and had a dessert buffet while we got to introduce ourselves to the freshmen and their moms and talk about some things we're going to do this year!