I’ve been struggling with balance.   It seems that when I focus my attention on one area in my life, other areas get neglected.  Or I get distracted from what matters by something that comes up and takes my attention.

It’s like the canoe trip this weekend.  Instead of paying attention to what we were doing, I was distracted by the scenery around me.  Blue RiverThus, my canoe partner would have to prompt me to switch sides when paddling in order for us to make a straight path through the water vs. zigging and zagging between the shores.  We laughed about my ability to get easily distracted.  I’d be ok for a while and then…squirrel!

I have this same problem with my physical fitness.   When I made it an absolute priority for me to exercise daily, above any other activity, then those around me were neglected.  Even though I was getting stronger, losing weight, and feeling better,  at the same time I was drifting awayfrom friends and family because they did not share the same commitment  towards health.   There is only so much time in a day and if I took that time for me, then I didn’t have time available for others.  A few left turns later, trying to appease and reconnect has left me frustrated.  Other than maintaining an awareness of my diet, I feel like I’m starting all over again with my physical fitness.  Sigh.

It’s also true with my spiritual fitness.  I’ve been drawn to the Word, wanting to study more than anything:  more than work, more than play.  But I can’t abandon my purpose here in this world to seclude myself and study.  (I can hear my mom saying, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.”)  Sigh again.  I need to re-engage and apply what I am learning.   I need to share with others, which means I need to connect with them personally.

Which leads me back to  the initial problem of how to focus on my physical and spiritual needs and still maintain balance in the other important area of my life.  Intuitively I know that simply being aware of the issue is the first step in the solution.  However, I need to come up with an action plan that satisfies all the needs without alienating those around me.  So to that end, I am going to literally calendar my time.  I’m going to set appointments/blocks of time for study, for fitness, and for friends.  Also, I will weed out the non-essential  obligations and cut back on time-fillers so that I can give more (quality and time) to the things that really matter in life.

#TodayIChoose to re-evaluate and restart my journey.


Laura Transparent convertedMarked.  By God and by a tattoo artist.

This design went from a sketch to ink in a matter of days.   It is both a reminder for me as well as an opportunity to share.  This art merely puts into ink what has been branded in my heart.  It symbolizes:

{the cross inside the heart}  Jesus,  who lives beyond the cross,  lives in my heart.  

{the heart surrounding the cross}    I am to take up my cross daily (based on Luke 9:23), but no matter the burden I bear, it is small compared to His great love for me. 

{the feather}  He shelters me in his wings (based on Psalm 91:4); a single feather from those mighty wings protects me and stands guard on my heart. 

I have hope, because of my faith, borne from love.

Friendship tested

“Friendships are often tested by separation and silence; you are divided by physical distance or you are unable to talk.”  ~Day 14 The Purpose Driven Life​

Patoka 11 iPhone
Patoka 11 iPhone

The test of a true friendship is one that can survive the silences.  It allows the time and space needed for whatever the reason.  It waits patiently for the reconnect, without doubting the sincerity or motives of the other.  And while this is applicable to relationships here on this earth, it is also true of my relationship with God. There are times when there is a chasm of silence between us, not because of anything I did wrong, but as a way to mature my faith. It’s easy to believe when there’s joyful noise going on. But even in the silence, I still believe.

Today I Choose


Every day I make choices.  Even if someone else is choosing and I go along with it, a choice is made.  My lack of a choice or failure to make a choice is still a choice.

I don’t recall when I first started using the hashtag #TodayIChoose but it so accurately fits my journey.  I am focused on making choices that improve my health, strengthen my faith and my body so that I am ready and able if and when I am needed to serve, in whatever capacity that may be.

  • #TodayIChoose to push my boundaries of faith by starting to read and apply The Purpose Driven Life.
  • #TodayIChoose to push my boundaries on fitness by completing one full circuit of strength and body work.  I can’t be strong if I don’t build muscle. No excuses, no whining.
  • #TodayIChoose to zero in on my food by spending time to create a menu and prep for the next three days of healthy eating and targeting my macros.

    What do you choose today?

On your mark, get set, GO!

Faith, Fitness, and Food.  That’s my focus and pretty much in that order these days.  I’m on a journey to reshape my life.  My favorite hashtags these days, #TodayIChoose #ABetterMe and #ToBeFitToServe

Faith:  I’m a born again Christian.  A Jesus-loving, song-singing, Bible-reading woman who has been through several hells of her own making before finding her way back to the One who never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me (to quote the song).  I love to sing.  I read my Bible almost every morning as it sets the tone for the day.  I ask a lot of questions and I think way more than I ask out loud.

Fitness: On November 24, 2014 I walked on my new-to-me treadmill.  20 minutes .66 miles.  I was exhausted!  Since then, I’ve logged over 300 miles and walked in my first 5K.  I’ve hiked in two different state parks, for a total of 10 rugged miles.  I’m doing intervals now and hitting just over a 15 mi/min pace pretty consistently.  This summer I’ll be adding canoeing and kayaking to the list of things, as well.  I have a long way to go, but my motivation is high and I know I’ll make my goal.  Slow and stead wins the race…

Food:  I’m a fairly decent cook.  And I can bake pretty well too.  Even though my lifestyle has changed a LOT,  I still take time to prepare meals for myself (cooking for 1 can be a challenge) that are healthy and appetizing.  To me:  recipes are a suggestion, a starting point.  I’ve created meals based off of a picture (my first chicken curry) and I’ve even recreated a bread based off an ingredients list (from Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino).  Warning:  I’m one of those people who posts pictures of their meal.  On a positive note, I also share recipes.

Beyond these things, you’ll also meet my cat Skittle, hear about my job at the winery, and possibly read some of my more creative writing pieces:  poems, prose, and short stories.  All in good time…