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A father’s plea

May

05

Posted by on May 5, 2016 | 2 comments

A Fathers Plea - Dont text and drive
 An email shared with me today, from someone our family loves. I asked permission to post it here, hoping to share its heart-breaking message beyond his original recipients. Please read it as if your husband or father or brother or best friend wrote it; it’s that personal. It’s that important. If you’ve never shared a post of mine before, now is the time. Use the easy share buttons at the bottom of the post, cut and paste it, email it…I really don’t care. I believe it is so affecting, you could possibly be saving lives. Thank you. Love, Robin 

 

* * * * * * * * ** *

 

My beloved children,

 

This morning on my way to work I came up on a head on car collision that had just happened seconds earlier.  A young boy was thrown into the front seat in one car, air bags deployed on both cars. At first glance it appeared that one driver and the child may be dead. We could not open the doors and had to call 911 and wait. Fortunately the drivers and child started moving. When emergency rescuers arrived they were able to get the child out and it appears he will be okay. The drivers are alive but who knows if they have head trauma.

 

You guys know about the UGA girls and the tragic accident there.

 

While we don’t know, my suspicion is the drivers were distracted, and my guess is they were distracted by a cell phone.

 

I am guilty. I let my phone distract me at times. I check a text or email. I look up a number to call someone, maybe calling you.

 

These events remind me it’s not worth it. It happens in an instant.

  

Please, please, please. Leave the phone in your pocket when you are driving. Look at the directions before you leave to go somewhere. Program the GPS before you leave. Do something radical and turn your phone off. Don’t tolerate your friends using their phone when driving.

 

I love you all so much and don’t want a distraction to hurt your or someone else, to cause something like this.

 

Please hear your Dad’s plea when that text message goes off while you are driving.

 

It ain’t worth it.
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Why I refuse to be discouraged (when your scale is a jerk)

Feb

12

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015 | 21 comments


The best reason to exercise and eat well

I wonder how many times I read about it before taking action. A least a dozen, probably twice that.

A Boot Camp offered at my church–I mean, really, how hard could that be?

Initially, I wasn’t as intimidated by “Boot Camp” as I was by the early start: 5:30am, three days a week.

I could never do that.

 

While I am a morning person, I am not an early morning person. Trust me, the difference is apples and orangutans.

But everything changed when my motive changed. 

When you’re teetering toward an empty nest, you’ll have thoughts you’ve never thunk before. Deeeeep thoughts, wrapped alternately in angst or jubilation. I could write volumes on the subject, but we’ll save that for another time. Today I’m talking fitness.

Me, talking fitness. I never saw that coming….

Anyways…yes, my motive changed. I spent the month of January avoiding all sugar, added sugar, sugar alternatives (chewing gum, people…even sugar-frackin-free gum!), grains, dairy, processed foods–approximately 75% of my diet before I heard of Whole 30. You simply do not realize how much crap you eat until it’s off limits–and that’s despite me cooking five nights a week and typically having vegetables.

As a mother I think I’ve always parented with careful intention, but particularly after reading Jean Fleming’s Pursue the Intentional Life I’ve sought intentionality in all areas of my life–marriage, friendship, faith, family…and lifestyle.

I’ve got one body and the choices I make will either help it or harm it. 

You’ve got one body and the choices you make will either help it or harm it.

 

I did not choose to attend Boot Camp or eat a restricted diet to lose weight. While I don’t have a huge weight problem, I look like I’m better shape than I am. The way I was sucking wind on the first day of boot camp – and every day since – proves it. But I made a decision to steward my body well and to do what I could to improve my health and quality of life for the duration of my days. I wish I could say honestly my motive was esteeming my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, but that’s secondary to my reasons.

Tomorrow marks the end of my first six-week session, so yesterday we checked our progress based on weight, body fat % and BMI (calculated a month ago two weeks after the start of Boot Camp).
Every stinkin’ one of my numbers went UP.

 

Up as in the wrong direction. Up as in I’ve gained weight instead of losing weight. Up as in higher BMI and Body Fat percentage. Right there in my church gym I asked my (fantastic) instructor if I could cuss. She laughed nervously, so I just thought ugly thoughts instead of burning her ears.

She asked if I was hormonal – Hello…I’m menopausal! – and reminded me I’ve been building muscle. She told me how her numbers haven’t changed in a year (her body is perfect) and how hormones affect your calculations. Everyone is quick to say “muscle weighs more than fat” but a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. Remarkable, no? But I know what they mean.

This is where the rubber meets the road, though, where I believe what I profess, where I buy what I’m selling. This is where I answer the question “Am I really eating well and exercising for my long-term health and benefit or am I doing it for numbers on a scale?”

 

I have gotten up at 4:50am three times a week for six weeks, even after driving eight hours in two days and falling into bed at midnight in order to attend an important event for a special friend. My attendance is perfect, my form, not so much.

My clothes fit differently. I do have more energy. I have done what I’ve sworn I could never do.

Let me say that again:

I have always said I could never do an early morning Boot Camp (or any fitness thing) and I have always said I could never give up all sugar for a month and drink coffee black.

 

Sometimes “always” and “never” are liars.

 

This has been a Hard Thing for me. Not on the scale of say, fighting cancer or climbing Everest, but it has demanded commitment and discipline and doing things I don’t want to do. My spirit has felt like a child who clamps his mouth shut and refuses to take his medicine even though it will make him better.

This has made me better.

On February 17th, my friend Jessica Turner will release her first book The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You (available now for pre-order), and I can’t think of anything fringier I’ve ever done. After brushing my teeth, washing my face, eating an egg for protein’s sake, and thanking God that my body hasn’t mutinied on me yet – before I’m barely awake – I stumble out the door Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to do a thing for ME.

My husband scribbled a note on the back of a grocery list for me to find on that first day, six weeks ago–

Word of encouragement

Lawsy–looks like someone needs to clean her bathroom mirror…. #IDHTBPTBB

 

and when I’ve felt like throwing in the towel, it’s a little thing that has kept me going. My neighbor, Marie, brave enough to say “Yes” when I asked her to join me, has kept me going, too. Accountability is an important contributor to my success, as well as the ability to process verbally every aspect of each day’s session. Our instructor is incredible, and she has yet to structure any two days the same. (Seriously, if you’re in the middle Georgia area looking for a good cross-fit program, contact me and I’ll give you the details.)

Boot Camp and Whole 30 are natural topics of conversation–anyone who follows me on Instagram, Facebook, my blog, or you know, asks me what I’m up to in real life, knows about both. Without exception…without exception…everyone has responded the same way: “I could never do that.”

Which I absolutely understand. Been there, said that.

Believed that.

And then, lo and behold, I discovered “always” and “never” are little demons that make you believe things that Just Aren’t True.

Once you discover a motive that means something to you, you’ll accomplish the very thing you were sure you never could. Once you think you can…you can!

 

So, yeah…my minimal weight gain…. The slight increase in BMI and Body Fat %age….

Sure, I’m disappointed. But I refuse to be discouraged and I’m certainly not defeated…

*

*

*

Because my motive is in great shape.

 

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

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The Glitter of Your Soul

Sep

19

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 | 13 comments

Every day of your life is a special occasion - Image by Robin Dance

 

What have you stuffed away in your closet or attic or drawers waiting for the perfect time to use it? What special thing of yours has been packed away, boxed up and long left forgotten?

The earrings that once belonged to your grandmother, that bring her to life in memory and heart when you wear them? That incredible dress that was made just for you, the one that makes you feel beautiful and confident and full of life? Or, my gracious, please don’t tell me it’s your fine china or crystal, the set you received a piece at a time and celebrated when you had four place settings then six and then eight (and for the luckiest 12).

What the heck are you waiting on?!

Are you afraid you’ll lose a stone out of jewelry? Or worry your outfit is too fancy for an ordinary date or girls night out with your friends? Or are you scared you’ll break a plate or glass?

One thing I’m convinced of in life, and I believe it applies here as well–

A decision made out of fear is never the right one.

 

The value in having a precious possession is not in the possession itself. Isn’t it much more so in the joy of using whatever it is for the purpose it was intended?

Jewelry and dresses are meant to be worn. China and crystal and silver are instruments of celebration to enjoy with those who mean something to you.

Remember lovies, life comes with an expiration date.

 

Your days are numbered. The average US life expectancy is 78.7 years. 28,725.5 days if you’re lucky enough to be average.

Why would you settle for using your Special Things only when the moon is blue?

Don't Save print by Mary EngelbreitBecause you think that diminishes their specialness?

Fooey.

Not using your special things is like ordering cake and deciding it’s too pretty to eat. Insanity.

 

To celebrate my 50th birthday, I wore my princess dress out to dinner with friends. Never you mind not a single other person was dressed in formal attire–IT WAS CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION. And really, isn’t there a point where you don’t care what people think BECAUSE MOST OF THEM ARE STRANGERS YOU’LL NEVER SEE AGAIN, anyway, and isn’t it a marvelous thought to imagine that your bold choices gave others a reason to smile?

Whether they’re laughing at you or with you, isn’t laughter the glitter of your soul? 

How can that be bad?

Every day of your life IS a special occasion. Being alive IS the special occasion.

 

So, please…tell me: How are you going to celebrate today?

Laughter is the glitter of the soul. Quote by Robin Dance

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Walter Mitty and the residual affect of how we speak love

Jan

23

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 | 2 comments

Children in Manila - by Casey Neistat

I’ve been thinking about those giant crosses in Chattanooga off I-75, how they provoke response on either ends of the spectrum.

And, earnestly, I’ve been trying to consider the other side, the point of view different from my own…

but the closest I get is believing I c o u l d be wrong.

And all that set me wondering, how people interpret and process the same thing so differently; of course, not just three crosses, but most anything in life.

Beauty, art, music–our tastes and perspectives are as individual as we are unique.

And then I thought about love.

 

I thought about HOW MONUMENTALLY DIFFERENT my husband and I speak love.  One of the wisest, best, most beneficial choices we made early in marriage was the decision to read through the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  It was then we understood that I most often speak love in words and encouragement, and he most often speaks love by service and action.  It helped me to see when he loved me even if I didn’t feel it, and hopefully visa versa.

We weren’t speaking the same language at all.  Had we not made this revolutionary discovery, though we loved one another, its expression would have been lost in translation, and potentially, tragically so.

Thank God gift-giving is at the bottom of both of our lists. *

Though I always appreciate receiving presents, gift giving is the least way I express love.  And my favorite presents?  Surcies–personal and intimate, typically of little dollar value but large in significance and meaning.  My next favorite type of gift is anything practical (I’m the wife who delights in, not offended by, a new kitchen appliance….).  Likely a combination of the two is the main reason I detest giving money–that hardly meets my “requirement” for personal, and though you can purchase something practical, it’s not practical in and of itself.  At least not to me.

Maybe I’m beating this dead horse deader or overstating my obvious conclusion, but, to me and others like me, those three crosses are impractical; which is consistent with how I’m wired to give and receive love.

A commenter to Crosses and Planks shared this beautiful video of how Carey Neistat spoke love in a language I’m accustomed to hearing often (by his actions) – in a way that compels me to live the Gospel, not build monuments or even love with only my words.  He was given $25,000 to make a promo video for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; instead he made a difference for thousands with permission from 20th Century Fox.  His video below is a must-see:

 

On his You Tube channel, Carey asks the question, “What would you do with $25,000?” and then shares a link to Unicef to help the children affected by typhoon Haiyan.  Might you consider doing something right now to help?  If not Unicef (of which I have no personal experience), if you’ve been thinking about sponsoring a child in “one of those programs”, I can vouch for Compassion International after traveling with them to Calcutta.  Sponsoring children not only changes lives, it can save them…and if you can’t commit to a monthly child sponsorship, please…please consider a one-time gift.

A group of bloggers will be traveling to Uganda this week with Compassion, some of them dear friends.  They’ll write about the painful devastation of poverty…but I promise, you’ll see hope in each story.  I hope you’ll read every post; and to sponsor a child in anticipation of what they’ll share?  Well, YOU will be a partner in their journey!  Say yes?

,Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion
 
* (Which will only make sense if you’ve read Chapman’s Five Love Languages; and if you haven’t, here’s a link to buy a copy.  If you aren’t feeling loved by your spouse, I urge you to read it.  This translates to all of your relationships.  I’d pick up the general edition and not the ones specified for children/teens/genders.) (p.s.  If you use my affiliate link, I’ll earn pennies on your purchase…and thank you.  Win-win, yes?).

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Eyes on the Prize

Dec

03

Posted by on Dec 3, 2013 | 2 comments

livemercy-mhk-incourage

Back in September I was one of several who wrote about a bold initiative and sweet partnership between incourage and Mercy House Kenya; how, through the influence of collective voices speaking on behalf of those who have little, we were seeking to raise $74,000.  Familiar to many, Mercy House in a tiny nutshell “exists to provide alternative options for pregnant girls living in the streets of Kenya. The Mercy House will aid them in education, nutrition, housing, prenatal care, Bible study, counseling and job skills for sustainable living.”

The goal was BIG, broken down into five phases:

And now we’ve almost fully funded Phase 5–a new home that “will allow space to help more girls, and in the future it will serve as a place for classrooms, all programs and offices.”  Thanks to the generous contribution of an anonymous donor match ($20,000 when we raised $20,000), as of this morning there’s only $5,000 left to go!  Almost $50,000 was raised in a single day!  Thanks be to God for these indescribable gifts from a giving people.

Won’t you help us finish strong?  The finish line is in sight, and to be a small part of this amazing work is blessing not only for the young girls and babies who receive services and support in Kenya, but also to generous givers.

(If you’d like to read more detail, Ann wrote a wonderful explanation at incourage yesterday.)

Look at these faces–this is the result of the ministry partners before now; let’s duplicate it for others who so desperately need it.

Mercy House Kenya Babies Smiling

Thanks, friends.

 

 

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Love mercy? Love Mercy!

Sep

14

Posted by on Sep 14, 2013 |

Phase1-Van-DriveMercy

There is no greater use of words than to speak on behalf of those who have no voice.

 

While I’ve failed to practice this to the degree I believe it in recent years, I’m convinced that any persuasion or influence I have is at its best when serving others.

 

There’s an opportunity to help an organization that is changing HISTORY for the lives of the young girls it rescues.  Mercy House Kenya, a small but critical ministry in Africa that takes in pregnant teenagers (rape victims), provides healthcare and education, loves them in tangible ways, and then equips them to live on their own.

 

I’ve cheered from the sidelines as I’ve watched my friend Kristen Welch, author of  We Are That Family, imagine this ministry following her blogging trip with Compassion International.  It’s a beautiful, inspiring story of how one person with a vision can change the world.

 

She would humbly shrug her shoulders and remind me that any success is the Lord’s not hers.  But let me tell you this, 12 mamas and their 12 babies are alive and thriving because of Kristen’s (and many others) determination and perserverance, washed in a sea of tears and overcoming challenge that would defeat most of us.

 

{in}courage, DaySpring’s online community for women is celebrating its fourth birthday by championing Mercy House and throwing our all behind Kristen and her tribe of warriors (her husband, Mauren, Mercy House’s director, among others).

 

Four years ago I had the distinct privilege of publishing a piece on the first day {in}courage was launched (along with Holley Gerth and Nester).  (Woah! I just realized that means I’ve written 48 posts for incourage…not to mention a zillion for Bloom book club….but I digress.)  I had no idea what I was getting into but it’s a “yes” that has blessed me personally a thousandfold, both for the challenge of sharing my faith and because of those I’ve met along the way (online and off).  

 

Phase1-Van_BlogButton_300x300Today I’m inviting you to Kenya by boldly asking YOU to support Mercy House.  Between now and Christmas {in}courage is partnering with Kristen and her team to raise $74,000 for five specific projects.

 

Would you please consider a LARGE gift (truly, any size gift :) ) for Phase 1, a van to transport the moms and babies?

 

It’s very easy to give through Pure Charity, and I encourage you to please read more if you aren’t yet convinced.

 

So often you can’t be sure of where your contributions are going; but I assure you Kristen and her team are wise stewards of the monies that come in.  Nothing goes to waste and they need outside support.

 

In addition to your financial support, there are other ways to partner with Mercy House Kenya.

  • Pray for workers’ (and the moms’) safety, wisdom and vision for their future.
  • Share this post and about our fundraiser on your social networks (Facebook Like, Facebook Share, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon–any and all!!).

 

Thank you in advance for sharing your words, influence and dollars for the benefit of others.  Is there any better use?

 

 

 Keep track of our progress–looks like we’re over halfway there!!

WAHOO!! Phase 1 is OVER-funded–

THANK YOU for your generous giving!

Please stay tuned for Phase 2!!!

 

 

 

 

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