Showing posts from May, 2014

Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller

I am reading Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller.  My husband urged me to read it months ago and I started to, but then I put it down.  However, the other day, I had an overwhelming sense that the Lord really wanted me to read it and to read one other book that my husband has suggested to me over the past year.  I felt a great sense of conviction that I should pay more attention to the suggestions my husband makes about books because they might not be random, they might be what the Lord uses to answer my questions or give me wisdom and guidance. (I know that seems obvious and basic, but I needed to be reminded of that.) So now I am reading the book again and I am more than halfway through.  It's a great book for anyone, even people who don't actually have jobs that pay.  Keller makes a case to prove that we were all created to work and work is supposed to be a blessing to us and to others, even though we still have to deal with the consequences of doing our work in a fallen w

Bodypump Certification Process- Update

I have been hired by a gym (to teach Bodypump)! But I am not certified to teach Bodypump yet. I still need to film myself teaching Bodypump 89 in full and pass that to get certified. So for now, I am using the certifications I already have (AFAA, Silver Sneakers, etc.) to sub freestyle classes at the gym. (I already teach freestyle classes at another gym, too.) And I am team-teaching Bodypump classes with two other Bodypump instructors during their classes. Once I am certified, I can sub Bodypump classes for the regular instructors at my new gym and hopefully, someday, get my own Bodypump class on their schedule, too.  I know sounds like I am teaching a lot. I am!  I haven't been able to do my own workouts in weeks because I am exercising so much at work I need to rest when I can.  But I love what I am doing for workouts at work. I teach various cardio formats including kickboxing, step aerobics, etc. and I teach freestyle barbell classes and even Senior's strength clas

Memorial Day 2014 vs. Memorial Day 2012

Today is Memorial Day 2014.  On my way home from team-teaching a Bodypump class this morning, it occurred to me that exactly two years ago today this is what I looked like.   The photo above was taken on Memorial Day 2012. This is what I look like today, Memorial Day 2014.   I've been singing to the Lord all day today, keeping the worship music loud while I have been cleaning house, thanking Him for all He has done to restore my body in just two years. Not that my body is so perfect now or anything.  I just see the picture at the top and remember how heavy and tender I was the day that photo was taken. My legs were so weak. My core was totally shot. I'm not sure, but I think I was carrying eighty more pounds than I am now and I was still recovering from a difficult pregnancy and an intense natural birth . Thanks be to God, I am so much healthier and stronger than I was two years ago. If you are interested, you can read about my weight-loss journey here . Don&#

Joy Still Suprises

My nine year old daughter was out watering our vegetable garden when she came inside the house with a clump of dark soil in between her pointer finger and thumb. She stuck it up in my face, too close for me to actually focus on it, so I had to guide her hand back to a distance where I could see it. Wonder and joy were all over her face. Half-asking, half-declaring, she said, half to me, half to herself, "Isn't it beautiful?" When I saw the moss and heard the way she said the word "beautiful," I immediately thought of CS Lewis' biscuit tin.  Many of you know, I have taken it into my head to read all of CS Lewis' books this year.  I have all these quotes in my head that float around like leaves and sometimes they collect themselves in bunches when something happens to me and that's what happened when my daughter brought this thimbleful of moss into the house. In his book Surprised By Joy, Lewis describes his first recognition of beauty during hi

I was offered a job subbing Bodypump!

This morning, I went to a local gym for a job interview/ audition for a position on their staff that will allow me to train as a Bodypump instructor and I was offered the job! When I told my sister that I was going in for the interview and audition a few days ago, she asked, naturally, "Are they interviewing a lot of people?"  Her question made me laugh out loud because that is when I realized that I was the only one being interviewed.  And I had the interview because I had called the gym and asked if they needed an instructor and I had kept calling until I got the interview. Thankfully, my new boss was glad I had done this and she complimented my persistence in seeking out the job. She said to look up her favorite quote by Woodrow Wilson and I think I found it. "Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." I am definitely persistent! When I get an idea in my head that won't go away, I usually take that as a sign that the Lord wants the idea to b

Bodypump 89's Cool Down Song- Radioactive

As many of you know, I just passed my Bodypump Initial Training and I have been learning the whole of Bodypump 89 so that I can film my assessment video. I pretty much know all the songs on the release inside and out at this point.  The cool down song, Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, is a favorite now. Every time I hear it I have the impulse to get down into a child's pose. (I guess this is what I have to look forward to with Bodypump?  Whenever I hear Burn by Ellie Goulding I break into cold, anxious sweats and rub my quads.)   But have you seen Radioactive's music video?  It has people trapped in a basement and a teddy bear with red laser-beam eyes fighting other stuffed animals.  I know, I know, it's just a typical music video these days. But here's an intriguing explanation of the video frame by frame and I wanted to share it. I don't know if Imagine Dragons approves of this interpretation of their video, but I am a big fan of Jesus, so I like it, p

There Was Only One Lion

I have posted here on my blog over the years about some of the dreams I have had. For instance, here's a post from 2010 about a nightmare that ended with the light of Jesus' face shining down on me. Here's another post from a few months later about an encounter with a seductive demon. After I woke up, God led me to go outside at dawn to have a beautiful encounter with Him through song. Even though my nightmares often lead to powerful, beautiful, inspirational encounters with God over the years, they usually always started with dark, sinister experiences with demons or satanic figures. I would have rather not had those experiences, so I always felt like my dreams were essentially a curse, like they were a place where Satan ruled in life, and I often question God about them. Until yesterday, I was under the assumption that the Lord had only just begun to show up in my dreams since the more recent ones have been almost totally pleasant and even heavenly.   But the


I woke up to a dream where I was being clutched by a very childlike, but very strong, very nervous, anxious, even fidgety demon.  I immediately thought, "How interesting, since I have had such a poor, fitful night of sleep tonight."  I prayed to the Lord that He would make the demon go away. That's when the spirit let go of me immediately apparently. There was a definite release. It was as if whatever was holding onto me just wafted away like dust into the air.  Of course, I realized it wasn't my authority that made that happen. I was thankful. A moment later, I was straight up on my feet, next to my bed, staring out into the deep heaven of stars above my house. My bedroom ceiling had disappeared and I was singing with full gusto, unashamedly, "Majesty!  Worship His Majesty! Unto Jesus be all glory, honor, and praise!"  It was the strangest thing, since I didn't remember choosing to stand up or even choosing the song I was singing. As I sang, heave

I Passed Bodypump Initial Training- Now What?

Now that I have passed my Bodypump Initial Training, I have been learning the choreography and counts for all the tracks on the release and perfecting my transitions and scripts for each track. To me, the hardest parts are the transitions. Saying all that must be said while adjusting my own weights while out of breath from the previous tracks while demonstrating the moves that need to be demonstrated and doing all of this in approx. thirty seconds seems like it is going to be the hardest part. I went through Bodypump 89 in my home gym with weights yesterday and I timed myself.  It took me sixty-six minutes, so I really have to speed up my transitions if I am ever going to get through an actual Bodypump class with actual people in an hour. And I know that doesn't include class set up and take down time, either. So I made note cards just for my transitions. That way, I can focus on those words in particular and try and nail them.  I just want to be able to go on auto-pilot

Marking Personal Growth and Development

Norah's been taking the dirty clothes down to the laundry room, sorting them, and then wearing the empty basket on her head on the way back up the stairs for years now.  In the middle of chores this morning, Norah comes to the kitchen to tell me how she can tell she is a lot taller than she used to be. "This basket used to come down to my knees." 

Mother's Day 2014

I had a great Mother's Day 2014. I got up, read my Bible, and drank my coffee. Then I headed off to church early because I was volunteering in the nursery during the first service.  We didn't have any groceries, so I went through the Dunkin Doughnuts drive through for a sandwich.  Dwayne was supposed to get the kids ready and meet me at church for the second service. Well, he went above and beyond that.  He got the kids ready right after I left, took them through the drive through at Dunkin, and they all went together and got my van detailed and my oil changed while they ate.  I was totally surprised and I have to say, it was just about the nicest present not to have to clean up all those broken goldfish crackers myself!  After church, we drove both cars over to Panera Bread for lunch. We still hadn't gone to the grocery store.  From there, Dwayne took the little girls home and I took our oldest daughter to the garden and grocery stores.  My nine year old wants to ten

A Rare, Precious Artifact

I have been keeping this bookmark in my One Year Bible. Because it's there, I see it everyday. To be honest, I am not sure where it came from or whether it was originally given to me rather than given to one of my siblings. Nonetheless, the Lord uses it to remind me that He has been faithful to me since I was a child.   At some point in adolescence, I looked around and became convinced that my own faith and early experiences with Christ were inferior to those of my friends who got to go to church more often. That lie kept me at a dangerous distance from the God who was wooing me, that distance allowed sin in my life to become full grown, and that sin gave Satan a lot of power to devastate.  This bookmark is a rare, precious artifact to me, proving that God's presence and His word were there with me in my earliest years, even my earliest years that are quite bereft of Sunday School picnics and Easter photos.  Now I know that the truth is my faith was al

The Excellence of Les Mills Programming

When I was considering why I am so drawn to Les Mills and when I was asked why I would ever want to do "someone else's choreography," the quote below came to mind. "In the abundance of counselors, there is victory."  Proverbs 11:14 Another version of the same quote says, "In the abundance of counselors, there is safety." Another says, "...there is success." I think all three versions of the quote apply. I am still just a novice at teaching group fitness. But even if I weren't, even if I had degrees, training, and experience, I would still only be one person . There is much to be gained from the wisdom of others. As I pursue my Bodypump certification, I look forward to benefiting from the counsel and community of so many knowledgeable, talented people as I go forward.  I enjoy my freestyle classes, choosing my own music, coming up with my choreography, etc. Those classes will only benefit from what I am learning about form,

Bodypump Initial Training- I Passed! Part 3

The second day of initial training we all agreed to start a half hour early in the hopes that we could also finish early.  We started with a game called the caterpillar drill and then we went outside to run. We were told to run (not a sprint, but not a jog) the length of a basketball court, back and forth, touching the ground before we headed back, for about five minutes.   Then we went back inside and we did our first presentations of the day on the second track we were assigned.  We didn't do the warmup since the run functioned as the warmup and we didn't do the abs or cool down at the end, but we did do most of the release. I think that was the third time that weekend. For my second track, I had Bodypump 89, Track 8- Shoulders. Someone else in my group was assigned the same track as well, so we both presented at the same time.  The other lady presenting took three participants and faced one way; I took the other three participants and faced the other way. There was on

My Sweet Adele is Two

Our youngest girl, Adele, recently turned two.  Her favorite words are as follows: "Daddy home!" = she says this when we get home and her dad's car is in the driveway or when he comes through the door. "Guppie" = this means she wants goldfish crackers. "Wawa" = she wants a drink. It usually must be milk. I've tried explaining that "wawa" is water, but she doesn't seem to care. "Cars" = she wants to watch a movie, any movie. It doesn't have to actually be Cars 1 or 2.    In the pic above, she's watching a movie. I just love how sweet she sits there. I love her little toes, chubby wrists, and elbows. I really enjoy her right now. After three kids, I think two is one of my favorite ages.  She's a joy to have around, even if she's is jumping up and down, trying to get her way. We are trying lots of new things, learning boundaries, reading picture books, practicing new words, and perfecting an

Bodypump Initial Training- I Passed! Part 2

We started the first day of training with a Masterclass of Bodypump 89. We joined the gym's regular Bodypump class that was scheduled for that time of the morning, so the room was full of people.  Someone standing near me asked what a Materclass was and I realized I wasn't 100% sure I understood what I Masterclass was. I didn't know if it meant that you did all the tracks from the same release or if it has to do with the instructors being experts. As enthusiastic as I am about Bodypump, I keep realizing I am still quite a novice. But now, I've Googled it, so I think a Masterclass is one taught by at least one master trainer and that's certainly what my trainer was. Her name is Evelyn.  She taught with the gym's regularly scheduled Bodypump instructor, doing a few tracks and then letting the regular instructor coach a few. Of course, Evelyn demonstrated excellent cuing and what looked to me like perfect form. She had great control of really, really heavy w

His Two Cents - A Tribute

(Posts labeled His Two Cents are written by my husband, Dwayne.) This week my siblings and I get to celebrate both parents, Mom on Mother’s Day and Dad on his birthday. With the knowledge that I can never do justice to the amount of honor they deserve, I offer the following tribute. My Mother- the love and affection she gives is second to none. From the beginning she chose to enter motherhood and to excel at it. Taking the task of raising us as her central role and giving herself to that task wholeheartedly. She was the mom that planned the extra snack when she knew we would need it, or wrapped our sodas so they stayed cold until lunch. Capable of squeezing a nickel into two dimes she taught us the value of things we have and the responsibility to care for it. Even today, in everything she consumes she is thinking of others, evidenced by the large stack of magazine and newspaper clippings that made her think of us. Though her strength of mind may waver at times, in her

Bodypump Initial Training- I Passed! Part 1- To Be Continued

I passed Bodypump Initial Training! Here's a recap of my experience, if you are interested. On Friday afternoon, I drove from where I live in Connecticut to Plymouth, Massachusetts, about three hours away, and I settled into my hotel room at the Raddison on Plymouth Harbour. I brought my essential oil Peace and Calming and my diffuser and I set that up right away. I am sensitive to hotel room smells. Not that the room smelled, but I knew running the diffuser would take care of that if it did and it would also help me breath deeply and relax on a night when I was really anxious.  (Sorry for the blurry picture.)  After I settled into my room, I went back out. First, I typed the address of the training facility into my navigation system and I drove there, just to make sure I knew the way,I knew where I would park, and I could find the entrance to the building. After that was settled, I went out for dinner. I wasn't really thinking, so I chose sushi.  I know!  I r