Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Secret of My Success"

Do you remember this 80's flick? Michael J. Fox was the main character who was a mail man at a corporate company and secretly became head honcho. He pretended to be someone big and weaved his way into someone else's house and pretended to live there. Drove a limo car but pretended it was his...etc...
Although it has been a while since I have seen that movie, I can tend to try and live the life I am not intended to live.
I run, I enjoy it. I got a taste of being "fast" and I wasn't becoming proud but I was feeling "good." Good in way that made me anxious. That is not good for me. I like feeling good in God. I was finding myself thinking about running all the time and not how God wanted me to. Consuming my mind of how I was gonna do this and I was gonna run that. I went to the sporting goods store and made a pretty big purchase on running gear. Although I could afford it, why did I do that? Why not just one thing at a time?
It is neat looking up to people and their accomplishments but that doesn't mean I do the same thing the same way.
The sermon at church was so AWE-SOME on Sunday that I was speechless at how God did that. The first thing the pastor asked was, "Are we ready to fail in 2009?" At first I was a little stunned at that and thought, "of course not." He then finished it by saying, "in order to succeed we have to be willing to fail." He listed success (not just money but accomplishments) of people and disciples who "failed" (or so they thought) but got up and returned to the mission set out before them. It was a breath of fresh air to me. I let go of the fact that I am ME. I have no one else's purpose, I have my own. I follow God's leading of how He wants me to do things. I will not mold around people or sugar coat my feelings for my Jesus.
While praying and giving running over to God and my "anxieties" brought upon by no one by myself, He revealed something to me in a dream.

I was running a marathon and detoured. I ended up with the spectators and I was confused. How did I end up here? I put my head down and stood there watching people finish. My friend Nicole said, "why are you stopping?" I said, "because I detoured, there is no need to finish. It's fine, I'm okay." She then said, "Wendy you have until 7pm to finish. It's only 6:16. Go! You can do it. Are you ready to fail in order to succeed?" I said, "OKAY!" and I ran back and began to run. Unfortunately I woke up right before I finished. That was fine, I didn't/don't need to see the ending.

What I got out of that dream was I am going to fail and it's okay. No, I am not wishing these things upon myself but what happens when you act like you are the "big stuff" of this world and you do fail? Why are you so surprised? YOU have taken these things into YOUR own hands and think YOU can make things happen. When YOU try, YOU fail. Only God can make things happen and it's called a miracle. So, I am okay with following the Lord's leading. My purpose is my own and to follow God.
In regards to running-For Him, With Him, ends with Him. When runnings gone, what's left? He is! It just so happens in the dream God said, "don't quit!"...and I won't.

"...Strip down, start running-and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever..." Hebrews 12:1-2 (The Message)

Being able to run is a blessing to me. I do not take it for granted but there are times I can feel proud. That was one of the times. God has "stolen my heart" once again!

Thank you Nicole for always encouraging me to be what God has called me to be, no one else. Your constant reminders of "completing not competing" has inspired me to become more of what God originally called me to be. I love you and thank God for you!

This is the "Secret of My Success", only it's not really a secret. God wants me to tell everyone!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I have been meaning to post a blog about something I had experienced in the Ultra Dog Trail Run in Ruston, Louisiana. It was a 5, 10, 20, or 31 mile trail run through one of the world's top bike paths, Lincoln Parish Park. I just decided to 5 miles and enjoy a new adventure. It was my first ever trail run and I was super excited.

The night before the run my family and I stayed up late playing "Scene It." My sister knew we'd be getting up early and she suggested we needed to get to bed. She was excited to go watch me run and wanted to be there, I always feel bad making (or not) people get up early to go with me to a race but they were all for going.

I woke my mom up and this would be her first time ever seeing me run any race. We were all kind of tired so we were people of little words. I, of course, had no idea what to expect so I was rambling to Maddy the whole drive.

My mom, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and Maddy hung around Lincoln Parish Park while I was enduring mud, slippery paths, jumping over tree roots, and uphill battles. I thought for one moment to bring my headphones but quickly remembered the reward of not bringing it during the World's Tallest Hill run. I left them behind.
I was in "the middle of nowhere" when I was running and I loved it. Feeling as though I was on a rave run (those are featured in Runner's World) I was having the greatest time and realized that we are missing a lot in Wichita. Not just the hills, deep woods, and the "South" smell/feeling but the fun in runs. I was truly having fun and almost laughing at one point. Perhaps that was grace.
The trails were super thin that people who ran together had to talk behind each other. There was no parallel talking.

I came upon mile 3 and I heard it. I heard yelling and cheering. I thought for a moment that there couldn't be any support way out there...could there? Yes, there could and it was my family! I got closer and could hear my mom yelling "Go Wendy!!!" and Maddy saying "Yay mommy!!!" I quickly shot out a wave and kept going. After I passed them I distinctly heard the Lord say, "All those years you were embarrased of her yelling at games, you needed her now and you loved it" I told God, "I did love it and it was rediculous to have been embarrased then because she was proud." It gave me time to think of all the games she rooted for us at. All the screaming and yelling.
The blog title "Mutter" is German for mom. Mutter also means to talk in a low voice with lips partly closed but that is not what she did! Our friends knew who our mother was, she was proud. I am thanking my mom right now (I know you are reading this) and letting you know how happy I was to have you there. I have always wanted you to see me run and show you what God allowed me to do. Thank you for yelling for me and rooting me on. It is always nice to hear strangers cheering but so much more for my mother to do it. You came all the way out to the "boondocks" on a chilly dreary early morning, after a late night, to watch me run. Thank you and I love you!
When I think about how my family was cheering me on and my mom was yelling me on, I got excited inside. God showed me that He is always doing that for us. He does it in a small voice that is gentle, loving, kind, and at times convicting. Again, I have to say leave the headphones. I am still learning life in general how to leave the distractions behind but it's a process and I am getting it. He is always speaking to us, whether it is that voice aloud, a friend giving a phone call or text, a hug from your child, a kiss from your spouse, or silence that is so sweet. God is all around. I love you Lord!

The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." 1 Kings 19:11-12

I recieved 8th place in the 5 mile trail run. That didn't matter to me because my prize came at mile 3 from my mother...but it wasn't a gentle whisper!

Friday, December 5, 2008


The title of this blog makes me laugh now but I wasn't laughing a few days ago.

Maddy had asked me after school one day if she could call a boy to schedule a time to play an online game. I agreed and would supervise this game.

A friend had called my cell phone and I was talking with her as Maddy dialed and I overheard her ask to speak with this little boy. Not even 5 minutes later Maddy said to me quietly, "he had to go" and she went downstairs to watch t.v.

I wrapped up the conversation with my friend and walked downstairs. I was checking email, created a facebook (I can't believe I added one more thing to do, but I like it), and talked outloud at what I was writing while emailing Jeremy. Maddy gave me a hard time about doing her vest (chest therapy that takes 20 min.) and I was talking sternly to her about how we have to take care of our bodies. I held our smallest cat Anabelle and spoke in an english accent to Maddy, "hellooo Matalen, wut awe you dooen" (I tried). We were acting silly and I think I even said, "I smell something...did you fart?" Maddy said, "no!" and I asked her to check the carpet to see if there was a mess made by the cats, which of course there wasn't. She kept asking me if she could have hot chocolate and I said in a frustrated voice, "yes." I began singing songs without a care in the world.

Why am I giving you a glimpse into the awkward conversations we have? Well, because as I got ready to go to bed, I picked up the phone and I noticed Maddy never hung up. That's right, the phone had been on for 82 minutes. As soon as I realized it, I hung it up. My face literally turned bright red and heat came to the surface. I ran in to Maddy (God quickly reminded me she didn't know) and I said in a soft voice, "Maddy you didn't turn off the phone and they heard everything we said tonight." My heart was beating so fast and I was embarrassed. I was so tired but could not sleep because I went over in my head what all I had said. I also thought that the majority of the night I was on the computer and what would those people think of me as a parent.

The next morning I wrote a small note to that parent apologizing for whatever attitudes they heard over the phone and I was so embarrassed, to please forgive me. I left the note with the caregiver asking her to relay it to the parent. Taking a humbling step I didn't want this to come between Maddy and her friend. I then went to work and shared this story with my boss. We had a good laugh but she really encouraged me not to worry about it. I told a few friends and we laughed because it was funny but towards my lunch break I felt it rising again. My boss noticed me and asked me accountably, "are you worrying about it?" I said, "yes" with my head lowered. She reminded me not to. I took a deep breath and stopped. On my way to pick up Maddy from school, I prayed that I would not worry about it. I walked in and the first thing I asked the caregiver is if she had given the note to the parent. She said no because she hadn't seen the parent yet. I told her I felt like I needed to get the note back, I didn't need to give it to them. I threw the note away and handed the situation over to the Lord. I was ready to start new again. I felt the Lord impress on my heart how this affected me and I was embarrassed but do I not consider God when I talk like that. I mean, He still hears me. Our phone connection is never disconnected. Do I not feel bad for getting short tempered with Maddy? Do I not feel bad when I am not utilizing my time wisely in the evenings with her? I guess I never considered that until I felt SOMEONE had gotten a glimpse of how I was that night. Maybe the way I acted doesn't seem that bad but what we all need to realize is that SOMEONE is always listening and watching. It isn't grandma, Aunt Sally, or dear dog Rover-God rest their souls. It is God. He is the highest authority. He wants to be in every aspect of your life. He wants to hear your every thought, secrets, and laughter (even talking with an english accent). He will not look down on you because He already knows you. He wants to be involved in your life without you hanging up on Him. He has unlimited minutes, no roaming charges, or deadzones. Full service 24/7. All you gotta do is "Holla!" (I had to say that)

So I reevaluated my time with Maddy last night. I was invited to watch the Christmas tree lighting with some friends. I turned that invite down and brought Maddy by myself. We stopped by QT for some hot cocoa and drove downtown. It was awesome. Her face lit up as the tree was lit, she grinned slyly as Santa came in on a fire truck (she knows he's not real but loved seeing the children happy), and won a silly pen from the Christmas bingo they played. I loved every minute of it. I know we all need to have time for ourselves and we shouldn't feel bad. I, however, need to hold these moments with Maddy close because she has already went from a 2 yr. old to almost 9 yr. old and we only go up from here.

"Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I CALL him."-Psalm 4:3 (NIV)

I am hearing the 80's song "Call Me" in my head for all of you who need to talk. God has never and will never hang up on you.