Friday, December 3, 2010

Art for Sale?

A friend of mine recently wrote an article about her journey as a personal trainer. This woman’s goal as a personal trainer is to develop her clients’ discipline to the point that they won’t need her anymore. Curious, isn’t it? Why would someone who is so passionate about her livelihood be so insistent on convincing her income providers they don’t need her?! Here are a few thoughts regarding her strange behavior ;)

“...It’s better to give than to receive” ~ Acts 20:35
It’s a Godly principle, and a sign of maturity to give something and truly want nothing in return. When we give out of the overflow of our hearts we show others that we live in abundance and that makes us compelling. When we’re needy, scared, desperate, we repel those we need the most. My friend believes that if she continues to develop and release her clients she’ll get more referrals resulting in more business, and I agree.

Do what you love first...
Before I became the worship pastor at C3 Church Atlanta I was a volunteer for years. Many days of my week were spent giving of my time and talent with no expectations of compensation. Serving this way wasn’t work to me, it was pure joy! I encourage young people in our church to do what they love now, and learn to do it so well that eventually they will be paid to do it. My friend began by giving by her services away. She would probably be surprised if she added up how many of her clients have insisted on paying her because she’s that crucial to their success.

“You can’t assign monetary value to art...” ~ Seth Godin
Now let’s be realistic, we all need money, but if our goal in life is to be rich, we’re REALLY missing it. Before I came on staff, I would occasionally be asked if my goal was to be paid. My answer was always, adamantly, NO. My involvement in our church was my gift, my art, my contribution. I felt that being reimbursed for it would take some of the joy from it. I felt that it would cripple my creativity and vision. It took (and some days still takes) some adjusting, but I feel incredibly blessed to be receiving compensation for something I know God called me to do. When we do what we love it’s not a “punch-in, punch-out” job. It’s a part of us, it’s our passion! While I love the benefit of a paycheck, I never want that to be my motivator.

Walt Whitman said “The gift is to the giver, and comes back to him.” Remember, it’s not reciprocity that rewards us, it’s giving that brings us joy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

1 year later...

Here we are.  One year after I created this blog and I have.....13 written posts.  I suppose it could be worse, I could have not written at all.  I guess the most important thing I've gotten from this last year of writing blogs is that this has become an outlet. A place where I can be creative.  A place where I can bravely (gulp) share my art.  A place that I still have to force myself to return to because it presents a challenge.  A place that I still very much feel vulnerable.

My first post was called, "Shouldn't this be easier" and if you go back and read it, this post may make more sense to you.  I suppose writing blogs has become a little easier but, hitting the share button has not.  In fact, it was only 4 months ago that I took the leap and made my blog public.  Before that, only a few very encouraging people knew about it.  Now I have (a whopping) 5 followers (hi guys!).

But have I accomplished my goal through this blog?

I'm teaching Seth Godin's book Linchpin to our School of Ministry students and we're currently studying "The Resistance".  The resistance is the fear that prevents you from making yourself vulnerable.  The fear that keeps you from sharing something you've worked so hard on, or worse, keeps you from even starting it.  When it comes to my ultimate goal, the resistance has kept me quiet.  It's kept me from even trying, for fear of humiliation and certain failure.  I've even come up with a concept for my next "stepping stone" to make the transition easier but, sadly, have not even been able to muster up the courage for that.

I will get there.  At some point my resolve will become stronger than my excuses; stronger than the fear I've let hold me still.  When that happens, WATCH OUT!  I can see it now... The wastebasket overflowing with wadded up notebook paper, and me looking like I've been through the fight of my life to come up with a chorus that reads....(dramatic pause)...."Hallelujah"....NO! Not another "Hallelujah"!  Eureka! That's it! My first song will be called "Not Another Hallelujah"

...or not.

Well there you have it, my first attempt at writing a song, here on blogger for all to see...The process of beating the resistance has begun!  Wish me luck as I continue on my journey!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


As I sit here on this perfectly dreary Fall day, I’m thinking of the seasons of our lives. Last
night during Collective, as different people prayed, you could tell what kind of season each was in. Some prayed for others to be given new dreams, some prayed for a revival in all aspects of their lives, some stood quietly, and others prayed for growth. With each season in life comes a responsibility to that season.

Spring is a time of new vision, dreams and birthing. We all feel good when we have a new idea - everyone loves the new. Dreaming is the easy part, though. After the initial dream/idea, we have to begin planning/implementing. God doesn’t give us seeds so we can hold them in our hands. He gives us seeds to plant. But without consideration of location, amount of water and sunlight, etc., we don’t give our seeds much of a chance to germinate.

Summer is a time for building, growing and nurturing. It is a time for putting in the hard work to weed out parts of your dream that aren’t working, and strengthen the parts that are. It is also a time to watch out for dangers/distractions that could cause disruption in the growth. In Summer, it is important to continue to water as your concepts become realities. Remember that even though you may start seeing results, this is no time to back off. Never stop evaluating, cultivating, nurturing and preparing for…

Fall is the big show! It is the season when you see your dreams fulfilled. You’ve worked so hard, and now you can enjoy the spoils. This season usually starts with a bang and then normalizes. There are really only a few weeks to enjoy the gorgeous color and nip in the air that is Autumn. The challenge in this season is to understand that the leaves in full color soon fall to the ground and the crisp air soon turns to cold.  We should celebrate and relish in our accomplishment but understand that we cannot live there...

Winter can be a very difficult time for a lot of people. While it should be considered a time of rest, a lot people view it as a season of death. If we’re not careful, past failures and insecurities become our focus, and we miss the opportunity to slow down. If you’re experiencing this season now, I suggest you take advantage of it. God may have given you this as a gift to regroup, evaluate, or just simply rest in Him. This is the most important time to remember that you’re in a season, not in a permanent state.

No matter what season you find yourself in, remember that you have a responsibility with each one. I believe you can be prosperous with each season you’re given. Psalm 1:3 NLT “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” If you draw close to God in each season you’ll find His presence makes each one more fulfilling. If you find yourself frustrated, lean on Him, don’t rush ahead of Him. God has perfect timing, if we trust it, we will enjoy each season more.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


How flexible are you? On a scale of 1-10, 1 being, "Hey, we're going to have dinner at 7 instead of 6", 10 being, "Hey, that project you've put your heart and soul into for 6 months is not happening for reasons that you won't understand right now".  How did you do?

In business and ministry we are faced with these challenges regularly.  The higher the level of leadership the higher the number gets.  In 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan has a daring plan; he and his armor bearer sneak off to check out one of the Philistine outposts...Jonathan decides that depending on what the Philistines reaction to seeing them is they will either head back to camp or take on the outpost (just the two of them).  Now imagine you're the armor bearer.  How much would you have to trust the guy who has seemingly put you in a life or death situation?!  This is the armor bearer's response to Jonathan's plan:  "Do what you think is best.  I'm with you completely, whatever you decide."  Amazing!  The armor bearer puts his agenda (living another day) aside and chose to serve his leader.  As a result, God gives them the victory over 20 men in that outpost, but beyond that, fear strikes the entire Philistine army. Bonus!

Flexibility is putting your well laid plans aside to serve the bigger picture or to serve your leader and in some cases to serve someone in need.  Not too long ago I was faced with a last minute change to our worship service.  I had a choice in that moment to hang on to my well laid plans or to be flexible (and to ask my team to be flexible with me).  I can't say once you get to a certain level of leadership this becomes easier, only that your resolve to be flexible becomes stronger.  I chose to go the flexible route and as a result ended up with a better service than I had originally planned.

One of my favorite sayings has become our team's mantra.  "Over prepare, then go with the flow."  I love details, I love making maps, plans and schedules... but more than that, I love being challenged to step into the unknown because that's where I believe God does his best work.   

Monday, October 18, 2010

A shot of color...

I love the bottom right square...maybe I can get my artist husband to paint me something similar... ;)

Ears to Hear

What is God speaking to you right now? Mark 4:23 says "Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand." How well are we listening?

This verse has reminded me lately that God wants to be given the opportunity to guide us in every aspect of our lives. In a previous blog I wrote that we all have been made uniquely, I believe that we all hear God speak in our own unique way as well. Some of us "hear" things through circumstances, through visual or audible means, through friends family or pastors. And unfortunately, sometimes we "hear" things through consequences.

Mark 4:24 continues..."Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more.25 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them."

Well, I'd rather pay close attention than miss out on all God has for me. But what about when we really don't feel we're hearing from God?

Proverbs 3:5 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding." I'm sad to say I've spent too many hours (mostly when I should be sleeping) trying to solve problems on my own. Thinking that maybe if I ponder it long enough the answer will come to me. Lately, when this happens though I ask God for his wisdom and let it go. I truly believe that he honors those who ask for his help in even the smallest situation. Sometimes the answer won't always come quickly or be what we wanted to hear but God's timing is perfect and he always sees the gorgeous HD panoramic view while we usually get the pixilated thumbnail and that's where trusting in him begins.

God cares about all the details of our lives. He deeply desires relationship with us. We should always be thankful that we have a God that not only will listen to our dilemas, requests and praises but will speak to us if we would wait on you listening?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fighting Inadequacy and Fostering Uniqueness

It’s easy to compare ourselves to other great leaders, pastors and worship leaders and feel like we don't measure up. When I first began worship leading at C3 Church ATL I was following in the footsteps of the mega talented, Jacky Bridgstock. She had just moved back to Australia and I began serving with some other extremely talented worship leaders. They each had their own style and strengths vocally that carried into their worship leading. I struggled for months, feeling my voice was too shaky, too low, too pitchy, blah, blah, blah... we all have our insecurities don't we?!

One night in a group conversation I remember one of the worship leaders I looked up to saying that she had felt insecure about her leading too! I sat in disbelief - surely she knows how good she is?! She went on to say that she realized that she needed to focus on what she was good at and not compare herself to all of us (don't know if she included me in that at the time but since I'm pretty confident now I'll just go ahead and assume she was).

While I can assure you I still sometimes have to pray my confidence into existence, I do know that I needed that revelation to shape who I would and still am becoming. It's not about a gift. It's not even about being the best at your particular strength. It's about your assignment. What did God ask YOU to do. What is it that you do really well, even if it's quirky? I'm really good at admin...Does that make me a really good worship leader...obviously not. But I take all of the pieces that make me unique and give them back to God by serving my Pastors like I'm serving Him. I decide to focus on keeping my strengths my strengths and do little things to improve my weaknesses.

A guy who currently serves in our Visual Arts team originally approached me about singing BV's. I encouraged him to plug in behind the scenes and prove his reliability with something out of the spotlight and then we could talk after a couple of months. What happened next was amazing (clearly, as I'm using it as an example...) He found his niche'! He volunteered to create things that most of the others on the team didn't desire or have time to do. He is my favorite example because he's operating fully in the unique way God created him.

We need to remember that God made us each unique. He gave us each our own assignment and when we understand our individual personality, gifts and pathways we will begin to find confidence in who he created us to be.

Worshiping out of the Anointing: Part 2

Anointing is directly related to how much time we've spent with God. I spoke of this in "Worshipping out of the Anointing: Part 1". To recap: You are a vessel. Time spent with God fills you up. When you lead worship you pour some out. You can only pour out so many times before you need to fill up conclusion, worship leading on empty sucks! Now for part 2...And let me just say that this is not just for worship leaders but for anyone, in any kind of ministry.

A common mistake worship leaders (myself included) make especially in the early years of worship leading is looking at the time we need to spend with God as a task rather than a relationship. There is a great example of this in Luke 10:38. Jesus visits Martha's home and while she's busy fussing about preparing a meal (focusing on task) Mary drops everything to sit at Jesus' feet and hang on every word he says. Martha get's frustrated at the fact that Mary is choosing to not help her and rest at His feet. As a result, Jesus basically tells Martha she's missed it, she views God's presence as a task rather than just enjoying it.

Who doesn't like to be served? If you likened your relationship to God as a marriage it might look something like this....Marriage is all about serving your other half but if all we ever did was bustle about serving each other and never sit to enjoy each other's company we would start to question the other persons motives for serving. God wants to enjoy our company, to speak to us just as much as we speak to him. He wants for us to go on a date with him rather than just give him a kiss on the way out the door.

Look at spending time with God as you would a best friend or spouse. It causes your feelings of inadequacy to fade and you will gain the confidence to lead from a standpoint of knowing God and his character.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Arch

Recently in prayer I got a vision of an arch or a wave, which made me think of the ups and downs we face. Our lives feel a little like a hill workout sometimes. We curse the times where we look at the road ahead and see nothing but incline. But what I've come to realize is those are the moments where we have the chance to strengthen ourselves. While running with my coach we started up a decent sized hill and she yelled out "This is making us stronger!" It's no different in other aspects of our life. Can you imagine how boring life would be if it was always flat, if we never allowed ourselves to face a challenge? If we never started out strong and then huffed and puffed up the last third of our mountain... But at the top of the mountain the sense of near defeat, yet overcoming accomplishment fills us! One more climb under our belt, one more climb to remind us the next time we face a giant. Those mountains are God's way of taking us to a new level.

Last month I went running in FL and had a real revelation of what living life in a flat environment would feel like, both physically and spiritually. I longed for a hill to tackle and realized on that run that life's hills should be looked at as opportunities not inconveniences.

When faced with the other side of the mountain, you know, the downhill glide, remember to enjoy it but keep your eyes ahead for that next climb. Cherish the recovery, take the deep breaths all the while reminding yourself of what you just accomplished. Don't get comfortable coasting but as my Pastor, Jill Sweetman said "Get comfortable with uncomfortable." It's the hills that make you stronger and enable you to take on more!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hiding Place

While out for a ride with my "coach" last week I bonked (In endurance sports, particularly cycling and running, hitting the wall or the bonk describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by precipitous fatigue and loss of energy.) Of course the next logical thing was to talk about it....Why did it happen and how can I avoid it next time.

On a side note, Jess and I have found that when we ride or run together we have very impacting conversations. Some that have, in fact, changed the very course of our lives. So when the opportunity to talk while training occurs I take advantage of it. This was indeed one of those times.

As we drudged up Cedars road's false flat we began talking about the importance of rest. Yes, rest in our sport is known as the 4th sport, just as important as all three other parts. But in this instance we were more specifically talking about the importance of knowing where, how, when you rest best. How well do you know yourself when it comes to your rest?

I learned this summer that I rest best in a tropical setting. In an environment where the only thing on the agenda is to enjoy God's creation. I learned that I need home cooked meals and that I need to buy more swimming suits because that is my wardrobe on this type of sabbatical. Quiet and time to muse and spend time with God is a must. But I also learned that my home needs to be more like the setting I'm talking about. No, I don't think palms would survive the winter here and maybe I can't trapse around in a swimming suit but I can create a home that feels like a haven, a safe place, a place that is as low maintenance as possible so I can focus on the things that make me feel rested.

We've made little changes since we returned from our last trip. But then the choice is to allow myself to ignore the laundry and dirty dishes long enough to go sit outside at dusk and enjoy the backyard I'm blessed enough to have.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Battle Wounds

As a worship leader I have often described what our team does as being on the front lines of a battle. The battle is over people's focus during a worship service. People come in from all kinds of situations, dealing with all kinds of distractions; finances, relationships or just plain apathy. The job of the worship team is to take their focus off their problems and onto God. This is not always so easy. Technical issues arrise, perhaps we struggle from insecurities (and who doesn't), tension with others can also be an obstacle.

A few weeks ago, when we finished our two Sunday morning services I felt as if I had "run the guantlet". Although the music, sound, lights and video were all fine, I felt like I came out of it with a couple of hits. Like we had faced an increased amount of resistance. I believe the supernatural battle that we can't see can actually affect us in the natural. That's why it's so important to be prayed up and filled with the Holy Spirit.

At the end of the worship service I got a text saying worship was so powerful. Well in my mind it didn't feel that way, but because I pressed through, someone connected with God. I also got a major download at the end of that service. I saw people writing their own revelations down in their notebooks which tells me all I need to know. Even when you have a tough worship service God will use it. He moves despite the resistance, despite the technical issues or tension with those you serve with. He will honor the battle you fight. The wounds will heal and the scars will be reminders of the battles we've faught and won.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Visual Inspiration

Color makes me happy!
David Stark

Eva Wylie
used the left one for my Iphone background!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Choice

Earlier in my twenties I struggled with depression. This is not to say that I considered myself "depressed' but I test high as a melancholy and had a tendency to complain...a lot. I never saw the class half full. My friend and I used to go walking every morning and I would complain about my job the entire time. I struggled physically on those walks, especially when it came to walking up one of the many hills in our neighborhood.

Fast forward. She challenged me quite a few times and as a result I started changing my tune. I specifically remember one morning making a decision to not complain. I decided that I would only speak positively over my job even if I didn't believe everything I said. Do you know what happened? I charged up those hills! I had been walking in defeat for so long and suddenly I had a new energy about me! What about my situation had changed? Me.

Philippians is quite possibly one of my favorite books of the bible. So much in those 4 chapters speaks deeply to me. Particularly the 4th Chapter. Here are a few of my favorites...4:4 "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again, rejoice!"....4:6 "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." and finally 8 "...Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."

No where in that passage does it say, sit back and let God fill you with peace. Every part of it starts with us being responsible for our own emotions, our own decisions of how we decide to react to our daily lives. Don't worry...well, for some of us that takes an act of God! But it can be done if we fix our thoughts on the positive. The bottom line is we have to make the choice to not worry, to pray about everything, to be thankful, to fix our thoughts....THEN God will fill us with peace.

Ps Jill Sweetman has an incredible revelation/message on going to Vision vs. Complaint. Hearing her revelation on it has given me a revelation that has changed my thinking and transformed me. Let's say you're in a church that doesn't have a good kids dept, if it bothers you enough than I would suggest that you may be passionate about it. Now you can do two things, you can go to complaint, talking to others about how much of a failure the whole thing is. OR, you can go talk to the person running it and see if you can help. Maybe the person running it has tried everything to make things better but can't seem to nail down some specific areas and you're just the person to fill in the blanks.

Or what about in a marriage. We can easily go to complaint if our husbands don't help us around the house or with the kids but have we been nagging him to death about it instead of making it enjoyable for him to get involved in? We choose what kind of life we want. We choose what kind of relationships we want. We choose what kind of church we serve. But it doesn't come with out action on our behalf.

Choose vision and then, take action.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Worshiping out of the Anointing: Part 1

Isn't it sad when you those foundational truths sneak up and smack you in the know, the ones that you've grown up knowing, the ones, that if asked to preach on, you could do it without notes...I had one of those moments this past weekend.

When I took the job as MD at C3church my Pastor, Dean Sweetman, asked me to put raising people up as one of my top priorities. There's a lot to that request and I was, and continue to be passionate about it. For a long time my heart has been to teach people how to be worshippers, no matter what their function. How to identify what your connection point with God is. It all starts with our own personal relationship with God and flows from there. I heard a pastor preach recently that ministry is the overflow of our time spent with God. WOW! Same goes for anointing. We have no anointing if we haven't spent time with God. Pretty simple right? Well, it goes even deeper.

God gives us grace. Imagine a cup, When you spend time with God he fills that cup up. When you minister (lead worship, preach, prophesy, ect) you pour out some of what's in that cup. You can continue to pour out but eventually you'll be ministering out of your gift instead of anointing. I could say a lot more on that and will at a later time...

I felt the smack this past Sunday morning. We were having a decent morning technically, but I was having to lead the band behind the scenes a good bit and was feeling a little tired from that. I remember asking the Holy Spirit, "Why does this have to be so hard?" And He said..."Because this isn't time to fill yourself up. You're ministering now, pouring yourself out. This is about other people connecting with Me." ouch. A foundational truth I know, but forgot along the way.

Now, this doesn't mean that we won't get a little top off during worship but if we come in on Sunday morning and say, "this is my time to worship" We won't be leading anyone anywhere. We're worship-LEADERS. Whether you're a drummer, BV, sound matter's if you've got a fresh touch of God on your life. How much more will God move if 20-40 people are operating in the anointing vs one? It's not that God can move any less, He is all-powerful, able to do more than we can imagine...but think about it this way...If you were invited to a party by a really good friend but you weren't close with anyone else attending, you may still go, but the richness of the experience would be vastly different to going to a party with 20 of your closest friends.

It's vitally important that we fill ourselves up before and after we minister, otherwise we're operating out of our gift not the anointing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dream Come True

I'm sitting in LA this morning after a full on Sunday. Worship was fantastic yesterday morning in ATL and last night in LA. I can't believe this is the life I have now. I put frequent travel to Asheville and LA last year and almost immediately Asheville happened. We began traveling to Asheville every Sunday afternoon. We'd finish up our two services in Atlanta, grab our gear and our girl, pile in the car and take off up 85. 2 hours and 45ish minutes later we'd arrive. We'd unload, set up, soundcheck, worship, listen to a great message, tear down, eat dinner and drive back home! Crazy? No! We loved every minute of it! Was it hard sometimes? Sure. But look at what we were doing! Week after week, people that had given up on church came back to know God in a genuine way. Their hearts were starting to be restored by the power of God and we were helping to make that happen!

Wow, just got a little teary at the enormity of it all.

1 year later I started traveling to LA once a month. Same thing...morning in ATL...pack up head to the airport and about 6 hours later arrive at LAX. My heart has started connecting to the wonderful people of the LA church. The culture here is completely different to Asheville and ATL, but it's beautiful! Young people that came here to chase a dream are starting to find a brand new one! The loneliness they face when trying to "make it" melts away when they walk in the doors of our church. I overheard two girls last night saying, "everyone is so friendly here!" That's the beginning expression of God's love to them. It's the easiest thing we can do for this crowd to show them a relevant kingdom of God.

I can't help but wonder what the rest of this year will many more times will I take that 3:05 flight out of ATL? Or...where's the next destination? It really is a beautiful season.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Endurance and Core

I went for a freezing cold run, ok, walk this afternoon. It took a lot for me to even get out in the 30 (feels like 22) degree weather but I test very high for having a naturalist pathway. That's a completely different subject for a different day.

I knew that before I could start this massive week I needed to get outside where I could talk to and hear from God. Calorie burn wasn't the motivation, it was a deep need to connect no matter what the obstacle.

I bundled up and took off up the slightly sloped street, made my left turn and started to jog. That lasted for about 5 minutes when my shins of all things started to ache. It was honestly ok with me. No guilt, just walk for a bit I said to myself. The words started pouring out of me. litterally. I started talking to God like he was walking next to me. I thanked him for getting me through yet another Sunday. One that caused me a major sleep deficit on Saturday night. Realizing that I thanked him for the make up sleep last night, one of those nights that you wake up in the same position you fell asleep in. That is one of the rarest and most precious gifts to me. I asked him to prepare my heart to get everything I could out of fasting and the upcoming worship night. Then I asked him to help people to realize that this week is so much more significant than anyone can imagine. I got stuck on this one for a while. The enormity of it washed gently over me. I found a long sunny stretch and walked back and forth a couple of times interceding for those who were planning on obeying their pastor by fasting (myself included) but not really understanding the impact this could have if gone into with purpose.

It's no small feat for someone to not eat, but people do it all the time with misguided ideas of losing weight. Some people may even fast for the right purpose but forget that it's not just about not eating. Me? I have qualified under both of those categories. I'm still not sure even now how far I'm going to take the fast. But I am getting my heart prepared now. I'm not waiting til Wednesday to start praying. I'm building up to it. Just like training for a triathlon, rehearsing for a big worship event. Preparation is necessary.

I want to get vision for getting vision. I want everything I can get out of this experience. I did a triathlon last September, it was the hardest physical thing I had ever done. 12 weeks before, when I should have been focusing all of my attention to training, I was given the "job" opportunity of a lifetime and my focus had to be divided. There were parts of my training that had to get dropped. Knowing that this was an endurance race, what little time I could scrounge together for training was given completely to "the long haul". Hours on a bike followed by another hour running and trying to fit a swim in here and there. That was all I could muster a couple times a week. I had too many other things needing my attention. What got dropped? My core. I just didn't have time to do something that really wasn't directly contributing to my heart and legs being able to handle 3 hours and 35 minutes of "GO"!

Hmmm...I didn't realize this is what I was going to write about when I started...very cool God!

Dropping my core workout affected me so much more than I could have anticipated. 2 weeks before the race I was out for a run and noticed that I felt, for lack of better words, "floppy". I was getting tired at 3.5, 4 miles. Not good when i've got another 2 to go and hypothetically I would be swimming for 40 minutes and biking for 2 hours before that...I had no power coming from the center of me, no stability, nothing to pull from. My legs were doing all of the work to not only push me forward but to keep me balanced. My legs weren't meant to hold me steady, but because my core was weekend they had no choice.

So here comes the rev. My gift, job, talent, voice, music, are the legs. they are the vehicle to take me somewhere. But my spiritual walk, my connection with my Father is what holds me together, what gives me stability. While it would be easy for me to get wrapped up in the task and rehearsals and even caring for people I will only be able to get so far before I need to spend time "exercising" those spiritual muscles. Core is everything, clearly.

About 15 miles into the 26 mile bike my back started aching, then hurting and then I wanted nothing more than to be off of the bike. I can't say there haven't already been moments I've faced in this short amount of time on staff at C3 as the music director that I have felt the same. But I know something about endurance and core now, how they relate, how when I start having the aches, the sleepless nights, the conflicts it's time to take my focus off of endurance and back on core.