Tag Archives: #amwriting

Measured Steps

Do our steps count if we aren’t wearing our pedometer or Fitbit device? At first we were sold on counting our steps, trying to get 10,000 each day. That’s a little over four and half miles. We clipped pedometers to our shoes or belts and took off. Corporations added pedometers and step tracking to their health incentives for employees. That’s kinda fun to have the camaraderie of your co-workers to help achieve the goal.

Then the devices or apps on our phones began to track heart rate, pulse and even blood pressure. Again, not bad to do, but are we becoming over sensitized to every uneven beat of our hearts and every elevated moment of our pulse? Our bodies were fearfully and wonderfully created. In the course of a day our physiological systems are constantly adjusting to its environment. We eat and it begins to metabolize the nutrients and throw off the waste. We get hot and our bodies sweat. We walk outside and our eyes adjust to the sun.

 

young fitness woman hiker legs at forest trail

The tracking devices have made us more aware of getting up and moving more often. I am guilty of sitting for too long a period of time during the day. I can sit down to work and get so caught up that I don’t get up for several hours. So there is certainly a place for prompting us to live healthier lives.

What happens when we forget to wear our device or turn on the app? All of a sudden all these steps aren’t measured. Do they still count? Did the tree fall and not make a sound? Once again we are getting sucked into a gadget (for better or worse) being our measurement of success. Do you remember the days when runners would go run then come home and drive the course in their cars to see how far they had gone?

Our success with our health goals happens whether we measure it or not. Our success comes from just getting up and doing it. After having worn a Fitbit for almost two years, I can guess within ten percent how many steps I’ve taken in a day (or not taken). When it recently broke, it took me a couple of days to figure out I was still walking, taking steps. They still counted. My evening walks still relaxed me. What I miss are the little bursts of color when I’m active for over 30 minutes. Or the buzz vibration it made when I hit 10,000 steps. That was fun.

Maybe I can come up with my own little burst of celebration after my walk or workout. So if you see me fist-bump myself or do a little touchdown jig, you’ll know I’m on the move.

KK

 

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No Picture Necessary

Today cameras are as close as our cell phones. Pretty much at the end of our arms at all times. Pictures of meals, pets, gardens and of course our selves are posted, tweeted and shared all over the world. Are we too busy taking pictures of memorable beautiful moments to stop and enjoy the moment?

On my way home one evening there had been a summer rain shower. Sitting at a stop light I looked up to see the most beautiful full seven-color spectrum rainbow. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Right in front of me. Admittedly, I started to reach for my phone to snap a photo. I stopped. Instead of taking a picture and posting it, I just enjoyed God’s handiwork. It was a beautiful quiet moment.

There is a lot of chatter these days of everyone being too plugged in. We are. We are rushing through our days, living for the weekend and not experiencing the sights, sounds, smells and tastes we encounter. Breathe for a minute. Look around you. What’s new or unusual? What are the stories in the lives of all the people you are rushing by?

Take a minute and let me know what you find.

KK

For here or to go?

For here or to go? You’d think this was an easy question. But twice in the last few days it really threw us off a little.

While away at a baseball tournament we stopped at a food court so everyone could get what they wanted for dinner.fast-food-in-car-service The parents claimed a group of tables in the common eating area. I chose Mexican. Went through the line choosing all the items I wanted. The cashier rang up my order and then ask a simple question that left me in a quandary, for here or to go?

What was the right answer? I didn’t think she wanted me to stand there and eat my dinner and they didn’t offer special seating for their food area. So, I surmised that the answer shouldn’t be here, but I wasn’t going very far. Looking over to my friends and then looking back at the girl who wasn’t going to release my food until I provided an answer. Finally, I pointed to my friends and said, “I don’t know, I’m going over there to eat. Is that here or to go?”

To the teenage cashier I no doubt resembled a confused old lady who had lost her car in the parking lot.

Not an hour later my husband encountered a similar situation in which he felt too intelligent to answer the question, “for here to go?” After dinner we all walked across the street to get an ice cream cone for dessert. My husband goes through the line and places our order. Mine was in a cup, so she scooped it and handed it to him. He handed it to me. His was to be in a cone. She scoops it and hands it to him. He slides to the register, holding his ice cream cone. Before completing the transaction, she asks, “for here or to go?” Remember the picture here, he’s holding an ice cream cone in his hand. He didn’t order a pint or quarter of Rocky Road. Why does it matter at that point? Would she repackage the cone differently? He paused a second and just said “here”. Would she stop him if he started to leave? He said he was eating it here not taking it to go.

We concluded that in some great cash register software programmers mind, it was important to know if an order was for here or to go. In some situations, it is. When we are ordering and it’s obvious if not staying in the restaurant that provides tables, a box or bag will be necessary. But food courts and ice cream parlors probably could save that step.

Next time I will be ready with an answer. I’m practicing now.

KK

It’s like wearing clean underwear

There are habits and characteristics we take on as adults that we probably don’t realize come from our parents. How many times have you said something to your child and had the immediate thought, “I just sounded like my mother?” My mother has always believed in a spotless house. She can find dust before the dust bunnies. I’m not sure her three daughters caught the “house-cleaning” gene. Don’t get me wrong, we all like a clean house, but we generally aren’t as obsessive about it unless visitors are coming. In addition to day to day straightening, once a month our home gets a good top to bottom vacuum, dust and bathroom clean-up. For me the big house-cleaning-white-tornado comes with visitors or our leaving town. It’s like wearing clean underwear. What if something happened while we were away and somebody had to go into the house?

house-cleaning

**Not my house

There have been times that I have been known to literally vacuum our way out the door. In addition to all the preparations there are in leaving for a short weekend trip or a full vacation, I feel it necessary to clean the house. And even if we leave at five in the morning, the beds are made before our departure.

Of all the quirks I could have inherited, this is a productive one and my husband is wonderfully patient with me about it. As I see it there are two good outcomes from this habit.

First, like I said, should something happen and someone need to come into our home while we are away, they will find order and cleanliness. This can only help with the matter that has brought them there.

Secondly, when we come home, we come home to a clean house. We can ease back into reality of work or school without having to do anything around the house. It’s like extending vacation-mode a little longer.

KK

Celebrating Freedom

We the people…

We hold these truths…

Strong phrases that begin foundational statements and documents for our country. Upon these phrases are built the core values of our country. The freedoms we take for granted everyday were penned creative-inspirational-quotes-thoughts-part11-61under these phrases. The freedom to speak our opinions, the freedom to own guns and protect that which we work hard for and the freedoms to worship. With freedom comes both responsibility and opportunity. Yes, we have the opportunity to take full advantage of our freedoms. But we also have the responsibility to not let those freedoms harm or keep others from living their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. These behaviors must be chosen, they can not be legislated. They are convictions of the heart.

We live in the greatest country in the world, founded on Godly inspired truths. Our founding fathers were as fallible as our political leaders are now. But they stood on God’s word and built a country. Today as we celebrate our freedoms, we recognize they came at a cost to thousands of others. Moving forward, we the people need to determine the future by first examining our own hearts.

KK

Spring Will Come Early!

Dateline: February 2, 2016

ground-hog-day

Just as the sun beam was creeping in the hole of Phil’s family home there came an obnoxious thumping. Phil’s mother ran through the tunnels of their fourth generation sub terrain home screaming for Phil to get up and find his scarf. “Today is the day!”

Every year it was the same for Phil, whose given name was Ralph after a big family fallout, but that’s a different story. Phil was the fourth generation groundhog who the handlers of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania came calling on to tell them his vision for the end of winter. Phil heard his mother, but rolled over. “Really mom, can those humans not look at a calendar?”

Pulling the covers back and nudging him up, his mother wrapped the scarf around his thick neck. “That’s not the point Phillip. This is our family legacy, like your father, your grandfather and your…” Rubbing his eyes and shaking himself awake Phil waddled toward the thumping sound. “Yea, I know and my great grandfather who came over on some big ship, half-starved when he arrived to a better life in America.”

“Phillip, stop that. Be proud of our family and go out there and tell these humans what you see.” With a smirk. “Or don’t see.”

As Phil poked his head out of the entry, a large gloved hand reached down and swooped him high for the thousands to see. The man was wearing a funny hat. Maybe I’ll get me one of those for next year.

The crowd grew silent as they watched the rodent sniff the platform. Would he stay a while and declare a short winter? Or would he see his shadow and scurry back into his hole? Phil gave the people a few minutes of suspense and strongly considered zipping back into his warm, safe cavern. But then something caught his eye. Something no one else would have noticed.

Across the park just outside the gathering of fans, who didn’t realize cheering his name would sway him, were three of the cutest female groundhogs Phil had ever laid eyes on. They were chippering amongst themselves. True motivation to stay out for a while and enjoy the scenery. Knowing the three lady friends were watching, Phil stood up on his hind legs and sent them a view of his abs of steel that only female groundhogs could appreciate.

The crowd went crazy the man with the tall hat grabbed the microphone and announced his interpretation of Phil’s prediction that spring would in fact come early this year! The band played and the people hugged. Phil took advantage of the distraction and scurried off the platform and hid.

Will Phil stay close and meet his three fans? Will his mother ever quit rehashing the groundhog story? Will spring really come early or arrive on March 20th as always? My friend, these are questions I will leave you to ponder.

KK

The children are our future

This morning in our Sunday school class (or Sunday morning Bible study, whatever you call it) we discussed a passage from Mark 10 when Jesus rebukes his disciples as they attempted to keep the children from Him. There are certainly many layers to this passage to explore, but the one that we camped out on was the fact that children have a point of view on faith and Jesus that we should value and pay attention to. Our children do represent future believers in our churches, future parents passing their faith to another generation, future employees and supervisors who will have a broader spherechildren-7 of influence outside their home and churches. As parents we have an awesome responsibility to our children, to raise them to know the Lord personally and to carry their personal faith into adulthood. Allow me to take this responsibility a step further.

Not every believer is a parent. An individual who is a Christ follower may be an aunt or uncle, a teacher, a coach, or a friend of the family. These adults can have a HUGE impact in the life of a child. As I listened to the lesson this morning and I considered that many of the adults in the class were parents, I was grossly aware of the individuals who are not. But I know them to be investing in the lives of young people who God has brought into their lives.

I don’t often talk about my single parenting days, but during those eight years, the first eight years of my son’s life, I prayed for God to bring Godly men into his life. The prayer was answered in several ways – my brother who came to ball games and concerts; a friend from college who “happened” to be his Bible bowl coach and fifth grade teacher; a good friend who coached basketball and baseball; and the best of all, my husband and his step father who shows Christ to him every day.

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me,” and He drew them into His arms. The children we encounter every day or every week need us to invest in them, take an interest and pray for them. To the parents reading this, be encouraged to stay the course and finish the race of parenting strong. When you are tired ask for prayer. As your children grow and become more independent, this is when the real-life choices come. They need you just as much to guide them through the worldly issues they will encounter, as when they were young and you made all the choices for them.

To the non-parents reading this, find a young person and even if you don’t have a close relationship with them, pray for them. Seek ways to cheer them on to a Godly adulthood.

All the best,

KK