Gym playlist # 11. Rio (Duran Duran)

It’s actually slightly faster pace than Playlist # 10 and I’ve thought about switching them, but I kind of like slowing down and then speeding up, so for now, I’ve kept it what it is.

Rio

This song has no particular meaning for me, but has a cool bass like that I like, and reminds me of the 80’s, which were mostly good to me (though there are some parts I’d like to forget, and others I simply can’t remember for various reasons)

Because I’m not particularly wedded to this song, if any of you have any other suggestions as a good treadmill beat song, please comment below.

Stay cool, my friends.

Blessing, SB

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Fixing it ALL – the humbling process of fixing my life.

Many years ago, I was ready to make some life changes.  In fact, in January of that year, I decided it was the time to fix EVERYTHING that was wrong with my life!   I wrote out a very detailed list of goals – it included perfecting everything in my 1) Physical life/fitness (ie.. get skinny once and for all)  2)Financial (out of debt, college for kids paid for, retirement fully funded, etc) 3) Spiritual life (ie, get to know God in an up close and personal way) and 4) Relational (ie, fix everything that’s ever been wrong in my marriage, become the friend that I should be, etc).     I went at it like gangbusters for about 2 weeks.   I was conscious of everything I ate and drank, I logged more miles on the treadmill than I had in a very long time.  I created a budget, read my Bible every day, tried to engage my husband in deep, philosophical discussions.     And then…  fell of the wagon.  I failed at every single one of my goals.

The problem wasn’t lack of desire… or even that my goals were bad.  The problem was that I tried to fix everything all at the same time – and I got overwhelmed, and in the end, fixed nothing.

Fast forward a few years – I learned to set much more REALISTIC goals.  Because I had previously learned that I couldn’t fix everything all at the same time, I decided to pick one or two things to really focus on, master, gain some confidence – and then move on to other areas while maintaining the one.

I realize that my life is a work in progress – I didn’t get where I am (either good or bad) overnight, and I’m not going to be able to change overnight either.  On occasion, I lose sight of this and become frustrated with people who haven’t “gotten it” yet until I remember that I am still growing too, and there are plenty of things I haven’t “gotten” yet.  God allows me to continue growing and learning – He is so much more patient with me than I am with myself or others – I guess that’s why He’s God and I’m not.

As we approach New Years, there are plenty of people making resolutions.  My resolution is simply this:  to continuously improve something – to consciously work toward making something better tomorrow than it is today – in whatever area of life I choose.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year, my friends.  Thanks so much for supporting my journey!

My challenge to you all today is to leave something better than you found it.

Blessings,

SB

Copyright 2018 journey for life. All rights reserved

Daunting Doubts

In my sophomore year of college, I signed up to be part of a Co-Op program between local companies and the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering.  I was pursuing a degree in electrical engineering, and, though the program added 1-2 semesters to my overall college career, it provided an awesome opportunity to do hands-on work in the field of engineering, gain experience and create good networking contacts.   The program was designed to have students work full-time for a company during their second-semester sophomore year instead of attending classes, then attend class full-time during the next semester – and continue this rotation right through graduation.  Not all students who signed up were hired by companies, but the university did its best to ensure all applicants had a fair shot at interviewing.  The students were subject to candidate competition just as in the “real world”. 

On the day before my interview in the Test Engineering department of a local manufacturing company, I learned that one of my classmates was also interviewing with the same company.  He was a better student than I was.  He would surely get the job.  The insecure part of me told me that perhaps I should cancel the interview, but the rational part of me told me I should interview if not just for the experience of it.  I was positive Tom would get the job; there was no way I could compete against him.

I approached the interview much as I approach everything in life – by just being me; open and honest and just myself.    When the  Test Engineering manager asked me what motivates me, I answered with the only honest answer I could give:  “Fear of Failing”.   A few days after the interview, I was surprised when I was offered the position.  I accepted, and became the only female in the test engineering department.

During my first semester working there, I created schematics for black-box testers they used but didn’t have documentation for in case they ever needed to recreate, and designed and built some additional test equipment.  I also worked on a process problem that they were having, which involved gathering and evaluating data on their combustible gas sensor manufacturing process.  At the end of the semester, I had to give a presentation to the CEO of the company (along with my boss and managers in between).   Within the first few minutes of the presentation, the CEO discovered that I was left-handed – and so was he, so he made a few comments which helped to put me at ease.   After the presentation, my boss told me I had done a great job. I mentioned that, though I was finished with the “project” itself, I wanted to follow through with the process changes that were made, to see how they were performing during my school semester.  I asked if they could continue to send me data during the semester.  He was so surprised by this that he went to HR to ask if I could simply work part-time during my school semesters; so, until I graduated, I worked for that company – sometimes full-time and sometimes part-time. 

Sadly, as I approached my graduation time, the company had a hiring freeze because it was closing a plant in another state and relocating people to Pittsburgh, so they were unable to offer me full-time work after graduation.  During my exit interview, my boss told me two things that really impressed him about me.  The first was that comment about being motivated by fear of failing during my interview.  He said he’d never had anyone be so honest in an interview before – that was the single moment that secured the position for me – brutal honesty.   

The second thing that impressed him was how well I fit in with his male-dominated department.  Most of the guys in the department were in their mid-late twenties (I was 20-22 at the time), although a few a bit older, and all of them respected my work, were able to kid around with me.  We all had a great working relationship  (some of them called me “cupcake” – LOL – that was before people got so uptight about everything).    I’ve actually kept in touch with a few of them for all these years. 

Thinking back to my own moments of self-doubt, when I thought for sure Tom would get the position over me. I could have crumbled in the face of competition, but I didn’t allow my insecurities to deter me. Instead, I just was myself, and I happened to be who they were looking for. When you’re feeling insecure about something, just remember that sometimes you can’t see the big picture. Keep your faith and be yourself Be blessed today, my friends

SB

Copyright 2018 journey for life. All rights reserved

The Gym Playlist: Back on the Chain Gang

As my motivation to keep going on this journey-for-life, I will share with you my playlist.   I am still tweaking the playlist, so it may evolve over time, but as it is right now, the song below is first on the list. Because the tempo of the song dictates my pace of my run/walk, I start with a not-too-aggressive pace – quick enough to get started.   This song is listed at 154 BPM (beats-per-minute for the non-music junkies out there) and is 3:48 min long.  For me, it’s about a 3.8 MPH.  I’ve noticed that I  adjust my stride length to the beat of music as well – this works well (at least for me) because by adjusting my stride length, I work different muscles –so the change is good in a long treadmill workout.   At 3.8 MPH and a medium stride length, this is a good song to start my treadmill workout. 

One thing you’ll probably notice about my playlist is most songs will have a strong bassline. Next to keys, bass is my favorite instrument. Often understated and overlooked, it is actually the bass guitar that adds both rhythm and depth to music we hear. That which we sometimes overlook may actually be what we’re looking for…

DISCLAIMER:  Please note, I am by no means a fitness expert – I am experimenting with what works for me, and sharing with you that I may somehow be an inspiration to someone along their journey.

Enjoy

Be a blessing today!

SB

Copyright 2018 journey for life. All rights reserved

Back on the Chain Gang

The Pretenders – written by Chrissy Hynde

I found a picture of you, oh oh oh oh 
What hijacked my world that night 
To a place in the past 
We’ve been cast out of? Oh oh oh oh 
Now we’re back in the fight 
We’re back on the train 
Oh, back on the chain gang

A circumstance beyond our control, oh oh ohoh 
The phone, the TV and the news of the world 
Got in the house like a pigeon from hell, oh oh oh oh 
Threw sand in our eyes and descended like flies 
Put us back on the train 
Oh, back on the chain gang

The powers that be 
That force us to live like we do 
Bring me to my knees 
When I see what they’ve done to you 
But I’ll die as I stand here today 
Knowing that deep in my heart 
They’ll fall to ruin one day 
For making us part

I found a picture of you, oh oh oh oh 
Those were the happiest days of my life 
Like a break in the battle was your part, oh oh oh oh 
In the wretched life of a lonely heart 
Now we’re back on the train 
Oh, back on the chain gang

Songwriters: ChristineHynde

Back on the Chain Gang lyrics © Sony/ATV MusicPublishing LLC

No category for a castle

In his book, If, Mark Batterson recounts a blessing God gave him for which he didn’t have a category.

He ends the chapter that recounts this blessing with these words,” what if everything in your past is preparing you for the future God has for you?’

“God wants us to get where He wants us to go more than we want to get there and He’s awfully good at getting us there”. Even when we make a wrong turn, He has ways of getting us there, and He’s using everything in our past to prepare us for the blessings He has for our future.

He’s got blessings for us for which we don’t even have categories!

I am still praying Jericho prayers and trusting God for His blessings. I believe He has a castle waiting to be used for His glory.

Blessings,

SB

copyright 2018. Journey For Life. All rights reserved

Retrouvaille – a rediscovery

In my book, Masquerade, I recount, through fictional characters, the suicide of my neighbor, who left behind two precious children, just eight and ten years old.  The youngest, a beautiful girl named Lindsay, stole my heart.  When I still lived at home, I gave her piano lessons.  We invited her to make Christmas candy with us.  After my husband and I were married, we have her over to our house to do special things like make cookies, carve pumpkins, etc.

At some point, her father decided to move to Florida, and took the kids with him.  I tried so desperately to keep in touch with her – this was before cell phones and social media were really a thing, so I used to buy calling cards for her and send them to her so that she could call me “long distance” any time she wanted.  She never did.  I was never sure if the cards I sent even made it to her.  My heart was broken not knowing how life turned out for her.

As social media grew in popularity, I would search and search for her – she has a very common name, and I could find many of them, but never her. I even sent messages to a few, hoping they could confirm the identify to no avail.

On Tuesday evening, after my mom read my book, we talked about Lindsay. Ironically, just last week, my mom was going through some old pictures and came across pictures of Lindsay with her mother, and mentioned how she would love to be able to give Lindsay a copy of it – perhaps she didn’t have any pictures of her mother.

In the quietness of the evening, I thought I would try to google her again – after all, it had been several years since I had tried.  Low and behold, a Facebook profile picture popped up on my screen and took my breath away!  She’s beautiful!  I sent her a message to connect, and she responded right away, confirming that it was her!  My heart was overwhelmed with joy and I began to cry.  I was so thrilled to learn she’s doing well.

God is so faithful to the prayers that we have, even when we don’t realize it.   I have prayed for Lindsay and her brother for years and years and years, praying for a time we could be reconnected so that I would know how her life has turned out.  I am so grateful for a loving God who gives us the desires of our hearts.  Despite the difficult things we face in life, He is always there to help guide us.

We may face oppression in our lives, and there may be times when we feel like giving up, but I am here to encourage you today…. NEVER GIVE UP!  This is the reason that Masquerade was published – to share that message with hope to those who may not feel it today.

If you’ve already ordered a copy of Masquerade, I thank you with all of my heart, and pray that you will be blessed by its message.  If you haven’t ordered yet, you can order your copy here:

Order Masquerade Here!

Thank you, Jesus, for the wonderful answers to prayers – the ones you’ve already answered as well as the ones you will answer in the future.

Blessings,

SB

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life – All rights reserved.

 

 

Following the Dream

Where would we all be today if Noah hadn’t been faithful to his dream – the dream that God had given him — and the dream for which God provided?

I have often wondered what Noah’s wife, Mrs. Noah, thought while Noah was building the Ark. I’ve had a dream for almost ten years. Every so often, I buy something and my kids will ask what it’s for. I will reply, “oh it’s for the (insert dream)”. They’ll say, “oh, that one that doesn’t exist yet??” One day, I replied to my son, who is studying to be a pastor, “Noah didn’t just wake up one day and build an ark. He had to gather the wood and other supplies first.”

Fair enough.

The truth is that Noah was probably gathering for quite a while; then he started build by and it took him about 100 years — all the while believing in what God had called him to do. Surely there were people, probably even in his own family, who thought he was crazy. He may have felt that way himself a time or two. After all, his dream was pretty large and overwhelming.

Where would we all be today if Noah hadn’t been faithful to his dream – the dream that God had given him — and the dream for which God provided

I am believing in my dream today more than ever, because I believe this is a dream that God has given me. I am believing that He will provide.

“God honors big dreams because big dreams honor God” (Mark Batterson, from In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day).

I don’t know what you’re dreaming today. Keep dreaming. Keep moving toward your goal. Commit your dream to the Lord, and He will establish your plans

I’m so excited to see what God is doing and will do!

Blessings to you!

SB

Copyright Journey For Life 2018. All rights reserved.