Children of the King

I’m a fan girl. Unashamedly. If Middle-Earth existed, I’d be there before you could say, “J.R.R. Tolkien.”

Now, even though the closest I can get to Middle Earth is New Zealand, there are still valuable lessons from these wonderful books and movies.

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In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Aragorn asks the shieldmaiden Eowyn, “What do you fear?” to which she answered, “A cage.” Why a cage? She was terrified that her life would be a waste. Eowyn, as a woman, was forbidden to fight with the other warriors to defend her country and was helpless to change that  situation despite her great desire to fight..

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There are many times in life where we are helpless to change our circumstances. We feel trapped, caged in by finances, relationships, responsibilities, and expectations. Personally, I fear not being able to trust that God has my back. I fear the unknown, that my plans and back-up plans will all be for naught. I fear unknowingly building myself into a cage of complacency, desiring to do more and step into the destiny God has planned for me but instead staying put where I am, watching others go ahead and reaping the harvest that should be mine.

So what do you fear? What cage has you trapped? What prevents you from fully experiencing the beauty of life that God has for you? Think about it. Seriously.

We are not meant to live in fear.

Now, after Eowyn gives her answer to Aragorn he replies, “You’re a daughter of kings… I do not think that would be your fate.” Just as Eowyn did end up being able to escape her “cage” and gain honor on the battlefield, so we can also.

It is not your fate to live in your cage.

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Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” I don’t know about you, but I like this! My King has given me a powerful spirit! I have the power to love the unlovable, to forgive unspeakable wrongs, and to make my dreams into a legacy that will bring glory to God. I have the power to overcome my fear.

Just think on this a minute: you may be in a cage of fear for whatever reason, but that is not who you are. “Because you are His sons [and daughters], God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir” (Galations 4:6-7 NIV).

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You are a son or daughter of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, and the Creator of the Universe! It is not your fate to live life in a cage. It is Your Destiny to bring glory to God! It will be a life-long journey that will be exciting, frustrating, fulfilling, and exhilarating.

Do not live in fear. You are a child of the King, and your journey starts with stepping out of your cage.

Annamarie

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Embrace the Sweat

When people meet me, within a few minutes of talking they usually ask what I study in college. I smile and say “Health and Exercise Science.” I then usually get a funny look and a reply, “So you are into all that working out healthy stuff huh?” Why yes. Yes I am into “all that stuff” as they so eloquently put it.

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This past year though, I really did need to ask myself- why do I love to exercise so much? Sure, it’s a stress reliever. And yes, I’m a health and exercise major. And of course, it’s to attain a higher level of personal health. But looking past that, why do I put myself through all this?

I want to look good.

I want to look in the mirror and be able to say confidently that I look sexy in my running spandex. I want to be completely confident with the beauty of my body. That is why I work out. That is also why most people work out- we want to be beautiful!

The day I realized I would never be taller than 5’4” and that my calves would always have more muscle than most guys. I was devastated, and I believed exercising fanatically was the only hope I had to try and attain some semblance of the standard of beauty that women are held to today.

So then I asked myself, is wanting to be beautiful a healthy desire? Is this the right attitude to have every time I go to the gym?

Maybe, I definitely don’t think it’s bad to have this desire, but I think that there should be more to it than the superficial goal of looking good. Seriously, we can’t all be genetically-gifted superstars.

In Psalm 139:14, the writer says, “How you made me is amazing and wonderful. I praise you for that. What you have done is wonderful. I know that very well.” Another translation says “fearfully and wonderfully made.” That means that this body that I lament over, the muscles that I try to tone, and even the hair I try to tame were made expressly to God’s specifications.

This body can do amazing things! This body took me to the top of a mountain in 2014. It held together as I leaped off a 50 foot cliff. It carried me through over 15 miles of mountain biking trails.

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When I exercise, when I sweat so much its dripping off my face, I am rejoicing in the body God gave me. It’s amazing! There is so much that can go wrong, yet it all works together perfectly- like clockwork.

Let me tell you, I will never have supermodel measurements, but my thunder thighs powered me through a 13.1 mile half-marathon and and a 10 mile Tough Mudder.

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Do I look unhappy with my body here? Absolutely not!

 I embrace my sweatiness because it is the one time in my day that I truly believe how wonderfully made I actually am! What a novel concept.

God has always told me this, but it took embracing my sweat to realize it. And it’s when I embrace my sweat, that I truly understand how beautiful I actually am.

Annamarie

 

Welcome to My Life!

Life is a kaleidoscope of many beautiful and ugly adventures. Its an exciting road, whether or not the end of the road is where you want to end up. Its the picture you paint on the way that counts. Your kaleidoscope, a spinning collection of memories, experiences, and journeys, is never ending and always changing.

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So far, my kaleidoscope is 21 years old, is about to graduate from Oral Roberts University in May, has traveled many places, and cannot wait to continue growing up into this mysterious thing called “being an adult.” I love the great outdoors and sparkly earrings, am way to competitive, and just colored my hair for the first time. I’m a Hoosier born-n-bred, will cheer for the Indianapolis Colts forever, and finished both a Tough Mudder and the Route 66 Half-Marathon this past year. I’m making some big decisions about the future and praying that in the end, regardless of where I end up, I will be exactly where God wants me. I love Jesus with my whole heart and no matter where I go or what I do in this life, I want to share this love with everyone I come in contact with.

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As I try this whole blogging thing, I will be posting stuff I learn along the way and just in general, sharing my love and zeal for living a life that leaves a legacy.

Essentially, I like to live my life by Hebrews 12: 1-2, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Isn’t it wonderful to realize that there are countless angels and people of faith cheering for us? Instead of being in the world’s rat-race to find success, we are running a holy marathon and we cannot lose, not when Jesus has already won. We get to be a part of the greatest legacy ever known to man- the legacy of the unconditional love of God.

So as you get to know me, I hope your day gets a little brighter each time you read my small words. I hope you get excited about all the adventures you have yet to live through. I hope you are encouraged by the love that God has for you.

And I leave you with this thought- be excited about this new year! Carpe diem! Try something out of your comfort zone, make some new friends, and always be ready for adventure.

As Bilbo Baggins said, “It’s a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.”

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The road goes ever on and on…

Annamarie