Friday, April 24, 2015

Small Reminders

     As I enjoy my free time today, I intended to write a long post about some inspirational situations that have occurred over the last 48 hours. But in all reality, I think the one thing that has been most significant is being able to sit next to my open window and review my old blog writings. I re-read many. I looked through the photos and was taken back to old memories. Some were nice reminders and some I look back and think, "oh boy...I remember that."
     I can believe how much has changed, but it is amazing when it all comes into perspective. The very first post I re-read was Where Does Your Strength Lie? This, I believe, is how God works. He gives us small reminders, leaves us little clues and brings us back down to Earth when life seems to be a little bit overwhelming. 

If you read my last entry, you may understand how I can recognize God working through these messages for me today. 

Can you see what I see?

Monday, April 20, 2015


     I have a confession...I am sitting with my open blinds enjoying the sun, but instead of tea this morning I am drinking coffee. Yes, coffee. I actually enjoy my mornings when I make time to wake up a bit earlier, sip on a warm cup of tea (or now coffee...), read my Bible and write.
     At church last night, Robbie (my pastor) had a message that fit right into my life book. Many times people go to church and feel as though the message was given just for them. I had one of those moments. But the amazing apart is, is that I had written in my journal the two main points in life that I struggle with yesterday morning:
1. Choosing to spend time with God
2. Balance
     God never stops amazing me. Robbie's message was making time for God and to take ten minutes a day out of our busy lives to just spend time with him. Like any kind of relationship time must be dedicated to someone or something to make the relationship stronger. God is the same way. He wants to spend time with us. He wants to help us through our tough times. He wants us to glorify him in everything that we do. But how can we glorify him in everything we do when we don't spend the time to truly learn what he wants us to do or where he wants us to be? 
The key point to Robbie's message was this: 
"Do not allow the urgent things in life to distract you from the important things in life."
Life can be demanding and so overwhelming at times that God can be placed on the back burner. But if I am learning anything right now, it is that when God is the center of my being, everything else seems to fall into place effortlessly.

Good Morning, Monday!  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Post Times

     Even over the length of time, I still have not changed my small habits. As I prepared to write this blog, which is just sitting in silence with God, I sat outside with my hot tea and read my Bible. I then proceeded to my room, opened my blinds and am now typing away. It is so funny how humans can live their lives day to day, but keep the same habits that ground them on Earth. Mine just happens to be silence, tea and open space!
     I just finished reading my last post from February 2014. Wow, a lot has changed. I am now a post-grad, working my dream job. Before getting to this point, I have experience many losses. That being said, this blog is dedicated to my Papa, Great Nana and Dr. Bill. Papa was the track inside of my heart, Nana was one of the individuals in my life that inspired me to live life to its fullest, and be okay with things going wrong, and Dr. Bill helped me embrace the idea that anything is possible. Nana told me this past summer, "if you don't know what to do, do nothing. Just wait."
So I dedicate this to each of you. Thank you for sharing your lives with me. 
During the past six months I have experienced highs, lows, losses and gains. If I were to go through each and every experience my stories would be larger than a dictionary. Instead, I am going to reintroduce myself, because this is my next step and I have graduated from not only college, but another part of my life; I am on another chapter of my book. 

     My name is Christi, and I am working my dream job. I am a Director of Development, as well as a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor at a non-profit therapeutic riding center.
At times life is busier than I can plan, and I am learning how to officially live away from home. While being states away from family is not abnormal for me, as I get older I find that time only gets shorter. The past four years living away from family had a deadline; a scheduled time of moving back. As of right now, there is no deadline. I am living away from home until God calls me back. Therefore, making the most of my time and being everything I can be is the second most important thing in my life. The most important thing is walking with Jesus. I love Jesus :)
     Instead of writing papers, competing in track events and learning how to get more than four hours of sleep a night, I am applying all that I have learned towards my life now (and still trying to figure out that sleep thing...)! Let me just say, there is not a moment that goes by that I am not reflecting upon my past experiences and personal knowledge.
     I have been blessed with many people, places and moments to get me to where I am right now. If someone were to ask me one year ago if I would be living where I am at this moment and doing what I am doing, I would have said, "no way." I would be back with family, my own horse and graduate school. BUT, God had a bigger plan, better ideas and doesn't ever let his children become too comfortable. If he did, we wouldn't ever be living out the lives he wants us to live.

As time goes on, I can't wait to share my journey.
Okay Papa, Nana and Dr. Bill, I made decision. I am following my dream.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ohio Take Two

     You may be able to guess what I am doing this very moment. Right now, I am in my usual chair with all of my blinds open looking out of the windows. And yes, I have my tea :) I should be proof reading a paper for class and getting ready for my day BUT I was craving to blog. So, instead I am writing a little something to fix my small addiction.
     This last week was one that I will absolutely remember for the rest of my life. It was a fork in the road and I worked so hard to turn one direction. Track and field has been a part of my life since the fifth grade. I remember when my friend asked me to run track with her so we could get a picture in the elementary year book, so I agreed. Who doesn't want an extra picture in the year book in the fifth grade, right? Well, when it turned out that I was the fastest fifth grade girl in the city it became more than a year book picture. Now, I am a senior in college and qualified for the track and field indoor national championships for the second year in a row. But let me tell you about the last couple of months.
     I had three shots to make the qualifying time for indoor nationals this year, opposed to about seven times last year. Talk about pressure. In January I ran my opening indoor meet at Boise State. In the 60 meter dash I ran an 8.22 and 200 meter dash a 26.98. Not my best times. I was frustrated. I continued two weeks later at the University of Washington to run an 8.04 in the 60 meter dash and a 26.21 in the 200 meter. I was happier than Boise, but I still threw my water in frustration. My head coach gave me a huge hug and said "Christi, you can do this. You still have next weekend. You will nail it." (We have a new coaching staff this year as well. I forgot to mention that, but they are amazing. I am still in contact with my old coach, and he is very proud of me.) The next week I worked on preparing for my last chance meet in Portland to qualify for the national championships in the 60 meter dash (I worked for the 200 meter race as well, but my heart was set on the 60). I worked so hard. My coaches worked on my drive phase, we fixed an issue that we found in my block starts, and I was mentally focused. Nothing was going to stop me. Thursday night came around and I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible cramp in quad. I saw my chiropractor and his assistant Friday and sure enough, I strained my right quad. WHAT? As an athlete, the race or the game must go on. I was out of practice for two days and Friday I had small tears with my coach. This is what he told me, "Christi, the hay is in the barn. These two days of practice won't change tomorrow's race. You are a veteran, and you will qualify!"
     After practice that evening I drove to the mountain behind my college. I hiked to the top where I always sit when I need Jesus time. I remember going up there as a freshman to overlook the city and just think. Well, here I was a senior about to run one of the races of my life. This was a race that I had been training for ever since I was a little girl. I would jog down the streets while listening to my headphones and pretend that I was running some big race that I worked hard for. This was that race. This was that time. I sat there for a moment...I said, "God, I didn't work this hard to not qualify to be a national competitor. And I know you didn't give me this gift to settle. Show me what you gave me." I left that quiet place on the mountain remembering being a little girl and working for this race. I put my race in God's hands.
     Saturday morning came. I have never been so focused in my track career. Everyone knew that I was running for the national qualifier and even writing about it now my heart still skips a beat from my intensity. I wrapped up my quad with icey-hot and an ace bandage and warmed up for my races. I lined up for my race and set up my blocks. I looked up to see my coach on the side line. He looked me straight in the eyes from a distance and said, "You got this." I got in my blocks, the gun went off, and everything was silent. I left my opponents, crossed the finish line, and looked right over at the timing table. About 20 people surrounded the table, including my coach. A friend looked up at me with a smile, my coach raised his hands and said, "SHE NAILED IT. SHE GOT IT." The only other time I have jumped that high off the ground and screamed was last year when I qualified. But there is a huge difference between this year and last year; last year I didn't expect to go, it just happened. This year I worked, focused, and knew I could do it. And guess what...
I did it.
     My 60 meter time was a 7.80 and my 200 meter time was a 25.99. I broke my own school record in the 200 meter and tied my 60 meter time. I was 0.3 seconds off of nationals for the 200 meter but I am completely okay with that. I made the qualification in the 60 meter dash, and that was where my heart was. This past week I was also nominated Red Lion Athlete of the Week in my collegiate conference for my race performances. I now wait for Monday to travel to Geneva, Ohio for the national championships where I will compete Friday. 
Sorry for all of the typos! It is definitely time to get ready for class! AND proof read my paper :) 

Remember Deb? She was my first friend on campus my freshmen year. Her, Rachel, and I have been best friends since the third day of college. She qualified for nationals in the high jump. What a perfect way to end out indoor season of collegiate track and field. Ohio, you better be ready because we are unstoppable.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Where Does Your Strength Lie?

     I am sitting in my kitchen, near my window of course, able to blog. The truth is that I have had time to blog but with so many things happening around me there were times when I could not write. A glimpse of what has happened is...
-All three of my graduate applications are submitted. Now I play the waiting game for a couple of months. Talk about nerve racking! 
-Christmas break has come and gone. The break was full of unexpected surprises and blessings.
-I have officially started my last track season. Talk about crazy...
-I am only taking 13 credits for classes! I can honestly say it feels close to Heaven to be able to not have a heavy class load. I do not have classes on Mondays or Fridays, but I do have eight track practices Monday-Friday, so I still have tasks that are exhausting that take up my days. Fridays are full of my internship work. I work under an equestrian assisted therapist and help individuals with mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. Together we work with horses to accomplish things such as boosting confidence, speech and body development, post traumatic stress disorder and so much more! I have never been a part of something so rewarding. Research equestrian assisted therapy and you will see what I want my future to be!

     Now I wait. I sit. I wonder. I get excited. I fear. I second guess. I am proud. I re-think. I move forward. I step back. I re-visit. I take chances. I take precautions. I smile. I frown. I sleep. I become tired. I am aware. I am blind sited. I am behind. I am ahead. Where does my strength lie? We live in a generation that is constantly changing. I ask questions that can not be researched because there is not a "google go" button in my heart. Questions are answered immediately by asking Siri on our iPhones and health is being "upgraded" by the swallow of a pill. Gratification is found from how many pictures are liked on one of our pictures from Facebook and something can be bought with money that does not actually exist in our bank accounts from the swipe of a plastic card. Where does our mind go when we do not have an answer? Where is our nutrition when medication is not able to help our bodies? Where is our confidence when someone does not reassure us that they like what we do? How do we survive when we are not able to have what we want?            When questions such as these are answered, I think we see a glimpse of strength. I think we can see an amount of confidence that God provides us with. All of these "things" on Earth are just "things." I think strength is being able to sit in a quiet place and listen to yourself; listening to what your mind is saying, understanding where your heart is going, and being able to navigate between the two. I had a realization a couple of days ago that I listen and listen and listen to what my mind and heart are saying, but I don't do anything with what they tell me. I just listen. So what happens to everything I hear? Well, what happens when you don't answer a question when someone asks you? They ask again, waiting for an answer. Right now, I am trying to answer what my heart and mind are asking. I can not only listen to my heart and mind, but I need to navigate them to the best of my abilities to give them answers. They may not hear the answer they are looking for, and let me just say that "I don't know" is an answer that can fulfill their questions. 
     Where does your strength lie? My strength lies in the hands of God. But where is God showing me the strength he provides? There is a divine answer to this question that I think only one person can answer, and that is you. My strength is in the hands of God, but where does he place my strength in my every day life? Where does he place your strength in every day life? Even the simple response of "I don't know" is an answer. "I don't know" is a starting point, and without a starting point, there is no beginning :)

Every Sunday a group of girls and I go to a place called, Waffle Window. BEST WAFFLES EVER.
Thank goodness for Waffle Window Sunday :)


Saturday, October 26, 2013

That Lovely Time

It is that time of year again. Yes...that time of year when I get brownies and milk sent up to bed with me, a bubble bath, and relaxation. Aunt Sandi and Uncle Jim have spoiled me rotten once again.
This weekend was a perfect weekend to getaway. Many people were leaving campus and lately I have had enough of Portland. The city is always wonderful and my friends bless me everyday, but these last couple of weeks I have felt heavy. Many things cross my mind and there are a lot of "to dos" on my list. So, what is the perfect getaway? Aunt Sandi and Uncle Jim's. If  you can describe the most relaxing and comfortable place, picture it and multiply it by ten. This morning I slept in until about 9:30, had a Bible study of Acts 11-15, and walked downstairs to a warm cappuccino. Not long after my delicious cup of love, Uncle Jim started making orange Halloween pancakes.  We ate together as a family and embraced conversation. I was able to catch up on homework, family time, stories, and movies. I love this time of the year. I love my family. I love this feeling; warm, comfortable, relaxed, and free from worry.
On my phone I have an app called "Inspiration." Everyday I wake up to a new inspirational quote and I love it. 
Today was "Little minds have little worries, big minds have no time for worries.
That fits life right now to the T. Lately, I have realized that my mind moves a million miles per hour, and it seems that the faster my mind moves, the less I get done. This is because there are so many things that need attention to be completed and when I have little parts of my mind in so many different places, only a little of everything gets done, leaving nothing accomplished. My goal for not only this week, but honestly for the rest of my life, is to take a deep breath, be realistic with what is going on around me, and go with the flow. I don't want to worry about a million different small things or even one really big thing. I want to breath, pray, and let things be. This weekend that is exactly what I did. I watched movies with my Aunt and Uncle, ate my brownies and drank my milk, took a nice hot bath (with bath salts of course!), and let go of my worries. I enjoyed the moments with my family and did not let the worldly worries take away from the time I have right now, in this moment.

Philippians 4: 4 
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Thank you Jesus, for blessing me with such an amazing family.

Uncle Jim's famous pancakes. Today, they were orange for Halloween :)

Sometimes you just need to put on fuzzy socks (thanks to Aunt Sandi!), love life, and eat brownies before bed! I know that there are brownies waiting for me every visit. It has become a tradition, and it is one of my favorite traditions.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Today, I think back to my freshman year of college. About three years ago, I was essentially doing the same thing as I am now, just on a different day. I did not start blogging until my sophomore year, but I remember as a freshman having open time around 10:00 a.m. and treating it the same way as I am now. I just opened the blinds to my apartment, had some tea, and started to write. I remember my freshmen year when I would go to the dorms after class, open my curtains, drink some tea, and also write. I am definitely a creature of routine. Even as time passes, I realize certain things that I do that have not changed since my freshmen year. 

Now that I am a senior, I still:
Drink green tea
Wear black leggings with long shirts
Write during my free time
Go to coffee shops to do homework
Drink hot coco whenever I can
Open the blinds or curtains in rooms because I love natural light
Call family between classes to say hello
Live with one of my best friends (my first roommate coming into college!)
Run track
and I am still addicted to my planner

...there are so many little things that keep me who I am.

But there are also things that have changed that keep me growing:
Mentoring people around me
Have the ability to just have fun with something and not constantly be competitive
Learning that even though my routine may break, doesn't mean that my life is ending
I can live on my own timeline and not everyone else's
Confidence in my work
Growth in my learning
Thinking outside of the box
Taking a deep breath and letting go of situations
and of course learning how to do laundry in a fast, timely manner.

All of these things are a part of growth.
Yesterday, I was at track practice. As a team, we were working on block technique and speed. To track athletes this is normal, but to people who don't run track, seeing someone bend over into medal pedals, raise their butts into the air and try and run out of the medal pedals as fast as possible looks a little crazy. I realized that there was an older man watching us practice blocks. When I realized that he wasn't only sitting there to wait for someone, but he was watching us run, I smiled to myself. I smiled at the fact that maybe he was remembering when he was a track athlete. Maybe he was remembering when he could run blocks, or how much the sport of running has changed....or maybe he just thought we were a little nuts :). For a period of time during practice, I just felt a little frustrated. I wasn't being explosive, I didn't feel fast, and on top of that I had to be cautious because of a recovering sprained MCL. But then I saw him. I saw a 70 year old smile while he watched us run as fast as we could out of our blocks. He nodded his head and just admired. In only a couple of seconds, my frustration was gone and he looked over to smile at me. Why wasn't I enjoying this moment? Why wasn't I in admiration that my teammates and I are able to perform the technique and speed that our bodies allow us to do? I think it was because I was so used to be competitive and being so focused in the moment that track wasn't fun, it became something I just had to do. After he smiled, I turned to my blocks for my last two block starts. This may sound like a "sappy movie ending," but out of all honestly, I let go of my frustration, thought about the old man's smile, and had the best two block starts of the evening. Before practice was over, the old man had left. I wanted to ask if he ever ran track or if he was just watching us because he thought we were crazy for running out of "medal pedals." 
But he was not there to ask.

Let me just say, I don't think those kinds of things happen out of the blue. I think those things happen to keep us going. 

Pay attention to the small things throughout your day, or even week. You may be surprised at what you notice.

Freshmen year, this was my very first track practice. All I can say is that I got used to not wearing makeup :)