Category Archives: Determination

Courage trumps fear!

I was hesitant to post anything related to the tragic events in Boston only because there has already been so much said, but I was so touched by the personal account of Linda Leonard Ambard that I wanted to share it in the hope that it might encourage others as well.

Courage 2

“Today, I was running the Boston Marathon.  I was the cheerful girl zipping through the marathon with a swish of her red polka-dotted skirt and a huge smile on her face.  I ribbed the army people working the course with my call out, “Air Power.”  I stopped twice to use the potty and I was but a quarter-mile from the end when I heard a loud boom, felt the street shake, and started to smell a smell I… never smelled before.  All hell broke loose.  People were screaming and sprinting away from the finish line.  The race immediately ended.  For me, a girl who was invited to run to honor her soldier who was taken by another terrorist on 27 April 2011, it threw me back into a spot where I immediately felt out of control, that my life was being torn apart, and I stood immobilized sobbing for again the terrorist sought to take yet another thing that matters in my life.”

“I find joy in running and I have grabbed my life back by running.  It is the singular aspect of my life that allows me to find my faith and to find happiness.  I am sitting in total disbelief.  How could it be that two potty breaks saved me today?  How can it be that as I was running to snub my nose at the terrorist that took Phil, another sought to destroy the hard-fought for happiness I have found.  It cannot end this way.  I am shaking and I am physically ill tonight, but I will pick myself up one faltering step at a time until I can run victorious once again.  I cannot let these vile monsters create any more fear in my life.  I just can’t.”

“There were heroes today.  I met a man who was an instructor at my training these past weeks.  He brought his family and found me.  He got me back to my hotel.  A nurse sat with me as I sobbed my eyes out and shook violently in the Dunkin Doughnuts store.  So many people called me.  My phone did not have reception, yet the singular two phone calls that got through were phone calls from people who came to get me.  My children were terrified and that is what hurts.  This event brought fear back into my family–fear of loss and fear of violent acts.  How can I fix the hurts in my children when I am right there?  I ask for prayers and I ask for some time to process this event.  I will find the strength that I fall into with my faith.  The terrorist will never EVER maim my heart, my spirit, or my drive to live life out loud.  Got that?”

Thank you Linda for sharing your story of resolve and courage! May everyone affected by this tragedy find the same resolve, courage and peace that only God can provide!

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
~ Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Adversity, Courage, Determination, Encouragement, Faith, Peace, Trusting God

Do something remarkable

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Courage, Desire, Determination, Inspiration, Life in General, Motivation, Wonder

Not just another marketing gimmick

I tend to be hyper-sensitive to marketing schemes and usually smell a gimmick rather quickly. And this sure seemed like one.

I’m speaking of one particular feature of the new bikes that Susan and I got a couple of months back. Since we were getting serious about riding every day for exercise and our old bikes just weren’t holding up. we went shopping for new wheels.

We started out going about 4-5 miles at a time but are up to anywhere from 12-16 miles. That may not seem like much to a serious bike enthusiast but we’re making solid progress and can feel the difference in our legs.

It not only provides good exercise but has given us another means of connecting – not an easy thing to do with nine of us in the house! And since we tend to ride in the evenings and live in the country we are seeing our fair share of beautiful skies and sunsets.

So what is this particular feature that immediately struck me as just another marketing gimmick?

The 21 speeds!

In case you are not aware, there are 3 gear levels at the pedals and 7 gear levels on the rear tire – hence the 21 gears. (Once again my math skills stun and amaze!) There is a little bit of overlap but still that’s a lot of gears; especially the lowest gear of 1 – 1.

Who in their right mind would need a gear as low as 1 – 1? Riding in it on level ground is like shadow boxing on a calm day – there simply is no resistance.

Since we live out in the country we enjoy our share of cascading terrain but none of the changes in elevation are too bad and if you keep your momentum heading into a hill it’s not that tough to get up the other side.

But then…

We came upon the mother of all hills! Since I don’t ride with a smart phone or GPS I don’t know the actual change in elevation but it is massive!

That was the evening I discovered that the gear 1 – 1 was not just another marketing gimmick!

You don’t go very far very fast, but you do keep moving and that is the point.

Life can feel that way sometimes. There are seasons when the pace is breakneck and it’s all you can do to hang on. But then there are times when trudging through the events of life can feel like moving at a snail’s pace. But any amount of movement is better than the alternative.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. ~ Isaiah 55:8

God’s purposes and timing are different from ours. Certain events or seasons of life go too fast for my liking and other’s go way too slow. But God is working in a rhythm that accomplishes His good intentions in ways we seldom comprehend at the moment.

When we get frustrated with what seems to be a pace that is too slow, we need to remember that some movement is better than no movement and that God is still working to bring about His good and perfect will.

So shift down a gear and keep pedaling!

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P.S. – The padded bicycle shorts are no gimmick either! Turns out they’re a real blessing in the end! (Pun intended)

© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Determination, God, God's Will, Life in General, Motivation, Religion and Spirituality, Trusting God

Intentional obstacles

Amidst all the hoopla going on in the Summer Olympics in London, England right now Michael Phelps is once again in the middle of it all. A couple of days ago Phelps broke a 48 year record becoming the all-time winningest Olympic athlete with 19 medals.

As amazing and stunning as that is, the back story is even more fascinating.

During a special segment delving into the his long-time history with coach Bob Bowman, we learned that Bowman has, on occasion, intentionally created obstacles for Michael Phelps.

Having the car pick them up late causing him to miss a meal before a race…

Stepping on his goggles so that they cracked and let in water when he swam…

Why would a coach do such things? Does he have a vendetta against Michael? Is he just sadistic?

Turns out that Bowman wanted Phelps to learn how to deal with adversity so that he would not be unsettled by unexpected things happening at critical moments. And that’s exactly what happened in the 2008 Olympics.

A few meters into one race Michael’s goggles filled with water and made it impossible for him to see. Not a good scenario when you’re trying to win a race.

But since Michael had battled through such obstacles in practice and in other races, it proved to be no problem as he went on to win the race and earn one of his many gold medals.

Chalk one up for the coach. But it’s not a new principle.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith   produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:2-4

Maybe those obstacles of life that push our buttons and stretch our patience to the breaking point are not just arrows sent by the enemy to antagonize us but are really intentional lessons designed by our Maker to develop our character and deepen our trust in Him.

Consider it all joy…

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Adversity, Determination, Faith, Patience, Religion and Spirituality, Spiritual formation, Spiritual growth, Trusting God

Indicators of God’s movement

We might never have known anything about David if God had not arranged for Goliath to arise between David and his kingship. It’s a compelling story—one day David was delivering cheese and biscuits and ended up killing a giant. The next day he was carried through downtown Jerusalem, with women hanging over balconies singing songs to his name. Would any of that have happened without a great enemy?

What would the nation Israel have been without Moses facing down Pharaoh before the great migration out of Egypt? Maybe those 450 years of slavery the Jews endured would have lasted much longer.

Even Jesus lived in anonymity until Satan determined that He was more than Joseph the carpenter’s oldest boy.

Here’s why I say an enemy is a necessity: There’s a Goliath, a Pharaoh, a Satan standing between you and who you are destined to become.

Enemies are indicators to you that God is planning movement in your life, and transition is right around the corner.
~Excerpted from The Necessity of an Enemy by Ron Carpenter Jr.

It may be a person.

It may be a situation or circumstance.

It may even be a social issue.

One way or another you’re facing – or soon will be facing – a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

Don’t just ask God to take it away or give you a way around it.

Surrender yourself to Him and let Him use it to accomplish His bigger purposes.

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Conflict, Courage, Determination, God, Religion and Spirituality, Spiritual formation, Spiritual growth, Surrender, Trusting God

Friday Funny! ;-) For moms!

For moms everywhere who do the seemingly impossible every day!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Children, Determination, Family, Funny, Humor, Just for fun, Laughter, Parenting

No regrets!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Choices, Determination, Life in General