Fruits of the Spirit

This week, I am memorizing Galatians 5:22-23…the fruits of the Spirit. But I just don’t want to memorize this verse, I want to truly live it out and let it take shape in my life, heart, and actions. I’ve read over the fruits of the Spirit for years, and it hasn’t really phased me. It’s easy to digest. They make sense. They are all things that I know I should be. But as beautiful and straight-forward as these words are…man. They can be really tough to live out sometimes.

In all honesty, I have been struggling lately with fear, anxiety, and stress. Don’t we all, from time to time? I have drifted from being tethered to God in the midst of a busy season. I’ve tried to do it all on my own without relying on Him or looking to His word and example for guidance.

I lost my joy and chose to complain when things got tough, I wasn’t very patient with my sweet husband and I spoke words to him that were anything but kind. I’ve struggled with self-control, giving into temptation and choosing the easy way out of instead of exercising discipline and obedience to be who God has called me to be.

But, God being the generous and unconditionally loving Father that He is…He has been right there waiting for me to come back; to find my peace and strength in Him. So as I work on memorizing the fruits of the Spirit this week, I’ve written out a prayer to fill the gap of who I’ve been and who I want to be — to ask God for his help in making my heart a little more like His.

If you’ve been burnt out, stressed out, or running on empty lately — chances are that maybe you’ve felt a little far from God, too. Maybe, like me, you’ve acted in ways that you regret, or you’ve said words that you wish you could take back… and you desperately need the grace that only God can give. If you find yourself in the tension this week, knowing that something in your heart needs to change, know that you’re not alone. Know that God is in the business of changing hearts, and know that it is never too late for you.
Printable Quote Bible Verse Floral Sign by PrintableVerses on Etsy:

God, fill my heart with love for you above all else. Help me to have joy in all circumstances, no matter what the day brings. Give me peace that surpasses all understanding; I want to stop relying on things, people, or possessions of this world to satisfy me and I want to be able to rest in the perfect peace that comes from knowing you and trusting you wholeheartedly. Father, give me patience with others…and also with myself. I pray that I will look to you for your perfect example, and that I will be able to extend kindness to all people; regardless of how I feel or how they treat me. Jesus, you are the one who displayed true, pure goodness. I want to become a little more like you each day; I want to love how you loved others. Make me faithful and obedient to your word. I want to have a faith so strong and a trust so deep that I will not just profess that I trust you with my whole life — but I actually want to live my faith out daily. God, mold my spirit to be sweet and gentle. Help me to be kind and tenderhearted towards others, help me to be relentlessly compassionate. Help me to not cause harm or hurt to anyone but to heal, mend, and restore others with my words and actions. God, I pray that I exercise self-control and that I will be disciplined to follow you, to lay down my selfish desires and to give up what’s good in order to seek your best. 

Amen.

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Catching Up

It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve blogged – life has just been go, go, go! I hope you’ve been doing well and I’m so grateful that you take the time to visit this little corner of the internet. I thought I’d check in with quick and random ten life, running, and everything in between things to catch up. 🙂

  1. Family Time
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Waiting for the fountain show at the Bellagio

Over Easter weekend, Chad and I visited Adam and Keirsten in their new home of Las Vegas. We had a day and a half of sibling time which was a lot of fun, and then Chad’s parents flew in and we surprised them (they didn’t know we were going to be in town, too!). It was really sweet to have most of the Agostinelli gang together again. It was my first time in Vegas and it was so much fun to see the strip! I can’t wait to be back and run the Rock N’ Roll Vegas 1/2 all lit up at night (!!!) with Keirsten in November.

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Chase loved his new monkey from Aunt Keir! Ahem, I mean, the easter bunny.

2. This Song On Repeat

I haven’t been able to stop listening to Shepherd by Bethel over the past few weeks. It brings me such comfort.

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3. Over & Around

Since receiving the Hibiscus band in the mail a few weeks ago, I have been obsessed with Over & Around! Who doesn’t love homemade headbands with funky patterns to brighten things up? These headbands truly stay put throughout the day and even through the sweatiest and slipperiest of workouts. I wear my band for running errands, running miles, yoga, and everything in between.

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From now until May 1, you can get 15% off your O&A order by using the coupon code: RUNOUTSIDE. Find the perfect pattern for your noggin here!

Disclaimer: Over & Around sent me this product to review — but I truly would not promote it if I didn’t believe in it and love it myself! I’m proud and thankful to partner with O&A.

4. Girls on the Run

…is SO MUCH FUN! Our team has been working hard and our girls are almost ready for their big 5K race in a few weeks! It is so cool to see them progress a little more with their endurance each week. I am proud of them and have loved getting to know each of them! They are strong and brave and WAY cooler than I was at their age.

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5. Foster Care and Adoption

Working in this sector is a constant learning curve, but the best part of my job is hearing stories of other people who step up and open up their hearts, home, and schedules to love hurting kiddos. This boy is served by our organization, and his news story was shared in a work email today. I have not personally met him, but I am praying that he is adopted and unconditionally loved by the perfect family soon!

6. Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst

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I’m reading this right now and I’d recommend it to any woman. Even with very blessed, full lives with people we love and who love us back – loneliness happens. We’ve all been the new kid at some point, and we’ve all been rejected to some degree. And truthfully, friendships can just be a little tricky to navigate every now and then. This book brings so much hope and wisdom to those areas.

7. All Things Boston

Boston week is the best week, am I right? I’m so sad it’s over now. I really enjoyed getting to have the day off and watch Boston with our family on Monday morning. I love seeing highlights, instagram friends’ posts, and just all of the fun surrounding the beauty that is the Boston Marathon. But this moment was hands down my favorite.

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8. Lovely Words

Scripture scribbled everywhere around our apartment has been a constant lately. 🙂

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9. Next Race

I’m racing at home in June! Can’t wait to be back for this awesome festival where I ran my first full marathon. This time, I’ll just be running the half, but I look forward to doing it with local friends! And of course I’ll be going after that elusive sub-2 again.

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10. A little encouragement for the rest of your day. 🙂

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 Life can be messy and unpredictable and often times full of disappointments. God gives us exactly what we need in the moments we need them: strength to survive our weaknesses and a sense of freedom when we feel trapped by difficulties. -Floral Watercolor Theme -Different size options available -Frame not included -Instant download high resolution option #icandoallthings #philippians413

9 Boston Marathon Motivational Quotes http://www.runnersworld.com/motivational-quotes/9-boston-marathon-motivational-quotes/slide/3

Days like this I am just happy if I can sit upright, speed certainly doesn't matter!

Flashback five years ago and I was a completely different person when it came to how I viewed myself. I was unconfident, self-conscious, and insecure about who I was and my meaning and purpose in life. I admired others giftings & strengths and in some ways envied that "calling" or way of living. I wanted to do something significant, be significant, but mainly- I wanted others to think I was significant... this is where I went wrong.  I had someone in my life who always believed in me from the...

Sending much love to you this Wednesday! XO

Heart-to-Heart with Jen Hartmann

Man, that’s a lot of h(e)arts! 🙂

I am so excited for you to meet my lovely friend Jen. We met through the online running community and instantly bonded because she used to live in San Diego. She has been such an encouragement to me with running, as well as with personal life and faith. She is so incredibly kind, has a huge heart for serving others, and is one busy lady – so I’m so grateful that she took the time to share her story with all of us! Let’s dive right in to our interview.

SGMG: Jen, thanks so much for joining me for a Heart-to-Heart! It’s a bummer that you moved out of San Diego before I came to it…I wish we could be having this coffee date in real life! You are one of my favorite “internet friends” because you constantly exude positivity, love, and joy and pointing others to Christ — it’s so uplifting! Please introduce yourself to any readers who might not know you.

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JH: Hi! I’m Jen Hartmann, I’m originally from CA but currently live in the hill country area of Texas.  I have been married to Chris for 16 years this May and we have 4 kids. Ben is 11, in the 6th grade, Abby is about to be 9 and in the 3rd grade, Sam is 7 and in the 1st grade and Nate is 4, home with me 2 days and goes to a preschool 3 days a week.  We have moved 9 times so far, can’t say each move got easier but grateful for God’s faithfulness in the ways He connected us to the community in each place we have called home. Being a stay at home mom wasn’t my original plan as I have a clinical laboratory science background but have only used my degree for 8 months due to Ben being born sick. God continues to refine me in seeing His plans are always greater and better than mine.

What’s your running background? Has it always been a big part of your life?

I ran a few 5ks in my 20’s but never had the interest to train for a longer distance. My love for running increased when I became a mom and purchased my first Bob Jogger while we lived in Boston. Living  near the start/finish of the Boston Marathon was very inspiring and loved the vibe of how the community came together during that time. Ben wasn’t a big fan at the age of 1 to run with me but the parks along the Charles River were a great incentive for him to make the best of it. When we moved to the hill country almost 2 years ago God placed it on my heart that I needed to spend more time with Him in solitude and stop feeling alone in our new home.  At the time I was following another blogger, @fitandfaithful and loved how Chelsy shared her passion for running through her faith in Christ. She inspired me to train for my first half marathon. With 9 weeks to train and had never run over 3 miles I knew there would be challenges but as I worked through Chelsy’s half marathon training plan God began to show me I really can do all things through Him when I rely on His strength and not my own. I finished that half marathon feeling really sore, grateful I finished that hilly course but could barely wobble to my car and thought that’s it for me. Satan’s doubts and lies didn’t settle in my heart too far and I felt God’s prompting to train for another half but this time be more diligent about strength training.

Way to not give up! 🙂 You are a very busy mama, and I love that you make your health + passion a priority, too. What are your secrets for balancing marriage, kiddos, running, leading YoungLife, and more?

I pray to prioritize each day starting with my quiet time with God first in the morning before the kids wake. I love Proverbs 31 Ministries First 5 app and the experience guide you can order that guides you to dig deeper into God’s Word and the principles being taught. I’ve learned I’m able to balance my days in a more joyful spirit when I get filled up with God’s truth and some coffee 🙂 before the juggling act of the hardest and most rewarding mission I’ve been called to, motherhood, begins each day. I feel God is still refining me in what full surrender is and allowing Him to ordain my days. I knew when we moved this last time I wanted to be more intentional filling my agenda with what God wanted instead of what I wanted but I too am human and get disappointed when my plans don’t work out. God is currently showing me more what it looks like to embrace disappointment, I’m currently not running due to a internal rotation tendinitis, hamstring injury.  For the first time I have had to cancel races and praying fervently to not allow satan to steal my joy, remain praiseful and trust where God needs my attention to be. I have this reminder on my fridge from Renee Swope.

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Your Instagram bio says, “Rescued to be a Rescuer.” What does that mean to you? Where does your strength come from?

Rescued to be a rescuer is what our Pastor from our last home church wanted each of us to know in our hearts. It was there my love for discipleship grew that has led me to volunteer for YoungLife. Jesus created us for relationships not to go through life alone. That word alone stirs up a raw part of my heart that dates back to when I was abandoned by my birth mother at a very young age.  Growing up not understanding the why for her choices wrecked my heart for 3 decades.  When I dated Chris it was through the love I saw in him and his family that drew me to Christ and to wanted to know why Jesus would want to call me rescued, redeemed, wanted, chosen, and beloved. I said yes to a relationship with God at the age of 22 but it took some more hard times for me to fully surrender at His feet that led me to want to go through believer’s baptism last November. Through growing in my relationship with Christ and studying His Word I began to see I wasn’t meant to carry the bondage of my unforgiveness by myself, I wasn’t meant to find my identity through my circumstances, by God’s grace our sins are buried with Christ and through His selfless sacrifice we have been resurrected with Him, to live this life not in our own flesh but through the Holy Spirit. Throughout my walk in my faith and through being discipled I began to see the spiritual gifts God has created in me and the ways He wants me to use them to further His kingdom and persevere through the mission He has called us all too, to follow Him, share the love of the gospel, connect with others and offer encouragement, and make discipleships.

What a powerful story! I love that you have not stayed stuck in your pain, but that you’ve used it to draw closer to God and to serve others.

What running accomplishment are you most proud of?

The running accomplishments I’m most proud of would be being able to share my passion to run with my kids and having the opportunity to do races with them as well. This has been the biggest gift in my running journey because it allows me an opportunity to show my kids what depending on God looks like. To show them where our true strength and endurance comes from. It’s our spiritual discipline where our physical discipline should take root from.

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Are there any running goals that you are currently working towards?

Last year was a time for me to explore different kinds of races and found I have a love for the trails and long distances. I completed my first marathon last November on the same course I did my first half, guess I kinda like the torture of hills 🙂 My goals for this year Lord willing, I would love to do my first trail marathon this June, so far I’ve run up to a 30K on trail, and my first 50k this November, which would be at the same road course of my first half and full marathon.

Woohoo! I can’t wait to cheer you on to crush that 50k!

What advice do you have for other #motherrunners, or for anyone who may be finding it hard to make time for fitness in the midst of all of life’s crazy demands?

The best advice I can give is to pray to be flexible. There is not one race I have trained for where I was able to follow the training plan perfectly and you need to allow yourself to rest in His grace.  Kids get sick, you get sick, injuries happen, family life is non stop, embrace the times God is asking you to hit pause and embrace the times He allows you to fly through the miles. Never lose hope, trust the journey He has you on because He is always with you and He knows where we are needed more than we think we do. I do think its important to carve out time for something that makes you feel alive that is just for you, that renews your spirit and recharges you to be a better, mom, wife, friend etc. but I pray to be aware I’m not using it to find acceptance, acknowledgment, contentment and joy, we only find those in Christ.

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Do you have a favorite Bible verse? What does it mean to you?

Isaiah 40.31 has been a verse God placed on my heart when our son Sam was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD 4 years ago. With 3 of our kids having chronic lung disease to say the least I was feeling a bit weary. This verse has given me strength to persevere through the emotional and physical stress through this journey and despite how uncertain times can feel He is always there to lift us up. It’s easy to get so focused on our concerns and forget our Heavenly Father is never lacking wisdom nor strength, nothing comes to us before going through His hands first, He empowers us when we feel weary, we just have to trust Him, remain praiseful and glorify Him. That’s my all-time favorite verse too! 🙂

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Just for fun, what are three things you’re loving right now?

One of the things I love right now would be gelato!! When we vacationed in San Diego in January we found a yummy Italian gelato place called Bobboi Natural Gelato in La Jolla, never knew how much I loved gelato!! They had the best dairy free vegan gelato I have tried yet. Wish you could mail me some 🙂 I haven’t found a great gelato place near us yet but I’m on the hunt for one. A second love is a cook book I recently bought, Run Fast Eat Slow, all the recipes have been amazing and have never been much of a cook, till now :), make the superhero muffins first!!  And a third and most favorite love would be meeting at small town coffee shops. My heart thrives off of friendships, community and coffee 🙂

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Oddly enough, I have been to Bobboi in La Jolla! Their vegan gelato is fantastic! If you ever visit San Diego, be sure to take Jen’s advice and put this stop on your list!

Jen, thank you SO much for taking the time to share your heart with me. I have been so uplifted by your story and by your true love for Jesus and I know it will encourage so many readers. Much love to you and your family!

You can connect with Jen on Instagram: @jenchartmann

To catch up on previous Heart-to-Hearts, click here.

Weekend Recap: Hello, April!

Hello, April! (And no, I mean April the month, not the giraffe, though I have been pretty addicted to the live stream lately. Are we sure that girl is even pregnant?)

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I hope that you had a wonderful weekend! We were lucky to have a long weekend, and both Chad and I had Friday off from work. We made the most of it by waking up early to beat the crowds at Mount Woodson, home of the famous Potato Chip Rock at it’s peak.

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So popular, in fact, that on weekends, people wait in line for TWO HOURS to get a picture on the rock. We only had to wait two minutes!
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It was a beautiful 7-mile hike roundtrip! This marked hike #22 of the 52 Hike Challenge. 
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Brave Chad. 🙂

We celebrated with a post-hike Hawaiian lunch, and then legitimately napped the rest of the day. There’s no better sleep than that on a sunny afternoon, after a workout, hike, or a race, am I right?

Later that evening we went to see a play at the Old Globe (tickets courtesy of work!). It wasn’t a play that we would normally see, but we really enjoyed it and loved getting to see the historic theater for the first time, and stroll around world-famous Balboa Park at twilight.

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Saturday was pretty typical for us – workout, chores, beach. I ran three miles on the treadmill and threw in 30 minutes of strength training afterwards. I’ve been keeping mileage pretty easy the past week after the Encinitas Half, as Monday (today!) marks a new training cycle. I’m trying the Hanson’s method for my next half and if all goes well, will use it this summer for the full marathon training cycle, too. Has anyone else had any experience with Hanson’s? Hate it? Love it?

 

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With a new month comes a new issue of Competitor at the gym. I loved reading about Galen Rupp and all things Boston!

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Tricked Chad into eating an entirely vegan meal after our workouts. He loved it. Win!
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Our go-to spot on the bay. 🙂

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Sunday — we had a mini-roadtrip to Orange County planned in the afternoon! I knew I’d be sitting for a while, so I woke up a little early before church to squeeze in a quick cross-training workout.

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We recently joined a new church, one that really focuses on serving our little beach neighborhood and has so much compassion for the homeless in our area. I love that — but I also love that it is less than a mile from our house! We can walk to and from church,  or to the beach after church, and it’s really sweet. We enjoyed a nice little stroll yesterday before hitting the road.

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The whole way there, we binge-listened to S-Town. Anyone else a fan? We have two episodes left – and I don’t want it to end!

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While we had fun exploring, the purpose of the trip was to see one of our favorite comedians, Michael Jr., perform. He was hilarious — and also has a really positive, purposeful message (I cried) and did not disappoint!

If you have a minute to laugh, here’s one of my favorite clips!

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And yes – someone totally GOT ENGAGED at the show! Apparently he had met Michael Jr. the night before, and said he has been holding on to this ring and waiting for the right time to propose. Michael Jr. offered the opportunity to have him propose on stage and even had their family members hiding in the audience. He worked it into a joke and the proposal was the punchline. I cried again. It was beautiful.

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As with any great roadtrip, a Starbucks stop to stay awake on the ride home is a must. I’m so glad there are more vegan options now! These cookies were delicious.

Another beautiful weekend in the books. Though homesickness can be real sometimes – I love the things we get to do, like go to the beach on a whim and climb new mountains and take trips up the coast. I am so grateful for this season of our marriage!

Go Outside & Explore // Travel Quote Phone Cases @seattlestravels http://seattlestravels.com/travel-quote-phone-cases/:

Wishing you a wonderful Monday, friends. Make sure you go outside and explore this week. 🙂

Happy Trails,

Charlotte XO