Tag Archives: Overboard Ministries

Against the Wind

I completed the couch to 5k (C25K) training program a few weeks ago. I absolutely love the app since it tells me when to run, when to walk, when my workout is halfway complete, and even congratulates me when I am done. It took me much longer than the allotted 8 weeks, but I did finish and then ran a 5k in 31 minutes.

The next thing I did after completing this training was a little outside my personal workout box: I chose to move on to the 10k training app. Because I completed the 5k training I get to pick up this new training plan on week 9. Whoa! I had completed all the training, but I anticipated going back to some shorter run times for a little while and easing into this new plan. Instead, the first workout was 40 minutes long (four, 10-minute runs), nine minutes longer than any of my previous runs!

Running is challenging for me. I am not very fast or fluid, but I am learning with each run how to better manage my body. In fact, I’ve been feeling like “a runner” during my last few runs – until my most recent run. It was my second time running three, 15-minute runs with one minute walks in between, so I knew I was capable of the task. However, I wasn’t expecting to meet such a foe on the trail:

Wind.

This wind was strong, unwanted, and for most of the run it was at my face. I was exerting a lot of effort, but didn’t feel like I was moving. I tried to settle into my pace and straighten my posture, but the force was too strong. I had a couple glorious moments when the wind was on my back and running felt easy, but most of the run was difficult. My mile times were 40 seconds slower than usual.

As I was struggled to run well I thought about my friends who are facing difficult circumstances. And I thought about my own difficult circumstances of the day (car in the shop – again; kid home sick – again; finances tight – again.) These difficulties are like the fierce wind beating against us – causing the pursuit of our dreams to feel impossible, causing us to want to quit – and it’s just plain hard!

I wish God would just calm the wind or turn it in the other direction so it’s at our backs (although I know He has done that for me before.) He doesn’t because He wants my trust. He wants my heart. He wants my obedience. He wants my growth. He wants all of these things more than He wants to make my life easy.

Mt 14When Peter walked on water in Matthew 14, the Lord did not calm the storm until they were back in the boat! Even after the Lord rescued Peter from near drowning, they walk together, side by side, all the way back to the boat took place IN the wind and waves.

God is by your side. In the midst of your raging sea and fierce winds, He is with you.

This blog would not be complete without this song: Listen Here.

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

Even – especially – when running against the wind . . .

Be Extraordinary!

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

My View through the Windshield

I’ve heard life compared to driving a car. From the drivers seat I can either view the road through the rear-view mirror or the front windshield. Anyone who drives knows that intently focusing in the rear-view mirror while attempting to drive forward would cause an accident, or at best a slow and swervy drive. If I want to drive well and arrive at a specific destination then I better be looking out the BIG front windshield. Glances in the rear-view mirror are good when focus is out the windshield.

windshieldAfter two months of processing (no doubt there is more processing to come!) I am ready to put my focus on the windshield. I am ready to move forward, toward a goal, at a quicker and more focused pace. We have not yet arrived at our destination, but today I get to share more specifically what we see through the windshield. And, even better than just telling you about it, we get to ask for your continued and/or increased partnership on this journey.


First:

I am continuing my work with USANA Health Sciences (my 12th year). The products provide the foundation for our  family’s well-being and have been so helpful in maintaining health during this particularly stressful season. The business side of USANA provides me the opportunity to have a flexible schedule, be home with the kids, pay off bills, work closely with Joe and travel for ministry whenever necessary.

Second:

In December, after about five years, I reconnected with The Healthy Edge. This is a great system and program that provides information and tools to continue on my personal health journey. I am also able to receive training and experience to grow my coaching skills and coaching business in an area I care about. In the past I did group classes with weekly meetings. Now I am focusing on online, Skype, and phone connections so that my location does not hinder my ability to coach and have classes.

Third:

As was shared in my previous post, Joe and I are launching Overboard Ministries full-time. This part-time dream is becoming a full-time reality. The small publishing company that began 4 years ago was never the big or final dream of Overboard. Joe articulates some of those dreams in this 10-minute video.

This video shares only the beginning. There are also dreams for ministry centers in multiple locations, and the viral spread and multiplication of Overboard living. This is why we are launching a 6-week initiative (through April 30, 2015) to raise financial and prayer support. This support will allow us to transition quickly into working Overboard full-time, rather than part-time as we have for the past 4 years.


Sometimes it takes a while to have real clarity about goals, dreams, and the future. For us, I think the clarity has been there, but there was uncertainty and fear about how to take that leap out of the boat (how to truly go Overboard)! Well, here we are. We took the leap and we are trusting with full-faith that everything we need physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and financially WILL be provided! It is already happening!

Be Extraordinary! . . . It’s worth it!

 

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Closing One Door

This past week has been incredibly full. Full of packing, cleaning, sorting, storing, remembering, laughing, crying, and saying farewell. We are now fully in transition.

Closing DoorsYesterday we drove with the kids through the camp property sharing memories of our two years (exactly 2 years!) in this place. We enjoyed so many new experiences, met amazing people, built lasting friendships, and lived deeply. We held nothing back and we have no regrets. Finally, we walked through our empty house then huddled in the living room for a tearful prayer of gratitude.

This sounds kind of dramatic as I write it. And as I lived it these past two months, it actually was intense. This chapter of our lives was both amazing and heart-breaking. So much growth took place in our entire family. The kids went to new schools, a new church, and lived in a new home for the first time ever.

*Celina learned how to ride a bike, become a rockstar reader, and learned to be more independent!

*Bethany is thriving in middle school, joined the dance team, and is becoming a young woman!

*AJ has grown in confidence, worked his first job (shoveling snow), and gone through a voice change!

*Joe stepped into a new role (after 17 years as a youth pastor) and I must say he rocked it! I watched him thrive and grow in his gifts of generosity, connection, and preaching the Word of God with power!

It’s easy to love all of the amazing parts of life, but I can honestly say that in spite of the deep heartache, I would never remove this chapter from our lives. It is part of our story, part of what God is using to shape each of us into the men and women He wants us to be. I am so thankful He knows what’s next and, therefore, He knows exactly how to equip us!

Many have asked where we moved since we are now officially out of our camp housing. As I said at the beginning, we are now in transition! Here’s what it looks like for the next few months. (If you want to read more head over to Joe’s blog.)

Dog-sitting Ruger is a sweet blessing for our whole family!

Dog-sitting Ruger is a sweet blessing for our whole family!

*We are house and dog-sitting for a couple in our church. They are in Florida until March 25.

*March 27-29 we will be in Flint, MI where Joe is speaking at an all-nighter as well as preaching at the Sunday morning service.

*March 29 we will leave for Oregon. We have some appointments set up for one phase of raising support for the launch of Overboard Ministries. Again more details on Joe’s blog.

*We return to Michigan on April 16 and will be living in a mother-in-law apartment of a couple we met through the camp until the end of the school year. This allows us to keep the kids in their schools!

*June 19 I leave for my mission trip to Thailand while Joe and the kids head out west. I will meet up with them after my trip. We have two nephews and one niece getting married in California and will also be taking some vacation, visiting family, and continue support-raising if needed.

*When we return in August we will open a new door at Starwood Ranch in Kalkaska, Michigan. Starwood Ranch will be our ministry location, housing location, and home-base for Overboard Ministries.

Thank you for following the journey, caring about our family, and supporting all of us through words of encouragement, prayers, gift cards, and even cash. You have truly been God’s love in visible and tangible forms.

No matter what chapter we are living, it is an opportunity to Be Extraordinary!

 

Check out some recent Be Extraordinary! favorites:

Springtime Creativity

Plant the Bulbs

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

 

Be Encouraged!

It was just three weeks ago today that Joe headed into a meeting that would change the course and direction of our lives. At first, it sent us into a whirlwind of emotions – disbelief, hurt, anger, denial, and uncertainty. The initial sting of being “let go” from our ministry was strong and the response of friends, family, acquaintances, and God was equally as strong. (Read more here.)

I sit here today overwhelmed by all I have learned about God, myself, and my strong community of positive and encouraging loved ones. Our family has truly been held up these past few weeks. We have received hundreds of texts, phone calls, emails, Facebook posts, Facebook messages, scriptures, quotes, and songs to uplift, encourage, and remind us of how rich and blessed we truly are. We are reminded of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and the fact that He still has extraordinary plans for our lives. And not just our (Joe’s and mine) lives, but for the growth, development, and future of our kids as well.

Today I want to encourage you with a small sampling of things that have encouraged me so that – in whatever trial you are facing today – you may also receive truth and encouragement.

So many quotes that I would love to share, but I will keep it to one powerful quote. This quote reminds me that who I am becoming and who I am is far more important than the circumstances that surround me.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t know that I can choose a favorite passage from the Bible. There have been so many that have meant so much to me each day these past three weeks. Every day I am in a little different space, dealing with a different piece of the hurt, or needing a certain reminder to keep me moving in the right direction. So here are a few:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Proverbs 3:5 MSG

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18-22 ESV

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 MSG

There are a number of songs that have blessed me. Here is one of my favorites with a few lines followed by the music video.

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held

 Casting Crowns – Just Be Held Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Another song that I have repeated over and over again speaks to God’s awareness of my situation. Joe and I had huge dreams, plans, and visions of possibility for this ministry and our part in it. We were seeing glimpses of these coming true in a short time (less than two years) so when the whole thing was halted it was difficult to see (and still is sometimes) that God has even greater plans for our future. He sees what we cannot see and allows the very best into our lives even if it hurts – He is Sovereign Over Us.

Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

Read more:  Michael W. Smith – Sovereign Over Us Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Thank you to all who have loved and continue to love on our family. We love you back more than we can express. And I still say with strong conviction that living the extraordinary life – regardless of the pain – is so worth it! And in Joe’s words,

“Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!”

Be Extraordinary!

 

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Joe’s 40 for 40 . . My Perspective

Joe bday cardsOn May 24 my husband turned the big 4-0! There are times in life when we take extra care to look back over our lives and look forward to what lies ahead. Turning 40 is definitely one of those moments.

I spent my 40th birthday on a beautiful beach in Hawaii with Joe and our friends Andy and Jodie. Then, twenty-four days later, I celebrated the next phase of life by donating my kidney.

My friend Danny celebrated his 40th birthday recently by running 40 miles with a different friend or family member each running one mile with him. It was a great picture of how we ought to run the race of life.

It took my husband, Joe, 40 days to turn 40. Joe took the 40 days leading up to his 40th birthday to write a post on his blog. Many of you read Joe’s posts and know that they were not fluffy little notes about his first 40 years of life. There were no short-cuts. Each post was filled with humor (of course!), events, stories, meaning, and challenge to live life outside the confines of the comfortable boat. You can read his 40 for 40 here.

Whether you read every blog post or not, there is something I’m confident you did not see. . . behind the scenes. Here is a behind-the-scenes glance of 40 blogs in 40 days from my perspective.

Joe lived these 40 days with incredible discipline. He set the alarm clock earlier and even avoided the snooze button. He stayed up later on many occasions. Sometimes this involved conversations with coaches, writing blog posts, or thinking through ideas. There were photo albums opened and pored through looking for pictures. (You know, the ones you remember seeing, but have no idea where they actually are. Oh, and not everything is digital!)

On top of the discipline of producing a meaningful blog post each and every day for 40 days, other aspects of life did not stop or even slow down. Joe did not take 40 days off from his job at Lake Ann Camp. In fact life around here is amping up with summer camp right around the corner. Home life did not slow down either. Kids still need their dad and he did not let them down. Joe and I are also in the midst of navigating one of our most difficult seasons to date. (Don’t worry, not marriage issues, but still a matter for lots of prayer!)

If it is importantIt is in the midst of life and challenge that I have personally witnessed Joe take on 40 blogs in 40 days. It would have been easy to do nothing because work is demanding, family life is busy, situations are stressful, and a number of other excuses. It is in these moments – when it seems most inconvenient – that the greatest impact happens and the greatest results in life occur.

This is Joe. He is not just telling us how to live the Overboard, out-of-the-boat life. He is showing us how to live that kind of extraordinary life.

This is not about writing blogs, running great distances, or giving kidneys. It is about letting go of the comfortable, ordinary, common life and choosing to live for something greater. It is giving, inspiring, impacting, and living bigger than we ever thought possible. It is making a difference first in our own lives and then allowing that to make a difference in others.

What about you? What step do you need to take next? Is there a challenge you are avoiding because the timing,  money, fear, or feelings of “too hard” are keeping you from getting started? The extraordinary life is not always the easiest or most comfortable life, but it is the life worth living.

Be Extraordinary!

2014 in Living Color

Resolve

How many times have you set the same resolution? Maybe you don’t call it a “resolution”, but you know what I’m talking about. We all have that goal, dream or resolution that always eludes us. We say, “this is the year, or month, or day that everything will change!” Maybe you reflect on the past year and realize, in one area or another, that you are in the same place you were last year at this time. Or, perhaps, you’ve had a wake-up as Alfred Nobel did (story featured in yesterday’s post).

If you relate to being stuck or feel like your life is going in circles and fear that you will continue to end up in the same place over and over, then it is time to write a different story. My friend in business, Melissa, often reminds people that “your past does not define your future”. The story of 2013 does not have to be the story of 2014. Just like Alfred Nobel, you too can choose something different.

Here are three steps that I am using to help write a different story in my life and hopefully they will help you write the story you dream of too!

1) Know your commitment and commit to the process. One of my resolves for 2014 is to be healthy and release weight. If healthy is the story I want to create then I better be committed and know clearly the process I am committed to. I will not arrive at healthy without making choices that reflect my commitment. Some of these choices are putting healthy food in my mouth; stocking the fridge with healthy, whole foods; filling my purse and car with shakes and bars for those times I am on the run; exercising regularly; and communicating with my accountability partners. I know what it takes to be healthy, but in order to really achieve healthy I must commit to the process.

Color changes everything2) Paint your story in living color. Tony, my business and life coach, is a master of painting life pictures. When he describes living in financial freedom, for example, it comes to life and I can visualize, feel, smell, and touch each piece as if I am actually living financially free. That kind of clarity is necessary if we are going to pursue dreams. We must be able to see our story in clear, living color. This can be done by writing your story as it looks on December 31, 2014. When you get to the end of this year what will you have accomplished? Write it in specific, detailed, living color.

3) Be accountable. I avoided accountability for many years because I convinced myself that it showed weakness to need help. I didn’t want to bother others with my journey, but I also realized that my journey didn’t go where I wanted it to without accountability. The dreams that elude me are ones that require changing my actions and my choices and that is where accountability comes in. For me, the idea of the end goal is exciting and inspiring, but a few days or weeks into the daily habits my excitement wanes and slowly my choices return to “normal”. Accountability is key in order to maintain the changes until they become my new normal. (Joe will share more on choices in the next post.)

What story do you want to write for 2014? Take time before Part Three on Thursday to write out your story from the perspective of December 31, 2014.

The road to our dreams is not easy, but it is always worth it!

Be Extraordinary!

This is part 2 of a 4-part blog about the New Year. My husband and I are tag-teaming to create these special blogs, so be sure to read part 1 here, if you missed it. Part 3 will be at www.overboardministries.wordpress.com on Thursday, and part 4 will be back here on Friday.

%d bloggers like this: