Exploring the Deep

Passionately pursuing life, faith and adventure…

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Hole. Whole.

One letter is the only thing that differentiates these two words, and yet the difference in the definition changes exponentially by that simple change.

It’s incredible that so much hinges on such a small element that’s either included or omitted. It’s the difference between a gap in the ground and a solid surface. It’s the difference between emptiness and completeness.

Before one afternoon this fall, I’m not sure I’d ever noticed such a large difference between two words that are so similar. I was at a conference and listening to Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, as he shared about his book, “The Hole in our Gospel,” and what he believes is a glaring hole in Christianity as it’s lived out in the United State. Stearns believes what’s missing is an active concert for people affected by poverty and injustice.

It was as if I had been sucker punched in the face. Stearns was talking about a hole in the way people live out their faith, but with concern and action it could become whole. It was a difference that could be accomplished in one step (albeit a difficult one). You could change the complete meaning of a word by adding one letter. It was the difference between hole and whole.

How much of our lives hinges on the difference of something this small? Are there areas of your life that would take a 180-degree turn if changed by one simple (or difficult) action? Could one word make the difference? One sentence? One apology to a friend or spouse? One act of forgiveness when you don’t really want to but know you need to forgive? One moment of faith?

Could you discover the difference between hole and whole in your life?


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First Date #1

This weekend while I was out with a friend, I was retelling some of my “best” first date stories. Some of them are doozies and some of them are pretty lame. But time after time my friend was in stitches because of the scenes that I unfolded about each of these dates. I don’t consider myself a serial dater, but I’ve gathered enough good stories over the years that she began encouraging me that I should blog some of them. So here we are – the first of “First Date,” what I’m tentatively planning to be a semi-regular addition to this little blog. (That is until I stop having first dates!)

To begin, the story that sparked it all: First Date #1 (not to be confused with my first date ever…stay tuned for that story)

It was a perfect summer evening in Washington (you know the kind – warm, sunny and with a light breeze) and I was excited to be heading out for a first date with a great guy I had met. The plan was to meet at the favorite local coffee house then set out on a walk through the neighborhood and get to know each other. It started out so well. He was there when I arrived, bought me an iced coffee, picked up one for himself and we hit the pavement.

We were enjoying the scenery. The beverages were cool. Conversation was going well, I guess. First dates are usually fairly easy as far as keeping a conversation going. You want to find out the basics – where does he work, how many siblings does he have, has he always lived in the area, what’s his favorite hobby, does he like animals? I rarely have a hard time making conversation or thinking of questions. (I’m a journalist. Heck, I took college courses about how to ask questions!) But this was a unique evening.

So there we were, walking around the pond in the park, casually drinking our coffees and chatting. It was quite obviously my turn to ask a question but my mind was blank. Empty. Nothing. I was at a complete loss and begin to panic. Then I panicked because I was panicking. All I could think of was, “Ask a question. Oh my gosh, ask a question!” Still nothing. Then I think, “Run! Just run!” And for the quarter of a second that I entertained the idea, I imagined myself, iced coffee in hand, flip flops on my feet, running away from my date. Really? Did I really just think that I could actually run away? And better yet, that by running away that would have made for a less awkward moment?

So there we were, walking in silence while I rapid-fire thought about running away from my date. It’s moments like this that I’m grateful that although it felt like 10 minutes in my head, it was really only 10 seconds in real time. I’m also grateful for my date who took pity on me and asked a question. Whew, crisis averted!

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I can’t lose weight.” That’s what I thought my entire adult life.

A year ago most people wouldn’t have described me as overweight – I didn’t think I was overweight – but I’d always dreamed of being a smaller size. I didn’t want to slim down to look great in a dress or pair of jeans; I wanted to lose weight so that I felt better and more confident about myself. As a dancer, I had always been active growing up. After college I continued dancing but also joined a gym, hired a personal trainer and worked out regularly. I didn’t see results.

It was after I joined 24 Hour Fitness and decided to give personal training another chance that I started to see results. The combination of training one to two times per week with Christina, tracking my food on Apex and committing myself to giving it my all made all the difference. With encouragement and education from Christina about nutrition, what my body needs to succeed and how to make my workouts as impactful as possible, I started to see the pounds drop off.

Three months into my training I noticed a difference in the way my cloths fit and how I felt. Nearly a year after being my heaviest, I’ve lost 40 pounds, have a great education in physical fitness and feel great about myself.