Christmas Gift Ideas

Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones. I hope your holiday season is full of love and grace. This year my family is focusing less on gifts and more on Jesus' love but we still do a few gifts here and there. And I am hard to buy for because all I want is peace and goodwill to all mankind!

With that said, it makes life tough for hubby when I say, nope, don't need a thing. Well I do want a Roomba so I am not pulling out the vacuum every day to clean up pet messes but that is way out of the budget unless I raise a lot of income through the affiliate links in this post.

But there are affordable gifts that I would love and I want to share them because I am sure there is someone on your list that may be hard to buy for, who has everything they need, does not give you any hints and is a hard as me saying, no gift needed, and you are like hubby and don't like that answer. He didn't even like my get me a gift card for my coffee or dairy-free cheese!!!

One thing that is great for all is Elk River Soaps - Darling daughter and I LOVE the bath bombs and they come in bags of mini bombs, each bag has six, or you can get one larger bomb for a stronger scent and color. They even have some featured holiday bombs in both a bag of "Snowman Poop" for $10.99 (they have the funniest names and the Monkey Farts - those bath bombs are an explosion of fun!), larger Christmas tree or Frosty bombs for $8.99, or a Christmas Spirit bar of soap for $6.99.

They even have so much more! Aromatherapy, wax melts, and all kinds of body care. Their Buzz Off for bugs was pretty amazing too and kept me bite free many afternoons at the stables.

All items are handmade in Missouri, have $6.95 flat rate shipping, and their website shows you a calendar with order days to get in time for Christmas for your neck of the woods.

Another great place to shop is Bondi Band and I have been running in their wicking headbands for eons and they hold up! And y'all, you can use EGFITNESS to receive 10% off (some restrictions apply such as they are already giving you a better deal). Seriously y'all, I love this company and have been purchasing from them since they were just headbands but they have grown to so much more - undies, armbands, hair ties, neck gators, visors, hats, and even weighted blankets!

I just recently splurged on their weighted blanket and LOVE it. I always thought being under the weight would be annoying, hot, uncomfortable even though I read lots of reports that they are good for so many reasons - ADD/ADHD, anxiety, insomnia and more. I decided to give it a try since my depression/anxiety has been awful this year and y'all, this blanket is like a huge hug. It can be found on their website under featured new but right now, I hear it sold like hot cakes and may be out of stock so if you can't find it, that is why. Sorry. But keep checking...it is worth it!

Darling daughter and I have also been crafting away and have a huge assortment of items available for sale. You can email me for availability and pricing if you see something you love after following this link but today I am going to highlight my lap throws.

These are perfect when you need just a little extra warmth or for in the car. Each are handmade with love, as are all our items, and I am offering the throws for $45 including shipping and handling via flat rate priority and you know that costs a bit. Each item is one of a kind so email me if you are interested or have any questions.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful darling likes to craft with me.

Daily Bible Verse: Let all that you do be done in love. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:14


Absent but not gone

I just found my way back to my blog and realized it is dangerously close to one month since I last blogged. This was not my intention but to be completely honest and transparent, it has been a hard month.

It seems friends and family all around me are being diagnosed with cancer with some being more critical, more terminal, than others. This is taking an emotional toll on me as I feel so helpless and yearn to be a beacon of light in their time of struggle. It can be incredibly hard when you live on an island in the middle of the Pacific and family is thousands of miles away.

On the bright side, I have joined a Healing Ministry at my parish as part of the leading team and we meet weekly on Monday evenings at the church to pray for healing for ourselves and others. On the 20th we were blessed with so many coming to receive healing prayers and I can feel God's love there. On the 20th I also bit the bullet and asked for healing prayers for myself - to give me the strength to overcome this nagging depression and anxiety that has been so burdensome this year. I know I am not alone and I offer up my suffering for God to do His glorious work and pray that my hurting can help others.

If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen the start of my #depressionandanxietyawareness campaign that I am hosting there and on my personal facebook page. I know holidays can be tough for so many and I pray that somehow this can bring some relief to at least one soul in pain. And for me, it is easier to tweet when I feel strained than to pull together a coherent blog post.

But this journey of mine has not been lost without golden glimpses here and there. Through this sometimes dark and dreary path I am finding so many shimmering gems of insight, words of wisdom, and purpose in life. I feel I am becoming smaller in a good way and that means, my goals or inner drive is being redirected to what matters most. I can see how scars in the past, desire to just be loved, has led me to make bad decisions and how those can snowball and leave you somewhere cold and barren. I am also finding my way out.

Call it odd, but somehow my running rut is making me stronger...emotionally and spiritually...although I would be lying if I said I don't care if my running strength and speed ever comes back. I do want that. But I also see how this slowed down time has allowed inner reflection on how many things I have done to please others, to feel loved, to be more lovable, and they amount to nothing at all but empty attempts to find an inner peace that material things, time on the clock, or other actions haven't and never can fill. Life is so much more. True love is so much more. True love does not care how much you weigh, what your hair looks like, what you are wearing, or how fast you can run a mile. True love is unconditional and y'all, that is really, really cool. True love is the love of a child, child-like love, giving, soul soothing, unconditional love. God's love.

So I may be absent from time to time but I am not gone. I am finding my way through this crazy journey of life and finding the beauty among the thorns of reality.

Please join me on twitter to follow #depressionandanxietyawareness and please retweet when your heart pulls you to as I truly feel we can do wonderful things together. Here are some of the post images:

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my life's struggles.

Daily Bible Verse: Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. ~ Romans 12:10 ESV


Mission Complete: Hadrian's Wall

Things have been crazy busy in my life but somehow I managed to complete a virtual mission of running Hadrian's Wall in less time than predicted. Yay me! I knew running was becoming bit of a challenge for me so I selected a mission that was doable but yet pushed me, 90 miles for Toby.

Who's Toby?

Toby is an amazing little boy in Nebraska who I run for. We were matched in the I Run4 Michael program way back in 2014 if I remember right. Geesh! Time does fly! Toby has Down syndrome so every now and then I will post some Down syndrome awareness posts and you can search for those in the blog's search bar if you want to learn something today. But right now, Hadrian's Wall.

Hadrian's Wall is the third mission I have done through My Virtual Mission. My first was a self-created mission where I ran from Maui to Nebraska for Toby connected our homes over miles and miles and miles. Obviously this mission took some time as 3,614.4 miles is a lot of running! After that I opted to do one of their hosted missions and tackled LEJOG and those 1,083.8 miles seemed like a breeze after 3,614.4 but I kept falling behind time after time. I needed a mental boost - Hadrian's Wall. I will post more on LEJOG later but if you want to do a mission yourself, follow this link and please use the reference code EG276. And yes, if I get enough referrals I get to do a free challenge for my buddy. Just saying.....and being honest.

And now for a little history - what is Hadrian's Wall?

Hadrian's Wall was built in the 120's AD under the direction/order of Emperor Hadrian as he wanted a wall between Scotland and Roman Britain. The wall extended from Wallsend to Bowness and in 140AD another wall was ended further north. The completed wall had 80 milecastles (small rectangular forts usually placed one Roman mile away from the next), numerous observation tours, and 17 larger forts. You can still visit the wall today and see remnants that are still standing in various locations such as Housesteads and Heddon-on-the-Wall.

Here is one picture of Hadrian's Wall (source)

I started my mission on September 8, 2017 to run the 90 mile course. My goal was to complete it in a reasonable amount of time, hopefully by the end of October with how my recent mileage has been.

Take a look at my recent mileage.....

I think you can see how August plummeted and why I wanted to get my focus back on. This graph is from Daily Mile but I have now switched to Strava. You can find me HERE. I made this switch mainly because the Daily Mile app is so outdated it no longer functions on my phone and doing the whole web updating, either via computer or phone, was too cumbersome. I want that time to go to fitness not logging in and other issues. 

I completed my mission on October 23, 2017 and immediately received this certificate via email and was prompted to verify my mailing address so the medal could be sent to me, which I always quickly receive and that says a lot for a girl living on Maui. 

All in all, I love these challenges and feel they are a value for the cost involved. I do wish this one had the post cards associated like LEJOG did but that is a story for another day. Stay tuned....

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the kind and loving heart of my daughter who truly shows me the grace and love of God. 

Daily Bible Verse: Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. ~ Isaiah 49:22


Marriage Post Round-up

Marriage is tough. It is hard work and I come across some in life who seem to have it down pat and some are struggling. It got me to thinking, are there some key elements involved in all of this? Of course, I have my ideas but I am asking you today to take 2 minutes out of your time to answer a quick 10-minute survey. All it requires is that you are married or have been married.

Marriage Survey -- just click the link for quick and easy access to the survey. Your responses are completely anonymous and I am collecting NO personal data, not even your email.

If you want to ensure you read the survey results, subscribe to the Erica Gorman Fitness newsletter.

Thanks so much and God bless!