INSPIRED FOR MORE By Lori A Alicea

“Anything worthwhile is uphill.”
Author and Motivational Speaker
John C. Maxwell

Nothing is ever handed to you.
You have to work for it.
You have to wait for it.

You have to sweat for it.
Believe for it.
Fight for it.

There are mountains to climb.
There are valleys to survive.
There are elements to endure.

You have to earn your stripes.
You have to wear your medals proud because,

“Anything worthwhile is uphill.”
Author and Motivational Speaker
John C. Maxwell

After joining a gym membership six months ago, I thought my decision was only about getting in shape.

That mental neon sign vying for my attention with the big 60 was not a speed limit sign, but an upcoming age warning that if I wanted to squeeze every ounce from my life to enjoy with our ten grandchildren, I needed to embrace the motto:

Stronger for Longer
Pastor Dick Bashta

Interestingly, our setbacks are sometimes our setups for a bigger message.

In my quest to healthier living, my early morning ritual begins with lacing those trainers, pouring into those yoga pants I swore I’d never wear, and sweating for 90 minutes at the gym with sermons and music playing in my ears.

Morning after morning and under my breath when the early alarm goes off, I repeatedly coach myself with a motivational pep talk to lace up for the gym and imagine being fit and Stronger for Longer, though I’d rather roll over and sleep for another hour.

Unaware and to my surprise of an undercover setup, were strangers whom I’d eventually observe while walking the treadmill, while suffering the elliptical miles or crunching my abs.

Those whose setbacks didn’t limit them.

Those members of this gym who left their valid excuses at home, because these motivational heroes were,
Inspired for More.

I had to do a double take when I first saw him enter the 30 minute circuit room. This young adult was a new face from the regulars I had grown accustomed to seeing so early in the morning.  Trying not to stare, this new face caught my attention, admiring his confidence while walking through unfamiliar surroundings, beginning his workout with the assistance of a walking cane and a woman quite possibly his mother, as this gym member was blind.

Being new to the workout world myself and a novice of health and getting fit, I wasn’t naïve to believe that special needs kept others from living their life. I just never had a front row seat to witness someone breaking thru their limitations, someone who forged forward exuding the spirit of an overcomer.

He was an overcomer too, an older gentlemen who kept to himself. One who grimaced in pain while dragging one foot as he slowly walked from machine to machine, stopping every now and then to catch his breath when the pain appeared to overwhelm.  Regardless, this gentleman put in a strenuous workout as we all did, though he did so with a prosthetic leg, without complaining, and without excuse.

Just two regular guys I observe from the treadmill, both desiring fitness like everyone else in the gym, yet Inspired for More, had to kick their excuses to the curb first before lacing up their trainers each morning.

We all have excuses in areas of our life, though maybe not as noticeable as being blind or wearing a prosthetic leg.

Reasons we believe are valid and excuse us, yet limit us, hold us back, and prevent us from living our authentic life.

We all have the capacity to Inspire Others for More.

I’ve been Inspired for More by those who don’t let the excuse of work keep them from a workout before their professional day begins.  Losing sleep to gain a healthier life speaks the message of discipline and NO EXCUSES.  Before dawn, all walks of professional life give their time in sweat, then shower and leave the gym dressed in suits, medical scrubs, hard hats, etc., for which I tip my hat off to each of them.

I’ve been Inspired for More to “not give up” by those older or with more weight to lose than me, yet they are “killing it” in their endurance on the tread mill or elliptical.

I’ve been Inspired for More by the compassion of those expanding the fences of their “workout group” to include others, that fitness challenges be faced together and not alone.

I’ve been Inspired for More to value others like those at the front desk who intentionally strive to remember our names, to greet us by name as a personal way to honor us as gym guests, not as paying members.

I’ve been Inspired for More imagining that dream of running a race beside my son, a marathoner and ironman.  Though it’s just an experienced athlete running a fast pace on the treadmill, with me walking quickly next to him with miles behind him on mine.  Moms can still dream.

Might an overcomer Inspire Us for More.

Might someone pushing beyond their limits encourage us to embrace their motto of No Excuses.

Might we pursue “the abundant”,
“the fruitful”,
“the cup that overflows”.

Might we be Inspired for More,
to Want More,
to Believe for More.

Remembering though:

Nothing is ever handed to us.
You have to work for it.
You have to earn your stripes.

But be not discouraged by the mountain you face, as:

“Anything worthwhile is uphill.”
Author and Motivational Speaker
John C. Maxwell

THE FACE OF MOTHERHOOD By Lori A Alicea

Dear Mom,

For Mother’s Day this year I thought I’d give you something money can’t buy; a letter of words, a page of my heart, a tribute to the mother God blessed me with.

They say it’s always good to start at the beginning, our beginning.

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THE FACE OF A LIFE GIVER

Our story began nine months prior to ever meeting face to face.  Before my existence revealed itself in your radiance and glow, I was your hidden little secret.  You thought of me and pondered me, embracing me with a mother’s touch of your belly.  The hours spent wondering whose eyes and nose I’d take after, praying you’d count ten fingers and ten toes upon my birth.

I know I was there but can’t recall the agony of you giving me life.  The night of endless pain you swore would never end, but it did when I finally made my debut appearance.

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It was love at first sight for both of us.

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THE FACE OF A WARRIOR

Then there were all my firsts.  My first car ride home from the hospital, my first bath, my first night spent in the crib, first steps, first birthday.  All those Hallmark firsts you celebrated in pictures and jotted memories; a recording of my life to remember.

What doesn’t make the scrapbook should make the evening news.  You fought fatigue and sleeplessness from my midnight feedings and every other reason I woke you up.  When we both should have been napping, you stayed up to make sense of the house, cook dinner, maybe fit in a bath for yourself; only to do it all over again the very next day.

As I began to grow you fought my fevers, bandaged by scrapes and kissed whatever hurt as somehow that made if all feel better.  Your day’s work included mounds of laundry, toys finding their way back to the toy box, the fight to keep the scattered messes from taking over the house.

You do all this without awards or accolades, you do it for me.

When eyes fail to notice the hard work of a mother, be sure it’s seen by the eyes of God.

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THE FACE OF LETTING GO

 All you have to do is blink and realize how fast motherhood goes by.  I am sure you didn’t believe it in the beginning when you hadn’t slept in days and thought you never would again.  But when the kindergarten bell rang for the first day of school with me carrying my backpack and lunch box and found my assigned seat, mere sadness begged the question “Where did the time go?”  The walk back to the car without me surely stirred a few tears, as I am certain you left behind a crying child.

Kindergarten, whether she is ready or not, starts a mother’s heart-clock of “letting go”.  With every milestone from that day at the classroom, echoes of that ticking clock ring in your ear; a reminder that a final “letting go” is nearing when I take those first steps without you or your hand into my destiny.

It’s supposed to be this way.  Life is a series of letting go.  Like baby birds gradually being forced from the nest to test their wings, it’s a loving mother who prepares their young to fly solo.

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All grown up now with kids and grand-kids of my own, it’s my turn to wear the FACE OF LETTING GO.  Like that mother you were at my first day of school I ask the same question, “Where did the time go?”   Clocks are always ticking.  Time never stands still.  The years have weathered your face.  Hard work has depleted your strength.  The investment of your life has paid dividends in mine and all the others that came before and after me.  You are mother, grandmother and great-mother.  You took us to church, introduced us to Jesus, taught us to be mothers and did your job well.

You are LIFE GIVER, WARRIOR, and in many instances, LET GO so we could have.

Your children rise and call you blessed.  Proverbs 31:28

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WHERE DID THE TIME GO?
By Lori A Alicea

Like yesterday the doctor cheered,
A girl! Or it’s a boy!
So worth it all to have you both,
This mother’s greatest joy.

But all grown up the both of you,
My daughter and my son.
So proud of whom you have become,
A mother’s love undone.

THE JOURNEY BEGINS By Lori A Alicea

Thanks so much for joining me!  It is a pleasure to meet you, even if in the sharing of these words.

Through this blog it is my heartfelt desire to encourage others as according to:

Proverbs 25:11 NIV, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

May you find hope, inspiration or a “word in due season” today through the words I believe God has given me to write.

I take no credit as all good gifts come from God.  But I do offer myself a willing vessel for Him to speak through.

Psalm 45:1 NKJV speaks my true heart:

“My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”