John 3:30

“He must become greater, I must become less.” 

In church this morning, this verse was referenced.  As we continued through the service, I kept looking back at it, and circled it a few times. For some reason, I was drawn to this common verse that is quite often used.

For me, this means that to be authentic in pursuit of a relationship with Christ, that He must become greater. It truly is as simple as it is written. Is it easy to live this out? Not always. That’s what was running through my head as I circled the verse. Have I been becoming less so He can become greater? It was a tough one to gnaw on.

While an answer to that question hasn’t popped into my head with alarming clarity, something else did. I thought of situations, or rather, relationships in my life. Relationships of all kinds…family, friendship, acquaintanceship, work relationships, dating. The best ones stood out to me, and when I got to thinking why, it was because I realized that in those relationships, I wanted to become less. I wanted to put those other people first, and as a result, the best ones that I’ve had over the years are the ones that are strongest in my life now.

I’m not by any means saying I’m the perfect friend – if I’m certain of anything, it’s that I am a work in progress. But today, as I was thinking of those imperfections worried that I didn’t have the tools to be authentic in my pursuit of a relationship with God, I realized that God already gave me all the tools I needed, before I even knew I needed them.

“He must become greater, I must become less.” When put into perspective, making God greater makes life one that seeks Him, walks with Him, and lives for Him. And that life…a “Less” life…is the one that God already showed me fills my life with meaning.

Thirty

Second weigh in of the second weight loss challenge today. The scale read 212. That marks 30 pounds.

Thirty wasn’t the number goal (that’s 42). 212 wasn’t the weight goal either (that’s 200). But it’s 30. Pounds. And I don’t mean to brag (well maybe I do), but that’s an accomplishment that I’m incredibly proud of myself for. I lost two pounds this week. I haven’t had a weigh in like that in weeks.

It can get discouraging, especially when I lost 21 in ten weeks and then it’s taken me seven to lose the next 9. It’s frustrating at times, but then times like this morning happened…and it makes it worth it.

On another front, I started my 5K training today. I’m following this guide. Today was just a stretching workout, but it was more of a workout than I thought it would be. Tomorrow starts the first running interval, so we’ll see. Here’s my first post about it I wrote…I work for a great group of people that enables me to combine activities I like to do with my job. And I love it.

I’ve got 12 to go, and I won’t stop til I get there.

Challenge Cubed

A few things…

1) I have 11 draft blog posts. I didn’t want to edit or expand on ANY of them, so here I am. 2) I wanted to write this in my backyard, with my party lights on and my “Blogging Day” coffee cup filled with Gatorade. But then I opened my fridge and remembered I needed to cook the chicken and steak in there…so I here I am..
3) And finally…I am in the third day of my weight loss challenge, and I already messed up and ate a ton of french fries at Red Robin today. Two hours of working out later and here I am.

Challenge cubed. It’s a challenge within a challenge within a challenge (that’s cubed right?). As I mentioned, I’m in the middle of my second eight week weight loss challenge. I won the first one (more on that here, and here, and here), and I’ve lost 7 pounds in between the end of the last one and start weight for this one. This challenge ends July 3 and the goal for that challenge is to lose however many pounds I can by then. I have 14 pounds to lose until goal weight, and that brings me to my next challenge (challenge squared)!

Challenge 2 is to get to goal weight by Country Stampede, a major three day country music festival I go to for work. That’s 14 pounds in 6 1/2 weeks, so we’ll see. It’s about two pounds more than is recommended to lose by that time, but I can do it! I hope. We’ll see. I gotta get my sh** together better than tonight (I’m eating Hershey’s as I’m typing this) for that to happen.  If it doesn’t happen, then obviously that would be the goal by the end of the 8 week challenge.

Challenge 3 (cubed!) is to train for a 5K based on THIS. The fun part about it that also will help keep me motivated is that I get to tie this into my job! It will start on Monday and runs for eight weeks so will be over a week after the weight loss challenge. I’m not much looking forward to the running in the heat, but I am looking forward to videoing parts of the challenge for work, tying in other coworkers, and getting to write more for my job.

That’s it! More than likely, the blog posts I write for my work websites will also end up here, so I’ll keep you posted! I am excited, nervous, but mostly re-motivated to get myself finally to that goal weight…and then onto the next one

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A to Z Book Tag

Yaaay tag posts! This one was kind of fun on youtube, so I just decided to do it 🙂

A – Author I’ve Read the Most Of
Julia Quinn

B – Best Sequel Ever
The Golden Lily, Bloodlines Series

C – Currently Reading
Two by Two, Nicholas Sparks

D – Drink of Choice While Reading
Iced mocha coffee on a weekend morning in my reading room. 

E – Ereader or Physical Book?
Physical Book

F – Fictional Character would have Dated in High School
Harry Potter ❤

G – Glad You Gave this Book a Chance
The Hunger Games series 

H – Hidden Gem Book
A Little Something Different, Sandy Hall 

I – Important Reading Moment in Your Life
Collecting full sets of my authors and vowing to have their entire sets (Nicholas Sparks, John Green, & Julia Quinn) 

J – Just Finished
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 

K – Kinds of Books you won’t Read
Horror

L – Longest Book You’ve Ever Read
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

M – Major Book Hangover
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

N – Number of Bookcases you Own
Three plus two small built-ins 

O – One Book you’ve Read Multiple Times
All We Know of Heaven, Jacquelyn Mitchard

P – Preferred Place to Read
My reading room! 

Q – Quote that inspires you or gives you all the feels
“Always.” 

R – Reading Regret
Fifty Shades of Grey series

S – Series that You’ve Started & Need to Finish
Bright Young Things, Anna Godbersen

T – Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling
All We Know of Heaven, Jacquelyn Mitchard
Can You Keep a Secret?, Sophie Kinsella

U – Unapologetic Fan Girl For
Nicholas Sparks books

V – Very excited for this Release
Honestly, I don’t have a lot of books that I’m “waiting for” right now. I’m just trying to get through all the ones I already own! But if I had to say something, I would say the final installment to The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer. 

W – Worst Bookish Habit
Not reading enough nonfiction.

X – X Marks the Spot: Pick the 27th Book on Your Shelf
Princess of Glass, Jessica Day George

Y – Your Latest Book Purchase
The Magnolia Story, Chip & Joanna Gaines

Z – Zzzzzzz. Book that Made you Fall Asleep.
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck 

Batman & Jesus

This morning, I was up early…we’re talking way early, about 5:45 AM. Not my favorite thing in the world to do, but it was for a good reason. Church!  I got up, and I kid you not, before I even went to the bathroom, I went to my kitchen and poured some coffee into my biggest coffee cup, my Batman one!

As I was getting ready, I naturally checked twitter, and tweeted this one out:

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Yes, you read that right. I compared Batman to Jesus. Honestly, I tweeted it because I thought it was funny, I was tired, and it popped into my head as I was drinking out of my Batman cup. I’ve thought about it over and over today because of quite a few reasons.

Part of my journey with my faith is that constant worry about what others think about it. Do they think I’m a “good enough” Christian? Is it okay that I don’t ready my Bible very often and only have one? Is it okay that sometimes my only source of worship for the day, week, sometimes month is listening to K-Love in my car? These thoughts don’t come into my mind that much, because my church and friends I’ve met through there are the most welcoming and accepting people I’ve ever met, but sometimes they creep in. So you can see why these questions may have popped into my head since I compared our risen Saviour to a comic book character.

But THEN! I thought some more, and really….what I said wasn’t totally off base. Not when you think about it. Batman and Jesus do have similarities. Both were a source of hope when things were tough. Both had many followers and enemies alike. Both still have fierce, loyal, and faithful believers that gather together to celebrate their legacy.  As I mentioned in my tweet, both rose from the dead. So my tweet that was meant to be lighthearted and funny ended up being more true than I thought.

I know that one strikingly obvious difference between Batman & Jesus is that Batman is fictional and Jesus isn’t. But what I found out as I was going through the question of “Should I have tweeted that?” all day long is that it’s okay to draw similarities between nonfictional and fictional characters, especially if that’s what will grow someone’s relationship with God. For me, the most honest way to be a Christian is to be authentic and genuine in your faith through who you are. My favorite verse that’s on the sidebar of my blog emphasizes this:

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” –1 Timothy 4:12

My name is Torey Nicole Berndt. I’m 26 years old, have iced mocha coffee for breakfast every morning, and my favorite superhero is Batman. I’m also a Christian. And while my faith walk is a consistent journey that changes from day to day, I do know three things. I’m always going to need coffee at 5:45 AM, I’m always going to love Batman & Jesus, and I’m always going to keep it real.

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Finding God in the Ordinary

This past weekend, I went home with my mom to stay with my dad and see my grandparents. Two years later and that still feels weird to say.

Sidenote: My parents have been “geographically separated” for two years so I have two homes (three counting my own house) until dad retires in 89 days and they’re back in the same town. 

Anyway, I went to one of my homes. I haven’t been to church in about a month because I’m an imperfect person, so this weekend, I went to church with my grandparents. God works in mysterious ways, because He knew exactly what I would need to hear after my absence. Their minister’s message this weekend was about friends, and how they enable us to find God in the ordinary of life. It was incredible. It truly took something that all of us have (and often take for granted), and spoke of how, in little ways, something as simple as friendship can show you God in the little things.

Now, I got to thinking about this. My mind was racing through the whole service as I realized that the minister was speaking my truth, only I had to hear him speak it to realize that it was my truth. I have always been the kind of person that tries to find the silver lining, tries to believe in the good, and knows that happiness can be found pretty much anywhere, if you look hard enough. And what I realized this weekend, is that when I hear and feel and see my happy through my friends and family…I’m seeing God, and finding God, and celebrating Him. I just didn’t know it.

  • I heard God when I was in tears at my second showing of Beauty & the Beast simply by listening to the lyric: “Sometimes our happiness is captured…somehow a time and place stands still.”
  • I felt God when my dog rested her head on my arm when we both took a nap a couple weeks ago.
  • I saw God when I watched a video of my nephew rolling over for the first time tonight.

Life is ordinary. It’s full of ordinary moments. But through friends and with God….that becomes a life full of extraordinary ordinary moments. And those are my favorite kind  🙂

I Fell Off the Wagon…Then Got Tattoos

Honestly, I could leave this post with the title and it would accurately relay what the content would be about. But what’s the fun in that??

As you could ascertain from my most recent post, I. Did. So. Well. I hit my halfway point on my weight loss and WON my weight loss challenge!!!! That was on a Monday. Here’s how it’s gone since then:

  • Monday: Bachelor finale. Did okay. Ate a cupcake and one glass of wine.
  • Tuesday – Thursday:  Good job for Torey! I was just fine on my calories.
  • Friday – NOW: Ummmmm. I haven’t counted once. It was just supposed to be Friday since I was in KC with friends, but it’s turned into a whole long bad week of eating.

So now what? Well, I’m leaving on a jet plane tonight to go to Indianapolis. I’m not about to tell myself that I’m going to be healthy while on vacation. My friend Kari & I have already planned on eating all of the following: pizza / cheese breadsticks, popcorn, Oreos, cheddar sour cream potato chips, Mexican food, and let’s be real….wine. So I will let myself enjoy the weekend as a “last weekend,” of sorts. Because at the end of the day, my goal is 200….not halfway to 200. So I will start again on Monday! New challenge, new motivation, new rewards at the end of it (mostly my clothes fitting better).

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Nowwwwww to a slightly more exciting topic of conversation – my tattoos! If you don’t know me well, here’s a little tidbit about my personality: I am a goody two shoes who over analyzes every little decision of her life and doesn’t do anything unless it’s been very carefully planned out and the pros & cons have been weighed and measured with my family. This was a decision that yes, while I’ve been contemplating for five years, was made and done for ME without thinking about everyone else’s opinions. Here’s the results! 🙂

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They’re on the inside of each ankle. The Mickey Mouse head and lightning bolt are on the right and the sentiment on the left. I absolutely love them and I am thrilled with how they turned out. ❤

Off to Indy I go!!!