“I lit these candles with you in mind.” This is what Rebbetzin Judy Scheinberg of San Antonio used to tell me whenever I arrived at her home after Shabbat already began. It took us 3 hours to drive to San Antonio from the Air Force base where my husband was stationed at the time. It was either arrive after sundown or not go at all. I am grateful for the Sheinbergs warmth and love for ALL Jews, no matter if or how they observed. It continues to inspire me. My teacher Mrs. Rochel Miller (www.jewishwomensmission.com) taught me that when a woman lights Shabbat candles, not only does it bring blessings to her own home and family, but like a pebble thrown into the ocean, it creates a ripple effect reaching farther then one could ever imagine. It is obvious to me that the ripple of her blessings reached me. The benevolence of The Creator is that EVERY positive action that we do counts. You receive the blessings of lighting candles (and bring blessing to the world) even if you do nothing else for Shabbat, and even if you don’t feel connected to God. It is your right. I will light tonight with YOU in mind. I hope you do to. Shabbat Shalom.
While driving one of my daughters to an appointment yesterday, I received a phone call from another daughter who had just arrived home from school. “Mommy, I need you! When will you be home?” Any mother knows that “I need you” is almost always followed by a plea for food, help finding something lost, money, homework assistance, a ride somewhere or the car keys. This call for help was different. She was asking me to coach her. She had a dilemma and could not get clarity on the issue. While I could have given her my advice, the most powerful thing I could do for her would be to ask her some powerful questions that would elicit her best thinking (not mine!) So filtering out my own motives, we engaged in a coaching conversation that allowed her to think, feel, and ultimately gain clarity on what she needed to do. Coaching always inspires me. So does my daughter.
Last October I decided I wanted to start running. I admit it….I was after the endorphins. I wanted to tap into that “runner’s high” I have heard about all of these years. I started talking about running and “putting it out there.” “Ask and you shall receive,” Right? While enjoying a festive holiday meal in our Sukkah, My friend Dorit started talking about her running. She was fixing (Texas word meaning getting ready) to run her very first half marathon, and she was ON FIRE! I told my sister Leslie (who has completed a few marathons, half marathons and sprint triathalons over the last 10 years) that I wanted to start running. An AMAZON box arrived at my door 4 days later with a book from her about training for your first half-marathon! I reached out to ANYONE who would talk to me about running and am so grateful that one of those people was Chad Larson. An IronMan triathlete and a real “menstch” Chad put me on a schedule to follow. First week? Five minute walk followed by cycles of 1 minute of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. It was hard for me to be willing to take BABY STEPS, but Chad insisted that I needed to TRAIN not only my legs, but my lungs. So baby steps, baby steps and little by little my distances increased. I decided to let go of my ego and avoid injuries and I adopted the Run-Walk-Run method by Jeff Galloway. I walk for a minute every 4 or 5 minutes and and last Friday I ran 11 miles! On May 5th I will G-d willing run my first half-marathon! Come cheer me on at http://www.heelsandhills.com. BABY STEPS!