The Wall

Posted: October 6, 2011 at 2:14 pm

This morning, I wanted to go ahead and share the second installment of the “Stuffed With Emptiness” series, which means I never got the chance to share my great time from last night. We had a good one in small groups this week. Starting with the quintessential fall food: chili!!!


Too bad it wasn’t really chili weather. We’re back in the 80s here. Oh well. Air conditioning has a purpose and I couldn’t pass up this bowl of delicious from one of our group members.

I love me a good vegetarian chili, but a hearty, meaty chili like this one takes the cake sometimes. I even topped the classic chili off the classic way with some cheese and a handful of Fritos.



My pants couldn’t resist either.


My fingers still haven’t figured out how to hold onto things.

And my TMI threshold still hasn’t figured out an appropriate limit since I just posted a picture of my crotch on the world wide web. Crotch shots…pregnant in bikiniscabbage stuffing bras…you get it all here, folks!

Moving on before I completely embarrass myself.


Last night’s discussion focused on the the topic of “faithfulness” – in the terms of persevering even in hard times.

In this past week’s sermon, our pastor shared the analogy of “the wall” that long distance runners face. The distance that suddenly wants to smack you down. The moment when you must decide to push on or give up. While much of our emphasis lay in persevering in our faith, even during trying times, I still couldn’t help but apply this concept to all areas of life.

It hit me that anything worth living for is HARD WORK.

Living a healthy lifestyle. Growing as a person. Developing a deeper faith. Training to achieve a goal. Being the best mom/wife/sister/friend you possibly can. Pursuing a passion. Loving someone.

All of those things we value most in life take time and energy. They often push us out of our comfort zones. They don’t always work out perfectly. They can hurt us. They can exhaust us. They can make us question everything.

You know what’s hard? Breaking through binge eating. You know what’s hard? Being a mom. You know what’s hard? Pouring yourself into a passion and having to sit back and trust. You know what’s hard? Having faith in something unseen.

We all have such things in life. But they make life worth living. We need faithfulness, perseverance, and commitment to reap the rewards. We’re made to break down those walls…and it will feel so good to come through the other side.

  • Do you like chili? What kind and what toppings?
  • What walls do you have to push through in your life?

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34 Comments to “The Wall”
  1. I’ve already made 2 batches of chili this season. It’s one of my favorite things about the winter (one of few…).

    And fritos is the BEST way to top it! I learned that in high school…

  2. I love, love, LOVE chili! Pretty much all kinds to be honest… It’s hard for me to choose a favorite. I especially love a meaty chili with Fritos on top like you had – that extra salty crunch is so yummy. It’s definitely starting to look like “chili season” around here – it SNOWED today! I’m not quite ready for the snow, but I guess it gives me an extra excuse to make lots of chili!

  3. Khushboo says:

    Love chili, especially topped with Greek yogurt & avocado! Great analogy of the runners’ wall. If something wasn’t hard, it’s probablynot worth doing. I like to think that in most cases, the effort exerted is positively correlated with the results/benefits reaped!

  4. LOVE chili! It’s one of my favorite foods. I like mine with cheese and onions.

  5. lindsay says:

    God never gives us more than we can’t handle, and by his strength we can get past that wall. Thank you TIna. I needed this gentle reminder today as our faith and endurance is being tested. You are one amazing woman, crotch shot and all! haha.

  6. Lisa says:

    When I hit the wall it’s often time for a break. Mentally, physically, whatever. I’ll take a rest day, or stop counting my calories for the weekend and just mentally recharge. It usually helps. Vacations help too. 🙂

  7. I love that you posted that crotch shot. I am ALWAYS spilling things on myself. My favorite was when I tried to drink Diet Coke through a straw after a dental appointment. My mouth was so numb that I couldn’t suck through the straw, but I didn’t realize it until there was Diet Coke all down the front of my shirt. Good thing I was on my way to work. Heh.

    “The wall” is such a good analogy for me. I always tell people that marriage is like a marathon — there is good and bad, there are struggles to overcome, sometimes you think you’re crazy for “signing up” for it, but if you put in the work, it’s incredibly rewarding. So I guess marriage can be my wall sometimes, though that sounds bad. 😉

    I can be my own wall, too. I have so many passions and interests that I often find myself saying “yes” to too many things. Then I’m overwhelmed, spread thin, and not doing anything well. Saying “no” (even sometimes to things I’d actually like to do) helps me hurdle that wall.

  8. Mellissa says:

    I could eat chili just about everyday, one of my favorite foods. Just a bit of cheese and crackers and I am good to go.

  9. Yum I need to make me some chili since i’ve been seeing it everywhere lately!

    Sorry how it got on your pants! I have a picture just like that when I spilled my water bottle all over my pants and it looked like i peed my pants AND did i mention i was at work!

  10. I’m so glad you said those were Fritos on the top of your chili. At first, I thought you’d gone all oatmeal crazy and put peanut butter on top of it. Ewww! 😉 I love chili with cheese, sour cream and Fritos.

    Running has taught me so much about myself and about my level of perseverance. It makes such a great analogy for many areas of life, my faith included.

  11. Chili is awesome! Such a comfort food. I can’t wait to start making it in the crockpot again. I love cheese on top of mine and some green onions.

    So true. It always gives me pause when people say, “but that’s too hard,” because most things are. But is it better to not even try something because it’s hard or to try hard and reap the great rewards at the end? I’ll always vote for the latter.

    I’ve found that when it gets hard is when you’re real character comes out, in how you choose to handle it.

  12. LOL – you eat about like me!! I think they should make bibs for adults 😉 I love a huge pile of Daiya on my chili and I also like to crumble up wheat saltines. YUM

  13. I lovve chili! Green onions are my fave topping 😀

  14. I’m a chili fan—especially if it comes from a crock-pot! I love the way it makes the house smell

    your tone and words have been such an encouragement & motivation for me today! thank you 🙂

  15. Tina says:

    I love chili! I like mine topped with cheese and sour cream…yummy!

    I struggle to stop binge eating, I fight to be a better Mom, Wife and Friend everyday. I have to remember to not be so hard on myself. Life will always bring challenges but once you get to the otherside all that hard work is always worth it.

  16. My fear of alienating or upsetting others is my wall. I’m afraid, sometimes, to write as I AM because I don’t want to upset anyone.

  17. I am the messiest person alive, so I hear you on spilling, haha! This is a great post, there are a lot of things i’m struggling with and it’s hard to move past that wall, it’s hard to keep going even though you feel so helpless and angry that nothing seems to be working. You just have to keep going and trying and remember WHY you are doing it. Positive thinking can really go a long way.

  18. Jess says:

    Wow. What a great analogy! And seriously, what a great way to capture what it is we all strive for – those things in life that take hard work, the things we’re all reaching for in life, balance, healthy living, happy relationships, etc. – all of these things take WORK but its WORTHY work.

  19. jobo says:

    OMG I love the crotch shot, that is hysterical. And I love how you captured this too…I won’t repeat what Jess just wrote because I know it scares you when we comment the same – hehe – but you are so right, and that is the perfect analogy!

  20. Bari says:

    Yum – love chili & topped with cheese and fritos is awesome.

    The wall – yep, I’ve crashed head-on into it.

  21. I love love love chili! I’m picky about it, but when it’s good, it’s one of my fav foods.

    As for the wall, I think work is hard. I’m not doing what I want to do, and it’s sad. I waste away so many hours of life for not enough $. But you know what gets me through it? The rest of my life. Just because one aspect isn’t how you hoped it would be doesn’t mean everything else isn’t wonderful!

  22. Kace says:

    I busted out the crockpot today, chili will need to happen soon.

    I love my recipe, which is a tweaked version of the rival one that comes in the box. Topped with sour cream, cheddar, and crubmbled corn biscuits : )

  23. Okay.. maybe I have been living under a rock.. but I have never heard of anyone putting fritos on chili!!

    It sounds wonderfullll though!

    On to the serious stuff,

    This was a great post. I really enjoyed reading. THe wall I have been trying to break through is letting go of control, and realizing that I do not control fate. I have been working and improving on realizing that I do not have control of everything, and I just need to be the best person I can be while letting God take control.

  24. My family always has chili on Christmas Eve before midnight mass 🙂 So chili has a special place in my heart!

    The wall I keep hitting (hard) is societal inspired wall that dictates the kind of woman I should be. I keep battling between expectations of who I am and what I should want versus who I really am and what I really want. As a people pleaser it’s hard to disappoint someone who wants great things for you but you only end up hurting yourself. And I think behavoirs like bingeing are a result of my battle with that wall.

  25. Lori Lynn says:

    I had never heard of eating Frito Chili pies, until I moved to an area in Kansas several years ago. It’s pretty much a staple at most High School sporting events. It was never something we ate in my family. But it very quickly became one of my favorites. 🙂

  26. […] I hadn’t had small group at church last night, it would have taken a lot of convincing for me to believe today is already Thursday. And now […]

  27. I LOVE chili, my favorite toppings are cheese, scallions, and salsa. I keep hitting a wall of trusting that I will succeed in a lot of aspects in my life right now, its hard to take leaps of faith and have trust in yourself like you said! It’s definitely something to think about and I’m working on it!

  28. I couldn’t agree more! Anything that’s worth achieving usually takes hard work…it’s the struggle that makes the success more valuable in the end.

    My wall is definitely working through my unhealthy relationship with food…and also having the patience and perseverance to allow myself the time to heal.

  29. I definitely agree that anything worth working atis hard work – marriage, teaching, being a mom (someday, God willing!). Your’e a wise woman!

  30. Love this! Love your TMI-ing self 🙂 Where did the quote picture come from?!

  31. AmandaCG says:

    As beautiful as this entry is, and as many times as I have come back to it for some of my own deep personal reflection….I crack up every time I finish the entry and read “Do you like chili?” LOLOL!

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