Which way to go

Every day I’m walking this path- is it yours? Is it mine? Am I going the right way or off-roading? I know my love and faith for you is strong but I feel so lost and alone. I know you are with me as your love never fails but I forget that you are there and I try to do things my way. I’m forgetting to ask you your will, your way.

I’m saddened by the place that I’m in. All I see is disarray. I keep trenching forward knowing you are asking me to move and trust. But I find myself scared so much that it makes it hard to move. The air feels so thin up here, I can hardly breathe. Oh Lord, I ask you for your guidance, your strength. Let me see you Lord, I trust in you. I know you are there and will not fail. I need you God to come down and carry me for awhile, I am so very tired and I right now I just want to lean into you.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

The tightrope

This may be one of the darkest posts I ever do so fair warning before reading.

I was going to the title this I don’t know but as the words started flowing, this got changed. I was going to tell about how I don’t know what to do or how to move anymore and then my train of thought went to how Lysa
TerKeurst’s book explains the tightrope. But very differently.

Lysa talks about how hard it is to be on the tightrope and how you don’t want to go back but it’s too hard to go forward. When I read this book, I knew I was on the tightrope and moving forward slowly but moving. Today is quite different.

So back to what I was thinking when starting this blog. I was thinking that I was stuck, that every direction looked scary. That I am still on this tightrope but this thick fog has come in and I cannot see where I need to go. I see these glimmers of hope and inch my way but the fog takes over again. I turn to my friends in the light, they help me for a moment but then the darkness takes over again.

I turn to my Bible, I see the hope but I feel so distant. Lord, where are you? I need you right now. I read my Bible to search for you but I lost the words to pray. I feel a moment where I see the light, it is ahead. I start moving and another fog reigns over me. The rain sets in, it feels good to feel something, I move ahead with the lightning as that helps to clear my way but now the fog is more dense from the moisture.

I am so afraid. I could try to move forward but afraid I’ll lose my balance and where I came from is just as scary. I could risk it a jump and pray that this is God’s path and not the shortcut out but that is way too risky. Lord, I know you are there. I feel you. I see your light at times, I hear your voice in the distance. I need you Lord right now. I need you to shine through me or to carry me for a bit. I trust in you.

Psalm 130:1-2 From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Team Captain

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13
We all turn to this verse when something scares us and we need strength through Him to move forward.

When I look at team captain, I feel like people are saying, “her? she seems like the unlikely choice. Did she even finish last year?
I probably do seem like the least likely choice to captain a team that is looking to complete a marathon when I didn’t even finish myself.

But I think this might be the very reason that I am the perfect choice! How many of you are afraid to start because you are afraid you won’t finish? This was exactly me last year. I am not a runner, sure I like to run but that took a lot to even get started with that. I had completed a lot of 5ks but I am not fast by any means! And at the time, I had only run to escape the world and to lose a little weight while at it.

So to run 26.2 miles was the scariest thing that I could ever do. I had even thought earlier in the day, that I signed up, that my good friend running that same race was out of her mind for that journey. I started my running journey to the marathon with so much fear. Week after week of training with the group, I would look at these group photos.

I would see that I did not have the runner’s body. I still don’t… But each week, I would remind myself why I was out there. This was not about me, it was about these young children who need to walk miles each day to get water and most of the time it isn’t even clean. I really had to focus on this as I was the slowest runner out there and each week got longer.

I had felt bad for those who were waiting for me each week. But they were there cheering me on with a smile on their face. Truly amazing how much God shows up every week there. At one point I had injured myself, my sinuses got the best of me another week, and by this point, I knew I would not finish the race. Sure I went 20 miles but that 20 miles were just an 1/2 hour shy of the limits in the race. I prayed and prayed on this.

I was scared to even start and thought what will others think of me… I woke up that morning and put it in God’s hands. I totally didn’t start out the way that I planned. The excitement of it all got to me and I ran too fast. So I got slower and slower until the point that I got on the bus. But for those 12 miles, they were the best that I have ever experienced in my life. The support from friends, family, my team, and the crowds. Can we talk about those crowds? I normally hate crowds. They are pushy and rude… But oh my, these crowds were cheering me on. They read my jersey and literally cheered my name. When I was so far behind, they called out words of encouragement, letting me know that I could still do this. It was so amazing.

I had raised enough money for 43 kids to get clean water for a LIFEtime! How amazing is that? This experience had been the most amazing experience that I have ever had and now I want to share that journey/ experience with you. I will train again side by side with you and hopefully this year I will finish- nope, I am going to do this. Are you willing to step out in faith and help me get there? To help those in need; that don’t have the luxury of clean water- to get for a lifetime!?!

Hebrews 12:1 is a verse I constantly went back to while on this journey. “Since we have a huge crowd of witnesses, let us strip down the weight that slows us down. And let us run with endurance the race God had set before us.” Are you ready to strip that weight of fear and witness to those around you God’s great love? Are you ready to run?

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Goodbye 2018 Hello 2019

I know I’ve talked about this before but I think it bears repeating. Each year brings on new opportunities and will bring on some level of heartache. It is what you decide to do with each is what matters the most. I do believe in goal-setting, not so much resolutions. You should be constantly reviewing and setting your goals throughout the year and not just because a new year has started. Do you look at the end of year year with contentment because it did not go the way you imagined when it started out?

It is so easy to focus on all the negative. I see so many people that are ready to smash 2018 out of their history. There are moments from this year that I would love to say the same and over the last 2 weeks may have felt a certain level of disdain for it. I’ve had a lot of things go wrong that I could really be focused on especially with this unexplained neck pain for 2, almost 3 weeks now.

I could be focused on the fact that I set out to do a marathon and had to stop after 12 miles. I could be focused on the fact that someone close to me attempted suicide a few weeks ago. I could be focused on all my health issues or the fact that I’ve been living in the complacency to avoid all tough matters in the family. Which I believe is what caused all the stress that lead to that neck injury- although there is not a definite answer on this.

I choose, however, to focus on the positives on 2019. No, I am not living in denial. I am living in the light that the Lord, my savoir, asks me to live in. So let’s look back. I spent the year training for a marathon. I ran further than I ever thought possible. I met new friends a long this journey and have learned new things. I am passionate about helping others for a cause that I didn’t even know about prior to signing up. And I made it 12 miles in a race that I wasn’t quite ready for due to some health issues. That freaking rocks!

I have discovered some things health wise that I need to keep a eye on and have a new perspective on what I’m putting into my body. The person who I am close with is now getting the help they need which will bring them closer to having a better year too.

I do have some definite goals looking ahead and will be flexible with these goals as I grow and adapt over the next year.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
—John 16:33
I have decided to be team captain in my journey to the marathon this year and will be working on my health. This is a continuation year but with new knowledge, I know my goals will be stronger. My focus word for the year is Change, as I know that I cannot expect great things without change and will be striving to a new me, made anew with Christ.

Where is your focus for 2019? And could 2018 have been better than you thought?

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Starting Over

This should be such a familiar concept by now. Get off track, gain weight, get out of habits, and then start over again. The will power it takes to start over each time is the hard time. You feel like why bother I’m just going to fail. I’ve always tried to keep my focus on health. At least that was what I told myself for the last 10 years. The 10 before that, I probably would have said it was for vanity reasons. The truth is, at least 1/2 the reason I wanted to work hard was for vanity reasons and honestly those don’t work for me anymore.

I had a recent scare in health, which there is no explanation for and I wouldn’t have thought it to be so major if I wouldn’t have gone into the ER. If I would have waited another day or 2, I probably would have gone through the same motions. Eat clean and I won’t have this episode again but then it would have been forgotten because I wouldn’t have had the unknown pancreatitis that appeared. My doctor believes that it truly was a gallstone that figured it’s way out without needing surgery. Fact is those come back especially if you don’t watch your diet and exercise. And I found out it is a balance between too much and too little.

Of course clean eating is a must. So here I am starting over again but with definitely a new goal in mind. And this time I can tell you, it is truly for my health. Where do I go from here? All I know is it will take one step at a time. Will be working on my Beach Body (stayed tuned- thinking about becoming a coach), starting over in my training for running (again more to come), and eating clean.Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

I was in a marathon

Notice how I say in and not finished. That is right, I didn’t finish. I ran 12 miles before getting on the bus. I am disappointed but yet proud. Three, four years ago, I would have said you are very crazy to even think that I would run a 1/2 marathon, let alone a full one. A little over a year ago, I was in awe of a friend of mine and at the same time thought she was crazy. The same day that she was running the marathon so was another person in my Church. And she had a message that came on the big screen at Church. She was bringing this cause to our Church. I discovered that day how there were children around the world who had to walk an average of 2 miles each way to get water. The water was not usually clean and makes the them and their families sick. They, many times, cannot go to school because they are either walking to get the water or paying for drinking it with illness. But they don’t have a choice. This is their life… except… that World Vision exists. Their goal is to help a village to get wells that provide clean water to all the children there and their families.

So how can I help? – run a marathon like this leader was doing. 12 of us signed up from the Church and started this journey. I ran every week 4 days a week. The training got longer and harder. I was in last place the further we ran. I did my first half marathon and that was a struggle but that had a lot more to do with the day than anything. After that was a 14 mile run that I rocked at. Then it seemed to get slower again. I got hurt on the 18 mile run- my own doing. Then the allergies kicked in and I couldn’t seem to get a good run in until the taper. Back to normal. I was feeling pretty good but still nervous about finishing in the 6 hours allowed for the race.

As the days got closer, all I knew was I was going to do what I could. Driving there and the crowds definitely had me nervous but we figured that all out. I got to the Church yesterday morning just fine. It was beautiful and the energy was electric. We sang, prayed, and then gathered for the most amazing clapping to cheer on our team. Amazing. Then our fearless leader said on to Saint Paul and it just got real- 26.2 miles ahead of us. We walked over to the start. I got into the corral and paced a bit while doing some warm up stretches. The first corral was released and then the second one. We were up next and there were a lot of people around me. My plan originally to stick with my 4 min run, 1 min walk. There were so many people around me and I really didn’t want to start walking with them all there.

I ran probably 2 miles before I saw 2 ladies who were doing the same intervals on my training. So when I saw them walking, I gave myself a break finally. Then I did that a bit, not my perfect 4-1 but walked when I felt like I needed a min. I believe this is what hurt me. I ran too much in the beginning and didn’t give myself the breaks that I needed. But the race I did run was exhilarating. There were kids all along the path that were counting how many high fives they could get. Adorable. There were bands playing and people cheering me for the whole 12 miles that I made it. It was truly an amazing experience. So, yes, I am a little sad, especially when I see my team members telling each other that they are a marathoner. I mean I am so incredibly happy for them for that accomplishment- just sad that I’m not a part of that team. I will be one day, just not now. I am so proud of myself for my 12 miles and bringing 43+ kids clean water. This is what I am passionate about and the whole reason I was even running to begin with. I would have said no to anyone else. I accomplished something so much bigger than I ever thought possible. I will continue training as I have been only starting from the beginning and working on my speed as well as diet to accomplish a better well being. I know that when I work on less sugar, I have less pain which will be what I need to keep going.

Next year- I have a big surprise to my running journey and I’m excited about teaming up again. Not guaranteeing another marathon but will be accomplishing so much more.Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Faith not fear

This is such a hard lesson. The “norm” has us wanting to be like everyone else. We want to fit in and fear that we don’t. This leads to other fear and as the punches keep coming, it is hard to stand in faith alone.

I have thought a lot about this on some level over the last 5 years. I talk often about the black cloud that followed me for years. It had consumed me in all that was going wrong and I had no focus on anything going right. It was a really hard life to live in.

I found the light and slowly over a 6 week Bible study found myself coming out of the darkness and sharing that light with everyone. Bad stuff continued over that time of living in the light and eventually, I lost time. I started putting other priorities first. I started saying that my lessons for Sunday School & Youth Group were enough. I had to prepare myself and learn it so that was good enough.

I stopped talking to God as much and eventually that black cloud caught up with me this last year again. It did not consume me but oh how it tried. Fear is there all around us every day. Fear of finishing a marathon has definitely has rode beside me this last year. Fear that my daughter will not find Godly friends and will not find that path that will lead her to a much better place.

Fear that I’m not good enough in anything!- marriage, work, mom…

I’ve returned recently to spending more time in God’s presence. Not that I didn’t talk to him or read my Bible, it was just sparse recently. You start to think you have it all under control (we are not in control) so you just talk and study less- I mean things are going good right?

This study that I’ve been doing has really spoken to me about the broken path and how to get back on the God- given path. About living in faith not fear. Something that really stuck out to me today that brought me to this post is “God does not tells that fear goes away- he tells us to be courageous, live without fear but does not say it won’t be there.” We need to stand up in our faith, live with God (He IS with us All the time), and know fear may be there but through faith (trust), know that God is taking care of it so we do not need to live in that fear.Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Only 14 miles

It is always weird to say that. Two weeks ago, I said only 12 miles. But then those 12 miles were hard. I ran/walked the 18 this last week. My feet hurt so bad and my mind was so done before my body. Getting this high in numbers is definitely a mind game. I do look forward to the 14 that I once dreaded this weekend but I do worry about the week/s that I have had recently. I can’t seem to get above 7 miles on my Tuesday runs and this week because of my feet hurting, I only ran 2.

I’ve been sick with my allergies so that is another hurdle that I have faced. I will run 5 tonight as I’m feeling that I can. It’s fitting through that my reading today brought me to not worrying about the future and focusing only on today. I’ve said that since the beginning of this journey but have found myself so focused on the upcoming weeks. Scared of these bigger miles, scared of my recent weeks and how they will affect me.

I do know I need to take a step back and focus today on the only 5 miles that I will be running and know that is all I need for today. Tomorrow is a different day full of all it’s own trouble as Jesus warned us about each day in Matthew 6:34. So now is the how…

I will bring my focus on what I am thankful for today. What I need to accomplish only for today and my Bible/ conversations with the Lord for today. I will still plan for the things that I need to (hotel stay, paying for the dinner, and things that are a necessity to get there) but only focus on what today’s tasks are.Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

I Wish (a note to my daughter)

Some days, I sit here and think about the choices you are making. Yes, all of them but the small ones really. Like when you decide to dress a certain way to impress or feel you can’t leave the house without make up. I want to scream at you (in the most loving way) that you are beautiful the way you are. I want to tell you that you don’t need to wear that to impress some boy.

I wish that I could say, I walked down the path that you have and trust me when I say you don’t need to. I have done things that I am definitely not proud of to impress “the right” people. I’ve only got hurt sweetie. The people who truly love you, love you in what ever you are wearing. They love you with no make up or not having to be someone that you think you should be for them.

People are hard my dear girl and if you spend your life trying to please them, you will feel empty and alone, even if you are with a lot of “friends”. I’d love to tell you that God is the only one who can make you feel not alone and give you the security that you are looking for and that if you could only put your full trust in Him, you would truly understand what that means.

I get how hard that is because I’m still learning how to do that. I have spent so many more years trying to please others and not myself or the Lord that I try to serve. When you find the right person or even friends, they will make you feel like you accomplished something great together, not something dark. They will help you to shine light one to others. They will help you to look at this hurting world and go I need to show others that God does still exist.

They will light up the room when they see you and you will do the same for them because you are full of happiness and not full of trying to please.  When you are so focused on pleasing others, you forget yourself and feel rejected when they don’t do what is expected them to do. It hurts so bad and you don’t see His light shining through, you see hurt and heartache. Again, I wish I could tell you I’ve been there and you understand that it is true. That you could know that just because I am 23 year older than you does not mean that I don’t understand or that today’s world is different.

Yes, hunny, it is. I know it is and it scares me too but it does not mean I haven’t been there. It just means that we each had different struggles to carry. Each may be different but all relative.

I love you my dear daughter. You are very special and you will be a star shining bright for the world. Just know if you are happy with yourself because God made you who you are- very unique, just like me. People may not like you but who cares, God loves you. I love you. That is all that really matters and you let your light shine through who you are sweet child.Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

My first half marathon

Wow, what an experience. I read up so much on things to do while running over the last few months. Nothing you read will truly prepare you for this experience. It was awesome but at the same time for me personally very hard- I’ll tell you why, which I pray that you don’t have to experience that part.  This day starts out the night before really. You always prep for a race the day before. I kept telling myself throughout the day that I need to keep drinking the water.

That evening, we had a spaghetti appreciation dinner and it was about an hour from home. I didn’t get back to town until I pretty much wanted to go to sleep but needed to run to Target yet, as I still had to pick up my energy for the race. When I got home, I double checked to make sure everything was in order for the morning and went to bed. I’m not sure if it was nerves or excitement that kept waking me up but it made for a lesser night of sleep. If someone could please tell me how they sleep before a new or bigger race than you’ve done before, that would be great as I never sleep well before a new one.

I got up at 415 am to get my day started. The plan was to meet a friend and drive in together and as I was preparing to leave, she texted me that she had been sick all night. Okay, so now I run it alone. Well not really because I have over another 100 World Vision runner out there but really at this time, I’m thinking about 1 that I might be able to run with. So I think that because I don’t have to drive that little bit out of the way, I’m good to leave a little later. Regretted that later, as I really didn’t think about the parking…

My daughter came with to cheer me on with the other WV supporters- so awesome! We got there shortly after 630- wanted to be there shortly before. But at least we didn’t miss out on prayer. We took our running groups’ pictures and said prayer. Then off to the bathrooms. I wish I would have realized there would be porta potties just a bit down the road as the lines were long and this made it so when I got out, it was time to go and everyone already had taken place. I looked for the 1 person and couldn’t find her so I settled my self in back by “the last runner” pacer. I figured she had to be the 15 minute mile and I knew I would be good because I’m definitely faster than that. But I was scared to pace myself anywhere else.

The night before, I was told to enjoy it. Pause for a moment and take pictures throughout so I did that. So off we go. I found a nice rhythm.  Around mile 3, I started to see runners on their way back and this is where the amazing starts. Every WV runner out there is cheering every other WV runner on. I’m not kidding. you hear us screaming at each other the whole way. encouraging each other. It was so amazing. I felt like I could do anything and not just because I was being encourage because I wanted to encourage them.

I wanted to seek each one of them out and tell them how great they were doing. I kept running so well. Then there is that stretch between the 2 turn-arounds that it is just you out there running. Because, Siri didn’t like me screaming so much, my music was off. Which this was all okay. I got a lot of time to really think and talk with God. I got excited to see my cheer station at mile 8 and ran on through that to get some water right after. Mile 9 came up next where I took a selfie walking backwards so I could get the number and not stop. Yes, great talent. I took pictures of the river and other views.

Well then, after all the prep that I thought I did, my period decided that I was doing to much and it was going to be more prominent than it had been. It sucked. For 2 miles, that was all I could feel and I sat there questioning what should I do next. I continued on and finished the race. It was in those 2 miles though that I realized my strength. I was tired, messy, rained on, and mentally drained. I turned on my music and said, I’m doing this. I had this amazing crew at the finish line and the announcer was standing right there when I crossed. He heard them cheering me on and called me out by name. It was truly, truly amazing. I ran off to change (which in a porta potty sucks) but it was truly the experience this far.

 Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-