Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Field trip to the pumpkin patch

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thirteen point one...

The feet that took us 13.1

My sister, Calist, and me

Hollie and me

This was the hardest run I have ever had,

The farthest distance I have ever run,

The biggest sense of accomplishment I have felt in a while.

On Sunday, September 27th, at 8:30AM, I started my run through the city of Lansing. I was feeling nervous and just okay. I was doubting that I could even do this and to top it off, my GPS that I was counting on using wouldn't pick up a signal. It was up to my mind, body, and clock to pull this one off. I decided against the pace group. I wanted to do this one on my own.

So, I started picking people to pass around mile three. It all started with a lady that wouldn't hold a steady pace...and that bugs me. I just started picking them off one by one. Before I knew it, I was at mile 6. I raised my hands up when I passed the red banners, knowing I was almost halfway there. I was feeling great and the trail run was beautiful. I think this is when I started praying for people. The song, Surrender came on my Seventh Day joke, I played it for the next two or three miles...over, and over, and over.

Around mile 8 or so, I picked a lady to pass and just before I got to her, she came to a screetching hault by a tree and started puking. I held my breath while I passed. Then, I had a big tall guy in my sights that I had saw at mile one who was sprinting and then stopping, sprinting and then stopping. I picked up the pace a bit and passed him. A few ladies dropped like flies and had to be assisted off the course...I didn't want to be like them. I passed the 10 mile marker and thought of The CRIM and how I could have been done by time was almost on the dot of what my CRIM time was a month earlier. I lifted my hands again, thanked God for taking me this far, and thought of the 5K I had left to run.

It was around mile 11 that I started to feel like crap. My legs felt like I had 20 pound weights slapped to my ankles, my knee was bothering me, and my stomach wasn't feeling too hot. This is where the mind games began. My body was telling me that I needed to stop and walk. My heart said, "You've come to far to quit!"

The next 2.1 miles were HARD. I saw the big buildings over the tree tops and knew I was getting closer. I back tracked on Forrest and played Surrender a few times over to keep me going. I had the finish line in view, Life is a Highway was playing in my ears, and I sprinted to the finish line. I passed three people and crossed at 2:21:47. It was a little slower than I was hoping for, but I felt a great sense of accomplishment...and a great sense of pain in my legs.

I headed to the water station where I met up with the lovely Calist who had finished a couple minutes before me. We sat on the grass, not beliving it was already over, and waited for Hollie. Before long, we saw her coming up the hill to the finish line.

All the hard work,

the sucky runs,

the evenings where we would have much rather been inside,

the mornings where we would have much rather been sleeping,

the aches,

the pains,

the exhaustion,

the runs in the rain,

the swallowed bugs,

the tears...

all of that for about two and a half hours of sweat, pain, and sheer enjoyment of a race run well...a race finished. Is it crazy for me to say that I am SO looking forward to next year?!

Calist and Hol, once again, this was a blast. I feel so lucky to not only have run with both of you last month, but to get a chance to have a "reunion" this month. It meant so much to have two of my sisters there with me. I love you, girls. Way to go on a job well done and another race run. I am praying that God gives us another year!!

Last race of the season: Pumpkin Fest 10K

Goal: Hoping to get my time well under 1 hour.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

On My Mind...

...and in my prayers:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

13.1 Here I Come...

I am so very thankful for God's goodness in allowing me to still be able to run the half-marathon this Sunday. I am crazy excited about it.

I have been gathering information and came across something new they're doing at this marathon this year: Pace Groups.

This will be my first half. My first time running 13.1. It's supposed to be rainy and mid 60s. I am determined to finish this race.

So, I am playing with the idea of jumping in a pace group on race day. I am gearing toward the 10:30 pace group, not only because of the time (I don't want to start too fast and not be able to finish) but also because the pacer seems like a really neat person and very encouraging. I think it would be a unique experience to run with a variety of strangers for 2 hours...maybe better than a playlist.

This Sunday we are having a reunion. It seems like the three of us just ran The CRIM together.

So, this will be my last post until after race day...we'll see what happens.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
~Hebrews 4:16

Wednesday and Thursday morning, I felt as if I was mourning a loss. I felt incredible grief and at some points, even despair.

Dan and I went in our room to pray together. Dan asked me before we started to pray if I wanted to "go big". My response was that I was just ready to go Home.

The verse above came to my mind. I felt led to ask God for just what we needed, the specifics. I felt Him whisper to me before I opened my mouth to pray, "You have not, because you ask not."

So, yesterday morning, I asked God for $1000 plus another $100 so that I can still travel to Michigan for the half marathon next weekend.

After we prayed, I felt an incredible peace. I was excited to see God felt strangely familiar...we've been here before.

God is no magician. He has no magic wand. He is not a genie in a bottle. My God, however, is all powerful and has told His children to ask. He has promised that although He has led us down this painful path, His ways our higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9) and He means this for good (Romans 8:28).

I want to testify to what God has done. Yesterday, in total, we were given $1100!

O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
~Psalms 34:8

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Holding on...

Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off. Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered...Remain spiritually tenacious. ~Oswald Chambers

I am not a quitter. My Dad taught me that you always finish what you start.
Right now, I want to quit so bad.
We got a letter today from IDES that said that our unemployment benefits have ended.
I am numb.
Yet, there is something deep within that keeps telling me, "You've come too far to quit. Pick yourself up and keep running."
The runner in me...
The first born in me...
The strong willed child in me...
The strong woman in me...
The child of God in me...
...makes an effort to stuff the pain of this race down to continue on toward the race set before me.

O God, more than anything, I want to finish the race one of these days and be able to say, "I have kept the faith." If I keep the faith, You will have a crown of righteousness waiting for me!
(Praying God's Word - 2 Tim 4:7-8)

Please remember us in prayer.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

This is my beloved, this is my friend.

~Song of Songs 5:16b

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget

I don't think many of us will ever forget that day.

We probably can all remember what we were doing...where we were at.

We can remember standing there in shock, watching the story unfold wondering if it was real.

We remember the pictures shown on the news and in magazines that are burned in our heads forever.

We remember the stories of other's(maybe even of our very own) loved ones that lost their lives that day.

We remember the police officers, fire fighters, rescue workers, and soldiers.

We will remember that our Nation was changed forever.

September 11th, 2001 : Never. Forget.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My name on a page...

I have done a number of them...Beth Moore studies that is.
I have done the study on John, Daniel, David, Esther...just to name a few.
I have also done the study entitled Believing God.
God reminded me of that study on Wednesday...

It's easy to believe God when the waters are calm in the sea of life. It's easy to believe when you are feeling God's blessings. It's easy to believe God when it's smooth sailing.

That's where I was when I did the study and I was sure I was believing God.

I don't think it's any coincidence that the very same day that I ordered the study, Breaking Free, my Father-in-law told me that he bought the book Praying God's Word for me.

I got the book from him on Sunday. I did not open it...until Wednesday.

I was low on Wednesday, but trying to just get through the day. I pasted on a smile for most of the day, put on my happy voice when people called, and fought back the tears that wanted so badly to fall.

I was sitting in my room alone, crying. I remembered the study. I remembered the little sayings in there: God is who He says He is. God can do what He says He can do. I am who God says that I am. I can do what God says I can do.

While going over them, whispering them outloud, I felt as if I was only giving lip service. I spotted the book over on my dresser. Just.Pick.Up.The.Book.

I turned to the table of contents: Chapter 2: Overcoming Unbelief.

I thought it couldn't hurt to start there, but how could I not believe God after a year of waiting on Him...a year of crying out to Him.

Before I go any farther, I just have to say, her name is Beth, my name is Beth. It seems to make things she says to herself, using her name, somewhat more convicting than if her name was Sue or something.

I started reading. Three paragraphs down, a few sentences in, I read this:

"Beth, I want you to believe Me." I was appalled. "Lord," I answered, "Of course I believe in You. I've been believed in You all my Life." I felt like He responded very clearly. Adamantly. "I didn't ask you to believe in Me. I asked you to believe Me."

I sat very puzzled for several moments until I was able certain that the Holy Spirit had faithfully shed light on my pitifully small faith. I sensed Him saying, "My child, you believe Me for so little. Don't be so safe in the things you pray. Who are you trying to keep from looking foolish? Me or you?

The prayer of my heart (taken from the book):

Father, I don't want to be like the ancient Israelites who were not able to enter the Promised Land "rest" because of their unbelief. (Heb 3:19) Help me to believe You and follow You to the place of Your promised land in my own life. According to Your Word, faith is being sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see. (Heb 11:1) Please increase my assurance and certainty of the things You've promised but that I cannot see. Amen.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gone Fishin'

A sketch my Mom did of the picture below...she's so talented (I guess having photoshop helps too). ;-)

My two little fisherman...they are following in Daddy's footsteps.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

That Day

September 2, 2008

A little after lunch time, the phone rang. It was a little strange since Dan usually didn't call unless he was on lunch. Late lunch, maybe?

I was numb. He said the words I was always afraid of hearing.

He said a few words that would change me forever.

I truly can't believe I am writing this post.

I was hoping that I would be celebrating today...reflecting. Waking up in the morning and casually saying to my husband, "Remember what happened a year ago today?" and then chuckle about it a little.

Can't bring myself to chuckle about it today.

Are we really still in this bad dream?

There's no forgetting the significance of today here at our house. There is no casually mentioning what today means...what happened a year ago today. It's a day we will never forget, especially since we are still living with the repercussions.

One year ago today, my husband lost his job.

One year later, still no job.

There have been times when I thought I had lost all hope, but managed to cling to a thread, a speck. I feel a little silly because there have been times that I have dreamed of having a party to celebrate a job on this day, a year later...the praises I would sing..the prayers I would shout out in victory.

I can't help but feel hopeless today. I can't help but say in a quiet whisper, "God, how much longer?" or "God, where are you?"

I have learned that it does me no good to focus on our situation, but rather focus on today and that God has promised that whether we are on the mountain top or down in the valley, He will never leave us there alone. But, no matter how hard I try, the 2nd of every month is a little tougher than all the rest...and maybe a couple days before and a few days after. It's a day we felt an incredible loss and it's been uncertain.

I have doubted, questioned, and been angry at God.
I have cried myself to sleep, cried so hard my stomach hurt, and cried so much that I felt emotionless when it was all over.
I have felt trapped, abandoned, and just plain sick of waiting.

I can't end this post, without first pointing to the goodness of God in this past year, despite of me. We can find His fingerprints everywhere and we don't even have to look very far. God has used this to change us. He has used this to show us that we aren't alone and do need people. God has shown us how blessed we are, how much He has given us, and how much we have taken for granted.

I am celebrating today...not for a reason I had hoped, but because of some of you who have come along side of us either by what you have said to us, the prayers you have said for us, or because of the bills you've paid, food you've brought, or for clothing my kids. Words don't seem like enough and we are so thankful for your choosing to walk with us.

May Dan and I never forget September 2, 2008.
May we never forget what God has done for us, how God has provided.
May we use every opportunity to teach our kids about God and His goodness, grace, mercy, and provision through this road we are walking as a family.
May we choose to forever say, Blessed be His name.