Monthly Archives: June 2013

A simple week. . . simply weak

My heart drummed wildly in my chest as I prayed, Jesus, I am completely desperate for You.

And I imagine the Lord thought, Good. She’s ready. Now, this is going to be powerful.

 My weakness wasn’t what could have messed me up. It was my strength.

The minute I start feeling absolutely confident in my own strength is the minute I am desperately weak … and I don’t even realize it.

We are only as weak as our strongest link. Sometimes it’s not our weaknesses that leave us vulnerable to attack. It’s our strengths. Those places where we feel especially confident, invincible, and quite able. -Lysa TerKeurst

This has been a ‘trying’ week for me. I have hosted Back Yard Bible Club, Tuesday-Thursday. Jack got strep. Ella got a double ear infection. (sigh) I remember thinking, I can do this. I am going to be fine. I can manage the tired-ness, the busy-ness. I can manage my emotions. I can manage myself and my family. Exhaling, I moved into Friday with the thought that, “I made it.” I took the girls to get their hair cut at ‘Divas and Dudes’. The stylist called me over and told me that she could not cut Grace’s hair because she had lice. Ugh, I am on day 3 of the lice diagnosis. I hope that she will come down this morning and be lice free. (fingers crossed)

These are ordinary challenges, even tribulations that I am guaranteed by God (John 16:33). It is only at this moment that I am writing this that I am realizing God has given me the necessary abilities to “handle” these things. Yet, the peace I can find, the heart I need to love my family well in these things is found in knowing Him.

I had the toughest run yesterday. Let me set the stage. . . The weather? Perfect for June 29th, cool breeze and mild. the time? 6:30 great time to run, because I got a bit more sleep than a 5:30 run, yet it was not yet too warm to be outside for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The company? Only the best, 4 of my running partners. The course? flat, shady. How did I prepare? Cold water, electrolyte drink, my favorite gu. What went wrong? I have no idea! It was just really tough. I designed a course for us all, 6 miles for three of us, 8 miles for two of us and 11 miles for me. At each transition, I simply wanted to cry. At about mile 9, my shuffle died, non-repairable. 😦 At about mile 9.5,  all I wanted was to collapse in the arms of Jesus. I’m not sure why, again. I just prayed, “Jesus, Mercy”. I finished 11 and was so glad I did. I wanted to quit more than twice. I could have easily quit more than twice. I am learning to know Him. I wish it did not have to take so much out of me. I just think that is what He knows I need to know Him closest, best.

Disquisition on Discovery

Lately, this is me, “lull in running, lull in joy/passion, lull in pursuit [of Jesus].

When I am feeling the farthest away from God, He draws me closer. . .when I start to question why I don’t have joy, why I am bored, why I am unmotivated, I can almost always see where I have gotten “lost on the trail”, “not noticed the flag hanging on the tree” and where I have “questioned the signs along the way”. Sometimes,  you have to follow the signs into the river, knowing that you are going to get more wet then you planned.

He does not stop pursuing. He does not stop showing me the best ways. I stop looking. I stop seeing. I stop listening. He’s made me for relationship and bringing glory to him. In order for me to thrive as a runner and reciprocate the relationships I am in, I have to know Jesus.

We all reflect Jesus, whether we believe what He teaches or are at a place where we are questioning what He teaches. I believe we will find joy in this life because He has created beauty all around us. I have some very precious friends who have abilities that might seem intrinsic to them but are extraordinary to me. It is the little things that they do every day that reflect the beauty and detail of God.

Some will tell you that there is a formula to get closer to Jesus. I say that there are times when all you have is a quiet moment. There are times when all you want is to be around a certain friend. There are times when all you can do is lace up your running shoes and move. He is in all these things. He speaks into the quiet, just like He did when He made the world. He shines in the smile, talent, comfort and beauty of a friend, because He created her/him. He shouts aloud with color and wind and movement as we run. Don’t follow a formula. Follow Him! I love how “The Message” bible translates Acts 17:26-28.

He made the entire human race with plenty of time and space for living, so that we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find Him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; He’s near. We live and move in Him. . . can’t get away from Him.

When I remember that being His daughter and His beloved is my first calling, I will find joy in all that I do. I can live and move to the fullest and not be afraid of ‘not finishing’ or getting hurt. There is also something so safe and comfortable (purging sigh) about His pursuit of me.

Risk-Venture-Dare

Part of my running life is becoming more adventurous and less tied to what everyone else does. . . more free to try being whom I want to be as a runner. Adventure to me is about going the distance in a 50K, not knowing that the river at the end is going to be up to my thighs on my 5’10” frame. Adventure to me is signing up for a marathon the day before the race. Adventure for me is abandoning my watch and my fuel belt for the first time in five years. Adventure is knowing it’s gonna be hard and choosing to go for it. To some, this may seem foolish. To me? This is adventure.

My husband and I travel to San Diego each year to run a race. The first Sunday in June is the San Diego Marathon and 1/2 Marathon. For the past three years, I have run the Marathon. This year, I did not sign up early. I decided to wait until we arrived to decide. This race usually sells out early. This year, it did not. I decided the day before to run the marathon.

Race day went something like this. . . I chose not to wear a watch or a fuel belt. I planned to walk through each aid station and stop at the bathroom, if I needed. I was planning on running a 5 hour marathon. Well, the weather was perfect! It was overcast for the entire race. The breeze by the ocean was perfect. It even drizzled a bit. It was a hillier course than last year. The “hills” in San Diego, CA are nothing like the “hills” in Franklin, TN. I think the tough part about the ‘hills’ in San Diego is that they were long inclines, and those inclines came towards the end of the race, about miles 19-21. This is a good example to all that you can walk through the aid stations and still finish in good time. My first marathon finish was 4:48. My second marathon finish was 4:45. My third marathon finish was 4:20. I finished this marathon in 4:41.

This is the first marathon that I ran without a watch, without a fuel belt, walking through each aid station and look how my time compared! I did not hit any “wall”. I have a new mentality going into long races now. I reminded myself that the race does not begin until mile 19. I am using this mantra for my ultra marathons. It also worked for me in this race. It helped me to be patient and hold on to the place I was at any given moment in this race.

Adventure is knowing who you are and putting yourself in situations to prove it. 🙂 Allow the unknown to be your ally and not your enemy. Load yourself up mentally with the tools you will need. Adventure to me is choosing long distance over short distance. Adventure to me is choosing hills over flats. Adventure to me is repeating speed, repeating distance and repeating hills.