June 27, 2017

Run for the Prize

A couple weekends ago, I ran another 5K.

Surprise, surprise?

ran for this organization before; the race was for Zenit, one of our local gymnastics gyms. My oldest, Beth, used to take tumbling lessons there.

The first time I ran this race, it was to support Zenit; this time, I ran this race purely because I wanted to run, and they hosted it at my favorite course -  a local park with a nice flat and scenic route.

The weather started out sunny but with a nice breeze. It felt good - unexpected for a late June race.

Unfortunately, it didn't stay that way for very long.

Soon after the race began, I knew the heat was going to negatively influence my race time. The sun was beating down on me and seemed to be pushing my whole body down into the pavement. I could feel myself slowing down. It crushed my hopes of getting an age group award, but I wasn't about to let it destroy my run.

I pressed on, despite the heat. Despite my disappointment.

I ran this race as if there was still a chance to achieve a prize.

And to my joy, I did receive a prize. Second in my age group!

Reported Stats: There were 5 finishers in the Female 30 to 39 age group and 64 finishers in the race. Your overall finish was 41 and your age group finish place was 3. Your time of 37:18 gave you a 12:02 pace per mile.

My pace was more than a minute my usual pace because of the heat, but that didn't matter. I had finished the race. I had collected a reward.

And my friends with me that day also collected age group awards!


1 Corinthians 9:24 - Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

That day, despite heat and discouragement, I ran in such a way as to get a prize. And I did.

Do that. Every day. Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Running Tip: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

June 01, 2017

Rest

It's summer time!

2017 has been packed full of things. Some good. Some bad. And I'm in need of rest.

Leave it to author Bonnie Gray to have, direct from Jesus, a great way to do just that. A way to "revitalize" my soul. That's how she puts it in her new book Whispers of Rest.


This book comes at just the right time for me. The first day/chapter asks readers some great questions: How is Jesus unexpectedly prompting your heart to say YES...and leave something old and familiar? What is holding you back? What do you need to let go of in order to follow Jesus ahead - people, places, routines, possessions, expectations, roles, or responsibilities?

Now, how do I answer these questions? It's simple, really. I too often let my job as a teacher and coach consume me. I find myself utterly exhausted to the point that my children are prompted to pray for their mother to have more energy during bedtime prayers.

That's sad, ya'll.

So I am looking forward to 40 days of "God's love to revitalize my soul." After day one, I'm already enjoying hearing my Lord through Bonnie Gray's words. She presents God's word in a simple, soul changing way. This is not surprising. After reading her books, you feel better. You feel closer to the Lord.

Let me challenge you! Get a copy of Bonnie's latest book and explore the Word of our Lord with her. You won't regret it!

Running Tip:
"I run in the path of your commands for you have set my heart free." Psalm 119:32

May 03, 2017

Let's do this!

The 2nd annual Love Peru Fun Run & 5K was hosted by First Baptist Church of Canton (my church home) this past Saturday. All the proceeds from the race go to the church's orphanage in Peru: Village of the Children.

Last year, this was a family function. I ran the fun run with the girls, and my hubby did the 5K.

This year, it was just me. I went and ran the 5K. This happened for a couple reasons.

First, back in February, my hubby got a blood clot due to a dissection of his iliac artery. He's been sidelined from running since then, and at a recent doctor's appointment, he was told he wouldn't be running again any time soon. So because of his injury, hubby couldn't run this race, but we still wanted to support the race to support the orphanage. That's why I signed up. And because the medical bills have increased, we opted not to have the girls run this year.

I was on my own with this one. Thinking about my hubby, not able to run. Thinking about many, lost too soon. No longer here to partake of events like these.

These thoughts motivated me as I pushed through this 5K course that I absolutely hate due to its hills (one killer hill in particular comes to mind).

Near the end of the course, I was so exhausted. I didn't want to push forward any more. And that's when I met Brenda.



Brenda. The older lady who, despite the hill from hell we had just navigated, was still determined to finish this race strong even though our lungs and legs were on fire.

Our eyes met as we pressed on, and we both began complaining about the race course - specifically that hill. But Brenda changed the conversation totally when she said, "You know what though, I just think about my friends who aren't able to run or those loved ones I've lost who aren't here to do this, and that's what keeps me moving on - pushing forward." We saw the finish line ahead and she said, "Come on. Let's go. We can do this!"

And thinking of my hurting hubby, and seeing how grateful this grey haired lady was to still be able to run, I found the something within me (gratitude to God?) to sprint onward toward the finish line. Toward a third place finish for my age group.



I surprised myself. I finished with a time of 34:44. It hasn't been since races in 2013 and in 2014 on this course that I had finished with a time like that. The most recent time I ran a race at this location, my time was 42:50. Just goes to show you how powerful a mindset can be.

Charles Swindoll once said, "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it."

In my life, I have found this to be beyond true. Choosing to respond positively in the face of adversity - especially when you know who holds everything in His more than capable hands - can open up possibilities otherwise left undiscovered.

I could have let that course beat me down, but instead of dwelling on how much I hated my current situation (That darned race course!), I decided - with Brenda's help - to remember how grateful I should be for that current situation. I decided to run in to that finish line like I had never run to it before - because there are those that cannot. I embraced it. I owned it. And so, I rocked it!

What do you need to embrace? Is there a bull you need to take by the horns - so to speak? Is there something in your life right now that has the potential to leave you in defeat?

Choose, now, to let that adversity eat your metaphorical dust! "Run" this "race" - dang it! - even if you can't literally run right now. Then crawl! Choose to be the better for whatever is currently trying to grind your face into the dirt. Get up! MOVE!

Why?

Because you can. (Philippians 4:13)

Running Tip: Run for those lost too soon (Angel, Christian, Diana, Kevin... and too many more to mention).

Let's do this. Do life. For them.