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Marathon Training Weeks 16 and 17: Saying Goodbye

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I found an old letter today written to myself, from myself. It was written 10 yrs ago about releasing a relationship in my life that wasn't healthy that I needed to release. But at the time I was coming from a place of fear. Fear of moving forward in my life, fear of starting a family. Fear of making mistakes. I was paralyzed with it.

In the note I talk about how I never fully feel "complete" and so I look for things to fill the void in my life. That I am "reaching for the impossible", and want things to be perfect.

But nothing other than God can fill this void. That's why it's been called a "God-shaped hole".

In the letter I also wrote that the answer lies within myself.

"I am the problem, I am the bomb ready to go off."

The letter continues: "I am still searching for myself, lost beneath all of these extra layers of skin, eating more to cover it up...I am at a cross roads and only hope I can stay on the right path. These are the moments that change our lives."

10 yrs later and I've finally released that relationship. I've shed over 100 lbs. but I still need to go to my source, God, to fill up continually so that I don't feel this void and look for things outside of God to fill it up.

I work in the city. When I commute there is a five minute span of time when the train is in a tunnel and it is dark. you cant get phone reception, music doesn't work, cant see out the window, and I feel claustrophobic. This is how living in the darkness feels. I can't wait to get out of that tunnel and back into the light.

I once took a bible study based on the book by Kay Arthur, "Lord, Heal My Hurts" and she compares to holding onto our past like walking around with a skeleton shackled to our feet. That's what we do when we walk around with past guilts, past relationships, past sins. God loves us as we are; nothing is a surprise to him. Once we confess our sins they are forgiven and we are free to walk in victory and enjoy the peace that comes with that freedom.

I felt so free here.

In church this past Sunday the pastor read a poem about addiction that really spoke to me. It started out with:

"Addiction is the perfection of slavery."

And continued on...

..."I have become my own enemy...no one but me to blame...

I am calling the shots...
Opened the door to the forbidden.

I have all the keys but stay in my cell
I am a saint but am in my own hell
I set the trap
I know where to go

No flowers bloom
I have become the perfect slave

Oh, God, can you set me free?

Who is our King?
Is it us?

Now that I don't have this distraction in my life I am turning to food and drink, to my old ways, vs. God, I'm in another type of bondage. My unhealthy relationship was a perfect escape from my stressful job, being a busy working mother to two young daughters. Now I've found myself returning to my old habits. I need to return to my source, to God and his word which nourishes me and is my source of strength.

Last weekend was the 10 mile lakefront run. I was fortunate to meet other Team World Vision runners. We were put into pacing groups and I met many wonderful people. Most notably, I met a woman named Chris from Moody Church, we ran and talked about God's great mercy. It was such a joy to run alongside her and realize how far I have come, and how loved we all are. I closed my eyes and remembered a time when running was foreign to me. A time when I was morbidly obese, on a road to an unhealthy life. I thanked God for the ability to run, and to run for such a great cause. I am so blessed.

Chris and me

During the week I got all my runs in, which is difficult with two young daughters. But I did it.

Picture I took on a local 7 mile run, the fog looked beautiful.

Today was the longest run yet, 15 miles! I ran with my running partner Caitlin by my side and I am so proud of us for how far we have come. I came home and took my first ice bath, which can help with sore muscles the next day. I also used the foam roller. I feel great, though! Team mates were commenting on how happy I was and I couldn't stop laughing. It was awesome. The runner's high :)

Me with Caitlin

When we walk in light, darkness is eliminated. I want to walk in that light.

Next week - 16 miles!

Bible verses/quotes:

"Behold, I am The Lord, the God of all flesh,
Is anything too difficult for me?"
Jeremiah 32:27

He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.'
Job 33:28

"Whatever you are going through, good or bad, it will draw you to Jesus." - Kay Arthur


Lord, I want my heart to be fully yours, all the time. I long for you to take the sorrows out of my heart, to make me lighter in heart and spirit. I long to not yearn anymore. To not yearn for things I don't have and shouldn't have. To live within my means, but also have a pure heart, a heart that lives for you and you alone. All good comes from you. I know you are a God, my God, who makes the impossible possible. Only you can take away this hurt, this emptiness, this longing, this false love, this utter heart break.


Plato once said, “Music is… wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” I've been listening to inspirational Christian music on my runs and it has truly transformed them. Inspirational music changes you.

I want to end this blog with some songs, which to me while running are more like prayers:


This prayer began as a medieval Celtic poem in the eighth century, but it wasn’t translated into English and put to music until 1905, by Mary Byrne.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Words: Dallan Forgail (8th Century)


To the voice to the liar in the mirror
Sayin you can't ever change
To the guilt that's sittin on your shoulder
Always keepin you locked in chains
To the past that you can't undo
To the pain that you're walkin through
To the small and the big mistakes
This is what love wants to say

There is grace that you can't imagine
There is love that you can't out run
There is peace that you can hold onto
When your world is comin undone
You don't have give into the fear
Don't have to have let your story stop here
And when the hand tries to pull you back
You don't have to back, you don't have to go back

This is where it starts now
Everything can turn around

Say goodbye
Say goodbye
You're not the one you used to be

In a moment, here's the moment
Where you say goodbye


Don't know where to begin, it's like my world's cavin' in
And I try but I can't control my fear, where do I go from here?
Sometimes it's so hard to pray when You feel so far away
But I am willin' to go where You want me to and God I trust You

There's a ragin' sea right in front of me
Wants to pull me in, bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise if You want them to
I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You

I will swim in the deep 'cause You'll bein' next to me
You're in the eye of the storm and the calm of the sea
You're never out of reach
God, You know where I've been and You were there with me then
You were faithful before, You'll be faithful again, I'm holdin' Your hand

There's a ragin' sea right in front of me
Wants to pull me in, bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise if You want them to
I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You

God Your love is enough, You will pull me through, I'm holdin' onto You
God Your love is enough, I will follow You, I will follow You

There's a ragin' sea right in front of me
Wants to pull me in, bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise if You want them to
I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You


When I lose my way,
And I forget my name
Remind me who I am
In the mirror all I see
Is who I don't wanna be
Remind me who I am

In the loneliest places
When I cant remember what grace is

Tell me, once again
Who I am to You, who I am to You
Tell me, lest I forget
Who I am to You, that I belong to You
To You

When my heart is like a stone,
And I'm running far from home
Remind me who I am
When I cant receive Your love
Afraid I'll never be enough
Remind me who I am

If I'm Your beloved can You help me believe it

Tell me, once again
Who I am to you, who I am to You
Tell me, lest I forget
Who I am to you, that I belong to You
To You

I'm the one You love, I'm the one You love
That will be enough, I'm the one You love

Tell me, once again
Who I am to you, who I am to You
Tell me, lest I forget
Who I am to you, that I belong to You

Tell me, once again
Who I am to You, who I am to You
Tell me, lest I forget
Who I am to You, that I belong to You
To You

Link to the video:



People goin on and on
They don't know what they got wrong
This world won't keep you satisfied
You gotta buy this
Wear this, drive that car
'Cause that's the kind of thing
That makes you who you are
But don't keep throwin that my way

No more temporary fills
I want a love that's real
Take everything I have and fill me up inside
I'm done looking for the quick fix
Jesus your love is all I'll ever need
No more temporary fills

I've turned every rock and stone
Gone everywhere there was to go
But I only felt better for a while
'Cause nothin can replace you
Erase you from my heart
And that's the kind of thing
That makes you who you are
Your the reason I can say

No more temporary fills
I want a love that's real
Take everything I have and fill me up inside
I'm done looking for the quick fix
Jesus your love is all I'll ever need

And nothin temporary could ever make me
Feel the way you do
'Cause what you've given to me
I know that it will last my whole life through

No more temporary fills
I want a love that's real
Take everything I have and fill me up inside
I'm done looking for the quick fix
Jesus, your love is all I'll ever need
No more temporary fills
No more hidin

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIFE-FAITH 8/19/2013 4:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THEADMIRAL 8/19/2013 4:08PM

    Beautiful! The blog, the poems, the hymns, and Beautiful You. Keep fighting the good fight. emoticon

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    ADORE the pictures! I read the text version via email but the pics really add to this!!!! I am SO proud of you. Not turning to food is so hard...you are doing amazing honey. I love you!

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PRESBESS 8/19/2013 1:19PM

    Outstanding blog! I'm jumping on to YouTube right now to listen to some of the songs. Also, I love the 7 mile run picture... breathtaking.

Run on my sister in Christ... run on.

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/18/2013 1:13PM

    Wonderful blog! Beautiful how God fills our needs and helps us through all circumstances, even the ones we were complicit in. Thanks for sharing your powerful realizations, your awesome training feats, and your struggles.

Great job on the training! God is using you mightily! Keep up the great work! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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UNICORN212 8/18/2013 11:44AM

    Powerful blog!

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LINDAKAY228 8/18/2013 10:50AM

    I just love this and the other blogs on how your spiritual journey has been linked to the physical training. Great songs there. I love the song, Remind Me Who I Am especially, which I have on my playlist also. Thanks so much for sharing your deeply personal journey with us. You are aweome! And you are blessed!

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14JESUSGIRL 8/18/2013 10:45AM

    Great blog! Congratulations on your success and hard work. Praise the name of Jesus! Through Him we CAN do it!

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MIPALADY23 8/18/2013 10:28AM

    Awesome messages in your blog, thank you and Congrats!

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/18/2013 7:02AM

    It is amazing to me how much God can speak to us and bring healing in our lives as we run. He is so good . . . blessings to you as you continue to train and lean hard into Him for the strength to keep going and to learn from Him.


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GRACEISENUF 8/17/2013 4:59PM

    emoticon , thanks for sharing your heart and the amazing grace of God.

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus".

Philippians 1:6

It is finished and we can rest in the victory of the cross.


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Marathon Training Weeks 13-15 - Celebrating The Light

Friday, August 09, 2013

Light cannot exist with darkness. It will cast a shadow over the light and block it out, much like a solar eclipse. I tried taking a picture of a rock my daughter made with scripture on it and my bible was casting a shadow over it. I had to keep inching the rock away from that shadow so I could get the picture I wanted, so that the rock could be seen in the best light. As I moved that rock, little bit by little bit, it reminded me of my journey with Christ and how the world tempts me to dip my toe into that darkness. But if I go too deep my own light will extinguish. I won't be putting my best forward to give the glory to God.. We have to take baby steps to keep moving toward the light.

"Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both." The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
Corinthians 6:13 - NIV

I am reading a book about the holy spirit, "Lead Me, Holy Spirit" by Stormie Omartian and I have been feeling God guide me to certain books and bible verses. Probing me about that little glimmer of disbelief that God can take away an unhealthy friendship, and yes, an addiction of sorts. Looking for self worth and love separate from God will not work.

It's like walking a tightrope between what I want, and what I know I need to do. I am flirting with danger, and I am soon going to fall. Thank you Lord, for your grace and mercy and for letting me catch myself before I made mistakes that are harder to recover from. I won't say can't be reversed, because I know through YOU I am redeemed and made new.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
- John 14:26

My life is my own to live and I am taking back starting NOW. no more living in the past, having fantasies about who I am. I am going to embrace all that I have now and not let satan win.

This past week ended with a 13.1 mile run. My running partner was sick and wouldn't be able to join the team. Since no one else is my pace I knew I would be running these miles alone. I was afraid.

As we started out I prayed for God to be with me and give me strength. I had my pandora set to play Christian songs. Every song that came on spoke to me. I was filled with peace and I knew the Holy Spirit was I side of me, and the first 10 miles went by so quickly. I had energy and had no doubt I could finish the last 3 miles, too. Not on my own, but with Him.

I was afraid, but it turned out to be such a blessing. As I am letting go of parts of me that are not meant to be, not pure, I am feeling more blessed with the presence of the Holy Spirit. I am seeing God everywhere. That run was the easiest half marathon I have ran, I felt light...and free.

During my 13 mile run (notice the light?)

After this week I will be exploring uncharted territory. There's no pretending I can't do it myself, Lord I need your help.

"And I had to find out who I really was
Who I really wasn't
So sick of who I was becoming
Yeah, tired of running
Time to look at the man in the mirror until I can learn to love (her)"

-Make the Money lyrics, Macklemore

"So this is what you meant
When you said that you were spent
And now it's time to build from the bottom of the pit
Right to the top
Don't hold back"

- Imagine dragons It's Time

Picture taken during an early morning run.

"Early in the morning I will celebrate the LIGHT."
"When I stumble in the darkness, I will call your name by night."

God of Wonders, Caedmon's call

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMBER281 8/11/2013 1:47AM

    Beautiful blog!
Thanks for sharing your journey. You are doing amazing!
I'm so proud of you.

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/9/2013 8:13PM

    Beautiful blog!

So happy to hear what God is doing in your life! Love that you actually felt lighter on your last run! That is wonderful to hear! Keep letting the light chase away the shadows! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Oh my goodness I love the pictures! You know I am ridiculously proud of you!

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LINDAKAY228 8/9/2013 12:30PM

    I always love reading your blogs about your Christian journey and how you are growing and learning and about how it ties to your running and other parts of your life! They are awesome!

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STEVIEBEE569 8/9/2013 3:12AM

    Keep the good work & much success to you with your training.

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/9/2013 2:11AM

    If we will but listen, God speaks to us when we run. You are doing great; keep listening and keep running1

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Marathon Training Weeks 9-12: God's Got This?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Week 9 marked the first official week of marathon training. Before this we were in "pre-training". So now everyone who is running the Chicago marathon, or a marathon on the same date, is in training. There's excitement in the air about it.

Through my fundraising I won two free tickets to see the Spirit of the Marathon 2 movie. I went to see it with my husband, and some members of the team. This movie was incredibly inspiring and followed several runners along their journey to the marathon. There were a few where it was their first marathon. It was exciting, but also scary. God calls us to do the unexpected, to take those leaps of faith that seem huge to us, but in the reality of time are really just a blip on the screen of life.

I've been neglecting finishing this blog. I think because I struggle with perfectionism, but also of admitting failure. I finished the book "Anything" and I feel like I am not even silly putty, let alone clay that God can mold. On the train home I passed a sign that said "Jesus is the way to heaven". I know this on a spiritual level, but deep down, do I believe it? Or do I feel I need to be perfect for it to apply? If I feel like God can't even use me until I'm perfect, then god will never use me, because I will never BE perfect. None of us will be until we are made perfect in His image in heaven. A good friend, Erin, reminded me that God uses us although we may not feel we are worthy. It is through our own struggles, perhaps, that our faith is demonstrated to those around us. That can create change on a large scale. Someone may be reading my words now and also feel inadequate, as I do, and feel empowered to still do God's work.

I am not a baker, but because I don't like to come empty handed to thanksgiving or church pot lucks, I have become proficient at baking exactly one pie that I know is perfect -- my chocolate pecan pie - after all, since its the only pie I ever make, how can it not be perfect? I've had time to realize which ingredients are necessary and which I could use less of. How long it needs in the oven and how to protect the edges. I can mix the ingredients with my eyes closed. You get the picture.

Well recently my family joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) and you don't get a choice of what you get in the basket each week. I received a bunch of what looked like red celery. It turns out it was rhubarb. I don't know what else to possibly do with rhubarb other than make a pie (I've heard of rhubarb pie). So I googled and found a nice, simple recipe for rhubarb pie. I had no clue how thick to cut the rhubarb or how to treat it, so of course I queried my Facebook friends. However I wanted to get the pie started, so I just winged it and opened up the oven and in the pie went.

After the pie had been baking for 45 minutes, I heard back from one of my friends that I was supposed to peel the rhubarb and sauté it before baking. Or else the pie would taste like celery pie.

I wanted to turn off the oven and throw that pie out. But my husband encouraged me to just wait and see what happened.

And do you know what? That pie came out perfect! People had seconds and there was no pie left. It reminded me that God can make beautiful things out of our messes.

Sometimes I feel as messed up as that pie. But God uses broken things and broken people. He can still use me,even though in my mind I'm broken and far from perfect. Through this mess beauty can live, and he is working through all of us as well, all the time, sometimes in big ways, sometimes behind the scenes.

We were created to fail. Because it’s in our failure that we see our need for Jesus, the One who never fails. God is there to take away my sin, to help me forgive myself, and as a reminder that every day is full of new mercies.

"Failure is an opportunity for grace, to give it to others and receive it for ourselves. When I fail, it’s the perfect time to fall into Him." Lysa Tykherst

The process of giving up everything is difficult. It is not something we can ever be perfect at, we are constantly changing and evolving, but if our hearts are in it, if our desire is to give God the glory, then it all counts as good. Giving up everything we are trading in our wants for His. And through this offering, we will be blessed.

Recently I witnessed the unlimited power of God and just how much prayer can do. One of my best friends was given a frightening, life-threatening diagnosis. She reached out for prayer. She had to endure a week of waiting after she had a second round of tests. I prayed, my friends and family prayed, my church prayed, her friends and family prayed. There was a lot of prayer going on. I asked her what the best case scenario would be. She said a false positive. That's what I prayed for, but deep down I wasn't sure such a prayer could be answered. I didn't know how often these things happen. But I prayed, having faith that God would work it all out the way He does. But I have to say, I didn't expect to hear, a week later, that my friend was given a clean bill of health, having to retest in 3 months. God is so good. My spiritual mother, Karyl, said to me after I told her I didn't think it would happen, that I may not have known, but she did. She knew that God was capable of amazing miracles.

I want my faith to be as large as that. I don't want doubt to creep into my prayers. Jennie Allen says that all sin comes from unbelief. We don't think God will work a situation out, so we take things into our own hands. Our needs aren't getting met, so we search outside of ourselves. If we only take the plunge, jump off that cliff, hand all of our needs and desires over to god and say "here" and actually TRUST him with our lives, our lives will be God-shaped and will not look anything like what we might have imagined for ourselves. They may be even better.

In Week 11 I ran my second half marathon (full race report blog will be posted separately). One thing I heard from those around me and in my own head was "You've got this." I kept changing it in my head to "God's got this." However my spirit was reluctant to embrace that. I don't know why. There was that doubt again, creeping in. God can take whatever we need him to from us and make us stronger, we can get through things with Him. But we have to first give it over to him. All of it. And I think as a society built on accomplishments, on pride, it's hard to do that. To give God all the glory. To trust that he will have our backs.

But I remind myself that I am in process. And that is good enough.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMBER281 7/21/2013 3:31PM

    I think you are doing amazing!
I always enjoy reading your blogs.

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    I am so proud of everything you do!!!!!!!

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RUNNERRACHEL 7/12/2013 6:31PM

    Great how you felt called to do something you hadn't planned, took on the challenge--both the physical and the spiritual challenge and are doing something great with His help--He's got this! Love that!

Wonderful story about the pie! I love how your hubby said to hold on and wait to see how it turned out. I think sometimes in my effort to have control over a situation, I am so tempted to pull the pie out before it's ready. And maybe it's not the right time. So, I have to be patient and wait for His timing.
Yes, we don't have to be perfect for God to use us, though sometimes we feel that way, we feel inadequate. You are being used by God and are a witness to Him, glorifying Him the way you are taking on this challenge and telling others about it. It is witnessing to others and WILL glorify God.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BABY_GIRL69 7/12/2013 3:17PM

    As Christian we often question our walk with God but thank Him that He sent Jesus to help perfect us. No we won't touch the perfection which is in Christ Jesus but I am so blessed to known that His stripes I am healed and by His death my sin forgiven. I can't tell you that it is an easy process and that even at a point where you think you have matured the question still crosses our minds. But tell the devil he is a liar and that the Word of God says you are healed healthy process Christ minded and you are a child of the King! Your friend knew for herself that she was healed and received the prayers of those she reached out. Prayer invades the impossible.....

God bless,


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GETFIT2LIVE 7/12/2013 12:33PM

    Wonderful blog; isn't it amazing how God uses something like running and training to teach us and draw us closer to Him? I never expected that when I started running, but it has been so true as I've allowed Him to speak to me. One of the things I have been learning is that the tests that come in or lives are not to show God what is inside us but to show us and to help us trust Him more. He is all about making us into the image of Christ; it seems impossible when we look at ourselves and our failures, but He already sees us as we will be one day and draws us ever closer to that, even when it doesn't feel like it.


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CAALAN23 7/12/2013 12:31PM

    I am a skeptic by nature. I understand your doubt. I live it.

I will say that recently God showed me that he can deal with our doubt. It does not bother Him in the least. He thrives on it. It is people like us that He will work through and the light He gives will shine the brighter for our doubt. For if people like you and I believe, then it adds weight to our Faith.

Recently had my life shaken up, divorce threatened, the whole nine yards. I went through recovery for my Faith and was told that He would renew and not to be skeptical or afraid to pray for it, because He can handle it all, even the most stubborn things. Counselor said...give it ALL to Him and he will fix it and renew it and make it better than you ever imagined.

And He did. I was freed from what held me back for YEARS. I was given peace and burdens were lifted and throughout all that I prayed for my family. He was able to work miracles there and my husband returned and we are forging a stronger marriage.

But...when that counselor said all that to me. My face must have said it all. Lady, you are nuts. Yes...huge skeptic. It is a daily challenge for me. My lovely counselor says it well...you can be a skeptic...but you have to be brave and give it to Him. How will you ever find out for sure anyway unless you do?

Congrats on the rhubarb pie! And the half marathon as well!

Take care!

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PRESBESS 7/12/2013 12:16PM

    Excellent blog! As for your friend... to God be the glory! He is a healer indeed. Keep pressing forward in God. Always remember... the enemy is always at work to keep us down.

Keep the faith!

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UNICORN212 7/12/2013 12:13PM

    Well, I think if God wanted us to be perfect, he would have made us be perfect when we are born. He made us imperfect because He wanted us to make goals and work toward them. He wanted us to grow and learn, each according to our abilities, and to make mistakes and fail in the process, and also to succeed. Otherwise, we would have no reason to need Him in our lives. Think about it - if we already lived in perfection, what would out purpose be here on earth? We would already be in Heaven! Food for thought...

You are such a strong and amazing lady - in all aspects of your life. Own it!

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COOP9002 7/12/2013 12:03PM

    Thanks for sharing your heart and your journey with us. Blessings upon you as you seek to reach this milestone in your life as well as grow daily in your walk with our Savior.

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BRADMILL2922 7/12/2013 11:17AM

    Great blog! Runners always inspire me because it is the thing that challenges me the most! You are doing great and look forward to hearing how the marathon goes!

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JOYCRN 7/12/2013 11:04AM

    I too, don't even feel like "silly putty" let alone mold able clay!
I do however regularly bake with rhubarb and NEVER peel and sauté it. I do Botha strawberry rhubarb and a rhubarb custard pie as well as a rhubarb coffee cake and all are scrumptious! emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 7/12/2013 10:58AM

    I love your blog and your honesty and the spiritual journey in it as well as the running. God uses imperfect people. Don't let the enemy make you feel otherwise. You are such a beautiful person from all I've read from you. But like you said, none of us are perfect. I know I'm so far from it sometimes. But just like your pie, God can cause what looks like a mistake to actual be something beautiful.
I get Bountiful Baskets here, which sounds somewhat like your CSA. We don't know what will be in it either. But I really am enjoying it and trying things I wouldn't otherwise buy and finding I like them. Tomorrow morning I pick mine up.
Sending you big hugs and prayers! You are amazing!

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Weeks 7 & 8 Marathon Training: Losing Myself

Saturday, June 15, 2013

I am realizing that my blogs are less about running and more about God. And I think that is how it should be, when one goes on a journey with the sole intent to become closer to Him, that the result is exactly that. I just honestly didn't expect it. When I answered that voice that said I should run a marathon, secretly I didn't think it was God talking to me. Maybe it was my secret wish, to run a marathon. That was a thought, that I was just spinning it I to thinking it was God's plan, not my own, to perhaps feel a little less selfish. And as a Christian I want to follow God. And I sometimes feel a little (ok, a lot) undeserving...I am still building my relationship with Him, how do I "really" know that it is his words I hear? Who am I to think I can hear Him? It Is called faith, my friends, and it's true what they say, you don't need a boatload of it, just a tiny mustard seed, like the bible says.

So...part of me felt that during this journey I wouldn't hear him speak, that my footsteps wouldn't walk with His, that this whole marathon thing would really just be about running.

But it is anything but.

Yes, I am training, and getting stronger physically, but spiritually and in my relationship with Christ I am growing by leaps and bounds. Like my Faith. And yes, I am trying new fueling methods (I like cliff shots), and have learned ways to recover from sore muscles (foam roller), and I a building endurance, but it is the race to salvation that concerns me.

Acts 20:24
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace

1 Corinthians 9:24-25
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. 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.

I am reading a book called "Anything" by Jennie Allen. This book is nothing short of amazing, and is exactly what I needed right now at this point in my journey. A spark friend, Rachel, (RUNNERRACHEL) recommended it to me and I am so glad she did. This book is about one simple word, "anything" it challenges the reader to make a promise to God. Promising to do anything He asks. Go wherever He may lead us. Not questioning, but having a faith as large as this world that God created. I want that.

Last week I talked about running from God. I didn't want to be a runaway bride, I wanted to get closer to God, and in fact, would do anything to do that. This marathon is my anything. Letting go of my past and people in it that don't serve me, or even more importantly, enable me serve GOD as I should, is my anything.

In the book, Jennie says that "little deaths always feel like big deaths until you let go. After you let go you wonder, what was the big deal?" Let go. This is something I've been wrestling with. Letting go of people and things, ideas I don't need and most of all, letting go of my fear.

In the book she also says that at the root of all sin is unbelief. I believe that is true. We look for other things to fulfill and sustain us other than our God. But nothing else can ever fill us up like He can. It's like going to the gas station for fuel for your car, and filling up the car with water - it just won't work.

Another quote from the book, "he'll always feel far away, drowned out by other louder rivers, until every other thing fades away and He becomes the only thing."

I'm finding that my love for Jesus is outweighing my love of the material things and people of this world. That I want to follow him. It's not a "have to" anymore.

I also love this:

”But God often seems unconcerned with helping us maintain same, simple lives where everything fits and works. I don’t know what God’s plans are for you, but I do know that we don’t hear from him until certain things die. He doesn’t compete. And when he does speak, it typically costs something.”

There are things in this world that are going to be hard to give up. But I am renewing my vows and will release those things that take up space inside my head and heart. I'm going to make room for Him.

And I've found that even when we are running from god, he is always faithful, and is running towards us. Our past doesn't matter. Who we are doesn't matter. God weighs our hearts and sees what is on the inside, he redeems us. And we are NEW.

"No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us; it is the very sign of his presence."

-- C.S. Lewis

This week I was out of town in Michigan for my long run. I have always wanted to run the Kal Haven trail --the closest I got was walking it once n the winter for about 5 minutes. I wanted to run 8 miles to prepare for my upcoming half marathon. But I didn't want to do it alone on the trail. So I asked my dad if he would come with me and ride beside me on his bike. My dad has bad knees, and his feet are pretty messed up. The bike was too short for him, but he rode along with me, every step of the way, encouraging me.

A photo of my dad ahead of me on the trail

My dad

After the run

It reminds me of how God is always there with us, directing our steps. Of how much Jesus sacrificed for us up on that cross. It was amazing. I had reverted back to listening to hip hop and rap for running, but it didn't inspire me anymore. So this past week I turned back to the Christian music and it made me feel so light on my feet, like I was flying. Reminded me that I am running for those women and children who don't have water.

The prayer for this week is simple to get closer to god, no other demands that make my heart heavy.

Plan for this week:

Mon: 3 miles
Tues: 3 miles
Wed: strength and core
Thurs: 3 miles (hard)
Fri: rest
Sat : 5 miles long
Sun: cross training

Power Verses:
Joel 2:12-13, "'Yet even now,' declares the LORD, 'Return to Me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments.' Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil." (NAS)

Galatians 5:7
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?

Colossians 1:9-14
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[e] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I am so proud of you honey. I love you

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LINDAKAY228 6/17/2013 12:00PM

    I love your recent blogs especially, as you talk of your spiritual journey. I've been a Christian for a long time but recently have had kind of a revival I guess inside with wanting to draw closer to Him. You talked about how not being sure in the beginning if you were hearing God or not about this, and how to know if it is God talking to you. Obviously you've found the answer to that question about the marathon training! But one thing that always helps me when I'm not sure and kind of floundering about which direction to go with something and which way is God directing me is something I heard a pastor say many years ago that has stuck with me. He said that it's easier for God to direct a ship in motion than a ship standing still. Meaning in your walk, when you seem to be just kind of spinning in a circle wondering what God is wanting you to do, start moving in a direction you feel led to do, even if you aren't sure it's God speaking to you. If it's the right direction, doors will open for you and God will guide and bless you. But if it's the wrong direction have no fear. God with gently guide you back the way He wants. Doors will close or it won't feel write or something else will open or whatever. But if you just sit in one place confused and uncertain and waiting for some kind of sign you just spin your wheels. Once you start moving in some direction then the signs will come whether it's the wrong or right one. God doesn't get upset with us if we start going in the wrong direction, unless it's a willful knowing it's a wrong direction or that it involves doing things you know are sin. This has always helped me so much not to just sit and worry about what direction I should go. If the marathon training had not turned out to be the awesome spiritual journey it has been for you, and it was not what He wanted for you, He would have let you know soon enough because if we honestly want to be led, He will lead, even if we start going in a wrong direction but with a heart that really wants to know what is the right one.
Have a great day!

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RUNNERRACHEL 6/16/2013 4:33PM

    Great blog! Isn't it amazing how God works! Running is so challenging in every way. I am happy to see how your journey is moving you forward as a runner and as a woman of God! Inspiring.

The book & study is so amazing. I feel so blessed by it. I am glad you are growing from it as well. God is awesome!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    What a beautiful blog. I am struggling right now, and your blog touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing.

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STARPESCADO 6/15/2013 11:00PM

    Beautiful blog & love the pics of your Dad - happy for U & your journey :)

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NANCYTUNBERG64 6/15/2013 9:21AM

    That is a wonderful blog. Life is amazing isn't it?

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What a beautiful blog! God is doing amazing things right now. He is teaching you so much through your training process, and you are definitely being obedient. It reminds me of a sponge- you are soaking up everything He is showing you. Love the pictures of your run. So sweet of your dad to be beside you every step of the way, just like our Heavenly Father is always by our side! Beautiful quotes, too. So proud of you- you are an amazing woman of God! emoticon emoticon

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Week 6 Marathon Training: Running From God

Friday, May 31, 2013

Well, after the promises from last week, about returning to God and He will return to me, you would think I had a stellar week, right? A week full of certainty in my faith. It was like I had been given the all knowing “nod” from God that I was on the right track! Everything should have been great. Until, it wasn’t.

One thing I am learning in my journey is to surrender. To let things go, to let God do what He will do – he is the author and perfector of our fate, and I want to give him the controls. The problem is, I am a control freak.

I realize that these blogs are turning more into my spiritual journey than my physical one. My training went well last week – except that I only did one short run in addition to the group run, due to being all encompassingly busy at work. Maybe that is the stem of my “terrible” week. The thing is, I know I am in trouble when I a.) Don’t make time for my runs, and b.) Don’t read my bible daily. Taking time to be in the Word really focuses my day, and when I neglect that, other things fall to the wayside, too. So for me, it is all connected. The one short run I did get in was mid-week, I had worked another late night, and came home to my two beautiful daughters, begging me to spend time with them. What was a working mother with a backpack-size of guilt to do? I spent time reading with them after we ate dinner as a family, and then I felt that other tug, the desire to get my run in. I looked at their faces, now 8 PM and not a glimmer of sleepiness in them, and the daylight outside on this gorgeous spring day.

So I decided to do what I do best (multi-task), and told them to get out of their PJs, put on their gym shoes and I let them ride their bikes and catch fireflies as I ran up and down the sidewalk of our very short block. Now I tell you, that is love, that run was more boring that running on the dreadmill, or around the track at the gym over and over. But I did it and it made me happy to be able to watch them in our front yard as I ran, and to let them take advantage of the balmy spring day. It made me feel like a.)– a good mom, and b.) a runner in training who was doing what she needed to do, at any lengths.

So what does this have to do with running from God? Well, just like when our parents told us what we should do, when you get closer to God, his helper, that pesky Holy Spirit gets inside of you and tells you what you should be doing vs. what you are doing. There are certain behaviours that God may not like, perhaps some addictions, that I like just fine, and I want to have both. There are certain things that we turn to instead of God to fulfill our needs, and I want my proverbial cake, and I want to eat it, too. But the bible is very clear about double mindedness, that we should have an undivided heart, and love God fully with our own hearts.

Sin is anything that keeps you from God. When we are in this place, we won’t open up the bible, we won’t pray, because we feel so guilty, we feel we aren’t worthy, and so we avoid God (although He’s always watching). We create this distance that becomes a chasm if we aren’t careful.

This week ended in a blow up between me and my husband because I wanted MY way in a situation, in an argument, and I ended up hurting him. I forgot all I had learned about words and the weight they carry. About praying first, about listening more than speaking. And I could have ruined one of the most important relationships I have. I think this blow up was designed by God to bring me back to reality, and to show me the things that are important, and the things that are not.

I am also reminded of how when you pick a fight, and want to be “right”, to remember that with every “winner”, there is a “loser”. I don't recall who said this, but I heard it recently.

It’s not easy to juggle working full time, being a mother, a wife, and also being a good daughter, sister and friend. It’s something I’m working on – we are all works in progress though. And I am thankful to God for his faithfulness to me, and for not giving up on me, no matter how many times I turned up my nose at Him.

I’ll get it right someday, God. Not perfect, not in my own time, but yours, I will learn to follow you and to trust you, not my own plans.

So I am learning this week to let go.

I'm also learning that no matter how far or fast you run, God is always there, waiting to peek out at you from behind the clouds.

Photo taken from the train ride home after a late day at work

Caitlin and I on a long run.

The schedule for this week is:

Mon: 40 min run
Tues: 30 min walk
Wed: 40 min run
Thurs: 30 min walk
Fri: 40 min run
Sat: 60 min run

I am up to run/ walk intervals of 5 min/1 min.

Bible verses for the week:

The unfailing love of the Lord never ends!
By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day.
-Lamentations 3:22-23

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
Your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me, for I have redeemed you.
-Isaiah 44:22

Prayer: Heavenly Father, when I think about your unfailing love, I am amazed that you continue to love me even when I sin and turn my back on your or just become apathetic. I am amazed that in your mercy you continue to welcome me back. I am amazed at your faithfulness, that you never give up on me. That you would lavish all this on human beings – on me—is beyong my comprehension…thank you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I loved the quote by Charles Stanley. Surrendering is not a one time happening, but a daily and sometimes moment by moment.
Thanks for sharing.

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    You know that I am not religious, but I find your faith to be an absolutely beautiful and inspiring thing. I am so incredibly proud of you for refocusing where you felt you should be and following your faith. You are an amazing woman filled with so much faith and love! I am beyond happy to hear that the situation with Jim is improving. You know I feel that you two are meant to be!! I have no doubts about that. Everything seems to be a struggle at some point or another but you get through it and you are stronger for it. Fireflies.....I wish that I could do that with Azali!!!!! I love your blogs. I love you. you inspire me every single day. I am beyond blessed to have you as my best friend. SMOOCHES!

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RUNNERRACHEL 6/1/2013 1:43PM

    Great blog. Our spiritual journey is linked to our physical one!

When we commit everything to Him, He is faithful. I am learning to not worry, but to cast my cares on Him...

I'm doing a summer Bible study/book study online with the Good Morning Girls. We are reading the book Anything by Jennie Allen. The book's premise (from what I understand) is to pray the prayer "I'll do anything" and giving God full control in our lives.

You can join the study if you like! The book is available as an e-book or you can buy online or in stores...the study is free. It starts Monday. I just discovered the Good Morning Girls...they do online studies, materials are free...this one is free but the book is not included.

Anyway, great blog! I am happy that you are on this journey. It's such an important one! Our lives have so many elements and we are being taught every second. Seems like you're using every experience as a learning experience.

Score on running with your daughters outside! What a great idea! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 6/1/2013 12:45PM

    Sorry to hear this has been a tough week. You will have them. But you are stronger than you know and you will earn your might the hard way. Trust me, it's all worth it in the end.

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MSKRIS7 6/1/2013 9:52AM


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LINDAKAY228 6/1/2013 8:28AM

    I can so understand what you are saying. Just like so many other things in our lives, our spiritual life really is a journey. Our destination won't be until we reach heaven, and we won't be perfect until then. I love your prayer. I also marvel at how many times I fail or don't listen or get caught up in worldly things and how willing Jesus is to help me get back on track. I also think about what would be like without God in it sometimes, and I just can' imagine anymore. I couldn't do it.
Run strong! God is with you in all that you are doing!

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JOYCRN 6/1/2013 6:56AM

    I have found what you say to be true. It is hard to balance our busyness. I am choosing to spend time today going to a baby shower and a couple of high school graduation parties after realizing people are more important than my projects (garden). Though I do pray my husband will get my last 2 raised beds made (he is helping someone move) emoticon

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