God’s tap on my shoulder…

IMG_6075Psalm 91.1-4

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge…

God is around us everyday…His people…His creation…His love.  This week He has shown up in crazy ways! ALL things work together, right? Right!

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8.28

Here is how He tapped on my shoulder and said…

Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 1.8

Part 1 – One day this week I decided to go to mom and dad’s recreational center to run on the treadmill.  It has been either rainy or hot and humid.  Not much in between.  Since I was on the treadmill I decided to do a little bit of speed work.  It felt good.  I didn’t do much but enough to know I can still do it.  It was refreshing. 🙂

As I started to leave, a gentlemen commented on my speed work.  He was a retired cross-country coach.  He and his wife had both been teachers…I later found out.  We talked about training in Colorado in the higher altitudes and how beneficial it can be.  I told him I would love to do that one day…;)  We talked about Boston…my experience in Boston…and how that experience prepared me for the current marathon I was on.  It turns out he has a daughter named Trish.  He could have been my dad. 🙂  It was just a good conversation and great to have affirmation from someone who knew running.  It also confirmed I can still do it…I am doing it. I left with a smile! 🙂

When I got home I told mom and dad about the conversation and dad asked me if I got his name.  This area where mom and dad live is a retirement community.  They know a lot of people.  Dad especially knows a lot of people. 🙂 I don’t think he has ever met a stranger.  He wondered if he knew him.  Of course, I forgot.  So, I didn’t get his name.  Sorry Dad! Little did I know I would get another chance! God would open that door.

Part 2 – On Saturday I had my weekly long run.  20 miles once again.  I was NOT excited but was determined to do it. I left home and headed for a new route. I loved the route and was able to keep my mind off the miles for a while.  I listened to great music and saw great sites all reminding me of God’s great love.

IMG_6059

Cross Church, Rogers Arkansas

This run was a breakthrough run for me.  I listened to my body.  I knew I had 20 to do but my heart rate told me otherwise.  It was high for a long period of time.  I made the decision to end my run.  And for a change I felt okay with it! I was not beating myself up.  I had done the best I could do with what my body was willing to give that morning.  So off I went to refuel with coffee and a crepe.  (My new favorite find for the summer!)

As I drove to the Bentonville square I was feeling good.  I had just had a breakthrough and I knew it.  I also was planning how I could get in the 7.5 miles I had left in by sun down. (I am a crazy runner.) I parked the car and headed to get a crepe. They are very popular on Saturday and the line was long.  (They are sold out of a food trailer.)  At this point I decided to walk around the square and let the line go down.  Every Saturday the town of Bentonville shuts the square off to traffic and have all kinds of vendors.  They have fruits/vegetables, furniture, flowers, arts and crafts, and etc.  I have been wanting to explore the square my entire time here but I have been too defeated after my previous Saturday runs to do so.  I now know it was this particular weekend I was supposed to be there.

As I walked around I walked up to a booth with beautiful crosses and birdhouses.  The lady in the booth greeted me.  I told her the items were beautiful.  I explained my appreciation for woodworking because my husband was a master craftsman.  She Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 7.53.58 PM

then went on to explain to me that these pieces were all made from wood recovered during clean up after the EF5 tornado that went through Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011.  As she explained this my heart was warmed.
At this point I was drawn to a bird’s nest sitting on a spring mounted on a small piece of wood.  Immediately the thought of the bird’s nest I had been watching all summer entered my mind…the subject of my last blog.   Emotion took over as I picked it up and continued to talk to the lady.  I told her I was sorry for being emotional and then I shared the reason…mom.  As I did, her husband joined her.  As he walked in the booth he said, “You are the one that ran Boston.”  Yes, it was him…the retired cross-country coach. He was as the craftsman behind these beautiful pieces. Before I could forget a second time I asked him his name.  I had just met two angels – Dan and Sharon.   The two of them work together to make Houses of Hope for so many in the Joplin area.  It is an amazing story you can read about here:  http://issuu.com/connectiononline/docs/cm_sept_web_small/8

I felt God tapping at that moment.  He was telling he has this.  He is covering us with His wings…mostly covering mom. I gave her the bird’s nest and continued looking.  After awhile I decided to get another one for mom and dad as a symbol of our summer journey.  As I was paying for my two nests, Sharon said I only needed to pay her for one.  She wanted me to know they were adding mom to their prayer list and the second nest was their way of saying we are praying for you! God is so good!!! Isn’t he?!?!?

I was so excited. I had been encouraged by strangers, now friends.  God orchestrated the first meeting at the rec center and then the second at the square.  It had been a great day! Now, I was off to get my crepe.  I then had the opportunity to share the story with several dear friends before I got home.  It is so good to share God’s faithfulness.  When I got home I was about to burst.  I had planned on saving the nest as a parting gift when I departed but I had to share the story with mom and dad.  They loved the God story as much as I did!

Deuteronomy 7:9

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God  who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,

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He is faithful in all things.  He is the wind beneath our wings.  At this point I felt like I had wings of new hope and strength.  This got me out the door and I finished my 20 miles with 7.5 miles of negative splits.  I did it! I made it.

During my morning run I had tossed around the idea of not running the marathon on September 1 but the 14.2 mile option. I text my running buddy, Yoli and let her know what I was thinking.  Little did I know she knew something I didn’t.  She knew two other friends were going to offer to run me in so I would finish and finish strong.  I can do it! I just can’t do what I had planned originally!  I am now okay with that.

God has me on this running journey during this training season for a reason.  My journey has been one of a different kind.  One where relying on Him has been VITAL! (as it should be daily!)  He also knew I needed to learn to lean on others for support and help.  Mom and I are a lot alike in this way too…we want to do it on our own.  I can not put into words how grateful I have been for the outpouring of love and support I have received personally on this journey! The prayers have been felt. Thanks to all of my amazing family and friends as well as the BEST gift God ever gave me – my husband.  His sacrifice over the past two months has been huge and all I have had is support and unconditional love! God gave me you – Mike Newsom! LOVE YOU and THANK YOU! (see you soon!!!)

So on September 1 this training season will come to fruition…I will run for mom with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart.  I will fly with wings…maybe like turtles in peanut butter…but I will cross that finish line feeling accomplished and proud! 🙂

Now to mom! The big story….She was cleared on Friday for surgery this Tuesday.  Her surgery will be at 10:00 a.m. and is supposed to only last one hour.  If all goes well, which we are praying they will, she will be released to come home on Wednesday.  Yay!  I will be staying with mom and dad one full week post surgery to establish new routines based on the new circumstances.  We are being told she will not have to wear the helmet and things like her balance should improve with her head back together.  Again, we are praying all of this is true and she can continue her unbelievable road to recovery! TaylorStrong is what she is! I am inspired daily!!!  I will post on Tuesday post surgery to update everyone on her status.  Please join us in prayer as we approach this next mailbox.  She is ready! God goes before her and is waiting to be her GREAT Physician!

Deuteronomy 31.8
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
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