Tag Archives: Arkansas

Another blessed year of running…1750 miles strong!


2013 proved itself to be one of chaos. Controlled chaos…but chaos.  Running saved me.  Running took me to places I hadn’t planned on going.  Running proved to be therapeutic and necessary for so many reasons.  Running allowed me to lay everything down and truly run the race He set before me.

Many mailboxes were passed…in my 1750 miles.  They were run in 8 states:  Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Massachusetts.  Most of my runs were training runs for my three marathons: the Boston Marathon(April), the Tupelo Marathon(September) or the 7 Bridges Marathon(October).  So thankful to the Lord for the ability to run and move!

This year I did more solo running than last.  God and I conversed while I pounded the pavement in His wonderland.  It was a year of truly finding myself in Christ as I put one step in front of the other.  Most of my races had deep meaning! Running also allowed me to get closer to my friends and faithful running angels! So grateful for them!  And I can not go without thanking my family and dear husband for being with me on every run whether in spirit or body.  Very blessed!

I did a lot of picture-taking along the way.  I learned to take time and smell the roses…to seek the joy in the run.

Here is a pictorial review of my 1750 blessed miles that got me through 2013…

Hot Chocolate 15k in Atlanta


Scenic City 5k


Run with Trish 5k for Team Hoyt


15k in Indianapolis with my sister


Boston 2013



Meeting Ryan Hall



Team Hoyt 2013


Boston Marathon Finisher – April 15, 2013 – Qualified for 2014

Chickamauga Chase 8k


Destin, Florida with my sister



Springfield, Missouri – During 21 day hospital stay





July 4th – 4 on the 4th – Fayetteville, Arkansas


Bentonville, AR


Bentonville, Arkansas – When Mike came to visit! Yay!


The Pinky Run – Welcome Home – Chattanooga




Tupelo Marathon – September




7 Bridges Marathon – Chattanooga



Bethel Bible 4 miler


Turkey Trot 8k


Funky Monkey 5kIMG_6703

Families on the Run 5k


2014 will bring many more blessed miles…I have around 750 left on my journey to Boston 2014.

Thankful for the ability and the desire!

Joyful I run.

Grateful I run.

For God, I run!

Here's to a fun 2014 enjoying the run!

Here’s to a fun 2014 enjoying the run!

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i2 ~ Iron sharpens Iron


i2 is not only the chemical formula for iodine it has also become a symbol of encouragement and love.  Like iodine, encouragement and love are essential to humans.  This symbol has very special meaning!

My brother first started using i2 as a part of his business logo while he was in Arkansas.  Not long after that  we were organizing the first Run with Trish 5k for Team Hoyt.  Rob’s company sponsored the race and we placed i2 on our t-shirts to represent his sponsorship.  Realizing the power of encouragement while running the roads I asked Rob if I could use i2 to encourage others in our running.  He said i2 is not mine but God’s. 🙂  So at that point, my running angels and I started using the symbol i2 to encourage one another on the roads.

i2 stands for iron sharpening iron as found in Proverbs 27.17.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

In November 2012 of the Lord pressed upon my heart that I could use i2 to not only encourage running friends but everyone.  At this point I did not act on it.  Then the year 2013 hit me like a Peterbilt truck…:) (that’s for my brother!) I was the recipient of an overwhelming amount of encouragement and love.  i2 was lived out in my life through others…many of you! You all encouraged me through Boston 2013, through my mom’s accident and then through Mike’s accident.  There were times I felt like giving up and because of the overwhelming outpouring of love and encouragement I didn’t! God provided encouragement in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined.  Then today during my devotional I felt God pressing once again…”you have received much encouragement and sharpening, it is now your turn to give back.”

With all of this being said…I am acting on it!  I have built Facebook page called i2.  Go here to like and share: https://www.facebook.com/pages/i2/639734179417709?ref=hl  This page will be used to encourage God’s way! I will post daily scriptures from the best encourager we all have – our Lord and Savior. My goal is to write and post smaller snippets as my family continually encourages me to do. This page will be used for encouragement and sharpening for all of us through the Holy Word of God.  In this process I will continually pray that the Holy Spirit leads me….this page is about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ encouraging His children through one another.

Life is a journey.  This journey is one with ups and downs and we all need a little encouragement along the way.  I hope i2 will be a positive source of God’s encouragement for you during your journey of life.  Share with others and feel free to post your encouraging words with us.  We are not alone! Let’s….

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

 1 Thessalonians 5.11

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What FAITH can do…

Fifty-two days ago I left Arkansas and returned to Tennessee after being at home for seventy-one days caring for mom.   This week I am on Fall Break so Mike and I returned to visit for several days. It was the perfect time for us to come home and see what faith can do.

As the chorus of Kutless’  What Faith Can Do reads….

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do…

Dreams moved mountains…Hope never ended.  Miracles have happened…Silent prayers have been answered.  Broken hearts have been made brand new…that is was faith has done!

The phrase I have used and heard used most often this weekend in reference to mom is, “She’s a walking miracle.”  And, she is!  She is doing phenomenal.  She is playing golf.  She is doing all she did before with the exception of driving.  Soon, mom, very soon.  🙂

When we decided to come, I told mom there were two things I wanted to do this weekend during our visit.  One was to go to church with her and daddy.  This was something we were unable to do this summer.  She was not ready.  Mike and I got the privilege of attending this special place with both mom and dad.  We were surrounded by the many that prayed for mom and petitioned for mountains to be moved.  Those prayers were answered.  We were surrounded by those who loved on both mom and dad during the time of difficulty.

On this Sunday, Pastor Eric was finishing a series called Walking in the Word.  He referenced Mark 12.30-31 and 1 Corinthians 13 – the love chapter.  He discussed how if we want to love God we have to love with all our heart, soul, mind and strength as it is stated in scripture.

Mark 12.30-31

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.” 

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues,they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Mom and dad are giving us an example of this kind of ‘no matter what’ love daily.  What an amazing example they both have been during these trying times.  God has provided and is still providing in their lives and ours.

The second thing I wanted to do with mom was take her to walk with her walking group, the Walkie Talkies.  The group walks up to five miles at a time and mom was an active member before the incident in June.  She has been eager to get back with this loving group.  Mom has been walking one to one and a half miles with this great group of ladies over the past couple of weeks.   They too surrounded mom with love and prayer throughout this summer.  It was a desire of mine to be with mom as she joined them once again for a daily walk.  Today we did that…and mom walked 2.2 miles…woo hoo!  Once again, she is a walking miracle.  What faith can do…

On the way to walk with the Walkie Talkies, God provided us with a phenomenal GOOD MORNING portrait.

..again from the lyrics of What Faith Can Do…

Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

Mom has shown us she did not give up! The sun is shining and she faced the clouds and found the silver lining.  It is hard to pray God’s will be done during times of difficulty.  We have learned as a family that the silver lining is much sweeter when we are on God’s page and not our own.  We have seen God’s hand every step of the way.

We have heard stories of how mom’s determination and faith have helped someone else.  We have heard that God welcomed one more life into His family thanks to mom’s story.  This is what life is all about…living the journey so others might come to know HIM just because you lived.  Mom is living! She is living a miracle…a Walking Miracle!

God has blessed our family.  We know the circumstances could be very different today, but they are not! We are so very thankful! We also know we have a great responsibility in sharing about our journey and WHAT FAITH CAN DO…

What Faith Can Do…Kutless

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes
And make a new beginning

Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you’re stronger
Stronger than you know

Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason
For someone not to try

Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright

Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You don’t have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
That’s what faith can do

Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise


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Home! Amazed!

Home! This word can have many meanings.  The summer months led me away from my home but to my home.  When I was with mom in Springfield our home was the hospital.  Once we moved to Arkansas my home was mom and dad’s home…one I never lived in growing up.  But what does home really mean? I am sure it can mean many different things to many people! We throw the term around lightly.  As we do the word love.  But this summer taught me much more about both of these words – HOME and LOVE.

Home is truly where your heart is.  Love is the action that creates the home.  I had several homes this summer.  One I was absent from but my love was not.  One I had not lived in long-term but my love always had.  This summer changed that. I was able to love while living in that home – mom and dad’s.  Throughout the summer God revealed Himself in the love – through the actions of others. He revealed Himself through mom’s amazing recovery. He revealed Himself through the amazing love we felt from everyone.  He also revealed Himself through some wonderful surprises. 🙂  I use the word amazing over and over because that is what it was…AMAZING!

During my last run in Bella Vista I heard Phillips, Craig and Dean sing AMAZED on my iPod.  As I listened to the words I realized the Lord had been dancing over us all summer.  He had been singing all around us.  He loved us through this difficult time! And now He was orchestrating mom’s recovery so I would have a peace going home – my home in Tennessee that I had so desperately missed – my husband, my kids, my friends….  He was still holding us in His hand…He was holding MOM! Wow! Amazed I ran…His love is truly that great for us!  Wide, deep and GREAT!!! Why am I amazed? I don’t know. He is God!


You dance over me,
While I am unaware.
You sing all around,
But I never hear the sound.
Lord, I’m amazed by you
Lord, I’m amazed by you
Lord, I’m amazed by you
How you love me.
You paint the morning sky
With miracles in mind
My hope will always stand
For you hold me in your hand
Lord I’m amazed by you
Lord I’m amazed by you
Lord I’m amazed by you
How you love me.
Lord I’m amazed by you
Lord I’m amazed by you
Lord I’m amazed by you
How you love me.
How wide, how deep, how great, is your love for me.
How wide, how deep, how great, is your love for me.

Lord I’m amazed by you
Lord I’m amazed by you
Lord I’m amazed by you
How you love me.
Lord you love me.

Home – I was able to prepare my heart and soul to come home because I was amazed.  Mom was now taking giant steps in her recovery!  Mom was doing so well they released her from occupational therapy and speech therapy last week, the week I left! She is showing how determined she is…TaylorStrong determined.

She has her bone flap back HOME and she is right with the world. 🙂  Her balance is great. She will be off the walker this week and on a cane.  Her physical therapist told her not to buy one because she will not need it long.  He also said he only thought she would need PT for three more weeks.  Praise the Lord!  Again, I was amazed.  As I ran and listened to the words of the song, I knew I was ready to go to my home in TN! I had peace!

This run took place on Monday.  That night I called Mike at our normal time to say good night.  When he answered I could barely hear him.  All I was able to decipher was “I have been working on a surprise for you since 3:30 this morning.  It can’t wait until Thursday.  Can you stay up?”  Since it was hard hearing him, I text him back and asked him if I was supposed to stay up that night.  He text back “Yes, please!” Then he text, “I PROMISE!!! It will be worth it; I’m SO excited to show you, it can’t wait until Thursday, I have to show it to you tonight! :)”    I couldn’t figure out what he would be working on that couldn’t wait, but I knew it would be worth it because his work is amazing. 🙂

Around 10:20 pm I text him and told him I was fading and I would turn my ringer on high.  Call me when he was done.  About twenty minutes later I receive a text that says, “I’m outside your parent’s house!!!! :)”  It was with a photo of him…or at least I could kind of see his outline in the dark of the night.  I couldn’t believe it. How in the world did he get here…if he was really here.  He calls me as I am walking outside and sure enough there stands Mike in Arkansas.  My home had come to me! I was beyond excited.  He stood there with his arms open wide in front of the 1955 Ford truck we received from dad two years earlier.

IMG_6205The short story of the truck.  My daddy has had this truck since I was two.  He gave it to us two years ago. Our plan was to redo it and have it ready to surprise him with it this summer.  God had different plans.  Mike started his business and we were unable to redo the truck right away.  While staying with mom and dad this summer daddy mentioned he would be able to work on it if he had it back.  So that is when the part of the seed was planted for Mike to pull off an amazing surprise.  The other part was in a sermon one Sunday at church.  Our pastor used an illustration where a father surprised his family on a vacation.  This got Mike thinking…how can I surprise Trish and her mom and dad.  Well, God knew.  He knew a friend of Mike’s would be traveling to Texas with an empty trailer and could take Mike, along with the truck, 3/4th the way to my parents.  He knew Mike would share his story with this angel and he would make the offer.  He knew Mike would say yes and he would be on his way.  On Monday, August, 19, Mike’s journey started.  The same day God was giving me a sense of peace and showing me how to be amazed.  Little did I know I would be AMAZED once again…at 10:40pm that night.  Mike drove the ’55 Ford from Little Rock to Bella Vista in about 4 hours and 45 minutes…about an hour and fifteen minutes longer than normal.  But, he made it…with prayer carrying him every mile.  Now, the truck was HOME!

The second part of this amazing surprise was yet to come!  Surprising mom and dad! The next morning we got up early to wait on dad.  Jasmine, mom and dad’s dog was sleeping with me because of mom’s surgery.  Every morning dad would come get her from my room.  I decided it would probably be best if I took her out before he came in because daddy still didn’t know Mike was in their home.  It might not go to well if he came in my room to two people in the bed…:)  So I took the dog out and Mike came out to stand by the truck.  Within five minutes dad was up and I told him to go ahead and take Jasmine outside.  He did and the next part of the surprise was set in motion.

Daddy walked around the front of the house to Mike standing in front of the truck with open arms once again.  In dad’s sleepy stupor, he was amazed! He was shocked. He was in disbelief! Mike was here and so was the ’55 Ford.  Mike had pulled it off and he couldn’t, we couldn’t, believe it!  Mike and the truck were home!

IMG_6190IMG_6192IMG_6198Now, off to surprise mom.  We went in the house and sent Mike in first.  As he walked in, Mom came out of her room.  Again, she was alone and walked out on her own with her walker.  (She is able to now…one week after the surgery…she was on her own!  Wow!  Turn WOW upside down and you have MOM…yes, that is our MOM…wowing us! Thanks to Mike again for pointing that out.)  Back to the story, mom turned and saw Mike.  Her look was of amazement! Mike had done it again!!! He surprised all of us and was at home with us!

Mike and I now had the week to take it all in and prepare to come back to our home…together.  He had come all this way to first fulfill a dream for dad – bringing the truck home and then to fulfill a wish of mine – not to drive home alone.  Boy, I am a blessed wife.  God is good! He is very good!

We had a wonderful time with mom and dad.  Mike was able to witness mom’s amazing recovery.  He was able to help daddy with the truck.  We all had a wonderful time wrapping up the special time I had this summer with mom and dad.  The sweet memories we made will forever be cherished in my heart – and their home will always be a part of me as long as I live.

God provided an answer to a prayer I didn’t realize I really had.  He amazed me with His peace and not only allowed me to come home with my dear husband but with a sense of peace so strong I still have a smile on my face.

Another thing Mike encouraged me to do was to make it home in time to run a race…a Run For God race…a Run For God all ladies race…the Pinky 5k.


I am so glad he did.  I was able to make it back to run and run well! I ran for mom! She was my inspiration and she is what helped me put one step in front of the other.  She helped me finish strong…TaylorStrong and NewsomStrong – I won my age group. 🙂  Not only did I run well I also got to fellowship with my amazing RFG family and friends who have been praying for me these last 2 1/2 months.  Such sweet fellowship! I missed them so very much…though I knew they were there with me in spirit they were now there in body too.  🙂  We had a great night enjoying God’s grace and love – I was home! In Tennessee and RUNNING!



Mom and dad are on their own creating new normals.  Mom gets her staples out this week.  Yay! Then she will be able to really get all things back together.  Her first priority is a hair cut! 🙂  Three months is a long time without one, right mom? 🙂  They are doing awesome.  God has amazed us all in this journey.  He has changed us.  He has made all of us better people.  He has given us a God story – one we need to share.  One we need to get out there. Prayer works! God LOVES us! God is HOME for all of us if we just believe!

Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

Matthew 19:26

But Jesus looked at them and said,  “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Romans 5.1-8

5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3.16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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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.


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,


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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M.O.M. – Mom Overcoming Mountains & Mom’s Outstanding Moments….

Today has been filled with MOM – Mom Overcoming Mountains and Mom’s Outstanding Moments!  She has had a great day and a good two days.  She did end up having the CTA (CT with contrast dye in brain) just to make sure everything was still normal and PRAISE THE LORD – it was!!!  The doctors believe the speech issues were caused by the medication they gave her to remain alert during the day.  Needless to say, she is has not been on it for two days and she is a different person.  Woo hoo!

Mom is steadily climbing and overcoming the mountains ahead of her.  Her journey is providing her (and us) with some outstanding moments. 🙂  Today, Dad and I changed places.  He is with mom and I am at home – my home away from home in Arkansas.  Dad was able to witness some moments during her therapy sessions.  She beat him in golf on the Wii.  LOVE it! First, I love that they played the Wii. I wish I had been there to see it! Secondly, I LOVE she beat him!!! He called because he was so excited they got to play golf together.  They also got to putt with a real putter and turf hole. I think they both had trouble. 🙂  These moments are priceless!!!! We thank God for them!

Mom also has a release date of early next week.  We are waiting to hear if she can have her bone flap replaced before she leaves as well. The date may change if this is possible!  God’s is moving mountains and Mom is climbing them.  She will be home sweet home very soon! Thanks to each of you for all of your prayers.  Your prayers are getting her up the steep inclines of this journey.  She can feel them and so can we. We are so very thankful!

These are the outstanding moments that are drawing our family together.  God is blessing us through this very difficult time. We are reminded daily we are so blessed to be where we are with mom.  When we visit the rehabilitation gym each day, we see firsthand how blessed we are…tremendously!  I also received sad news from a friend today.  Her family had tragedy hit this week.  In the midst of her struggles she reminded me, “we are all on our new journey that seems overwhelming at the time. Our only hope is in HIM and we have to cling to that!”  I couldn’t have said it better…thanks friend! I love you and we are praying for you and your family!!!

God is our strength in times of trouble.  He is are comforter. He is our father.  He is our great physician and we are calling on Him to help us through this journey.

The pictures  you see below are random photos from my parents’ home.  One is purely to make mom and dad smile…they will get it when they see it.  One is a mailbox.  Mom is lookin’ toward the next mailbox minute by minute and day by day!  She is MAKIN’ it to the next mailbox too! We are so proud of her strength, her faith, her determination and her gumption.  She is such an inspiration.

We were talking about her humor through this ordeal today.  It has become more pronounced along with her laughter and smiling.  While talking about this over lunch she said, “we’ve gotta make it funny!”  She has such a positive outlook.  I have always loved my mom and dad beyond what words can describe and this new journey has shown me why – they both look for the good in ALL things! The love they have for one another is indescribable.  They love God first and each other second and it is so very evident.  God has them in His hands!!! We have and will continue to learn more about this love by watching them throughout this journey! So very blessed!

IMG_5675IMG_5665 IMG_5666 IMG_5669 IMG_5670 IMG_5676 IMG_5677 IMG_5678 IMG_5680


 “Just make it to the next mailbox!”

A mom and dad would say,

As they and their daughter

were out running one day.

 They, knowing another mailbox lay ahead-

As she was ready to call it quits-

would push her to persevere instead.

 With every mailbox successfully passed,

She made the victory lap to home at last.

 To this day the message is still very clear…

Struggles will come and try to steal your cheer.

But as the mailboxes came and went…

She learned…

In the end the prize will be held dear for the endurance that was spent.

“Just make it to the next mailbox,” they would say.

What is your mailbox today?

written by Trish Newsom

The Taylor Family is aware of their current mailbox. How about you?

  • Anything is possible through the Strength of God

Philippians 4:13 NIV
I can do everything through him who gives me strength

  • Through him the weak become strong

Isaiah 40:29 NIV
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak

  • Ask God for strength

Psalm 119:28 NIV
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.

  • How strong is God?

Numbers 11:23 NIV
The Lord answered Moses ” Is the Lord’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

  • Who is your source of Strength?

Psalm 18:32-34 NIV
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

  • Do not be afraid

Psalm 27:1 NIV
The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall i fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?

  • God will uphold you in his right hand

Isaiah 41:10 NIV
So do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

  • God will not give you more than you can handle

1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

  • Lean on God and you will not be tired

Isaiah 40:31 NIV
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint

  • Love of God brings strength

Mark 12:30 NIV
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength

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A marathon of a different type…Taylor Strong!

The Boston Marathon was two months ago today! (I started this on June 15, 2013. Hospital life is much busier than I expected.)  Wow, how time flies.  As we live life, we have no idea how one event in your life will prepare you for another.  How that event will be similar in so many ways to another event you are unaware will happen.


God knew on April 15, 2013 as I ran the Boston Marathon that on June 12, 2013 I would start running a different kind of marathon.  He knew my dad would be calling me early in the morning with news that would be life-changing as were the Boston bombings. God knew I would need endurance of a different kind to deal with this marathon.  He knew I would draw on my marathon training to sustain while on this new journey.

During that phone call, Dad told me mom had either had a stroke or a brain aneurysm.  She awakened at 2:00 am with a headache and throwing up.  She tried to go into the living room to rest so she wouldn’t bother daddy.  She stumbled and dad heard her.  He rushed to her and noticed how unsteady she was and tried to help her.  She continued to be unsteady and daddy realized he needed help. He called 911.  The EMTs were there quickly and rushed her to Mercy Hospital in Rogers, Arkansas.  Upon her arrival they knew she needed specialized help.  She was airlifted to Mercy St. John’s Trauma Center in Springfield, Missouri and had aggressive brain surgery.  It turns out she had a  subdural hematoma, which is a collection of blood outside the brain.

Mom had a section of the size of an adult hand cut out of her skull and the bleed was stopped.  To ensure the swelling continues to go down, mom will be without this bone flap for a month or so.  They will keeping her bone flap in the freezer.  The doctor’s physician’s assistant told us it would be in the cafeteria.  It was good to have a bit of humor from the docs. Once the healing process is far enough along they will replace the bone flap.  Due to the fact mom will have a part of her head missing, she has to wear a beautiful blue helmet.  🙂  She is thrilled! We will add bling to it soon.  She has decided she wants Danica Patrick’s race number because she has become so speedy. This helmet will keep her safe.

This blog was started on a day mom was moving slowly and unbalanced.  A day she was mumbling and confused.  A day we were unsure how quickly her recovery would go.  I can JOYFULLY say that on this day as I write…She is walking with assistance but without a walker.  She is mentally SHARP.  She is speeding along in her recovery.  The occupational therapist and physical therapist that worked with her this weekend were both SHOCKED by the gains she made in 12 hours.  She was a different person Day #2.

We were told mom would probably be ready for in-patient rehabilitation by Wednesday.  Well, our over-achieving mom is ready TODAY – Monday.  She met with the rehabilitation doctor today and she is ready to go.  We are now just waiting on a room to open.  Once there she will receive intensive therapy 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.  Then HOME! I will be in Missouri until mom is released to go home to Arkansas.  Then I will spend my summer in Arkansas with mom and dad.  We are so blessed that I have a teaching job and can be here to help!  Once again, the Lord’s provision.

We are so VERY, VERY thankful for all the blessings God is giving to us minute by minute!!! God has been so very good. Prayers are going up from Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, California, Texas, New York, Florida, Oklahoma, England, France and I am sure many more places I am unaware of.  If you read this and you are from a different location, comment below so we know.  🙂

The Lord allowed us to start seeing blessings from the get-go.  He enabled the whole family to gather to support mom.  Rob and Lisa were able to come to Missouri as well as Rob’s wife, Mari and their daughter, Aspen.  Lisa’s daughter Lane made the trip with her.  The other family members were with us in spirit and through prayers.  Aspen is four years old and kept us entertained dancing, coloring and singing GOING ON A BEAR HUNT. 🙂  Aspen and Lane brought a huge smile to mom’s face when she saw her grandchildren.  Taylor, Lane’s sister, sent well wishes to mom via video from her new 3 month old baby boy.  He made us all smile with his sweet cooing.  Blessings of the family we have can not be measured…we have an amazing family!

Mom was surrounded physically with her loving family.  But we also know she was surrounded by love through prayers from so  many others.  We have seen the many prayers answered.  Dad has been overwhelmed by the outpouring love from all over.  I told him I totally understand because I had that feeling after Boston.  It is humbling to be on this side of a near tragedy.  Once again I am learning life is so very precious.  Life is short.  Relationships are KEY!

We have a new mantra – Taylor Strong! Mom is a pillar of strength. She is a very strong woman.  She has had so many emails describing her as that and as a fighter!!!  She is. She will run the race set before her and she will cross the finish line set before her.


We have experienced many Godincidences during this hospital stay. I will blog about them next…stay tuned!

Praising the Lord and still running blessed even though it is a marathon of a different type for Him – Trish


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