Tag Archives: Boston

Divine Detours…


This photo was taken 5 years ago yesterday – June 5, 2011  – at the San Diego Marathon. This is where I attempted to qualify for the Boston for the first time.  Seeing this photo come up on the ‘On this Day’ feature of Facebook brought back so many memories and emotions.  Ones I will not detail today!  It appeared in my newsfeed after I had been to church in Destin, Florida and heard an amazing sermon by none other than former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

The night before we were looking for churches close to the condo due to the fact we had planned on walking to the service because we were without a car.  Destiny Worship Center popped up with the banner – Guest Speaker, Governor Mike Huckabee.  This is where I wanted to go – so we did. 🙂  And, I am so glad we did.  I have heard him preach before but that was in college – a long time ago! 😉

He spoke about detours.  How we all have them…How we don’t like them…How we don’t plan them and we don’t want them.  He asked the question – “What if your detour is your destination?”  He gave examples from the Bible which included –

  • Joseph – being sold into slavery
  • Jonah – being swallowed by a fish
  • Jesus – who was betrayed and paid the ultimate sacrifice – death on a cross

As we all know – we all have detours! He went on to say that God’s priorities may be different from ours.  We have to have spiritual maturity and totally trust God’s best for us. The detour will take us down a path where we will learn things we would have never learned on the main road.  The purpose is to help us reflect the character of Jesus Christ and the product will be something bigger than we could have ever imagined!

What are the benefits of these detours?

  • We will see things we wouldn’t have seen normally.
  • We will go places you wouldn’t have gone.
  • We will go slower than you intended to go – so we can hear Him!

He closed with Romans 8.28 – 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.  As many of you may already know – this is the verse my family calls our family verse.  It is one dear to my heart and one the girls and I had been discussing while at the beach this past week.

As he dissected this verse, he pointed out what many miss – it doesn’t say that all things are good – it says all things work together for good AND it is for those who are called according to His purpose – or who KNOW Him and call him Savior.

The detours in life are working together for good for all of us who love and know Him. NO – it is not all good but in the bigger picture – bringing glory to Him – it does work out for good! And – we may never understand or see it on this side of heaven.

Wow! What a powerful message! I needed to hear that in regards to detours I have had recently – so thankful He has the big picture and I only have a small piece of it.

Now, back to the above photo.  As I stated, the photo came up on my Facebook page as a memory.   That day God had planned a detour – a major one in my mind.  I missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 53 seconds(around 2 seconds per mile).  I was CRUSHED! But, I didn’t have the whole picture.  Oh, and how thankful I am!!!

Due to that detour – I met Team Hoyt.  I had the amazing privilege of running the Boston Marathon not once but three times! I was able to qualify two times after this race and one of my qualifying runs was while running the Boston Marathon itself.  Running solo became running with a team – a team who makes a difference.  (And guess where a lot of the team members live – San Diego. I was surrounded by them that day and didn’t even know it!)

I could go on and on about how this one detour in San Diego truly changed the trajectory of my running and my life but I won’t.  Though yesterday after Governor Mike Huckabee’s sermon I knew I had to write the story down.  The story about how attending a different church service than planned – because we didn’t have a car was a divine detour.  A divine detour that enlightened me in so many ways!

God is good all the time and all the time God is good!

Ephesians 3.20 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…

Sidenote:  Governor Mike Huckabee was one of my dearest friend’s pastors in Arkansas. He performed her and her husband’s wedding ceremony.  I will never forget he had them face the congregation during the ceremony because he said everyone had come to see them not him. So true! Due to this fact – Mike and I did the same thing in our wedding. 🙂 Another divine detour….

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World Marathon Majors…checking them off one at a time!


God has truly blessed my life with running. In a little over 2 days I get to take many steps to get closer to my goal of running all 6 of the World Marathon Majors.  Up until this point, I have had the great fortune to run 2 of the 6 – London and Boston. Sunday it will become 3 of 6 and after running New York on November 1, it will be 4 of 6.

If you had told me many years ago that I would be running and running all over the world…I would have told you that you were crazy. The Lord has allowed running to introduce me to many different cultures as well as introducing me to many different wonderful lifelong friends. On Sunday I have the AWESOME privilege of running with three of these running angels…Yoli, Deirdre and Shannon.  We have been coached well and we will own Chicago.

Major number 3 will be in the books and major number 4 will come shortly there after. Majors 5 and 6 are on the bucket list! On Sunday I get to run with three of these running angels. We will own Chicago. Feeling blessed!!!

God has taught me a lot about life along the journey as well!  These scriptures sum it up perfectly:

Hebrews 12.1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Corinthians 9.24-27

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Phillipians 3.13-14

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Starting tomorrow expect many updates and photos recording the journey! #blessings #runforgod #chicagomarathon #TCSNYCMarathon



Running Blessed! Let’s do this! For HIS glory!


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#strong – Whether it be #chattanoogastrong, #noogastrong or #bostonstrong – The word “strong” has been paired with cities that are close to my heart and has gained new meaning for most of us over the past several years.  It’s pairing has followed senseless tragedy.  A tragedy where innocent people lost lives and where phenomenal people have helped save them.

When we feel a personal connection to the tragedy it does something inside.  God has placed me close to two of these cities…two of these tragedies…way too close!  As I ponder it, I know there is a reason.  I don’t know what the reason is and I don’t know that I ever will on this side of eternity.

We live in a fallen world.  We live in an evil world.  BUT, we also live in a world of selfless individuals who are willing to protect and serve for our freedoms.  Today we lost four of those heroes and several more were injured.  Senseless is the first word that comes to mind – senseless!  In the middle of the chaos heroes were made and communities were made stronger! #strong

I went back to the blog I wrote the day after Boston 2013 to help me process the activities of today.  It has been so hard to get my mind/heart wrapped around it all. And why it keeps happening!  The statements I wrote then, along with the scripture brought calm back to my soul…

God is showing me He is in control.  Tragedy causes people to search for reasons why…to search for a sense of hope.  We may never know why but God is providing hope.  He is in control.  Romans 8.28 – For we know that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.

A friend sent me a devotion today.  It was talking about being thankful in all circumstances.  My brother sent me 1 Thessalonians 5.18 – here is 1 Thessalonians 5. 16-18….16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  It is so hard to be thankful for the tragedy that unfolded on Marathon Monday but in the devotion it stated again, we can’t see the big picture. He can.

“Remember who our God truly is, a God who is there and a God who cares.  So let us pause to consider our Great King. Let’s look on heavenly things for a moment to calm our nerves.”  Full blog here: http://wp.me/p1uMx6-lo

#strong in Christ is what gets me through daily.  He has shown me through tragedy and through triumph HE is there and will be my strength when I can’t do it alone….which is often.  Hope is found in Him and Him alone.  We are just passing through this chaotic world…thank goodness.  Love others! Pray often! Stay #strong….I am proud to say I am #chattanoogastrong and #bostonstrong BUT most importantly I am #Jesusstrong Because we know HE wins in the end!

Psalm 119.28 ~ My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.

Ephesians 6.10 ~ Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Isaiah 40.29  ~ He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Philippians 4:13 Art Print

I want to say thanks to all of those  in our community who did an amazing job today bringing calm back to our city.  You will be in my prayers as will your families.  Praying for peace and comfort for the families who lost loved ones. Praying for peace and comfort for those who were injured as well as their families.  Here is my prayer for all involved:

Isaiah 40:27-31
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel,

“My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

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God’s 45th birthday present to me…


Run with Trish 5k 2014 Prayer Circle

As Boston 2014 approaches, I can’t help but reflect on Boston 2013.  My emotions have been pretty tame up until about a week or so ago.  I think of the joy and excitement we had going into the run and then the tragedy that struck and broke those emotions apart.  But we are runners and we are resilient…we will run!

Little did I know on April 15 that God was giving me an early 45th birthday present.  He was delivering beauty from the ashes on that day…He allowed me to run a 45-year-old Boston qualifying run at age 44.  So, I turned 45 on Saturday – 4/5/2104.  Race day age is the age you get to count when trying to qualify…of course that didn’t dawn on me until the Saturday after Boston 2013.  God allowed me to live through April 15 and let His goodness soak in through the tragedy.

My dream of running Boston as a true qualified runner is coming true on April 21, 2014…and God orchestrated that last year.  He also knew when I started my Boston journey in 2011 that it would work out this way.  He knew I would find Team Hoyt and be able to run with them for two years as a charity runner.  He knew the beauty from the ashes in 2013 would be to once again join Team Hoyt in 2014 as a qualifier!  Happy Birthday to me! Thanks to the Lord for this amazing blessing!

So, this past weekend we had our 3rd Run with Trish for Team Hoyt for my Boston journey. This year was different from any other in several ways.  First, I had the majority of my family and Mike’s family present for the run/walk.  They all participated and some of them even won their age groups. Blessed and thankful is all I can say.  Our families were on a roller coaster ride much of 2013.  To have us all together and healthy brings more joy than I can truly describe!

img_8390Newsom/Taylor Families…

img_8361Mom – Doesn’t she look great??? She won her age group! 🙂

img_8337Dad – He too won his age group.

img_7923My niece Taylor did too!!

img_7674My sister, Lisa cheering us all on!

Secondly, I had the incredible privilege of pushing a sweet 12-year-old named Gracey.  Gracey has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair.  I was able to be her legs across the 3.1 miles.  When a hill would come I would push through it for her.  I would tell her what was coming up along the way.  Gracey did a couple or should I say several wheelies as we turned corners.  She exclaimed with excitement throughout the whole course.  AGAIN, what a true joy!

img_8251The Estes Family

img_7981Gracey and I coming into the finish!

Thirdly, we had GREAT weather. It was perfect! We couldn’t have asked for more idea running weather! The venue was ideal.  The surroundings made for awesome pictures by a wonderful photographer…my other niece, Lane.

img_8397The photographer, my niece Lane…

Check her photos out here:   http://laneybugphotos.smugmug.com/Proofing/2014-Sessions/2014-Run-With-Trish-5k/


Fourthly, my dear husband and gift from God spoke of his experience during the Boston bombing aftermath.  He talked about how without the bad we really and truly wouldn’t experience the good…how it all works together to help us appreciate the life God has given us!  Mike is such an encourager and he definitely shared his heart with us!

Romans 8.28

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.



What was the same? My running angels…they were there all around helping make the DAY a grand one.  They started it by singing happy birthday and providing goodies to snack on at our early 6 a.m. set-up.  They made sure the race went smoothly from registration, to timing, to emceeing, to the sound system, to ice for drinks, to post-race food, to door prizes and awards, to clean up…I couldn’t ask for better friends!!! It takes a village to run the Run with Trish 5k for Team Hoyt!

img_8401My running angels!!!

So needless to say…God gave me a BLESSED 45th birthday…He started orchestrating it last year with a BQ and had it complete itself with an AWESOME day that cannot be replicated! It was a day to remember forever! One to say was truly one of the BEST! I was surrounded by people I love more than life itself, doing something I love and God gave me as a tool to use for HIM all while helping others in the process! What a day!

God is good all the time and all the time God is good…as one of my running angels likes to say!

So, going into Boston 2014 my joy runneth over!!! The good and the bad help me see the joy in life! I am ready to go to Boston and run for HIM with a team that is an earthly example of what our heavenly Father does for us….check it out here:

This God-given journey that started many years ago is going to finish Boston Strong on April 21, 204.  Stay tuned!

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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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Taking my ‘Breath of Heaven’…Boston 2014 training has officially started…


Today it started! Boston 2014 training is now officially underway.  The first four miles of many are now logged en route to the 2014 Boston Marathon with Team Hoyt.  Yes, You Can! is Team Hoyt’s motto and the message they spread.  This training season I will rely on this mantra more than ever.

2013 has been very eventful to say the least.  Running has been good therapy but hard to do.  I have taken the last two weeks off and quite honestly I am ready to get started again.  The physical and emotional fatigue of the past year have taken a toll.  I know God gave me running as a ministry to reach others…but I also know He gave it to me as a form of worship and comfort.  This season will be one I try to find the joy the fatigue has taken.

Last week God provided me with encouragement through song once again.   I was asked to share my story with my church’s women’s group at our Christmas banquet this past Saturday.  While preparing my testimony I heard Amy Grant singing Breath of Heaven on Pandora.

The song took on new meaning to me in regards to the year I have experienced.  The words flowed over me like a calm.  God showed me He was there helping me with the load I was carrying and He would surround me with His breath of Heaven.  Now, I don’t compare myself to Mary at all!!! Her role is a very special one ordained by God.  But, I do believe we all have our own loads that scare us…cause us to feel alone…make us feel as if we are in the dark…and make us feel weak when we need to be strong.  This song cries out to the Lord and asks for light, strength and HELP! The words ‘breath of Heaven, hold me together…’ have been and will continue to be my prayer.   I too want to ‘offer all I am’ and have you ‘Pour over me Your holiness for You are holy!’

Then His breath of Heaven hit me again today as I was finishing my first four miles of many, many more…I know I have already stated this…but I had to state it again! This is the beginning!  He showed me He will be my strength when I feel as if I am falling apart.  He will help me be strong.  He will light the path and HIS breath will surround me every step I run, walk or jog.  His strength is made GREAT in my weakness…

Isaiah 40.29

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

2 Corinthians 12.9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Listen and let His breath cover you and all you may be going through this season:  He will be your strength and breath!

Breath of Heaven – Amy Grant

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy Father, You have come
And chosen me now to carry Your Son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now, be with me now

Breath of Heaven, hold me together
Be forever near me, Breath of Heaven
Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness for You are holy
Breath of Heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place?
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of Your plan
Help me be strong, help me be, help me

Breath of Heaven, hold me together
Be forever near me, Breath of Heaven
Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness for You are holy

Breath of Heaven, hold me together
Be forever near me, breath of Heaven
Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness for You are holy
Breath of Heaven, Breath of Heaven
Breath of Heaven

Stay tuned for more tales from the Boston 2014 journey!

You can be a part of the journey with your tax deductible donation to the Hoyt Foundation here:



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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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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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The day after….

Today is a new day.  Today is the day the Lord has made so let’s rejoice.  I am trying. I really am.  I know our God is in control, I do.  But I am struggling right now. I know I am to have faith. It is my job to trust…not understand. I know all that…and it does bring me comfort. BUT, I am struggling.

A roller coaster of emotions have hit me today.  The events of yesterday are settling in.  As we left our hotel today we were met with armed guards.   The street in front of the hotel was blocked. The swat team and numerous police officers were at the hotel across the street.  Unsettling is the best word to describe it…eery.

These sights are imprinted in my mind.  I know they are nothing compared to the sights others saw yesterday.  Many of Team Hoyt’s family members were in the stands across from one of the explosions.  One said he has replayed it all in his mind over and over again! I can’t imagine…the replay of smoke in mine is bad enough.

Team Hoyt came out physically okay.  Emotionally scarred and changed…forever I am sure.  It drew us closer to our families and closer to each other as a Team Hoyt family!  We were thankful to share hugs! We were thankful to receive emails from those we were unable to see and touch.  Dick and Rick were stopped on the course when they cancelled the race.  They made it back to their home without too many delays. Thankfully, they are well!  The Lord truly watched over our team and helped us through this horrific day.


God is showing me He is in control.  Tragedy causes people to search for reasons why…to search for a sense of hope.  We may never know why but God is providing hope.  He is in control.  Romans 8.28 – For we know that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.

A friend sent me a devotion today.  It was talking about being thankful in all circumstances.  My brother sent me 1 Thessalonians 5.18 – here is 1 Thessalonians 5. 16-18….16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  It is so hard to be thankful for the tragedy that unfolded on Marathon Monday but in the devotion it stated again, we can’t see the big picture. He can.

After reading the different accounts in the newspaper it makes me really, really thankful for our safety and God’s provision. I have said this already but will continue.  My heart is broken for the families of those who lost their lives. One was an eight year old boy who had just hugged his dad before he crossed the finish line.  He ran back to be with his mom when the bomb exploded.  He was killed and his mom and sister were both injured. The father was headed down the corral to get his medal.  Relieved to be done I am sure.  Thankful to have a Gatorade and a Power Bar to refuel.  Then as I did, heard the blast and I am sure turned around to horror.  My story had a better ending.  His did not!

Sadness and tears consume me as I think about this…I know how panicked I felt trying to find Mike.  I know the fear that overtook me.  Prayers were being lifted but I was in shock and my instincts of go and find Mike kicked in.  This father did the same.  I can only wrap prayer around this family. I don’t know their names, but God does.  God also has this family and the others in His hand.

We are now in flight on the way home.  It still seems surreal. On one of the newscasts being broadcast in the airport a reporter said this is like 911 you will always remember where you were and when you heard.  I sat back and thought about this…I was there in person.  I saw the smoke. People were killed and injured just 2 blocks away from me.  The reality of this has not really hit me yet.  I know it will. On this roller coaster I go from reality to really? What a place to be!

The outpouring of love Mike and felt have humbled us beyond belief.  Due to the circumstances we were without cell phone services for a while. They were taking precautionary measures just in case cell phones were being used to detonate the bombs.  It was a scary time.  We wanted to get in touch with our loved ones – friends and family all around the world.  Please know that if I could give each of you a huge hug – I would.  That is what I needed and wanted….Mike was there for me.  { } Consider this your virtual hug!

As we have traveled God is showing His presence.  Before we took off in Boston I had to use the restroom.  I walked in and a girl was on the phone crying.  She had her Boston Marathon shirt on so I knew she had run the race.  When she was finished I said “I know I don’t know you, but can I give you a hug?”  We embraced and then she told me her story.  She was right there when it happened.  She was thanking the Lord for her safety.  We stood and talked for a while and I made a new friend. Liz-I am praying for you! I feel blessed that the Lord allowed our paths to cross. It was a Godincidence like so many other happenings this weekend. She talked about how she felt God was working. How He was drawing us back to our families.  We talked about God’s sovereignty.  He is in control.

After landing in Charlotte we were walking to connecting gate.  A complete stranger reached out and put her hand on Mike’s arm and said, “I am really glad to see you two!”  We thanked her as she walked on.  Good is out there….everywhere.  We need to live more intentional and show others our love and God’s love daily.  This is where the hope comes from in these times of tragedy.  That is what we are made of!

Does it make us sad? Yes! Do we hurt? Yes!  Do we wish we could erase it? Yes!  Questions are raised why? Why would a gracious God allow such tragedy?

I know our Lord is good…I know He is sovereign and He is in control.  Searching for answers is part of it…as I searched I found this article BIBLE TRUTHS FOR TRAGIC TIMES on www.cbn.com – The Christian Broadcasting Network written by Laura J. Bagby.  It was written after Hurricane Katrina.  She has conveyed the message so well.  She has referenced the word of our Lord and Savior that brings us comfort.  READ BELOW:

5 “The waves of death surrounded me; the floods of destruction swept over me. 6 The grave[a] wrapped its ropes around me; death itself stared me in the face. 7 But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I called to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears (2 Samuel 22:5-7, NLT).The above Scripture passage, a heartfelt cry of King David written thousands of years ago.  The Lord God is close to the brokenhearted, to those crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). He is our refuge in times of trouble (Psalm 59:16).
In the meantime, as the rest of us stay glued to the television set, transfixed at the images of horror that have transpired these last couple of days and waiting to hear from loved ones, we must not allow our hearts to faint to the point that we lose hope and begin to question the goodness of God. We can become overwhelmed when we dwell on tragedy, which is exactly why the Bible tells us to set our minds on things above and not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2).When our hearts are troubled, we must seek the Lord. When we give our anxious hearts to God instead of remaining paralyzed by our fearful thoughts, we gain His peace. The Bible tells us plainly in Philippians 4:6-7:Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (NIV).

John 14:27 also notes the exchange of fear for peace. Jesus states:

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (NKJV).

These are the times to remember just who our God truly is, a God who is there and a God who cares. So let us pause to consider our Great King. Let’s look on heavenly things for a moment to calm our nerves.

Me again:  I couldn’t have said it any better.  I want to reiterate her words…”Remember who our God truly is, a God who is there and a God who cares.  So let us pause to consider our Great King. Let’s look on heavenly things for a moment to calm our nerves.”

I prayed 18 weeks ago, at the beginning of my marathon training, that God’s will be done and He was glorified on race day.  Never in a million years did I ever imagine or could I have ever imagined it would or could be happening in this way! God will prevail.  We know the ending! Thanking Him for His Hope and love!!!


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