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Galatians 5.2

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Today I did something different.  Instead of running a race for me, I ran it for others.  I was a pace setter for a local half marathon.  2:00 was the magic time.  I was to do my best to finish around the 2 hour mark. (which I did…2:00:20)  Pacers are put in place to help other achieve their goals.  During the race we are to keep a consistent pace and finish well around our time.

This was a totally new experience for me….one I didn’t think through totally when I signed up. 😉  I accepted this challenge with a few of my other running buddies.  We were ready to try something different for a change. 🙂  We all had a great time making new friends and running through the Chickamauga Battlefield.  It was beautiful morning to run…glorious fall foliage and amazing historic surroundings.

Pictures courtesy of the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon

One thing I didn’t think about when agreeing to do this was the immense responsibility I would feel once I lined up to the starting line.  I was there to put Proverbs 27.17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another…in action.  Which, again I believe I did…but, and this is a big but…:)  I’m not sure I finished with the right attitude.  You all know this blog is about my ups and downs in running and in life.  I am going to be transparent here.

My goal was to cross the finish line as close to the 2:00 mark as possible.  That I did.  My goal was to encourage others along the way. That I did.  My goal was to stay steady and as consistent as possible…that I kind of did. 🙂  But, I never dreamed I would feel as I do now that it is over.  I guess it is because I am a people pleaser. I wanted all five who started with me to finish with me. I had one start and finish with me.  One finished ahead of us and the others I returned to the course and ran them in after I crossed the finish line.   They finished but not at their goal pace.  I felt as if I failed them.

Now, I am not reaching out for anything here…just stating where God took me today. After processing all of this in a cool down/stretch out jog,  I realized how hard it really was for me to let go of self.  God used this and will continue to use it I am sure.  As I pondered what I was feeling and thinking, I googled PUTTING OTHERS FIRST.  It led me to a sermon by Brian La Croix titled Putting Other First based on  Philippians 2.3-11:

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.  5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,  7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

SERMON:  The basic idea here is that we need to take our eyes off ourselves and put them on others.
When we’re filled with selfish ambition and vain conceit, we miss the needs of others that Paul tells us we’re supposed to be concerned with.  But when we consciously and intentionally look at others as being more important than we are, we start to shed that old skin of selfishness and self-importance.  You need to gain the right perspective on others – that they are more important than you.  We just talked a bit ago about the fact that selfishness and self-importance are not Christlike attitudes.

Jesus took His eyes of His own glory – glory He deserved and will deserve forever and ever.  He took His eyes off that and looked at what we needed.  That’s the example I want you to catch today. He took His eyes off his own glory and acted on the needs of other people.

Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to set aside your convenience, your preferences, your agenda for the sake of others?  Are you willing to be a living example of the love and priorities of Jesus? His example is worth imitating.  And not just the example of Jesus, but also His words. I think we’re all familiar with the Golden Rule from Matthew 7:12 –

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

I think it’s pretty clear – putting others first is what Jesus did, and we need to do the same thing.  For us to really put others first and bring unity for the Body of Christ, we need to be people who are surrendered completely to Christ.

The pacing job is one that puts the above scripture and sermon into action. You truly have to have a servant’s attitude.  You can’t be anxious for anything but in prayer take your requests to the Lord and ask for His help.

Philippians 4.6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with

thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

You have to be ready to have some runners that have set lofty goals and fall back or others that go out really fast and then fall way back. You have to be prepared to run as if you are running for someone else…because you are.  They are first and your run does not count.  As long as you keep your focus on the goal set before you, then you will succeed.  Putting others first is the key.

I think I may have missed some of that today.  Not sure…:) I did have fun and we finished on pace.  So, why do I still feel weird about it? My mind was too wrapped up in the things…the worry of disappointing…the worry of starting too fast…the worry of not staying consistent…the worry of not making the 2 hour mark.  I need to let go and let God take those things so I could truly Pace for HIM! Sharing His love through scripture, sharing His love through encouragement…just sharing HIS love!

Will I do it again? Maybe.  If so, I will bathe it in prayer and go in it Putting Others First.

Thanks for reading today.  This blog is part of processing my crazy brain. 🙂  The soreness of the run is settling in and I am feeling the effects of the beautiful yet hilly course. 🙂

Now to end on a great note, the lady who started and finished with me…she was a running angel from Boston.  She came here to run and was so excited about the venue and the natural surroundings.  She is also a cancer and brain tumor survivor.  She sharpened me and made me realize in life we truly have to lean on one another, set goals that keep us going and focus on the one who we are here for – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Still running blessed and learning every step of the way!

Trish

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Why we won’t give up!

 

On Saturday, September 22, an incredible group of ladies will be running in the Nashville Lady Speedstick Women’s Half Marathon.  This will be a first half marathon for half of the group and a second, third or other for the other half.  We have been training together for the past couple of months religiously.  God has been our strength and our friendship has been our fuel.  Fuel for getting up early on Saturday mornings.  Fuel for the speed drills we DID NOT want to do.  Fuel for the fire HE has given us to encourage one another.

Some of us are going for PRs and others as pacers.  I think we can all say, we have truly learned to lean on one another and look for HIS strength in our friendships and our runs.  It has been an amazing journey. We have pushed together. We have sweated together. We have groaned together and we have laughed together.  I am sad that this journey will come to an end.  But I know, the only thing coming to an end, is this training season for this half marathon. There will be many more races together and the most important race of all…the race of life…Our race of life with our Lord Jesus Christ.

So on this day, this is the word of encouragement the Lord laid on my heart today for Yoli, Gina, Nancy, Shannon, Deirdre, Krista and Kristy…Why WE won’t give up!

The rest of this post is being taken from an excerpt in my Life Application Bible, NIV.  I found it today as we were looking at scriptures in 1 Corinthians.  It spoke to me regarding our upcoming 1/2 marathon.

Perseverance, persistence, the prize!!!  The Christian Life was never promised as an easy way to live; instead Paul constantly reminds us that we must have a plan because times will be difficult and Satan will attack.  Be we never persevere without the promise of a prize – a promise God WILL keep!

1 Corinthians 9.24-27

  • The Purpose …Run to get the prize, Run straight to the goal
  • The Plan…Deny yourself whatever is potentially harmful; Discipline your body training it
  • The Prize…A crown that will last forever

Galatians 6.7-10

  • The Purpose…Don’t become weary in doing good; Don’t get discouraged and give up; Do good to everyone
  • The Plan…Sow to please the spirit
  • The Prize…Reap eternal life

Ephesians 6.10-20

  • The Purpose…Put on the full armor of God; Pray on all occasions
  • The Plan…Use all the pieces of God’s armor provided for you
  • The Prize…Taking our stand against the devil’s schemes

Philippians 3.12-14

  • The Purpose…Press on toward the day when you will be all God wants you to be
  • The Plan…Forget the past, strain toward what is ahead
  • The Prize…The prize for which God calls us heavenward

2 Timothy 2.1-13

  • The Purpose…Entrust these great truths to people who will teach them to others; Be strong in Christ’s grace, even when your faith is faltering
  • The Plan…Endure hardship like a soldier, and don’t get involved in worldly affairs; Follow the Lord’s rules, as an athlete must do in order to win; Work hard, like a farmer who tends his crops for the harvest
  • The Prize…We will live with Christ; we will reign with him; He always remains faithful to us and always carries out his promises

God is good all the time! He will take us every step of the way on Saturday! Ladies, we can do it and we will do it for HIM! I am honored to be part of a team who loves the Lord and others with all of your hearts!

i^2 – As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27.17

Running blessed…Trish

 

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God’s perfect timing…Eternal standard time!

Today, God truly spoke to my heart, my soul and my spirit.  We are to live eternally every minute of every day.  No matter what our situations are…good or bad…we are to have our Lord as our focus.  When we allow ourselves to truly view all things through the lens of eternity, the troubles of today are not as devastating as they seem.

2 Corinthians 4.16-18

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

The last scripture above really clicked for me today.  The Lord orchestrated a series of situations throughout last couple of days, climaxing with our pastor’s sermon today, to show me that His glory and His will are and should be the main focus of our lives…no matter what the circumstances.
The problem is…with the waves of life crashing around us, it is hard to stand firm in His hand without His help.  We must stay rooted in Him daily by praying, getting in His word and letting go of our troubles and letting Him have them. Then, we have to trust Him, as we trust the light is still shining behind the clouds on a stormy day.  Faith in Action!

My heart is heavy but my soul is at peace…All is well with my soul because my Lord Jesus Christ is my eternity! And with that NO one of NOthing can knock me down.

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TEAM effort….

1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV  …  So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God!
Philippians 2.1-4
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
The Lord is truly showing up! As I have said in the past, the Lord knew I needed a team for this part of the Boston journey. He provided in a BIG way!!!  He provided me with a TEAM of people to help me get to the finish line!  This is the email that I sent one of them last week after receiving the summary of our 5k plans: (Bayside…this is for all of you!!!)
I just read this twice…with tears in my eyes. Tears of joy! God positioned you and your group in a place at a time He knew I needed you all! I will never be able to truly put into words what all of this means to me! There are so many emotions running through my head…God has us in His hands.  He is going to carry us through to the finish line! I am so glad to be on this journey with the best team every…your team! Kathy, the Team Hoyt contact person, was truly amazed I wanted so many shirts. I told her it was because I had the best team!!! Thanks again for your willingness to help me…I don’t deserve it! :o) God brought you all to me b/c He knew I couldn’t do it alone!   You all are awesome! Thanks for putting God first! 
This journey is about God.  He is with us every step of the way.  He is and will continue to be glorified through all of the happenings…the 5k, the Penny Drive, the Butter Braids…all of it!
Status update:
Run for Trish 5k for Team Hoyt – OFFICIAL – we have entry forms out there and ready to pass out!
We are online with Chattanooga Track Club:
and Road Id:
Pennies for People –  Officially under way…I received a surprise box FULL of pennies and change last Saturday during our 5k planning meeting. They officially started the campaign with their generous donation. THANKS!! This week, I showed the Team Hoyt video to all of my students at school. The campaign to help others who can not help themselves is now under way!
Butter Braids –  People are ordering and waiting to taste these scrumptious pastries!! Yay!
I have also received donations from former Run for God Bible study members…such an encouragement!!!
God has His mighty hands in all of the projects listed above!! We are at $1400 online.  Every dollar and every step is for Him!
Yard Sale: March 31 we are having a Trash for Treasure yard sale with all proceeds going to Hoyt Foundation.
Training:
My current training week looks like this:
4 days a week – 40 minutes easy – we are running around 9:00-9:15 pace.  My trusty Garmin tells us when to slow down and speed up…It has been yelling at us a lot.  We are supposed to train easy these days.  (still working on getting foot 100%)
1 day a week – we go long. Today is 80 minutes…praying rain subsides before too long.  I have to run! 🙂
My foot is feeling better and better. This is an answer to pray.  Thanks to all of you who are praying for me!  On that note, all of you reading this are part of Team Trish for Team Hoyt! Thanks for tagging along, praying for and being a part of my God-given journey!  You are living examples of Philippians 2.1-4.  I need you! God gave each of you to me, whether I know you personally or not.  How amazing is our God? He loves us so much! First He gave us His one and only Son to die for us because we are sinners!! Then during our daily journey He provides for us in ways we don’t even know to ask.  God’s grace is sufficient for each of us!!!
2 Corinthians 9:8  And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
Truly running blessed and THANKFUL!
Trish 🙂

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God is in control…yes, HE is!!!

Are y’all ready for a great story?? The ending has yet to be written but the story is awesome…as is our Lord!!

This week the Lord has continued to use the scripture my brother referred to last Friday night at his house…over and over. Every devotional this week has been one of the several scripture references as its main verse.  Here they are again:

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5.16-18

I see a common theme with the Lord’s nudging…I am stubborn and it takes me awhile to really get it. 🙂

To the story…all of this has taken place over the last 21 hours since I last typed the words:

God’s timing… He knows what is best and when is best. I am trusting Him IN all things!

Twenty-one hours ago, my friend Nancy (who I have met through the Run For God Bible study program…www.runforgod.com), emailed me about a charity team running Boston 2012.  She has followed my journey and has suffered through it with me every step of the way…one day literally.  I can always count on her support and prayers…thank you, Nancy! She wants this for me as much as I want it myself. So, when a friend told her about this charity team she let me know knowing I had not heard from the other one yet.  This team is Team Hoyt.

If you are unfamiliar with the Hoyt story…please check it out here:  http://www.teamhoyt.com .  Grab your tissue box and be inspired.  This father and son team are a dynamic duo.  The father pushes his son in races of all kinds…marathons and triathlons.  The son is a quadriplegic and is in a wheelchair.  They compete together.   I was first introduced to this father/son team in the Run For God Bible study I was a part of last year.  We watched a video on their amazing feats.  You can’t help but be inspired. Find out more above.

After reading Nancy’s email, I immediately went to the Team Hoyt webpage.  The page said their 2012 Boston team was full.  But remember, I am stubborn.  I emailed them anyway.  I gave them the thumbnail version of my journey and asked if they had any spots available.  This was the response I received in return:

Trish,

We have a team, we are full, and I just got word that we may have a hardship withdrawal.  Let me confirm that and I will get back to you.  Heartbreaker on the qualifying times.

Doug

What does this mean??? Unfortunately it means someone is hurt and may not be able to run.  It also means the door may be open for another runner to slid in. :o) ME! Maybe, anyway.  Here is what I am asking from you…pray that God’s will is done and that if this is my open door that I am able to be healed and I can run through the door. 🙂

I took this as God saying to me…Trish, hold on! I can do this for you.  I can do this better than you can EVER imagine!!!

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…

This could mean Team Hoyt or something totally different.  As another friend just commented…HIS timing is always perfect!!!  I would be more than honored to run for such an amazing team as well as raise funds for their foundation which benefits children with disabilities.  They are Christians who spread the love of Christ.  And they love to run! Wow!!! God you did it again…

Of course, I am not in yet…but I am still amazed that this could even be a possibility! God is sooo good!!!

Now, this all happened at around 2:45.  Then around 3:07 I receive the email I have been waiting on from the charity team I applied to run for…and it said, “We regret to inform you that the Alzheimer’s Association is unable to offer you a charity slot for this year’s Boston 2012 team.” Crazy!!! 30 minutes earlier I received the other email…and now this door officially closed.  God made the path to the closed-door smoother.  He allowed me to set my sights on Him again and know that even if I don’t get in the way I wanted; I will get in His way…now or later and if it is His will in the first place!

Wow! Wow! Wow!!!!

God is so incredibly good!!! He knows the desires of our hearts.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

My desire is to please Him in all I do…To trust Him for everything…To know He is God and see His handiwork…Boy, is He ever proving it! And who would have ever thought He would use RUNNING to do so!!!

My God is an AWESOME God!!!

Walking blessed…running soon!

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His Power…because alone we cannot carry it out!

Romans 7:18  I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (NIV)

Ephesians 3:14-20 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  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…

His power.  How often do we really think about His power and all He is capable of doing? And that we are unable to do this life alone.

Last weekend, I got to visit with my dear friend who is in the process of adopting a precious 7-year-old girl.  As I spent time with them, you could just tell they were meant to be together…even though 7 years of the little girl’s life have already come and gone without her new mom.  My friend shared with me how the two of them shared many of the same likes and dislikes.  She told me of random items she had collected for no apparent reason over the years…and now her little girl is gravitating to them and LOVING them.  They were kept for her…God knew.

As long as I can remember, my friend has wanted to be a mom.  She has longed for the day to have her own child.  God knew that desire. He knew she would mom to this 7-year-old.   He was preparing the way many years ago as she started collecting these items.  (We were roommates in college and after…so I can attest to the many thing we BOTH collected over the years.)  His power! He knew and He answered her in a way she never dreamed until recently.  He was working His mighty plan all along.  How awesome is our God???

Awesome enough to send His son to die for us and save us by grace! Awesome enough to be our strength when we can’t be our own. Awesome enough to love us through the storms of life and seasons of life.

He is so awesome that He wants His best for us…not our best. Our best can’t even compare! But how often do we try to do it with our own power and not allow Him in to work? All the time!!! We need to step back and get out-of-the-way.

Now to the running…

Change…As we enter the season of Fall we think about things passing on and renewal coming in the spring.  Every year the season is different. The length of the days vary.  Fall stretches into Winter…where we see it all fade away.

Change – That is what I think about with Fall being here. The change of the weather. The change of the colors. I love Fall.  This is racing season…the crisp weather makes for fun and fast 5ks and 10ks.  I am ready to run.  But, one change I am dealing with during this season of my life is the diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis.  Yuck! Thankfully, I have a runner friendly doctor.  I also have a runner-friendly treatment plan.  I get to run.  I just have to run less and not as hard.  This is my change. This is my season.

So, as I sit back and contemplate where I am…I have to think about why I am here.  Hmmm….I cannot carry this out on my own power…I need His help!

My sister and I have had this discussion recently because of her present life experiences.  We talked about crying out to God during these times.  It dawned on me that we do draw closer during these times of change…we rely on Him more.  And guess what? That is right where He wants us.

Psalm 34.18  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted  and saves the crushed in spirit.

James 1.2-4…2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

He wants us to love Him and spend time with Him…He wants us…all of us!!! He wants us in all seasons of life…good and bad.

Ecclesiastes 3:1  1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…

Whatever your time is right now, turn to God and allow Him to be the power you need to carry you through to the other side…then stay right by His side where He wants you!

Running blessed!

Update on Boston: I am due to find out if I was accepted by the charity at the end of this month. Yay! They would be crazy not to take me, right? :o)

My blog has a new address: www.thenextmailboxboston.com

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