Tag Archives: Lord

Chattanooga Heroes Run…Freedom is NOT free!

5fallen

Today is the one year anniversary of the shooting deaths of 5 fallen heroes in Chattanooga, Tennessee – Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells and Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Randall Smith.  Our hometown hero – Dennis Pedigo was injured on this day one year ago. The Erlanger Hospital Trauma Services sponsored the Chattanooga Heroes Run to commemorate the day that forever changed the lives of so many – showing us that Freedom is NOT free.  We are seeing this day in and day out with the events of our world. Once again, Freedom is NOT free!  Lives are lost and lives are changed daily in the fight for freedom!

The Chattanooga Heroes Run was phenomenal. Kudos to all who came together to make it happen.  What a day! First, I got to be there with friends – running friends, CrossFit friends and people I have known forever.  (I have been in the Chattanooga area longer than any other place I have lived!) We all came together for a common cause and reclaimed Chattanooga streets….like in Boston in 2014.

As we ran we were able to thank countless police officers, fire fighters, EMTs, and the families of the fallen.  They were spread out along the 5 mile course.  One mile for each fallen hero. Moving along the course I was reminded mile after mile that these families made the ultimate sacrifice – they lost someone willing to die for our freedoms.  1300+ of us ran or walked by these families today – strangers to them – but their loved ones died for us.  Wow! How powerful is that? They died protecting the great country’s freedoms.

After running Boston 2013 and experiencing the Boston bombings my life was forever changed as well.  Events like these are never easy because you realize some of that freedom has been taken away.  As I run…I think about safety things I have never thought of before – I wonder about the what-ifs – I second guess my decision to be in a large crowd! THEN, those feelings change when you see the genuine love and care that the others who are taking part, show to one another – strangers in the crowd.   There are more of us than them!

We need to remember LOVE!

1 Corinthians 13.4-8

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…
God gives us love! His unconditional love we can all experience.  I have no idea how I would do life without His hope and love.  He is what gives hope in the evil times we live.  He made the ultimate sacrifice we can have eternal life where there is NO evil.
John 3.16
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.
Love was very present today in the Chattanooga Heroes Run.  It was truly an honor to run and regain Chattanooga streets! #noogastrong

 

Isaiah 40.31

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

#eternalhope

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Divine Detours…

trishsandiego

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….

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Cheerful Endurance…

 

IMG_6009

Mile 26.1 – The face of CHEERFUL ENDURANCE!

Run until the race is won! God works in mysterious ways. I believe He speaks to us in our ‘love’ language.  Mine is through running! Many people call me crazy…and sometimes I agree…especially on mile 18 of marathon.

Since the Chicago Marathon I have been inside my head…crazy. Agreed!  I was after a certain time and didn’t get it.  I was bummed.  After the race I examined the run and figured out what went wrong.  I knew what to change.  I approached NYC 3 weeks later with the option of trying again.  But, due to it being 3 weeks later, as I blogged earlier – I just enjoyed running NYC and took it all in with no pressure.

In fact, King & Country have penned my exact feelings in the following song:

It’s Not Over Yet:

They are inside your head
You got a voice that says
You won’t get past this one
You won’t win your freedom

It’s like a constant war
And you want to settle that score
But you’re bruised and beaten
And you feel defeated

This goes out to the heaviest heart

[Chorus:]
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et

Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over

Yea-et-et, woah
Yea-et-et, woah

Oh, game set match
It’s time to put it in your past, oh
Feel the winter leavin’
It’s redemption season
Long live the young at heart (Here we are)
Cheers to a brand new start (Here we are)
We’re revived and breathing
To live a life of freedom

Life is a race we run
So run till the race is won
Don’t you ever give up (Here we are)
Oh no never give up (Here we are)
Life is a race we run
So run till the race is won
Don’t you ever give up (Here we are)
We will never give up (Here we are)

Knowing life is a race we run and I was going to run until the race was won or for me my goal time or PR(personal record) was achieved – I wanted to keep on going.  So upon my return from NYC – my CRAZY marathon mind started going again and saying – I know I can do my time. I know I can.  And like the CRAZY marathoner I am…I looked for yet another run.  And lo and behold, I found one.  AND it was only two hours from home! Count me in!  Rocket City Marathon – here I come.  PR – here I come.  But, God had a different kind of PR in mind.  His work continues….

Once I decided to run this marathon God started really speaking to me.  He spoke in so many ways….I am glad I was listening.

It all started, or so I thought, with a sermon preached by a guest speaker at our church.  (I will tell where it really started later.)  The pastor preached on Romans 5.3-5.

Not only so, but we 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.

He used the term CHEERFUL ENDURANCE.  At that moment I knew I needed cheerful endurance as I ran.  Perseverance and struggle are a part of 26.2 miles as they are a part of life.  I knew I wanted to be cheerful while on this part of the journey.  The seed had been planted.

He preached again the following Wednesday and used another scripture from Romans.  Romans 15.4.

 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

Here it was again….learning from the past.  The past is to teach us!  And through (cheerful) endurance taught in Scriptures – we can be encouraged and have hope!!!

These scriptures became my training scriptures for the RCM.  I had hope that ‘the time’ I was working for was going to happen.  My PR!  But, as I said earlier, God had a different plan.  I was still in my mind and He wanted me in HIS!

2 Corinthians 2.14 was His goal – He wanted me to spread HIS aroma everywhere. 🙂

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.

In a marathon His aroma is much better than all of ours – for sure!  This scripture was given by another guest speaker at our church. 🙂  I was starting to piece it all together.  As the lyrics in Casting Crown’s JUST BE HELD say:

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held

He was piecing it together when I thought I was falling off pace and my training was falling apart.

Since July I have worked hard for that time.  I was doing what the tagline for Believe In It apparel says – back that up with hard work, anything in life is possible.  I knew I could and I believed in it.  My ‘it’ was my time.  But, God’s ‘it’ was His peace.

I won’t say I left Him out of the process the first go around.  He is the reason I make it through every day. I don’t know what I would do without my relationship with Jesus.  He is my rock and my shelter. He is the constant in my life through everything.  I say this because I truly experience Him daily and know beyond a shadow of a doubt I could not and would not want to live without Him.

My desires in life come from Him. My talents come from Him.  My goal is to use those for Him.  I kind of left him out of the time goal first time around.  As I stated earlier, I let myself get in my head.  I didn’t allow the peace that surpasses all understanding get in my head. Philippians 4.7 states:

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I had allowed my mind to take over and not His.  The journey from Chicago to NYC and Huntsville revealed this to me and concluded with a mental PR on December 12, 2015.

Now to the rest of the story – (Confession – this race was for God and me. That being said – I told only a handful of people.  My mom and dad didn’t even know I was running it.  I wanted to do this one with no strings attached.  There was tracking for the runners – but I didn’t share.  God was tracking me and that was enough.)

God winked at me over and over again during the 5 weeks between NYC and Huntsville.  He was preparing me for His peace through what would be my Cheerful Endurance run. He set the stage for the most mentally strong race I have ever had.   A mental PR was set on December 12, 2015 and I will forever remember this run as a spiritual retreat from the pressure filled mind of hitting that time – my time – not his.

Some may think – well this is just a way for you to write off not getting the time once again.  If they do – so be it.  I know how I felt crossing that finish line.  I know the last half mile I have NEVER felt stronger running.  I knew I was doing it. I was pose running at it’s best – falling, pulling and moving strong. Many commented on my strong appearance in that last half mile – that was confirmation I had done this in HIS strength! I was able to dig deep and finish smiling! Cheerful ENDuRANce.

Going into race day I felt great. I had had good training runs.  I slept better the night before the race than I had in days.  The pressure was gone and the race was on.  Originally, I had planned on going alone.  Mike is on a hunting trip or he would have been with me. 🙂  I did have a couple of friends who knew I was running offer to go.  I was totally okay with doing this one solo.  I wasn’t alone…God was with me.  In the end, one of my running angels did come and keep me in line. 🙂  She prayed with me, prayed for me, kept Mike informed, tracked me(she was the only one because she was there), chauffeured me home and cheered me on.   Iron Sharpens Iron – i2!

Proverbs 27.17 

 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

The race was in Alabama – Roll Tide country.  This Arkansas fan heard those words often over the two days I was there – starting with the check-in at the hotel.  My hair was a little crazy from the Friday fun day at school.  I decided to put my ball cap on before we went into the hotel.  Of course my hat is a Razorback hat.  I guess this was too much for the guy waiting on me at the hotel.  As we were about to finish up he said, “Roll Tide. You can’t be coming in here with that hat on and not expect me to say something.”  I was kind and talked about the SEC being the best and walked on saying nothing else. Later I had my opportunity to give it back to him and he chuckled.

As I ran the race I had some awesome God winks.  The first dealt with Arkansas once again.  Throughout the race many locals yelled ‘Roll Tide’ to the runners. This gave me an opportunity to yell ‘Woo Pig Sooie’ back to them.  A couple of runners from England were a bit shocked and asked what in the world I had just muttered.  It was fun answering them and hearing their English accents.  Another runner gave me a fist bump and congratulated the Hogs for beating Ole Miss. The same guys saw me once the race was over and said, “are you ‘Woo Pig Sooie’?” and gave me another fist bump. Don’t you love SEC football? 🙂

Here is a sampling of the other fun stories along my CHEERFUL ENDURANCE run – in attempt to shorten this post I will put them in bullet form. 😉

  • The run started at the Von Braun Center where Shannon, Deirdre and I saw a Priscilla Shirer LIVE event in April.  This is where God started this peace journey.

Priscilla talked about the Armor of God.  We have access to this armor because we are a child of His.  Ephesians 6.10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Little did I know in April of this year God was laying the foundation for my runs in October, November and December.  He knew I would allow the devil to try to take away my joy when I failed to reach my goal in October. He knew that I would get inside my head and not let God in for a while. Guess what? I didn’t forget who ultimately wins…it did take me 8 weeks and 3 marathons to figure out this message.  I never said I wasn’t hard-headed. 🙂  As she said during her message “The victory is irrevocable! The devil has already been defeated and we aren’t fighting for victory – we are fighting FROM victory!” AMEN!

She talked about girding up our feelings and thoughts with HIS truth!

The Voice of Truth – this song by Casting Crowns came on at the right time yesterday during my run.

“the voice of truth tells me a different story – do not be afraid…this is for My glory…I will soar with the wings of eagles…When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus…Singing over me.”

As did several other amazing songs –

Overcomer by Madisa

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds You
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

So don’t quit, don’t give in, you’re an overcomer
Don’t quit, don’t give in, you’re an overcomer
Don’t quit, don’t give in, you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave

Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed

You Deliver Me by Selah –

 Deep as the ocean, bright as rain
This powerful emotion lifts me up above the plain
It’s taking me to places I never thought I’d go
Showing me a grace I never thought I’d know

When I feel like I can’t go on
You deliver me.

He definitely delivered me and gave me a promise He sent to me in NYC – The best day ever!

The Best Day Ever  by American Authors –

I had a dream so big and loud
I jumped so high I touched the clouds
Wo-o-o-o-o-oh
I stretched my hands out to the sky
We danced with monsters through the night
Wo-o-o-o-o-oh

I’m never gonna look back
Whoa, I’m never gonna give it up
No, please don’t wake me now

Oo-o-o-o-oo
This is gonna be the best day of my life
My li-i-i-ife
Oo-o-o-o-oo
This is gonna be the best day of my life

The Rocket City Marathon is a small marathon with a HUGE heart.  There were around 1500 marathoners.  Many of these runners had a following – family and friends who found them all over the course.  These people also encouraged strangers along the way.

  • A group of 3 who lifted my spirits every time I saw them by saying “Hey there’s that pretty lady again!”  When I realized they were talking to me I am sure I blushed a little beneath the sweat. 🙂  I passed them again and they shouted “There’s the cute girl – your hair looks great, it hasn’t changed!”  I ran past them with a huge smile.
  • A father with a megaphone encouraging us individually by calling out our numbers.  The second time I saw him I told him I loved that he was out there.  His daughter lovingly said, “Don’t encourage my dad!”  I told her we needed more of him.  I saw him as I finished and I shouted – “I love that you are here!”  He smiled.
  • Crazy man – He started by yelling at us and telling us we were crazy but awesome. The second time I saw him I told him I agreed we were crazy. He disagreed and said we were great.  The last time I saw him I told him I had a new word for him – stupid.  I had just passed a runner who said to me “this is stupid.”  I agreed and said I had done enough of them to know better.  The crazy guy said “No, you are not stupid – you are awesome.” Smiling again!
  • A cop came strolling by in his cop car. I asked if I could have a ride to the finish.  His answer – “Only in handcuffs!” I replied, “It would make a great story.” Smiling!
  • There was one couple I saw at least 5 times. I asked them for a ride to the finish as well.  I told them they would definitely beat me there.
  • I heard Shannon yell “go Trish” at mile 1.  She met me again and encouraged me at the halfway point. It was great seeing her smiling face! At the finish she captured the joy on my face rounding the last curve to the finish line! Once I had crossed the finish line she took photos and yelled my name many times before my tired brain heard her. Thankful for my awesome God-given friends who understand my craziness!
  • Several signs were on the course that made me smile –

  • Press on to the finish! 

  • ENDurance!

  • Chafe now, BRAG later! Toenails are overrated!

  • Gym teacher sign – As I took this photo a lady laughed and said that is great! I replied, “I am the gym teacher.” This picture is for my 4th grader Bradley.  He is always asking if I have another run. He asked me Friday and “I said yes, tomorrow. Pray for me.”  He smiled!IMG_5979

  • I ran past one guy who was walking. I encouraged him, as I tried to do with everyone I passed, and he started running with me.  He said, “No PR today.” I replied “We toed the line and we will finish. That is a PR in itself.  He replied, “yes, I need to find something to focus on.” I told him I would stay with him but then he cramped and had to pull back.  I did see him finish and he finished well!
  • Mike would be proud because I yelled “Go Vols!” to a gentleman with a Vol hat on. 🙂
  • The Spirit Teams along the way lifted our spirits as well. There were high school bands, drum lines, an orchestra in front of a coffee shop, cheerleaders, FCA group and many others!
  • Peanut Butter Jelly Time playing over speakers during one water stop…and the PBJ I was able to eat at the finish thanks to the volunteers who were making them.  That was probably the best PBJ and chocolate milk I have ever had.
  • Shaking hands with the race director upon my finish.  Class act! RCM was awesome!

All of the spectators were amazing…there were not as many as in Chicago and NYC but they were full of southern hospitality….you just can’t beat that! It was truly an awesome experience! During the fleeting moments I wanted to quit or find a ride, someone would lift me up.  I tried to make a point to do the same.  I thanked the MANY police officers and volunteers! They not only made it a safe race they made sure to make a fun one.

The spectators, runners, volunteers, scenery and music all made the day amazing. When I hit the half, I knew I was going to battle physically during the second half.  My goal to keep cheerful endurance was tested. But with God’s help we won out.  He showed me His strength.  He gave me Words. He supplied His messengers.  He carried me through to the very end.  The hope I had for a PR was rewarded with the most peaceful 26.2 miles I have ever had.  Physically I hurt…but who wouldn’t after 3 marathons in 8 weeks…but mentally I was on top of the world.  God showed up and so did I!

Hebrews 12.1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I was able to run with CHEERFUL ENDURANCE and find the peace in the hope of Him showing up as He promised He would.  He gave me the strength to push through marathon number 3 in 8 weeks – wow! He did it! All glory goes to HIM! He had a journey set before me that started in Huntsville in April and He concluded it yesterday.

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

I was strong in HIM! He gave me His mighty power. I was able to endure the runs He sat before me. Over the last 5 weeks,  I was able to hear Him speak and learn that perfection(or a time) was not the goal – His glory was…and the peace that comes with it!

Being that I was in Roll Tide country for the race, it is quite fitting that I stumbled upon Derrick Henry’s Heisman Trophy acceptance speech while I was writing this blog.  His words were powerful and truthful.  He sums up words I would love to impart with my running and blog:

“Always keep God first. Always pray. Don’t be afraid to pray. He always hears your cry. If you have dreams, go chase them. If you believe it, you can achieve it. And God will be there every step of the way. I am a living testament, man. Growing up, having this dream, I am so nervous. I never thought I would be up here. But God is good. And I get on my knees every night and thank him for everything. So keep God first. Always pray. And always chase your dream.”  Derrick Henry

God is good all the time! God will give you dreams. Chase them! Keep God first in all things! Always pray! Chase your dreams and find God in them. He will be there every step of the way! Believe in it but believe in HIM first!

Running blessed but now taking a rest….Trish Newsom

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Coming full circle on a point to point course…

The first starting point – the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.  The day that changed my life and the lives of many others forever.  That is the point where the circle started.

Where did the circle end? The finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon with 20+ Team Hoyt members following their inspirations Dick and Rick Hoyt across the historic line in the ultimate TEAM finish.  This day will forever be branded in all of our hearts and minds!  This is the story of how we, as a team, reclaimed the Boston Marathon Finish Line for all who were a part of 2013’s marathon and America.

2014bm16

 

 

Isaiah 41.10 

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.

Isaiah 45.2-3  

I will go before you  and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lordthe God of Israel, who summons you by name.

Judges 6.23-24

But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

As I got closer to marathon weekend I could sense an overwhelming peace blanketing me.  Many people asked in the days leading to April 21 how I felt about going back.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt it was part of my journey and part of my story.  God started the big circle years ago.  He knew I would miss qualifying for Boston on my first try.  He knew I would run a qualifying run on my second try but fail to get in due to stricter performance standards.  He knew I will find the BEST team in the world – Team Hoyt…A team that truly represents HIS unfailing and unconditional love for us  – by giving us an earthly example of that love through Dick’s love for his son Rick.  He knew He would place me on that team for a reason…to experience the historic marathon in a way unlike any other – with an extended family!

He knew 2012 would be a great run – a hot one, but one that allowed me to slow down and enjoy the music.  The music of cheering crowds and clapping hands the entire 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston.  He knew my mind would be focused on the experience because it was too hot to race!  What a phenomenal day it was!

Then came 2013 – this was my year to run as a Team Hoyt charity runner with no pressure.  I was in and my goal was to qualify on Boston’s course. I was on target…but fell short by 7 minutes or I thought I had.  🙂 Again, God knew.  He had other plans.  He allowed me to finish that race 11-12 minutes before the devastation hit. He put a hedge of protection around me and around Mike.  He gave us 12 short minutes to find one another…though it felt like an eternity.  He protected our team.  He knew we all would be forever changed! He knew we would want to come back and see this thing through again in memory and in honor of those affected.  We had to do it! Yes, we did!  He also knew I would be returning as  qualified runner in 2014.

My beauty from the ashes was that 16 days before the 2014 Boston Marathon I turned 45.  That meant I moved up an age division and gained 10 extra minutes on my qualifying goal time for Boston.  So, on April 15, 2013 I qualified to run the 2o14 Boston Marathon and I was accepted to run it as a qualified runner in September.  Once again I would run the streets between Hopkinton and Boston as a Team Hoyt member…but as a qualified runner who gained my own entry.

Running Boston as a qualified runner was a dream or a seed that God planted over 14 years ago.  God is faithful.  God has been sowing this seed for a long time.  I obviously wasn’t ready when I wanted it…I was ready when He did.  And He did in grand fashion!  He knew the circumstances that would get me to 2014 and allow me to once again experience a life-changing event! He is so good! I am so very humbled to have been chosen to represent His feet during this monumental run.

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.

Boston 2014

This year I was not only able to experience the weekend with Mike and Team Hoyt, I was also able to take it all in with Yoli and her husband Tim.  Yoli is my training buddy.  Her friendship is priceless! I am a better person because of her – in all areas.  Running with Yoli is the reason I qualified in the first place…she is my rabbit. 🙂  This made Boston 2014 even more special.  We didn’t get to run together or really hang out on race day but we got to take in Boston and the expo together.  Special memories were made!

Proverbs 27.17

As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another.

IMG_7370

Another first time experience was being able to participate in the Boston 5k with 10,000 other runners on Saturday.  It was a beautiful day for a run! We lined up and took off. It was pretty much survival of the fittest as people jockeyed for position the entire 3.1 miles.  I just tried to stay on my feet because I knew I needed them come Monday morning.  The course brought us over the finish line of the marathon. I got to cross it twice.  The Saturday run prepped me for Monday.  It was a prayerful 5k.  I was able to soak in the surroundings and be thankful for the journey to run the historic roads once again.  It was a blessed run.

After the 5k, Mike and I got ready for a day filled with Team Hoyt fun.  We had the traditional meet and greet where we got to meet all the new Team Hoyt members and reunite ourselves with the alumni.  What a great time! Our team is beyond phenomenal.  Not only are we led by two amazing men, Dick and Rick Hoyt, but we are made up of quality people from all walks of life.  All who have one goal as the run – to show everyone Yes, You Can! no matter what you are going through.  You can get out there and take that first step no matter what! One team member was told he would never walk again after he hit a moose with his car…he is now an Ironman! Another was diagnosed with a form of cerebral palsy at birth and his parents were told he would suffer with life long disabilities .  He was hoping to run a 2:40 on race day but an injury slowed him down.  Another team member was hit by a car during her training last year.  She saw the blessing in it when she realized if she had run the race she trained for she would have been crossing the finish lines when the bombs went off.  Story after story after story was told during the meet and greet.  Team Hoyt is a dream team.  A team of 53 caring individuals running for a purpose as one!

As a team we then went to listen to our inspirations share their story at the Boston Marathon Expo.  Inspiring…once again. It never gets old listening to Dick and Rick share the reasons why they run! Yes, You Can!  The evening finished with the Team Hoyt Pasta dinner.  As a team we heard inspiring words from our two coaches, Uta Pippig -3x Boston Marathon winner and Varinka Ensminger – Army National Guard Marathon Team.  It is such an honor to call them friends and coaches! They are both a wealth of knowledge and such inspirations!!!  We had an amazing musical surprise…check this out: http://youtu.be/PzHTir1PNmo

We closed the evening with fun photos of the team.  We were ready to bring our team together on Marathon Monday and reclaim the finish line for Boston as a team.  We were and are TEAM HOYT! As one of the runner’s daughter’s posters said…”How do you spell HERO – H.O.Y.T. – TEAM HOYT!” We were inspired and ready to do this!

Sunday was Easter…the day we celebrate our Lord and Savior’s RESURRECTION! We attend Park Street Church right on the border of Boston Commons.  This is the park where the 5k started on Saturday and where the runners would be picked up on Monday morning and taken to the start line.  It is a beautiful park….full of life! Life is what this day was all about. We enjoyed the traditional Easter service in a church away from home. We missed our home church but were thankful to be surrounded by others singing praises and thanksgiving to our Lord for sending His Son to die for our sins! He defeated death and gave us eternal life! This was a very special part of our journey.

After church, we explored Boston.  The past two-years we wanted to take a trolley tour and it never worked out.  This day was the day.  We enjoyed a trolley tour, lunch at the Chart House – in the old Gardiner Building – the restored 18th-century offices of American Patriot John Hancock, and a harbor cruise.  It was a grand day.  God is so good. He gave us great weather and a wonderful day to soak in HIS goodness.  We finished our evening up with Yoli and Tim at the infamous Cheesecake Factory.  We carb loaded and added some extra fat in the form of cheesecake…Godiva Cheesecake…just in case we needed extra fuel on Marathon Monday. It was a fabulous ending to a blessed day!

Throughout these two days, no fear was present.  We felt the comforting hand of our Lord around us sent by so many prayers.  We were surrounded by love from afar and it made all the difference in the world. We knew He had come before us and was with us every step of the way! Next up was marathon day!

Isaiah 41.10 

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.

No fear was present only peace. Peace from above! HE ordained the perfect day with His many angels from all over the world praying for us! The day was almost indescribable.  It has taken me almost a week to sit down and attempt to pen it.  I will not and cannot do it justice.  It was surreal.

The day started early.  5:00 a.m. to be exact.  We had a bus to catch…a team bus.  This year we were still able to roll to the start line as a team but we were unable to go to our Team Hoyt house.  Our home was the charter bus we rode on…not too bad considering all the other athletes had to ride school buses, get off and sit in the grass with 30,000+ other runners.  We had our own reclining seats, our own bathroom and are own area to just chill for the 6+ hours some of us had to wait. 🙂   Before loading the bus we took the race day morning photos…bright eyed and bushy-tailed for sure! Then we were off….

As we arrived at the school where we were to hang out until 11:00 or 11:30 a.m., we noticed the police presence. They were everywhere. We parked next to a Vermont Bomb Squad vehicle.  Looking around you were able to see armed officers everywhere.  We were definitely protected.

The 6+ hours of waiting were fun times with our teammates. We chatted…we laughed….we went to the bathroom…some slept…we took photos…we made race day plans…we ate…we went to the bathroom…we waited….we went to the bathroom….we waited…

Before we were off…

Slowly our runners would leave based on their wave. There were four waves this year in order to accommodate the 9,000 extra participants.  I was in wave 3 along with my friend Joann.  We didn’t start until 11:00 a.m.  It was a cool morning. Perfect running weather or so we thought. 🙂 Our race day plan was to keep it at around a 9:00-9:30 mile and catch up with Dick and Rick.  My plan was to finish with them.  Joann was going to see how she felt and then decide.  The day started to warm up and by the time we made it to the start line we had shed all of our warm clothing, donating it to the shelters in Boston.   As we made our way to the start we were corralled through security. No bags, nothing extra at all! We were wanded from head to toe and sent on our way.  They were not taking any chances.  Hats off to all of the officers present to keep us safe.  WE felt it!

As we towed the start line we were ready.  Joann said this is our day! We were smiling and joy overcame us! This was a day to reclaim what they tried to take away last year.  Joann didn’t get to finish. She was stopped shy of the finish line.  I had finished but felt something was ripped away.  We were ready to get it back! Let’s do it!

Off we went! The first couple of miles flew by.  We were having to watch our pace and back off because we were getting caught up with the excitement.  People were cheering us on by clapping, yelling, holding signs.  Several told us thanks for coming back.  There were so many spectators.  The towns were electric.  We had kids and adults giving high fives.  We had people holding signs that said “go random stranger go!” Love it! It was magical the entire way…or so we thought!  We hadn’t even experienced half of it yet. The best was yet to come!

As we approached mile 8 we knew Joann had friends waiting.  This was where one of our team members family hangs out.  They have cheered Team Hoyt on for their 32 years running the Boston Marathon.  They can spot them from way off.  Joann’s friends teamed up with them and we had a grand welcome to mile 8.4.  It was truly awesome.  We received hugs, water and encouragement.  Just what we needed to keep on going!

Then as we rolled up on mile 10 I thought I heard someone calling my name…TRISH, TRISH! I did! Emily from Alabama (originally from Massachusetts) was standing off to the left-hand side with a sign that said GO TRISH.  IMG_7520

What a nice surprise! How in the world she spotted us and I heard her…I know how…God put her there for us! It was awesome!  I just met her at my Run with Trish 5k for Team Hoyt in Chattanooga.  She read about it and came out to support us.  Being from Massachusetts she was familiar with Team Hoyt and wanted to supported them and our run.  Then she did it again at the Marathon…how cool is that???

After this point I was energized but my legs were heavy.  It was getting warmer.  We were running a marathon…it is not always easy. 🙂  Joann encouraged me to keep on keeping on…as we both did.  I thought about our team and what it stood for…yes, you can!  Another time I was feeling heavy we came across a young man running the marathon on crutches.  Boy, I knew I could do it if he could.  One step at a time.  Joann pulled me through.  Our goal was to make it to Dick and Rick we could do this! Yes, we could!

As we ran my eyes continually glanced ahead of us looking for red jerseys.  I knew we should find the team soon.  One lady told us that they had been there recently and were walking.  We weren’t far behind. Yay!  Then we saw them…or should I say heard the roar.  Check out the videos:

http://youtu.be/ODlQBOJrsoU

http://youtu.be/Q1mIZtWXKxQ

http://youtu.be/pyU9BAd3GT0

http://youtu.be/V8nkMPblKoI

http://youtu.be/s52-DVrJlTE

These just give you a small taste of what it was like…truly amazing! Indescribable!!!! Once we caught up with this dynamic duo we walked the last nine miles with them and just took it all in.  I really can’t put it into words. There were several very special moments along the course.  Two different times Dick and Rick pulled over to speak with a young girl and young boy in wheelchairs.  The parents were so very honored that they took the time to stop.  It was so moving…this is what they are all about….inclusion! Yes, You CAN!

IMG_1370 IMG_1379

Photos taken by a team member – Dave – thanks for capturing  these priceless moments DAVE!

Then at the top of HeartBreak Hill, where we are all tired no matter what, we found MIKE! I was overjoyed.  He is as much part of our team as I am. They were all so glad to see him.  This was the encouragement and boost we needed to make the last 5.2 miles.  They all hugged him then it was my turn.  I got a hug and a kiss. 🙂  IMG_7533

What a day it was turning out to be!!! We had the best waiting on us.  The last mile from the Citgo sign on to Boylston Street! We were ready to reclaim that finish line together….Team Hoyt STRONG and Boston Strong! Joann went on and attacked Heartbreak Hill.  She did great!

Around mile 24 we picked up our three-time Boston Marathon winner coach – Uta Pippig.  Joann was waiting with her to finish with all of us.  She was so very excited to see Dick and Rick and the whole team. We were now ready to finish strong.

IMG_7550

Off we went! We rounded the corner next to the Fire Station who lost a member of their unit not too long ago…he was supposed to be running the race.  It was moving in itself to see the signs for him and hear the cheers.  Then the final turn toward the finish line.  It was remarkable! It was beautiful! It was magnificent! It was surreal! Team Hoyt’s leaders – Dick and Rick Hoyt led the charge for the finish line. This would be the last time Dick and Rick Hoyt would cross the finish line together.  This was their chance to reclaim what was taken from them last year. The roars continued to erupt along the course as the team got closer.  It was unreal!!  You could sense the respect the crowd have for these two who we call Team HOYT! Their 32nd and final Boston Marathon finish. This was it.  The crowd was gong to make sure they had a proper farewell.  And that, they did!!!

http://youtu.be/kBfrEKij3zs 

The crowd said thank you.  They showed Dick and Rick that they were as much as a part of the marathon as the marathon itself.  Dick and Rick showed the nation that they were Boston Strong and Team Hoyt Strong and no one was going to keep them from doing what they set out to do last year…finish their 32nd Boston Marathon! They did it with many of their team members by their side and others there in spirit.  Team Hoyt will continue with another team member pushing Rick along the streets in the future.  The Yes, You Can spirit will live on!

finishline2014

It was a day for the record books.  It was a day forever etched in my heart and in my mind.   God knew what He was doing so many years ago.  He knew He was giving me a story to tell.  A story of His love and grace.  A story that shows good triumphing over evil.  A story that will forever show HIS true spirit of unconditional love through two amazing men – Dick and Rick Hoyt.  Dick has given Rick the opportunity to live life to the fullest through different sporting events.  He loves his son so much he is his legs.  They say Dick is the arms and legs and Rick is the heart.  This is a real-life love story of a father and son that is hard to top.

We have a heavenly Father that wants to do the same for us!  He can give us life that we can live to the fullest as well….He can push us through our journey and carry us through the tough times.  The finish line is eternal life with HIM as long as we believe.  He is there waiting!

Romans 10.9-10

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

 

I am truly honored and humbled to be given this story. God has been so very good. He has blessed me beyond what I deserve.  He has been with me every step of the way even when I have stumbled…when I have fallen…when I am not worthy…which all of these happen daily! He has given me a story! An amazing story! I want to shout it from the mountain tops…that is why it has taken me over 3500 words to get it out.  The event I thought was indescribable was far from it…I could keep on going but I won’t!

Last words – I am just so very thankful for the Lord allowing me to come full circle…full circle from the time I stated I wanted to run the Boston Marathon so many years ago AND most importantly coming full circle from last year’s horrific events to this year’s joyful and peaceful events.

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

Thanks to all of you for your prayers, your support and your love! This journey is as much about you as it is me.  We have to live life to the fullest and help others along the way!

This post, about this remarkable day, is dedicated to my amazing husband who follows along on my many running journeys – He supports me no matter what and loves me all the way to the finish line.  I would never want to do this without him.  He makes it worth it all….IMG_7593

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

i2 ~ Iron sharpens Iron

IMG_6745

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One phone call away…

As I was looking through our 2013 Taylor Christmas photos, music was playing in the background. The words “I guess we’re all one phone call from our knees” rang out. These words have so much meaning to our family this year. We experienced that phone call more than once!

My family first experienced the phone call on April 15, 2013…The Boston Marathon! The second phone call was from dad on June 12, 2013 when mom had her brain bleed.  The third and hopefully final phone call of 2013 was on November 8 when Mike fell from the ladder and broke his shoulder and nose.  All of these things literally brought us to our knees! We cried out to our Lord and Savior for help, for comfort, for healing, for understanding and for peace!  To which He answered all of them in His perfect timing.

Romans 8.26

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

 

These photos were taken by my very talented niece Lane Lewis of Laneybugphotos.  Check her work the rest of Christmas 2013 here:   http://laneybugphotos.smugmug.com/MyPhotos/2013/Christmas-2013/i-Fd6xdth  

She truly captured the overwhelming joy our family experienced this season.

This Christmas we celebrated life.  First, we celebrated Jesus’ birth and life!  His life and death assures us of eternal life and comfort on earth through the Holy Spirit.  We have felt His presence through the Holy Spirit with each phone call.  It baffles me how anyone can receive a phone call that brings you to your knees and not know, really know God.  How do they survive?  He is the only way I have survived and found peace and joy in ALL circumstances.

Jeremiah 29.11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Then we celebrated our lives and being able to be together! We enjoyed quality time just being! This time of year we forget that…we forget to be still and just take it all in!  We celebrated sitting in a room with one another…conversing, laughing, reminiscing…being together in the moment.

Looking at the pictures brings us tears of joy just knowing how faithful God has been.  He never left us.  He held us together the whole time.  Mom is a miracle! Mike is alive and healing extremely well! Boston 2014 will bring closure to a bittersweet Boston 2013.  All of these things have taught us to live for Him in the moment.

We have learned this year that the moment will and can end.  We have no control of when that will happen.  But it will! Take this day and make it your best.  God gave us the best present next to His son – the PRESENT….we need to live in it and find the joy in the people around us!

Psalm 30.5

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

Matthew 6.25-34

 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

2014 will hopefully be a little less eventful.  BUT, if it is not and I receive yet another phone call…my knees is where you will find me. Why?Because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Lord and Savior will be there to pick me up and help me take each step of whatever journey lay ahead.  How do I know? Because He has proven Himself over and over in 2013(and before!)  He is our Lord and He is our Savior…He is faithful and good ALL the time!

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Merry CHRISTmas…from start to finish!

images-12

Merry CHRISTmas!

Today’s post is about the whole CHRIST story from start to finish! Christ was born for a purpose to later be fulfilled in His death and resurrection for us – sinners who did not and do not deserve this AMAZING GRACE!

Merry CHRISTmas my friends and followers! May you know the true reason for this season…Jesus!

Be blessed this day as we celebrate the START of an amazing journey taken for us by the babe called Jesus…

The Characters…

Luke 1

31…Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 

 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” 38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

The Setting…

Luke 2.11-14

11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

The Plot…

John 3.16-17

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

The Conflict…

Titus 3.3-8

3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

The Theme…

Romans 10.9-10

9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

christmasMay you feel His love for you on this day! He is the reason for this season and the key to a fulfilled life!

Merry CHRISTmas 2013!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A middle school lesson for this teacher…Wow!

images-10

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by one of my 8th grade students to be the adult sponsor of a student led Bible club.   This group wanted to meet before school once a week, but they needed an adult sponsor.  I joyfully accepted! There is nothing more exciting than Jesus…but kids wanting to learn more about Jesus and the Bible is pretty amazing. 🙂

Today was our first day.  It was so very encouraging!!!  Twelve 7th and 8th graders showed up and when asked why, most said “they want to know more about the Bible!” Wow! These kids are in middle school.  They are in the thick of it…for the record, I would never want to go back to those days…middle school is tough.  Tougher these days than in mine by far!

Each student vocalized their desire to pray and to start the day off right.  Again, wow! From the mouths of babes…to start the day off right. 🙂  I can already tell I will learn from this wonderful group of guys and girls.  God will be using them…I have no doubt!

How many of us take time to do what they are wanting to do and start the day off right with God’s word?  God even suggests doing so in His word:

Mark 1:35

“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight,

He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed”

Psalm 5:3

“My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;

In the morning I will direct it to You,

And I will look up”

Psalm 63:1

“O God, You are my God;

Early will I seek You;

My soul thirsts for You;

My flesh longs for You

In a dry and thirsty land

Where there is no water”

How wise are these young ones? Very wise!   Read on:  One conversation we had this morning was trying to have a positive impact on others throughout the day.  I encouraged them to help each other do so.  I asked them how many of them had a Facebook page.  Then I asked them what happened on Facebook and one of them answered  – ‘drama!’  Another chimed in – ‘lots of drama!’  At this point, I shared with them that one of my ways to be positive is to try to encourage others through scripture on Facebook.  Daily I post scripture from my devotional.  The word of God lifts me up and helps me start my day off great…as the kids’ say.

One of my scriptures this morning was:

Psalm 107.19-20

19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.

20 He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.

The devotion that went with it talked about how His word heals as it states in verse 20.  How many of us and how many of today’s youth are hurting and need a touch of heaven?  We can all have it through the healing that comes from His word.  These kids are reaching out and wanting to know more.  They are going through things I can’t even imagine…and God can bring healing!

Will you pray with me for these kids? Will you also take time to look around you and see how you can bless someone today?  We live in a world of ‘drama’…again in the kids’ words…so let’s help each other by being positive and shining His light. Let’s help by pointing them to the HEALING Word of God!

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

This roller coaster ride we call LIFE…yet another ride…

Friday, November 8 started off as a great day. It was my mother’s birthday.  We were so thankful to be celebrating her life…after all she has been through this summer…we were elated to rejoice with her progress and God’s provisions in her life.  I started her day by writing a blog just for her! It was a wonderful way to reflect on God’s goodness and to honor her.

Then at 8:03 a.m. things changed…we  had just stepped on yet another roller coaster ride for the year 2013.  I called Mike from work because I realized I had lost an earring. I wanted him to check the floor at home to see if he could find it.  Mike didn’t give me a chance to tell him.  He was in so much pain he interrupted me to tell me just that.  All I heard was limb, shoulder and nose.  Immediately I said, “I am coming home!” Praying to our Lord and Savior I took off to find out what was going on…

IMG_6609
Where this roller coaster began…The tree and the limb!
Mike’s dad cut it and cleaned it up for us!

 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14.1

As I was driving home my mother-in-law called and said they were headed to our primary care physician’s office.  We have a great physician.  He takes his time and truly cares about his patients.  As soon as he laid eyes on Mike you could see the concern on his face. He asked Mike what happened and this is when I learned the details of his accident.  Mike was about 15 ft. up on a ladder.  He was trimming a tree limb with a chainsaw.  As the limb came down it knocked the ladder out from under Mike and he fell to the ground.  As he was falling he had the wherewithal to throw the chainsaw away from his body.  His injuries indicate he hit the ground with his shoulder and nose because they took the brunt of the fall.  After listening and examining Mike, Dr. Black asked me if I knew where we were going…as I looked confused he said , ” the ER!”  He called ahead to the ER and off we went.

Image

Psalm 34.17-20a

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones…

Mike was in pain! He was hurting! It was written all over his face.  His demeanor was unlike I had ever seen him.  As he crouched in the car he was speechless…he was aching all over.  We made it to the ER. We prayed on the way…thanking the Lord for his hedge of protection and for the care He would provide.  We prayed for the caregivers…and we prayed peace and calm.  We knew we were very blessed.  We knew this could have been so much worse.  Earlier in the week we had just discussed a guy in Indiana who had fallen from a tree stand and was paralyzed from the neck down.

We spent the day in the ER.  Mike had a CT scan and x-rays.  They determined his nose was  a simple fracture…which Mike set back on his own before ever going to the doctor…crazy! He did have a cut on his nose. They considered this an open fracture.   But due to this fact they would not do surgery immediately.  He had to wait until Wednesday of this week to have it repaired.

He was one tough cookie…I knew he was tough…but now I have NO doubt.  Tuesday, November 12 Mike had a doctor appointment with the surgeon.  The look on the nurse’s and the surgeon’s faces when they looked at the x-ray told us all we needed to know. It was bad…So bad that the surgeon said he would work Mike in the next day.  He didn’t want him to wait.  He said this type of break is as bad as they get – a 3 part proximal humerus fracture. So on Wednesday, November 13 he finally had surgery. He was last one to go under the doctor’s knife on Wednesday.  We were told to be there at 1:30pm for a 3:30pm surgery.  He was finally rolled back at 6:45pm.  Needless to say it, was a long day!  We were clinging to the Lord’s promise that He would provide. And he did.

1 John 5.14-15
this is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
IMG_6618 IMG_6638

Before Surgery…                                   After surgery…Mike’s NEW hardware!

Mike now has a shoulder full of new hardware.  The doctor said it was a hard fix but he was very pleased with how it all pieced back together.  We were so very thankful and praising God for being the Great Physician and guiding Mike’s doctors hands every step of the way.  We are now home and he is recovering.

This blog was started yesterday with intent to finish it last night.  Pain…Mike’s pain…reared its ugly head and I did not get a chance to finish.  The pain has been yet another roller coaster ride.  We were told not to let it get ahead of us because it would be hard to catch him up…boy were they right.   We have followed all the directions to a tee but we found out later we could have done things a little differently to make sure he stayed ahead of it…now we know.  The pain roller coaster  is on an even stretch as I type and I pray it stays that way.  The ups and downs of the ride have been difficult for Mike but our prayers for relief have been heard!

Let me say…I don’t like roller coasters.  I don’t like the way they jerk you around. I don’t like the way your stomach leaves you for a while.  I don’t like the speed in which you fly and then the sudden stop at the end.  The ups and downs paired with the fear of what’s next is unnerving.  But, when I step on them…even though I don’t like them…I trust that when I am buckled in that the ride will not last forever.  It will have thrills along with chills.  I also trust the designer and builder with my life…without knowing them.  My trust is in the park that they are maintaining the ride and it is safe.  I don’t know them either.

With all of this being said…if I trust those I don’t know…then why should I worry and be fearful while Mike and I are on this roller coaster? I shouldn’t!  Today, God provided the perfect scripture once again for this season of our life:

1 Peter 5.6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.Matthew 6.31-34
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

We are trusting God during this time.  Our job is not to try to understand why it happened but to trust during the ride.  Mike wants others to learn from his mistake…knowing he could have done so many things to prevent this…Safety first…always! We thank and praise God it wasn’t any worse…we know are truly blessed.  We will praise Him in this storm once again!

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

3 Comments

November 16, 2013 · 12:24 pm

Happy Birthday, Mom!

IMG_6281Today is a very special day…it is my mom’s birthday!  I am overcome with emotion just thinking about the last 5 months leading up to this special day.  There were many days we did not know if mom would celebrate the young 74 she is! But, by the grace of our wonderful Lord and Savior…she is! So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MoM!!

Mom upside down is WoW…and this word definitely describes how we as a family have felt throughout mom’s journey.  We have been wowed by God’s grace. We have been wowed by the outpouring of love from so many.  We have been wowed by mom and her spirit to live and still live well!

In college I went to school with a very talented group of girls(to say the least)…Point of Grace.  They sing songs that have ministered to me in the past but this one below now has totally new meaning:  How You LIVE!

IMG_6595

HOW YOU LIVE…Point of Grace

Wake up to the sunlight with your windows open
Don’t hold in your anger or leave things unspoken
Wear your red dress, use your good dishes
Make a big mess and make lots of wishes

And have what you want, but want what you have
And don’t spend your life looking back

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances and let it all out
‘Cause you won’t regret it
Looking back from where you have been
‘Cause it’s not who you knew
And it’s not what you did
It’s how you live

So go to the ballgames and go to the ballet
And go see your folks more than just on the holidays
Kiss all your children, dance with your wife
Tell your husband you love him every night

Don’t run from the truth ’cause you can’t get away, no
Face it and you’ll be okay

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances and let it all out
‘Cause you won’t regret it
Looking back from where you have been
‘Cause it’s not who you knew
And it’s not what you did
It’s how you live

Oh, wherever you are and wherever you’ve been
Now is the time to begin
So give to the needy, and pray for the grieving
Even when you don’t think that you can
‘Cause all that you do is bound to come back to you
So think of your fellow man
And make peace with God, and make peace with yourself
‘Cause in the end, there’s nobody else

There is a time for everything. We are celebrating this time with mom! She is celebrating daily.  She was released from her surgeon last week.  Next week she will reenter the world of the independent after she passes her driving test with flying colors…she is now to fly in that cute little black VW Beetle at times! 🙂  Mom is enjoying playing golf with dad and her golfing buddies as well as walking once again with her Walkie Talkies!

ry=400-6

Ecclesiastes 3.1-14

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

As a family we are turning up the music the Lord has provided…Music of praise for Him and His hand on mom’s life the last five months.  We are celebrating her life and her touch on other’s lives today! Won’t you celebrate life today as well and don’t forget to TURN UP the music!

Happy, Happy Birthday to the most special mom in the world! I love you!

(I will post audio of song in another post…it is not cooperating this morning!)

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized