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Cheerful Endurance…



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

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‚Äôs 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. ūüôā

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. ūüôā  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. ūüôā  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. ūüôā  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? ūüôā

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. ūüėČ

  • 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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. ūüôā  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 ‚Äėtil the final round
You’re not going under
‚ÄėCause 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
I stretched my hands out to the sky
We danced with monsters through the night

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

This is gonna be the best day of my life
My li-i-i-ife
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. ūüôā  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. ūüôā
  • 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‚Äôt 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.‚ÄĚ  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

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Memories‚Ķa trail of faith!


Today is a day I have been dreading in a sense. ¬†Not really sure why dread is the word‚Ķbut I know how I have been feeling. ¬†One year ago today is when we received ‘the phone call’. ¬†Mom had suffered a subdural hematoma(brain bleed) and we didn’t know what was next. ¬†Our whole world changed in an instance!

As today approached, my anticipation grew. ¬†Again, I don’t know why‚ĶI should be thrilled we are one year out! (and don’t get me wrong I am!!!) ¬†This morning when I awoke and read my devotional I realized God didn’t want me to feel anxious‚ĶHe wanted me learn. ¬†And learn I did!

The first thing I did upon waking was make one of two phone calls.  The first phone call was to mom.  Guess what she was doing? Getting ready to go play golf! Is God not so good? He is so very faithful! I was able to tell I love her and how blessed I am to know she is one year out from her ordeal.  AND Рshe is 100%! God is so good!  Wow is all I can really say!!!

The second phone call was to dad. ¬†I blubbered a little bit with mom and more so with daddy. ¬†I remember so vividly crouching down on the floor in one of our back bedrooms when I took ‘the call’ from dad last year. ¬†Mike sat beside me with his arm around me. ¬†He knew it wasn’t good. ¬†This years call was the opposite. Yes, there were tears, but tears of joy. This ‘call’ was happy! God has been faithful!

So what did God teach me? Well, after making the phone calls I had my breakfast and read my devotionals. ¬†I have three books I am reading out of and would you believe ALL three spoke in some way to this day! The messages were clear. ¬†First, from Jesus Calling: ¬†The first sentence: “Let ME help you get through this day.” ¬†The last sentence: “Thank Me for each problem you encounter, and watch to see how I transform trials into blessings!” ¬†Wow!!! This year has been a year of transforming trials into blessings!!! I have had a front row seat between Boston, Mom and Mike. ūüôā


Second was from¬†Daily Devotions for Die-hard Fans-Arkansas Razorbacks(This devotional is awesome and all SEC teams have one‚Ķjust an FYI!) ¬†The title for the devotion was Memory Loss. ¬†Within the devotion he writes: ¬†“Memory makes us how we are. ¬†Whether our memories are dreams or nightmares, they shape us and to a large extent determine both our actions and our reactions.” ¬†He continues, “God uses memory as a means through which we experience spiritual revival. ¬†To remember is to keep our faith alive!” ¬†He was referencing the Lord’s supper and the importance of remembering Jesus. ¬†We had to remember Jesus during the whole ordeal with mom. ¬†He was our strength and our hope. ¬†The memory of today shows God’s faithfulness!

The last devotion book was¬†Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore. ¬†The last scripture she used is one I reference a lot, but one that gained a whole new meaning to me this last¬†year.

Hebrews 12.1-2

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.

The journey we started as a family on June 12, 2013 was a tough one.  One of the hardest ones I have been on in my life.  The uncertainties, the fear, the doubt, the emotions, and the helplessness all led us to one thing…God! He helped us lean on Him and one another.  The memory of today was not to be dreaded but to be celebrated.  It gives us a chance to really look back and see how far God has brought us!  He helped us see the importance of today…the importance of relationships…especially the one with HIM which leads to eternal life.  He helped us see the importance of prayer and of hope! Our faith is what brought us through.   My life verse sums it up:
Hebrews 11.1

11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

We could not see the end.  Now we can.  We hoped and had faith His glory would be seen.  We are blessed the outcome was what it has been Рmom at 100% Рwe know His glory would have been seen with another outcome as well…but boy, are we thankful He chose this one!  As our family verse states:

Romans 8.28

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.

He had a purpose in the events that happened on June 12.  He is still fulfilling that purpose.  The memories of today help us continue to have faith in the one true God! He is alive and overcame death so we too can be alive in Him.  My prayer for all reading this is that you too will experience the one true relationship that leads to eternal salvation Рthe one with Jesus Christ our Lord.  We would not have made through this last year with the many ups and downs without Him.  Our faith is what sustains us and gives us peace and joy in ALL circumstances.

1 Thessalonians 5.16-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


Mom ~ We love you so much! We are all so very thankful God chose you for us! We are also thankful for the amazing spirit of perseverance and true grit you have shown us over this last year. ¬†Here’s to making many more memories on our trail of blessings and faith!

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Coming full circle on a point to point course‚Ķ

The first starting point Рthe 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.




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 Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

Judges 6.23-24

But the¬†Lord¬†said to him, ‚ÄúPeace! Do not be afraid.¬†You are not going to die.‚ÄĚ 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‚ĶA 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‚Ķto experience the historic marathon in a way unlike any other – with an extended family!

He knew 2012 would be a great run Рa 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‚Ķbut fell short by 7 minutes or I thought I had. ¬†ūüôā 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‚Ķthough 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‚ĶI 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‚Ķshe is my rabbit. ūüôā ¬†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.


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 Рto 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 РArmy 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‚Ķ”How do you spell HERO – H.O.Y.T. – TEAM HOYT!” We were inspired and ready to do this!

Sunday was Easter‚Ķthe 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‚Ķ.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 ‚Äď 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‚ĶGodiva Cheesecake‚Ķjust 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‚Ķa 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‚Ķnot 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. ūüôā ¬†¬†Before loading the bus we took the race day morning photos‚Ķbright eyed and bushy-tailed for sure! Then we were off‚Ķ.

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. ūüôā 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‚Ķor 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‚Ķit is not always easy. ūüôā ¬†Joann encouraged me to keep on keeping on‚Ķas we both did. ¬†I thought about our team and what it stood for‚Ķyes, 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‚Ķor should I say heard the roar. ¬†Check out the videos:






These just give you a small taste of what it was like‚Ķtruly 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 РDave Рthanks 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. ūüôā ¬†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 РUta 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.


Off we went! We rounded the corner next to the Fire Station who lost a member of their unit not too long ago‚Ķhe 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!!!


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!


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 РDick 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‚Ķwhen I have fallen‚Ķwhen I am not worthy‚Ķwhich all of these happen daily! He has given me a story! An amazing story! I want to shout it from the mountain tops‚Ķthat is why it has taken me over 3500¬†words to get it out. ¬†The event I thought was indescribable was far from it‚ĶI 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‚Ķfull 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 РHe 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


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God’s 45th birthday present to me‚Ķ


Run with Trish 5k 2014 Prayer Circle

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

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

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

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

img_8390Newsom/Taylor Families…

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

img_8337Dad – He too won his age group.

img_7923My niece Taylor did too!!

img_7674My sister, Lisa cheering us all on!

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

img_8251The Estes Family

img_7981Gracey and I coming into the finish!

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

img_8397The photographer, my niece Lane…

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


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

Romans 8.28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

who have been called according to his purpose.



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

img_8401My running angels!!!

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

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

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

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

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Do we have eternal eyes?

Do we look at things through the eyes of eternity?

He prepares for us a place! If we have accepted HIM in our hearts we can confidently say: “Our citizenship is in heaven!!”

How comforting is that? It is so very comforting to know Christ is preparing what is good for us…better than any good we could EVER imagine…in our heavenly home! The things we battle in this world are preparing us for our eternal home!

This conjures up all kinds of thoughts for me…Are we looking at life through the eyes of eternity? Are we sensitive to those around us and where their eternal citizenship may lie?

This past week I have had three different people close to me lose loved ones. These loved ones do not have another chance to determine their eternal home. They gained their eternal citizenship last week.  Did they hear the good news?  Are they experiencing the good Jesus has been preparing?  Did someone share with them the saving love of Jesus Christ?

Philippians 3.18-21

For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

John 14.1-4

‚ÄúDo not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father‚Äôs house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.‚ÄĚ

As I live comfortably with the assurance that my citizenship lies in heaven, am I burdened for those who may not be have that same assurance? My prayer should be as Hillsong’s song Hosanna states: ¬†Break my heart for what breaks yours‚Ķ

He wants all of us to see Him and fellowship with Him in the place He is preparing РHeaven! Are we reaching out to ensure our neighbors, our loved ones, our co-workers and others will have citizenship in heaven?  What is keeping us from sharing the BEST news ever????



http://youtu.be/AQGJdTpMUcU РGo here to listen to Hosanna by Hillsong…be blessed!

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What FAITH can do…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark 12.30-31

30¬†Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.‚Äô¬†31¬†The second is this: ‚ÄėLove your neighbor as yourself.‚Äô¬†¬†There is no commandment greater than these.‚Ä̬†

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues,they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Faith Can Do…Kutless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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The Power of Prayer & Forever Friendships….

Youversion devotional reading from Thursday, June 13 but read on Wednesday, July 4 upon mom’s return home…

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Alburt Camus.

Friendships based on God’s love are so important for us to have. Our inner circle of friends are the ones who guide us, strengthen us, listen to us, and most importantly are there for us no matter what. These friends are the ones who tell us Godly wisdom when we need to hear it, the ones who pray for us, and the ones who shine light in our lives when we are in dark times.

We are called to love one another as Christ has loved us while discerning who to share our pearls with so that those intimate friendships remain Christ centered. Christ blesses us through the people He brings into our life for a reason and purpose.


‚ÄúI know you well enough to know you‚Äôre going to want to do it all yourself. And you‚Äôre going to tell people ‚Äėwe‚Äôre fine‚Äô and ‚Äėwe don‚Äôt need anything,‚Äô but if you deny people the opportunity to help, you‚Äôre taking away their blessing. You‚Äôre taking away a gift they want to give you.

Mom is home and she is surrounded by many friends who love her dearly. ¬†Just being home has been therapy. ¬†This is good because we couldn’t get therapy scheduled initially until next week. ¬†This has since changed…thank goodness. ¬†Will go over this later in post. ¬†She has her cats and her precious dog taking care of her as well. Mom was little apprehensive about coming home, as we all were…but we are doing well!

One of the reasons she is home and moving forward is the fact she was in great shape before this ordeal. Mom has a group of friends called the Walkie Talkies. ¬†They walk up to 5 miles a day 3-5 days a week. ¬†They talk. They laugh. They care for one another. ¬†I had the privilege of going with mom to eat breakfast with them the day after we returned. ¬†They were ecstatic to see her…her helmet and all.

They shared a story that was so powerful and showed us how God has been in control from day one. ¬†On Wednesday, June 12 mom was supposed to join the Walkie Talkies for a memorial walk. ¬†The group has started taking memorial walks once a year to allow individuals to share about loved ones they have lost. ¬†Mom is one who always shows up…she may be late, but she will be there. ¬†Several of the members texted her and called her wondering where she was on this particular morning. ¬†They did not know she was being airlifted to Springfield, Missouri with a subdural hematoma that could have potentially taken her life. ¬†The group went on with their walk and their memorial stories. ¬†At some point during their walk one of the group members received a phone call from a member of mom’s church who shared mom’s news. ¬†At this point the group stopped, held hands and prayed. ¬†This was probably happening when mom was in surgery correcting the brain bleed and while dad was in route to Springfield. ¬†God knew mom needed the support of her group right then! ¬†She got it. ¬†She was touched greatly by this story of God’s provision and the godly friends she has been blessed with…we were too!

Mom and I read the above devotional together the day after we returned home from breakfast with this amazing group.  This led mom, dad and I to reflect over the many prayers that have been sent up for mom and our family.  We are so very thankful for our godly friends who love us through the good and the bad.  We have felt and have seen your prayers answered daily.

The same day I read this from Joni Eareckson Tada’s blog:

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a very familiar hymn, the arrangement is a little different, but try it

Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,
That calls me from a world of care
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.

She was discussing praying for caregivers….which daddy and I have become. ¬†But it also was timely in regards to prayers from others. She then prayed this prayer:

So, let me take a minute here and pray. I’m going to pray for not only you listening today who might have a physical disability, but let me pray for the people who help you, okay?

‚ÄúDear Father in heaven … As I think of the Cross your son endured for me, I thank you that the cross you’ve called us to bear will never, ever be heavier than you’ve designed. Our cross is exactly the right size and weight for each of us, your willing children. And daily, as we pick up our cross and follow you, bless you for more than matching the burden with grace-upon-grace. And if, at times, our hardships seem too ‘heavy’ a thing to daily endure; if these struggles are too much for our caregivers, too much for our husbands or wives or children to bear, then remind us that you are there right beside us shouldering the worst of the weight of the cross. Never let us forget that you are with us through it all, whether it is us, always sitting down in a stand-up world, or whether it‚Äôs our caregivers, always tending to our needs. And please, Lord Jesus, expand our vision so that we can appreciate the influence our trust in Jesus is having on people, others who watch and learn, even from a distance. For that brings you glory and gives rich and wonderful meaning to our days. In Jesus’ name … Amen.‚ÄĚ

Mom was and continues to be moved by the outpouring of support by the many people who have reached out in different ways. ¬†We are too! ¬†I am seeing what a difference maker mom is in other’s lives. ¬†I knew it but there is truly nothing like seeing it in person. ¬†Both mom and dad have and will always care about others deeply and they are now seeing it come back to them. ¬†We thank the Lord for showing us His love in action through many of you! We have a new saying thanks to my cousin, “this is a group project!” ¬†She is right, it is!


Mom said it takes a village in response to Chris’ statement. ¬†We are a village. You are part of that village. You are our prayer warriors! You are lifting us all up as we work to help mom move forward. ¬†Every day we see a little progress in some area. ¬†I have to be honest…it is slow and at times mom feels very frustrated. ¬†She is so not where she wants to be. ¬†Her determination and her desire keep her moving forward. ¬†As I said earlier, we did not have therapy scheduled until next week because they were booked. ¬†But thanks to one of our dear village leaders, mom and dad’s doctor, we have therapy starting on Wednesday of this week!!!

Their doctor is a personal friend who I went to college with and dad had the privilege of teaching when he¬†subbed in a 7th/8th grade science class many years ago. ¬†Who would have ever dreamed a student in his class would remember him subbing and then become friends with his daughter years later and then even later be his and mom’s primary care physician? ¬†God did! He started orchestrating this many years ago!

‚ÄúThe steps of a good man are ordered by the¬†Lord ‚Ķ¬†‚ÄĚ(Psalm 37:23)

‚ÄúFor I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.‚ÄĚ (Jeremiah 29:11)

‚ÄĚA man‚Äôs heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.‚ÄĚ (Proverbs 16:9)

Thank you for being part of our village. We can not do it without you. ¬†Mom, dad or the rest of our family…we are all cherishing and coveting your prayers! We feel them. We see them. ¬†We know God is there!

Update on mom: ¬†She is happy to be home. We are learning together…creating new routines for breakfast, lunch, dinner, bathing, dressing…all of it. Dad and I are working together to provide for mom’s 24 hour needs. We have become a great team. ūüôā ¬†She is a great leader. ¬†She is still experiencing weakness in her left side. ¬†This frustrates her…but we know it is normal and we have to take each day one at a time. ¬†Therapy will be good to get her up and moving more than we can. ¬†We are doing what we can at home to be in home therapists but we are ready for the professionals to give us guidance. She has had her nails done. ¬†That was a great outing.

Every day is a new day. ¬†Every day brings new challenges. ¬†Mom is having to remind her brain what to do. ¬†She knows and we are so thankful…now it is just getting her body to cooperate. ¬†Thank you for praying that she approaches each day as a new beginning and has the courage to take a deep breath and start again!


Isaiah 41:10-13¬†‚ÄúFear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.‚ÄĚ


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God Builds Faith by Giving a Dream

Hi! It has been awhile since my last post…to say the least. ūüôā Not sure why…other than life got busy and running stopped due to recovery and lack of desire. ¬†God was working in different ways. ¬†Quiet time is good. ¬†Idle time is not. ūüôā ¬†He is always working…isn’t He?

13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.

1 Timothy 5.13

I am sitting outside taking in my wonderful surroundings. ¬†It is a peaceful place. ¬†I have lots of time to reflect and thank God for His many wonderful blessings. ¬†I have had a lot over the last couple of months as you know…a grand baby, a daughter-in-law and a new pet…a donkey named Casper. (He was born on Halloween…He is the friendly donkey!)

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Now to my running…Last week was my first real week of running. I have done a 5k and an 8k too. ¬†They were FUN runs. My physical and mental recovery took longer than I anticipated. ¬†My legs were so sore…I guess from the downhill running. ¬†I felt recovered after about 15 days and tried to go after it again. ¬†The next day I felt like I had run another marathon. ¬†It was discouraging. ¬†My mind was sore too. ¬†God had given me a dream. ¬†He had fulfilled it. Now what? ¬†I know these feelings are normal. ¬†So, through the help of my running angels I got back on the road again. My mind is back and my running legs are getting there. Praise the Lord!

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps
a person‚Äôs strength.”
Proverbs 17:22 (NLT)

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”¬†

Matthew 17:20-21

It is great to be back. ¬†ūüôā My dream of Boston has now been fulfilled. We are on to the next mailbox….Mike’s shop. Here is what the Lord spoke to me about today through my devotional. The first part is a thank you to my running angels for their prayers.

Good Morning…It is so awesome to watch God work!!! I wanted to share my devotional this morning. I thought of OUR journey to Boston when I read it because it describes that journey perfectly. THEN, I thought about the prayer request I asked for on Saturday morning for Mike and his desire to want to go out on his own with his job. God tapped me on the shoulder with this reading today. God also had Mike call me at the moment I was finishing a text to him telling him I had just sent the devotional to him by email. Thanks for your prayers because the Lord started tapping on Mike’s shoulder long ago but He start pounding again on Sunday during Sunday School, church and with friends. We love y’all and thank you for being prayer warriors!!!

God Builds Faith by Giving a Dream…When God wants to work in your life, he’ll always gives you a dream – about yourself, about what he wants you to do, about how he’s going to use your life to impact the world.

There are many examples in the Bible of this — God gave Noah the dream of building an ark. God gave Abraham the dream of being the father of a great nation. God gave Nehemiah the dream of building the wall around Jerusalem.

How do you know when a dream is from God or when it’s just something you’ve thought up yourself? The Bible tells us that God, “by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” (Ephesians 3:20 LB)

In other words, if a dream comes from God, it will be so big in your life that you can’t do it on your own. It also will never contradict His Word! If your dream is something that the Bible speaks against, it’s not from God.

He may be speaking to you now, but you just don’t recognize it for what it is. That dream you have – the idea, the concept – that thing you’ve been thinking about doing and would be of real benefit to other people, where do you think that idea came from?

God starts with a dream as he builds faith in you. Devotional from Rick Warren’s devotion on youversion.com.¬†

Do you have a dream God has given you??? Have faith…LET GO AND LET GOD!

So, the big question has been what is the next mailbox?

Next mailbox…Newsom Woodworks!

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