My Goal Race

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Most of my life, I have dreamed a little bigger than my reality, usually resulting in disappointment and heartbreak. About 16 months ago, after not having run even a mile in 20 years, I discovered that I loved trail running. It didn’t come easily to me. I was slow. But, I loved it. It brought me peace, it connected me in a deeper way to God, and it challenged me. I love a challenge!

After adding a few miles here and there to my runs, I decided that I really wanted to run an Ultra (50k or more). I really don’t know why. I always told myself that I couldn’t run and that I didn’t like running. For whatever reason, the challenge of being on a mountain trail for so many miles and the opportunity to push myself physically while out in nature greatly appealed to me. So, I found a race that I wanted to do and that became my goal. Training for it was not easy. Six kids, homeschooling, a husband and a part-time job made it pretty difficult to squeeze in long runs. Hubby and the kids were amazingly supportive, though!

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This past Saturday was my goal race. Stump Jump, in Chattanooga. It was a beautiful day! I had been pretty under the weather the whole week leading up to Stump Jump, which was stressing me out a little. But, come Saturday I felt mostly better. The race was amazing. Amazing people, amazing trail. Challenging trail! Running has become a very spiritual thing for me. God meets me every time. It is a precious gift He has given me. He was there on that trail. I felt Him in the cool breeze that blew across the top of the mountain and in the warm sun that shone through the trees. I heard Him in the trickling water and the singing birds. And all of the smells of the forest–the flowers, the wet rocks, the earthy ground–He was there. The feel and textures of the different barks on the trees.


“I just ran in awe of all that He has done for me.”


The things I saw with my eyes–so many kinds of flowers, fungus, rivers running between the mountains, moss-covered rocks, knobby tree trunks, little green lizards, huge rock walls, little creeks running down the mountain–all amazing wonders of His creation. I just ran in awe of all that He has done for me. The beauty that He surrounds me with. Not just in the mountains, but in my everyday life. I felt so loved and I felt so known by Him. He created all of this for me. He created all of this and more for everyone! He’s such a good God. I’m so grateful I get to experience Him this way.

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I didn’t finish my 50k. I made it to mile 28.6 and didn’t make the time cut. I was disappointed. I was so close! I was emotional. But I was so thankful! It was an incredible day! I learned so much about myself, about my strengths and weaknesses (both physically and mentally). And I just really enjoyed being out there and experiencing everything I got to experience. I am a little sad that I didn’t achieve my goal, but I will try again. I don’t quit very easily and I’ve got a lot of people on my side.

Pressing Through Dissapointment

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Have you ever been so overcome with stress and frustration that it has left you paralyzed? This is where I found myself a few weeks ago–utterly paralyzed and unsure of what to do. This is not like me at all. Those who know me, know I don’t do idle. I am the doer, the list-maker, and list-completer. I make the plan and execute it. I am confident. Not this puffy-eyed, ugly cried-out mess of a woman who is left raw and feeling defeated.

Whoever said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” in my opinion is a liar. That person has never owned their own business. When you do what you love, you work harder than for any other job you’ll ever do. I absolutely love what I do. However, every business has its ups and downs, and this has been a season of way down. I had racked my brain, looked at PNL’s, analytics, you name it. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why and where things had gotten off track. The thought of having to seek employment elsewhere to free up my income to keep the business out of the red has left me saddened and feeling like a failure.

One night I cried out to God asking for an answer on what to do or, at the least, some encouragement. Do you know what I got as an answer? Nothing. Just the ramblings of my own brain. I cried myself to sleep that night. When I woke up the next day, I thought surely I can figure this out. I searched through scriptures and found a few that gave some comfort, but I was still left feeling paralyzed and unsure. I left my Bible to collect dust and went through the next few weeks in a quite crabby and cynical state.

Honestly, I was mad. I was mad at God for his lack of response as I thought I had tried to seek him and was given nothing to work with. One afternoon I discovered Disappointment With God, a book by Philip Yancey I had purchased and then left forgotten on a shelf. As I began reading the book, I went through a roller coaster of emotions. I felt comforted, then puzzled, encouraged, then enraged. For a full day I refused to pick up the book and was sure I never would again, but in the end, I did. My mood wasn’t completely lifted, but I did feel a little lighter.


“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9


Tonight, I suddenly felt led to thumb back through the book to look over my highlights and notes in the margins. One section stood out to me. Yancey explained that the Israelites lived with directives and signs from God, yet both did not serve to improve their lasting faith. He posed the question, “Why pursue God when he had already revealed himself so clearly?” In my hot pursuit to get what I wanted and felt entitled to (an answer from Him), I had grown impatient. I had stopped pursuing Him with the intensity that He desires. While I was never given the word of direction or comfort I asked for, I got more. I got silence and I had to pursue him with an intensity that I hadn’t done in a long time. I also discovered he was there all along. With that in mind, by pursuing and trusting in God, I can face whatever the future may bring in both my business and in life. I love my business and I’ll keep doing it, but I may have to do something else in addition to it. And that’s ok. Though things didn’t turn out as I’d hoped for, it isn’t a failure. It could lead to something much deeper.

Walks With My Grandfather

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When I was younger I would walk and the pain in my feet would make me have to stop. I would make it less than a block and have to sit on the side of the road and wait for the throbbing to cease. My grandfather would sit next to me and wait for me to feel better, and then we would walk along. It was him on the outside and me on the balance beam of the curb as he caught me when I slipped. I was happy when I walked with him. The pain was worth it to walk and talk to my grandfather and I always knew that when I needed to sit down, he would always sit with me.

There are days I wish I could walk that neighborhood loop, sit down on that curb and look on the smiling face of my grandfather as he waits for me, but those days are gone now. I’m far from that neighborhood loop and the road I walk now is unfamiliar. It is much harder and filled with trip-ups, snares, and traps, and the number of people I’m walking with dwindles daily. There’s no curb on this road, and it goes against the flow of the majority making it far less popular than the nicely-paved, easy road of the majority.

This way is the way of God. He called me off the paved road and onto the rough path while I was still walking with my grandfather. Some days I try to walk in the right way, but it feels more like I’m in the way. God has tried to call me to walk with Him on His path, but I want to stay where I’m comfortable. I want to stay where I am; in the loop that I know in my neighborhood. I know what the snares look like and I am pretty good at overcoming them. I know the people who are walking here with me, but I cannot move forward because I am in the way and not on the way.

The paved road looks good and feels nice to walk on every now and then. The paths are smooth and the grade is easy. I can walk in any direction I want and there are a lot of people on it. No one tells you what to do or where to go. The more I walk on these paths, the more I want to stay on them. Something inside me feels wrong about this though. The knot in my stomach grows and the voice in my head telling me to move off this road gets louder and louder. Something is wrong about this path and I am told where it leads.


God walks alongside me through His Holy Spirit, living and active with me.


Today, I am walking on a new path. One that is unfamiliar. One that leads in and out of the wilderness, leading me to a small oasis to fill up when I’m running dry. There are new snares,  but on this road, I do not walk alone. The road is narrow and cliffs rest on either side. When my feet begin to hurt, my body breaks down and I need to sit on the ledge, my God sits next to me and smiles as He waits for me to feel better and then we walk along. It’s Him on the outside and me on the balance beam of the narrow way as He catches me when I slip. He is happy when I walk with Him. The pain is worth it to walk and talk with my God, as I see less and less of the paved road, and more and more of the adventure that happens on the narrow road.

This is the way God has called me and I know where this road goes. The more I walk on it, the more I desire to walk with God. The more I walk on it the more I desire to be more like Him and bring others with me, helping them see the dangers of the paved and easy path. I slip and fall but God graciously catches me and puts me back on the right way. God walks alongside me through His Holy Spirit, living and active with me. This is the road Jesus calls us to walk on and He has shown us it is worth it.

The Devil Made Me Do It

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We’ve been blaming the devil since the beginning when Eve blamed the serpent for eating of the forbidden fruit. And just like Eve in the garden of Eden, we are looking for something more, and Satan simply plants a seed of disturbance in our head.

So then what? Well, the way I see it, I have a choice for the next step I take (we all do really). Will I go with my heart, or will I seek counsel and turn to Jesus’ words, like in 1 John 4:4?


“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”


There comes a time in our lives when we realize being a follower of Jesus isn’t the easy road.  It’s tough and not some quick fix of “oh look how awesome everything is now.” No, that’s when Satan is going to throw whatever he can at you, and you are going to have to pick a team. It sounds odd to say but it’s true. If you’re not saying yes to God, you’re saying yes to Satan.

We make excuses all the time for ourselves or others. Yes, things do happen and we make mistakes. My heart breaks for marriages, children, parents and even the individual that is walking around with scales over their eyes, unwilling or incognizant to God’s love that restores us. I realize I make this sound far more simple than the months and years it may take to repair what is broken, but my main point is, as Christians we have to start realizing it is us sinning, not the devil. Yes, he is the tempter, but James 1:14 says:


“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”


What drives you? What do you long after? Where do you spend your time and money? If God is not in these decisions, then we need to know someone else is guiding our influence. But at the end of the day, God has given us the freedom to chose. If you’re being tempted, stop and spend time with God, wise counsel and do anything not to make a foolish, selfish choice that will follow you for the rest of your life.

God makes a way of escape.