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Archive for March, 2012

As I look out the window today, it is blustery, cloudy, rainy, and beautiful. For some crazy reason I am loving this weather, very unusual for this summer-loving person that I am. How has this change happened – maybe it’s the changing of our seasons this year. It seems like we have already had a beautiful spring and now we are ready for winter. Maybe, just maybe, due to the fact I can’t run and/or bicycle right now I am enjoying the winter weather more!! 🙂

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This was taken yesterday. This group of daffodils have always signaled the hope of summer coming!!!

Went to the doctor yesterday. I have two more weeks of boot and crutches and then two more weeks of just the boot, and then only walking to gradually running again. The good news I will be out of this ‘lovely’ boot to watch Emmi run the half marathon!!! Yay!!!!

This is the changing season in my life. In all honesty, I have been grumpy and complaining this week – crutches, no driving, inconveniences, and clumsiness. As I am enjoying the rain, the wind, the winter; so I want to learn to just enjoy this season in my life. Yes, I did say enjoy (to take pleasure or satisfaction in) – not the broken bone itself, but my circumstances – my life as it is this day. My hope and rest is in a good God, a faithful God, an all-knowing God, who knows me and loves me and is in the midst of this season in my life. For that – I am ever thankful!!!! 🙂

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Couldn’t sleep well . . . tossed and turned . . . the word ‘joy‘ tumbled with me through the night. What really is joy? How does one define joy? Is it a feeling? Is it more than a feeling?

The dictionary definition says this about joy:

– The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.

– to experience great pleasure or delight

Joy is definitely a feeling, an emotion that we all have moments of in this life. I am reminded of the overwhelming joy I felt at the birth of each of my children, or the joy of watching them take their first steps, the joy of watching someone succeed, the joy of being a mom, the joy of being a wife, the joy of being a runner. 🙂

But, as my mind tumbled with ’joy’ I knew there was something deeper, much deeper than a feeling, or a delight in something, much more life-changing and life-giving.

This verse, “… who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross …” Hebrews 12:2, kept reappearing in my restless thoughts.  This is a joy that is much deeper than just a feeling or an emotion.  The thought of those two words – joy and cross – don’t naturally, in my mind, go together.  The cross representing the greatest suffering in history and joy don’t seem to mix . This joy is a spiritual joy –  something found only in God, in His Spirit alone.  This joy gave Jesus the strength to look beyond the needed suffering of the cross.  I can’t really even wrap my little mind around this whole concept.  There really are no words to describe it other than I’m thankful and grateful for this joy He demonstrated so perfectly for me – for us!!!!

I looked up more verses on joy in my Bible –

”in your presence there is fullness of joy” Psalm 16:11

”the joy of the Lord is my strength” Neh 8:10

”You have put more joy in my heart” Psalm 4:7

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace …” Gal 5:22

This ‘joy‘ is not a feeling joy or an emotional joy.  This ‘joy‘, for want of a better word, is a God-joy.  It is from God and in God.  It is a part of His very being.  It is unexplainable and incomprehensible.  It is with me at all times in the Holy Spirit.  I want to learn to rest in His joy more in ALL things –  to move and to live in His joy.  I am convinced that is where my strength comes from,  where my peace comes from, and where my hope comes from – in His Joythe joy of the Lord!!!

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While working earlier this week, I glanced over at my favorite calendar, my running calendar. This was a gift from a dear friend and I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at each picture of people running in different climates and geographic locations – beautiful and inspirational. The calendar is also packed full of running tips, encouragements, and how to’s on clothing, diet, shoes, etc. This month of March, of course, is someone running in the woods on a trail. Oh wait, yes, I was running in the beautiful woods on a trail when . . . Yes, it was a reminder of my plight of no running for some time due to a broken bone. 😦

Just a bit of a funny – the little tidbit of information this favorite calendar of mine posted for March was “Be Injury Free.” Really . . . this picture, and this tidbit of great info had to be posted in March??!!!

I looked with longing and sadness at the calendar when I noticed the little post-it notes I had put on it and move from month to month as reminders.

Reminders of what? I looked a bit closer and of all things they were about Joy!! I’m sure when I originally noted them from some book I was reading they spoke to my heart, but I wasn’t feeling joy at this moment. Ummmm . . . I had to sit and think a moment . . . did I say feeling? I did!!! It amazes me how easily and quickly I can go from peacefully trusting in what God has for me to utter frustration and a complaining heart in the midst of my circumstances. Okay, that’s right, that is why I posted these notes and God in His goodness reminds me of His ways, His truth. Joy, deep inside joy, that isn’t based on how I feel, is only found in God, through Christ.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides” James 1:2 (Message)

“When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy” James 1:2 (NLT)

Thank you, Lord, for your truth!! Thank you that you never let go and leave me to myself and my feelings, which are really scary places to be!!!

I, again, will say in ALL things – God is always faithful and always good.

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It has been two weeks today since that fated day that I broke my 5th metatarsal.  Two weeks ago I didn’t even know what a metatarsal was!!!  Emmi and I were running around Sly Park Lake on a beautiful sunny morning, with Mike riding his bike with us.  This was going to be our long run for the week totalling eight miles.  It was a great run in all aspects; mood, sunny day, good company, and then we hit mile 6 – to be exact 6.56 – I stepped on a small cluster of rocks, my foot went sideways, I heard a snap and felt a sharp pain in my foot.  I was determined that it was nothing.  I would shake it off in a couple of minutes after a couple of deep breaths.  I tried several times to continue with the run and ended up hopping on my good foot, as any pressure to the foot caused a sharp pain.  Thankfully, Mike was there and got the car.  I was sure if I used the RICE formula – rest, ice, compression, and elevate – that I would be running the following week.  Wrong!!! On Monday, I went for an x-ray and it revealed a non-displaced fracture to the mid 5th metatarsal on my right foot.  Really . . . no running for 6 weeks . . . a cam boot (which cost the same as the new running shoes I had planned on getting :(), crutches, no weight-bearing on the right foot . . . (good news – I only have one more week of crutches, I hope).

The lovely cam boot

For the first week, I kept adding dates up in my mind and trying to figure out how I could run the half marathon on April 28th.  I finally resigned to the fact it just wasn’t going to happen.  It was hard for me to let go of that dream and the thought of not running for weeks.  I began feeling sorry for myself and trying to deal with walking with crutches, which has been a great adventure – NOT!! Things get in my way, things I never noticed before. I couldn’t carry my coffee to the table. I really couldn’t carry much of anything. It was hard going up and down stairs. It’s not easy learning to use crutches with four boys watching, the comments were endless.  I must say I have learned a whole new appreciation for those who are handicapped in some form or another and the many difficulties that I just take for granted that they have to deal with.  God started turning my heart around to a more thankful heart for what I do have.  A grateful heart.  A heart more at peace in my circumstances.  He reminded me that He always is in the midst of my life.  So thankful for God’s grace!!! I’ve been reminded that this life I live is for Him.  The race I run is His race in this life.  He can be trusted in all things – did I say ALL THINGS – yes I did!!!

So . . . this I do know – there are many other ways to exercise.  I now have a new challenge of doing 100 push ups consecutively (we will see, but challenges are always good, right?!!!) I can do core work using my stability ball plus planks.  I can use bands for upper body work.  I can also lift weights to strengthen my upper body.  Today, I did just that and when I finished I felt alive for the first time in a while!!!  Gotta love that feeling!!!!

I have no plans to give up running – none!!! I just hope I live through it!!!  🙂

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Why blog now?

I have time now to blog. Why? Because one of the trials in running that I am ‘stumbling with persevering’ through is a broken bone in my foot!!! There have been many trials in this process of running, but this broken foot trial, I believe is a little nudge from God to get me writing and just maybe, yeah maybe, help me in the area of patience and simply resting in Him. For those who know me, they know it is very hard for me to sit still, especially when I have a goal of my first half marathon already signed up for, paid for, and only five weeks away, now out of reach of my being able to do. Sadness!!!!

In the midst of this sadness, I am trusting a faithful, loving, all-knowing God, who knows ALL the plans that He has for me. He knows the beginning right through to the end and He can be trusted. I can look back in my life and see His faithfulness in all the circumstances He has allowed to touch my life. My feelings are all over the board, but God remains the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow – He does not change. The bottom-line – God is always good and always faithful!!!!

So . . . this running journey began Spring 2011 and I wrote this down in January 2012:

While I was running today in beautiful, sunny, smiley weather, I felt the pleasure of God. His peace. His strength. His love. His creation. His creatures. What a joy!!! It has not always been this way when I run, often NOT. There have been many ups and downs in my learning to run and enjoy it. It didn’t just happen one day when I decided to run and it was great. I have had to go over and under many hurdles to get to this point such as –

Cramps that felt like labor pains

Feeling sick and throwing up

Not enough energy

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Muscle aches and pains

Honestly, when I look back over these months of running or trying to run, I’m amazed that I didn’t give up. I started running not for me, but the mother in me, which wanted to run with my daughter so she didn’t have to run alone. The very first run I ever made with Emmi was about 4 miles. I was absolutely shocked that I was able to run that, not being a runner, YET.

I realized the reason I was able to do that was I had been training my different leg muscles and core muscles for years, strengthening them. I had tried a few different times before to become a ‘runner’, but honestly, I hated it. This time was different. Why? Because I had trained for it unknowingly. My passion was for working out with weights and it made running so much different and a new possibility. I’m so thankful that I had the foundation already of the body muscles that I needed for running.

As I ran and trained with Emmi, who was training for a marathon, I ran into many obstacles. When the cramping on a longer run, or the nauseousness and vomiting on another run happened, I was determined to figure it out. I googled all my symptoms and running. I became educated on what to do and or not do. I learned not to start my run too fast, but to ease into it, helping with the cramping. I learned to hydrate on longer runs with water and an enhancer, which gave me the electrolytes and carbohydrates that my body desperately needed, keeping me from getting sick to my stomach. I learned to eat many more carbohydrates than I usually do, which gave me the energy to run and run longer distances. It was a fight to keep running and run longer distances. I decided I was a runner and I would do what needed to be done to get that accomplished.

I found out because of low energy that I had Iron Defiency Anemia and was told by the doctor no more long runs. This was very hard for me because I had one more long run of 20 miles that I wanted to do with Emmi before she ran her marathon. That was my personal goal. I had to work around the disappointment in my mind and not totally give up. I started eating more red meat, kale, and taking iron supplements. I continued running up to 6 miles at a time, but not longer distances.

During this time of getting my iron levels up and shortening my runs from 3 – 6 miles at a time, a transformation was taking place. I remember when I first started running I would ask myself if I felt the pleasure of God, just like Eric Liddell said he did. I asked myself on every run and the answer was a resounding NO!! Slowly, through eating more carbs, drinking more water, running shorter distances I was beginning to feel stronger. My energy levels were much higher than they had been and I found myself smiling as I ran. I was running often by myself and smiling at people and the creation surrounding me. I enjoyed running in the sun, when it was cloudy, and even sprinkling. I was running up hills that I hated, but knew were good for me, walking and running to get up them. Eventually, I found I could run all the way up without walking. It was a step by step process of getting stronger and stronger as I pushed myself, but also listening to my body in the process. I may be smiling when I run because I am high on endorphins, but I would much rather think it is a mix between being thankful for a 57-year-old body that can run and learn new things, endorphins, and feeling the pleasure of God. He is my strength. I can do all things through Him, as He leads me.

 

 

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