Friday, January 29, 2010

The whole time.

Today, after work, I have a 6 mile run ahead of me. I'm going down to Alki to complete it. Do you want to know why I am going down to Alki? Not because it's beautiful scenery, not because there are other friendly runners, not because there is a dedicated path that I don't have to dodge traffic...nope, it's because Alki is FLAT! Oh flat roads how I love you! And of course, I have said this time and time again, but the hills do help in the long run. They do, they really do, but today, I will run on flat ground. I am a grown up (I think) and I will do what I want, so there! I will keep you posted on just how this flat 6 miles go. The last time I ran this flat path a "snotty" situation happened (see below). Pray for me that doesn't happen again.

Last night I was having a QT before A got home. I'm currently doing a Beth Moore Bible study on John. I love me some Beth Moore, and I really love me some Jesus so when you get the two together...OH I JUST AM IN LOVE! Anyway, the study was about loving the whole process of a hard season of your life. It talked about how we all know hard times in our life are coming and that God is going to use every bit of that hard time to help mold us into the person He wants us to be. He is going to use every moment that we have decided to give up, every moment where tears are flowing down our face to help us become stronger and closer to Him.

As I went through this study I couldn't help but remember hard times that I have gone through. And I questioned, did those really hard times, the hard times where there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel, did those times really make me "run towards Him?" And when I really thought about it, they did. I have a greater understanding of God's grace, love and greatness after those hard times. The foundation on which on my relationship with Jesus was built was stronger.

Crappy seasons of life suck (sorry for the language!). But there is always a light at the end. There is always a finish line. There is always one flicker of hope in Jesus. So yes hard times do suck, but they are always pulling us closer to Christ, always helping us run towards and with Him.

Look for the light in Christ, it's the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and been in relationship with.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not feel faint. Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I don't have much to say today (I know a rarity!) but what I do have to say is true: it was so frick fracken cold this morning when I went for a run I didn't know even know what to do with myself. I layered myself like always, and headed out for 5 miles. The cold struck me like it used to in Pullman. I tried to breathe and it felt like my face was in a freezer sucking down ice. My legs felt like logs as I tried to move them faster and faster. It was cold people!

The worst part of the cold this morning, was that my face went numb. Every other part of me was covered except my face. I finally realized my face was numb when some warm ewwy gewwy substance ran into my mouth and I realized it was snot! SNOT PEOPLE! I could not feel it draining from my it just went south into the first open hole it could find...MY MOUTH! So gross, so sick!

I can't wait for it to get warmer. Running will be so much easier...well probably not, but that is what keeps me going!

Lord, thank You for today. Thank You for the cold. Lord You are amazing. Lord thank You for today.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Invisable to Visable

On Saturday, right after I woke up, I headed into the gray abyss to run. Runners in the Pacific Northwest are really getting the short end of the stick. Getting up to run would have been a lot easier if it would have been sunny and not rainy aka, California, Hawaii, ect. But these are the cards I have been dealt so I just have to deal with it. My dad has a saying about that, but it is one of those sayings that uses all the same words, but one word is different the second time around. ANYWAY...this run was hard! I knew I was by myself the whole 10 miles and do you know what 10 miles of running plus being by yourself can do to you? Oh the things I thought about, concerts I rocked out to and OH the pain of every little motion. I knew I was in a lot of trouble when I reached mile 2 and I literally thought to myself, "I cannot do this today, I might not ever be able to do this." But of course I have WAY to much pride and am too stubborn to even think about that, so I kept running, at one point actually screaming out loud as I pushed through a hill. And yes the random old lady walking her dog, that could have been a cat, looked at me and considered calling 911.

As I reached my apartment and started on the last 4 mile loop that would return me home I did consider stopping, but that hunk hunk of burning love was sitting upstairs and I would have to explain to him why I stopped, and again my pride got the best of me. I kept running. I was slowing down and begged the Lord to give me strength in my legs and to stop this side ache that was attacking me at mile 8. But before I knew it I was back at home.

Here is where inlays the problem...I walked in the door, barely breathing, sweating up a storm and A gave me one of those "holy molly what semi truck hit you?" looks. Oh I knew it was bad, I looked horrible. As I sat on the coffee table staring blankly into the TV I started to pull layers off, just so my skin could breathe again. My lovely husband rushed over with THREE pain relievers. Oh wow, I thought, I must look horrible. My pain that I was feeling and trying to keep invisible was all too visible. I didn't talk for a good 7 minutes. As I stripped of my socks, my toes looked like the rest of me felt, disgusting. How do you hide physical pain? I don't think you can at times...and this was one of those times.

At church the next morning with my feet still sore and now this weird back pain taking over, I was violently reminded of something. It is our job as Christian, followers of Christ, to make the invisible God visible. Let me say that again, to make the invisible God visible. Now I am not sitting here saying we serve a God we can't see. Because clearly if you look around at people, nature, etc you can see the Lord. But what about the people that don't know the Lord? If they look at you would they be able to see Christ? I know that I have to say no. There are a lot of times when I am not making the visible expression of Christ that I need to be.

Let's face it, we will come across people who the only Christan they will know will be us. So what are doing as Christians? We need to step it up. I need to step it up; to make sure that I am making the invisible God visible.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Okay people, lets just get something straight. Hills suck! When Katie and I were little we were not allowed to say the word "suck" and to this day it rolls off my tongue with a bitter taste. But there really isn't any other way of describing hills. They are the worst part of running. I have talked about hills before, but on yesterday's short 5 mile run (oh Lord what have I become? Short 5 mile run? Someone smack me!) the hills were all too apparent. They mocked me as I begged the Lord to help me simply breathe. And you know what else I don't get? Why, why in the world is it uphill both ways? Okay laugh at me, but where ever I run, it is always uphill both ways. Ugh, I don't get it! And the downhills don't really seem "down" enough. And as I was swinging my arms looking like a fool, thinking that would "help" me get up these forsaken hills something struck me. A tree branch! Almost took my head off! I guess people don't really think of us "jolly the green giants" and like to keep there low hanging branches low. Well guess what people....there are humans over 5'2''!

As I finished the hill and got to a relatively flat stretch of road I was running so much faster. Did that hill just help me run faster on the flats? No, it couldn't be. There couldn't have been anything good from that hill? But as my legs kicked and my arms returned to a level swing I couldn't help but think that, the pain of hills were helping me in the long run. I mean, look at this elevation chart (full marathon in green) from the Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon. You can see that the first 13.1 miles looks pretty flat, but then all hell breaks lose. Can you see this people, I am in TROUBLE! If you are reading this and you find me at mile 16 log rolling up the hill because I have lost my mind and I think that might be easier, please, please I beg of you to pick me up, slap me on the butt and tell me to keep moving standing up, and to stop embarrassing myself. Thanks!
Isn't that how life works as well? No not picking me up and slapping me, because you know I will slap you right back, but the hills of life. Jesus has put hills in our run towards Him. He knows when they are coming. He also knows when the downhills are coming too. And when we really think about it, the uphills are the events in our life that force us to draw nearer to the Lord. The uphills are the events when all hope seems to be lost and the only thing that is shinning at the top of these hills is Jesus. The death of a loved one, a failed relationship, a job loss, I could on and on. After those events, doesn't it seem like you are right next to Christ running with him?
Because when all was lost He was there. He didn't leave you. He helped push and love you to the top, to where now you can run through life with a greater sense of purpose, because now you appreciate the flat stretched of life.
Research shows that running uphill is not only better for your lungs, joints, knees and muscles but also for the psyche of a runner. Downhills seem easier and a lot more fun, but really your body is taking harder hit then if you were running uphill.
So maybe, the next time we hit an uphill stretch of life we should turn our gaze towards Heaven and praise our Savior for this uphill. Because God would not give us a hill that we couldn't climb. And you know what? Jesus is there helping you. This is hard to practice, when all is lost; to say thank you to God when you have nothing left, but when you reach the top you will probably see why He made you climb this hill. He is amazing like that.
Lord, I pray that as I climb the hills of life you help me turn to You and thank You. I don't do it enough and I know it's what I need to do. Please help me Lord when I do climb and help me feel your presence. I love You Lord. Thank you for the hills.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My home girl...

I consider myself extremely lucky. I have the best girlfriends in the world. The type of girlfriends that would stop anything just to come and give me a hug (trust me I know this, it's happened). The type of friends that have dance parties with me just for the laughs. The type of friends that will cart you around, just to make sure you are having a good time. The type of friends who are utterly and completely just as screwed up as I am. The type of friends who are also crazy enough to run for "fun". My girlfriends are the best friends anyone can have.

But there is one; one home girl that has stolen my heart. And you know what, I don't really want it back. She can have it. She has been caring it now for almost 21 years. That home girl of course is my sister, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Albrecht. Her name is almost as beautiful as she is. Katie and I have been through horrible disasters and have seen God's plan rule out in our lives. She and I have gotten in brutal fights and have made each other laugh until we cry. I often force Katie to car dance and she often forces me to take a really hard look at what I am truly feeling. She is the ying to my yang, the peanut butter to my jelly, the lint to my belly button...okay okay you get it.

Katie is the runner in our family. She was granted the non-waddle run. When she runs it's like a gazelle. I have yet to convince her to be crazy and run "the distance" but one day she will. I just know it.
Katie's run with God has been inspiring to watch. With everything imaginable holding her down, with satan screaming in her ear to turn towards him, Katie has preserved and run towards Christ. Despite sickness, death and unfair situations, Katie has turned her eyes to Heaven and prayed, knowing with full confidence that the Lord was hearing her prayers.
Today, Jordan Hightower is giving her baby sister's eulogy. The thought of that makes me literally shake at that unthinkable task. Jordan and Molly have inspired me to be a better sister. Katie deserves one. She is my best friend and confidant. She is my car dancing, Jesus lovin' home girl.
I love you Kaitlyn "A-little-bit". I see Jesus in you. Thanks for being my main home girl...
Lord, thank you for my friends. Thank you for the light they all shine and how they run with intensity toward You. Thank you for my sister, one of the loves of my life. In her I see life, my mom and You. Thank you Jesus for Katie. Protect her today, tomorrow and everyday. Watch after her and guide her steps. Help me, Jesus, be a better sister. Lord help her keep running toward You. Thank you Lord for my baby sister. Amen

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Running seems simple enough. Pick up your legs and go. Right? Wrong! I just read a fact that states that LESS than 1/2 of a percent will ever finish a marathon! LESS THAN 1/2 OF A PERCENT. That is staggering numbers. Numbers that make this little goal of mine seem somewhat impossible. I keep saying the statistic in my head, over and over again. The reoccurring theme of "what am I doing?" also leaves a sting in my head. Really people, what am I doing? I am not half of a percent. No way Jose! But if I spent $100 to run this dumb thing, you bet I am going to finish it. I HATE wasting money, so if I have to crawl across the finish I will.

Less than half of one percent...WOW!

The facts of marathon running are quite eye opening. But what is more jaw dropping and heart aching are the facts of Christianity in our world as well as destructive behavior that is happening in these so called Christian homes. I could go on and on with numbers and statistics but here are a few that stuck out to me:

1. 171,000 Christians are martyred for their faith each year. That is more then seven times the number of students at Washington State.

2. In America, 75% call themselves Christians.

3. A woman is beaten every 15 seconds.

4. 1 in 13 Americans abuse alcohol everyday.

What are we doing as Christians? The first fact is a fact that makes it very clear, that we as Christians in America are living a life far less scary then those Christians around the world. But the three following facts are facts we must question. If so many of us are Christians, why are so many of us getting/afflicting abuse? Using alcohol to calm our hearts? What does being a Christian mean, if we as Americans, are living like this?

It says very clearly in the Bible being a Christian, is laying down our life to live the life that Christ has planned for us. To recognize that Christ died on the cross so we could live eternal life in Heaven. He died so our hearts and souls could be cleansed for our time here on earth.
Do you believe that? Are you calling yourself a Christian, but don't believe in Christ's death for our own lives? It is a question we must face. Christ is ready to meet us, at any point in our life. You don't have to do a certain thing or become a certain person, to be able to look up to Heaven and ask for Christ to come into our life. Its not our job to change our heart, Christ promised to do that.

I'm not quite sure where I am trying to go in this post. But I know these facts made me open my eyes. Are they opening your eyes? For what reason?

I love you...but Christ loves you more.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Come home

My legs are sore. Hmmm, maybe not sore, but very very tired. Yesterday, after an amazing church service, I grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed out to run. Yesterday was an 8-mile day. I hadn't run that far since my last half marathon. In fact, that distance was the farthest I had run in my training runs for all of the half marathons. Which by the way makes NO sense to me; here, only go run 8 miles to get ready for 13.1 miles. The last 5 miles....well its up to you to survive, just wing it. NO SENSE AT ALL! But anywho, within the first tenth of a mile I realized I hadn't let my food digest enough...uh oh! SIDE ACHE ATTACK! I had to run a good mile with my hand pinching my side as hard as I could just so I could keep going. But I did and soon that pain and been replaced with the pain of hills. Oh hills. They slow your pace down, they make you want to give up and cry for your mommy to come save you. I saw this great shirt at Nike Town that said "If I stop running, how will I get home?" So that was the mantra I kept telling myself. I also thought a lot about Molly Hightower. She wouldn't have stopped. So I kept going, somehow conquering one hill after the other. One the way back to finish the first loop and pick A up to run the last part of my loop with me, I started to well, have some issues. How do I say this lady like....I had to "tout" A LOT! It was quite embarrassing and I prayed and hoped that the walkers and runners that were going the opposite direction, didn't think I was the stinkiest woman alive. But, hey we are just keeping it real people. Lesson learned, let my food digest before I go and run.

When I saw A I knew he was going to convince me to keep going and I was going to fight with him and tell him I wanted to stop. He won. The hills were brutal in the last 3 miles. I had to often scream out to my manly man..."I can't freakin run that fast anymore!" I think he got the picture, as he slowed down and told me I was doing great. As we looped back around I could see home. I knew I had made it back home, with an 8 mile training run done. Home never looked so good.

Isn't that what Christ is trying to tell us everyday? "Come home to Me." It says right there in the Bible that God will say, fine if you want to go and not come home to me, go. Go ahead and live without me, but you will hit bottom. You will live a life, where you will soon come to realize that the pigs are living better then you. And as we read this, it becomes very clear, that God is being quite harsh. And we might even take offense to this. But then, if we kept reading we would see how gracious and loving our God is. He says, when you have hit rock bottom, when you can go no longer, when no one loves you, you can ALWAYS come home. The light is on. He will always accept us, He will erase our sins and love us. Christ's home, is the home I want to come home to. His love and grace is something that is a daily reminder that we serve the God that is more like a father then anything else. His arms are wide open, waiting for us to come home to Him.

Home never looked so good.

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

Friday, January 15, 2010

To be uncomfortable

Yesterday, after work, I went for a 5 mile run. In the rain, I ran from my house to Lincoln Park and back. The whole way I thought about Molly Hightower. I thought about how when I got home and turned on the news I would see her, being pulled out. I didn't see that. The last I heard from Jordan (her older sister) was that a team from Virgina were going to descend on her building that night. Last night was going to be the night they found Molly, Jordan told me.

Because of my run in the afternoon I was taking a day off today. I would sleep until 6:50am and then drive Aaron to work. In my slumber a noise came blaring out at me. But it wasn't my alarm, I was confused as I rolled over to look at my phone. Yenster was calling me. It was too early for anyone to be calling me. Not even Aaron had gotten out of bed. I knew she was calling with news. The thought crossed me mind, "either Molly had been found or something is wrong with Katie (my sister)." Yenster said she was sorry for calling so early, but they had found Molly's body and Jordan wanted her to call me. Body. Body means no life.

Rescuers found Molly's body last night. After I got off the phone I tried to lay back down. But for 40 minutes I stared straight ahead, eyes wide open, looking into the darkness. I finally got up and went to my computer. No matter who bashes Facebook, it does, at times provide the perfect chance to be able to reach out. Jordan was on, at 6:50am. What do you say to a sister who lost her baby sister? I lost my mom, I should know what to say, right? Wrong. As I typed to Jordan that I loved her and how strong I knew she was, tears flooded down my checks, piling on my sweatshirt. It was if Jordan knew I was crying on the other end of the computer, SHE offered ME comfort. She rallied off Bible versus and told me how amazing Molly was.

I started to think about Molly on my run yesterday, and today I am still overwhelmed with Molly and how she lived her life. I never knew Molly, but from what I heard from Jordan my senior year of college and everything that I have heard about her in the last 72 hours, she was remarkable. Molly lived a life that was uncomfortable. She went to the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, to serve the Lord. She lived where there were no hot showers, no Starbucks across the street and a family that was thousands of miles away. Molly worked with children who had no parents, being surrounded with sadness and loss. But her hope was in the Lord. The Lord gave her comfort and stability. He gave her strength and recognition. Molly had followed the Lord, right where He told her to go.

And I think, as I sit in front of my computer (that always has Internet) with a coffee (that I didn't even have to get out of my car to get) in the heat, am I living how Christ wants me to live? Christ lived an uncomfortable life. And I know when I have experienced Christ the greatest it has been times when I have been uncomfortable. Molly has taught me to live outside the comfort zone I have built for myself. To live selflessly serving our Creator. To look at my life and question what I do on a day to day basis.

Thank you Molly for teaching me, someone you never met.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Today is no day for joking about running. It is not the day to laugh about this or that. Today is the day to pray.
My senior year of college, my discipler paired me with a vivacious young woman to share my discipleship time. Jordan Hightower was a Kappa Delta who I had known for years. She was definition of the word, smile. She always had one on, always passing one along. Jordan was the one person who could get me out of any funk. We met every week for a year. She ran the half marathon in Tacoma with us at the end of that year as well. I found her running towards the finish line, after I had finished. But Jordan was not running, no, she was dancing. Others had told me she had danced the whole way. It did not surprise me at all. She was smiling when she crossed the finish line, something, little people accomplish. To say the least I love Jordan.

But now, it is our job to help Jordan smile. Her sister Molly worked with children in Haiti. She was on the fifth floor of a seven floor building. Molly has yet to be found. Jordan has described her sister "as the most Christ centered woman she knows." This is a picture of Molly. When you are watching CNN, NBC, FOX, whatever, look for Molly. Pray Molly is found. That she gets on a plane and comes home to her sister and family. The family pastor is now in Haiti helping the search.

If Molly is anything like Jordan, the world wants to find her. Pray Molly is found very very soon. Pray for Haiti.

Update: Molly has yet to be found. But Jordan just shot me a facebook message, telling me "our family has such a strong faith in our AMAZING God and that He will bring Molly home to us." Jesus You are good.

Here is Jordan's Twitter page She is doing amazing on updating all of us. Her upbeat attitude is contagious.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I hear you...

Okay people let's get real here for a second. The ONLY reason I ran on the treadmill for 4 dreaded miles this morning was because I knew if I posted yet again that I failed to do so, I would humiliate myself, my family and my country. Okay maybe I got a little too carried away, but you get it. So yes, this morning I said "wut up" to the front desk lady and proceeded upstairs to meet my match. I went to the gym a little later today, so unfortunately I didn't get to see my regular peeps (again, more on this later. I am just trying to find the right words to describe these women to you). But I climbed onto the treadmill next to a woman who I knew was a "real runner", whatever that means, and next to a woman who was working it! The first two miles went by without a blink of an eye. Then I started to get bored. Remember what happens when I get bored? Those little voices started to tell me I was tired and sore. "I hear you, you dumb voices, LEAVE ME ALONE!" They didn't, so I had to keep fluctuating speeds to keep myself entertained, and if you have ever run any distance you know that you just want to find a steady pace. When I ran the Torchlight 10k Run for Seafair last year in the 8 billion degree heat, that was a run I got into a good steady pace, even if I was sweating every once of liquid I had ever drank in my whole life. That was not happening this morning. But I did it, so there, you dumb piece of something else treadmill. I will see you tomorrow morning, and I will not be happy about it!

You know what is so awesome about God? Well a lot of things, more things then I can even count, but something I learned today was He is always listening. Always. He knows your prayers, even before you say them. He hears your heart when you can not muster up a prayer. He hears you. When you are struggling, He hears your cries; when you are "dance on the table" happy, He hears your joyous praises and laughter. It says in John, " Then Jesus looked up and said, 'Father, thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.'"

How amazing is that? Even Jesus, Savior to all, calls to our Lord and thanks Him for hearing Him. So maybe that is what I should be doing more often; instead of complaining and crying over dumb stuff to God, maybe I should be thanking Him more often for just hearing me. Life is so crazy that a lot of the times I don't even hear myself or I am to ashamed of something that others don't hear me (because I don't tell them), but God does. He hears me no matter what. He has bigger and better things to do, but no matter what, He will always listen.

God, thank You for hearing me. Help me praise you more often for just hearing little ole me. Jesus You are, EVERYTHING. Help me hear others around me more often. Change my heart to be more caring for those right next to me, to hear what they are saying and feeling and to love and pray for them. Thank you God, for hearing me.

But those who hope in the Lord, will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not feel faint. Isaiah 40:31

Monday, January 11, 2010

This is going to be harder then I thought...

This morning. Ugh this morning. Alarm clock, as usual went off at some insane, inhumane time. I got all the way out of bed, got my clothes, went tinkle and I think put on deodorant without even opening me eyes. I wasn't so much sore from yesterday's run, but more just tired. I got to the gym, spotted A's truck, said hi to the front desk lady, jucked and jived with some man that would not get out of my frick fracken way and headed to the locker room. Those are the things that happen everyday; it has gotten to be so much of a routine. That's when the morning started to not be so routine. Stepped on the scale, and nothing moved. It said I weighed zero pounds! HA! That's a HUGE joke. So without knowing my real weight and being really tired I figured that was enough of an excuse not to run this morning.

Here is the was my "official" start date to start marathon training. Today I was supposed to run 4 miles. But I literally cannot physically, mentally, emotionally run more then 3 miles on the treadmill. I get sooooo bored, and when you get bored things start to hurt and little people in your head talk to you to tell you "stop running." Okay that might just be me, please don't judge.

So like I said, this is going to be harder then I thought. I have to get over that hump. I have to be able to run more then 3 miles on the dreaded torture-chamber that is the treadmill. I won't run long runs on it. Those will be outside runs, so I don't die of boredom. The worst part of this morning was when A asked "how was your first training day, how was your run?" UGH!!! Dangit...he caught me! But what is so great about my hunny? He doesn't care whether I run or don't run. Oh how I love him.

And you know what? Being a Christian is harder then I first thought too. The fact of the matter is life sucks sometimes and it gets in the way of loving Christ. Satan knows just how to work his disgusting little lies into our heads to take us away from our one saving grace. Work, school, relationships, this, that seems to be more important day after day then living in the one perfect relationship we can all have, the relationship we have with Christ. He has done his part, He died on the cross so we could spend eternity in Heaven. Now it's our turn to do our part no matter how hard and time consuming it might be.

When you run long distances, nothing in the whole world looks better then the finish line. Knowing that you sweated, snotted (yes I know a very technical term), bled, worked harder then you ever had before to get to cross one line, is the best feeling. And nothing will feel better, nothing will even be comparable to when we meet our Savior in Heaven, and He says "Well done good and faithful servant." I know that training is harder that it first seemed and being a Christian is a lot harder then it is first imaginable. But I also know I want to live my life to hear Jesus utter those words to me. So I will keep going...keep running and more importantly keep living my life to be more like Jesus. That is what is important, no matter how hard it is.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

You are a real_____ if you_______

Yesterday I decided I was going to run outside today. It was a big decision. I hadn't run outside since my last half marathon. Which also meant I hadn't run more the 3.82 miles since that date. I know, weird milage...3.82...but hey you try to run any farther on a treadmill! BORING! So this morning I woke up knowing what was coming, five miles and outside. Church came first and was yet again the highlight of my week (we will talk about this in a second) and then came OUTSIDE...dundundaaaaaa! I went home, changed into all my new gear and felt a little bit like the girl in Tin Cup. Remember her? She came to get golf lessons and she had all the new high tech stuff and he just tells her...grip it and rip it! Which by the way is the premise of my golf lessons to my little munchkins every summer. :) I felt so bizarre because usually when I run outside its, well, hot out, so all I need is shorts, a tank and my iPod. Today was much different, much more clothes were added and well it was time to go the distance, five whole miles. Five miles in the long run seems a bit foolish, heck I have to on June 26 run 26.2 miles. If I do my calculations correct that is 21.2 miles MORE then I ran today. I'm screwed.

Okay moving on here are some things I noticed today while running:

1. I love my new running pants!

2. Running ear protector is a must for me considering I think I have the wimpiest ears known to man kind.

3. Charlie Daniels' "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" made me run really fast in my second mile.

4. When I started running I didn't event get .23 miles in before the dreaded side ache came into play. It was my bodies way of reminding me how much it hates running outside...or for that fact...running. The side ache lasted about 2 miles and then went away.

5. About the time of my side ache started I also noticed something coming from the behind was jiggling. I mean, I felt a little embarrassed. That went away a little bit into the run. Thank goodness. I almost died of embarrassment right then and there.

6. At about mile 3.5 I was having a bit of a hard time picking up my feet which I am pretty sure is essential to running. All of a sudden I sneezed. Okay that didn't help, but when I looked up from my sneeze it was like God sent me this woman. She was running the opposite way, wearing what else? A "Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon" finishers t-shirt. "Thank you Jesus that you sent me her"; I picked up my feet and kept running. I was reminded of the goal. About five minutes later I say another woman with the same thing on. I figured that was God's way of saying "Uhhh, Shelbs get it are running kind of slow", so I said "FINE GOD" (with a 'tude of course) and I kicked it into fifth gear until the finish.

7. I could see my car. I was less then a half a mile away from it. And then out of no where, my hip. Oh my hip started to kill. Little background, my hip has always bugged me while running long distances. But this time I decided I wasn't going to take it anymore. I screamed at my hip "look sistah...we are running here and you are not going to get in my way so pull it together!" Yea that didn't kept hurting but at least I knew I had the upperhand. :)

This morning in church I was struck with something that I knew God was placing on my heart. Pastor Richard was preaching on Romans 1:1-7. I don't really like calling it preaching. Sometimes I think "preaching" can have a bad connotation. So I will instead say...Richard was shooting it straight. He talked about how the gospel of Christ is for all nations; all corners of the world, all neighbors, all people. So many times we get caught in this mind set of "well a 'real Christian'_______". The blank can be anything; real Christians don't drink wine, real Christians don't wear shorts, real Christians don't see movies, real Christians aren't Democrat, real Christians don't believe in x, y, z ect ect ect. We, and when I say we I mean ME, do this all the time. It is so embarrassing for me to think that I have put my faith in Christ, the one person that is the embodiment of love and I am not following His lead. The list that we all create of what "real Christians" are, is the same list that divides us from fulfilling our call to make the world a different place. The fact of that matter is, when someone puts their heart in the hands of God and says "you take it, I can't do this on my own. I will follow you and call you Lord" then they are a REAL Christian.

This same thought came to me again when I was running. Whenever I see a runner who is all out running, I mean huffing it, looking like a gazelle and usually wearing a "finishers" t-shirt on, I usually say "S/he is a REAL runner." But what the heck? I mean I know I don't look like them, but I did just waddled five miles. Some people might have even said I actually ran it. I passed a woman who was barely putting one foot in front of the other, but I know she thought she was still running, and the fact was, she was. So doesn't that make us real runners? I hope so, because if not I really don't know what I'm doing.

Richard finished with reminding us that God is not mad at us for thinking this way. He's not? I'm pretty sure that if I had millions of people following me and they did something as dumb as what I do everyday I would be pretty mad. I might even call them dumb dumbs or knuckleheads. Okay maybe not. Or maybe. No, in fact God showers us with grace everyday. He loves us more then we can even comprehend. He knows if our hearts are pointed towards Him. He knows if we gave our lives to Him, believing that nothing can happen through us, unless something happened to us. And something did happen to me and the rest of us that follow Christ; He died so we call live. And now He is trying to make things happen through us.

"God I want You to use me. Use me Christ. Find the places in my heart that need fixing. Lord I love YOU! Use me Lord."

But those who hope in the Lord they will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Friday, January 8, 2010

Got the go get it girl!

Today at 5:35am my alarm went off. EWWWW! I rolled over, and to my amazement my doting husband was still sound asleep. He seemed dead to the world. I got a little worried, so I poked him with my foot and proceeded to make sure he was still living. He was, thank goodness! You see when my alarm goes off at that horrible hour to go running and see all of my favorite peeps at the gym (I will explain in a later post), A has already been up for close to an hour, already at gym...DOUBLE EWWWW! So this morning, if he wasn't going to the gym to run, either was I! Moral of the story, no running today, a welcome day off from running everyday this week.

With no update on running, let me brag about all the amazing "gear" I got for Christmas. Family and friends knew training was going to get insane with this whole marathon thing coming up (again, what am I doing?) so it was a running themed Christmas! It is fair to say that I am one of the wimpiest runners ever. If it's running outside. If it is windy...nope, no running outside. Snow? Oh heck no! Excpet for that one time whenI got caught in the snow a million miles away from my house in Pullman. I came back crying, tears frozen to my cheeks, no surpirse there! But the truth of the matter is, running long miles on a treadmill is impossible, so I have to buck up, get my head into the game, get my prayers ready and head out to the dark, grey, rainy abyss to get my run on! And now I have the gear to help protect me from the horrible Seattle weather. In my running package of goodies I got Lululemon running gloves and running ear band protector. If you haven't heard of Lululemon please find out about them! They are a yoga clothing store that has now started to do running gear. They are extremely pricey but you can hit their outlets up for a cheaper deal. The clothes are made perfectly for a women's body in fun bright colors. Love it! I also received some great running pants. The pants I had before these were so thin that it felt like I was wearing nothing. Not good when the wind and rain are coming at you sideways! These new Nike running pants are great, with breathable pockets near the knees and zippers in the back. I also got a great running skull cap. The best part about this skull has a ponytail hole in the back. This is good, it helps remind people you are a GIRL! When you get all bundled up, with no makeup on (a scary sight in and of itself) and all your hair is underneath a skullcap, I'm sorry but you can be mistaken for a boy. Especially me, because I got the genes of Jolly the Green Giant. So yes people I am a girl, look at my ponytail flying in the back of my skull cap and hear me roar! :) A Nike thermal half zip jacket was also under the tree along with another pair of running capris.

Two of the coolest gadgets I got this year were my new Nike Running Band as well as the new iPod Shuffle. The Running Band is essentially a running watch that keeps track of my miles, my pace (slow!), the total time and the actual time. What is so great about it is you can unplug the face of the watch and plug it into your USB and it uploads your runs, helps you maintain you goals, ect. I would highly recommend getting yourself one! They are also a lot less expensive then the traditional running watch. I also got a new iPod Shuffle. This thing is so small I can clip it anywhere. I clipped it onto my headband the other day in the locker room when I was changing shirts because I was rocking out to B. Spears (sorry dad and Setphannie, but I love her!) and just didn't want to stop. Okay confession time...because running can get a little, well, BORING there are often times when I imagine myself as the singer and pretend I'm on stage making millions of people scream! I have had some pretty good shows while running. :) I think my dad and I share this special connection. There have been times when I have caught him waddling around the neighborhood (something we also have in common, we waddle, we don't run. The title of this blog should be "waddle towards Him") rocking out to his own shows.
One of the greatest gifts I received was from my FAB husband. Beth Moore's Bible study of John. Let's get real people, if you have not heard of Beth Moore, HEAR OF HER! But only if you are of the female species. She only preaches to the ladies of the world, designing studies and talks to fit into problems that only us women can understand. Beth's no nonsense, loving account of who the real Jesus is will stop you in your tracks and make you fall in love with Christ everyday. She also shares her own stories of her own walk with Christ relating in a loving way to things many of us are going through. Her studies are also very concise and to the point, which I like. I am on day 7 of the study and am loving it. One of my most favorite people on earth, my little Ratty, introduced me to her. Last night's study was about Jesus' miracles and how John witnesses these. One of the questions in the study was "when was the last time you experienced a miracle?" What a question! And at that time my mind locked onto my little Ratty. My Rat is a miracle in and of herself. She entered college, radically gave her life to Christ and has sinse never been the same . She is nothing like she was and she often tells us "stories" of her old life. When story time occurs I often look at her and think, "if you don't believe that Jesus performs miracle, meet Rat." Ratty is a true woman of Christ, ALWAYS running towards Him. Rat and I have gone on many runs together, many long and desperate runs, both often screaming out loud to God that we needed extra oxygen, more strength in our legs and "please Lord, please help us get up this hill, alive." Her and I have shared our deepest secrets and funniest moments while on runs. She would be running the marathon with us, but she will be in Lake Tahoe helping students from around the states grow closer to Christ and teaching them to run towards Him. She is already running the marathon, the marathon that involves our Savior. I love you my little Ratty. Thank you Lord for bringing me her.
"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What am I doing?

What a question, huh? I think I ask myself this everyday. It has become a daily occurrence, asking myself that, when good things are about to happen and when bad things are about to happen. When I wake myself up before light has even thought of awakening itself to go run. I ask myself this when I try a new recipe, from you know who...PW! It just happens, I start to do something and then I ask myself, "what am I doing?". I think that normal people do this in the opposite order. But hey we all know, I sure in the heck am not normal, lets just keep it real people.

But you know who never once has ever asked Himself, "what am I doing?", God. Not once has He made a mistake, thought He did something wrong, or asked for a do-over. NEVER. And because that is true, it is quite amazing that you can look at yourself in the mirror and say, "God did not ask for a do over on me." He also did not ask for a do-over when He sent Christ to die in our place. And as I continue to ask for forgiveness for the disgusting sin I have in my life, I know with full assurance that God would have not done it any differently, that he actually wants to love and have a relationship with me. Me...and you!

So, yes this blog will be about my running escapades, but it will also be about my "run" with Christ. This blog will feature my successful runs with the road and Christ, the different things I am learning about running and Christ, the challenges that we all know are coming with running and with Christ. You see, nothing in our lives should be without Christ. Its so easy to say, but I really do, genuinely want to live that way.

So as I start this blog, I must ask myself that day in and day out question, "what am I doing?". I don't blog. I don't write. No sir I do not. I read blogs (shout out to Sara and Alex, Rat, and of course the one and only Pioneer Woman). But I definitely do not blog. So what am I doing if I don't blog, well I'm not sure, but we will see how this goes.

The plan is to sign up for the Rock n' Roll FULL Seattle Marathon with Meggie and Chris. Yes, FULL. 26.2 disgusting miles if you ask me. That should really be when this question of "what am I doing" comes into play (No really, Meg and Chris what are we doing here? :) ). Like blogging, not quite sure what I am doing.

What I do know is that some of my most precious times with Christ have come when I have been on a run. Sometimes thanking and praising Him for giving me the ability to run, to have friends as crazy as I am, who I am just in love with, for a husband who would do anything for me and for the relationship that Christ and I have together. Some of my most desperate times of need have been on runs, crying out for strength not only in my legs, but in my heart. Crying out for just a couple more breaths to get me through to the next mile. Begging Him to help in this situation and that situation, to help me give up complete control. When you are by yourslef for however many miles, it gets boring, and who else better to talk to, then the one and only creator and savior of the universe!

So...I think I am done for now. Running towards Christ is the main reason for life. Running a marathon is crazy, but we all know who the crazy one is in this convo, me! :)

"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31,