Tuesday, October 30, 2012

in my weakness

last wednesdays workout was rough. my mean girl inner voice doesn’t kick in as much anymore, i manage to mostly be focused on what i’m doing and why i’m doing it and what i want from it. which is different every day, but it’s enough for me to know i want to do it so i do. and when it gets really rough, like the last 5 minutes, this is what was going through my head – “breathe. use your arms. burpees are good for you”. whole different mindset from where I’ve been in the past.

then i got home. i thought i’d do a 15 minute core workout. i did two reps of two exercises and my abs told me no. i listened. but i felt weak. i laid on my floor and thought i should be stronger. but i went and made cake balls for denae and cupcakes for kelsey.

when i woke up the next morning while i was brushing my teeth a verse came to me. the word of the lord spoke to me through previously memorized scripture 2 cor. 12:9 “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” actually, it was more the sound of audio adrenaline singing “in your weakness he is stronger, in your darkness he shines through, when you’re crying he’s your comfort, when you’re all alone, he’s carrying you”.

i hate to be weak. i hate to feel weak. i hate to be told i’m weak, pathetic, pitiful, slow, pick an insult that makes me feel weak, i hate them all. as i’m brushing my teeth and this is rattling around my head i realize that if i’m never weak, god’s strength is never perfected in me. i never tap into his, i do everything in my own power. which makes me weak. and stupid.

i want to continue to get stronger. but i won’t forget that my weakness, although it may come at a different level, is the chance for colossians 1:11 “god will strengthen you with his own great power so you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient.” to be at work in me.

god has never let me down. the roughest times of my life he’s been the closest, strengthening me with his power because i am inadequate, weak, small and unable to make it on my own.

and in a true measure of god’s own great power strengthening me, i didn’t eat cupcakes or cakeballs.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

never give up

this made me laugh.

paired with this one

i had a tough workout today with marquis, but i love that, i love being able to do things i couldn't do a month ago, and i like feeling stronger and healthier (heck, i'm invincible)

it was a hill workout. the hill is .02 of a mile and a pretty steep grade. it included lunges up the hill, high knees with holding at the stop of the jump, squats and jumps to the top of the hill, and squats are my biggest weakness, hardest thing for me to do correctly.

up the hill like i'm skiing, back pedaling up the hill, backward jumps, and bear crawls and other assorted torture, .81 miles of bliss.

we ended with high knee sprints up, jog down, and 10 burpees (decreased by one each sprint) in between the hill sprints. originally he said 7 times, switched to 5 and then said 5 and we'll see. i did the first sprint so well and knocked out the 10 burpees like a pro. turned and headed up the hill, sprinting, knees high arms pumping and thought...i'm gonna die. next time bottom of hill i did the 9 burpees, all the way down to 5. six reps. thought i was gonna pass out at that point.

i am so much stronger, faster, focused, and my belief in myself to do hard things? just continues to get stronger.

i'm a unicorn...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

does that make me crazy

i was sitting in church sunday morning staring at the people the few rows in front of me and had this thought:

ears are weird

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

before i was a sinner

romans 5:6-8 you see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, christ died for the ungodly. very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. but god demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, christ died for us.

we are attending a fairly large christian church close to our home. we have our pros and cons about it. is it the right fit for us? still not sure, but we continue to go back so that must mean something.

one thing i absolutely love about this church is there is no gimmicks. no hooks. no expensive sets. no catchy titles ripped from pop culture. the title of the sermon series started to day is "to live is christ" taken from the book of philippians and the life of the apostle paul. speaks to my old school upbringing. but really, you can't mess it up when you are preaching about the gospel.

anyway, the sermon today was nothing earth shaking or ground breaking for a life time church attender. but it was a great reminder. one question, what is your "one thing"? i'm not sure everyone would say that my one thing was that i loved jesus. not sure how to fix this, but it's something to think about.

the other thing was the scripture above. a reminder that...

before i was a sinner. before my parents were sinners. before any of us were sinners god had a plan to save us. he loved me enough that even knowing what i would do and how i would fail he made a way for me.

when i get the attitude that god owes me something (and i do get this attitude sometimes) or that he has let me down, or that i deserve better (thanks for talking me out of this one last week, rebecca) or why can't he let me be happy, i think about this.

it was paul himself that said i have learned in whatever place i am to be content. learn to be happy where you are. god has given us everything we need to be happy and content.

forgiveness, grace, mercy, eternal life, future with him. to want more, especially here on earth, is setting ourselves up for unhappiness. i believe god wants us to be happy and content. i just believe his idea of our happiness and contentedness is very different than our earthly opinion.

before i was a sinner, christ died for me. for all the sins i have already committed and the ones still in my future. reality is i can't be perfect. i need his forgiveness yesterday, today and all my tomorrows.

i am so glad i can say that jesus died for this unrighteous, ungodly sinner.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

15 weeks to go

15 weeks sounds so far away and yet so close, especially since i didn't run at all this weekend. the week went good, training and all but this weekend flew by and i didn't accomplish all the things i wanted to.

whitney had her sub-state volleyball tournament. we won our first game but lost the second so we don't advance to state. i saw on facebook that everyone elses kids did in volleyball and cross country. i just have to say to that, i'm very proud of my girl and how well she played and the character she displays on her team. (and the one play against washburn rural, defending state champions and number one ranked team in the state where she slid ribs first into the corner of the wooden bleachers with her arms over her head to protect it AFTER SHE MADE THE DIVING PLAY AND KEPT THE BALL IN PLAY made momma nervous, but proud.)

she's glad the season is over. i'm glad the season is over. training gets a lot easier, no practice, no two games a week, no tournaments. and she has decided to take this season off from playing club. she's tired. and she wants a job.

we made a spooky tutu for kelsey for the pommies routine this friday at the football game. it turned out great, very zombieish.

and later this week we are making simba and nala tutu's and manes for whitney and kelsey for halloween. so much fun.

back to training...

i haven't shared my 50 mile goal outside of us. just here on my blog. haven't told my family, unless they read this. haven't told friends, unless they read it here, you get the idea.

i chose the one in texas on an easy course and while i know a few people running there, maybe 6 out of 750, i did this on purpose. i want success at my first attempt. and i figure no matter where i do it, i have to do it on my own.

steve has told me that if i pick a hundred mile next fall after his heartland 100 early in october he will run it with me. we have found one he wants to run as well in december and i'm seriously considering it. will wait till after the 50 mile in february before i decide anything further than marathon distance next year. i have to do the training and finish the race on my own power, but company would be nice.

we both have a lot of races on our wish list race calendar next year, everything from two 4 milers i want to run again to 100 mile races and every distance in between. i'm very excited. hope we both stay healthy.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

conversations with whitney

her junior class is well represented on the volleyball team

three junior varsity players

six varsity players

all adorable

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

lessons from the trail part 16 – falling down

i fall down more than i would like to when i’m running. i would like to never fall down at all.

in south dakota I fell climbing up the mountain. big gash in my leg pouring blood and a bruise that went knee to ankle and the whole outside of my leg. steve was in front of me and since i didn’t yell, he had kept climbing. when we were on our way down he noticed it and checked to make sure i was okay. but he didn’t see me fall, and had i been wearing long pants, i could’ve hid it, at least for the day.

sunday when i ran with sheila i fell. that’s an understatement. a friend of mine, lori, was at the corner at 13 miles. i was walking a few steps with sheila, getting ready to turn the corner and bring it home, looking good for the finish line. lori yelled she wanted me running cause she wanted to take a picture. so thinking i’m feeling pretty good, i take off. and as i go into my happy I’m finishing big smile for pictures i overdo the hopping and skipping and stub my toe and it’s downhill and i can’t right myself and i wend down hard. HARD. skidded on my hands, elbow, knee, hip and then rolled over and sat up. lori runs to me, helps me up, sheila is there worried about me, lori goes on ahead and gets this picture.

i’m laughing at myself, while taking mental inventory of everything that hurts, hurts bad enough i’m not even embarrassed yet, even though i did note all 100+ observers of my humiliation watch me get up and sprint toward the finish. (the sprint was mostly because i could not wait to put this experience and everyone who witnessed it behind me.) i’m actually bruised worse than i am bleeding. but we finish. and the right side of my body is banged up. i was so close to the finish line.

i can’t help but compare this to my spiritual walk and the metaphorical “falling into sin”. when i wipe out into the pit of sin even if no one witnesses it doesn’t change the fact that i did it and there is blood and bruised, hurts and wounds and repercussions to deal with. even if there is no visible sign it still happened. but I can cover it up. make it right with god, and no one ever has to know. i have sin like this. it’s between me and god, and i’m glad everyone doesn’t see it.

there are also those sins that everyone witnesses your colossal wipeout; face first, skidding on your hands and knees, running shoes over elbows trying to right yourself but knowing as you go down in front of everyone that there is no hiding it. even jumping up and moving on, you know you can’t yell “i’m okay” and have anyone believe you.

along with the pain of falling is the humiliation of being seen and everyone knows. i have noticed how people reacted to my wipe out.

lori ran to pick me up.

and then ran ahead and took this picture.

sheila was behind me and ran to pick me up and has checked on me 3 times since then to see if i’m okay.

some people looked away
some laughed
some clapped when I got up
some have shared their own falling down stories with me (there's been a lot of these)

this parallels how people have acted toward me in times of spiritual falling

some ran to pick me up and checked on me, regularly
some looked away
some knocked me back down
some threw salt in the open wounds
some laughed and mocked
some have cheered and clapped and urged me on

falling down/getting knocked down in life is inevitable. getting back up is a necessity. i can do that. i can also pick up others who have fallen as i definitely know what it’s like to fall and fall hard.

Monday, October 15, 2012

what a weekend

saturday steve and i volunteered at the heartland 100. this is one of steve’s favorite races and he deferred his registration till next year. we were at an aid station at 42.5 miles in and then it was 57.5 miles on the way back to the finish. we had a great time. we waited on runners, feeding them soup, sandwiches, crackers, cookies, candy, filling water bottles, popping blisters, taping feet, digging in bags for new socks, shuttling runners who quit back to the finish line. it was a wet, rainy, windy, stormy day. steve was actually not disappointed to volunteering instead of running.

this is the race director’s 11 month old cutie playing in the mud, gotta love moms like this.

this is the first place runner. He was a cutie too. i love that this picture shows the way the sky looked, the muddy country roads that this race is run on, and the runner making his way down the street to the aid station.

sunday i ran the prairie fire half marathon with sheila.

we were as miserable as we looked here crossing the finish line.

i had forgotten how hard asphalt is. the street is harder than sidewalks and much harder than trails. the pounding tore my hip flexors up, and my feet were feeling it. but after a shower, a sandwich and a nap, i felt almost good as new.

Friday, October 12, 2012

conversations with whitney

i hate when my mom says “let me ask dad”.

i’m like, nvm, i didn’t want it that bad anyway.”

...and a professional picture

Thursday, October 11, 2012

in my ongoing personal war against comparison, myself included…

i hate this poster.

i know a lot of people find it moving and inspirational and motivational.

quit comparing yourself to people who are sitting on the couch. if you want to get better, faster, stronger, try chasing after the people who are out there doing it better and faster and more often. train with them. ask them questions. get advice.

and feel good about yourself for what you are doing, not because you are doing something while millions of americans sit on the couch and get lazier and unhealthier. it shouldn’t matter what the rest of the world is doing.


you are special. you. the way you are. regardless of what others say. regardless of how you feel about yourself.

fearfully and wonderfully made. that verse is about you, you know. wonderfully made. SPECIAL!!!

fast or slow
thin or thick
blonde or brunette
rich or poor
married or single
young or not as young
career woman or sahm
successful or struggling

you. YOU - are special.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


this is a follow on to my previous post about sharing too much via social media.

i canceled my pinterest account. i found myself looking at things and wanting things and wanting to make things and spend money on things that i never wanted before. and don’t need. and probably don’t want if i’m really honest.

for example, i have a great black peasant skirt. i saw something on how to wear peasant skirts and immediately took mental inventory of what i had and what i would need to buy (or borrow from whitney) to copy the look.

two problems here. I DON’T NEED NEW CLOTHES. I DON’T WANT TO COPY A LOOK MILLIONS OF OTHER WOMEN ARE COPYING. and i have some awesome clothes in my closet. (note – i’m wearing my black peasant skirt with a 4 year old orange running chics sheer tee, 75% off orange satin ballet flats and steve’s levi’s jean jacket circa 1988 as i type this).

i also see on pinterest women planning weddings when they aren’t close to being engaged (or even dating). and dressing children they don’t have. i believe this is dangerous, leading lots of women (besides me? or am i the only one that struggles with this?) into dissatisfaction in their lives as well. some dreaming and wanting is okay. but at some point LIVE AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE WHERE YOU ARE NOW. if i was a guy dating a girl and I looked at her pinterest boards and she had 100 pins for her wedding and 179 of baby stuff it would probably freak me out.

i loved the humor boards until i came across several that were off color, down right raunchy, full of foul language, and the ones about teaching or created by teachers with typos and misspelled words just about send me over the edge.

and my dissatisfaction continued when i looked at facebook. you know about my love hate with facebook. i saw it. the much despised post “my husband just bought me an espresso maker (fancy name and picture). i’m so spoiled”. gag.me.with.a.spoon. (you can take a girl out of the 80’s but can’t take the 80’s out of the girl). and i don’t know the story behind the espresso maker. maybe she had been asking for one for a while and he finally got it for her. maybe he was tired of running to starbucks to get her espresso fix for her. or tired of watching the kids while she went. maybe she already had one and it was broken. maybe she was just publically thanking him because he’s the most awesome husband ever. not mine to get worked up over (but i did).

i ask steve why he doesn’t spoil me. he asks, pointedly, “do you want an espresso maker?” NO. because if i did, i could have one. he’d buy it for me or let me go buy it for myself. i realized that by this definition, i am spoiled too. he never tells me no. we just work it into the budget.

i changed my facebook profile picture to this one.

because i would rather have this all day long and twice on sundays instead of an espresso maker or any other expensive gift. a weekend out of town together, a race, a hug at the finish line. when i registered for my first race, a 10 mile in 2008 he registered too. and when i got to the 9 mile mark he had finished his race and come back and was waiting for me and ran the last mile with me. he’s done this more than once. ask me how I know he loves me and how he spoils me? this is one of many examples i can give.

this is not just a “brag about my husband” post. this is me looking at the kind things he does for me. the ways he shows me he loves me. he speaks MY love language, not someone else’s with espresso makers.

how quickly i can become dissatisfied with what i have, with my life in comparison to others. wanting more. wanting what others have. wanting validation from people that shouldn’t be able to speak into my life. steve is special. he is good to me. i don’t need presents, i just need him. and lots of races.

social media. i have to make sure that i get this right for me. i’m not telling anyone else how to manage their social media and how to live. it’s just a cautionary tale of the impact it can have on my life. and my continued search for the correct boundaries.

Monday, October 8, 2012

if you don't know where you are going

steve and i have put together the list of races we want to run next year. (it's exciting).

we have planned a weekend trip the end of this year.

we have budgeted and talked about christmas, what to do for the kids, present ideas.

we are talking about what we want to do after whitney graduates from high school.

i've always been more of a spur of the moment person. never planned too far ahead. i always thought that was my personality. now i'm starting to think it's because my life was so crazy and hectic that i didn't plan stuff because it was all going out the window anyway.

now when i make plans, it's possible to stick with them. i'm rather enjoying that.

i once heard a saying "if you don't know where you are going, you will probably get there". i don't want this to be true. i want to get where i want to get. (deep, huh).

i'd share, but you guys will hear about my races after i run them and whitney still has a year and a half of high school and then we have to see what her plan is for college. if she stays home a year or two we will not leave her. (i'd be happy if she did). and i don't want to tell you about christmas. nothing earth shaking, just trying to do the best we can for our kids where it will most bless them and still be exciting and fun without being needs.

it helps to have a plan. but you have to stick to the plan...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

training update

three workouts a week with marquis. he continues to kill me. about halfway through our second set of exercises he is having to pull me up off the mat. 40 minutes, i get water breaks for about 2 minutes between sets. 6 minutes of breaks. he told me he intends to mix it up so i'll stay sore. YAY!

i can tell a huge difference in my legs. the four miles at the monster dash the other night were easy. the trail was a piece of cake. uphills, downhills, i was able to run without slowing or adjusting my pace or feeling it. i was very pleased with how i felt. along with stronger, i am recovered from the marathon. the shrnrm 3.87 was really hard because i was still dog tired.

after an easy week, this is the start of the first push week, 20 miles this weekend.

and a bonus picture from friday night...these are the monsters that jumped out of the trees to scare me while i was running.

there were 184 runners. i was 100. 61 of 122 females. smack in the middle. it all depends on the race and the registered runners. sometimes i feel fast and accomplished and sometimes i feel out of my depth. but it is always fun.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

the adventures of wander woman

night run...

the monster dash 4 mile run at el dorado lake was a fund raiser for the el dorado high school drama department. the kids from the drama department were hidden on the trail in costume with props and jumped out and yelled and chased us. they are way less scary then mountain lions and snakes so i was fine. it was at the same place the storm the dam half marathon is held, and i kind of like that race too.

it started at 7:30 friday night. it was already dark. there were probably about 100 people, 90 in costume. yours truly was not, but only because i ran out of time to make a batman costume. there were not many headlights or flashlights which led me to assume (i soon found out i was right) that the majority of these people were not 1. trail runners, 2. runners, 3. night runners.

creepiest race shirt ever.

i actually started passing people at .52 miles in. which you all know from 3 of my last 4 races this is a switch. we ran paved roads through the camp grounds and some bike path. about two miles in we veered towards a wooden bridge and i was happy, my favorite portion of trail out at the lake. there was a line of 25 people in front of me. i know, because i counted as i passed them. i had two things on my side they didn't. i had run the trail before, several times, and i had a headlamp.

we hit pavement for about a half mile and right before we headed back into the same loop of trail three women i had passed the first time through went in right in front of me and immediately began walking. i asked to pass them, and they courteously moved out of my way. 50 yards down the trail i hear them behind me and so i asked which side they wanted to pass me on. she says, neither, we want to share your headlamp. so they stayed right on my heels and i yelled, LIMB, ROOTS, ROCK, DUCK (not the animal, the action) until we came out of the trail and hit pavement and then they ran on ahead.

at the finish line there was water, which is normal, and pizza, cookies and beer which is not. there was also a scary movie that would be shown in the amphitheater.

i didn't get my picture taken at the finish line, i veered in from the side. but dressed in black tights, black tee shirt and a headlight, i would've been hard to see. so here is a selfie.

anneshia is spending the weekend with us. took her to the race. steve said she cried when i ran off. forget how different life is for a 3 year old. when i crossed the finish line she was waiting there with steve and she says, gigi, you're fast.

the costumes and ghosts didn't bother her, the big spiders were fine, but she didn't like the creepy skulls.

Friday, October 5, 2012

conversations with whitney

action shot...lol

live action - taken with my cell phone while i sat in the bleachers. didn't try real hard, but you get the idea how i've spent the last two saturdays and the next three...and many weekends of the last 5 years.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

i have questions

when your co-worker has a “tail” clipped to the back of their clothes, do you tell them?

do some places actually have gradual changes in the weather or does everywhere see 30 degree temperature changes in a 12 hour period?

when I’m working out with marquis and have an audience waiting to see “how long it will be before she punches him”, is it too extreme?

how do you know when a 16 year old girl is really okay? moods change faster than the kansas weather.

you can unfriend/unfollow people on facebook and twitter. you can block them. Is there a way to wipe your mind clean of them? why can’t my mind be like an etch a sketch, turn it upside down and shake it clean. oooooh, better yet, a virus cleaner for your mind. yep, someone please invent this. and make it affordable.

how long can you sit in a meeting getting asked questions you can’t answer before you realize that they think you are someone else? well, not someone else, but they think that you do a different job then you do? really awkward meeting.

how long is it okay to dream about blowing an unexpected lump sum of money (ie. bonus/found money) before deciding to do the responsible thing?

can you maintain a “healthy lifestyle” and eat a piece of cake everyday?

do you have a friend you are close enough to buy her a pair of panties as a gift? that is a really close friend. whitney did this last week for a friend of hers. it was a moment when i wandered if i was not close enough to my friends to buy them panties or if i was close enough to know better than to buy them panties. denae loved them.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


rarely seen together, this is steve and his three younger brothers. taken at grandma's funeral on monday before one went back to nebraska and one went back to illinois.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

common sense

today i was reading proverbs chapter 2, talking about common sense. there is a misconception that coomon sense and wisdom can be taught. I always thought you were born with it or without it. proverbs states that god gives them. tells us to beg for them.

verses 3-4

beg as loud as you can
for good common sense.
search for wisdom
as you would search for silver
or hidden treasure.

if you or someone you know is lacking, now you know why. time to start begging god.

i wander if part of begging god for common sense and seeking him for wisdom is in facing a difficult decision and turning to him for guidance and not just rolling full steam ahead. sometimes i think i get ahead of god and when i do that chances are real good i will take the wrong path. maybe, just maybe, if i took the time to search for wisdom and beg loudly for good commmon sense i'd save myself some heartache.

my mom always said "he ain't got the sense god gave a goose." i know geese with more sense then some humans. guess they are asking god.

Monday, October 1, 2012

at the cross

sunday morning as we were walking into church i said a little prayer asking god to help me pay attention, listen for him and let him speak. it's so easy to let my mind wander during a service.

example, young man sits down in front of us and i tell whitney there is a guy for her, she should move up and sit by him. it was a joke, he was a geek, i have nothing against geeks, not at all. button down shirt, glasses, white tube socks...

steve says she should sit with the guy behind us. in whitney's words, "he's beautiful" and he was writing his tithe check.

i pulled it back in to concentrate and the worship set was all songs about the cross. loved that. especially one of my long time faves, at the cross by hillsong.

Oh Lord you've searched me
You know my way
even when I fail You
I know You love me

Your holy presence
surrounding me
In every season
I know You love me

we move on to the sermon and it's about the cross and how we want comfort but the cross is not comfortable.

i've thought about that for a couple days and i realize mostly that i have taken the cross for granted. i know the sacrifice. but i haven't been living like there was a sacrifice made for me, not recently. i've been coasting.

i was asked once not to long ago what i've done with my life that mattered. taken in context, this was asked by someone who thinks her career makes her life matter more than mine and that i'm not doing anything worthwhile.

this was not upsetting, it was more humorous because what i've done that matters is share jesus. i may not be a teacher or a doctor or a lawyer, a career "that matters", but i am a creation of jesus, and i love him and try to point people to him and that is what i do that matters. (i'm also a good wife, mother, employee, friend, etc.)

i thought about this today as i sat at steve's grandmother's funeral. everything i do on earth will be tested before my creator. thrown into a fire and the worthless stuff will be burnt off and we will see what is left. my earthly life will pass so quickly, and only what i do for jesus will stand the test of eternity.

1 corinthians 3:12-13
If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.

the sacrifice jesus made on the cross cost more than his life. it cost him a separation from god. it cost him feeling the weight of all the sins committed by every human being past and future from that time. when i think of how heavy my sin weighs on me and the idea that jesus carried all mine at one time, forget anyone elses, i know the expense. i know he deserves more than what he gets from me.

he deserves my all. he deserves for me to remember the cross.