Monday, March 19, 2012

The Race....

I don't think I will finish today.

My ankle hurts.

"God please heal my ankle!"

I keep running. The pace isn't to fast. I keep my legs under me.

Mile Four.

The pain subsided.

Maybe I can go faster!

I increased the speed. I started passing people. Oh what joy! What exhilartion!

It looked like I was going to make it after all.

I passed one racer after another.

I check my watch. Kenzie has got to be coming soon. She has to be heading back already. that her?

I see the runner's stride. Not perfectly straight, more like a swimmer pushing the pavement back. 

I move towards the middle of the road.

I scream "Go Kenzie! Go Kenzie!!"

She's coming closer.

I reach out my hand.

We touch hands.

And keep going.

I prayed out loud. "God please let her finish second girl! Please let her break a record! Please let her finish strong!"

Now for Kevin and Caleb. I scan the increasing crowd of runners coming toward me. I find my head swimming as my eyes are scanning the runners for them. that them?

Yes!  They are side by side, neck and neck. A pack of runners behind them, looking as if they were leading a charge.

"Go Caleb! Go Kevin!"

Now to keep going. That half way point is coming up soon......just keep going! Just keep going!

Whew I passed the turn around. Ugh..its harder now. The wind is in my face now.

I must keep going.

I must keep going.

Wait! There's Corrie!


She looks suprised that I am so far ahead.

I keep moving.

Need more water!

Theres the water stop....grab two cups. One for my head, the other for my mouth.

Keep going.

I feel so much better.

Mile 9 only 4 more to go!

I can't let that tatooed man beat me.

Passed him.


Now where is my family? They said they were gonna be here.

Why do women have to wear spandex shorts?

Green Spandex Shorts!

I am not gonna let a girl with a green behind beat me.

Passed her.

Mile 12.

Almost there. Hurry up finish line! Where are you?

Aah.....I am almost there. My knee is on fire.

Yay! I see the finish line.

Yes I can!

I pick up speed. Pumping my arms and legs. Running faster and faster.

I sprint toward the finish line.


I hear my family...there they are.....I knew that they would show up!

I feel on top of the world. I can do this. I can do this!

The finish line is only a little bit farther....a little farther...

I passed it!

I finished!

I stop by my friend and her family. Bending over I pant, trying to get breath.

My body feels worn out but I feel good inside.

I did it!

I finished the race!

I didn't stop. I kept going and I finished!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Race on Saturday!

Lord willing I will be running a half marathon on Saturday!

Please keep me in your prayers!



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

..just do the next thing...

When I sent out an e-mail update to my friends about my closed door to Ukraine one of my friends sent me this quote in an e-mail.
"Sometimes life is so hard you can only do the next thing.
Whatever it is, just do the next thing.
God will meet you there."
Elizabeth Elliot
It has been a big encouragement. Life has been hard the past couple weeks. I have had to let go of a dream....and that has been hard. It has been hard to just give it to God and let him be in control of my life. Inspite of the hard times, I know that even though I don't know his will, I do often know what is the next thing I should be doing. It may be just going to work the next day, or helping in church on Wednesday or showing God's love to that customer who walk in the door...He will guide me..and He will sustain me.
He is enough.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Moon Thoughts

Driving home on the country roads that lead to my house I couldn't help but notice the huge moon shining down on me.

Ever since I was little I have loved the moon. Driving home with my family in our van I would press my nose against the back window of the van and stare up at it. It was so beautiful and large. Something about it fascinated me.

My love of the moon carried on into my mid teenage years. While at camp one summer I woke up to the moon shining into the window of the room that I shared with the maintenance girl. We had become best friends over the summer and I had to share the moon with her :D

"Em, Em," I said.

She lifted her head...."Whaaat?" she answered groggily.

"Look at the moon!"

"That's great"..and she promptily laid her head back down and went back to sleep.

It became a joke with us. I began to text her any time I saw a pretty moon...and she would try to see it too.

As I drove home tonight all these things ran through my head but another thought came to mind as well. I have often thought about the moon as a picture of Christians. The moon is a reflection of the sun. We as Christians should refect Jesus Christ. We are the moon. Jesus is the Sun. I had a new thought tonight. The moon doesn't do anything to create it's own light. The sun creates the light, not the moon. I we as Christians need to stay close to Jesus. We need to can't do anything to shine Christ...all we need to do is just bask in Christ's his love..and we won't be able to help shining will just happen.

Friday, March 2, 2012

When God Says "No"

Yesterday God shut a door in my life.

To explain I must go back to last fall when I was sitting in church listening to the pastor's sermon. It was missions week. The week when the church's focus is on spreading Jesus throughout the world. On that Sunday there is a call to everyone who feels called to serve on the field long term. The pastor tells everyone who feels called to come up to the front of the sanctuary.

I knew what this particular Sunday was. Last year I had even determined that I would go up. The year before that I had felt compelled by God to go up, but I didn't. I didn't see my parents make any move to go, so I thought that if they didn't go they must not feel kindly to my going up there.

This Sunday however I was alone. I had come to the first service ahead of my family because I had work that day. So there was no family to see me walk up there. No family to influence my decision or to give me frowning looks as I made my way up to the front.

That is exactly what I did that Sunday. I just couldn't get that thought of, "you need to go up there" out of my head. I knew that I didn't want to squelch the call of God. So grudgingly and somewhat impulsively I scooted past several people to get out of my row and I walked shakily up to the front. Tears started rolling down my face.

There were many others up there. Several single young men and women, and a family, the dad proudly leading his young brood. I stood next to a young man. He looked like he was in college. He might have been the same age as me but he definitely was in college. I can spot college student a mile away. They have a certain kind of dress and attitude that just exudes college.

As the congregation was dismissed, the elder that was standing near me and the college student handed us both cards loaded with information on how to get us started on our journey and asked if he could pray for us. We both agreed and explained why we were here. The college student seemed to have a purpose. He even had a country that he knew that God wanted him to go to. I looked at him in amazement. I had no idea whatsoever about where God want me. (I still don't). The only reason I was up here was because I felt called. I didn't know how or when, or what or even where. I just knew that I didn't want to quelch God if he was calling me to the mission field. After we finished the elder prayed for us. As soon as his amen sounded I darted out of the sanctuary stopping only long enough to grab a flyer on short term mission trips. I ran to my car got in and promptly started crying. I was so confused. I thought that I had my whole life planned out. I would keep working at the quilt shop, maybe do some designing and get married and have kids. God had just thrown me a curve ball!!! To add to my embarassment my family drove up and parked right next to me. I am sure there were plenty of other parking places but they had to stop and see me cry.

God used it though. My dear mom got out and I told her all that happened. Like the wonderful mother that she is, she cried with me and gave me words of encouragement. She told me that she didn't care where I went. She just wanted me where God wanted me.

After that talk I decided to follow up on a mission trip that I had been interested in seven months before. By God's grace there were still openings! In fact the team leader had been meaning to contact me but for some odd reason she had lost my information.(she still hasn't found that very safe place where she put it). There had been no way for her to contact me..there was no way for her to even describe me.

So I went with her to Thailand to work with kids. I went hoping and praying that God would show me if he really wanted me to serve long term. I believe He did. The last day I made it known to several people that I felt called to Russia long term. The result? Explosion. God brought three people into my path to talk to me about Russia. He showed me two opportunities, one was to help with an English camp in Russia, another was to serve two years in Ukraine working with college students. Now as I look back I wonder if I went to far. If I should have waited and not acted on impulse like I did in Thailand but I know that even in spite of what I did, God has a purpose. He will use it for good.

I decided to apply to go to Ukraine for two years. God seemed to open the doors..even to opening my schedule to talking with someone who had been through the program before. So I applied. I filled out the large questionaire, got references, and sent it in. For three weeks I heard nothing. Then on the day before the deadline I was able to set up a skype date with the receiving missionaries in Ukraine. I was filled with excitement. Surely they were going to tell me that I had been accepted.

Alas. I was wrong. As I skyped with the couple they explained to me that I didn't fit into the box that the program had created. But if I still wanted to come to Ukraine I would be able to if I went through language school and applied for a mid term trip. I couldn't believe my ears. Were they really telling me that I hadn't been accepted?

Yes they were. After I said good bye to them, I started to cry. I think I was in shock. I had built so many dreams around this in such a short time. My mom came to me and I explained to her what happened. I told her that this isn't a set back. God will bring something along. He will show me the way. She gently contradicted me. She told me that this is a set back. "You have to go through a grieving time But after you grieve, you give it to God, and He will show you the way."

It has been two days since God has said "No."

It has been a grieving time for me. But an eye opener. I have been seeing things that I haven't before. It certainly hurts but it's a good hurt because it drives me to God.

So would you pray with me? Would you pray that God would show me where He wants me? Pray that God would give me a bent and a love for the lost the likes of which I have never had before?

Source: via Jess on Pinterest