After a few weeks of keeping a low profile, and keeping my posts semi minimal… I’m back! This week is, well, recovery week for me. I want to share with you all what the Lord has been doing through me while staying low. I do still need to keep details minimal out of respect for my best friend and partner in ministry, however… I pray that through this you are inspired to press into God in all things and allow Him to give you victory!
Now, many of us as believers go through trials and tribulations, however, James tells us to count it all joy, because it produces the fruit of patience so we may be lacking nothing (James 1:2-4). Those of you who have read my Previous posts know that trials are nothing new to me and my family. I kept asking God what He was doing in all of this… and…. well…. here goes!
The man who originally stopped me and invited me to run my first race (Big Al) told me I would eventually be doing 40 & 50 mile trail runs… I thought he was crazy! A year or so later, my previous pastor at Rock Harbour told me he’d recently heard about a man named Dean Karnazes who runs these insane races (30, 50, 100 miles and beyond) .. and Pastor Port had thought of me… I laughed and told him what Big Al had said… I just couldn’t see myself doing something like that. Then, in 2011 while running my first marathon, in Oakland, a man cheered me on at the 16 mile point and told me to run ahead of him he was”taking it easy.” I asked him why and he told me he was running Oakland as his long run for an ultramarathon! Then, it clicked… hmmmm there’s a world beyond what I was allowing myself to grab ahold of!
Since my finish at Oakland, the battles in my life raged… I begged God to deliver me from the waves, but I heard Him silently speak to me saying “Child, this will make you stronger… I will be with you… Be strong… do the work!”
To cut to the chase… a few months ago, my best friend/ god Mom invited me to do my first 50k. “SURE! Why not?” I thought.. Haha! As we continued to race, and do our long runs in between events… God worked in a supernatural way through us as we jumped from a very low mileage foundation to our final 23 mile long run in a very short time period. Before the event, I battled a flare up that forced me to take three days off from training in the final two weeks… meanwhile, I had a house sit to pack up and head to… Yet, there was this peace… somehow I knew it would all be ok. By the grace of God… we headed to the start line of the “Diablo Hills 50k” (31.78 miles). Prior to the event, I hadn’t really looked over the elevation chart and was told the hills “weren’t that bad.” Little did I know, I was headed into a point to point wilderness trail, running up and down huge hills (sometimes half hiking) & at times running at an elevation of over 2,000 feet. WHAT AN ADVENTURE!
As I mentioned before, I’ll keep details limited for now. However, there are a few things I want to share with you.
First off, while out there… I realised why I’d been through all the gnarly junk in my life… to be strong in will and determination to complete the task. Each hill I ran up represented a demon from my past. It represented the power of God that has helped me conquer each crazy giant from abuse to addiction to self hatred to pride… all gone by His power!
Second, something a woman said to me while out there was “Respect the hills… there’s plenty of downhill to enjoy!” When you really think about it, that also applies to everyday life! We need to respect and embrace the challenges we face, glean from them, and enjoy the easier “downhill moments” that help us fly gracefully forward.
Third, I learned that even in the downhill moments, you need to watch your step so that you don’t get cocky and fall.
Fourth, there were only 4 pit stops on the course, meaning… we had to carry our own food and water. At the stops, we were free to refill as needed. At the second stop, I’d filled my bottles too much and my arms were weighed down. There was a lot of shade between the second and third, so I didn’t need as much hydration. I even offered to share some with another runner & ended up dumping some out to lighten the load. At the third stop, I was on top of mount Diablo, with theeee most incredibly breathtaking view, and it was hot!!! Being that I didn’t want to get weighed down, I only filled my bottles half way. I hadn’t heard the race director when he talked about this portion of the event, so I was unprepared and I ended up dehydrated and almost threw up and threw in the towel before the fourth and final stop. Yet, thank God, I pushed through! In this, I learned that we all need to be in the Word… because it’s our water and sustenance. However, there are times when can get out of balance and spend so much time in the Word that we need to find a way to overflow into someone else’s life. We also need to listen to the direction of the HOLY Spirit so we know how to prepare ourselves so we are properly hydrated and nourished for the road ahead.Spiritual dehydration can leave you exhausted and ready to throw in the towel… In other words, You need time with Jesus between each of your Sunday services in order to be properly prepared for everyday challenges of life!
Fifth, in the last mile I was so focused on just getting to the finish line that I lost my footing and fell 3 times… again each time, I wanted to give up! Thankfully… I pressed on to the FINISH!!! In this I learned that in life, you can’t get so focused on your goals that you lose site of living in the moment. Also, at times when you fall.. dust yourself off, no matter how you feel… and press on into victory!
Finally, at a point in the course… my two dear friends, Moet and Katrina had just finished Moet’s first half marathon together! They came back a little ways to find me and cheer me on! I was so proud of Moet!!! At the finish line was my mom, my best friend/god mom (who kicked my butt in the event) and my best friend’s family who have all become part of my family… all I can say is…. what matters most is not the victories we have or the things we aquire or accomplish in our lives. What matters is who is with us to share in those things along the way! Without family and friends… without anyone to share the ups and downs with. Also, be joyful in the victories of others… that’s what life is all about!
With that I’ll wrap it up by saying… no matter what challenge you are facing, God will pull you through. If He calls you to do something that seems impossible, know that in Him ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! If He could help me push through tragedy and into triumph, He surely can go the same for you! Now, onto something Heavenly to sink your teeth into!
GLUTEN FREE ROCKY ROAD BROWNIES!
-1 package Trader Joe’s gluten free brownie mix
– 1/2 cup oikos nonfat or 2 % Greek yogurt
-1 egg (preferably free range)
-1/4 cup water
-2/3 cup raw, crumbled walnuts
-1 cup mini marshmallows
-1 tub non fat vanilla frozen yogurt
– Hershey Carmel syrup
-2/3 cup crumbled, raw walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix brownie mix, yogurt, egg, and water with a mixer until smooth. Slowly mix in marshmallows and walnuts, place in an 8×8 inch baking pan that has been sprayed evenly with cooking spray. Place in oven for about 30 min or until toothpick poked in center comes out clean. Take out of oven, let cool slightly, then cut into desired sized rectangles and place on mini cake plates (it tastes best if served warm). Place a scoop of froyo on top, drizzle with Carmel, and add walnut crumbles!!!
I hope you all enjoy this tasty treat! Have a blessed week!