Romans 5:3-5 NKJV
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Man… does this verse describe what I’ve been going through! From issues with family to financial struggles and battles with my health…. these waives have just kept crashing down on my family and me.! I’ve tried speaking to these mountains, seeking God for direction, looking for employment opportunities, crying out to God only to find Him being silent. As this past week had gone by, all forms of income outside of my food stamps had stopped. On top of it, my God Grammy ended up in the hospital a few weeks ago andI was unable to see her. Days of being at home with the child mom and I have been doing emergency foster care for while my mom was at work. Dealing with the stress of seeing my mom work her butt off to barely make ends meet, troubles with my mom’s car… a minor set back in my health landed me at the Chiropractor’s office, and thankfully…. the friends from church who took me there were willing to take me to visit my God Grammy in the hospital. So much in such a short period of time. With a race that was coming up, I was determined to baby myself in order to make sure I was ok to run. I took the following day (Thurs) off even though I was permitted to jog and went with my mom, God Mom, and little guy on Friday to volunteer to set up for the race event on Saturday. Finally… a break from all the drama of life! A great day full of setting up, talking with some of the ultra runners (got some tips on training), little guy played with the race director’s kids and we all enjoyed a wonderful meal! All day I had a difficult time deciding which distance to run… the 10k or the half marathon. So, I prayed, felt the prompt to go half, got the ok from the chiropractor and… the next race adventure was set to begin!!!!! The next morning, Mom, little guy and I headed off to enjoy race day fun! The fresh air, the excitement, the smiles, also getting to see the work we’d done the day before come to life… what an amazing experience! I met up with my God Family and we all chatted and prepped for our events. However, it felt empty without Grammy there. Especially after the recent loss of my God Dad. As I headed to the start line of the half marathon, I was pleased to see my God Mom come up right beside me… a team, like Elijah an Elisha! The race director gave the course instructions and precautions and .. we were off!!! For some reason, from the get go, my legs and arms felt heavy. However, I pressed on! Just before the first mile marker my sock started slipping into my shoe! Ahhh! I quickly stopped, pulled it up and raced off! The course was amazing! The morning fog lingered for I’d say about the first 3 or 4 miles. Then, it burned away to reveal a beautiful sunny day! For some reason I began to feel incredibly nauseous! The hills started coming right away, each with it’s own challenge! After the first big one, I thought I was toast, but I asked God for His strength and looked ahead and felt assured that somehow, I’d get through it! As the miles went by, the hills increased in difficulty! Right around miles 8& 9, there was a steep climb with tree roots popping out everywhere. Funny thing is… As difficult as the up hills were, the down hills seemed even more treacherous at times! Then, just as I reached the 13 mile mark (legs feeling heavy and I was still feeling nauseous), I thought I was in the clear and started trying to jet off to the finish! Then, I went around a corner and… up a little ways to ANOTHER DROP!!! This one was a steep drop followed by a quick, steep, quick climb both of which were covered in stairs and tree roots. “Chrap!” I exclaimed! Then I tripped, but didn’t fall… “Please forgive me Lord for letting that word slip!” I said as I deliriously pressed on! As I headed down the steps, my legs felt stiff as boards, my body was weary from the journey, and I pressed through the odd feeling of nausea and endorphins and ran as carefully and quickly as I could and STILL tripped twice more! Thankfully, I landed on my feet and headed up the hill and onto the finish! 4th overall, 1st in my age group and how??? Only by the power of God!!! I quickly went to find my family and God Family and refueled and… we all went to get our picture together (as is our tradition) and headed home! Wow… what a glorious day! Yet, still another bitter sweet moment. Now, the Lord revealed something to me the next day as I sat in service. Earlier in the week I was drinking a bottle of orange Arrowhead sparkling water. On the side of it, it said, “caution, contents under pressure.” Then I felt the Holy Spirit tell me, “THAT’S what all the pressure is about… I want you to sparkle!” Then I looked back over the past year and realized… I’ve never been closer to God until now. These times of trials have given me a choice, to cave in or to press into God and keep taking steps of faith to run the race for Him. I know what I’ve chosen… I will stand my ground and trust Him. So, I leave you all today by saying… whatever you’re going through, press into Christ. Get in your prayer closet, draw close to Him. He can turn ANY situation around, and in your times of trial you’ll find all the ingredients to make your life SPARKLE for Him! Also, for the first time in my blog, I’m sending out a prayer request. My God Grammy is very ill. She’s been back and forth between the hospital and rehabilitation for the past few weeks. Along with that, my God Mom, still morning her husband has had to take this and many other pressures on her shoulders. Meanwhile… we are all facing financial struggles, and well… Please pray for healing for my God Grammy, for provision and strength for my God Mom, for my God Family to come together and be lead by the Holy Spirit in the choices concerning my God Grammy, and for healing in my body,and provision for my family and me. 3John 1:2-3 states that we are to paper in health and financially as our souls prosper. Phil 4:19 says that God will provide our needs… and prayer (I believe) helps unlock to door for God’s power to release those things!
Today’s recipe… sparkling OJ. This is a great way to cut sugar and add a little sparkle to your day 😉
-1 & 1/2 cups Sparkling orange (or lemon) flavored Arrowhead water
-3 cups minute made oj (I used the one with calcium and vitamin D)
-1/2 Large Orange sliced into thin rings
Mix sparkling water and oj together and place into a clear pitcher. Add orange rings and enjoy!
This is really great for kids who want soda. A healthier alternative! Have a blessed week!