I Run for…

peace of mind, that “runner’s high”, my love for the outdoors, fitness…the list goes on and on.

Today is national running day and I fully intend to hit the pavement after work today to get in a few miles.  I also thought I would share a little bit of my running story.

It all started in elementary school, when I would race all the boys at recess.  Yes, I was that girl who would challenge the boys to race…and usually beat them all.  I was also that girl that hit her growth spurt early, so I had a little bit of a leg length advantage. So, you could say I have always loved to run.

In middle school I ran cross country and track, but always enjoyed being out on the cross country course or running though neighborhoods for practice rather than on the track.  The track stressed me out.

In high school I ran track during my freshman and sophomore years.  I would always run the starting leg or anchor leg of the 4 x 800.  I also ran the open 400 and occasionally ran the 4 x 400.  I was definitely a middle distance track runner.  My sophomore year I joined the cross country team and remained on the team through my Senior year.  Again I say, there was just something about being on the trails or running in the neighborhoods around our high school.

During college my running pretty much took a back seat..that was until my friend Hawley and I decided to train for a half marathon.  We would hit the sidewalks of Athens or go to the botanical garden and run the trails…it was so much fun and a great way to form a friendship.  Unfortunately, I injured myself (stress fracture in the hip) just before the half and had to cheer Hawley on from the sidelines.  She did amazing and I was so proud of her..and so thankful we were able to bond through our training.

Post college, running has been a semi-constant in my life.  I don’t run every day..and I definitely have periods of time that I don’t run at all.  However, I always find that I am happier with life if I am running a few times a week.  I don’t necessarily have a goal I am aiming towards, I just get out there for my health and well being.  I’ll do a fun run 5k here and there, but nothing competitive.  Sure, I would love to run a half marathon some day…and heck, maybe even a full…but right now I am satisfied for running for me, for my health, for my happiness, for my peace of mind, and so much more.

Some pictures from the past year of running:

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Franklin Classic 5K with Mom

Trail running - challenging but beautiful.

Trail running – challenging but beautiful.

My running shoes when they were brand new - they look nothing like this anymore.  In fact, it's probably time for a new pair.

My running shoes when they were brand new – they look nothing like this anymore. In fact, it’s probably time for a new pair.

Before and After: Bridge to Bridge 4 miler.  1 bridge per mile, love this tradition with mom!

Before and After: Bridge to Bridge 4 miler. 1 bridge per mile, love this tradition with mom!

Morning run down my street.  Country running is the best!

Morning run down my street. Country running is the best!

Edwin Warner Park - where I ran cross country meets in middle and high school.

Edwin Warner Park – where I ran cross country meets in middle and high school.

Thankful Thursdays

It has been a really long times since I’ve done a Thankful Thursday post and I think it’s about time to revive them!

Summer is season that makes me just absolutely joyful.  The days are longer (at least daylight LASTS longer) which provides time to enjoy more things outside.  The weather took a while to decide if it really wanted to give us that summer heat..but I think it’s finally hear to stay.  Looking forward to lots of time out in that glorious summer heat!  Some things I am thankful for about summer time:

24. More daylight, which means more time outside – more grilling out, more time in the yard, more hiking, more country drives with the windows down and sunroof open

25. Warm mornings.  Joshua and I have a renewed desire to wake up earlier and get our day going now that the sun is rising earlier.

26.  A husband who holds me accountable to my personal goals.  This morning Joshua kicked me out of bed for my desired morning run.  I really would have loved to lay there and cuddle longer, but with the evenings staying so warm, I know I’ll have better runs if I get up and go in the morning.

27.  This morning’s run.  So thankful I didn’t miss the beauty God has created for us to enjoy by staying in bed this morning.  A country road in the morning light provides such serenity and joy.

morning run

What are you thankful for this week?

Digging in to my Desires

Now that I have a little break from school (praise the Lord for no classes in May) I am playing catch up on my Bible Study.  While I still haven’t made it back to my lovely B-stud ladies to catch up with them (hopefully next weekend!), it has been so good to get back into our book. We’re reading Strong Women Soft Hearts by Paula Rinehart and I just finished catching up on Chapter 2 – Desire: The Language of the Heart.  Rinehart makes so many great points in this section.  She speaks so clearly to, what I believe to be, a commonly held belief that to be a “good Christian woman” you have to give up your desires.  But these desires and longings are important.  Rinehart quotes Nicole Johnson who says,

ImageI think it is often easy to suppress our desires because they can be scary, intimidating, or even painful.  If we don’t pursue our desires we don’t have to worry about failing, we can avoid our fear of the unknown, we can keep things contained in a nice little box…and we don’t have to put our trust in God.  Additionally, suppressing desires is often seen as a sacrifice and a way to serve God.  But Rinehart says, “God does not deaden desire – rather, he awakens desire and transforms it.”  She goes on to quote Eldredge who says:

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 So rather than pushing our desires to the back of our minds, we need to claim them and pursue them.  “As you bring your heart to God, he will place his desire in you to such an extent that your desire becomes his for you.  So when you pray about a longing, and the desire remains, you can trust that God has left that in place for a reason.”  That’s really cool, right?  I mean, there is a desire in your heart…and as you give your heart to God, your desire can become God’s desire. By praying earnestly about those desires and longings, you can determine what is a real desire…what God has clung to as a desire for you and what he has pushed aside.

So, the challenge: Pursue your desires, pray about your desires, don’t let fear keep you from your desires.  Rinehart puts it this way:

Where would desire take you if you didn’t douse the flame of possibility before someone else attempted to blow it out?  If you didn’t rain on your own parade?

In It to End It

This week our pastor began a series on 5 Lies We Believe.  The message for week 1 was great:

LIE: I can’t make a difference.  Evil wants us to believe there are too many obstacles in the way.  Constant barriers are put up to keep us fearful of changing the world.  Evil makes us think that we don’t have the right audience, we need to be asked, and we need better tools to initiate change.

TRUTH: I CAN make a difference and God CALLS us to be difference makers.   It doesn’t matter the size of the audience, or whether you’ve been asked to bring change, or if you don’t think you have the right tools.  If you are acting in love and desire change for God’s glory, then you can make a difference.

Today, along with others world wide, I want to help bring awareness to modern slavery.  Did you know that there are 27 MILLION men, women, and children living in slavery today?  Did you know that slavery effects 161 countries, INCLUDING the United States?  Here is a short video with a bit more information.

Please help shine a light on slavery.  Be in it to end it.

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It is Finished

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This week I’ve been reading along with She Reads Truth as they explore Scripture during the Holy Week.  I have been reminded of Christ’s suffering and His dedication to us, to sinners.  I have been reminded of the betrayal and pain he faced. Through their study, they have reminded me of the many prophecies of Christ’s death in the Old Testament.  Our God is good and faithful and Scripture is a constant reminder of that.

Today we remember Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins. 

Sister Date

I got to hang out with my super awesome sister, Olivia, last night…which makes my heart so happy.  We haven’t had a chance to hang out in a while due to my school schedule and her similarly busy life.  I mean, the life of an 18 year-old  high school senior is packed full…this I know.

Anyways, I (unknowingly) got to witness my super cute little sister get asked to prom after a school ultimate frisbee game.  I will take a quick pause for you to reflect on the fact that high schools now have ultimate frisbee as a team sport.  I thought we were pretty forward thinking by starting hockey, lacrosse, and rugby…obviously not!  So, after WINNING the game, her date went and did a quick change before coming back dressed in a blazer and bow tie and carrying a bouquet of flowers.  Being the wonderful big sister that I am…I snapped a few quick pictures.

the ask

right after he asked her to prom

Olivia, her date, and the entire ultimate frisbee team.

Olivia, her date, and the entire ultimate frisbee team.

We headed to Frothy Monkey in Franklin for dinner afterwards for a nice dinner.  We had a great chat about all sorts of things and I ended the night with a beautiful Vanilla Latte.  If you haven’t checked them out, you should definitely make your way to the Franklin location.  They are just off of five points in this great old house.  The atmosphere is great and on a warm day they have a pretty awesome patio.  I ordered the PMP sandwich for dinner…thanks Olivia for making me think of PIMP. I couldn’t get 50 Cent out of my head and definitely ordered the “P.I.M.P” instead of the PMP. Thankfully our server was good-humored and played along – bringing me the P.I.M.P sandwich I requested.

they always do the best foam designs!

they always do the best foam designs!

And somehow we ended the night with no pictures together…date fail!  At least we had a blast together.

Have a great weekend – I’m headed to Atlanta for some fun with my Georgia loves!

Francesca Battistelli – Strangley Dim

Heard this new song by Francesca Battistelli last night on my way home. I’m already a fan of hers, but this song is so good! Here are the lyrics to the first verse and chorus:

I’ve got all these plans piled up sky high
A thousand dreams on hold and I don’t know why
I got a front row seat to the longest wait
And I just can’t see past the things I pray today

But when I fix my eyes on all that You are
Then every doubt I feel deep in my heart
Goes strangely dim
All my worries fade and fall to the ground
Cause when I seek your face and don’t look around
Any place I’m in grows strangely dim

I can definitely relate to this song…I often feel like I have all these plans for life that are just waiting to be fulfilled, but I’m in a season of waiting…waiting for the right time, waiting for the right amount of money…just WAITING. But the words of the chorus ring so true – when I focus on Jesus and I give my desires and longings to Him, all the frustrations of waiting, of not being where I want to be in life, seem to disappear.