I Am Me

I am the kind of person who has to figure out on my own where my current abilities lie and what I have to do to improve. I’ve always been told that I “march to the beat of my own drummer”, and that is just fine with me! My methods for improvement may not work for everyone else, but they work for me. I admire people who know how to think outside of the box in order to get things done. I may not always agree with them in certain areas, but people like that tend to be trendsetters and leaders. As far as my running goes, I still want to keep improving, and I know what I have to do to make it happen. I went running in one of our local parks again yesterday. I knew I was going to be pushing it, but I also knew if I didn’t start pushing even harder that my speed would stay the same as it was. I wanted to see how close to 40 minutes I could get. I got my Pandora going in my ears . . . I’m a Southern Gospel girl . . . gotta have good thoughts going through my head while I run . . . and I also pulled up my running app. I’ve been using ZenLabs Fitness, and it’s AWESOME!! One of the nice things is that you can repeat previous weeks that you’ve already finished if you want to. Even though I’ve graduated up to their 10K app, I decided to go back several weeks and just run their equivalent of a 5K which is a total of 40 minutes. I ran it in 35:44!!! I had to look at my timer at least two or three times to make sure I read it correctly, and I DID!!

I said all of that to say that I don’t always do things like everyone else, but I know what works for me, and I do it. I am not everyone else anyway . . . I am ME!! God made me in His image. Sure, I have weaknesses . . . all of us do. God knows that. He created me exactly the way He wants me to be. I love what the psalmist David said in Psalm 139:14:

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

WE are “marvellous” because GOD’s WORKS are “marvellous”!! How exciting is that???!!! If we are “marvellous” as David said, we are most certainly physically capable of doing EVERYTHING God chooses for us to do in the way He chooses for us to do it, no matter of what anyone else says, thinks, or does. Readers, take comfort in that thought!!

Until next time . . . let’s keep on running!!

Keep on Pressing!

In my last post, I mentioned that the words “can” and “cannot” only appear one or two times in the Bible. That information was based on what I found in the concordance in the back of my Bible. However, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance shows that the words “can/canst” appear approximately 285 times in the Bible; the word “cannot” appears approximately 185 times. Sometime in the future, I plan to break down each Scripture reference further, but for now, back to the task at hand.

I ran my second 5K race today . . . the second one I have ever run in my life. I started working with a trainer (Megan . . . she’s AWESOME) after my first race last month. She gave me some tips on exercises that I can do to help increase my speed. I completed my first race in 49:35. My goal for today’s race was to get below 49 minutes. When I looked at the results, I was ecstatic: chip time was 48:55, and gun time was about 49:15. By regularly doing my exercises, I was able to knock off about 20-30 seconds from my last race time!

One thing that I am constantly learning is that anything worth striving for requires focus, dedication, consistency, and faithfulness. I don’t always feel like running or going to the gym, but I do it because I know that my body will ultimately be better off for it.

The same goes for the Christian life. If we truly strive to know everything that we can about God like I mentioned in my last post, we must be focused, dedicated, and faithful at spending time in His Word every day. We must be open to the things He wants to teach us. We must not get discouraged and give up because of past failures. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

I have learned in racing . . . and in life . . . that I cannot compare myself to others. If I do, I am wasting time focusing on the business of others instead of completing my own tasks. When racing, participation and completion are most important, no matter what it takes. The Apostle Paul also saw the same importance. He did not let what others were doing distract him from his goal, which was accomplishing, the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

If there’s one thing that I can encourage my readers to do, don’t let anyone or anything discourage you from your goals. Stay focused, dedicated, and keep pressing toward your “mark”.

Until next time . . . let’s keep on running! IMG_0531

Crawl . . . Walk . . . RUN!!!

IMG_0512Everything in life has a story. If the flower in the photo above had a story, I wonder what it would be. I wonder what things it experienced during its days of sunshine. I wonder how many storms it had to weather. I wonder how many obstacles it had to face to become the beautiful, exuberant color it is today.

Every person on this planet also has a story. Everything we have faced in our past . . . EVERYTHING . . . has molded us into the people we are today. We can either take the unpleasant things we have faced and allow them to keep us from living our lives the way that they are meant to be lived, or we can learn from them and allow them to propel us into living our lives full of confidence, love, joy, and compassion for others. If you read my last post, you know part of my story. Another part to my story is that I never learned to crawl. Since I had casts on my feet from the time I was a week old until the time I was almost two years old, I did not have the chance to crawl around like most babies do at certain stages. I went straight from casts that had to be changed on a weekly basis due to my constant growth to wearing corrective shoes with a metal bar in between. I have heard that crawling helps babies develop problem solving skills, abilities to run, and it also helps to develop their confidence. Confidence is something that I have struggled with for most of my life, even though I became a Christian when I was eight years old.

This journey that I have been on has set my mind reeling in so many different directions. As a Christian, I am a firm believer in studying God’s Word every day. I am not a Bible scholar, but I started embarking on a word study to see how many times the words “can” and “cannot” appear in the Bible. Guess what? I only found them one or two times! The only place I found the word “cannot” in the King James was in Matthew 6:24 where it says, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” The only other place I found the word “can” was in Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” I LOVE that!!! Nowhere in the Bible does it say that I do NOT have the physical capacity to do the things God wants me to do! I strive to do everything in His strength alone. If I live my life in my own strength, I’m living it for the wrong reason.

Since I could not find many verses with the words “can” or “cannot”, I decided to look up the words “know” and “knowledge”. If, as a Christian, I am speaking of confidence, I have to know that my confidence is in God alone. I found the word “know” at least eighteen times in the King James Bible. Job 19:25-27 says, “For I know [emphasis mine] that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” Psalm 56:9 says, “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back; this I know [emphasis mine]; for God is for me.” If we truly know God . . . everything that He is . . . beautiful, holy, righteous, faithful, mercifulperfect in every way imaginable, (and I could go on and on), how can we not be confident in Him to continue to mold us into the people He wants us to be? I am so thankful that God has given me the desire . . . and the ability . . . to crawl, walk, and to RUN!!! Physical running has given me a new confidence . . . not just in myself . . . but a confidence in God to strengthen me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually every single day.

Until next time, let’s keep on running!!!