Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Anger. It seems that is what makes the world go round right now. Last night I had the opportunity to sing at a shelter. As I looked out over the group of residents, I was overwhelmed by the tough exterior and the hardened eyes. These people were tired and just plain angry.

At work, I run into more and more people who are angry and forget to treat others with respect.

It seems we are all in such a rush to protect our own space. That we hold tight to our emotions and protect them with anger. That the anger inside wells up like a pressure cooker and explodes.

We have anger in our house. We all have anger in our house. The emotion itself is not a bad thing to have. When it becomes caustic is when we don't deal with it, let it out and let it go.

In our house there are a bunch of hot tempered sensitive people. Not a good combination I tell you. We constantly try to talk about and find ways to express the anger that billows in black clouds of smoke.

It makes me sad to see so much anger. I know that under the hot river is a person who was "wronged". A person who is hurting, sometimes so deeply hurt that the reason is lost.

We all hurt. We've all been wronged. How can we press on in spite of it? How can we learn to not compare one hurt to the other. How do we keep from passing the wall of fury on to our children?

There is only one way that I know how. By learning to know and rely on God. It's a hard thing to
do, even when you've known Him for the majority of your life. It's hard because you wonder where He was when the negative circumstance occurred/occurs. I know that there are many times when I've felt like that. As mad as I've been with my circumstances. As much as I've wondered where God was, I hang onto the fact that even though I may be mad, He's still hanging around, loving me. God does not promise that our life will be easy. He promises to love us and never leave us.

I ask Him to take away my anger and to break down those tough painful violent walls of the the nameless coarse faces I encounter. I'll tell you it takes a lot of courage for that to happen. To let go enough so you can feel that pain that burns underneath. But it's doable, if you ask God to help you. Maybe, just maybe anger can used to work toward the good. Maybe it might not be taken away as much as chipped away, reconfigured and changed. Through the pain and walls God has plans for each of us. He can mold us, if we millimeter by millimeter, allow ourselves to bend. We are not responsible for the decisions of others. We are responsible for how we deal with the affects of those decisions.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I finished my first half marathon on Sunday. I was far from winning. But in my own right. I won. Not because I finished. Not because I did it. But because of my experiences training and racing. Three weeks before the race I ran 12 miles. After that run I started to fall apart. Emotionally, physically and psychologically. I was hurting and fatigued. For the first time I was nervous that I wouldn't even be able to walk run the race. My chronic back problems were finally rearing their ugly heads and causing all kinds of issues in my legs. I had a goal of finishing the race in under 2:30:00. Really I was hoping for a much better time, but I didn't want to be too disappointed. But after that 12miler I just wanted to do everything I could to keep myself healthy enough to cross the finish line. During that last three weeks, when I should have been tapering, I hardly ran at all- in comparison to what I had been doing. I found myself so angry that my body was failing me. That it wasn't letting me do what I wanted to do. I wasn't getting stronger. I was crumbling and slowing down. I watched all of my other friends bloom and improve. It was a tough blow. A really tough blow. I spoke with some experienced running friends and collected a myriad of advice. I got massages on my legs and chiropractic adjustments on my back. There were so many people praying for me, encouraging me and cheering me on. Two weeks before the race I wanted to just give up. Stop dealing with the pain and quit. Something started to happen. I realized that God called me to this race. He placed all host of people in my path to help me finish that race. At my lowest point, I was angry and jealous of what others could accomplish, I told Allan that God wouldn't call me to the race and not have me finish. Then I turned it around and said that well He did give me two children that I don't have anymore so I guess I just don't know what would happen. I woke up a bit after that. I realized that this race is not about Eric and Ava and their suffering. Oh yes it was and is my motivation and my honor to run for that. But this race was about God breaking me down in a new way. A way for me to see that my body is temporal and that it easily crumbles. A way for me to realize just how angry I am that God has me walking this path in my life. A way for me to see just how much I've been holding Him at arms length. Relying on Him, but not really letting Him in. A way for me to see just how deeply I hurt and how I need to let some of it go. It was a way for me to be reminded that I can not do anything on my own power. It all comes from Him. God asked me to run a half marathon. He did not promise me that the training and the journey would be easy and without pain. He only asked me to do it. So I obeyed, blindly. Race week arrived. My back was hurting and my legs were burning. I went to the chiropractor and had a massage and prayed that my body would stay together or at least I could ignore the pain. I distributed the Half for Each team shirts. I home schooled the bugs. We had an art show and dinner party and saw the joy in the eyes of my children as we focused on what they needed to feel special. I cried a lot as I realized how broken and disconnected my soul really is. My friend sent me an email. Reminding me that "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak....but those that Hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." She didn't even know that is the verse I would pray while I pressed my head against Ava's, drinking in her sweet baby smell. I had little pain at the start. At 4.5 miles the winner past me. Between 5.5-6.2 miles I started to see all my team mates pass me. We cheered each other on. At 9 miles I was running out of steam. I actually needed to walk a little bit so I could settle myself out. At that point I remembered Ava's verse and that this race is not about me keeping up with my speedy friends. I was at the end of the pack and I was feeling lonely. I prayed and thought about how I needed something to keep going since I had no one around me. Over my head a majestic bird took off. A little later another first time racer asked if she could walk with me a bit. We then encouraged each other up to Mile 11. I thought that it was close to 3 hours that we were out there and I just wanted to finish. We pushed each other to keep running. I walked through the last water stop to make sure I could get enough to drink. Then I ran. I felt great, rested and free. I ran over the bridge and saw Allan and my bugs waving signs and screaming for me. I thanked every Marshall and joked along the way between miles 11-13.1. I even had enough in me to speed up for the last .1. At the finish line I saw all my well rested friends who were cheering for me. These same friends that I was so proud of. These same friends who inspired and encouraged me to get there. I did it, by His power through me. 2:31:49. Winning? I think so.