I love how God uses the simple everyday things in my life to show me how that relates to my faith. In training Kylie and Brinley for their first 1/4 marathon, God once again has shown me how training them is also reminding how my walk with Him is going.
First off, as I posted earlier in It’s All About Me – A Child’s Version, training Kylie didn’t go like I – key word is I – thought it would go. I had a plan all set out that week one we would do three runs and do x amount of miles each time. Week two we would do three runs and increase the miles to x each time and on and on. Kylie and Brinley are both experienced at running 5k’s. Kylie is more experienced but both have done many of them. Each week Brinley would always surprise me at how she just did what was asked of her and never complained. This is Brinley’s personality. She is easy-going and just goes with the flow. Kylie was always complaining, I have to walk, my ankle hurts, my side hurts, etc. and it was very frustrating to me. I knew she could do better but for whatever reason she wasn’t in it. Kylie is also stubborn and set in her ways but she can also be determined and easy-going also. If she doesn’t want to run, she won’t. But when she does, look out.
What a beautiful day God gave us.
This reminded me of my walk with Jesus. As I am training to be a better Christian I let my stubbornness and my set ways get in the way. I know I can do better and I know I can do more than I am doing but for whatever reason I take steps back. Today I can go all day being in the light and praying and feeling like the Holy Spirit is in me and I feel overwhelmed with joy. Tomorrow I can say but God, I really don’t feel like praying today. God I really don’t feel like talking to others about You today. I know I can do better because I have done better and I love how I feel when I am filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit but yet I say I can’t, I don’t, I won’t when I should be saying yes I can, yes I do, yes I will.
I think only one week we did what was planned. I think we only had two weeks where we ran three times and we only were up to five miles the Monday before the race, and that was just because soccer practice was canceled. Race day morning I was just hoping they would be under one hour and thirty minutes and not walk half the race. As we were talking to the girls Kylie said it isn’t about our time, all that matters is that we finish. This reminded me of how many times God has said go and I said God, I am not prepared. I am not ready yet God. Give me another week or two to read more about you. Give me more time to memorize some Bible verses. God I can’t start that because I can’t finish it. I forget that God is in control. When I don’t know what to say, He will give me words to speak. Christian life isn’t about being perfect, it is about obeying God and doing the best with the abilities He has given you. He will do the rest. It isn’t about how long it takes or where you start, it’s about how you finish. The first thirty years of your life might have been terrible but don’t let it define the next thirty years. (check out Joyce Meyers story.)
During the race the girls were so awesome. One time at mile two Kylie said she needed to walk so we walked about ten seconds then we ran. We stopped at three water stations (mile 1.5, 3, 4) for less than ten seconds at each and the fourth one at 5.5 they grabbed the water but kept running. I remember Kylie asking when is the next water station. I would tell her how far we had to go. We ran with the 1:20 pace group which was an average of 12:13 per mile. I thought it would be great if we could stay there but I thought we would drop back some. Remember I thought we would be closer to 1:30.
This reminded me of all the times I have asked God how much longer God? I can’t keep going through this. I can’t take this anymore. I am so tired. God answers with just a little more. Hang in there and you will get your water. Just keep going, put one step in front of the other. But God, I want this to be over now. God says just a little longer, you are almost there, don’t quit. I am not done molding you yet. You will overcome this and be a stronger person. But God, I can’t keep up with this pace. Yes you can. I am here with you.
Also during the race the other runners were amazing and so encouraging. Way to go girls. You girls are amazing. How old are they? Wow, I couldn’t do this when I was ten. Look at those little girls, if they can do this I can. Keep going girls, you are inspiring the rest of us. There were also families on the sidelines with young kids that said look they are doing it, maybe you can do it next year.
This reminds me of all the people in my life that are encouraging me. The ones that tell me I am doing what God wants me to do. The ones that thank me for writing, that I am encouraging them in their walk. You don’t have to make miracles happen to encourage others, just do what God wants you to do with the abilities He has given you. Thank you to all that are encouraging me.
Between 4.5-5 miles the girls were laughing and telling jokes. At one point they were laughing so hard I don’t see how they kept running. I encouraged them to keep at it. Make it fun. If telling jokes gets you through these last two miles then tell away. At mile 5 I told them that at mile 6 we can leave the pace group if they are feeling strong and finish before them. They surprised me with their answer. Remember they only ran 5 miles once during their training so I thought they would be getting tired now. They said let’s go now, we feel good. So we said goodbye to the pace group and took off. The girls were still having fun and were touching all the cones in the roadway to “get that extra power.” Whatever it takes. Around 5.5 miles Kylie said she felt like she was getting blisters and was breathing harder. I asked her if she needed to walk or keep on going since we only had one mile to go. She surprised me with keep going. I honestly expected her to say walk. Around mile 6 she looked back and said we are way ahead of the pace group now and smiled. As we approached the finish line I started to run faster because I wanted to take a picture of them crossing the finish together. Well they took off with me. I went a little faster and then they went a little faster. I said oh so this is how it’s going to be then let’s go. They both started laughing and sprinted across the line. I slowed down to take a picture from behind because I knew I wasn’t going to get in front of them and have time to turn around and take a picture. Mile 13 for the half, 6.45 for us. .1 to go – look where the pace group is Dad.This is how my walk with God is. I try to be serious and make sure I have all the right words and all the right songs but that isn’t what God wants. He wants us to have fun and enjoy this life. I also have to remember that to get where I am going, I need to leave the comfort of where I am. Maybe I am hanging out with the wrong people. Maybe I have just gotten comfortable and don’t want to get outside my box. God tells me to go. Tear down these walls. You can do it. The devil gives me a setback or I do something stupid and give myself a setback but I have to keep going. I may be hurting but I know I have to keep moving forward to get to that finish line. I know when I get there and I see my loved ones that have gone before me and meet Jesus face to face, I will be smiling and laughing as I cross that finish line, just like these girls did when they finished this race. Official time 1:17:22 (11:49 pace). Awesome.
I am so proud of Kylie and Brinley. I had high expectations going into training but lowered them before the race. They did so much better than I thought they would. They had fun, they laughed, they talked, they encouraged others, they finished strong. I wore my Run for God shirt and had people look at it and ask me about it. It gave me the opportunity to share a little. The girls doing this showed others that they can do this also. You just have to go out and do it.This reminded me that God has high expectations for us. We might not have high expectations of ourselves but God has made us for a purpose. He believes in us and loves and accepts us as we are. It isn’t to dwell on our mistakes and failures and have a life the devil wants us to have. God has given you an ability, go out and use it. God will show you what to do with it, you just have to be willing to go out and do it.
Then we celebrated their achievement with our friend Deanna. Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements in your walk with God. All glory goes to Him.
Running For The Father by Day One Worship –
I Can Only Imagine by MercyME – The Hoyt Story –
The One You Need by Shane & Shane –
Better by K’naan –
We Are Young by Fun. –
#Like A Girl from Always –
#Like A Girl from Always – Karlie Harman story –
Wings by Little Mix –
You Gotta Want it by Jordin Sparks –
You Gotta Want It by Roberta Gold –
Born For Greatness by Jana Stanfield –
Dream Big by Emily Shackelton –
Today My Life Begins by Bruno Mars –