Tag Archives: marathon

Excuse Me, That’s MY Tiara

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Excuse Me, That’s MY Tiara

It was less than a week after my birthday. While not a Hallmark milestone year, it was a benchmark for me. Suddenly I was eligible for even more “senior” discounts. At 62, theater tickets and even hotel rooms are cheaper.

I receive your blessing, Lord. I didn’t come this far to walk away from a good deal!

While I was willing to embrace the discounts I was not willing to accept the tag. Senior.

My parents were senior citizens. Senior citizens grumble about their “fixed” income and eat dinner at 4:00 to avoid crowds and save two dollars.

I was scrolling through Facebook, which always makes me feel better about myself. Right there on my news feed was a post about the Disney Princess Half Marathon – my friend had just signed up. Suddenly (and a bit impulsively) I was in.

You should know this about me: when the total of any purchase approaches high double digits my pulse quickens; if it hits triple digits I need a gut check. And yet I navigated over to the web site, whipped out my credit card and shelled out $185 to register. I was giddy – it might have been the tiaras or the hopes of a “dream come true magical experience”, but I had grand visions of crossing the finish line, hand in hand with my dear friend.

I imagined we would spend hours comparing training schedules and cheering each other along as we added distance and shortened times.

I made a meme for my Facebook cover. I wrote it down in my goals. Oh, this was going down, friends.

Perhaps this would be a good time to mention that I hate running. I love the idea of running; but running hurts me. It twists my guts in knots; I get something called a “stitch” in my side. With every foot fall I feel the jolt, first in my feet and then up my legs and into my torso. I literally feel like I’m pounding the pavement.

After I’ve been in motion (I can’t run very far, but at least my body doesn’t revolt against walking) for thirty minutes or so, the nerves behind the third and fourth toes on my right foot begin to burn. It’s somewhere between fire ants and electrical shock. It’s most painful with foot fall, so it’s only hurts every other step.

My breathing is labored and because I’m panting so hard I’m thirsty before I get to the end of my driveway.

I should also mention that this friend lives as far away from me as you can get and still be in the Continental United States. With almost three thousand miles separating us, our joint training was not impossible, but highly improbable for two people who can’t seem to get together for an occasional phone call.

You have a question, don’t you? You are dying to ask. 

Go ahead…I’m waiting.

Okay, I’ll ask it for you.

Why in the world did I think this was going to happen?

Twice I’ve positioned myself along a fence near the finish of the Disney World marathon. I watched every face as I checked the status of my runner on my smartphone. The first time, I was torn between urgency and dread.

26.2 miles. How could her body endure such punishment? And yet, I never took my eyes off the course as I scanned every face for the one that I loved. My child.

And I saw her. She was smiling, she was running well, and I cried. Relief and pride and joy swept over me. My baby girl had done it. 

Again last January I stood near the same place, watching. When I spotted her I made a spectacle because I wanted to make sure she knew I was there. It was a harder run; she hadn’t trained as well and she was hurting. But she did it. I know she had to dig deep to cross the finish, but she did.

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My beautiful daughter and her son at the finish.

 

Each time, I carefully surveyed the runners. They were all shapes and sizes. Some were running alone, others part of a team. Some ran for a cause emblazoned across their chest; others I was sure ran for reasons much more private but no less noble and meritorious.

I was inspired. I allowed myself to consider the possibility. I decided I would do that. One day.

And so it is not surprising that on that day, as I considered the number of days I hope to have left, I knew it was time to walk right into the dream that was birthed in my heart years earlier.

But August came and with it some significant pain that started in my hip and radiated down my leg and into my shin. I rested.

The pain persisted. It got a lot worse when I walked any distance. I relented; an appointment was scheduled and the diagnosis was harsh. Arthritis.

The short story is that I can’t do 13.1 miles. I’ll never cross that finish line, exuberant yet exhausted.

I’m been bummed. I’ve felt guilty about wasting the money. But most of all I’ve wondered what else is no longer possible. I have regrets over things not attempted. I also am beginning to understand why some of us are less “Snow White” and more “Grumpy” with age.

I’ve given this some time to marinate in my heart. I’ve asked God to cover it with grace and mercy as I consider what He would have me do next.

He is amazing ya’ll. He began to roll a highlight reel of my life. He showed me the races I have run; the ones where I crossed the finish line bloody and bruised and alone.

There were some where I barely could barely walk as I held the hand of one who came alongside and literally walked me across the finish. I saw the times that I crawled, too weary to look up…but he was always there.

I don’t know if I have days, years or decades left in this life. I don’t know how many of my dreams I’ll realize. 

But I know this for sure:

When I cross the the final finish line, he will be there waiting for me.

He is watching, he is checking my status and when I get near, he’s going to make sure that I see him. I believe he will take my hand and help me across.  

It’s true that I won’t be running with a tiara but I am his nonetheless. 

Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;honor him, for he is your lord. Psalm45:11

The hardware of this life’s races will pale in comparison to all that he has for us in heaven.

 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because,
having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life
that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12 NIV

He will give you a crown of beauty for ashes. Isaiah 61:3

Can’t stop, won’t stop,

lorraine

The Lie that Says “You Can’t”

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Marathon

When I read this Annual Report provided by Word Press, I literally caught my breath. A year ago this blog was a secret little dream, one that I thought would stay hidden in my heart.

It wasn’t until our small group leader introduced me to a book by Bruce Wilkinson called “The Dream Giver” (Thanks , Josh Grosshans!) that I began to consider the possibility. I was inspired by the book; I was encouraged by my hubby, whose confidence in me is epic; and I was terrified by the voice that said “You can’t”.

It’s been just over six months. I remember sitting in our favorite coffee shop with my sweet, patient niece. Armed with nothing more than a laptop and a name for the blog, Annie walked me through setting up the page. Since, then I’ve pretty much flown by the seat of my pants.  Jesus, take the wheel because WordPress isn’t exactly babysitting bloggers!  As I write I am so thankful that I didn’t wait until I had it all figured out to start. I wish I knew more about web design and had a bigger budget but one thing I know: this undertaking is a marathon, not a sprint.

This morning my grandson and I drove out to Epcot to watch his mom, MY daughter, cross the finish line at the Disney marathon.  She didn’t train as much as she’d hoped and I’m sure that at 2:00 this morning when she ate a bowl of cheerios, hoping they would digest before race time, she heard that same terrifying voice saying “You can’t” This wasn’t her first marathon; she’s run a Goofy (that ‘s a half marathon on Saturday, followed by the marathon on Sunday – she’s her father’s child) a couple of times and she knew exactly what she was about to undertake.

C and I worked our way up to a barricade near the finish and stood anxiously on tiptoes, surveying wave after wave of finishers. That boy never looked away, his gaze intent for the face of his mom.  As runners passed, the crowd cheered and shouted out names.  In the hour that we stood there, I wept for those who obviously were overcoming more than 26.2 miles.

Before I could spot her, in spite of my height advantage, he shouted “There she is!” Her eyes lit when she saw him and she blew a kiss, then crossed the finish and collected the prize that finishers earn.

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DSC_0005As we walked to the car, she talked about the tough miles and moments when she fought hard against the voice that continued to tell her “You can’t”. She chose the only way to overcome the lying voice; keep moving forward.

This writing journey has been an emotional roller coaster, but I’ve kept my head up and my eyes forward.

I cannot begin to express how encouraged I’ve been by friends and family who have faithfully read every post. You are part of the analytics that follow.  I love you all.

Along this journey, my most faithful encourager has been my hubby.  He proofreads my posts and cries with me over the words every week. I can’t imagine any journey without him. I love you, baby!

As we stood near the finish this morning, I witnessed the joy of a stronger, more seasoned runner reaching back to cross the finish line with a novice.

One of the greatest blessings of writing has been in the encouragement from other writers. One precious momma in particular has reached back and taken my hand. The unselfish sharing of her reputation and influence in the blogging world has been refreshing and life-changing. Thank you, Jami Amerine, for your friendship!

It is with humility and great awe that I share what HE has done with the dream that he placed in my heart.  Take a few minutes to read the report. You will be amazed, as I was.  Your dream is safe with him, but you have to take the first step, my friend. The only answer to the lying voice that says “You can’t” is “Watch me!”

 

To Him alone be the glory!

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.