The Eternal Prize

I know, I know. I said I was taking a break til next Saturday. But I guess the over-achiever-talks-to-much-excited-little-girl me just couldn’t do it. 
Last week I went to the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. The name in itself is quite a mouthful to say, but it fits the conference well. For one thing, it’s on a mountain. And believe me, we were all climbing a mountain all week. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. From the moment we checked in, there was one pace—the speed of light.
And I have to share my excitement with you. Awards night is the last night of the conference and my blog won second place! And to think, a year ago I didn’t even know what blog was. Little by little, I’ve learned so much over the last year. One small step at a time. 
When I came home from the conference Thursday, full speed ahead was still the pace because Miranda graduated from high school at 5:30. First of all, how am I possibly that old???? Second of all, yay Miranda!I am such a proud mama! She didn’t graduate Magna Cum Laude, or even Cum Laude—David says it’s more like Thank Ya Laude—but if you know Miranda, you know what will make her succeed in life. She has personality on steroids, and she loves the Lord. Grades? Not so much. She is all about people. God made her exactly who she is and I wouldn’t trade a 4.0 for any of it. So what if the titles of “biggest flirt” and “fastest text in school” don’t have the colleges knocking down our door. God has a plan for her. 

If you read the prescription verse, you’re probably wondering what it has to do with anything I’ve written so far. After my full week (including my stomach) I decided to go for a run this morning. If you read my blog regularly or keep up with me on Facebook, you know I started running in November of last year. It’s a slow and steady kind of sport. To get the best results, you must eat right, stay hydrated, and run regularly. About a month ago I ran nine miles! Yet today, I struggled to hit two. The busyness of everyday life, a stone bruise on my heel, and the writer’s conference last week has kept me from having a disciplined running schedule. Today, as I struggled to hit two miles, I was reaping the results of this last month. My goal is to run a 1/2 marathon someday. I really want that “13.1” sticker on the back of my car. It’s a great goal, but truthfully, I don’t know if I’ll ever make it or not. And that’s okay. 
As I ran this morning, though, the verse I used for today’s prescription verse kept coming to mind. That “13.1” sticker would be really cool to have on my car, but just as everything else on this earth, it will someday disappear. What does not disappear, however, is eternity.It is in our future no matter what. It won’t be okay if we don’t meet our goal there. How and where we spend eternity depends on what we do here to prepare for it. We need to have a disciplined running schedule. 

Earthly goals are great to have, but the eternal goals are the ones that matter. 
How are you preparing every day for your eternal prize? 
From my heart,


Make-a-change Monday~It only takes twenty seconds…

Make-a-change Mondays is all about making small changes to become the person I want to be…or more importantly, the person God wants me to be. 

The greatest of all journeys begins with a single step. 

A few months ago the {make-a-change Monday} challenge was to Just Do It. In that post I talked about writing a book and how it took small steps—changes a little at a time. I’m know I’m on a great journey, but yes, I’m still working on the small steps. But what a great journey it has been! 

Have you ever wanted to do something you just couldn’t because you were afraid you would fail? 

  • I was afraid to begin blogging, but one step at a time, I’m getting the hang of it. 
  • I was afraid to attempt to write a book, but God has given me confirmations along the way to let me know I’m on the right track.
  • When I had to take the step to conquer m addiction to Lortab, I honestly didn’t see a way I wouldn’t fail, but one step at a time, with God’s infinite mercy, I did it. 

Now I’ll tell you a goofy little secret about myself: I’m a granola wanna-be. 

Yep…I’d love to: 
  • Be a crunchy-salad-eating-vegetarian,
  • Wear no make-up
  • Have get-up-and-go hair
  • Wear simple, comfortable clothes (which never require spanx)
  • And the hardest of all…be a runner.
Now let’s be real. No make-up is a little scary, and unless I’m abandoned on a deserted island, I’ve got to have my hair products, hair dryer and curling iron. And I probably could be a vegetarian fairly easy, but I have a family of carnivores. And I love steak. But I do eat lots of salad! 

But I am determined to become a runner. But just like anything else that’s worth accomplishing, it’s all about one small step at a time. 

My family and I watched the movie We Bought a Zoo tonight from which I have adopted a new favorite phrase: It only takes twenty seconds of incredible courage and amazing things will happen.” 

I started running in November of last year. I didn’t know how important those twenty seconds were, or how much courage they took. My first run, I thought I would die within the first twenty seconds. 
Then twenty seconds became a minute. Then two minutes, Then five minutes. Then two miles. Then three miles. Then five miles. Then six miles. Then one day I ran nine miles…only because I lost my car key on the run and had to keep running til I found it. But still…. nine miles! 

I haven’t been able to run very often during the last three weeks, so I’m back to the three-mile run and working my way back up again. But the road to a flawless experience is always under construction.

The secret to those twenty seconds of courage and those small steps is Christ. The ultimate goal is to spend eternity in Heaven with Christ. 
  • Blogging each day hopefully inspires others and gets me writing practice for the book.
  • The goal of writing a book will hopefully help others, and God will use it to expand the boundaries of His kingdom. 
  • My granola-wanna-be desire is a little more selfish. I’ve never seen how my desire to be “crunchy” could better my relationship with Christ.

Until I started running.

Yes, God wants us to treat our bodies well because they are His temple…He lives within us. 

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that 
God’s Spirit dwells in you? 
(1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV)

But for me, running is a spiritual challenge more than a physical challenge. God has to give me those twenty seconds of courage just to get my running clothes on and get out the door! I started out with music like, Eye of the Tiger (from Rocky) and some other fast-paced 80’s classic rock. It failed me. Now my running music consists of Mercy Came Running by Phillips, Craig and Dean, This is Home by Switchfoot, and Courageous by Casting Crowns. 

My grace is sufficient for you, 
for my power is made perfect in weakness. 
(2 Corinthians 12:9a NIV)

When I feel like I can’t run anymore, I depend of Christ in my weakness. Running becomes not only a physical challenge, but also a spiritual one. And I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 ESV).

So if you are still on this train of thought with me, my {make-a-change Monday} challenge today is to take that twenty seconds of courage. Take the first step to an amazing journey. If it’s a journey that takes courage, it will also take Christ. And any journey that takes you closer to him is one to be taken. 

From my heart,