September 4, 2016

The Prodigal Daughter

My oldest daughter, Beth, went to two church camps this summer. That’s two full weeks my baby of nine years was away from her mama. (And yes, I know, at nine, she’s no longer a baby, but to me, she will always be my baby girl.)
When she was gone, I missed her something terrible! Especially after she went off to the second camp, I immediately yearned to have her back. I guess the reason it was so hard the next week she was gone is because it was a camp I wasn’t as familiar with. She went to the second camp with a neighbor’s family and not with our church, so I knew she would be surrounded, mostly, by people she didn’t know. People I didn’t know...

Please continue reading to find out what happened next!
Today's forget-me-not can be found by clicking on the image below:

August 19, 2016

for the truly terrifying times

(Adapted from John 6:16-21 NIV)

It was evening. It was dark.

But they were traveling. Trying to reach a destination.

They got into a row boat and set off across a lake.

Suddenly, a strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.

They pressed on.

The disciples were surely tired. They were probably desperate for relief from the fierce wind and wild waves.

But they rowed on. For approximately three and a half miles, they rowed on.

Because what else can you do? Stuck in the middle of a lake. In the midst of a storm.

When life gets dark and the winds of unexpected change and the waves of shattered dreams begin to crash over you again and again and again, what else can you do but row on?

And when you are the most terrified? When you're not sure if you can make it through on your own? Guess who shows up?

Jesus. Walking on the troubled waters. Toward you. The absolutely terrified you.
And he says, "It is I; don't be afraid."

See Him. Let Him in the boat. Let Him take you to your destination.

It's okay. He's got you. He's got this. Trust Him.

"Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately, the boat reached the shore where they were heading." (John 6:21 NIV)

Today's forget-me-not: my hurting friends

August 12, 2016

Win Win

Last Saturday, Chick-fil-A sponsored a race to benefit education and special olympics in our county.

I wasn't sure if I was going to get to run this race. My hubby also wanted to run it, so I tried to find a babysitter so we could go enjoy the race together, but that didn't work out. Since someone was going to have to stay home with the kids, I was gonna sit this one out so hubby could go, but then my awesome, selfless, and giving husband said I could run it! And then I caught a nasty stomach bug. But praise the Lord, the day before the race found me feeling much better, and I got to enjoy the day with some of my favorite running buddies!!!

Pre-run selfie with running buddies Jordan, Jaimee, Bruce and Pamm!
It was a hot day, but, in my humble opinion, this GREAT course will always be worth the run. It is almost entirely flat, and it takes place inside two connecting parks - beautiful parks! The only elevation runners experience is when they go over an awesome bridge. #win

It was just that, a winning day. My run felt great despite the fact that my running time of 36:32 isn't my best for this course, and I also won a free three month membership to a nearby gym complete with access to a personal trainer!

My buddies were winners too! Jordan improved her 5K time, Jaimee's school (she's a teacher) won $1,500 in prize money, Bruce placed second in his age group, and Pamm ran a race for the first time in a long time (way to jump back out there!).

That's how you score a win. You take a chance. Put yourself on the line. And when you hear the gun go off, run. And keep on running. Never hold back. Have faith. Stay the course. And ultimately, child of God, you win.

With Jesus, we always win.

Today's forget-me-not: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No. I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

August 6, 2016


My girls and I ran another fun run a couple weekends ago.

Collins Dixon 5K and Fun Run
Race Recap: The race was fun and hot. End race recap. ;-)
I'm just now getting around to writing about that event because it fell on the weekend between pre-planning for teachers and the first week of school. Can you say, "BUSY!"?

Yes. We've been super busy. I now have a little girl in pre-k and a big girl in fourth grade.

When did I get so old?! ;-)

The beginning of a new school year is exciting but also hard. It's hard to get back into the routine of getting the kids up early and out the door. And it's hard standing all day on my feet and teaching after sitting on my butt all summer. Our bodies sure take a beating and go into a bit of shock during this time. Needless to say, the kids are asleep by 8:30 pm with momma not that far behind.

And there's one more thing that makes the first week of school hard. Memories.

Memories of the day I was miscarrying Angel but went into work anyway. Not realizing how agonizing the physical and emotional pain would be.

That was a hard day.

And here I am, six years later. Remembering.

Remembering that day. Remembering the loss. Remembering the sadness.

Remembering you, Angel.

I'll never forget you.

Tell Diana, Christian, and Jen that your mommy sends her love and eagerly awaits when we can all worship Jesus together.

Until then, praise Him, sweet one. Praise Him!

Today's forget-me-not: Angel

July 15, 2016

December 10, 2015

On December 10, 2015, my friend Jaimee called me and suggested we go for a run. She had bought entries for a virtual 5K that came with medals. For those of you not familiar with virtual races, you buy the bib (and other swag that may come with it) and run the race whenever and wherever you want to run it.

It was the perfect gesture of friendship from my best girl who knows I love running.

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

And for some reason, I never wrote a post about that run. How could I have neglected to do that?!

It was a good run. We both needed each other's company that afternoon for various reasons. We had a lot weighing on us both. Jaimee had a lot more on her mind than me given her mom had gone on to glory only two months ago.

So we ran. And we walked. We paced ourselves. And we talked. It felt good.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Afterwards, we hung those virtual race medals from our necks, enjoying their awesomeness, and took the above selfie.

"Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?" C.S. Lewis

It was a great run. Our friendship is a great run!

And in honor of all our runs and, more importantly, in honor of my Jaimee, please enjoy this video: Jaimee and Jamie - Running Buddies.

Today's forget-me-not: My best buddy (running and otherwise) Jaimee.

July 8, 2016

My final Peachtree Road Race?

July 4th, 2016, I ran my third Peachtree Road Race.

The Peachtree is the largest 10K in the world!
And this year, the Peachtree kicked my... butt. 

The first year I ran this 10K was in 2013. It was overcast, and there was a persistent drizzle for the first half of the race. But I didn't mind that at all! I was perfectly fine with the soft rain and cloudy sky as opposed to the July heat I could have been greeted with that day. And the second time I ran the Peachtree (last year in 2015), there was an intense thunderstorm that shut down the race for about an hour. The brief closure was a first for the event.

So both times I have run this race it was cloudy with rain. And I never realized what a blessing that was until this year. 

This year, there was no rain. There were no clouds. The sun shone down on me from start to finish, and the intense Georgia heat sucked away my energy.  What made the matter ten times worse was I had gotten my race bib from someone whose race time had put her in corral X. I was one of the last runners to start the race. Pre-race pictures below:

Finally at the starting line beneath the iconic Peachtree flag!
I knew it was going to be hot that day, so I had been hydrating the day before and that morning. I drank as much water as I could possibly stand. However, when you do that before and during a race, you can imagine what you'll need to do about 3 miles into the 6.2 mile course. Yep. I had to pee. For the first time EVER in my racing tenure, I had to stop at a portable potty and pee during a race. I tried not to let that bother me, though. I knew my racing time wasn't going to be as good as in past years given I was deliberately going more slowly because of the heat. And I was right. I ended up with a time of 1:31 as opposed to the 1:20 and 1:23 of years past.

Over four miles done. Man, I was HOT HOT HOT!!!
I did everything I could do during that race to stay cool. I got something to drink at just about every water station, and what I didn't consume, I was sure to pour it all over my head. I also made sure to run through every open fire hydrant I could maneuver through. I got in the shade created by trees and buildings whenever I saw it, but regardless of my efforts, I was still a hot mess once I crossed the finished line.

Upon concluding the race, I got my shirt and found my husband (he had been patiently waiting for me for about two hours since he started in corral C).  I had been looking forward to all the post-race goodies (cereal bars and ice cream and cold water) to give me the boost I so desperately needed to make it to the Marta train station about two miles away, but I was sadly disappointed. Much of the post-race banquet was already gone by the time I got there! Instead, I was treated to hot water and some bananas. Coke had brought plenty of coke zero, so I got a can of that. But my stomach made sure to let me know later what a mistake drinking pop (I'm from Indiana) immediately after a race is!

And so I summoned whatever inner strength I had left to walk, very slowly, to the nearest Marta station...

Walking to Marta after the race is like a scene from The Walking Dead.
Finally made it to the bus to Marta! TIRED!
It was a tough race. I don't regret running it, but I don't think I want to put my body through that again. It's not that it was a 10K. I've run a few 10Ks and plan to run more. It's that it was a 10K in the extreme Georgia heat, and my body has told me before and told me again on this day, it does NOT do well with running and high temperatures.  So for that reason, I think this might end up being my final Peachtree run.

I don't want to say I would NEVER run this race again, because a friend may convince me to do otherwise or you just never know, but I am leaning toward this being my final Peachtree Road Race.

Which would make this beautiful blue shirt even more precious to me than it already is.

The coveted shirt for Peachtree finishers ONLY.
Today's forget-me-not: Running in the heat is a big NO NO for Jamie!

June 24, 2016

So, you hate running?

Warning: Race report and rant directly ahead.

This past Saturday, I ran a flippin' 5K, and it was literally called "I Ran A Flippin' 5K."

This 5K was to benefit my daughter's gym; she takes tumbling classes at Zenit Gymnastics.

Now, this brings me to one of the greatest reasons why I love running. I get to participate in events that benefit causes and/or organizations near and dear to my heart. I get to show my support in a very tangible and sacrificial way. It's a sacrifice of my Saturday morning, my physical energy, and my money. How could you not love when someone sacrifices for a worthy cause?

And yet, I hear so many - over and over again - say they hate running. If you are one of those individuals, I just want to say to you, "As much as you can't understand why I love running, I can't understand why you hate it."

There are too many reasons to love running. Another reason I love running is because it gives me a chance to fellowship with friends and encourage them to stay fit and healthy. How could you possibly hate that?!

A former student of mine, now friend and fellow runner, Jordan.
And yet, there you are, on the couch, eating your cake and sipping your wine, letting everyone that will listen to you via social media know that you hate running. Might I suggest that you dial it down a notch because you're hating on an entire community that embodies things that are right and good in the world. I mean, why hate an attempt at someone's endeavor to maintain overall health and wellness? Jealousy?

A banana tastes better after running a 5K - a fact of life you will never really know...
I mean, it's okay. Running isn't your thing. Fine. Then say THAT. Say, "Good for you runners, but I prefer ____________."

When you say you HATE running, it's like saying you hate Christmas. That's not good! You just sound like old Scrooge spouting your negativity! #dontbelikescrooge

Truth be told, the vast majority of those that say they hate running have never really given it a try. I'm talking about giving it a REAL chance. Typically, haters have never gotten beyond day four of a couch to 5K program - if they've tried one at all - and they have certainly never participated in a race. (And I'm not talking about a fun run. I mean, come on, that's not a race.)

Races provide an opportunity for you to hit what we runners call a PR or Personal Record. And with each successive race you run, you realize you aren't running to beat all the other runners. You are running to beat yourself. To achieve a new PR. And then maybe, just maybe, you might place in your age group. And that is a feeling of accomplishment like no other on this planet!

I placed 3rd in my age group this past Saturday with a new PR for 2016: 33:30.
Look at the above picture. What is there to hate in that?! How could you possibly hate running?!

I could go on and on about why a person should love running and runners and running events, but I think you get the picture, right?

So the next time you are tempted to say or to post, "I hate running," please, stop yourself from committing this grievous sin! Instead, speak the truth. Say, "I (have or have not) tried running. I (know or believe) it's not my thing. But, wow, I have such a respect for runners. For their dedication and their drive. For their commitment. They are a great group of individuals, and I admire them."

As you should.

And to that I would say, "Thank you. Thank you, very much."

Today's forget-me-not: Spread love, not hate.

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