Reflections of 2013

It was a glorious, beautiful Christmas Eve morning with the sun rising above the steam hanging over the blue/green waters making me anxious to slip into my 2013 running shoes - I say 2013 because I get a new pair of running shoes each year – kind of like treads wearing on tires.  The coastal breeze was cool enough to put a sting on my bare legs when I stepped outside.  I never liked running on the beach, in fact, I can only remember attempting it twice, but since I’ve picked up trail running, the anticipation of the challenge grew on me.   My brother-n-law made me feel more excited when he told me the sand was compact and hard.   Mentally, I was ready to run 10 miles. 
God's marvelous beauty - like a fine oil painting (no filter!)
According to my Garmin watch, my heart rate rose as I stepped both feet on the beautiful white sandy beaches of the gulf coast.  Physiologically, my body was excited for the change of scenery.  I found the compact sand close to the water, started my watch and took off.  Sure it was chilly, windy and challenging along the way, and I found myself talking down the miles 10…8…6 sounds and feels better.  Regardless, the view was like running inside a fine art oil painting and made it more bearable sending my thoughts to reflect on the year of 2013 putting me in a conversation with God.

“God, thank you for this life, this year, this BEAUTIFUL day!  You have been too good to me, and I certainly don’t deserve the blessings, but I can’t thank you enough for your miracles, your Son, your unconditional love.  The picture you have painted here is magnificent, and I can’t imagine what Heaven will look like.” 

My conversation rambled as I reflected on God and the birth of His Son…He’s so BIG, so GREAT and as usual, I find myself asking the same questions about Him.  After all, this is how my husband and I came up with my blog title 1 year ago…the events leading up to Jesus’ birth (and resurrection) seemed “impossible.”  Ten years ago, in 2003, I just graduated from undergrad and if you told me what I would accomplish this year, I’m sure I would have laughed and told you that you’re crazy.  It’s hard for me to even comprehend these events all occurred in 1 year:

1.     I walked across the stage to accept my doctorate diploma in occupational therapy at the #2 ranked program in the nation.

2.     I qualified for my first national championship triathlon race.
3.     My body endured over 340 hours of training to finish 140.6 miles of swimming, biking and running (in 2003, I was just starting off 1-mile at a time running). 

My life has had its turns of ups and downs, but it has been evident that God has His interventions and His own plans.  We may later find out why or may never understand why…

Christ is and will always be the center of our marriage...

“God, this year may have been a year of loss or pain and I ask that you comfort all those that need you.  Please bring them peace and comfort (I could name all these people in my head – it’s a lot).  Lord, can you please continue to protect our families, our loved ones, our friends?  Thank you for the friends you have brought into our lives.”  

My body began to warm up as it became increasingly difficult to maneuver my strides in the sand.  At that point I recalled the list of verses I got from family and friends for my Ironman, and mentioned the prayer requests I received from them for my grueling 26-mile run.  In a way, I could see God working in each of their lives after reflecting on the past several months…it’s a work in progress.   In addition, I asked God to wrap His hands around our country, our people, our leaders.  I know this world will get worse (on many levels) over time, but I pray that even though us Christians continue to get persecuted, that we stand strong.   We must accept that we’re all sinners and there is no hatred in our hearts nor does God hate sinners.  Accepting Jesus Christ as our savior is far more rewarding than the medals, money, and possessions on earth.  So whether the year of 2013 was good or bad…the best is yet to come.   To some, this may sound “impossible”…it’s called faith and trust.  

Pretty soon, my fluorescent pink Saucony Mirage will retire from racing, but the memories she has served…are everlasting. 

Quote of the day:  All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible. ~  Orison Swett Marden

Bible verse of the day:  “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”  ~ Psalm 25:4-5


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