The half-marathon is coming. I have a few worries about it that I'm praying through:

1) My IT band is playing a bad song.
2) I've rested my IT band, so then I worry I didn't put in enough miles in training.
3) I swam to make up for the lack of running, but what if I injured something else by swimming?
4) What if it storms?
5) What if it rains and I get blisters?
6) What if? What if? What if???

Anyway. Bleh.

It's a race. You start. You finish. The in-between is the tough part. And perhaps walking after it's over.

But after I lay down all my worry, I'm excited. I've had several friends tell me that they are going to be cheering for me. The bummer part I found out is that doing the half-marathon leaves out some major streets where a lot of my friends live, so I hope they can find easy ways with not much traffic to see me.

And I'm super-excited to meet the rest of my team at the Living Water spaghetti dinner. For some reason, I felt called to do this crazy thing. It's a commitment. And it takes work and sacrifice and determination. And prayer. And dependence on others for help.

I watched Chariots of Fire last night for inspiration. Eric Liddell's life is such a testimony even years later. My favorite quote is where he says that, "When I run, I feel God's pleasure." He used his running as a platform to share Christ.

He didn't compete in the race he was scheduled to run in the Paris Olympics, because the heat was on a Sunday--the Sabbath. I felt a bit guilty after realizing that I will be running on the Sabbath. And then I really wished I was running a 400 meter race in place of a half-marathon. I hope to feel God's pleasure when I run 13.1 miles--it would be nice to feel that instead of pain.

In the movie, several verses are quoted, included one of my favorites.

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

God, thank you for my legs. Thank you for this challenge. Thank you for the Living Water International organization that let me join the race late. Thank you to a group of kind and generous people that donated to the cause. Thank you for my friend, Todd, who ran some loops with me. Thank you for all the running advice from marathon veterans. Thank you for the City of Houston. Above all, thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins and give me everlasting life. Thank you in advance for the great race of life and the half-marathon experience.

Since returning to Texas after being in Kentucky for the holidays, I am rejoicing in the temperatures. Kentucky was cold. Texas--not so much.

The temperatures have dropped to the thirties this week, but I don't even really notice it. It's nothing a small thermostat change or a hat can't fix. In Kentucky, the cold had invaded everything. Old Man Winter doesn't just pop in and out, he sits a spell--a long spell.

The contrasts are almost overwhelming. Going back home and seeing everything frozen almost felt like I had taken a trip to the Arctic. I couldn't get over the appearance of the cars. Every car had an icicle hanging from it--like it was an extension of the body of the car. And where there weren't icicles, there were ice chunks and dirt and grim from salt and snow and mud. It was ugly. (The picture above is an actual icicle family hanging from my mom's car.)

All the trees had a nice dead appearance. When the ground wasn't covered with snow, it looked like it had just given up.


When I came back to Texas, it felt like I had gone back a season in time to Fall or Spring (you can never really tell what season it is unless it's summer). My spirit was immediately lifted.

Growing up with seasons, there is so much allegory with life and change and regrowth, but I'm not going to lie, it's nice to visit, but living here is much easier at this time of the year.

Is it sad that my #1 goal of the new year is to buy an effective paper shredder? I think if I can start managing my mail better, everything else will fall into place.

If I was rich, I would definitely hire my own personal mail assistant (PMA). That way, all those letters that needed stamps would make their journey instead of living inside my purse or some paper pile. The PMA's main job would be to make sure I didn't have to be bothered with junk mail. The ideal candidate would make sure I got my J.Crew catalog, and would sift through circulars and mail that looks unimportant just in case something of worth was there.

A girl can dream...