Monday, May 30, 2011

2011 Cotton Row 5K

After 12 weeks of training with the Run for God group from my church, I completed the 2011 Cotton Row 5K this morning!

I could not have done it without all the encouragement I received from our coach, Kevin, my fellow Run for God participants and other friends and family who urged me along.

It was a long 3.1 miles, but the last home stretch to the finish line was super exhilarating, with my friends on the sidelines and Kevin running the last bit with me!

My Results:
48:00 total time
Placed 1,626 out of 1,833


Crossing the finish line!!!!

Kevin joined me for the home stretch...the whole race was worth that last minute!

With one of my running inspirations...Sarah completed the 10K, and it wasn't her first one! Way to go, girl!

Finish line!!!

Congrats to my parents who walked their first 5K...I think they're hooked!

My Run for God coach, Kevin

Enjoying our post-run high!

With our friend, Susan

With my pastor, Bro. Jimmy & my choir director and wife, Martin & Lisa

At the starting line

Our sweet friend, Meg, served as our photographer and made us personalized fans for after the race!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 1}

{My 30th birthday is practically here so this is the last entry in my countdown of spiritual milestones…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

My purpose in doing a 30-week countdown of spiritual milestones in celebration of my birthday, was to remind myself of the Lord’s great faithfulness throughout my life. Right after I started the countdown, I discovered a verse in Isaiah that I claimed as my 30th birthday verse:

Isaiah 25:1

“O LORD, You are my God;
I will exalt You and praise Your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
You have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.”

As much as I recognize the Lord’s hand on my life, turning 30 has sort of hit me hard. Though my life is blessed, it doesn’t exactly look like what I thought it would. But it’s the truth about the Lord found in this verse that I cling to:

He is faithful.
He is faithful to ME.
He has a plan for my life.
He has done many marvelous things in my life.

My love for God is not dependant on what He does or does not give me…it’s based on who He is. As my birthday comes and goes, and I enter a new decade of life, it’s my prayer that my life will be one of deeper trust in the Lord and daily praise of His marvelous works in my life.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 2}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

As my 30th birthday approaches, I’ve been reminiscing about my childhood and the other day, Abby and I were sitting around YouTube-ing Psalty the Singing Songbook.

When we were little girls one of our most prized possessions was our little red cassette tape of Psalty. We WORE it out! I hadn’t heard these songs in a very long time and when Abby played one of my favorites, I felt like I was 5 years old, twirling in our blue-carpeted living room. When I heard “Just Like You” this time around, I was struck by the richness of the lyrics and realized how appropriate they were for today- my 17th spiritual birthday.

“Just Like You”

How I want to be Lord, just like You
And all the good things that I want to do
Listen to my heart Lord, yes it’s true
When You give Your peace and You share Your joy and You show Your love
Oh, Lord, how I want to be like You
I want to be like You
Lord Jesus, yes it’s true

Take a listen:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 3}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday- it's almost here!- each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

One of the classes I loved in college was the study of Leviticus & Hebrews. It was in that class that Hebrews 4:15 first spoke to my heart.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”

The concept that Jesus’ death on the cross removed the need of a priest and made Him accessible to me really encouraged me through some tough struggles. Knowing that He faced and conquered temptation increased my love for Him.

One of Travis Cottrell’s songs, “Mercy Seat” speaks of that same accessibility and always moves me.

Mercy Seat
Travis Cottrell

In the darkness, where everything is unknown
I faced the power of sin on my own
I did not know of a place I could go
Where I could find a way to heal my wounded soul

He said that I could come into His presence without fear
Into the holy place where His mercy hovers near
I'm running, I'm running, I'm running to the mercy seat
Where Jesus is calling, He said His grace would cover me
His blood will flow freely, It will provide the healing
I'm running to the mercy seat, I'm running to the mercy seat

Are you living where hope has not been
Lost in a curse of a lifetime of sin
Look, the illusions, they never come true
I know where there's a place of mercy for you

He said that you could come into His presence without fear
Into the holy place where His mercy hovers near
Come running, come running, come running to the mercy seat
Where Jesus is calling, His grace will be a covering
His blood will flow freely, It will provide the healing
Come running to the mercy seat

Friday, May 13, 2011

I ♥ Uncle Jesse!!!

I got to see one of my childhood crushes tonight IN PERSON!!! Uncle Jesse from Full House (aka John Stamos) was the essence of coolness back in 1989 and after seeing him rock out tonight, I can only say he still is!

We bought our Beach Boy tickets months ago, but when we found out yesterday that Uncle Jesse was coming with them, all the Forester girls got a lot more excited about tonight's concert!

My camera batteries died after just a few pictures and I realized I didn't even take pictures of the Beach Boys...just Uncle Jesse!

The Beach Boys sounded great, but Uncle Jesse took my breath away {insert sigh}!

If you listen for a second, you can hear my excitement!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 4}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

One of the books that has greatly influenced my life is “Balcony People” by Joyce Landorf Heatherly. When I was about 10 years old, my mom took me to hear her speak and what I learned that day has stayed with me ever since.

“There are some people in the "balconies" of our lives who cheer us on, energizing us by their warm affirmations. There are others who live down in the "basement," coldly tearing away at our souls with their unfair and critical judgments. This book is about discovering the balcony people in your life—and about being a balcony person to others.”

I’m blessed to have a constant balcony person in my mom, but the Lord’s brought other balcony people into my life over the years. Not only do I want to recognize and appreciate their affirmation in my life, but I want to consciously be a balcony person to others.

Finding joy in my journey is much easier when I have people cheering me on from my balcony!

Friday, May 6, 2011

One Drop at a Time

In an effort to support my neighbors effected by last week's tornadoes, I grabbed my friend, Sarah (a veteran donor) and went to donate blood this first time!

After answering some funny questions, I settled in for the big donation.

BUT just a few minutes in, an all-too familiar wave of lightheadedness swept over me and I said, "guys, you are about to lose me"! Immediately, they tilted me back, put ice on my neck and told me to keep talking.

I was moments from passing out, but gratefully they pulled me out of it!

Sarah did great and we were both glad she had driven us!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 5}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

♫ I heard a robin singing on my way to Sunday School;
He sang so merrily!
This is what he seemed to say, as I hurried on my way,
“God made this wonderful world!” ♫

I loved going to Sunday School when I was a little girl (and I bet sometimes we sang this song on our way)! I remember the little wooden chairs, flannel boards and Bible picture cards. Sometimes we even had prizes for memorizing our Bible verses! My second grade Sunday School teacher was Mr. Joaquin, the dad of one of mine and Abby’s best friends.

One Sunday, our lesson was explaining that there are no unanswered prayers. God answers every prayer, it just sometimes He answers with a “yes”, “no” or “wait”. I’m not sure why this particular lesson still stands out in my memory, but maybe it’s because the Lord knew it was a lesson I needed to learn at an early age. This principle is an important one in my Christian walk, because Satan can wreak havoc once I begin to think that God’s forgotten me or not keeping His word.

Just this week, I’ve experienced the Lord answering different prayers in all these ways- He’s said “yes” to some prayers; “no” to others and “keep waiting” to more than I care to list.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

Accepting the Lord’s sovereignty over my life is hard to do sometimes, but I want my life to be filled with praise, regardless of circumstance...just like that little robin I used to sing about on my way to Sunday School.