Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Home Sweet Home

There really is "no place like home!" Did any of y'all catch the rerun of "The Wizard of Oz" on Sunday night? That is one of my all time favorite movies--and yes, I can quote it quite well!! The flying monkeys never did scare me!!!

We arrived back in SC yesterday afternoon without any major issues! Yay--a praise! God was so good to bless the four of us and all of our families while we were away. We had the most wonderful time in San Antonio! The people were gracious and so friendly! The hotel where we stayed went over and beyond! Go Hampton Inn!!! Woohoo! Those precious employees had breakfast ready on Marathon day at 3:30 AM for the runners who hopped on shuttles to the start line first--no, not us! We were there at 5ish! When we returned, they had opened the pool for us to put our achy legs in--an ice bath--wonderful for contracting the overused muscles! How about that? Pretty cool!

Tracey, Debby, Phebe, and me with our temporary tattoos of Phil. 4:13
Prior to the race, we shopped (of course!) and ate and laughed and shared! I've known these gals for years, and we love to run races together. We did go to the Alamo after the marathon--it was only 4 blocks from our hotel. Amazing. That was the only sightseeing that we did--other than the views from the course.

There were so many God moments that I would love to share with y'all, but....I would be writing a chapter for a book!! So...I will condense! I'm sure that some will be mentioned in future posts! We generally write our names on the backs of our leg and a scripture on the other leg. Great conversation starters when you're counting down the miles! Mine was Phil. 4:13--"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." He did give me strength, and a lot of it! I ran a strong race for the first 10 miles, but I knew that I needed to slow down just a tad for the last 16 in order to finish at a decent time! He had me to slow down for several reasons. I wouldn't have met lots of folks out there had I been running a different pace! His timing...not mine! I struggled with some foot cramping around mile 19 and IT band issues as well. Not pleasant, but I continued....Phil. 4:13. I took my last GU (energy gel which is pretty yucky but replaces potassium, sodium, and other things your body needs). Then, I noticed a man ahead of me who was not running or even walking/limping in a straight line. He was doing some major wobbling! I was concerned and caught up to him and asked how he was doing. Instead of "fine," it was "I need some salt tablets." I had just taken that last GU! I had nothing to offer except encouragement. I found out that his name was Mark, and this was his first marathon. He apologized for slowing me down! I told him that I wasn't in a hurry, and this pace--barely walking-- was fine. He severely cramped again, and I stood with him. I told him that I was going to get him some help, so I ran ahead to the next aid station to notify them that a runner was coming who needed a little medical attention. I continued to run and to pray for him. By mile 25, he caught back up to me and was doing a little better. He had to stop again be fore the finish line, but he did finish his first marathon! I was so proud of him!

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord...it is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Col. 3:23-24) Having opportunities to serve Him while racing make the months of training, the hours of running and biking, and the cost of traveling all worthwhile. Those precious God moments show me how great His love is for us. Your prayers and wonderful comments were so appreciated! Y'all were so sweet!

Many Blessings,

PS--While on our extensive layover in Houston, I was really tempted to call Beth Moore and see if she wanted to come out to the airport for awhile to visit and shop! I even contemplated looking up her phone number, but I changed my mind!!! Y'all, wouldn't it have been cool if she HAD been walking through the terminal!! Oh, well! Phebe and I did entertain ourselves by playing the "Good Morning Game!" You sit in these lovely rocking chairs down a long hallway place. Then you look people--who are obviously running late to board their plane-- in the eye and say "Good Morning" in your perkiest voice. Out of the 20 plus people we spoke to, only one person didn't respond with a friendly "good morning" back at us! It was fun to make people smile and get out of "serious" mode so early in the morning! We had hours of time to entertain ourselves!!! Can ya tell??


Chatty Kelly said...

What a blessing to put "your" marathon aside to help someone else. That is just what God calls us to do.

Loved your story. WELCOME HOME!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I love everything about this post. You gals are great. I love what you did for that man. What a great encouragement to sacrifice your time and your race for him. And how wonderful was it that he caught up with you. He must've really kicked it in.

I love the Good Morning Game. I have never heard of that. How wonderful to change one's perspective in a hectic atmosphere.

You guys are so giving.
Love you,

On Purpose said...

Susan you are an amazing and beautiful woman of God. This story is SCREAMING to my heart right now for many reasons. Thank you for really giving of yourself. You were Jesus to this man...and boy did God get all the glory girl! What a blessing you ARE!! You are an encouragement to a goal I have set for myself...to run the Portland Marathon next October!

Sarah said...

Darn, I should have gone to San Antonio to be a cheerleader this weekend: I had NO idea how many of my friends were running, and maybe I would have finally met you! Your story about Mark makes me cry. I'm so thankful that even in your run you looked for ways to be Jesus.

Yolanda said...

You are incredible....26 miles.....crazy!


Joyful said...

WOW Susan - you amaze me!!! Not only did you run a physical race, you ran for God and gave Him all the glory. You were more about running with excellence to please and honour the Lord, then about achieving any glory for yourself.

"I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness." 2 Timothy 4:7-8

Love ya,
PS. Enjoy wearing my bracelet so often - you are such a sweetheart!

Leebird said...

So proud of you!! And so in awe of all the Jesus in you!

Love, Lee

Wendy said...

You are just too cute!! You should have called Beth, I'm sure she was just sitting by the phone waiting on you!! (read my blog, I actually apologize to her for paraphrasing her...cuz we're tight.)

Girl, what a blessing you were to that dear Mark. His little sweaty running angel...and all this time he thought angels flew!

I'm so glad you enjoyed your time and are home safely. We'll talk real soon.

Love ya!

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Welcome home! Great to read about your race, your time with your friends and all the ways you saw the Lord there! And love the pix!

Was praying for you!

Gotta Run said...

You girls had such a wonderful time. Love the pictures!!

Enjoy the cookies. :) hide them from all of your boys...LOL!

Jackie said...

Awesome job! You rock!! Looks like you girls had lots of fun.


Teresa said...

So glad it went well! I love the thought that though we've never met..I could still pray for you and the Lord would answer.
And had I been sitting in the Houston airport I can assure you I too would have wished to run into Beth!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

An occasion for celebration! Congratulations on all fronts...the race, the fellowship and the rocking chair ministry at the airport. Girlfriends are the best!


Empty Nest Full Life said...

What an accomplishment. I need to get moving. You asked about the pink and brown fabric. I got it at a little shop here in town. But I think I have seen something very similar at Hobby Lobby. I hope to get these cut out today. Have a great day. Jackie

Haroldly said...

Hi susan...

Its so good to have you back, and that you had fun, but specially that you were able to help someone else.

many blessings!

KelliGirl said...

Congratulations on your marathon!! How awesome an experience to do and even more incredible to share with your wonderful Christian sisters! Great stories, thanks for sharing.

BTW, where can I get biceps like your friend Debby?!


On Purpose said...

Great to have you..I will enjoy this journey with your company. I am praying for and with you my friend!

Did you get my email?

Luanne said...

Congrats on the marathon finish! So cool how you chose to go at God's pace during the race--as a fellow runner and competitive, too I know that that's a sacrifice that was sweet to the Lord!

Renee Swope said...

Wow, you so inspire me girl!!! Love the story about Mark and the idea of writing my name on one leg and a verse on the other. What kind of pen did you use? And where do you get the temporary verse tatoos?

I am so bummed that my man isn't running with me Saturday!!! I need his guidance. He tells me when to take the gel paks. What will I do without him?

Okay, so what if any advice do you have for me since this is my first half-marathon> I am not carbing up? What should I eat and do this week? Life's so out of sorts with us at the hospital but I want to be prepared since he still wants me to run my half!

Thanks so much for your prayers and comments on my blog. They encouraged us both!!! We may just take you up on the cheap race in SC. That cracked me up!!!

Hugs and blessings,

Ps. There's rumor of a Sun Am 5k at She Speaks this year!