Finishing The Race

Pursuing God One Shin Splint at a Time

New Year, New Blog

It seems fitting to begin a new year with a brand new blog. Last year around this time I was ginormous pregnant and anticipating a year of “new,” but God placed the word “REST” on my heart. For several years now I have adopted a word to live by rather than a list of resolutions I can’t remember by Groundhog Day. I can look back and see how important it was that I embraced my word “rest” and learned how to practice self-care because I had no idea how tumultuous and miraculous 2014 would be for me. As I struggled to reclaim peace, I knew God was urging me toward a new name and approach to my blog.

God showed His sense of humor as I argued with Him about the title of the blog and how people may think it’s a blog about actually running. He’s been showing me all year, heck, more like ten years, how much endurance it takes to live a faithful life so I settled on “Finishing the Race.” One of my favorite verses is 2 Timothy 4:7 so I went with it. And then, wouldn’t  you know it, out of the blue God got me running…really running, like pounding the pavement running! Not only that, but He has me doing it at 5:00am! I’m a completely new creation. If you thought you knew me before, you better reintroduce yourself because my gosh, I don’t even know who I am anymore! This is all completely out of my comfort zone, but I’m actually enjoying it! <Gasp!> And now, I’m registered for a half marathon at the end of March. I believe He’s enjoying showing me how ALL things are possible with Him and how He takes joy in making things NEW. He’s helping me understand endurance in a whole new light. So the joke’s on me as He made this a “running” blog in every sense of the word.

It’s not all fun and games, of course. Running or life.

I have a shin splint in my left leg that likes to make its self known just enough to keep me on edge. And just when I think I’ve figured out how to “keep the peace” in my faith everything is turned upside down. I’m relearning life lessons today that I thought I had mastered and placed in my archives…literally.

So I’m moving one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. The step today includes giving my blog a new name. I don’t care if I’m sprinting or limping across the finish line as long as my loved ones are running alongside me and we can say we have kept the faith.

Even if my loved one is running in spider man pjs and a robe...as long as we finish!

Even if my loved one is running in spiderman pj’s and a robe…whatever it takes!

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

My old blog, “Sweet Caroline Baby” (Dec 2006-Oct 2014) was an inward chapter of my life dealing with raising kids through extreme grief and how beauty came from ashes. This new blog is an attempt to reach outward, building a community who will leave their stories for others which, in turn, I pray will encourage and help build endurance for all of us. There is healing in the sharing of stories. I want my own children to be able to refer to these entries years from now in their own races as they undoubtedly will face obstacles and see God’s faithfulness time and time again.

I have learned in order to fight, finish and remain faithful I cannot do it alone. God designed us to run the race with others.  So as this blog is a work in progress, I hope it will begin to reflect the sense of community I have found so crucial to choosing joy and building endurance in my faith.

It’s a new year. Do you believe God can make something new in your life? Is there a small step you can take today toward that belief?

Thank you so much for continuing the journey with me here in this new place. You have no idea how encouraging your comments, prayers and emails are to me. If you have a minute I would love to hear from you and what word God has placed on your heart for this year. I’m not sure I’ve landed on my word yet, but “new” is fitting quite nicely today.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Cor 5:17

Praying blessings for all of us as we enter 2015 and may we all encourage each other as we are Finishing the Race marked out for us!

21 Comments

  1. When I am learning from God I feel vulnerable, and afraid to share my faults. This year has been a lesson in leaning on others, and accepting that we don’t get to see the end result until we finish. I think God is leading me to hold on to John 13:7 this year:
    Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
    I look forward to resting in this promise.

    • Oh Shari I totally relate to you on this! It’s hard for me to accept I may not see the purpose of pain until the race is over. I’m trying to remember to re-center my gaze on the here and now which means counting my blessings today. You’ve named part of my struggle. Let’s help each other remember this verse daily. Thank you so much.

  2. Hmm, this makes me think about my word for 2015. Great post. Excited.

    • Sara I can’t wait to hear what your word is. So far with my experience choosing a word, if I pray about it God brings a theme or word to mind in which I start to see it in everything j read! That’s when I feel like it’s been “confirmed” and I run with it. (Gosh, the analogy to running is everywhere!) : )

  3. Is it cheating if my word is “new” too?? What a year we’ve made it through together. This blog thrills me to my very core. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do. I love your words and I love you so much!!

    • Oh Rob. I love you so much. Yes, what a year. Understatement of the century! And no, it wouldn’t be cheating, it would be very fitting for us to have the same word and goal! Let’s do it! One obedient step at a time!

  4. Oh how exciting Bonnie! I can’t wait to see how God will use this blog to help so many. You helped pave the road to my walk with Jesus and my eternity is forever changed! Love you so much sister!

    • Oh Becky, I love you so much. I’m praying it will. Isn’t it amazing how people intersecting with our paths can send us on a whole new trajectory? Praying our stories will help that happen for others who may need encouragement. Life is hard! And beautiful!

  5. Love that you started a new blog! I have been working so hard on words for my kids for the new year, I haven’t had time to really think about mine. I am leaning toward “purpose” but then again, “contentment” is an area I need to work on also. I guess I need to do a little praying… 🙂

    • Reba, why didn’t I think about actively involving my kiddos in a word for their year?? Thanks so much! I’ll pray about which words they need…although for Thomas we use “self-control” a lot!!

  6. Bonnie, Nathan challenged us at last night’s service too. Who will you be in 2015? and Who will you serve in 2015? I’ve been praying and I will post my word for 2015 a bit later when God reveals it to me…and I know He will. Love you and thanks for sharing your life experiences with me.

    • Oh Ms Linda thank you for sharing this with me! I know He will, too but I’ll be praying you find it quickly. I had so much growth in my life from the word “rest” last year–I’ve heard sometimes people need to keep the same word for another year. I wish I could! Ha! But I definitely feel I’m being led to “new.”

  7. Ha! Self-control is a word chosen for one of my kiddos. I will let you guess who. 🙂 Okay, so I have been mulling this over all morning (my own word). And I have settled upon “Listen”. I am quick to think, worry, ponder, process, etc. And I am even quick to go to God in prayer. But I need to work on my listening skills…with God, with my husband, with my kids, with my friends. Not hearing but truly listening. So there it is. I know you feel much better knowing I have settled upon one…

  8. So excited for this new journey for you and for the women in northwest arkansas! Can’t wait to follow along and see how god uses this to encourage those around you. Thankful for your obedience, honesty, and genuine love for Christ and those Around you. Here’s to 2015!

    • Sarah thank you so much!! I’m not sure what God has in store exactly but this is definitely an act of obedience! I’m trying not to run ahead of Him. One step at a time! : )
      It was so wonderful to see you the other night…God is so fun, He knows what it means to me to randomly run into you like that! : )

  9. It’s amazing what a comfort it is to run together. I’m so blessed to do it with you.

  10. Love love your words and how The Lord has made everything NEW!! He is soo good and so gracious!! You inspire me my friend:-) thanks for not quitting the race. Though I know you never will because the one who breaths life into your race doesn’t quit:-) it’s breathtaking! Love u loads

  11. I love that you are fully embracing the changes God has set before you! That kind of discipline is not easy. I saw your favorite verse and immediately thought of this tank. You should have it for your morning runs, or hanging on the back of your door to keep you motivated. 🙂 🙂 May God continue to bless your journey!

    http://www.crosstrainingcouture.com/product/fight-the-good-fight-finish-the-race-keep-the-faith

    • Bonnie,
      I don’t have a word for the year, but I DO always have a word for the season… the 90 day season… That’s how long our passwords last. Whenever we begin to get that “Your password will expire in 10 days” message, I know it’s time to think about what my next word (or name) needs to be. Then I’m reminded of that word every… single… time… I log in.
      🙂 Helen

      • Helen, I LOVE that idea. Seasons, trials, life(!) change so often that it makes sense to change our word, too! “Rest” took me the whole year and I feel like I’m still with that word in combination with “New.” There are no hard and fast rules with this focus so I’m inspired to be flexible and see what happens this year. Thanks!

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