September 28, 2009


My sister, Cyndi (at the end of a good go-get-'em cheer), my friend who is responsible for getting me into this, Kristi, and myself after a long Labor Day run.

".........let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

Almost two months ago I completely lost my mind and signed up for the Houston Half Marathon. A dear friend of mine had been working very hard at convincing me that it was actually fun to run around Houston for 13 miles and being one that loves a good challenge, I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

The crazy part is that if I had waited just one more day I would not have made it in. The half and whole marathon filled up in under 48 hours.......darn it all! I have to admit that I did take some pleasure in letting people know that I would be running 13 miles come only "elite athletes" think it's a good idea to run continuously for 2 or 3 hours so that had to somehow change people's perception of my athletic prowess.

My sister, Cyndi (who you may remember from here), was kicked out of Israel back in June and can't go back until the end of December. She decided to spend the interim here in Houston with us and I have loved, loved, loved having her here. She is a runner. For real. Like when I ask her how far she runs in Israel she tells me that she will run from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and back. I mean, how cool is that?

Oh, and let me clarify. My definition of run means that at some point between my left and right foot hitting the ground, there is airspace......however brief and far apart it may be. Her definition is let's see if we can run 4 miles in 20 min or less. I will actually get winded and start sweating just by riding my bike next to her while she runs.

When I officially started "training", she was kind enough to run at my pace, which presented a whole different kind of challenge for her. It wasn't long before I had built up some endurance and she was complimenting me on how much better I was breathing (translation: I was actually breathing instead of gasping for air) and how much my endurance had improved (translation: I wasn't talking about how I was going to die at any minute).

It wasn't long before I was comfortably running 3 miles and was ready to increase my mileage except that I was experiencing a lot of pain in my right hip. We did a "long" run one day and after 5 miles, I was in so much pain it was barely tolerable. It has been frustrating and annoying. I need to have it checked and I wonder if my goal of running the half marathon will be realized.

With my recent focus on running, I have realized the depth of truth in the verse I posted at the beginning. It is not a mistake that Paul chose the action verb of "run". It is hard to run a race. There is training involved, aches and pain, endurance, and most of all perseverance. You have to be devoted to getting stronger by running almost every day to achieve the goal set before you.

Walking is easy.

Recently I have had friends do a lot of walking:

Walking away from their marriage.

Walking away from the challenge of raising godly children.

Walking away from fighting inner demons.

Walking away from friends.

Walking away from financial responsibility.

Walking away from God.

Walking is easy.

Signing up for the race, staying committed, running through the pain......that is the race marked out for us, even when everything in us screams out to quit.

Running to your spouse to save a marriage.

Running the race of godly parenting.

Running from strongholds satan uses to destroy.

Running to friends for support and encouragement.

Running headlong into financial discipline.

Running to God.

One day we will all cross the finish line and I pray that my Father will be standing there proud of the work I did, forgetting all the times I walked away only to be pulled back into the race by His gentle prodding, gently smiling at the callouses I wear from training, and calling me by name because of the relationship we've forged while He ran with me.

That will be the ultimate Runner's high.

*I am dedicating this post to you, Dana. I will always be your running partner.*


  1. Seriously, this spoke RIGHT TO ME! I also, am not a "born runner" However I've committed to running a 1/2 marathon next spring with my brother. Your post resonated with me on so many levels, THANK YOU!
    Jess in Nebraska

  2. So I read this earlier today and thought "Awww what a nice post." Then I went to a parent-teacher conference and I could not walk away fast enough. Not because of the conference, but because of the failure I felt like. Once I cracked that door of self-pity open,the enemy came in full force. So as I re-read it and think how I will not walk away from any of it, I say thank you.

  3. You KNOW I love this! I had no idea you were training for a 1/2 Marathon! Wish I could come and run the Houston 1/2 with you. I think I may have to back out of my Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon in March...menopausal joint pain in my knee and ankle make it uncomfortable to run on the TM, let alone on asphalt. But we will see, I haven't given up yet!

    Go run, darlin! Love ya!

  4. a great post....Just one more day until we draw for the Giant Ornament Giveaway on my Christmas blog...Stop by for a visit....

  5. Loved this post Keri! You are such a wonderful writer! And congrats on the running thing....I KNOW I WOULD LITERALLY DIE!!! Wish we could see each other again!
    Love you, Julie Marler (Mammy)

  6. Dear Keri,

    You continue to challenge me with your insight. I am often pressed with simply
    "walking." We walked more miles than I could count while in Japan. The older I get, even walking is difficult some days.

    However, spiritually, I keep on the tortoise in his race with the hare (I'm sure THAT dates me!) I may be slow, but am determined to persevere...and pray I will finish strong. As I "walk," I am focusing on the direction of my life rather than how fast I can go - which keeps me from being discouraged. There are days when I say, "Lord, shouldn't I have mastered this by now?" I AM grateful for His grace and patience. I find it best to only compete with myself, and my goal is to cross the finish line...strong in spirit,
    even if weak in body.

    Thank you again for sharing. Sorry we missed seeing you in Houston, but I was excited to hear that you were in San Francisco. I ate a chili relleno in your honor!

    With Love, Suzanne

  7. Wow. Now that was some fine writing, Keri. Thank you for that. Wow, wow, wow.



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