"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Monday, September 29, 2014

No Unnatural Sweetner.

What makes a Good DAY?

  • The Sun was out.
  • The warm air was lovely.
  • I had my quiet time with the Lord.
  • I had a partner to run my 18 miler with.
  • The route we ran was magnificent.
  • I had my day balanced very well.
  • Everything fell into place without any injury.
This makes a girl Smile at the end of the day. It could also be the honey tickling my throat from my tea, but I am pretty sure it is a smile of gratitude.

Today, was one of those days that could go REALLY bad at any time. Except that today only got better with each hour.

I will share simple moments of greatness that continued to fill me.

"Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary."
Isaiah 40:31
This is one of my FAVORITE verses. I LOVE looking at the birds in the sky. I have almost been hit a couple times watching the birds and not paying attention to where I am running.

This verse has been instrumental in my training this time around. I have had to be very patient with my body. As I have been waiting for the Lord to heal my body, I have been noticing how much stronger I am getting. It is slow but it has also been very noticeable. It has not been only my body that has healing, I have also noticed God doing a work in other areas of my life.
As Lacy and I made the turn onto Belford Rd, I showed her the empty trees where I usually see the eagles perched on the dead branches.
I was disappointed I could not share their majestic beauty with her. This is a route that I know like the back of my hand. I love sharing its secret beauty with others.
We came up on a patch of dead trees. We both gasped at the branches filled with Eagles! It was not just a couple, there were about 5. The were amazing. I could have stared forever.
I was trying to get the STOP sign in the PIC! Great 18 with Lacy!

I thought of that verse at mile 15 when I was beginning to get tired. They will RUN and not Grow Weary.
Well, I was weary after my 18 miler. But I finished it. I finished it well. We walked every mile and it gave me new strength. Even with walk breaks we finished with an average pace of 9:37. 
I was "Flying High"!

I made it home in time to get a shower, grab lunch and get a Coffee at Time Hortons.

"BEA Blessed"
Andy has a co-worker that has adopted our family as one her own. Bea is one of Andy's co-workers. She is beautiful, African American and makes me laugh, cry and not want her to leave. She has as much energy as I do, plus a little more. When Bea laughs she is contagious. You are not just giggling, you are gut wrenching, tears crying and peeing your pants laughing.
This woman loves my Andy, She loves all of us. She is forever sending me gifts and flowers. She is like another mother to me.

"Drop BY"
While Bea and I were raising the roof with our conversation the door bell rang. I love company. It was Aunt Lois, Maw Maw Smith and my sister in law Deb. We had a short but sweet visit. We all sat around the table eating coffee cake and laughing yet some more.

"Laughter Really is medicine to the soul"
I had a lot of laughter today. Lacy has a beautiful smile. Bea makes me hurt we laugh so hard. Our conversation is sweet and Godly. I feel like God is laughing right next to us as we discuss the amazing miracles He has performed in our life.
As I looked at my family mingling together with genuine laughter it made me so comfortable. It all was so real and comfortable. True laughter with No Unnatural Sweetner!
My niece Becca called and we laughed through the drama's of life.

Laughter is so sweet.

A Little about Post Run Recovery:
 We often do not feel like eating after a long run. Even a hard run can make you feel nauseous. Try not to gorge on carbs.  But carbohydrate rich calories are a smart idea for muscle and calorie recovery.  If your not feeling well try a sports drink to replenish your body until your feeling well again.
Recovery days are instrumental in getting stronger and faster. Your body will give you as much as it can, you can push it harder on difficult training days if you have time to recover and adapt to the strenuous training. Remember to eat and hydrate properly to heal faster and better.

Stadiums are for spectators.  We runners have nature and that is much better.
--Juha Vaatainen

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fighting to Win or Just Fighting

In this world we are beat up. I know I sure am. Yesterday, was my mothers birthday. She would be 75 today. It has been 22 years since she passed. I miss her. Emotionally challenged.

I sat with about 7 girls this evening at small group. Trying to teach them to "Go and be Disciples" They are all so engaged in the study. I try to encourage them to be honest with me, that there is nothing they can say that I probably have not thought or felt myself.
We talked about the reasons that we struggle with sharing Jesus Christ. We talked about the obstacles that they face in their lives,
  1. Fear
  2. Insecurity
  3. Bullied
  4. Peer Pressure
  5. Family
  6. Alone
I shared with them those are the very same things that us adults struggle with too. It is crazy that it doesn't matter if you are 15 or 40 we all have similar battles.

Even in church this morning, I was begging God to take away an emotional battle that I was struggling with. It was like God used our pastor to speak directly into me. But it wasn't just me. 2 people down, I could hear Aunt Lois sniffling as our pastor urged us to Fight the Battle. It reminded Aunt Lois in her broken body, that has been hijacked by cancer, to Fight with everything she had. Uncle Rod sat next to me as we talked about every moment and every hour we didn't have time to do anything but FIGHT.
I had to remember that my battles are not with people, they are with myself. I have this debilitating need for people to love me. To fit in. To be accepted.
What a JOKE!
The battle isn't trying to get those people to like me anymore. It isn't trying to get them to accept me. It isn't anything more than me knowing the battle is with myself.

It isn't any of my business what others think about me!

What an arrogant thought to think everyone's going to like you.

I thought about all the fear that I have. The insecurity that beats me up trying to fit in. We are all struggling with emotional or mental battles. And like Aunt Lo some of us are battle physical battles that affect us in All the arenas.

I fought those nasty mental demons. I let go of broken relationships. I found so much healing being encircled with those who seek me to love them. I love loving on people.

Whatever battle you are in, Fight harder. Dig it in with everything you have. But whatever you do, don't quit.

Ask yourself what are you battling?
Is it relationships?
It is family?
Is it your past or your future?
Are you battling with fear or forgiveness?

Then ask yourself, "Have you been fighting the fight with everything you have and Seeking God for everything you do not have?
Have you REALLY been fighting to Win or just fighting??


Thursday, September 25, 2014

5 For 5..Tips, Reminders & Tidbits for the Newbie

I am seeing a lot of new runners on Facebook. I LOVE it too.

Here are some simple thoughts for the Newbie:

5 Basics for Running:
  1. New shoes (Cheaper than Physical Therapy)
  2. Start off Slow..Humble Beginnings
  3. Start off with Time not Miles
  4. Find a friend to run with.
  5. Make a Goal
5 Physical Reminders for Running:
  1. Things are going to hurt. Your body is all kinds of confused!
  2. Remember to BREATH!
  3. You are not going to DIE even though you feel like it!
  4. When your lungs are burning you are NOT in Hell!
  5. KISS: Keep it simple stupid (could do without the word Stupid)
5 Things to Help you RUN:
  1. Running Partner or Club
  2. Mantra
  3. A Great Playlist
  4. A Running Watch
  5. A Running journal or log
5 Power Foods for Running:
  1. Banana
  2. Smoothies
  3. Oatmeal
  4. Yogurt and fruit
  5. Peanut butter on English muffin.
These are just the basics. You will find these anywhere online or in a running book, they are not rocket science.

A whole lot of "SUCK".
As I ran this morning with Danielle, our traditional 8 miler was going so smooth. I reminded Danielle it was time to taste a healthy portion of "SUCK"! Sorry the word may offend. But that was my word. I needed to feel SUCKY. I needed to run through Sucky. At mile 5 Danielle asked how I was doing. I responded "UGH, I am doing good except I can see that stupid hill at mile 7"!  It was haunting me. I then added "I gotta feel it, I gotta push through the feeling of SUCK!" 
That hill came soon enough. "Danielle, I need you to push me to the end."
I am so grateful for a good running partner. I was huffing and puffing and at one point could feel the fluids coming up but she stayed one foot ahead of me coaxing me all the way through.
It hurt so good. I was out of breath but so excited to see how well we did. We were a few seconds faster than last week. It is like my body didn't want to jump start and now is slowing turning over.  Just seconds faster feels like an epic victory.
Thanking God for every second!

“Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.”
I made these muffins this evening for Clean Eating magazine. The turned out great, Not too sweet. They were very moist and light.


What Tip do you like the best? If there a Tip I forgot that you were looking for?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Brooks Transcend Review

The girls were running 8 miles. With the sun shining I really wanted to run the full 8 miles with them. You have to let logic trump emotion.
With me running back to back, I knew that I needed to run short and easy to better enjoy my 8 miles with Danielle tomorrow.
Running Intentional.
Most of the time us runners have a plan but follow a lot of our runs up with "I felt pretty good..." or "I just wasn't feeling it today."
In order for me to continue to heal and stay healthy EVERY run has to be intentional. I can't go by feeling "Good". Feeling Good can be my demise.
I would love to get out there and run on the track. I miss that feeling of rubber legs. I always feel so accomplished dry heaving in the bushes. And all the controversy about Motrin...Well I wish I was sore enough to use it!

Every Run is a Blessing. We ran a 4 mile loop, dropping me back off at the school parking lot. It was a bit slower than my normal slow but it was 4 miles! It was fun being with the gals on such a beautiful day doing my favorite thing.

New SHOES REVIEW: Brooks Transcend
I have been running in Mizuno Sayonara for the last year and a half. I love the light weight shoe that leaves me blisterless.  I just wish the shoes didn't fall apart so easy. The fabric breaks down very fast.
I believed my injury required a different shoe. A shoe with more cushion. I have a small pronation that I think needs to be addressed as well.
Without me telling the shoe guy about my pronation he saw it himself.
The Transcend is the most expensive pair of shoes I have ever bought. I will buy my work shoes off the clearance rack at DSW but didn't think twice about my 170$ running shoes.
Until I got in the car. Then I thought, "Andy is going to KILL me!"

I ran 16 miles on them 3 days after I bought them. I was concerned I was going to get blisters. One of the reasons we get blisters is from poor socks. I had tried the shoe out on the first day and could feel a blister on my outer toe. I had a thicker sock on with a heavy seam. Knowing this I wore my compression socks for my long run with great results.
The shoe is a little heavier. I found that I had a lighter feel with a sturdier shoe. The cushion in the shoe was great for the back roads that we ran on. I normally feel the stones and pebbles. I didn't notice any of the loose gravel on my run. The Transcend is more shoe for sure, only it didn't feel bulky or heavy. I was aware of the mechanics for my pronating on a comfortable level. It actually gave me a little more security when making turns or hitting sudden elevation or potholes.
So far I have over 24 miles in them and I am HAPPY.."Run Happy"

Finishing this up with a little Running and Life: Remembering that Strong Emotion has Potential to trump Logic.

Being injured produces some STRONG EMOTIONS. Feelings that can persuade a training run into the hurt locker.
Life can produce emotions double time. When we let our emotions steer our ship we are going to SINK.
Get Your feeling in CHECK!
Don't let your feelings become your reality.
Life presents a lot of reasons to behave badly. Quit making your Reasons an Excuse for your Actions or Inaction.
Andy and I got into a good debate today. He said that Perception is 90% Reality. I disagreed until I realized he was right on it being YOUR reality. The way you perceive things is different than the way I perceive things. There are many factors that go into how we individually perceive things.
This is why the bible says "The heart if deceptive above all things..." Jeremiah 17:9.

When your emotions are in check you are more capable of a healthier perception with circumstances and situations.

Austin ran 19:25 at his XC meet today. Proud mama.

What do you think about Andy's idea on Perception??


Monday, September 22, 2014

Hopeful. Detroit FreePress Marathon

The Detroit Free Press Marathon is less than 4 weeks away. Those who are training for the marathon just finished their 20 miler over the weekend. They will begin their taper in the next couple weeks allowing their body to recover from the last 16 weeks of strenuous training.

As for me, I was shouting off the roof tops today at my 16 miler! I am a few weeks behind my training for the marathon. Even though I have a lot I could be complaining about, I was so excited today that my body was strong enough to pull out not only 16 miles, but 16 miles at a 9:22 pace! That pace included walk breaks every mile
I was just shocked that God is healing me one mile at a time. It is like every run is a miracle. For that matter every mile is a miracle.

In the twelfth hour, Jama responded to a cry out for a running partner today.  We met at the school where I would navigate her through the outskirts of Holly. We hit all the back roads of Holly.
Jama had to keep reminding me to slow down. My body and my mouth were moving at hyper speed!
The more Jama and I gabbed, the less I was paying attention to our pace. As each mile approached, we took a 30 second to 1 minute walk break. It was at this time we drank and checked out pace.
The walk breaks were wonderful. I was able to stretch out my legs, grab a breath and get motivated again.
The scenery and wild life was beautiful. The leaves are changing, leaving the outline of the fields colorful.
We did have one dog get closer than I like. I was ready to turn around and go back. Jama just looked at the dog and kept saying "Good girl, good doggy!"
Me.. I had my eye on all the rocks and was trying to figure out if I could scale the barb wire fence without too much injury!

In a nutshell, I am behind in my training.
But I am still grinning at my epic 16 miler today. Glory Be Gods.
Sorry you can not convince me I am not the Apple of His EYE!

As I lay here in bed finishing this post, I feel no pain. Well, other than my hip that I hit on the wall this evening.  WHERE the Heck did the wall come from??
 It seriously came out and HIT me like a 2 by 4.  I broke the vessels in my hip as I collapsed to the floor like a big baby. I squirmed and slithered trying to control the words that wanted to spew from my mouth.

Back on Track..Feeling Victorious and Hopeful.

Less than 4 weeks....


Sunday, September 21, 2014

There is no Coincidence; Ken K.

The closer you draw near to God,the closer you see God's handiwork. To many who can not explain the unexplainable they use the term "Coincidence"

Today, Andy and I attended a funeral of a running friend of mine. Ken Krausman.

Who was Ken to me?
It is No Coincidence that I knew Ken. I know that God aligns people for His purpose; that is part of the beauty of running. You are introduced to so many people from so many different facets of life. People you might never strike up a conversation with become your long running friends. You may never even know their last name or the county that they live in and yet you feel like you have known them forever. After sharing just a few miles on the pavement with them or meeting them at the finish line there is a intimate relationship that is sparked for life.

You  learn their pains, their strengths, and they learn yours. You share your vulnerabilities and passions out on the road or in a race. Runners bond one another's strengths and weaknesses together like a fine knit blanket. I didn't know Ken's street address or even where he worked. I never met his beautiful children,  I couldn't tell you if he liked coffee or tea or what his favorite color was....

This is what I could tell you: I know he was passionate about life and others. I know that he was a incredible runner. I knew his amazing wife, Jennifer. I knew that he was clean and sober from alcoholism. I knew that he  made me feel like he knew me more than he did. That is how he was. He made everyone feel special. He came into the salon a couple times and I cut his hair. I have also cut his wife's hair. They are carbon copies of one another. When they talk they glow. They are charismatic and lively.

One day Ken was talking to me and said "Anita, I read you blog at nighttime."
I replied with surprise, "You do?"
"Yeah, I read it at night, I read it to Jenny when she is going to bed."
 Laughing, I responded, "Yeah, my blog would put anyone to sleep!"

 He sometimes left comments on my posts signed Ken K. I loved to see when he left a comment. He was an elite! What would a nobody like me have to say that a elite like him would want to read?
We shared common bonds, Our love for running, our love for Christ and living a sober life.
All those together are passions that draw many close together when we feel so separate.

I sat to the side and looked at his son. He is a mirror image of his father. My heart melted as I thought of my own mom that I had lost at 18. His face was red as he tried to stay strong. I wanted to run to him and hug him. His daughter spoke of her father and his love for people. She choked back the tears with laughter as she shared the special details of his personality. Finally, there sat Jenny, his wife. This strong and amazing woman suddenly a widow. This is not they way it was supposed to be. I could hear the confusion she must be battling with as she sat there in the front seat trying to be strong.

I could only think one thing...

2 Timothy 4:7-8  
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

1 Corinthians 9:25
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
Ken was a runner. He knew how to run. He did everything with passion and zeal. He ran hard. He ran with a purpose.
Ken has finished the course. He kept the Faith. He has received the Ultimate Prize. A prize that far exceeds any earthly race that he registered for. That surpasses ANY medal that was placed around his neck. He has now received a Crown that will last forever. The CROWN of Everlasting Life.

Ken, you will be forever missed. Thank you for your heart, your passion and your genuine love for people. You have left your mark on me. I am truly inspired by the testimony you have left behind.

"You'll get through this. It wont be painless. It won't be quick. But God will use this mess for good. in the meantime don't be foolish or naïve. But don't despair either. With Gods help, you will through this!" Max Lucado.

Anita H

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Getting Comfortable with Uncomfortable

Being uncomfortable for 30 minutes is half the pain of being uncomfortable for over an hour.

Yesterday, I ran 4 miles at a sub 8 minute pace. I was struggling. My house it at the top of a hill. No matter what direction that you go towards you are descending a hill. My finish is always UPHILL.
"Finish STRONG" has always rang in my ears. This mantra makes my new home finish a pain fest.

8 miles with Danielle was on my training schedule for today.
It only took 2 miles for me to feel uncomfortable. My first emotion was a physical one. I was HOT.
I don't mean I looked hot! I mean I felt HOT..Not a HOT mess, rather like  physically roasting in a burning inferno! I way over dressed!

Uncomfortable didn't stop there. I blabbed for 3 miles about what a crap fest my week had been. Everyday presented a new form of hurt, heartbreak or a hang up I was struggling with. I had a whole lot of awesomeness too, however, the bad was really bad. It was like a dark cloud was following me around.
When I got done with my emotional vomit I said rather abruptly "OK! I am DONE!"
 I then wiped the verbal garbage off my chin and  moved on to enjoy my run with Danielle.

I enjoyed listening to Danielle and all the greatness she had this week. Her great moments became my great moments. When she looked at me and smiled with those high cheek bones I truly felt so happy.
The only problem with listening to her was I then heard something else. I heard my breathing! My heavy panting was reminding me how winded I was. How uncomfortable I was. How behind the gun I was.
I wanted to look at my watch to see if I had a reason to feel like such a weakling. But I was too scared that it would be worse than I thought.

I quietly reminded myself to feel the "yuck". I have to get reacquainted with shortness of breath, burning lungs, fatigue, sore and tired feeling in my legs. I have to learn to invite the Uncomfortable back into my life with the sole intention of knowing it is going to make me better.

Pain is part of the Process.
If you want to get stronger, faster, better you have to learn to push the limits of your mind and body. You have to send out invitations to Pain. Most of the time you have anxiety knowing you have made a date with Pain. The pain of a long run or a hard training run usually freaks me out days before.
However, the results show its purpose, leaving you feeling more confident and accomplished.

I have been reminded of this many times this week. There is Purpose in Pain. The pains of life are not always easy to invite. Often times we do not have to invite them, they come knocking all on their own.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

I met a lady this afternoon for coffee. . As I was waiting for her to join me, I was writing this verse down to give to her.
It struck me that I needed this verse. This was what I was thinking this morning on my run. This aligned perfectly with me both in my running and in the experiences that I had trudged through this week.
God loves me when I am humble enough to admit "I am not Strong Enough". It is in my weakness He is Strong in me.
In my weakness, I call unto Him more. I need Him all the time but I really recognize my inadequacies more in my pain and broken state.

Sometimes, in our pain-filled state we can not see God delivering us because we quit right before He does something so incredible.
On my run,  I had to endure just a little more. I had to listen to my uncomfortableness and watch God bring me to the finish in my pain. When I didn't want to go another step-let alone a few more miles, I just persevered knowing God already saw me at the Finish. It was MINE. In my uncomfortableness I had to persevere to the end.

God refines us in the furnace. Life if tough. Our struggles and hurts can consume us. They can become so real we lose the big picture. When we disconnect for the emotional hijacking of our problems and get comfortable in the uncomfortableness  of pain we will see how God is doing a remarkable job at refining us.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Not my words: Guest blogger.

I have a Guest Blogger tonight, I wanted to share their thoughts and words. Very raw and transparent. This really touched me.

I do not blog, nothing against those that do.  I secretly read some blogs and believe my wife’s blog is a tool to help others….
I do not communicate well with others.  I do not like to examine my feelings, no less write them down for others to see and examine.  I take my feelings and usually hide them in some recess of my brain.  I hide them in all these little hiding places until I forget where I hid them and then I don’t have to deal with them.  

At times all the hiding places become used up and these feelings, these emotions must be dealt with.  God help my wife or children for these days because it is these days I am not my best….It is these days when they get to see the ugly side of a immature, king baby addict who has been forced to deal with pain, anger, hurt or just being hungry!  

As I sit here all alone with my thoughts, I am desperately trying to take some hurt and pain and put it into one my hiding spots….but tonight it is not working.  Tonight I have to release some pain.  If I do not, the consequences may not be good.  I will try this writing thing, I will type aimlessly, with no purpose, no outline, no plan.  I will release my emotions and will not stop typing until I have expressed this pain to its fullest.  Will my confusion be clarified? Will my pain be pacified? Will my grieving by gratified? I have no idea….But here goes…..

I went to a funeral today.  A funeral for my Pastor, my spiritual mentor, my friend from years ago.  It was unlike any funeral I had ever been to.  It was not your typical service.   I was one of maybe a dozen men out of hundreds in dress pants.  I wore no leather, no chaps, I unbuckled the seatbelt to my cross over rather than take my helmet off.  I had no patch on my back and I have never had a parole officer.  I walked into the church hand in hand with my wife, my rock, my friend.  A lump had already begin to rise up in my throat as I looked around at 500-600 bikers and addicts who milled about….each and everyone impacted by this man.  They were all there because he loved them when no one else could, would or knew how.  And right smack dab in the middle is me…this tall, lanky white kid from a Christian home who has never been on a moped, no less a Harley.  But I didn’t care, I was not embarrassed, I was not ashamed, I was here to honor the man that helped save my family.  Let’s rewind some 9 years, as I was released from my first and last stint from rehab…  

I could spend my time talking about how I ended up where I did, but that would be selfish….that would not help get rid of this pain.  This is about the man that met me at the bottom.  It is NOT important how I ended up at the bottom or what I did.  NO, this is about the Pastor that was waiting for me at the bottom.

I was released on a weekday in early January.  I remember it being so bright outside (weird the things you remember)….I remember driving home and having no idea how I was going to live life without getting high.  I only knew one addict and she was a female at my church.  I called her as soon as I could that day.  She immediately put me in contact with Marc.  I called Marc and he told me he would see me at a meeting at Faith.  I remember driving to this meeting with Nita.  I remember a song by Casting Crowns was on the radio and I was crying at the stoplight by Dixie and M-15….I was lost, confused, I was in physical pain.  I had no idea if Nita was going to be able to stick this out, I had no idea what my career was going to be.  I was broke, I was dope sick and I wanted to get high.  I met Marc that first night.  I was so enthralled by him.  He had the most unbelievable smile.   He had this gravely voice and looked like a convict.  He spoke about freedom, about true freedom.  He not only talked about it, he SHOWED ME HOW TO GET IT.  Week after week, he would always be there with a smile and a hug.  I can smell his cologne as he would hug me.  You never shook his hand, you hugged Marc and he would look at me with a look like he honestly cared how I was doing.  He never lied; and he said what was on his mind, regardless of how it made you feel.  He would NEVER tell you what you would want to hear, he would tell you what you NEEDED to hear.  He trained me how to be a leader by lowering myself to a servant.  He could relate with someone dope sick, or someone just wanting to quit smoking! He spoke directly into my life every Monday night.  He loved me just like I was one of his biker friends.  He didn’t care that I didn’t fit in with this group.  He used to say “relate, don’t compare”.  I would take that to all my meetings.  I would try to relate to other addicts, not compare.  He did not compare himself with me.  He was a convicted felon, a heroin addict who grew up in chaos and confusion.  I was a churched, suburban white kid…..but we both could relate to theloneliness, guilt and pain of putting a needle in our arm.  We both could relate to waking up dope sick in puddles of sweat running to the bathroom and hoping against hope we had some dope left.  Because of this compassion and ability to relate, I “kept comingback”…I kept coming and coming and eventually he believed in me and trusted me to be a leader in his ministry.   

He could sit at a table and engage the most unlovable, difficult person in the world.  If they were talking crap, he would let them know they were full of crap.  But in the end, that person knew he loved them.  He loved the unlovable and ministered to literally thousands of people that no one in their right mind would minister to.  He was delivered in a jail cell and had a desire to see everyone experience that same deliverance.  

So…..here I am at this “funeral” today.  I look all around and I cannot stop crying.  I want to scream.  My wife says “this makes me hate addiction so much”.  Her body shutters, and she really does hate it.  It has killed all her family; it has destroyed everyone she loved in the past.  Addiction nearly destroyed her husband and I believe that if not for Marc and his compassion and his ministry that God used him to build it would have destroyed me for sure.  When she says this, I realize that is the emotion I have been struggling with (at least one of many)….I am angry.  I am pissed off….I am angry with myself for not keeping in touch with Marc.  I am angry at satan for knowing exactly how to attack this man of God.  I am angry at Marc.  He was so stinking proud, so stubborn that he would not, could not call someone.  Here is a guy that answered the phone for me and others thousands of times, he preached it from the pulpit EVERY MONDAY!!! He would make everyone at the table fill out a sheet for the newcomer with our numbers on it.  But yet, here he is at the end of his life, all alone in a room somewhere with a needle in his arm or a bottle by his side…..


Was it pride? Was it the enemy? Oh who cares….. really who cares??…..You know what it was? It was an addict in active addiction.  It was Marc being Marc.  The old Marc, the Marc I knew would have called someone, he would have read those verses he made me memorize and he would have “done the next right thing”…He would have put “one foot in front of the other” and “not used today”.  He would have focused on God’s healing and God’s deliverance.  In the end, Marc needed another Marc to step into his life, to speak a message of deliverance and hope.  He needed a Marc to minister to him and just assure him that if he could just stop using for today, things would get better.  He needed a Marc to tell him in a gravely, rough voice to just “keep holding on until the miracle happens brother…..”. He needed a Marc to love him the way he loved me and my family.  

Ok, so I am getting close to being done, in fact I think I am.  I feel  better.  I wish I was like Nita and could write poetically and eloquently and express just how important this man was to me and my life.  I cannot, will not nor will I ever be able to.  But in the end I think the emotion I feel the most is anger, and confusion.  I am angry he went back to addiction (I know I should not be angry at him, but I am).  

I am confused as well….I talked to Nita about this….I am confused how that in the room today, there were hundreds and hundreds of people that were delivered because of Marc’s ministry.  They are not dead, he is…..He knew how and I am sure he didn’t want to die an addict.   I was granted God’s grace, I accepted it just like he did, but he went back to the madness…..what’s the difference between me and him?  Why was God’s grace “more” for me….I’m not saying this right and I cannot really express what I am saying….but I know, and if Marc was here he would understand what I was tyring to say.  He would probably help me understand it…..

I will miss you Marc, I am sorry the church failed you.  I wish you would have called someone brother.  I know you never, ever chased an addict but I guarantee you that if you would have called anyone in that room today they would have chased you down, thrown you in a truck and locked you up until you experienced the deliverance you preached about all those years….

RIP Marc, you were my brother and friend.
Andy H.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Weeds that Grow

Colossians 1:11
"being Strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great Endurance and Patience,"

I have just had one of those weeks. It has been emotionally tough. I really want to isolate myself when I get like this. I am so scared that I will say or do something that I shouldn't. I have had 2 deaths and some issues on the backside that have really beat me up.

 The problem with sadness is it creeps through the cracks of our life presenting weeds of all different sizes and strengths. You may see sadness as a minor nuisance but when you do not get control of that weed it comes bringing friends.
Friends like anger, bitterness, depression and confusion.

I knew what I really needed to do was run. I knew that running would help release serotonin and that would help balance my emotions more for me.

I needed to run 14 miles. If that didn't purge some issues than I might as well throw in the towel!

I met Jama at the school where we would begin.  Jama is a great runner. I had to swallow my pride and ask if we could add walk breaks in every mile to keep my pace down. I really want to run The Detroit Free Press Marathon. I have resigned to the fact that I am NOT going to run it in the 8's. Right now my main focus is JUST running it. However you cut it, I just want to run it!

I am 3 weeks behind training. I will not have a taper. I am praying for a miracle. I am praying God will keep my body strong and maintained.

My legs in the first few miles really made me nervous. I know that the first 2-4 miles are always my toughest.

Funny, before my watch died I remember seeing mile 4. My thoughts were, "Oh God, How am I going to pull out another 10 miles like this?"  I felt weak and broken.

Our path was mostly dirt roads. Our conversation was sweet and encouraging to one another. It felt so good to have this fellowship with Jama. I was able to drown out all the gibberish in my head.
I didn't even realize how strong I felt till Jama told me our pace. I felt like a rock star! No No, not like Kara Goucher Rock Star!  I felt more Strength and Endurance on this run than I had in a long time.

"In my Weakness He is Strong"
I am not to proud to beg. I need His Power to Strengthen me. I need Him to rebuild me and recover me from ME.
I have to get back up and pull the weeds that I have allowed to manifest. That I have watered and fed.

The course has been one with many obstacles the last couple weeks. I am reminded to be patient and pace myself properly to recover through these difficult stumbling blocks. The great thing is God put a couple people in my path to help pull out my weeds today. They took the time and courage to talk to me and call me.

Maybe you are struggling in the path before you. Maybe you are wounded and having a hard time staying on track. Don't give up. Seek God to strengthen you. Then have patience with yourself to keep moving forward. You don't have to go full steam ahead. Wounds do not always heal fast. It is important to be Patient with yourself, remaining steady with Endurance to finish the course all the way through.

14 MILES! So So happy!!!
Praying for 16 next week!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Seeing the Greatness in the Saddness.

"Between your birthdate and your death date there is a dash." What did you do with your dash? Well done Pastor Marc. Well done.... You impacted me in a way I will never be able to repay. Andys Post on Facebook.

I am just so bitter today. This is me being transparent. I am not all happy and smiley. I am not feeling like a 10. I am not overcome with the feeling of gratitude and thankfulness. I am not, I am sorry I just am not. 

I am ANGRY. 
I am Confused.
I am Lonely.
I am Bitter, Hurt, Discouraged, Saddened...

It is a rough day. A rough week. No one wants to hear Anita whine. Therefore I usually don't. People don't usually come along side me. Because I am really good at covering up the tears with a smile.
I just shrug off any emotion that people wouldn't know what to do with.

It is just assumed I will "Get over it".
It is just assumed "She will be OK".
"Anita is strong, she will be fine."
If I had a dime for every time I have heard this.

I have bad news. I am not always FINE. I make it really easy on a lot of people because I know people don't know how to be there for me if I am not happy.
If I smile all the time I really don't need anyone...

I have struggled all week. I have hidden behind a smile, a joke, a verse or someone else's issues.

I struggle watching how devastating death is. It is a hard blow. It is a punch of the past. It brings up so many memories and emotions that you have tried to plunge down the drain with all that unwanted garbage.

I rushed today to Mark Dalys Memorial from work. Mark was the man that picked up the pieces to my husbands addiction. He was the man that wrapped him loving arms and burly voice around my husband in his depleted and worthless state. He directed Andy to Christ, to Hope, to Healing. He took the time out of his busy pastoral schedule to make Andy feel like he was the most important person out there.
Its been over 9 years since my husband has picked up any drugs or alcohol. I owe that man my marriage. My life. My children's lives.

I sat there next to Andy Alone.
I looked up at my strong husband as tears streamed down his face and his body shaking.
I have sat in this seat so many times.
I have seen addiction steal so many amazing men and woman in my life.
I have had so many in my 40 years of life taken from me due to addiction.

I write. This is what I have always done since I was a child. I write my thoughts and try to counsel myself through my writing. I cant talk about it. No one really wants to talk about it. No one really thinks Anita talks about any type of sadness anyhow. She has it all together.

At the Funeral, people were given 1 minute to share their words about Mark. I remember having a very secret sin that still to this day only a couple people know about. Mark Knew.  I remember he looked me deep in the eyes. So deep that I felt like he was looking through my soul. So deep that I couple feel my heart quicken.
With deep love for me he bluntly called me out. I wanted to crumble. He knew. He knew and he loved me.
He loved me enough to confront me. He was raw and caring. He took the time to honestly see  my broken heart.

He is one of the only people I know that could see behind the smile, see through my smoke and mirrors, the deep pain that I struggled with.

Today, I am angry that addiction could take him. I am reminded again of the power drugs and alcohol have on people. On Strong people, on Beautiful people, on Godly people, on Loving, Kind, Generous and Faithful people.

Andy sat down reading all the notes and verses Mark had given Andy. "Anita, Why? Why couldn't he use these? Why me and not him?"
I just laid my head on his shoulders and said gently, "I don't know."

I think about that with my grandpa I never met, my uncles, my cousins, my mother and my father.
I am so lonely today for family. I miss my family so much. I feel so robbed. I have lived over 20 years with no mother and no father. My parents never got to meet my children, celebrate their monumental moments, see me get married, wipe my tears and allow me to be me.  I never got to do all those things with my parents because I was robbed by addiction.
I am Angry.
I am Lonely.
Addiction Sucks.
I am deeply saddened by the place addiction took a very amazing man. He is in Heaven I know this.
I hate the feelings of depression. It is so hard to see the greatness in the sadness.
Tomorrow is a new day.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Finger up my Nose!

Beautiful Mum from Deb! Feeling LOVED!

We never Facetime. Andy was out of town last night and Face timed Alec. I thought it was so cool so I looked into the screen. As I looked at Andy he just had this big grin on his face. So I started making funny faces at him to make him laugh. I never take myself too serious. So then I stuck my finger up my nose to get him to laugh! Well the laugh was on ME.
Even though Andy never showed any expression, he was devising a plan against me. I had NO idea he took a SCREEN SHOT of me with my finger up my nose! He then preceded to POST IT ON FACEBOOK. I had NO idea. It was 9 o'clock at night,  I was getting the boys off the bed. He then called me to confess AFTER the picture got 2 instant comments from Kirstin H and our Pastor! "She is going to kill you.." He realized he had better take it off.

He sent me the pic. I WAS SO MAD. But then I had to laugh. It is the worst picture in the world but it is pretty funny. Hope you enjoy the laugh! You cant take yourself too serious.

Running with Danielle:

Danielle, my running partner got a new puppy. She invited me over to meet "Tanner" her new furry addition and run at her house. I paced myself all week to have a good run with her today. I quickly discovered it was a GOOD thing. I forgot she lives in the middle of continuous hills. Everywhere HILLS. Rolling, descending, ascending, long, short, a ridiculous amount of HILLS. We were at mile 6 and a car was coming towards us. Danielle could tell I was struggling. She cheered me on saying "That's it, look up to the mailbox." I saw the car and thought "UGH, That's it, run under the bumper of that car!"
It says Heavens Dr. But my body felt like it was in H@$$!
Danielle didn't know I stopped and snapped this pic, I almost died trying to catch back up to her!

Due to my injury, I should not run fast or hills. Because I have been doing this type of easy training for weeks my body gets fatigued so much faster.
I never asked what our pace was or what mile we were at. When we finished Danielle said "Do you want to know how good you did?" I was scared to say yes. My body hated me and my mind was playing tricks on me. Shyly I said yes,  "Our average pace was 8:30!" Danielle said with a big smile.
"What!! no way!" I exclaimed. She continued with the praise adding "..we finished our last 4 miles with a negative split, each mile getting faster, finishing at a little over a 7 minute pace."  I felt so much better knowing why my body felt like it had been pulverized by the local football team.

Hebrews Runner:
This afternoon was my first class I taught for the Homeschool team. It was awesome. I had the best time with the students. I am so excited to go back in 2 weeks. I am teaching them running along with scripture on endurance, courage, nutrition and Running the Race with Christ.
This weeks Scripture is Luke 2:52.

A Case Of Elijah.
I had an epic day today. Everything was spot on. I got over the finger up my nose thing, I had a great run with Danielle, I loved my Class, I even came home to my sister in law, Deb in my driveway with a beautiful gift for me.
Seriously a great day. But then there was some drama. I am not going to get into it. I will just say it stole my thunder. It sucked the Joy out of me without hesitation. I was so hurt by the offensive dialogue. So much that I found myself crying under the Juniper tree like Elijah in 1st Kings chapter 19. I had victory after victory today and yet that quick Satan weaseled in and put me in the shadow of discouragement.

It took a couple hours to come out of it. It helped me to remember a couple things:
  1. You don't have to go to every argument that you are invited to.
  2. Depart from Evil and do Good.
  3. People can think whatever they like. They do not define you, Christ does.
  4. Some people like to live in the land of OFFENSE. They like to be mad, they like to look for reasons to get mad. I hate being mad. I hate being mad at people. I don't like confrontation. I don't like for people to be mad at me especially when you have done nothing intentionally wrong. Its like "I am mad at you, you are wearing pink, I hate that color..." Seriously? Get over it!
  5. You Can't let garbage rent space in your head, It will stink you up and make a stinking mess all around you for others to have to deal with also!
And onward we go! Focusing my Eyes back on Jesus. Getting out of the Juniper Tree and Thanking the Good Lord for all the blessings he gave me today!

And remember if you need a laugh..I have a great picture up top!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Its been a rough one!

For the last 4 weeks my head has been spinning off its axis. Life has been so busy that I have had to put a few things on the back burner:
  • I haven't posted in DailyMile in weeks.
  • I have neglected a lot of my writing in my blog. Responding to comments, Steve's, Carries ect..
  • I have not caught up on my favorite blogs, Carri's or Michelles.
I have these weird habits, they make me work a little more simpler. If I bring something in I take something out.
EXAMPLE- If I add something to the "Junk Drawer" I have to get rid of at least one thing from that drawer.
So I had a few things added to my plate the last couple weeks. Moving, packing, speaking, vacation, kids starting school and teaching a little class, therefore, something had to give in order for me to have a little balance.

I have kept my head above water.  As life is crumbling back in place I am able to see how much God loves me.
I am in awe at the opportunities God has put in my path. Opportunities to Glorify him through the passion he gave me: Running.

This past Monday, I got the blessing to speak to about 100 ladies about Running the Race.
God spoke through me. My words were not the words I had on my notes!I had enough notes to do a 6 week study. I always have more than enough words to use. The problem was I only had 20-25 minutes to speak about 2 of my passions, Running and Christ. (My family is of course my other great passion but we are all so crazy I wouldn't have any focus!) I really had fun!!
My sister in law asked me to teach a 6 week class on running at her Home school team. I entitled it "Hebrews Runners"
I am very excited to share again, Christ and Running.

I am able to breath through the hustle and bustle of life to see how God is using this gift he has given me to share Him. To Glorify Him. It is so exciting.

Tomorrow is my first class. I am looking forward to where God is taking me.

4 Miles with Jama, Maryann and Erin. It was a great time together. I love those girls!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

This and That. Highlights.

We have been in our house just over 2 weeks. In that time we have been unpacking only to repack to go camping and today I worked on more unpacking.

Having unopened boxes and disorganizing is like having a rubber band wound tightly on my wrist. It is nagging and cumbersome.

I ran into one of my clients/running friends on vacation! Melissa.

Going away to Silver Lake Sand Dunes was a great time. Camping is not for the weak. It is a lot of work and you have to be comfortable being dirty.
We had so much fun.

Some of our Highlights:
  • Family time: my brother and sister-in-law came with their 8 kids along with mom and dad.
  • Watching Andy and his brother put the tent and pop up camper together. 
  • Making Hobo pies, Oh my, gluttony at its finest. Oh yeah, back to dirty and sticky!
  • Although, making Reeses peanut butter smores beat the Hobo pies hands down for me. I didn't care that I had marshmallow stuck to my chin and chocolate covering my fingers. I didn't even mind being miserable all night after eating one. I was pretty sick!
  • Going on a late night walk through the woods with Andy, Austin and Juleah, my niece. Andy told this scary story that sounded right out of Forensic Files. I totally fell for it. I kept thinking "Wow! I never heard about this guy!" Austin was clinging to his dad he was so scared. SO fun.
  • Mac Woods Dune ride. I have ridden this several times. What makes it so special to me is bringing someone new along. I love to see the smiles of my family that have never experienced it.

  • Climbing the Dunes. Sand, Sun and Skin. I LOVE the feeling of the sand in my toes and the sun wrapping around my skin.
    Alec, I LOVE this pic of him

    I could stay for hours on the dunes. This is a very special vacation to us. This was Ariel's favorite place to vacation. I thought about her so much. I would just go off on my own to think, to reminisce. I tried not to bring her up to anyone. I wanted to go through so many memories but I just held them all in side. It was lonely in my mind. I helped mom build a sand castle in memory of Ariel. As soon as the tears started to come I choked them back. Mom wanted a picture and I stepped out of her photo. I felt so awkward. To grieve in secret is so difficult, so lonely. To feel like you are not allowed to grieve is a horrible feeling. Everything with Ariel's death has been so hurtful and confusing.
Alec knew I was struggling. I took a picture of him and he posed. I asked why he posed like that, "I did the Ariel Pose for you, mom".

  • We brought all kinds glow in the dark bracelets. Reba, my sister-in-law and her family came with us on another late night walk in the woods. We laughed so hard and had so much fun with 9 kids. It was one of my favorite times. Andy told his story to all the kids this time and added even more details. We looked like a bunch of Glow in the Dark Zombies coming out of the woods.
  • Juleah, my nephew Jo Jo, Nater and I snuck up to the bathrooms to scare Andy coming out. We bent down in the woods to scare them. I had Jo Jo on my back because he didn't have any shoes on. Bent way down low, super quiet, Jo Jo starts farting on me. I couldn't stop laughing and I couldn't get up. I peed my pants in between farts, laughing so hard. BTW..We scared the snot out of Andy!
  • I love to get up early and have a couple minutes of quiet time and coffee, It was so peaceful. I would go for a walk or read until mom and dad came to join me. It was very sweet time.
    Austin took a "Swag' Photo with Maw Maw on her birthday!

    Down the Dunes I go! A lot of Sand in a lot of places!
We had a great vacation. We had fun as a family sharing laughter and making memories that will last a life time.

A little on RUNNING:

I only ran 2 times in the 9 days that followed the Crim. I only ran 1 day on vacation. We were surrounded by hills that I just didn't want to risk my IT Band flaring up.

I ran Wednesday 10 miles.
At mile 2, I saw a van with a cute blond hanging out the window. It was Lacy. A running friend of mine. We chatted a while and off I went. I was very happy with my run.
Today, I was only planning on running 3 miles. I met Jama and Claudia from our runners club and somehow ended up doing 8miles. To prevent injury I walked all the hills and kept my pace way down.

Our Church has a Woman's Group that meets every Monday. They are having a special night this coming Monday. The theme is Running The Race. They have asked me to speak. I enjoy speaking but I am not a good speaker. I get so embarrassed when I hear myself. I am so excited to share my passion. I have been asking God to give me his words to speak.
I am hoping to share how we all are Running the Race. But we are all Running our own Race. I want to use some of the Mantra us Runners use and Give Gods vision on us Running  the Race.

Do you have any thoughts? What would You say it you were to Speak about Running the Race?


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Griving, Gone too soon.

It was several years ago now. It almost feels like a lifetime ago. I never had any reason to know this man who was the leader of our Biker club, HIM, Hogs In Ministry. He was well liked by many while many of the conservative Christians struggled with his preaching tactics and appearance.
I thought he was so transparent it was intriguing.

He used to be part of the 1% bikers. He had many stories to tell before Christ.
Mark was about 5'9 with a raspy voice and a shaved head. I only saw him in blue jeans and leather. I remember seeing the fringe on his leather jacket he wore all the time and thinking he was the only biker I knew that could pull it off.

This man lead our recovery groups. I never thought I would ever get to know Mark Daly in that arena.
My husband came to him  broken and confused. Mark picked my husband up when many deserted him. When others whispered and judged him, Mark comforted him and counseled him.

That's  how people are with Addiction. Everyone has something to say about it. And if you are a Christian, many Christians have even more to say about you. We are so hard on each other. I wish it wasn't so.

But not Mark Daly. In that old raspy voice I could hear him "Brother,...."
He would share his love for people, especially the broken ones. He made you comfortable in your awkwardness. You knew he would protect you and care for you.
It didn't matter the time of day, you could call him up and he would speak into you. He was crazy. He wasn't afraid of anyone or anything. That man would do whatever it took to help you get clean.

He has left this earthly realm. He was an angel in my life and my husbands. He battled many demons. He is fighting no more. I wish I could tell him Thank You one more time.
God put a calling on Mark. My husband and I are forever grateful for all the sacrifice and love for people he gave. I do not know anyone that has ever been able to fill his shoes.

This is another reminder of how Satan wants to kill, rob and destroy our lives. I HATE addiction. Addiction  is not prejudice. Addiction robs families, husbands, wives, children. It hijacks the righteous and the unrighteous. It takes the young, the old, the rich and the poor.
Addiction has no regret or compassion.
Addictions terrorizes and creates chaos.
Addiction knows no boundaries and has no limits.
Addiction doesn't do an audition, it welcomes everyone.

I am angry and sad, another great man is gone.