"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, January 16, 2023

Lake Apopka here I COME!


"Your story. Surrendered into the hands of GOD, will have purpose beyond the pain to bring about good." Lysa Terkeurst 

Oh, I have a few significant fears. That feeling that leaves my stomach flipped inside myself. That feeling of overwhelming anxiety with no beginning or end.  
I am not so fearful of life itself. I have seen death in its ugliest form. The whispering voice calling you to quit. My body destroyed, sick, and lifeless. The fearful scream of depression and the hollow voice of shame that haunts you relentlessly. 

I love diving into that next adventure fearlessly. I am not afraid of failure, I feel so liberated and fueled by all I have overcome, it actually excites me. Don't get me wrong, the wounds are still visible, some are still tender to the touch, and some bring me to my knees. 

Loopty Loops 2019
This week I was talking to a girlfriend of mine. Rachel was encouraging her daughter to overcome her fears. 
I listened to Rachel share her very intimate moment with her daughter. She shared a race her and I had teamed up to do while I had cancer. 
It was Loopty Loops. A teamed event of alternating loops running. I was 4 treatments deep, sick, bald and desperately trying to be "normal". As she continued to speak to me, I felt the triggers of those treatments. My mind trailed off remembering how bloated and nauseas I was. That day it was 90' and I had the pressure of running my heart out to not disappoint Rachel, my partner. When I finished running, I would collapse in the chair for 30 minutes while she was running. I never quit smiling; I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me. I wanted to "FEEL" normal, but I was far from that.  
It came down to the last couple loops and we were really close to winning. I had to go back out and try to make it back fast enough for Rachel to go again. I wanted to quit so bad. I was so overheated I was running in a sport bra and shorts that were falling off me I had lost so much weight. I couldn't run that last hill coming in, I could barely walk it. I just wanted to see the finish line and be done with it, but Rachel wanted to be done too. When I saw her she looked at me and rather than quit she took off like a bat out of hell! And we took 1st place because of her last loop. 
"Anita, I told Meghan I wanted to quit but I saw you out there with cancer .....and I couldn't." 
I was reminded the summary of my cancer was NOT about suffering it was about letting the Lord USE my suffering as a testimony. 


I was on the phone facetiming with my big brother yesterday. Bobby kept getting choked up talking about me going through that hell. 
"BOBBY, No, no! The Lord used every part of my cancer for His Glory. I got cancer so the Lord could work through me. He redeemed me, recovered me, I had to go through it all. I am grateful God used me." 
With tears in his eyes, he had to look away. That awkward silence needed to be interrupted, "HEY! don't get me wrong, IT SUCKED, GOD KNOWS it SUCKED SOO BAD but look at the memories I have with YOU because of it, that alone was worth it.." 

3 years later, I am reminded of the impactful memories my cancer brought others, and I smile. I would do it all over again. That hell was one of the best things that could have happened to me. 
It had to happen to me. At the time I couldn't see it. I couldn't see much pass my suffering. 
As my treatments continued and my condition worsened the Lord began to unveil himself in my weakness. 
2 years later I can see the Lord had put me in the belly of the whale. He allowed me to have cancer not because He didn't love me but rather because he LOVED me soo much. He needed me to trust sole on HIM. 
To Depend on HIM.
To Rely on HIM.
To be Obedient to HIM.
To be FEARLESS in HIM. 

"Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential of greatness lives within us." Wilma Rudolph, Olympic Champion. 
RUNDOWN: 
Monday: 16miles, Holdridge
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: GAC, 4running, strength, rowing
Thursday:17miles
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 21miles,
Sunday:8miles
TOTAL MILES: 66miles

I am so excited!! I am running a 30K at Lake Apopka on Sunday. If you remember me in your prayers I would love prayers for strength, perseverance and God Speed. 
Florida is gonna be HOT, but the best part is my big brother is going to be there cheering me on! 

Whatever your going through I encourage you to keep living life fully. Find your smile, embrace yourself because you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are capable of of great and mighty things. 
Keep dreaming.
Keep believing. 
Keep Your FAITH. 


In Peace, not Pieces,
Anita~

Monday, January 9, 2023

The Race of LIFE, 2022 Race Recap.

 "Run Your Own Race" 1 Cor. 9:24
As 2022 came to an end I found myself lingering there. I wanted to slow my pace to embrace all the wonderful moments and even settle down with serenity in the moments that were not so wonderful. 
"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another." Walter Elliot

You see life is really very much like a race. You can train and train for it and yet there will be great pain and great purpose in it all. 
I was taught many years ago you run the first part with your HEAD.
The middle part with your LEGS.
Finish the race with your HEART. 
Last year, as I looked back at my goals, my miles and my races I could see how that strategy worked in my races and in my daily living. 

Life really isn't much different. We all have head knowledge, and we are all growing and learning; that can glide us through life but when life gets tough, we need more than head knowledge.  We can't just coast through life because life doesn't really allow us to. The course of life is full of obstacles and challenges many of us are not prepared for. We have to find that GRIT, that place deep inside us that perseveres, that fights, we have to find our faith, our hope, that is what brings us to the line of victory. 

Reminiscing and recollecting my 2022 has shared many moments I had let slip. My brain has a tendency to "Slip" all on its own. 
I had many encouragements and a significant number of moments that dampened my spirit. 
Each year is altogether different. The encouragements of one year can become the disappointments of another. But truly to live this life I count it ALL JOY. 

"Run the race of life at your own pace." Mr. Digs
2022 Races: 
The way I see it, my measure is NOT in my successes, but in my faithfulness to the LORD. 
2022, I challenged myself with a goal of ONE RACE A MONTH. Truth is as I looked through my calendar, I realized I FAILED! I actually didn't run a race in May, July, or September that I can see. 


January: Yankee Springs
February: Snow Moon Run 25K, Burton Hot fudge 5K
March: Ashville Marathon, Pot-O-Gold 
April: Carpe Diem1/2 marathon. Carpe Noctem 1/2 marathon, Boston Marathon, Pinckney Trail 50K. 
June: Twighlight Zone 102miles
August: Crim 10miler, Redmoon Run 25K
October: Clarkston Back Roads 1/2 marathon, 
November: Turkey Trail Trot, Black toenail trail 1/2 marathon 
December: Out with the Old 5K. 

"Don't compare your situation to somebody else's. You're not running their race. You are running YOUR OWN RACE." 
I am not posting my times, my placement or any accolades associated with each of these races. I am humbled by the opportunity to be able to run and to race. The Lord has given me this gift to glorify Him. Every mile is a GIFT he gives ME. 
I have overcome many challenges in my 49 years of living, and I am humbled every day that the Lord has been so good to me. 

NOW...Just like in a race, YOU don't always win your race, you don't always win your battles, but it isn't in the win, it was in knowing you gave your all. 
And some races...
For me it's in the fight to do my best. To give my all. To try my hardest. 
And some races... I work hard for, some races I go out to have fun, and some races I run with others to encourage and help them. 

One thing about most of us runners, we to race to remind us we are overcomers. We race to push ourselves, to see the end of ourselves. Most of us have been broken and run to remind ourselves we are stronger because of it. That we are not defined by our hang-ups, hardships or hiccups We are reminded of all we have faced, all our battles, all our wounds and all our fears and that is where the courage is birthed to get back up and go again. 
"The race of life is a marathon, not a sprint." Tony Robbins
In Peace, Not Pieces,
Anita~



Thursday, January 5, 2023

2022 Miles: Great and Mighty Miles

 "To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence." Steven Pressfield 



DREAMS we Escape to. 
I vividly remember riding the school bus and looking out the window dreaming as a young child. Like it was yesterday, I can recall my dreams of a different reality. Dreams that would continue with great detail and affection every day creating my own world to escape to. 

Dreams are a great place to escape to especially if your reality is less than pleasant. But the truth of the matter is dreams are not received with a little pixie dust or found at the end of a rainbow.
Dreams are more often than not achieved then received.
My little mind bounces between rational dreaming and creative dreaming. 

2022 was another year of ambitions, of goals, of exciting dreams and even some bad ideas. 
I had a few failures, some tears of disappointment and even some opportunities lost. 
But it starts with a DREAM, With HOPE and With VISION that is just outside of your grasp. 
It is a dream that makes your heart flutter or that makes you question your crazy goal. 
It is the fear of failure that hides in the shadows of your dream, THAT, that is what drives me. 

Competing with others doesn't drive me, competing with myself is where my superpower is. 

2022: ME
Learning to run SOLO with JOY was a goal I continued to follow through with from 2021. When I got cancer, I was so broken, I had to learn how to love the silence. I had to rediscover myself. 
I had to get comfortable with being in the company of one. 
Last year, I continued that journey. I ran with friends and enjoyed that, but I ran a lot by myself. 
  • That meant I had to be accountable to myself
  • I had to follow through with my plans. 
  • I had to push myself
  • I had to be disciplined. 
  • I had to learn to TRUST. 
No excuses. Excuses do not dance with success. 
Positive Energy 
I learned to speak into myself, using my excuses as bait for training harder. 
OVERCOMING. A word of power, reminding and encouraging me I can defeat my handicaps, hang-ups and hardships. 

  1. I wanted to run Boston with Lacey, a 6 year dream come true. A true miracle. 
  2. I wanted to run a 100 miler.
  3. I wanted to pace a race. 
  4. I wanted to volunteer at a race. 
  5. I wanted to pace a friend.
I accomplished it all by the GRACE of GOD. 

MILAGE for 2022
January:221
February:180.5
March:247.7
April:219.64
May:279.5
June:238
July:254.3
August:300.1
September:344.3
October:266.5
November:195
December:186
TOTAL: 2932

Continue to Dare.
Dare yourself to DREAM. 
Humbly go forward to grow, to give and to live life fully. Go forth with NO more excuses, change your paradigm of thinking and keep your faith. 

I finished 2022 praising God. I am His Miracle. I look at this 49-year-old body, aging, sore, beat up but still out there running in HIS NAME. 
I proudly claim Jesus as my strength. 
He is my healer, my redeemer my miracle worker. I looked at those miles again and again as if I was reading them wrong. "How did I RUN those many MILES?' 
AHH, By the GRACE of God I go. GLORY TO GLORY!! 

He took this little pipsqueak and carried her to "Great and Mighty" places! 

"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." Jeremiah 33:3 

My Life Verse. 

In PEACE, NOT PIECES, 
Anita~

(this post took way too long, Ill share my 2022 races this weekend and 2023 goals later)





Monday, December 26, 2022

Suffer now, success later.

"You think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark." Bane

 


I bundled up in my 3 wintery layers, favorite running vest and trail shoes. I packed my gym bag with an apple and threw my hydration vest on top. I was over an hour later than I wanted and rushing out the door would mean the inevitable return to the house for something I forgot, like my new Vo2 mask. 

Andy forgot to give me a Christmas present. It was an Elevation Training Mask. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, I laughed because I knew I would be crying later.

Layered up and ready to use my new training tool I headed to Holly Rec to run the Wilderness loop a couple times. 
As I put the mask over my face, I got tickled with a vision of Alec trying it on when Andy gave it to me on Christmas. Alec was doing push-ups, reciting popular Bane quotes from Batman. It was quite entertaining. 

I heard "You think darkness is your ally..." as I entered the trail. My footprints blazed the path with a smirk on my face as I hoped I wouldn't run into anyone with this goofy looking mask over my face. 


THE Mask: A Torture Tool 
September, I am running a race in Colorado, to prepare for the elevation and thinner air Andy bought me the mask. 
Not even 10 minutes into my run I was reciting my morning scripture, "I am your refuge and your strength..." because I was trying not to go into a full-blown panic attack. 
I couldn't get a full breath due to the restriction of air in the mask and it was at the easiest setting!  I have been training hills to prepare and I could barely run over a speed bump without walking with the mask on. 
My mind was racing, "How am I going to run over 5 more miles with this device strapped to my face?" 
I tried to calm myself down, even with my speaker cranking out my favorite tunes I could hear the desperation in my breathing. 
I wanted so badly to pull the mask off and toss it. I finally hit the first mile at almost 11 minutes. My mind was racing along with my heartrate as I began to make an endurance plan. I needed a plan or I would just quit. I knew I couldn't run the hills or I would never make it out of the woods alive.  I decided to go slow, walk the hills and try to stay calm. 
As I approached 2 miles, I could feel snot starting to drip in the mask, I had felt it but tried to ignore it as it rested on my lips, gross. I had to lift the mask and blow out my nose. Cold fresh air instantly filled my lungs like a lifeline. I felt like I was cheating and quickly put the mask back over my nose. I realized very quickly I needed to blow my nose again. I added to the plan more suffering, only once a mile would I blow my nose. 
As I came to mile 3, I knew I was on the struggle bus. I tried to run as fast as I could on the down hills because the hills were crushing me. I saw a man walking his dog and quickly tried to hide my mask because I looked like a weirdo. But a half a mile later I saw a lady snowshoeing and I didn't want to scare her, so I dropped the mask down and used that as a opportunity to blow another snot rocket. 
Mile 4 was pure agony, or I am a royal wuss. I felt like I was walking more than I was running. I couldn't get my heartrate to come down. It felt like when I had cancer and couldn't control my breathing. I tried to convince myself it was "good training". But then I felt like a masochist because I was in such agony. 
The one good thing about the mask was that it kept my face warm. I tried to think of all the positives. I coached myself into believing how benifial this would be for Run Rabbit Run. 
"SUFFER Now Anita for SUCCESS later." In my oxygen deprived brain I was pretty impressed with my new mantra. 
Almost to mile 5, I saw another hill and began whining as I saw a biker coming down. I grabbed the mask and yanked it under my chin. The guy was really nice and motioned me to keep moving up the hill. He had no idea I wanted to stop and let him pass in weakness, I forced a smile "Thank you, have fun" I faked cheerfulness. But then I got tickled at his response, "You too kiddo"! 
Out of site I quickly tugged the mask over my nose and giggled. 
"Kiddo" baa haa, not too bad for 49 years old! I haven't been called "Kiddo" in 20 years and I definitely didn't feel like a "Kiddo" in my agony. 
Mile 5 came with intensity. That last mile the trail had more traffic on it making it difficult to trudge through. I realized due to the mask I hadn't drank any water or eating anything all morning. 
I came up on a couple with 3 dogs. I saw them before they saw me making it easy to conceal my mask. I was more worried about the dogs freaking out on me with it on. But as soon as I pulled it up, I detected a problem, I couldn't hear my breathing and I wasn't winded. Cold air seeped into the mask, I reached my fingers up and noticed I lost my screen. I was bummed out, I put my fingers over the hole to continue suffering the last mile. My legs felt drained, I was so tired I tried to count my distance to distract me. But with my hand over my face, I made a turn, and my wobble sticks went in a different direction and down I went. I am always trying to find the silver lining and hidden behind the mask I smiled because my fall was cushioned by the snow, and I jumped up quickly to finish. 
Seeing the opening in the trail was like heaven opening up to welcome me home. I hit my watch and ripped that mask off. 
I went to my truck and joyfully tucked the "training tool" in my bag and started my watch for another 6 miles. 

WILDERNESS Trail 12.03 miles
  • First 6 miles: 1:15
  • Second 6 miles: 1:07
  • Total time: 2:22:27
  • Training effect: 4.7
  • Average pace: 11:50
  • Average heart rate: 140 
  • Max heart rate: 165
  • Elevation: 1,093
  • Time in Heart Rate Zones: 
  • *Zone 3: 40:02
  • *Zone 4: 1:19:46
  • *Zone 5: 10:19 
  • Run Time: 2:04:18
  • Walk time: 15:51
  • Idle Time: 2:18
  • Calories burned: 1,055
RUNDOWN: 
"I was wondering what would break first-your spirit...or your body" Bane


Running in the mask today triggered my running with cancer. I couldn't get control of my body. I struggled to control my heartrate, my breathing and even my energy escaped me. My thoughts were intense with fear as I felt myself on the edge of mayhem. I refused to quit. 
With snot dripping down my nose, my eyelashes frozen together, my lungs ready to burst, I refused to break. 
My spirit or my body? It's going to have to be my body. My body has been broken MANY times. I have had people try to break my spirit; I have even had people tell me it is good to be broken. But NO! Only the Lord has that power. 
My spirit or my body? My body is powered by His spirit in me. My Faith. My Trust. My Reverence to Him. My Hope. My Love. 
His Grace. His Mercy. 

Desperately seeking TRAINING tips FOR running in ELEVATION!! 

Has anyone else ran in a Elevation Mask? 


In Peace, Not Peices,
Anita~

 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Rest from War

 "Then the land had rest from war." 


TRUST: from ourselves
Saturday morning, I awoke to a quiet house but there was an unsettling chatter in my heart. 
With my eyes opened, I felt the tears warm on my cheeks, I tried to locate reality but stirred to confusion. 
I quietly snuck out of the bedroom seeking truth because I couldn't trust myself. 
I didn't trust my thoughts, my tears, or my confusion, all I knew was my heart was aching and I was grieving. 
I felt like I had wrestled all night long with grief, I dreamed of my grandma all night and she was alive. 
She was talking to me. I could see her; I could feel her, but I couldn't find her in actuality, and I missed her so much. 
December is a hard month for me, and many. The month of celebrating for so many is also a month of quiet grieving for me. 
TRUST: to others
A few weeks ago, my girlfriends and I went down to Detroit for a holiday event. We started out at Campus Martius to enjoy the city celebrations. 
We walked through an entrance with a security guard sitting behind a table. Us girls had just gotten our photo taken, and the security guard joined in our excitement. She wanted to see our photo and with laughter she commented how adorable we all looked together. 
BUT then she followed it up with "I don't have any close friends, I don't TRUST anyone."  Such a strong statement that made us all want to love on her all the more. 
Trust is invaluable. 

"Then the Land had rest from War." 
I have been reading in Joshua. Before I opened the word I prayed and asked the Lord to reveal His wisdom and understanding to me in the repetitive chapter I was in. 
The last few chapters I had read were composed of wars and land seized and it was a bit of a struggle to get through to be honest. Truth is without coffee I may have fallen asleep, just being honest! But then WOW! My pen was underlining, writing and downloading Gods insights into my heart. My thoughts were spinning as I related to the words of Caleb in the book of Joshua. 

"Nevertheless, my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God fully."  14:8 Caleb to Joshua

"I am 85 years old today. I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in."  14:10-11 Caleb in Faith to continue to fight believing that God would give the Land to the Israelites as The Lord had promised. 
 
"Perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken."  Caleb continues. 

* The Lord gave him the land because of his Faithfulness. 
*Fully following the Lord; In Faith
*The Lord provides strength to conquer more than our fears WITH faith. 
* Sometimes the land of our heart feels like it is constantly in battle. We are at war with ourselves, with others and struggle with who to trust. A war that hardly takes a breath. BUT through faithfulness the Lord provides the proper battles worth fighting for. He delivers not only victories in "those" battles but REST from them also. 

I have jumped in the battlefield, armored up and ready to fight but the war was NOT of God. Truth is when I battle using my faith, trusting God in the battles of life they may not always look like victory but there is PEACE and that is a place of REST. 

The land of my heart seeks rest from constant battling. We live in a battlefield. 
Today it was freezing out. 
I battled where I was going to run, outside in the cold or around and around inside at the track. 
I battled getting to the gym and trying not to make a production of my run. But I prayed before I even had my shoes laced up for the Lord to give me the kind of strength Caleb had at 85.  
Our battles are not always about conflict with others, often times for me it is my internal conflict. 
It is learning to trust myself or like the security guard learning to trust others, that is always a battle. 
Just because people don't necessarily look like they are in a battle doesn't mean the land of their heart is restful. 
As we go through this holiday let us give grace to others, extending compassion and love.  Let us remember the power of a smile, the gift of a kind word. I pray that you find REST in this season.

I would encourage you to read Joshua. This book has encouraged me to fight the good fight with The Lords strength and perseverance.  "Fear Not". 

In peace, not pieces,  
Anita~




 

Monday, December 12, 2022

In my Fear

 "Thus far you shall come, but no farther..." Job 38:11


Is it fear that drives you? 
It does me, when it comes to stepping out of my comfort zone. 
A couple weeks ago, maybe a few now I signed up for a race WAY OUT of my comfort zone. 
Run Rabbit Run 50 out in Colorado. I had my eye on this race all year, knowing it would be like nothing I had ever done. The elevation, the terrain and the weather would all be out of my elements. 

There is something about that, that just scares me. Just being honest. 
In that fear, is where I find my weakness.
In that fear, is where I find my shortcomings. 
In my fear, is where I find my deficiencies. 
In my fear, is where I find my fragility. 
In my fear, is where I find my powerlessness. 

For my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
And I love that place. 

 For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10
In my fear, I push myself afraid of failure. I can accept failure. However, I cannot accept not putting in the work to prevent it. 

JOB 38:11
Today was day three of hard workouts, today was probably one of the hardest running workouts I have done in a while. 
As I reached the top of another God forsaken hill I could hardly breath, think, or make it to the top when I hear "Thus far you shall come but no farther." 
"What? what does that mean?" I winced in agony trying not to collapse. Joe repeated it at the top looking fresh as a daisy while Rachel and I were still contemplating another loop of suffering. 
"Job 38:11" Joe said with a smirk. Rachel and I looked at each other quite shocked that Joe flippantly spouted off this scripture. 
I figured out it meant that was the end of the first loop of our suffering.  While it was taken out of context, I did figure it out!
The top photo is this mornings run in total, Rachels Garmin. 
Bottom left is mine along with my fun run with Andy tonight! 
Bottom right is about the only flat we ran this morning, I was able to take it because I wasn't dying!


HILLS
Hills are my nemesis. I am terrible at running them. My weak link, next to running in the snow.  
I did a lot of praying on the second loop. The three of us ran individually towards the end, each one of us doing our own thing to the end.  Next to praying I continued to remind myself of the elevation I needed to train for Run Rabbit Run in September. 


"The 50 mile race starts bright and early at 6 AM at the Steamboat Springs ski area (elevation, 6,900 feet) on Saturday, September 16th 2023 and proceeds up, up, up to Mount Werner (elevation, 10,568 feet) then goes up and down and up and down some more and then across the Continental Divide to Rabbit Ears Mountain (elevation, 10,500 feet) before heading back and way down to the ski area."

Back to FEAR. 
I am no spring chicken; truth is I am turning 49 this month. Training at this point I feel like fine china.  
I am working doubly as hard to just maintain. 
When I got in the car after running 2 loops, almost 12 miles I was stoked! I DID the hard stuff today. I did it scared and excited and wrapped up in fear and faith. 
I praised God for the strength He gave me. I praised God for the perseverance He provided me. 
I couldn't stop smiling. I went into it so nervous, and I came out of it accomplished. 
Not by my strength, my power, my talent, but by His power through me. 

Fear can drive us.
Fear can lead us.
BUT FEAR DOESN'T HAVE TO OWN US. 



In Peace, Not Pieces, 
Anita~


Thursday, December 1, 2022

"Remember this"

 "You cannot keep people from rejecting you. But you can keep rejections from enraging you." Max Lucado. 


My afternoon appointment cheerfully arrived early. "Jack" is the name I will use to protect him. Jack is 16 at 6'4, tall, slender, loves hockey, athletic and one of my favorites. I have been cutting Jacks hair for a few years now. When he talks he looks directly into your eyes, into your heart with a gentle and excitable character. His parents are divorced, and he lives with his mother.  His mom is beautiful, trying desperately to be a good mother and she is. I fell in love with him the first time I met him, the way he talked about his little brother was so endearing. I could tell his heart was soft, vulnerable, precious. 
Jack comes in towering over me with a genuine welcome that makes me even feel special and I think, "This is my job". 
"HELLO, Jack! How are you?" I look up at him and his smile melts my heart. 
He shares his joys with me, "Hey! I am back on the ice..." 
And we talk about that as I wash his hair, all the little details, because it's always the little things. 

BUT THEN, I bring up those little things from his last appointments, I ask questions. The hard questions, the painful questions, the questions that no one really asks. 
Jacks story is similar to mine. 
Broken.
Painful. 
hurtful. 
A father who struggles and a son who is damaged in his father's pain. 

And Jack talks, and talks, his face is getting redder, "I wouldn't go to his "F-ing grave if he died..." He cried. Like we were the only two in all of the world, he shared his deepest hurts. I knew he was sharing things for the first time and he knew I was safe. I set my scissors down and wrapped my arms around him, "cry, cry, be angry, be mad, be hurt, feel it all, but don't let that anger conquer you...." 
"And remember this, life will make you Bitter or life will make you Better, don't let it make you bitter, don't give it that power...." 

He shared so much more. I shared a small chapter of my story with him, he never thought I had that kind of ugly. "Jack, there are gonna be dark days, I am sorry, there are going to be days that feel like they are never gonna to end, days when everyone feels like they are against you, days when you feel like no one understands, Please Pause. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is truly by the grace of God I carry no bitterness or resentment for the petri dish of chaos, addiction and disfunction I grew up in.  
The truth is they were broken and hurting people themselves. I would give almost anything to hold my mother and tell her "I forgive you mom, I love you so much, you are amazing." If I could just tell her how beautiful she was, how special she was, how valuable she was, If I could just touch her, it never goes away. No bitterness, no anger, just love, so much love for my mother and father. 
Love covers all. Trust me, only the Love of the Lord could soften the heart of a child who lived in addiction, foster homes and abuse.  The Lord redeems and recovers. 

5 thoughts about addiction:
  1. WORDS HURT: "Jack" kept reciting the words his father spoke over him, they haunted him, they broke him, they screamed at him tearing his innocence away. 
  2. Is your own self growth abandoned waiting for others to change? Don't make others your excuse to get healing and growth. 
  3. You do not have to go to every argument your invited to. Learn to walk away. Arguing with addiction, no one comes out uninjured. 
  4. Detachment: I do not get mad and I do not get had. Learn to love with boundaries. 
  5. Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until its faced. 
We should be reminded that it is healthy to react to life's pains, acknowledgment is the direct opposite of denial. 
"Love suffers long and is kind, love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil." Phil 2:14-15.
ABOVE all LOVE.  

RUNDOWN: 
Love does not get bitter. Wounded, hurt, and mistreated it might be, but love will always forgive.  
Sunday: 4 miles GAC
Monday: 7 miles Holdridge
Wednesday: 4miles, strength, row
Thursday: 9mi 
My miles are down but I am embracing it because there are some exciting things for next year. 
BIG SMILES....!! 

In Peace not Pieces, 
Anita~

Danielle and I ran at Kensington today~