There are things on this side of heaven that leave me in awe.
A morning sunrise of warm amber colors.
An evening sunset painted in pastels.
The silky subtle skin of an infant.
A morning cup of coffee by the campfire camping.
And TREES. I LOVE big billowing oak trees or a majestic hovering willow tree.
I stare in awe of the lofty old tree that sits stoically with his branches reaching out. Once magnificent and strong, the grandfather of trees in the forest. His arms once shelter, his trunk once a ladder for the critters of the woods to scatter up, its leaves once danced in the wind and glistened in the sun, the old oak that once branched out with nothing less than LOVE.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love branches out.
Love is action.
It does not matter what gift you have, if you don't have LOVE, it means nothing.
We are all born with different gifts, different assets, different backgrounds and some of us like me are born just plain DIFFERENT!
Maybe that is why I love trees. Because they have to arise from dirt to grow. I sure can relate.
"Every flower has to grow through some dirt to blossom."
I didn't come from much to have plenty.
I don't have much but I have enough.
I wasn't given anything to have everything.
I have no real gifts.
But I have enough in HIM.
Enough Love to branch out.
Enough Love to forgive, to endure, to have hope, to believe.
This afternoon, I took my sweet friend to lunch, Jean. While we sat outside on the patio of Deer Lake, Jean solemnly says, "Anita, you have a lot of friends, I don't have very many..."
I smiled, "You have me Jean..."
We left to get manicures afterwards, a little date. As I was having the polish put on my nails I looked at little Jean, I thought about her comment at lunch.
We come from completely opposite worlds. She was born from wealth and prestige in California.
I was born from brokenness, out of wedlock, in foster homes and addiction barely able to keep the lights on or pay our lot rent.
I was born from the untouchable places of life so I could reach the ones that feel untouchable themselves.
Love branches out. I looked over at my sweet little Jean and had to choke back the tears.
At the end of the day most of us just want to be loved.
To feel LOVED.
To be LOVED.
To be accepted even when we are different.
LOVE branches out.
BEAR LAKE is less than 3 weeks away.
By the grace of God He has strengthened me and kept me protected and without injury.
Saturday morning I was in a dark place. Burn out is creeping in. I didn't want to run. My training plan had me running 30 miles and I just wanted to crawl back in bed, truth is, I did.
It was after 7am when I made my coffee and opened the bible.
It was shortly after that that Rachel text me to run. I needed the encourament more than ever. I finished my coffee and quiet time before meeting her. But the feeling of anxiety and dread swirled around in my head. I felt like a big baby, I just wanted to cry, I definitely didn't want to run. Nothing in me wanted to run.
But Rachel branched out to invite me not knowing I was struggling.
I ran 30 miles on Saturday. Andy changed his running plans to help me also.
I had to run 13 miles home by myself. I wanted to cut the course and come home. The sun was blazing hot on me and I had no one beside me. "This is life Anita" I said to myself.
No one can do it for you, and it is not meant to be easy or everyone would do it.
I knew I was not alone. I knew God had already given me the strength to finish. I just didn't want to. Welcome to Burn Out. Let the TAPER begin!
The Lord redeemed me to run 10 miles Sunday after church and another 21 miles today with miles of smiles! I am grateful for the hard days so I can embrace the good ones!
Hey! If you have never volunteered at a race and would love to be part of helping out contact ROB the race director for Bear Lake Ultra!
I would LOVE to see some familiar faces out there! And it is an awesome experience!
In Peace, Not peaces,