Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2009 Country Music Half-Marathon—Completed

Krishana, Terah and I were glad to be finished!

On Saturday I completed the Country Music Half-Marathon in Nashville, Tenn. Did any of you run it? I figure there's a good chance, considering there were some 35,000 runners between the marathon and half-marathon. I got almost exactly the same time as on my last half-marathon (2:36 if you must know). But considering the 80 degree temperatures (and one truly evil hill near the end), I'm not disappointed. Not to mention, I got to run with my good friends Krishana and Terah.

There was a wonderful moment near the end of the race. After running up the final hill, I noticed a group of people. They stood at the corner cheering, waving signs and ringing cowbells. "You're looking strong," they shouted. "You're almost there." "Around the corner is all downhill." "Keep going!"

It reminded me of the cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (12:1). The writers of Scripture knew what it was like to be in a race. At that point--when the heat and fatigue and pain are conspiring against you--you really want to give up (at least I do!). You're hot and tired and the effort begins to feel like it's not worth it. But that is when the witnesses remind you: "You're almost there. Don't give up. A prize is waiting for you!"

Completing the race was an accomplishment. (You know this if you read my previous running blog post.) And, for me, it was more remarkable than for some. In 2000, due to a debilitating illness, I could barely stand from a sitting position, let alone run. I wrote about it in "Giving My Dreams." At that time, I may not have dreamed of running a half-marathon, but I dreamed of being independent, finishing school, moving out of my parents' house, getting a good job, being healthy enough to be a wife and mom someday. Those were dreams that God asked me to relinquish:

That night as I lay in bed feeling so helpless, I prayed. I realized I had been ignoring God because I believed He might ask me to do the unthinkable—drop out of school. I didn't believe that God could possibly have anything better for me than what I desired for myself.

That night as my roommate lay sleeping across the room, I agonized before the Lord. I cried out to Him in anguish. This time the solution was not in my pocket. In fact, it seemed far beyond my reach.

As tears rushed down my face, I told my Abba, Daddy, that I would drop out of college if that was His will. This was my Isaac. I knew God wanted me to give Him my future, my hopes and my dreams.

I don't know what your dreams are. Right now you may be ready to quit the race, feeling it's not worth it. Maybe you're at the bottom of that hill, and can't see an end in sight. Keep running! The witnesses are cheering you on. They have been where you are and are waiting to see what God will do in your life as you run faithfully. My witnesses were right: It was all downhill to the finish line, and it felt good to cross it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bekah and Ezra Visit Colorado

Bekah and Ezra at Garden of the Gods.

My sister and brother-in-law are visiting me in Colorado Springs. On Thursday they visited the famous Garden of the Gods where the red rock formations are breathtaking. There they witnessed a proposal and got to take the couple's first engaged photo.

At Shuga's

Thanks to a Spring snowstorm my work shut down yesterday, giving me an extra day to spend with Bekah and Ezra. After sleeping in, we enjoyed a relaxing day before heading to a Stick Horses in Pants improv show at the Stargazers Theatre. After the show we grabbed some Mediterranean fare at Shuga's in downtown Colorado Springs.

More Colorado adventures await us today.

Me and Kevin at Shuga's.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Gathering Celebrates 5 Years

My church recently celebrated 5 years of existence. The testimonies of our congregants tell the story best.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Coming April 17 to Colorado Springs

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

How To Get a Ring By Spring

Statistics show that if you don't find your perfect man by the time you graduate college chances are good you never will. That ship will have sailed. Because of this alarming statistic it is crucial to take stock of your real purpose for pursuing higher education: to catch a fella! Here are four fail-proof steps for getting your MRS. degree:

1. Attend a, Bible college. Be sure it is credentialed for matrimony. Your chosen college should be well-known for some version of the following tagline: "A ring by spring or your money back." It is also helpful if your parents or another married couple you respect met there.

2. Keep studies in their proper place. Adhere to the following rule of thumb: "Grades are not as important as dates." Of course you should strive for academic success. This shows available men that you are motivated and bright. But if your studies are getting in the way of your social life, it may be time to settle...for a lower grade.

3. Whatever you do, do not, and I repeat do NOT let yourself go while you are in college. These are the most attractive years of your life no matter what anyone says. girl I know made this mistake. She quit wearing makeup and doing her hair. As a result, she had zero dates for two and a half years. She did, however, graduate in the top ten percent of her class, but that was little consolation for a ringless finger.

4. If your senior year should come and there are no prospects, do not panic! You are not yet an old maid (that will happen after you graduate). Simply pray more fervently that one of the men you've become chums with during the past three years will suddenly realize you are meant to be his wife! If nothing happens by second semester, seek professional help. Meet with the marriage and family professors and ask them to arrange a marriage. This had been done in the past with surprisingly good results.

[April Fools! Read the rest of the fun here!]