Friday, September 26, 2008

Group Trip

I rode my bike to the library and bought a used copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

I also went to Winco and picked up supper, since I am the only one here. Mr. Sinta comes back tonight from CDA, Abby is at work, and Ryan is on an ROTC weekend. If you must know, I was curious as to what Barbado looks like from the book's description, so I googled it.

Very impressive.

I am thinking that a group trip to Barbados is in order to do book research.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Yesterday, I was able to go on a 3 mile run, which was the recommended mileage for the team. Only the vestiges of The Great Sickness remain.

I plan to run the whole thing on October 5th.

God is so good!

The next big goal will be losing the extra weight that I have been carrying around in my training. Oink, Oink!

Monday, September 22, 2008

That Attitude Thing

It seems that at times, I can go for months without attitude problems. Then, suddenly I am besieged with a long overdue attitude rodeo and roundup in which all of the horses somehow got loose on the trail.

I have been battling a crappy attitude all week. I have stayed up at night, coughing and hacking and repenting and hacking some more. Spiritual onslaughts sometimes seem to be timed to hit with physical challenges. Isn't it easier to crank out some nasty comment if you have a sore neck,or your head hurts and you can't remember the last good night of sleep that you had, and by golly everyone ought to get out of my way. I know that I am not the only one who has been in this arena.

Since I am a woman, I want to get to the root of my attitude, and deal with that root so thoroughly that I can be assured that I am not repressing emotions, but training them so that I never have to face this particular problem again in this lifetime, or at least until next Thursday when I will be tempted to give in to it one more time. (Thank you God that I am not a man, and can be a real person and have thoughts and emotions and can consider football to be an optional part of life, and hunting to be totally unnecessary.)

Secret sins always come out to whack us on the head when we are just about to ascend into heaven, translated like Enoch, just whooshed from earth to heaven in a heartbeat during our morning quiet time. Bitterness, anger, jealousy, the desire for recognition, and the demand for something more or even just something different are all areas in which I have to scout out and recover my own soul daily.

Actually, for the last 18 months, I have been tempted in the area of discontent more than anywhere else. Letting the status quo be good enough when the status quo makes me want to run screaming from the room has been a huge issue. The All-Sufficient One. That is one of God's names for himself. It is not that he gives us a lot of stuff or sends us to the Bahamas in a jet because he loves us so. (If you disagree feel free to send me an H is for Heretic in my comments.) No, he, himself, is more than enough for us in any situation. We don't need to scream when we know that he hears even a whisper or has all of our heartbeats counted. So many horses can be rounded up all at once if I just take the time to really focus on him, understanding the he is present, he is listening and he is responding

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sick and Raining

Well, after an entire of week of being sick, not running, not walking or even riding my bike, I topped it off by missing the Saturday ten mile run because I was too sick to run and because it was raining.

Since I have never trained for a marathon before, I have no idea what this does to my chances for actually completing it on October 5th. I have to believe that taking a rest will be good for me in the end.

That's what I'm hoping.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sick, Sick, Sick

Mr. Sinta gets home tonight. He left Monday morning for a project in another city. It seems like he has been gone a decade, not five days.

Almost as soon as he left, RT became sick with the feverish, headachy, congested, coughing flu. I ran to the store to get some of his favorite things: Mountain Dew and Funyons and other miscellaneous things that have no nutritional value at all, but might cheer up a sick person and keep them from losing too many electrolytes.

Then, I became sick, but I went to school anyway on Tuesday and Thursday. Abby also became sick, so the three of us have been miserable together, and have still all been attending most of our classes. Well, I don't know about RT. We have a don't ask/don't tell policy with things like that with him. At 21, he does not need to have a mother hounding him, and I do not need to sit around wondering if he will ever graduate or just live with us until we throw him out.

One night I took NyQuil and actually slept pretty well. My lungs were even more congested the next day, which is exactly what Grandpa Bob says always happened to him. It lets you sleep at night, but then you are more sick the next day. It is a nasty cycle, and at some point you have to decide if you want sleep more or if you want to recover more. Last night, I opted to recover, which meant that I was absolutely miserable all night, but I feel some better now at 1 p.m. I slept from about 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Two things are worth mentioning in this terrible week of battling the crud.

One is that Aimee brought me a Cool Whip dish full of Brent's homemade chicken noodle soup. He even makes the noodles. It was excellent, and I felt very cared about, but still sick. It is nice to get little assurances like this from time to time that Aimee is well taken care of. Let's be honest. He spoils her royally. He dotes on her. I like seeing that.

The second funny thing is that last night as I was laying in bed, not sleeping, there was a knock on my door. RT came in quite distressed. If you have a weak stomach, at this point I would suggest that you do not continue reading my blog today because what I am about to say is really, really gross and disgusting.

Wow. You are true fans. Okay, here it is: he was distressed because he had just had diarrhea and it was bright neon green. Not being content to share this information with me, he absolutely insisted that I had to come and see it. He also assured me that it did not smell.

I care about each of my children passionately. I want the best for them. I want to protect them from tragedy, but I told him that I was not willing to come and see the contents of the toilet. He insisted again. He was sure that he was really, really sick with something really, really dangerous.

I assured him that I totally believed him that his diarrhea was bright neon green, and I did not need to see it for myself. His testimony was enough for me.

He insisted yet again. Again, I declined and explained that maybe this could result from the infection working its way through his body and also by his consumption of 2 two liter bottles of Mountain Dew and/or Lime Tostitos.

I remember that eventually I convinced him that a. I was not coming to see it, and b. he was not dying.

My own dilemma is that after the 22 mile run, I have not taken a step for 6 days, not even a walk, other than walking to the BSU game. Tomorrow I am supposed to run ten miles. Perspective is a funny thing. Ten miles seemed like a short run on Sunday, and now it looms large on the horizon, nearly overwhelming. I have to keep adjusting my sights, and just take it one run at a time.

I have been thinking lately about how preparing for a marathon kind of mirrors different seasons of our lives.

My sister in law, Sharon, has her hands full at the moment. Her husband is working out of state for the next few months, and will be in Dubai after the first of the year, and her mom is battling cancer. The doctor cannot tell them what the right answers are. They have to make decisions, and no one can tell them what the right decisions are. She is single moming it at the moment and has a lot on her plate. I would say that she is running a spiritual marathon. When you pray today, take some time to pray for Sharon and her mom to run wisely and well in the race that is before them. Thank you true fans!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Psalm 118:5-9
Out of my distress I called on the LORD;
the LORD answered me and set me free.
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The LORD is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.

Instead of looking for a person or a leader whom I can trust in stressful times, I need to learn to call on the Lord because that is far better.

I can choose to put my trust in men, who may or may not disappoint me, or I can take refuge in the LORD. What kind of refuge can a man provide, compared to what the LORD provides? The LORD not only listens to me, but he answers me and takes action on my behalf to set me free. He promises to be on my side, not as merely an observer or a witness, but as my helper.

Tomorrow's results will bear out today's truths. The LORD is with me. I will look in triumph on those who have united to defeat me because of hatred, not because a man or a leader helped me out, but because the LORD helped me out. My enemies might be able to intimidate a man, but they can never intimidate the LORD. Some men might be good to help out in our distress. It would seem that men in positions of power or authority might be more helpful than just a common man, endowed with no power. The point of the verses remains that whatever help men or leaders may be able to lend us, to trust in the LORD is always a step above; it is better.

Take, for instance, the very concept of refuge. The LORD does not say that He will make a refuge for me somewhere, as a man would try to do. The LORD Himself becomes my Refuge, which is far better.

The rub is that we cannot have both. We cannot add trusting man to trusting God and have an equation that equals refuge, freedom, triumph, answers, provision and help. Men may allow it, but God does not. He does not share His glory with anyone. In this Psalm, it is presented as an either/or proposition. If trusting in men and the LORD were a possibility, it would certainly be listed here. There is another reason why we cannot have both; it is the heart of man. The heart was made to focus on one thing at a time. A heart that constantly flits from one source of help to another cannot enter into rest or refuge; a double minded man cannot receive anything from God because it is not in a position to do so.

To enter in to what is better, we begin by calling on the LORD. We continue by affirming our faith in Him, and maintaining our focus on Him. We are finished when He Himself becomes our Refuge.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Emotional Ruler

Today was an emotionally draining day for me. I wish I were a spiritual giant who had life in all of its complexities figured out, and never spent a moment feeling insecure, inadequate, purposeless or afraid.

Here's a thought: even John the Baptist, one of the greatest men who ever lived, had his doubts after six months or more in prison. When he worked through his doubts with a little help from his friends, he was beheaded for telling the truth.

Things could look up for you, but then again...maybe not.

Oh well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Saturday's Mileage

Saturday turned out to be my longest running day ever since I clocked in 22.2 miles in preparation for the Marathon. It was only supposed to be 22 miles, but I missed one of the mile markers on the last leg of the run. Oh well. Since we walked to and from the BSU game that night, I told Mr. Sinta that I think I actually did the full marathon distance over the course of the day.

The first 18 miles included a 9 mile run to Lucky Peak swimming area from Municipal Park, and the return trip. I did not think I would have a running partner, so I brought my iPod, complete with newly downloaded Phil Wickham worship music, which is free from his web site if you want it. Instead, I was able to run with my coach, Lynn, a Christian whom I have known for years. We are both home school moms, our daughters are friends, we have military sons, we used to go to the same church, and our birthdays are exactly two days apart. Now, I will be concise: it was the shortest 18 mile run of my life because we had so much to talk about, and the scenery was beautiful. She was not prepared to go the extra 4, so I ran out an additional 2 (or 2.1) by myself, and then ran back.

Yes, I got kind of goofy during the last four miles. I think that the blood leaves my brain to somehow assist my legs. At mile 21, I started singing the Barry Manilow song, "Can't Live Without You," to the Lord and I was starting to breath in great choking sobs while running because of how emotional I became. I really do love the Lord, and I think it is great to be emotional in our worship expressing that to Him, but when it was all over, I wondered if even the Lord thought it was a little over the top. I will say this in my defense, unlike David, I kept all my clothing on.

I think that part of my extreme thankfulness was because I was actually quite afraid to attempt a 22 mile run, and had begun to doubt that I could do it. The follow up would be that if I could not do a 22 mile run, that I could not do the full 26.2. in October. Finding out that I was able to do it, although I am admittedly very slow, was really a moving experience, no pun intended.

When it was time to bike home, I was a little disoriented and had to back track. Lynn offered to drive me home, but I assured her I would be fine, which I was, once I was headed in the correct direction.

Thankfully, we are now slowing down our mileage in anticipation of the big race, so I only need to go 10 miles next Saturday.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Different Kind of Party

My friend and mentor, Mrs. S. turned 81 this week. The significance of the birthday is not the number of years, but the fact that this was her last birthday. She has terminal cancer. In lieu of that, I wanted to give her a surprise party, so I invited her over for brunch, and began phone and email sleuthing in order to invite some of her oldest friends.

Although she did not expect a party, she was very happily surprised to see everyone when we came in the house. Actually some guests came later, and people had to come and go a little bit, but she was honored that people took time to remember her.

Abby helped me extend the table to its largest, and the counter in the kitchen served as our buffet, holding an amazing amount of food. I didn't really plan any activities other than talking, eating, singing happy birthday and eating cheesecake. Yes, we took pictures. Abby surprised us and played her guitar; it was something amazing that was spread out over five pages. (Villa Lobos?) The ladies really, really liked it.

Mrs. S. is clearing out her household and moving to a small apartment Oct. 1. She gave me some beautiful things to remember her by. One is a hand-painted ceramic plate that is mostly blue and yellow and hangs on the wall. She also sent 3 beautiful matching china tea cups and saucers. We have spent many hours together drinking tea and eating cookies and praying and talking. She has been my dear friend, prayer partner and second mother. She has mentored many intercessors. I told Abby that Mrs. S. is to intercessors as Yoda was to Jedi Knights. She will not be replaced. She also gave me her coffee maker, a very nice one. This is interesting because neither of us are coffee drinkers, but we both love to have dinner parties, and make coffee for guests! Last, but not least, Mrs. S. asked me to take any books that I wanted from her collection that she was discarding. Of course, I have all the Ministry School books waiting for me, and books I already had that I am trying to finish and now, a new and incredibly interesting stack.

It has not really registered with me yet that Mrs. S. is dying. Her oncologist estimates Jan. 1 as her last day. I do not have what it takes to handle this information. Mrs. S. is quite happy and content to be going to be with the Lord, but I cannot say that I am happy to let her go.

Another runner told me recently that so much of distance running is mental that she decides before she starts her run how many miles that she will go. Whenever she gets to that distance, be it 5 or 15, then she is out of energy because that is what she had mentally planned on.

Somehow, I need to be like my running friend and decide in advance that I am going to be able to run the distance with Mrs. S. so that I am ready to let her go, but each time I think of it, I dissolve into tears.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Good Recovery

I have to say that the half marathon run was an okay run, but because of our schedule that day, I was,"rode hard and put away wet." I felt bad for days.

Yesterday, I put in 20 miles with Lana, my normal running partner. It was a tough run, and if she had not been there, I would have quit early and flagged down a car or something. No kidding. The muscles around one hip began to seize up and cause significant pain so that I doubted that I could run at all. We walked for a while, and then decided to try a little faster, easier gait, and when my muscles warmed up again, the problems went away. However, then the knee of my other leg started hurting quite a bit. We gritted it out and actually made the whole 20.

This is really a case of Solomon's, "Two are better than one."

I think the real problem was that I was not mentally geared up to go 20 miles since I had had such a miserable experience the week before, as far as recovery, and I had been questioning why I ever wanted to train for a marathon in the first place.

The truth is, I can't remember; I did it on a whim.

The other truth is, I'm not turning back now.

Lana can't run with me next week, and the marathon pack seems to have thinned to me and one other runner with whom I cannot possibly keep up. Next week will be me, my IPOD, and trusting God is merciful to 48 year old first time marathon runners because we will be doing our highest mileage ever, 22 miles. After that, everything decreases before the actual marathon.

I feel good!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Half-Marathon Story

By all rights, I should be washing my car, but I am devoted to you, dear readers. Know that in my life's priority system, you rate above dead bugs. You're welcome.

First of all, near disaster on my first long distance running event was averted when I remembered to pack my new running shoes. For some reason, I almost totally spaced and left them at home. My excuse is that I usually dress for a race at home, and don't have to bring anything to a race. I packed my water back pack because I fully intended to carry it in the race, and of course, my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bag of gum mi bears. I was really feeling stressed about the race. I do not know why because I had already decided to run it as a training exercise, and not try to go on an ego trip although I was enticed by the fact that there were only 8 or 9 women in my age group running the half. I could imagine myself placing and becoming Pocatello (Idaho) famous. That is a little different than world famous, but just as good in a small town.

The trip from Boise to Pocatello took longer than we planned because all traffic stopped for a fire that was trying to cross the road, and a car that did a serious roll across the median. Eventually we met the Race President at the Red Lion Hotel. He was passing out bags of potatoes and gave us four really cool burlap tote bags filled with raw potatoes and dehydrated hash browns. You gotta love potatoes in this state. The natives are friendly and generous.

I think that I got a total of four hours of sleep before we went down for breakfast. My body is on strike, and does what it wants sleep wise. I seem to have no control over this, other than drinking Diet Pepsi to stay awake in the day time. Yes, I have gone back to caffeine, the drug of choice of sleep deprived women.

I decided at the last minute not to carry my water pack, but to trust that volunteers would provide water, but for some idiotic reason I carried my gummi bears and peanut butter sandwich for the entire 13.1 miles. I don't like the Goo product line, so the gummis actually were very useful energy boost, but the sandwich ended up completely squished and unrecognizable by the time that I tossed it to Mr. Sinta near the end of the race.

Mr. Sinta dropped me off at the bus stop for the runners where I met up with some of the members of my team. The bus drove us for a gruesomely long time. I kept thinking to myself, that this absolutely has to be much, much longer than 13.1 miles. The buses stopped in the middle of nowhere next to a row of about ten potties. If you ever have to go to nowhere, you can take comfort in the fact that they will have plenty of potties. I ended up about tenth in line. When I was second in line, the bus officials told us that there were three minutes until the race started. If there had been a bladder race, I could have won. That is all I will say. My running partner and I made it to the start line with about 45 seconds to spare.

We ran the country course along farms and up and down rolling hills in relatively humane temperature, but with constant sunshine. The only shade in 13.1 miles was the .1 at the end. A special unplanned feature of this race was the pair of turkeys in the middle of the road at about mile 3. Before this, I did not know how LARGE turkeys could get. Only they know why they were in the middle of the road. One lane was reserved for the runners, and the other lane had plenty of cars in it, so we maneuvered carefully around the birds.

TR and I ran together for about 90% of the race. Both of us were missing our actual running partners who did not travel to Pocatello. Our coaches advised us to run only as fast as we could run and still talk. In order to keep a good pace, I make conversation while I am running. Since I ask a great deal of questions, I get to know the people that I run with fairly well, at least on an informational level. I did not know TR at all, so I asked her to tell me about her life. She was pretty brief, a trait I know that Mr. Sinta has wished for 28 years that I would develop. When she was done, TR asked about my life. I was able to share my experience with Jesus, how I was born again. I also had the opportunity to clearly share the gospel, that when Christ died on the cross, He did it for all of us, to pay the penalty for our sins, so that we could be forgiven and have eternal life in Heaven with Him when we die. She was politely interested and even asked a question before we moved on and talked about other things. It is funny to me that I did not orchestrate or even expect an chance to share something of so personal a nature, but I enjoyed talking with her, and hearing about her life as well.

Mr. Sinta drove my yellow car and parked beside the road about halfway through the course to cheer us on. While he was waiting for us he was embarrassed by how many women told him that they liked his car. He pointed out to all of them that it was his wife's car. In Idaho, men are not supposed to drive VW bugs. They drive big man trucks, like Mr. Sinta.

When we got to about mile 12, TR decided to walk, and I did not want to walk, even though I was running to train, so I got ahead and crossed the finish line first. I have no place to boast about this race, but I did run the race and finish the race.

A very kind-hearted photographic service took all of our individual portraits as we were running across the finish line, and it is on line for anyone to see. I could down load it for free. I won't because I do not look like marathon runners are supposed to look, and it is too disappointing. I guess that I thought that anyone who could run a half marathon would be really trim looking. It is just not true. As long as you are willing to carry an extra thirty pounds over the finish line, there is no one there to stop you! Sad, but true. Fat people can run.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Very Brief

Abby and I were running around like crazy on Tuesday to get ready for the Home School Graduation meeting. She was madly searching for AA batteries for her camera because they went out just as we desperately needed to print a portrait for her file. I sent her to the drugstore. She was not very happy with me because she expected me to just "have" one. In this household, AA batteries are harder to keep than fresh flowers. I won't list any names, but I think RT eats them for lunch. They simply do not last.

I was running around the spider-webby basement digging through old boxes trying to find a baby picture of Abby for the yearbook committee. In all of my scrounging, I came up with two. Too late, I realize that most of Abby's baby photos contain her brother and sister because they were always together. Sometimes I think that I did not really give birth to her, but Ryan and Aimee somehow cloned her. I do remember bringing her home from the hospital. They were thrilled to have her! I should remind them.

I grabbed the photo that was in the best condition realizing only later that it was a portrait studio shot from Penney's, and they committee would require a signed release. We will have another go at it another day.

I have said all of that to say that the real find in all of my digging was the Beanie Baby Wedding Album. Yes, in 1999, two of our beanies were married in full dress with a beanie pastor, and actual wedding guests. Grandma and Grandpa were the only guests, but hey, they were really good sports about it! They always are. They are awesome. Anyway, I have photos of the whole thing. Aimee put it together with captions etc., and it is really cute. I laughed and laughed when I found it.

The really funny thing about it is that her own wedding was only 9 years later! How fast they grow up. She and Brent had a real pastor though, and not a beanie pastor. And once again, Grandma and Grandpa came and posed with the wedding party. Having them around makes everything always seem more official. It is nice to have them close enough to do stuff with us.

I should head for bed. I actually slept last night. It was wonderful.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My New Excuse

I finished several partially read books in the last few days in anticipation of starting the School of Ministry. Tonight was our first class, and I received a huge stack of books for the year. I was supposed to run 9 miles today as part of training for the marathon today, and I didn't even get out of the house in my running shoes! I feel a little overwhelmed, but needless to say, I am begging off of blogging for the space of a few more days. I have so much material to blog about that it is difficult not to stop everything else and just blog! Yes, dear readers, you are my captive audience, and I miss telling you the funny and inane and off beat things that dot the landscape of my life.

Okay, so I will give up some sleep since I am having hot flashes anyway at the moment.

After the race, Mr. Sinta and I had to drive from Pocatello to Boise without delay because we were trying to make it back for the Idaho State Game. I had to potty and actually felt a little sick. I needed a bathroom fast so I talked Mr. Sinta into stopping at absolutely the first place, which was an Albertson's.

I love you, Mr. Albertson for having bathrooms and sharing them! However, when I went to the potty, it was taken. Actually both the men's and women's bathrooms were occupied, and a man was waiting. It turned out he was waiting for his girlfriend who was using the men's bathroom. I guessed she did that because the person in the women's bathroom was taking so long. I was right.

I knocked on the women's door. She affirmed her presence. I have cleaned men's bathrooms a lot. I did not want to use one. Eventually, I knocked again. She again affirmed her presence. She took so long that I thought Mr. Sinta would be worrying about me. When this individual finally made her exit, I thought to myself that she was most likely mentally ill. She was middle aged, rotund, red haired with an odd hair style and wore a strange hat which she pulled down to her eyes. In a very odd voice, she told me that it was not very pleasant in the bathroom.

In an act of Christian charity and love, I refrained from any comment.

Now, of course, I can laugh at my predicament, and there are probably dozens of really funny things that I could have said. However, I am tired, and nothing laughable is coming to mind.

Must get ready for bed.