Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

This speaks for itself:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me [Jesus]. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” 
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. 
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. 
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 
“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. 
“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. 
“And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.
John 14:1–30

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend in Pictures

Appetizers and game snacks

All ready for company!

Tracy, Paris, Stephanie, Arthur, and Jo

Jo (first table), then around the table from the far left:
Lucy, Ed, Gavin, Susan, Marilyn, Randy, me, and Katie

Christmas decorations (unlit)

Sullivan, IL, Stuff and Puff 5K

Hardware: 3rd in AG

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Mail Day!


Presents in the mail today!

Although it rained most of the day, it cleared up a little in the early afternoon and I got to see a rainbow—awesome! Then I got home to some good mail—a pan, mixing bowls, measuring cups, a hot pad, and a spatula, all of which I'd sent in for as a rebate from some diapers I bought for my sister's little one; and quite a few checks for baby formula, which will also go to my sister. I like getting things in return for buying stuff that's needed! I swam and lunch and did 3×30 at CSY after work; all in all, it was a good day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Never Once

The peon "crown"

Today was game day at lunch at work. Five of us got together and played Dalmuti. You can be either a Dalmuti (good!) or a Peon (bad!), and I ended up as the lowest of the low (Greater Peon) and earned a "crown" for my losing efforts. The loser gets the worker hat. The winner gets the real crown (from Burger King), and hopefully I will earn that back next week.

In other news, today is a rest day. Hooray! And here's today's inspirational song, by Matt Redman:

"Never Once"

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Humid Run

Today ended up being quite dreary. When I woke up, I checked the weather and saw that it was 62* with 75% humidity. I knew that meant rain, but it was also a great time to get in a good humid run. So I set out without a route in mind and arrived home 6.7 miles later, wet and happy. Stats: 6.2 miles, 52:33, 8:28 pace (6:44 best), 173 HR (188 max), 636’ ascent, 603’ descent.

  • Mile 1: 8:15
  • Mile 2: 8:14
  • Mile 3: 8:11
  • Mile 4: 8:22
  • Mile 5: 9:09 (aid station/bathroom break at Aspen Grove Park)
  • Mile 6: 8:41
  • Mile 6.2: 1:37 (8:03 pace)

Also, because it was not so nice outside, I got some chores done around the house, watched the Packers game with the family, and went to church for a worship and baptism service. That was so awesome—God is doing some amazing work in our church and in the people there, and it was so neat to hear kids and adults both talk about His faithfulness through good and bad times. And we have some very talented song writers and leaders at our church as well, and I loved being able to sing about God’s faithfulness and love as well. God is good, and life is good because He is over all!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Enjoying the sunshine!

I got to sleep in this morning and it was wonderful! Then, after a bit of time at work, I stopped at Radnor Lake for a little hike. I’d love to be able to go to Percy Warner, but it’s so far away that Radnor is second best and is still beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors! I got a lot done the rest of the day and am closer to getting all my Christmas presents for others!

 I took the ridge trail

Turtles...there were a few deer out, too

Saturday started a little early with a workout: 10-6-3 EDI at CSY (lunge with RL, GHR to top, squat with stick, curl w/ 12lb, bench w/ 45lb, front delt w/ 10lb). Then I went to a farm in the Murfreesboro area to watch some cyclocross racing. Lee and Cali raced early, and then Kat raced a little later. After they’d finished, Kat, Shelly, Marsha, Parri, Val, Jonell, and I had a great ride to celebrate Shelly’s and Jonell’s birthdays. It was another beautiful day, and the ride was fabulous!



Stats: 23.57 miles, 1:20:51, 17.5 avg (33.3 max), 107 HR (169 max), 848’ ascent, 863’ descent.

This was a great week to grocery shop, so I spent a lot more than normal but I also saved a bunch and got lots of real food. I don’t have pictures of the food, but here’s the list of food and savings:
  • Product (#): OOP (full price; saved $; Qs)
  • Transaction 1:
    • Publix frozen turkey (1): $7.73 (19.52; saved 11.79e)
    • Green Giant frozen veggies (6): $4.77 (11.94; saved 7.17; BOGO, 2 × $0.60/3 Qs)
    • Smuckers peanut butter (2): $5.98
    • Betty Crocker cake mix (2): $0.94 (3.38; saved 2.44; BOGO, $0.75/2 Q)
    • Nestle baking chips (7): $7.01 (20.51; saved 13.50; BOGO, 2 × $0.50/2 Qs doubled, $1.25/3 Q)
    • Spinach (2): $4.00 (5.38; saved 1.38; BOGO)
    • Broccoli: $2.50 (2.69; saved 0.19)
    • Cucumbers (2): $1.49
    • Green peppers: $3.99
  • Transaction 2:
    • Reddi Whip (2): $3.00 (5.38; saved 2.38; 2 × $0.25/1 Qs doubled)
    • Sundown vitamins (4): $1.96 (11.96; $6/2 PQs, 4 × $1/1 Qs)
    • Publix chocolate milk: $1.09
    • Almond Breeze milk: $3.49
    • Breyers ice cream (2): $4.49 (11.98; saved 7.49; $1.50/2 Qs)
    • Sargento cheese (4): $6.38 (15.96; saved 9.58; BOGO, 2 × $0.40/2 Qs doubled)
    • Bird’s Eye frozen veggies (2): $0.89 (3.98; saved 3.09; BOGO 2 × $0.55/1 Qs)
    • Carrots: $0.85 (1.69; saved 0.84; BOGO)
    • Celery (2): $1.69 (3.38; saved 1.69; BOGO)
    • Publix butter (2): $4.00 (6.78; saved 2.78)
    • Publix eggs (2): free (3.98; saved 3.98; 2 × free WYB 2 Sargento cheese PQ)
    • Coke 12pk (4): $9.00 (16.00; saved 7.00; 2 × $1.50/2 Diet Coke PQ, B3G1 promo)
  • Publix Q $3/30 × 2
  • Transaction 1: $35.41
  • Tax transaction 1: $3.21
  • Saved from transaction 1: $39.40
  • Transaction 2: $33.84
  • Tax transaction 2: $4.42
  • Saved from transaction 2: $51.79
  • Total spent: $36.62 + $38.26 = $74.88
  • Total saved: $39.40 + $51.79 = $91.19
  • If bought at full price: $166.07
  • Percentage saved: 55%

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fun Reads

I heard these this morning from David Jeremiah and Ravi Zacharias. Enjoy!

Lines from an Unclaimed Rib
Oh, unknown man whose rib I am,
  Why don't you come for me?
A lonely, homesick rib I am,
  That would with others be!
    I want to wed—
    There now, it's said!
      (I won't deny and fib)—
I want my man to come at once and claim
       His rib!

Some men have thought that I was theirs,
  But only for a bit;
We found out soon it wouldn't do;
  We didn't seem to fit.
    There's just one place,
    The only space
      I'll fit—(I will not fib)
I want that man to come at once and claim
       His rib!

Oh, don't you sometimes feel a lack,
  A new rib needed there?
It's I! Do come and get me soon
  Before I have gray hair!
    Come get me dear!
    I'm homesick here;
     I want—(and I'll not fib)—
I want my man to come at once and claim
      His rib!
– The Independent, Volume 69 

If anything weakens your reasoning, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes away your relish for spiritual things—in short, if anything increases the authority and the power of the flesh over the spirit—that to you becomes sin, however good it is in itself. – Suzanna Wesley

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Apples and Trees

Lauren coring apples...and our pile of peels, cored and cut apples, and dehydrating apples in the background

Friday was a good day. It started out with a few little gifts to a few of my coworkers, and that made me have a good attitude to start out the day. I also met with a friend for lunch, got in a good run, ran lots of errands, and got some other stuff done.

Saturday was a good day too. I got up and rode a hard ride on the trainer. It was nice enough outside, but I couldn't wait too long to ride since I had to go out to Nolensville to watch a flag football game. And it was beautiful! I worked on some Christmas presents while enjoying the sunshine and spent some time playing football with boys who were 6, 7, 8, 8, and 10. Fun times! After that, Lauren, Aunt Renee, and I had a full afternoon of apple-baking: apple sauce, apple pie filling, fried apple peels, dried apples, and more. And we sampled everything!

These look so pretty, but they became tasty applesauce

Sunday was supposed to hold a ride with a couple of my teammates, but everyone bailed on me. So I was left with a route and 25-30–mph wind gusts—that's windy! I hit some good hills, ending on Longstreet Drive, which has grades up to 20%! But I made it up and took a picture of a house for sale at the top as proof that I made it.

A house for sale on Longstreet Drive...proof that I made it up!

After a nice little nap, I headed to Farkas' again to help plant trees. They're nice and heavy and it took Luke, Uncle John, me, the trailer, and another rolling thing to move both of them. But we were successful and they are currently being watered.

Here's some info on Longstreet Drive from my other rides up:


MapMyRide says that I climbed only 584' and descended 587'. That can't be right—it must measure only the gray areas! I'll have to see what my Garmin says.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Good Mail Day!

I rode my bike this morning, worked, swam at lunch, worked, worked some more, and checked my mail on my way home. I had some good stuff, so I went recycling and came home with lots of good stuff! Pretty much I made $16 in my half-hour of trash-can-digging.

Galleria Mall Qs, Kohls Qs, a Publix Q, formula Qs for my sister's friend, Kroger Qs, and MQs—score!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ragnar Relay (196 by 12)

At the start line

I did the Ragnar Relay last year and hadn’t considered doing it this year. However, when Anna asked me to take her place on team The Village People, I happily said yes. My team was a normal, 12-person (that is, not an ultra, 6-person) team, which meant that instead of running 5 or 6 legs, I ran only 3. And instead of having to be in one van with 5 other people the whole time, I could choose to stay in our first vehicle or move into the second vehicle. So there were definitely some benefits!

In the van ready to go

We met early on Friday morning and drove to Chattanooga, where the race started. After we registered, our first runner (Maria) started at 8:30am, we got into our vans, and Van 1 headed to Exchange 1. (One runner goes from Start to Exchange 1, another runs from Exchange 1 to Exchange 2, the next goes from Exchange 2 to Exchange 3, and so on until the finish, which is at the end of the thirty-sixth leg. The runners in Van 1 run the first 6 legs, the runners in Van 2 run the next 6, and so on until the end, when everyone can run across the finish line together.) My first leg was Leg 3, a 5.6-mile run that was mostly all downhill and that I started at 10:46am—it was a great way to start! Zac, our second runner, had done all the hard work, and I got the reward. It was beautiful (albeit a little chilly), it was fast, and it was fun.

The Van 2 crew

After my run, I stayed in Van 1 until Sarah D, Ashley, and Casey all finished their first legs and we arrived at Exchange 6. There, we met up with our other van and I switched vans to stay with the action. Bryan, Jon, Amanda, Heather, Sarah S, and Andrea all ran their legs well (one leg was a tough trek up Monteagle!), and we met Van 1 again at Exchange 12. We continued running in the same order, so I had Leg 15 next, which was a 6.75-mile rolling-to-hilly run in the dark that I started at 8:17pm. I had run into the guys from my team last year before I began my 1st run, so I’d been looking for them at other exchanges—we seemed to have runners around the same abilities, and we were often at exchanges at the same time. Before I began Leg 15, Brad was there waiting for his turn so that he could run Leg 15 as well. I was happy to know that a friend was coming up behind me (who’d catch me) and that I’d have someone to run the night run with. It was such a blessing to have company for nearly 3 miles, and that made the run go by pretty fast. Then it was back in the van while our other 3 runners finished their legs and we cheered them on.

We arrived at Exchange 18 around 11:15pm, and I again decided to switch vans and see if I could get a little sleep in the back of the 15-passenger van (that had only 6 of us in it). I slept about 40 minutes, but I laid down for a long time just trying to relax and sleep if I could. We arrived at Exchange 24 around 3am, and I moved to the other van. All that moving around was not bad at all. I’d managed to fit everything into a backpack and a cooler, and I took only my cooler with me when I moved back and forth. I figured that if I had food and my phone with me, I’d be OK regardless of where I was. Plus I enjoyed being with the runners and in the “awake” vehicle.

We were nearly 30 minutes ahead of schedule when I started Leg 27, my final run; it was still (and going to remain) dark but also was slightly warmer than I’d expected. This run was for me definitely the hardest of the three mainly because of the hard work leading up to this point and the lack of sleep. I began the 6-mile run at 4:22am, and it was a similar rolling-to-hilly road as the earlier leg. It was also one I’d run last year and a road that I recognized (even though it was dark)—we were nearing Franklin! I definitely took this run a little slower than the first two, just enjoying being outside, running, having fun. It was dark and everyone looked alike, so although they’d been planning to support me halfway through, my teammates never saw me and were waiting at the finish of that leg. Thankfully, everyone out there is so supportive of everyone else—when you’re running at 4am, there’s a camaraderie among everyone.

Our van’s last leg ended at Exchange 30 in Franklin. Healthways was such a welcome, familiar sight! At this point, I didn’t switch vans but rather got my car and went home, where I fell asleep and missed my team’s finish and all the finish-line celebrations. We finished in 29:12:02, about 30 minutes faster than our projected finish time, and team #93 of 211 finishing teams.

The finish line (Thanks to Heather for the pics)

Here are some random notes; they don’t all need their own paragraph, but I want to remember them.
  • This year, I took much less gear than last year (a good idea, since we had twice as many people) and did not prepare quite as well for the weather (I’d planned for warmer).
  • I thought it was going to be warmer than it was and was happy I’d remembered hand warmers.
  • The scenery was beautiful—this is the perfect time to be outside in Tennessee!
  • I am happy with how I ran, even though each leg was slower than the one before—I think I was just enjoying it more and taking it all in. Plus I started out so fast that I’d have felt good about anything after that!
  • We had an earlier start time than last year and that was so nice! There were tons of people around on the road and at every exchange.
  • Running at night when you can see people in front of you is SO MUCH BETTER than running when no one is around.
  • Being a part of a 12-person team is quite a bit less intense than being a part of a 6-person team; each has their benefits, and I’d probably do either one again.
  • I didn’t see any big wild animals in the middle of the night; the only oddities of note are a train at Cox and McDaniel in Arrington (which didn’t hold up Sarah D) and an incoming helicopter at the hospital in Sewanee (which didn’t hold up Sarah S).
  • Because I kept switching vans, I never really spent any time at the major exchanges, so I’m not sure what they were like or what there was to do.

Here are the stats from my three runs:
  • Leg 3: 10:46am Friday; 40:41, 5.6 miles, 7:14 pace, 144 HR (182 max), 954’ ascent, 2054’ descent
  • Leg 15: 8:17pm Friday; 56:41, 6.75 miles, 8:24 pace, 184 HR (192 max), 612’ ascent, 560’ descent
  • Leg 27: 4:22am Saturday; 54:31, 6.0 miles, 9:06 pace, 171 HR (187 max), 507’ ascent, 488’ descent
  • Totals: 2:31:52, 18.35 miles, 8:16 pace, 2073’ ascent, 3102’ descent