July 31, 2012

the little blue box

I picked Ryan up from the airport late Friday night. He was getting home from a trip to Washington DC and New York he had taken for work. In his backpack, safe and protected from the busy airports and crowded subways was a little blue box, a gift for me because he loves me and because he wanted me to feel special.

I have a hard time accepting gifts, a really hard time. I'm not really sure why. I think that I must believe I'm not worthy of the gift, or perhaps that I have to earn the gift myself. Maybe I'm too practical and believe that the monetary value of the gift could better be spent on something else, like toilet paper, or socks. This is an issue.

This is an issue for sure because if I can't accept a nice gift from my husband how am I ever going to really accept Jesus' sacrificial, unconditional act of love on the cross for my sins that I surely don't deserve and for which price was very, very high; His Life.

This makes me sad. I mean, at the root of all of this is ME. My selfishness. My pride. My sin. When I try and make the cross about me, I miss the point that it's about Jesus and his sacrificial death for me that I didn't deserve or earn. He never said, come to Me once you've gotten it all together, have something to offer Me, or have earned My Love. He just said "Come to Me."

Salvation is a gift. I guess I just have a hard time wrapping my head around it sometimes. Salvation and the gift that Ryan got for my while in New York can't be compared to each other. But it did force me see that even if I'm not deserving of the gift, it's still a gift, an act of love, offered to me. All I have to do is take it.

And I did.
And I love it!
Thank you Ryan!

July 30, 2012


"He is so fast!"

I hear these words from people all the time when they hear how fast my husband runs. I nod my head in affirmation and smile, "yes, he is very fast".

In a little over two months Ryan will run his first marathon, 26.2 miles! He is training now and 6 days a week he runs and trains and makes his body faster, stronger.

Two weeks ago he ran the Bowerman 5k. I got shivers just watching him sprint towards the finish line. He is so fast. He finished in 18:25 averaging 5:56 minutes per mile!

Before the race

Sprinting towards the finish line

Smiles after the race
The next day drove out to the Banks Vernonia State Trail so Ryan could do his long run, 15 miles. This was a personal record for distance for him. He did such a great job! I followed him the whole time on my bike. It was such a beautiful day!

He just kept running and I just kept pedaling. I was amazed by the endurance that this man had. I was (and still am) so proud of him! He finished with an average of 7:27 minute mile.

Training is the hard part because is requires ongoing dedication and commitment. So does life. We don't wake up one morning ready to run a marathon, compete in a race, succeed at our job, or be a good spouse. Life takes ongoing dedication and commitment, hard work, tears and sweat. Life is a race. The good stuff comes after the pain and dedication.

As I watch Ryan's dedication to his training I'm so encouraged. I'm encouraged to be disciplined, to be active and move, to push myself past the pain, to test my limits, to become stronger, not just in physical activity but in every aspect of life.

Thank you honey. You make me a better person.