The sign

A couple of weeks back the doubting Thomas in me asked for a sign…and God delivered..

The story really starts a few days after my doubting post. Paul flew out of a small town airport after visiting with our daughter Angel. He had two connecting flights from there to get to his destination. Each layover was an hour long. He almost missed his second flight. The third flight was considerably delayed due to bad weather from a hurricane.

Paul was in much thought and prayer about this trip. He was going to a business meeting that would require making a decision that he was unsure about…one that could have a big impact on our future. After the third flight was delayed, Paul sat down at the airport bar and struck a conversation with the man sitting next to him. The man started talking about recently being faced with the same decision that Paul was contemplating. Unbeknownst to the stranger, he was an answer to prayer.

Paul did not think that the meeting with the stranger in the airport was a coincidence. He decided to take the fork in the road. I really can’t go into the details at this point…but I can say that having an answer has been freeing…a burden lifted.

The following day, I spoke with my mom on the phone. She told me that my brother Luke wanted to step up as the future guardian of my brother Matt. I instantly felt free. A lifetime of being my brother’s keeper…gone. The chains of being my brother’s lifelong caregiver…broken. The weight of a heavy burden…lifted.

I only have 3 1/2 years of parenting left. Then I only have to be responsible for me.

I feel like a caged bird that has been set free. It’s not that I will leave my cage, but that I can. I will no longer be trapped. For the first time I feel like I can fly unfettered. I never thought that this would be possible.

I kept thinking over the past few weeks that if God can take care of the birds, why can’t He take care of me??

Maybe I am asking too much, but please give me a sign…I’m worried that I have to do this whole life thing alone..

In church on Sunday, a duet sang His Eye is on the Sparrow…The lyrics of the hymn echoed through my mind…I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me..

But I still didn’t get the message until I turned to the last few pages of the bulletin. There was a picture of a bird with a message that said something like…listen and you will hear God speaking..

Matthew 6:26-27   If I just remember this, I feel better.

I finally saw the sign…God does care about me. I might not know where He is leading, but I know that I won’t be traveling alone.

 

 

If running doesn’t kill me, it will make me stronger!

On my way home from work this past week, I followed a drunk driver. He was weaving all over the road, in and out of the ditch almost taking out some signs, just missing mailboxes and garbage bins. I felt anger towards the man in the truck as I thought of the school bus returning the little neighborhood kids meer minutes ago. Then it hit me. I wasn’t safe either. Neither were the other bikers or runners. 

At my last doctors appointment, I was told that I was in great shape. My already low cholesterol levels dropped 50 points. My blood pressure was low. I am the epitome of health (something I always remind the doctors of when I am sick). My weight was perfect. Absolutely everything was wonderful. I attributed this to all of my running. I thought the doctor would prescribe me cigarettes, liquor, and a sedentary lifestyle. Seriously, how else is she going to make money off of me?? Injury, well yes, I suppose there could be that. 

There is no doubt that running has made me stronger and healthier. But my anxious mind also thought about how it could kill me. Here are my 50 ways to kill a runner:

1. Getting mauled by a bear, wolf, or dog. 

2. Getting struck by lightening. 

3. Getting overheated. Warm running days don’t happen that often in WI, but when they do we are not prepared for it. 

4. Freezing to death. 

5. Sweating to death. 

6. Tripping over my own feet and hitting my head on the control panel of my treadmill. 

7. Getting struck in the head by flying debris. This could happen when a truck carrying rocks goes over a bump or when someone tosses a beer bottle out the window. This happens, I see all of the crap that you throw out your window. 

8. Dehydration. 

9. Drunk drivers. I try to run in the mornings to avoid this problem.  

10. Dark trails in the woods that happen to be next to a gun range. What? That is a homicide waiting to happen. 

11. Getting hit by a stray bullet. 

12. Getting attacked by a swarm of angry birds or bees. You never know about the birds and the bees. 

13. Delivery drivers, they are always in a hurry. 

14. Now that I think about it, maybe my mail carrier. She never smiles or waves. 

15. Getting caught in white out conditions from snow and getting lost or hit by a car. 

16. Getting hit by a car. 

17. Getting hit by a car!!

18. Getting hit by a car!!!  At least you have a chance of outrunning the rapist. 

19. Getting swept away by a tornado. 

20. Did I mention flash floods?

21. Slipping on ice and bumping my head. 

22. Those service truck guys who ask for directions. 

23. Electrocution from downed power lines. 

24. Running so fast that people don’t seem to see you. 

25. Items that fall from overhanging trees. 

26. Trying to save a cat from getting hit by a car and getting hit by a car. 

27. New drivers. 

28. Old drivers. 

29. Getting hit by a train. 

30. Getting an infection from all of the chaffing. 

31. Getting West Nile, malaria, or Lyme’s Disease from bugs attracted to a sweaty stinky body. 

32. A deadly sunburn. 

33. Being scared to death by a runner that sneaks up behind you. 

34. Choking on rehydration products. 

35. The smell of stinky sweaty running clothes is enough to kill someone alone. 

36. Getting hit by a school bus due to kids distracting the driver. 

37. Training for a marathon. 

38. Infected bloody toenails 

39. Getting pneumonia from running in the rain. 

40. Running in the dark. 

41. Running barefoot and stepping on dirty needles. 

42. Idiot drivers that are texting. 

43. Women who are doing their hair or makeup while driving because they are late for work again. 

44. New parents distracted by a crying baby or the kid who snuck out of his car seat again. 

45. Is there really nothing good on the radio people who veer the direction they are changing their radio station in. 

46. Did I tell you about the wooded trails?

47. Creepy guys in white unmarked vans. 

48. People so in love they can’t keep their eyes on the road. 

49. Falling over in exhaustion. 

50. Seriously, do you know hard it was coming up with 50 ways to kill a runner???

I used to think that running would prolong my life, but now I am not so sure.