Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blue Bell at the Finish Line

Oh my goodness - a very cold wind was blowing 5,000 miles an hour this morning in downtown Fort Worth. Johnny and I parked the car (which was rather tricky since there were over 18,000 people --not an exaggeration though I am prone to writing them -- running in 5 different races today) and were just about blown over. We walked over to the race tent and huddled over a heater until almost race time. When we walked down the block to turn on the street where the starting line was I was amazed by the sea of people. Someone behind us yelled, "huddle up to stay warm." We chatted with some of the people around us and I grew more and more excited. We faintly heard the singing of the national anthem and could hear the sound of someone making some announcements but could not make out what was being said. Then, we were off. Well, not immediately because of the bazillions of people in front of us. I felt really good and I think the wind just about carried me down the first block. Then, we turned. Uphill. By that time my toes were completely frozen. We did get passed by some people but we passed some people, too. My goal was not to walk at all and to come in under 35 minutes. Almost at the end of the race we turned a corner and had to go uphill. Ugh! I heard a dad encourage his young son and it encouraged me, too! Plus, Johnny was coaching me along the whole way. There was no way he was letting me stop! I started down the home stretch and when I first spotted the race clock it read 33:21. Then I knew it, I could do it -- finish under 35! I sped up a little and crossed the finish line when the clock read 34:08. Johnny let me finish in front of him, too. He is so chivalrous! My actual race time was 33:34. (My race time didn't actually start until I crossed the starting line which is why there is a discrepancy in the times.) I was 2049th out of 6,899 participants!

The sense of accomplishment and personal pride was overwhelming. It felt so good to have a goal, work for it, then achieve it. The great thing about running is that I wasn't measuring myself by anyone else. I knew what I could achieve and that's what I was working for. Success is powerful. Yes, it can be misused and abused. But, success used as a motivator to push harder, dream bigger is powerful.

There are no prizes for 2049th place in the Cowtown 5K. I did get a food bag with some Blue Bell in it. In my book, running 3.1 miles for a little Blue Bell and the satisfaction of doing the best I could is all I need.

Serving the King,


Friday, February 27, 2009

Countdown to Cowtown - Almost Race Time

Johnny and I went over to Fort Worth tonight and picked up our race packets. We walked around the race tent, talked to some vendors, and soaked in some pre-race ambiance. Then we walked across the street and ate some dinner before we came home. I've pinned my race number to my new, red UnderArmor shirt (cuz it's gonna be chilly in the morning) and put my time tag on my favorite Nike running shoes. OH MY GOODNESS - I am so excited about the Big Cowtown 5K tomorrow! It's my very first time to run in an official 5K with an official race number and time tag.

I feel so blessed to be doing something new. Johnny and I really have so much fun together and I'm thankful that we'll be running together tomorrow.

Running the Race,


Thursday, February 26, 2009


Today my firstborn in nineteen. Nineteen. And, he wasn't in his bed this morning so my husband and I could go bursting in his room to sing the happy birthday song to him. Instead, I wished him happy birthday on facebook. facebook. That's how I stalk my children. It's a well-known fact that I stalk my children on facebook, I've confessed here before. I did notice he had a status change when I stopped by there this morning... (and he was up until the wee hours of the morning...I hope he made it to class this morning)

We have this wacky tradition in our family that we (Johnny and I) tell our children their "birth story" on their birthday. They've heard it before, they groan when it starts, but it's our thing. So, I'm pondering this morning if I'll tell the college boy his birth story when I see him at dinner tonight. I mean, he's in college, for heaven's sake. And now he's nineteen. And, he's bringing a new friend. This thought should not be filling my head when I have retreat work to do but I have to ask myself, when do they outgrow the telling of the birth story? (when they were 5, you might be thinking -- go away!) Did you happen to see that episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" when Raymond could not function on his birthday because his mom didn't give him his "birth-minute kiss"? Wouldn't that be creepy if I'm still telling the birth story to my kids when they are adults with their own families?

To tell or not to tell....that's the question.

Serving the King,


Monday, February 23, 2009

Countdown to Cowtown

Johnny and I are running in the Cowtown 5K this coming Saturday! I am so excited. 5K is just my starting place...maybe next year I'll do the whole marathon. Johnny and I do hope to run in a 10K that will be put on by my brother's running club later in the fall. But, for now, I'm just hoping to reach my goal of running the 5K in under 35 minutes. Now, for you seious runners, you may scoff at my 35 minute goal. Look, folks, when I signed up and started training I couldn't even run 1 mile without having to walk.

I was out running this morning and thinking about God and the outdoors and goal-setting. Sometimes I forget what it is that I love about running. First of all, I'm an outdoor-lovin' kind of gal. Second of all, I really like how I feel when I'm done. Thirdly, but not necessarily lastly cuz I could go on & on about running, I like the quietness, the communication with God, and the freedom of it. (was that 3 things under thirdly?) Here are my thoughts today, my last Monday of training before the big race:

Goal-setting is good. Our son told us yesterday at lunch that his college roommate has made goals for every part of his life for this semester. Goals keep us focused and moving forward in the right direction. They give us purpose. When I'm attempting to run but haven't set any particular goal, if I feel tired then I'll just walk. I won't necessarily push myself. But, when I've got a goal set that is looming before me, I'll still go out on that day that I don't particularly feel like it. I'll go to the gym and run on the treadmill even if I don't want to when the weather is bad.

Goals help us stay focused even when we have setbacks. If you were reading last week and know about my fall in the garage, then you might guess that I'm a bit off my training schedule since I didn't really run last week. Sometimes a setback might make us want to give up, think that our goal is unattainable. Getting off track can be really discouraging. But, the Cowtown is happening this weekend whether I fell or not. Will I let a little fall in the garage keep me from getting up Saturday morning, lacing up my running shoes, and accomplishing what I set out to accomplish?

Goals help us move forward. Sometimes when I'm running I'll get a sidestitch. If I'm not training I might just decide to walk (cause that's easier and makes me feel better). However, when I have a goal I'm trying to make for that day, then I will concentrate more on my breathing and keep running until the sidestitch goes away. When those hard times come, disappointments happen, it can be so easy to focus on the hard thing or the disappointment. That's when you gotta focus on the goal that's ahead instead.

It's a good idea to share your goals with someone. I really like running with Johnny. Even though I didn't have a great time today out on my run, I feel confident that I will reach my goal this weekend cuz I always run faster when I run with Johnny. He pushes me, he encourages me, he holds me accountable. Even on Saturday, I know he could run the Cowtown way faster than me. He's not doing it to see how fast he can run it -- he's doing it to help me reach my goal. Sometimes it seems safer to keep our goals to ourself. If we don't tell, then no one will know if we don't reach it, if we happen to fail along the way. The flip side is that we don't have the encouragement or the strength that another person gives us.

Be reasonable in goal-setting. I used to be able to run 3.1 miles in just under 28 minutes (and, kids, that's about the fastest ever for me....ok, I know I'm not burning up the road or setting any speed records but that was a good time for me) and I would have loved for my goal for this race to be 3.1 in under 30 minutes. I knew that was a pretty lofty goal for this season in my life. Make your goals attainable. Not easy or something that doesn't require effort, but something that is realistic. When I reach my goal of under 35 minutes this weekend, then it will inspire me to set a higher goal for the next time.

Keep God in focus in goal-setting. I love to talk to God when I'm out running. Where I used to run in Odessa I could talk out-loud and no one was around to hear me. I don't really have the luxury here....especially at the gym. Sometimes I am afraid that I've said something out loud that I didn't mean to. Anyway, my mind seems clear when I'm running. All the laundry or dirty dishes or dusty pieces of furniture are not distracting me. It's just me and Him. And, truthfully, the purpose of running is to stay healthy and fit -- especially at this stage in my life -- which makes me more useful in God's kingdom. The better I feel physically, the more I can accomplish for kingdom purposes.

So, tomorrow I'll be at the gym doing my speed workout cuz that's what I do on Tuesday when I'm training for a race, trying to reach my goal. What will you be doing tomorrow to reach your goals?

Stay focused, push through the hardships & distractions, find your accountability partner, talk to Your Heavenly Father about it.

Serving the King,


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I know you've been on the edge of your seat, waiting to find out how I am...I'm fine, thank you very much. Actually, I was pretty good on Monday but Jessica talked me into taking one crutch with us to the basketball game Monday night. She said I looked "awkward" because I was limping. Yeah, like walking with one crutch didn't make me look awkward at all. AND, I had to tell 5,000 people (a mild exaggeration) about my fall in the garage.

Not only am I recovered from my fall, I am just about recovered from a dark mood I've been in lately. I've been letting some circumstances around me get to me. I loved it when Beth Moore said in the video session in class today (spoiler alert....if you haven't watched session 4 of the Esther study yet then you may want to stop reading NOW) that "if" became an acrostic for "I Fear." What if, what if, what if? Girls, friends and readers, sometimes I fear. Most (if not all) are not even realistic fears. They creep into my thoughts, into my day, into my life and, at times, are overwhelming. Even when I know the right answers, know which Scripture to turn to, know that God is bigger than all of it, sometimes getting that knowledge from my head and into the control room of my life is difficult. It's like there's a fog and I can't get to the right answers.

I am so thankful, beside myself grateful, that God is patient. He really is good.

"O taste and see that hte Lord is good; how blessed is the man (woman) who takes refuge in Him!" Psalm 34:8

Serving the King,


Monday, February 16, 2009

Falling Down

Yesterday was a less than spectacular day. The sermon at church was awesome and that, honestly, was the highlight of my day. My heart is heavy over some things some friends are going through -- big, life-changing things. I stayed after class yesterday and talked with one of the ladies in my class. Life is hard, at times super hard. There aren't any answers I can give this side of heaven. There's not anything I can do to fix things. Prayer is my only resource.

I got home from church and my lunch that I left in the crockpot was not done. I underestimated the cooking time. The younger 2 kids were gone with friends but the college boy was here with a friend. So, we took them out to a nice, quiet Italian place near our house. It was delicious but not a home-cooked meal for my college boy. When we got home from the restaurant I got out of the car and grabbed a book that I left in there when we went to Amarillo a few days ago. I walked around the car, looking at the book, and FELL DOWN. Yes, I stepped off the edge of the garage and fell. Ugh! I turned one ankle and skinned my other knee. I felt like an old lady. My son then picked me up and carried me in the house. My son, whom I gave birth to, picked me up and carried me in the house like a big ole baby.

I really don't know what else to say about that. It was totally humiliating. Then, my daughter came home and laughed at me because I didn't know how to use crutches. Don't think I've ever had to do that before. She said, "Just sit down and let me show you how to use those." Then she watched me awkwardly attempting to get across the room and worried that I was going to fall down again.

How did I, the mom, the carrier of children and the one who picked up kids with skinned knees and told them they were ok, the instructor of how to do things, become the one that was being carried and instructed?

I hate falling down. I hate feeling helpless and slow and being dependent on these crutches. Frustration. The only good thing is I have a perfect excuse for not cleaning house, doing laundry, or buying groceries today. And maybe you know how I feel about that. (elated!)

Serving the King (even though confined to a chair),


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Just Killin' Time

I'm just sitting here waiting for the glass man to show up to replace my window so I thought I'd stop by. Again... 2 days in a row... What's the world coming to? I can't really get too involved in anything else because, duh, I'm waiting for the glass man and as soon as he leaves I'm meeting a friend for coffee. In fact, I hope he hurries cuz I don't want to miss my coffee date! I've already been thinking about what I'll order. Anyway, I'm having the very same window replaced that I had replaced about a year ago. It's the same window that Johnny feel into when he was painting the inside of our house while I was gone to Burma last year. The same window, broken again.

We had horrible storms here in North Texas last night. I am thankful that we are all safe and all I have to deal with was my chairs out back were blown over. Just north and east of us (here in the Dallas area) there was some damage and some real devastation up in Oklahoma. Jessica had a basketball game last night up in North Arlington and, since it was the last home game, Josh came over and my parents drove up from Waco. After the game my parents left because of the threat of bad weather but since Josh came over and missed dinner at the dorm I wanted to take the kids out of eat. I heard about the weather but I could see the moon -- the sky looked clear -- when I came out of the game and I thought maybe it passed by. We ate and came out and it was just starting to sprinkle. THEN it all broke loose. High wind, hail, pouring down rain. It was awful, scary. Jessica's truck was at the school but there wasn't any way I was letting her drive home in those conditions. You know, she's had her license all of 6 weeks and is experienced BUT I thought her truck would be ok at school overnight. She did make fun of me, however, because she said I was driving 40 down the highway. I don't think I was...50 maybe.

Ok, the glass man is here and almost done....I'm getting ready for the coffee!!

Serving the King,


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Depression and Anxiety Help

I had to go up to Arlington today to have a test that my doctor ordered. When I got home I decided to have a quick sandwich before I got on to the next agenda item for the day. Since I'm here alone I sat down on the couch and clicked on the tv while I ate. Our cable is the kind that has the little box at the bottom of the screen that tells what channel you are on and what program is on that particular channel. The box at the bottom of the screen read "Depression and Anxiety Help" but the infomercial that was on was for the hair curling thing that sort of looks like a curling iron but has bristles and spins around. All I can think about that thing is what a tangled mess I would have if I attempted such a tool in this mop I have on my head. However, the way the wind has been blowing in North Texas for the last SIX DAYS (at least) some hair care products just might be what we need to relieve our anxiety over the windblown look. I don't know.... I'm really thinking the only help lies in a hat or ponytail....

The windblown look has got to be in --


Sunday, February 8, 2009


We are struggling a little bit at our house with independence. The sixteen year old thinks she is more independent than her dad and I think she should be. You know, the whole curfew, tell me where you're going and who you're going with, you have to spend some time at home doing chores and homework... She has been driving like, six weeks. That does not mean (child o' mine) that you are an expert driver, able to go anywhere you want when you want, and that you don't have to answer to your parents. (Can I get an amen from my parent friends?) Really, my child-rearing issues are relatively minor compared to what other people are dealing with. I totally know that. I just a few minutes ago asked Jessica to be home at a certain time for a specific reason. She asked, "Why?" I answered with the reason. She said, "I don't understand." I repeated my reason to which she said, "I don't understand." What she really meant was, "I don't agree and I don't like the reason you are giving me."

I am amazed how many times I can relate my parenting dilemmas to my spiritual life. This morning I asked my Life Group this question, "What is it necessary for you to give up to totally submit to God's plan?" One lady answered without hesitation, "My plan." Perfect answer. That's exactly what we (I) have to give up in order to follow God. However, I also like independence. Sometimes I even ask why. Or, I might say, "I don't understand." Yep, I am so like my sixteen year old...

So, we finally ended the jr. high basketball season. Jacob's team only lost 2 games all season. He starts baseball practice tomorrow so we'll soon transition from one sport to another. Before that, however, high school basketball is still on. Jessica's team has one more game and then playoffs. Our team's playoff game is in Amarillo. AMARILLO, for crying out loud. So, we'll all be heading off to the Panhandle of Texas this Thursday for a Friday game. Jessica was invited to play in some kind of regional tournament, too, during Spring Break.

Johnny is headed off to Nashville in the morning for his trustee meeting. It will leave me as a single parent for a couple of days. We usually are pretty chill while Johnny is gone. Even though we have a basketball game on Tuesday night it will be an easy couple of days while he's gone.

Until next time....Jeanette

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Hard Road

I like for life to be easy. I like the road to be smooth and I like to be comfortable. I don't want to be pushed or pulled or pressed. I like routine and order and sameness. I don't like to put gas in my car or to go to the grocery store. I want people to respond the way I envision they will and things to go just the way I have planned.

But, is it really ever like that? Really...ever? Is that even realistic?

On the other hand, I really like the view from the top of the mountain. "What?" I hear you asking. Here it is - I was thinking about this today. Last summer we took our family vacation to Colorado. It was our outdoor/sports vacation. We hiked, we biked, we went white water rafting. One day we rode the ski lift as high as it would go and then had to hike about another hour to get to the summit. The hike was not easy - not like mountain/rock climbing hard, but there were some places where it was pretty steep, there was ice and snow on the path that made it slippery, and the air was thin. But, the view from the top was worth the climb. To be able to look around and enjoy God's majestic creation was incredible. I'm glad I went.

Sometimes I am tempted to stay on the easy path or to whine when it's too hard. (no comments from you, Johnny Dickerson) I gotta press on, I know I do. Eventually, the road will even out. It always does. In the meantime, I'll try harder to enjoy the view.

2 Corinthians 4:7-18

Serving the King,