Shake a leg for Charles 5k

What a gorgeous morning for a run.

Many of us from our Run for God small group met up and ran a 5k for a young man who is battling cancer.  I was so excited for everyone.  They have all done so so well and I hope they can see how proud of themselves they should be. 

Here we all are before the race.

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And here are a few action and finishing shots.  We all had a blast.

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I was inspired by everyone’s awesome performance but I half to admit I was awed by Jill pushing their son in a stroller and finishing so strong.  I have been a wimp and haven’t really even tried running with Mason.  I hope this will change very soon.

Now Ron and I are at Lake Benson with Mason.  Ron is shooting for 6 miles in preparation for next week’s half marathon at the OBX.  Mason and I are checking out the swings. 

Could this day be any prettier?

God is good!

I am blown away!

Last Thursday and Friday I worked in Wilmington with an awesome group of people.  At lunch I was sitting in the breakroom eating my meal and two of my friends came in with their’s.  Mike had an wonderful looking spinach salad from the cafeteria and Dustin had an equally great looking salad even though his had mostly iceburg lettuce and no dark greens.  I teased Dustin and told him that a salad was great but that he needed to darken it up a bit.  He reached over and got one of Mike’s spinach leaves and gave it a try and said it was like eating dandelion leaves.

Well, whenever you talk to me about spinach, the conversation quickly rolls around to a spinach smoothie.  I told them both about how I make smoothies all the time and throw a couple of handfuls of spinach in for good health.

Here are pictures of some of my green smoothies:

Then it wasn’t long before I began singing the praises of my pumpkin smoothies:

What blew me away was when I got in on Friday morning, look what Dustin and Mike whirled up!

 They had taken the time to go out and get the almond milk, the canned pumpkin, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the blender, and the ice.  All we were missing was the frozen banana for some sweetness.

They both tried one and I can’t say that the loved them as much as me but I think they were open to the idea of all the healthy benefits.  Remember….pumpkin is a cancer preventer!

I talk health, happiness, and the love of Jesus everywhere I go but this is the very first time something like this has happened!  So impressed by their generosity and sense of adventure.

The other thing that has blown me away was the super turn out to our Run for God small group that started last night.  I was expecting maybe 15 people but we ended up with 26!  And 6 more that are interested but were unable to attend the first meeting.

I am so happy that God is allowing me to use my passion for running to His glory!

During my testimony time at our meeting, I was telling about how deep in the summer before my first marathon I had an epiphany.  Water was not merely something that I had to drink 8 glasses of for weight loss.  Water was hydration!  Food was not just something that I enjoyed but it was FUEL and I had to choose wisely so I could have optimal performance on my long runs.  Good hydration and good fuel would help me to prevent injury.

The epiphany continued when I realized that reading the Bible and spending time in prayer were not something that I had to do to be a good Christian.  These things were what I needed to help me have a better “run” with Jesus.  They would prevent the enemy from coming after me.  Now I’m not saying that everyone that has a strong relationship with Jesus would live a trouble-free life.  We’ll just be able to have peace and handle the situations better.

We’ll anyway, to make a long story short, today a new friend called me and told me that those words inspired her.    She told me that she Googled food in the Bible and this verse came up:

1 Corinthians 10:31

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

I was tearing up as she spoke to me.

I praise God for my good health and am so happy that he is using me to His glory.

I am blown away!

Goodnight Friends

Why Race?

What a glorious morning for a 5k!  This morning I went to Raleigh and ran the Run for Young 5k held at Christ Church on Edenton Street.

“The Run for Young honors the memory of Sadiki Young (a Christ Church member and acolyte) and reminds  Wake County teens how important it is to make good decisions whenever automobiles are involved.  Proceeds from the race will raise awareness for safe driving methods for teens at participating high schools and will support the Christ Church Youth Ministry Endowment.” 

What a great cause! 

Originally Andie, Lydia, and I were supposed to be doing a 5k in Wilmington today but everyone’s plans ended up changing.  Andie didn’t go back to Wilmington yet and Lydia had a band event.  Our babysitter, aka Grandpa, had to work.  So…. I just went ahead and ran the Run for Young by myself.

It was a beautiful morning and pretty warm for January 7th.  I got there and got registered with 20 minutes to spare.  Plenty of time for some stretching and runner watching.  I’m finding that I am recognizing many of the runners now.  I guess we all like to do races!  Many people had on City of Oaks Marathon, Old Reliable Run, and Jingle Bell Run shirts.

To tell the truth, I was a little lonely at the start and questioned why I was out there.  But when we started running, I remembered.  I love races!

I love coming in the finish line and getting a bottle of water handed to you.

I love eating cold orange slices.

I love bagels and cream cheese.

Today, Jimmy John’s was there and I got an avocado and cheese mini sandwich.

Yummo!

They also had some good smoothies from Planet Smoothie.

My time was the best yet for a timed 5k.  33:29.  That’s a 10:73 pace.  I’ll take it!  Sometimes it is so hard for me to believe that only 10 months ago I ran 26.2 miles with an average pace of 10:45.  Inconceivable!   Feels like a dream sometimes.

Oh well.  Onwards and Upwards.

Tomorrow at church, we are having our winter small group rally day.  I will be leading a “Run for God” group beginning on February 6th.  We will meet once a week for 12 weeks and end by running a 5k together.  Mt. Zion’s small groups are open to the public so even if you don’t attend Mt .Zion you can sign up.  We’d love to have you.  Contact me if you’d like to run and strengthen your walk with Jesus at the same time.  Check out Run for God.  I’m so excited!

The Christmas Gifts

The girls and Mason had finished opening their gifts.  Ron had burned up every piece of wrapping paper, tissue paper, cardboard box, and any other piece of paper he could get his hands on in his new fire pit.  Then Ron brought out my Christmas gift number 1.

A deep fryer.  Did I want that?

Seriously though, this was just a substitute gift.  Ron had asked me what he could get me this year and I immediately knew what I wanted.  He ordered it for me but we knew it would arrive late.  He just couldn’t stand for me to not have a gift on Christmas morning.  I told him not to worry but he wouldn’t listen.

And that’s a good thing.  This silly deep fryer had already produced two amazing dishes.  One was fried pickles.

Ron cooked them up and they were awesome!  Better than any we’ve had at restaurants.

Second were sweet potato chips.  Ron made these as well and man, were they delicious.  They were gone too quickly for me to snap a picture but let me just say if we never fry another thing, Ron has already gotten his money’s worth.  I promise to get the recipe next time and post it.  They were that good!  I think he said his secret ingredient was rosemary.

Today, Christmas gift number 2 arrived.

 

Isn’t it gorgeous!

I saw these custom medal hangers floating around on the blogs that I read but I never could think of what I wanted on it.  I couldn’t think of anything until the Old Reliable expo.  That was when I had the epiphany.  I got this running shirt at the expo and learned of this cool company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They have many different scriptures available and that’s when I found what I wanted.

My hanger will hold 30 medals and since it will take me quite some time to fill it up, I told Ron he could hang his on it too.  He has the two medals on the left.

I am so thrilled with this very thoughtful gift.  I’m also very impressed that he hung it so perfectly for me so quickly.  He was a bit tired today after work but didn’t hesitate to get it on the wall for me.  Thank you Ron!

What GOD wants for Christmas parts 3, 4, and 5

I’m sorry that I left everyone hanging on the current sermon series at our church.  I enjoyed this series so much and I just have to finish sharing it.  You already know that GOD wants us to spread the message of Jesus and support the ministries that do.  You already know how I saved some of my “blow money” and got a goat for ZOE Ministries.  (I wasn’t able to get the chickens yet but I’m going to try to do that too sometime in January or February.)  You already know that Jesus wants us to heal human hurts.  I continue to struggle with my thoughts on this one and how I can go about it but I am praying daily. 

Here are the last three things that our pastor says will make awesome Christmas presents for Jesus:

Honor GOD in our hearts and homes. Continue reading

“What GOD wants for Christmas part II”

Many of you know how last week my pastor preached on what GOD wanted for Christmas and how I decided to give some of my “blow money” to purchase a goat.  Well today was part II in the sermon series and we learned that GOD wants us to help the hurting.  We learned that it’s simply not good enough to just feed the poor or clothe the needy.  We need to support the ministries that help the root cause of the situation.  Our pastor didn’t mention it but I immediately thought of the old saying about giving a man a fish feeds him for today but teaching him to fish feeds him for a lifetime.  We still need to give the “fish”, we just have to help in other ways as well.  I’m no theology student but this is what I took away from today’s lesson.

Today I have also been thinking about a story that I heard long ago in the movie, Charlie Wilson’s War. 

Gust Avrakotos: There’s a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse… and everybody in the village says, “how wonderful. The boy got a horse” And the Zen master says, “we’ll see.” Two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says, “How terrible.” And the Zen master says, “We’ll see.” Then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight… except the boy can’t cause his legs all messed up. and everybody in the village says, “How wonderful.” Charlie Wilson: Now the Zen master says, “We’ll see.”

What if the good that I am trying to do causes a snowball of events and the good ends up being bad to someone?

Here’s an example:  Lydia had a fender bender today.  It was her second one in just a couple of weeks.  Everyone was fine and there was only minor damage to both cars.  Thank the LORD!  She has been complaining about the XL-7 that she drives and says that it is too big for her.  Andie drives a compact car and Ron has been begging her to switch with Lydia so that Mason will be safer.  I also think that the XL-7 will be a better fit for Andie and Mason.  I’m thinking that the Aerio will be a better car for Lydia.  We mentioned it to the girls again today and Andie agreed to give it a trial run.  She went back to Wilmington tonight in the XL-7 and she took a full size high chair that we had been keeping at our home for Mason.  With her large running stroller that she always keeps in her car, she would have never been able to fit that in the little Aerio.

But….what if something happens?  What if Andie is in a wreck becaue of the larger XL-7?  What if Lydia is in a wreck and it ends up being worse because of the small Aerio?

That’s just how my silly brain works.

I wrestled with it all day.

What I have decided is that all I can do is pray and pray often and long.  I must trust whatever GOD leads me to do.  And….I must not worry.  I can’t live my life with “what ifs.”

I’m going to try and run like crazy this week and hopefully shake this feeling of my head spinning.  I’m also going to try to journal my food and really stay accountable to the total calories.

Wishing everyone a peaceful week.  (Just like this vintage pic of Fred.)

Goodnight Friends!

What GOD wants for Christmas

Wow!  What a Spectacular Sunday I’ve had.  Hope you had a great one too!

The best news of the day was I got all the Christmas decorations up and all the boxes put back  in the shed.

Thank you so much to Lydia and neighbor, Brittany, for helping!

And…Lydia and Brittany did a tree for Lydia’s room too.  Isn’t it cute?

Woohoo!  Now I just get to sit back and enjoy it until New Year’s Day.  That’s the Cupit family tradition.  Everything out the weekend after Thanksgiving and then packed back up on New Year’s Day.  Love it!

In other good news, I ran another 33 minute 3 miler.  Tonight’s wasn’t as hard as it has been lately.  And, when I got back in, I even did an exercise video.  I looked for Jillian Michaels’, 30 Day Shred but I think I remember that Andie has it down in Wilmington.  So, Slim in Six it was.  The Start It Up workout is only 24 minutes long.  Being a long distance runner, I’ve gotten into the mentality that I can take anything for that short of an amount of time.  It was hard but doable.  I love that it has the countdown time clock on the side of the screen.  I peeked ahead and the next workout is the Ramp It Up workout and it is 47 minutes long.  That’s gonna be a little tougher.  There’s even a Burn It Up workout but I didn’t look ahead on that one so I have no idea what it’s going to be like.  My goal is to keep with it all through the holidays.

Here’s another of my new Bondi Bands.  Gotta love this one for all us slow runners out there.

Next on the good news front was Ron’s declaration to make every one of Mama Pea’s recipeas in the Peas and Thank You cookbook.   http://peasandthankyou.com/     Hey, I’m all for it.  I’ll gladly clean the bathroom, vacuum, and do laundry while he cooks.

Here’s tonight’s entrée:  Pea Daddy’s Jambalaya

It was out of this world delicious!

For dessert, I whipped up another pumpkin pie monster.

My friends, that’s a 140 calorie jar of heaven you’re looking at.  If you haven’t tried it yet, please just do it.  All you do is take 1 cup of almond milk, ½ can of pumpkin, a couple of handfuls of ice, a sprinkle of ginger, a sprinkle of nutmeg, and a couple of sprinkles of cinnamon and then blend it up.  So indulgent.  So healthy.  So delicious.   (origianl inspiration for this monster here  http://ohsheglows.com/2010/09/27/pumpkin-pie-monster-and-over-baked-apples/)

Now to end with the best news of the day.

I attended my church, Mt. Zion United Methodist http://mountzion-umc.org/  , today and our pastor kicked off the “What GOD wants for Chirstmas” sermon series.  You see, GOD, doesn’t “need” anything and you might think that puts HIM in the impossible to get for gift category.  Not so.  He very clearly tells us what he wants.

“Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.  Anyone who believe and is baptized will be saved.  But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.”  Mark 16 15-16 (NLT)

Our pastor pointed out that not all of us can become missionaries in far away lands.  However, we all can pray for the gospel to go out.  We can give support to the ministries that share the good news. And we can carry the message of salvation with us wherever we go.

Our church challenged us to re-think Christmas with alternative giving opportunities.  You can choose from many different organizations.  Here are a few that you might consider:

Samaritan’s Purse  http://www.samaritanspurse.org/

Gospel for Asia  http://www.gfa.org/

World Vision  http://www.worldvision.org/

and

ZOE Ministry   http://www.zoeministry.org/

Since Ron and I have been working on the Dave Ramsey program, we each have what we call our “blow money.”  We each have our envelopes of money that is all our own after we have set aside our giving and all our money that is going to work our debt snowball.  We can use our “blow money” any way we want and we don’t have to feel guilty about whatever we choose.  The only problem for me is that I do feel guilty.  I can’t believe all this “blow money” that I have been, well, blowing!

We have two more paychecks before Christmas and I have decided that I am going to use a portion of my “blow money” to buy a goat ($60) and 6 chickens ($10 ea) for ZOE ministry.  I am so excited I can hardly stand it.

What are you getting for JESUS this year?

Goodnight friends!