Persevering and Remaining Faithful…

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,
and I have remained faithful.
2 Timothy 4:7

Sue’s Note: There’s something quite remarkable about a person who trains for a big athletic event. I’m always impressed when I hear about the rigorous process and discipline—setting and achieving one ambitious goal after another—running one more mile, cycling a steeper hill, swimming another lap, rising an hour earlier.

     Even if someone trains for only one event, deciding that was “one and done,” I’m impressed, but my admiration deepens when an individual perseveres and repeats the process. 

     My friend, website manager, and today’s Listening on the Journey… guest blogger, Stephen, is one who not only perseveres and finishes races, but he is also a man who remains faithful to friends, family and faith in the process. I know his words today will inspire you.

Stephen writes:

     As I stood on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene waiting for the start of the biggest race of my life, IMCDA70.3, my mind was racing. I knew I had put in a lot of time training, but would it be enough? Before coming to a definitive answer, the horn blasted, and I ran into the frigid lake for my 1.2-mile swim.

     Before I continue, I would like to share about the journey to IMCDA70.3 and how it would not have happened without a ton of perseverance and prayer.

     The day I signed up for this race, I sat in the dining room of our rental house. I remember feeling a mix of nerves and excitement. I felt guilty about the cost of the race and the time it would take not to just finish but finish well.

     What I didn’t realize is all that would be involved in the journey I would take on over the next 6 months….

     We began house hunting in March and had almost given up. The housing market in Liberty Lake was very tight, and we couldn’t find anything that met both our needs and budget. After a few near misses, I found a house that turned out to be “the one.” The Lord blessed us with a house that turned out to be more than we could have asked for.

     Anyone who has moved knows how much time it takes. Time, I needed to be training was instead spent packing boxes, cleaning and moving.

     Training for a half Ironman takes an incredible amount of time. Working from home afforded me the flexibility I needed to maintain this rigorous schedule. In April, I accepted a new job which meant I would no longer be working from home, and this impacted my strict training schedule. Nonetheless, keeping my goal in mind, I needed to adapt, be flexible and train whenever I could squeeze it in. The same spiritual discipline I had built up last year, spending time in the Word before training, was applied to this rigorous training schedule.

     Months of hard work and preparation all came down to this day. I felt great in the water and even tried to keep an eye out for Ron who I knew was in his kayak, out there somewhere along the course.

     Running through the transition area to the bike, I saw my wife, Jamara, and three girls cheering for me, along with my Dad and Pastor Gary. I get chills now thinking of them being there to support me.

     As I reflect on this journey, I remember them cheering me on along the CDA Marathon course last year with cow bells, gu gels, water and every other crazy thing I needed along the way. They have been at every race, cheering me on. When I was tired and just wanted to be done, they were there to pick me up. This is no different than our walk with the Lord. One famous poem, Footprints in the Sand, is a reminder that God never leaves us; He is always by our side.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:9

     The bike is my favorite part of a triathlon. This is where I am strongest, and usually, where I make up time. This year I have battled issues with my right knee and hip, but not on race day. It wasn’t until I was flying down Mica Bay on my way back into town that I realized my knee and hip felt great. I knew a lot of people were praying for me that day. I recalled Sue’s email with an encouraging word, and it meant the world to me. The sun was beating down on me during the run, but I stuck to my plan.

     My training paid off.

     I finished!

     No matter what race you are running, goal you are trying to achieve, mountain you are trying to climb, you will get there much faster and arrive in one piece when the foundation of your training is in prayer.

     What are your dreams?

     What is the one goal you would love to achieve if nothing held you back?

     Don’t give up. Don’t listen to negative messages from others.

     Just remember to persevere and FINISH!

Stephen Robinson

My amazing support crew after completing CDAIM70.3. I could not do this without their support and encouragement. #CDAIM70.3 #FINISH

Celebrating Summertime Warmth

“I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanket.”                   ~Kellie Elmore

     Recently, Ron reconnected with a cousin he’d grown up with, but through the years, distance, time-consuming child rearing and work responsibilities divided them. We were pleased when Ron’s cousin and his wife invited us to spend a weekend afternoon with them at their beautiful riverfront home in Washington.

     I had only briefly met Ron’s cousin and had never met his wife. Immediately, she and I recognized our kindred spirits. I knew she was a sister-of-the-heart.

     Summertime warmth is a great time to grow new friendships!

     I’m not much of a gardener, but I love playing in the dirt a bit and become giddy with excitement when I see a tiny tomato, jalapeno or cucumber appear. In addition to the appearance of a few veggies, the Shasta daisies this summer have been magnificent. Petunias and geraniums are growing like mad, and hydrangeas are loaded with flowers and buds.

     Summertime warmth makes potential produce and flowers oh, so happy and want to grow!

     I’m a lover of light, and one of my favorite aspects of summer is increased hours of daytime. Yet, there’s no substitute for the splendor of a summertime night.

     Summertime warmth brings long days and magical nights.

     It’s easy for me to get lazy in the summertime. I prefer relaxing to working, and I must remind myself often that just because it’s summer doesn’t mean important responsibilities can be put on the back burner.

     Summertime warmth can be deceptive, robbing me of important opportunities.

     Every season has a special kind of beauty, but nature seems to show off with extra extravagance during the summer.

     Summertime warmth is a great time to be awed by the goodness of God’s creation.

Blessings on your journey through Summertime 2018…

Sue Reeve

Celebrating Summer Fun with Family, Friends and Community…

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”
~Charles Bowden

     On July 3, 1776, one day after the Continental Congress voted for independence, John Adams wrote these thoughts about that vote in a letter to his beloved wife, Abigail:

     “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells. Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”[1]

     On July 3, 2018, 242 years after John Adams wrote these words, Ron and I celebrated Independence Day in much the same way as Adams, our nation’s first vice president and second president, envisioned.

     It’s become tradition to join our younger daughter’s in-law’s at their summer home at Sunup Bay Resort on Lake Coeur d’Alene each July 3rd. The resort’s annual event is a special highlight for me every time we attend.

We smile a lot as we enjoy the “Pomp and Parade.”

This year our youngest granddaughter, Emmi, was excited to be featured as a fairy on the resort’s float.

Emmi was the cutest little fairy with a blue mouth from a popsicle she’d eaten earlier, a very loose front tooth, plus…

lots of bruises on her shins from rough and tumble play with the boys

when she wasn’t a whirling, twirling fairy!

Little Reeve stayed pretty close to mommy—especially when fireworks went BOOM!!!

“You are so much sunshine in every square inch.”>~Walt Whitman

     Lots of illuminations at Sunup Bay, which joined other communities from one end of this continent to the other…

     I’ve never known a time in my life when I didn’t live in a peaceful, prosperous nation. I’ve always felt secure in supportive communities, living with a caring family. When something has been your “normal,” it’s easy to take such blessings for granted. I never want that to happen.

     I hope today as you read these words, you’ll join me in remembering:

 Every good action and every perfect gift is from God. These good gifts come down from the Creator of the sun, moon, and stars, who does not change like their shifting shadows. James 1:17  (NCV)

     Summertime blessings…

Sue Reeve