Monday, January 26, 2009

Time for a Little Warmth - in the form of a new babies!

This is a picture of my two granddaughters, Madison (age 3 1/2) and Ella (age 2 1/2), taken shortly before Christmas. Those are our excited faces! We are waiting.... and waiting.... and waiting for two new little babies. Madison is waiting for a little brother who is expected to arrive any day (official due date of Feb. 7th). Ella is waiting for either a little sister or brother who is expected to arrive on April 4th.

Winter in central Illinois has seemed especially cold, windy, snowy and icy so far. I've had my share of cold weather outside runs. I did a 4-mile run on Jan. 15th in 7" of new snow, -7 degree air temperature, with -31 degree wind chill. This past Saturday was an 11-mile run with an air temperature of 2 degrees and wind chill of -17. Enough. I'm ready to stay inside an cuddle a new baby! New babies have a way of warming your heart even if it is still winter in Illinois.

So.... Maddox and Baby Gummerman (wait about 8 weeks), Grandma is waiting and ready for both of you to get here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Walt Disney World Marathon

Half Marathon Results:
Finish time - 2:05
2555 overall out of 12,434 overall participants
866 out of 7181 females
20th out of 365 in age group

Marathon Results:
Finish time - 4:49
5926 overall out of 14,927 overall participants
2107 out of 7134 females
26th out of 193 in age group

4th overall out of Goofy Challenge participants in my age group. Full race report coming later.

The biggest challenges about the back-to-back races?

  • Getting up at 2:15 AM both mornings in order to meet the TNT team to catch the shuttle buses.
  • Tired feet and legs from walking around the Disney theme parks the day before and the day of the races.
  • The blister on my right foot which began on Saturday and progressively worsened on Sunday. I knew it was not a good thing when I could see the blood seeping through the top of my running shoe during the marathon. The top of my right foot (tendons) had been bothering me on both days.

The biggest motivators during the marathon?

  • Running with other Goofy Challenge runners who all helped motivate one another.
  • Passing runners during the marathon who were not doing the Goofy Marathon.
  • Wearing the TNT purple singlet and remembering how lucky I am to be healthy enough to run.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Definition of Grace

We attended Saturday evening church this past weekend, as we often do. The sermon was about grace. One description of the meaning of grace caught our attention - "God's grace is based on the fact that there is nothing we can do that will make God love us less and there is nothing we can do that will make God love us more. God's love is a constant and a given, no matter what."

After pondering this over the past few days, it occurs to me that we don't do such a good job with demonstrating grace to those around us. As much as we might claim that our love is unconditional, constant and unwavering, the amount of love we feel for those in our lives does seem to flucuate from time to time.

I'm curious to know how our behavior, words and actions might be different if we are in one of those moments where we've never loved that person more vs. one of those moments where we are questioning our feelings.

Maybe a great New Year's resolution is to show more grace to those around me. Like many New Year's resolutions that fail, this isn't likely to succeed without a clear vision of specifically what that will look like. How will I know if I am showing more grace? How will those around me know? What will I be doing? Or not doing? What will those around be notice that is different?
I think I'm going to need a lot of God's grace with this one.