Hi! My name is Hannah Mae, and I’m a high school student in colorful Colorado 🙂 Honestly, I was just inspired to start a blog and see where it goes. I plan on posting ideas related to the things I’m passionate about, which include: running and fitness, my spiritual walk with God, and adventures that make our lives just a little bit sweeter. Stay tuned for some upcoming posts!
As 2016 ends, I realized I learned a few very important things at the end of this year that I want to carry me over into the new year. One thing I like about ending one year and starting another is that I get to reflect on experiences and lessons that helped me grow throughout the year, and I can start a new year with new goals and aspirations of who I want to become and what I want to learn more of as I journey throughout this crazy life. These are just a few points that stuck out to me recently as the year ended and what I want to take with me into this new year.
Sometimes, for running, a really good coach will “detrain” his or her runners from their bad habits in order to build them back up stronger and into more faster and efficient runners. I think God works the same way. He detrains us from our bad habits by letting the world overwhelm us and break us down so that we realize how much we need God. Then he comes in and builds us back up in his image–in the image God has planned for us. We just have to let him do his work.
I am in the process of detraining, both literally and spiritually. Breaking habits is difficult, but trusting that my coach and my God will build me up in the best way possible takes difficult to a whole new level. Recently, I’ve gotten to the point of running so fast on my track of life, filled with the lanes of school, sports, and friends that I have lost sight of God, my finish line. Becoming selfish and too focused on oneself takes away from the race God has planned for you, but focusing life’s race on God will always always bring about a grand finish that you never could have imagined. Trusting people can be 50-50, but trusting God should always be 100% (now I know that’s easier said than done). Invest your training in God and the rest will fall into place.
Do not ever forget where your blessings come from. You may think you own your talents, but news flash, God still owns them and can take them away in the blink of an eye. What will never fade or diminish though, is God’s everlasting love. Don’t forget where your strengths and talents come from; use them to glorify God.
Even when we quit paying attention to God, he never stops pursuing us. God is constantly running after us, there to pick us up when we fall. This brings me so much security knowing that no matter where I wander in life, God is always tagging along behind, waiting for me to turn around and admit that I need his help. I want to be joyously racing towards the cross; towards the God who welcomes me with open arms. I read a quote a few days ago that said, “If you think you’ve ruined God’s plan for your life, rest in this: you, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful”. I love knowing that whatever mistakes I think I make or wrong paths I think I choose, that God had a plan for me no matter what. No matter what I choose in life, as long as I keep my focus on God, I cannot make a wrong decision. God has a grand adventure planned for your life. As you may go through some tough changes or harsh realizations, don’t ever forget that God cares for you and wants the best no matter what. you’ll go through hard moments in your race, but the finish is worth the momentary pain. God has a happy ending for us, so stay on His path and never stop running the race for Christ.
“The grass withers and flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever”–Isaiah 40:8
5:30 AM wake up–run a hill workout with arm weights and leg weights. I ran with a headlamp because it was still too dark outside to see the trail. The air was a crisp 35-40 degrees, while the stars shone brightly above me. Done running before sunrise.
8:00 AM–start time for my first ACT test. Not a great way to spend my morning, cooped up inside a classroom taking a test I was completely unfamiliar with.
1:00 PM–left to go paintballing with my brother and his friends for his birthday party. This required me to spend the majority of the second half of my day shooting paint at a group of freshman boys.
You may be wondering why I would blog about a seemingly irrelevant day, but let me tell you, I have reason for it, much like God has reason for all the small things in our lives. The reason I ran hills this morning was because I have to now train for State (I qualified for state at regionals this week!), and I have no other being to give glory to other than God himself–for blessing me, taking care of me when I ran, and for carrying me when I grow weary. Seeing the stars this morning was a beautiful reminder of the way God shines through little achievements in our daily lives. We are much too weak as humans to finish the race alone. Only God can help us through, even when we run away from him. When your lungs feel cold and you’re surrounded by the dark, don’t forget to look up, because God is in the stars, and the stars will shine for a million years and a day.
When it boils down to it, as runners, we can’t always get away with just being physically in shape. Our minds have to be in shape as well; for school, work, jobs, interactions, problem solving, etc. The ACT I took this morning really challenged my thinking abilities and all that I’ve learned in school thus far. Nevertheless, I know that whatever happens, I have to do my best and leave the rest to God. God is way smarter than I’ll ever be, so knowing that he’s in control of my test scores, grades, and achievements in school is much more comforting than thinking it’s all on me. School (and work) can be stressful and time consuming, but as Christians, we need to always remember not to let those things get in the way of our religion and worshipping God. God should always be at the center of every aspect of our lives, even if we don’t think he belongs there (because trust me, he always does!).
Sometimes we spend a majority of our lives around people who aren’t our type, or people we wouldn’t consider ourselves to really “want” to be a part of–like myself, for example, wouldn’t choose to spend the majority of my afternoon with freshman guys. However, there are millions of opportunities to reach out to those people every day! I guess you could say the metaphorical paintballs of opportunities are whizzing past our heads as we duck and hide from what God has called us to do. Stand up, be bold, and be brave. Because sometimes, getting hit with a paintball is just what we need to realize we may have something in common with another person, or we can be the light that reaches out to others. God doesn’t intend to hurt you. He wants you to take courage every once in a while and make a spontaneous run out into the battlefield for Christ. Maybe the people we think are our enemies, are really on the same team as us.
Let’s face it, running can be excruciatingly painful sometimes, both physically and mentally. For me, the journey and the destination of the run make the pain more bearable when I start to question why I run. A run in the rain before the sun has risen and all the world is quiet while the sound of my feet beat with the sound of raindrops, and the sun begins to peep out from behind the storm clouds to reveal a rainbow. Distance runs with the mountains surrounding me on all sides, rising up to deep green pines and a bright blue sky help me forget about the worries of life and focus on the moment of beauty around me. Running hills under a gray sky, with the smell of dirt in the air, out in the middle of nowhere, just so my friends and I can take fun pictures on rocks above the trails. Even running 2.6 miles straight up a mountain side, because the view was totally worth it. All of these moments are what make running worth it sometimes. God has placed us in such a beautiful world, that we need to take advantage of the runs and workouts we do and give ourselves a nice little view along the way. Go run. Go on an adventure. Get lost along the way. But find yourself in the process.
1 John, chapter 1 talks about light vs. the darkness. God is holy, pure, blameless, and real. “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth” (1 John 1:6 NIV). As followers of Christ we must walk in the light and live out a life that resembles that of Christ Jesus. God’s righteousness purifies us from evil so that we may have fellowship with God in the light. We should be actively seeking out the light, not running away from it. God will always be faithful to you if you confess your sins, and he will justly forgive you so that you can turn from the dark and be purified in Him.
Moving into chapter 2, scripture talks about actually living in and like Jesus, rather than just saying that you do. “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6 NIV). We cannot be hypocrites and say that we walk in the light, but then stay in the dark. That makes us liars and deceivers. God calls us to turn from evil and the ways of the world in order to live a life that resembles that of Christ Jesus. Do not deny Christ, but instead deny the world and the flesh. We are strong, our sins are forgiven, God lives in us, and we can overcome.