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February 2012


It’s all about training.

If you are on Facebook you could hardly miss that Brett and I ran a marathon last Sunday, February 19, 2012. This was a first for both of us. It all started when he asked me to run the Chicago marathon last fall. Well Brett got deployed to Afghanistan so we missed the Chicago and chose to do the Austin Livestrong to give him time to train.

The above pictures were the day before the race, full anticipation of what lies ahead for the next day.

Lined up and ready to run!

I showed Kirsti I got to 23 miles!

I received a message on Facebook from Samantha that said, “You would think after all the metaphorical marathons, this wouldn’t be that intimidating” Amen to that!

Today we will talk about training. I can’t let this slip by.

My self portrait of the finish. Vanity? Haha! It was an accomplishment I wanted recorded.

I’m kinda a rule follower. As I was growing up, I hated to let people down; I didn’t like getting in trouble and I really wanted attention and people to like me. Therefore, I followed rules and well got into some trouble but really tried to avoid it at all cost. So when given the challenge of training for a marathon I did two things; talked to Mike Haverdink (well Kirsti mostly) because he is a successful marathon runner. Secondly, I found a training schedule the Livestrong marathon organization recommended. Now mind you, I did veered from the schedule now and then but the majority of the time I followed it. I didn’t want injury or failure.

This may be seriously corny but doesn’t a marathon reflect life? We run the race, Hebrews 12:1. As we are running the race we need to be prepared. 2 Timothy 2:15  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The only way to run the race God has set forth and to divide the truth is to study the word, train if you will. Ephesians 4:14 says we shouldn’t be like children tossed to and fro by every wind of new or better ways of doing things. When a trial, temptation, cunning proposition comes along, the only way to stand strong is to be trained and complete the race God set before you.

Studying ~Susie






Stallion Drive and Valentine’s Day

No candle light for us this year, instead we were standing at 4900 feet above sea level looking at this!

They are digging and putting in plumbing and electric getting ready to pour the foundation. We are so excited!

Meet Doug Humphries. 🙂 He is our builder/contractor. This is when he tells us how much the electric company is going to charge for burying lines. 

We are standing in our back yard with our shadows cast in the kitchen and outdoor fireplace. This is fun, so much fun.

It’s a long house, “Where the increased population (guests) can be easily accommodated.” 

Here is our “pad” while we were patiently waiting.

This is our front yard a few weeks ago. No snow any more. It doesn’t last long.

Here we go. Our adventures on Stallion Drive have begun!

Anticipating ~ Susie

The Vow

Fifteen years ago plus two months, Dennis and I stood and vowed to spend the rest of our lives together. There has been better, there has been worse, we’ve had poor and we have had rich. I have to say this past year has been a blur but it has been one of the best in our marriage. Moving to a new place has pushed us to cling to one another and probably lay down our lives for each other (John 15:13) like we have never done, resulting in becoming even closer friends.

We’re not big Valentine celebrators, maybe it’s so many years of hurt or awkwardness or many years of waiting tables for others’ to celebrate or it is just Hallmark; but a card and “Happy Valentine’s Day” is usually the sum of it.

We did however, venture out to the Kingman 4 Movie Theater for the first time. I was quite impressed.

Kingman 4

It’s a little theater, we purchased our tickets and popcorn at the same counter. The popcorn was delicious and fresh. There are four smallish theaters, the seats were comfy and sound good. Wow! Oh and their senior citizen discount starts at 55 years old, one of us qualified. 😉

We saw “the Vow”. Good movie, although 2/3 of the way through Dennis leaned over and whispered, “I thought this was going to be one of your feel good movies.” Oh Dennis, it’s called The Vow!

Grateful ~ Susie


Here in the high desert we have ROCK, beautiful rocky ground. This is terrific for a foundation, not so much for tilling and planting. We (us Arizonians) have to bring in black dirt if we want to plant flowers or vegetables or grass.

I had an episode, “I got caught in the cares of this world”. Last week it happened; maybe hormones maybe cares, none the less I sunk. I get depressed, have a pity party of one and sink. I’m being brutally honest so that I can talk about sowing. The only thing that brings me back is reading my bible. When in a tail spin that is even hard. Well it’s hard to have a pity party if you are reading about what a great God we have or about how He gently loves us (Luke 7:48-50). Jesus saves us from our sin. He saves us from many, big, small, whatever kind of sin but forgives just because we have faith to ask.

Then in my reading I’m taken to Luke 8 when Jesus tells the parable of the sower. Oh geez, now I’m in it up to my neck! I love when I start reading and God takes me right where I need to be at that moment. Verses 1-21 tell the parable and the explanation follows. Please go to it and read it’s so good but here it is in a nutshell.

  • Seed=word of God
  • Seed thrown on the wayside= gets trampled on, the birds eat the seed interpreted as devil steals the word.
  • Seed on rocky ground=receiver receives, gets excited but gets tempted and forgets what he learned.
  • Seed in the thorns= receiver receives and the cares, riches and pleasures of the world choke the word and she gets defeated.
  • Seed on good ground, rich soil= receiver receives with a patient and good heart and thinks about what he read. This person’s life, “is authentically externalized because it is no longer what we do – it’s part of who we are.” ~Beth Moore

When the word of God is a part of us, we can go to it, jump in and wrap ourselves in it and be comforted, rebuked (corrected) or just have our eyes opened to something new and beautiful for the first time.

I guess the key would be to not get into the briar patch in the first place. “Don’t throw me in the briar patch!”  (for those of you old enough to remember the Song of the South). But we all fall short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23) No excuses, be like the tree planted by the river, it gets so much nourishment that it can’t help grow big and strong. Like the Cottonwood trees here in the west, they seed by the River and grow and grow. Lets get so engrossed in the love of Jesus and so thankful to be where we are right now, we don’t have time to be tempted, choked, defeated, swept away or unthankful. We just keep our eye on the goal God has for us!

Then that joy overflows 


Appliances are here!!

We haven’t broken ground yet but our lovely kitchen appliances are going to arrive next week. Before Thanksgiving we were informed that all of our appliances are going up 8% at the first of the year, so to save a substantial amount of money we ordered them thinking we would be well under way by now. So our lovely builder, Doug and his wife Teri are going to house our appliances in their garage while they build our house.They are all boxed up and ready to go. Waiting for their home on the mountain!

Hopefully we will have a home for these appliances soon. In the mean time, I glance at the drawings of what is to come 🙂

Continually practicing patience ~ Susie

Faith, Hope, Love

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I just listened to The David Crowder Band sing, “Oh How He Loves Us”. It is such a powerful song. Jesus took His love to the cross, for the joy that was set before Him (Heb 12:3). Part of that joy was that we would answer the call to choose Him.

… The greatest of these is love.

Sometimes we can know we are loved but we just can’t grasp the faith and hope thing.

Faith~ Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 (Msg) The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.

Literally the “substance” is standing under something, “steadying it”.

So if we have faith as in Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Faith gets under and steadies our Hope for what we are believing.

I knew God loved me. I didn’t understand love or how He could love a wretch like me. I had seen His faithfulness time and time again. But to trust enough to ask, believe and have faith that what I hoped for will happen or I would receive, I think that was the tricky part.

Oh trust Him, God can’t lie (Numbers 23:19). He offers us promises beyond what we can even imagine. He is good.

What are you hoping for? What changes do you need? What miracles are you believing for today?

Lyrics from How He Loves us……..

When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us so

Having faith in the unseen ~ Susie