Wednesday, July 1, 2015

There's No Way It's May!

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I'm getting closer to current times-only one month back!
Once May got here, I haven't been able to keep it straight.  Time is flying, I say yet again.  I had mixed feelings about the end of the school year coming so fast.  On one hand, it couldn't come fast enough.  I was exhausted, stressed, and so ready for a break.  On the other hand, I wanted more time, because I didn't feel ready for my AP tests and needed more time to study!
 
The first weekend of the month was our conference championships.  It was a great day!  The weather was beautiful, and the track at South Doyle was really nice.  I woke up that day lacking motivation, but God sent me a verse that lifted me up.
"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him."  Philippians 2:13
That was awesome knowing that even though I may not always feel like it, if it's what I am supposed to do, God will give me everything I need to get it done. 
I had been choosing "focus" verses to keep on my mind as I raced this season, and it really helped me keep a better mindset. 
First for this day was 1 Peter 4:11, "...do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Christ Jesus."
The second was 2 Corinthians 5:9, "So we make it our goal to please Him..."
I decided that my total focus while I was racing that day was going to be on using what I have been given to please God.  I just wanted to enjoy it.
The 4x800 was just a fun race, becuase we obviously would win it with our B-team, which is why I even ran it.  The 1600 wasn't my best, but it was 10 seconds faster than the last one I ran!  I was excited to feel motivated to push myself again.  I had to just let go of comparing myself to the other runners in the race and focus on doing my best.  I felt much better.
The 3200, my main race, was another good one--I had fun!  I even broke my conference recrd from last year by a second.
During a longer race like the 3200, you have a little time to think.  To keep my mind positive, I pray, think of verses, and sing songs in my head.  Three songs stood out while I checked off those 8 laps
"It's my joy to honor You, in all I do, to honor You"
"Lord, I need You, O I need You, every hour I need You.  My one defense, my righteousness, O God how I need You"  (This one is one that comes to mind during speed workouts when I'm worn out!)
A newer MercyMe song that makes me want to dance: "God, I'm running for Your heart, I'm running for Your heart until I am a soul on fire!"
This kept me pushing through the finish line!
 
This is the picture that came up that morning to get me going, but that wasn't all!  God works in ways where you know it can only be Him.  I went on Twitter and there was the same verse!
I was so excited for how I felt a change in my motivation, that I kept my number from the race and decorated it with those verses.
Every May for the past several years, I go to Regency for the Mother's Day banquet and eat with my grandmother!  I love going up there and eating with them.  They enjoy company and seeing young people so much!  Since my grandmother moved rooms, she doesn't get to see her old friends except when I come to eat with her, so that makes it even better.  We all get together around the same table, same people, and have a great time.  They don't always think the food is good, but I love it!  People tell me I should just live there.  Food, bed early, wii, yoga, I have to pee a lot, self serve soft serve all day, I get cold easy, I wear contacts or glasses...the list goes on.
These are the wonderful women of the back table!
And here is the great Granannie herself!
Mom and I are both hardheaded, so that leads to arguments a lot.  We have so much fun, though, because we also share a sarcastic sense of humor!  We get under each others' skin a lot, but she sacrifices so much for me, I can't thank her enough.
This will give you a little insight into how we work in the Jones house.  While many moms were out for fancy dinners on Mother's Day we spent about $8 total on a pizza, eaten on stirofoam plates, in our living room, wearing whatever clothes we happened to have on.  We don't have to have fancy to be happy.  In fact, 99% of the time, we are much happier without the fancy!
For all those who were enrolled in AP US History (a worldwide tested class) and Chemistry (a statewide tested class), we were not happy.  We had to take both those tests back to back.  But the school thought we would be okay because they brought us pizza...yeah that made it soo much better...Luckily, as soon as we finished the EOC, we could go home!
May is graduation time, so people were having parties and sending mail left and right!  Abby has been one of my best friends since we met as her dad (red shirt) was my elementary and travel basketball coach and her brother Noah was my first real boyfriend.  They treat me like family, and I love them to death!  Abby is responsible for many of my best memories through those years.  We were so goofy!
She, along with two other girls, had a little celebration at one of the family's property that does all kinds of fancy things.  They had it decorated so nice!
That same day had another celebration:  Aunt Debi and Uncle Chum were in town!  He's always finding something to give me a hard time about, and as you can see, here he is making fun of my huge taco salad.  He's such a goober.

El Sazon has become the restaurant where we go for any family get-together.  We all love it, and they are so fast!
 
This beautiful picture came from a post by Pastor Dean!  I didn't see it until the next day, but it was the morning of our region meet.  Rainbows are reminders from God that everything will work out His way, and He sure does!
Joy is my word, and God is my joy.
This was an awesome day.  The 1600 was a crazy race.  I hadn't been in the tops of that race for more than 2 laps this season, but this day was my kind of weather.  It was the hottest day we had all year!  I stuck with the pack and held on to a qualifying spot until the last about 80 meters.  I don't have much of a kick, but I was going as fast as those little legs would go!  I missed qualifying for state by just 1 place, but my time was my best for the season.  I wanted to go so bad, but it just wasn't meant to be.  I was okay with it because I gave it everything I had, so that was God's plan.  My race was just good enough to leave me satisfied, ending my 1600 season on a great note.
The 3200 was a great one again!  I enjoyed it...again!  I was so happy to be back into things.  My time was the exact same as my win from conference the week before.  While we were waiting near the tent for them to take us over to the start, I saw a girl wearing one of the race shirts, but it was a tank top.  I asked her about it because I had never seen anything but tshirts.  I do not need more tshirts.  My drawers runneth over.  This got me more excited!  If they were still there making shirts after my race, I was going to get one!  Luckily I won, so Mom was also more willing to pay for it.  I loved feeling free and flying while I went through that race.  It was a long, hot, tough day, but at the end of days like that, all I can do is praise the Lord!  It was also great hearing my mom's positive cheers from her secluded spot each time I passed by the 300 mark.  After the finish, I said a few words after walking out the gate, then pointed to the tshirt truck and said, "They have tank tops, and I want one!"  Mom laughed and was all for it!  I didn't have much breath, but I got out the words that I needed to get that point across.  We went over there to choose a design, and we found the perfect one.  You can't see it in this picture, but below the "Running His Race" it has Hebrews 12:1-2, which was my focus verse this whole season. 
Again with the late nights...We didn't have much time to grab dinner and dessert before they both closed, but luckily, Salsarita's (MY FAVORITE) and Marble Slab were in the same shopping center.  I am not a fast eater, so scarfing down that burrito bowl was not easy.  It still tasted just as good.
Back to back 3200m Region I champ
The new uniforms were a nice touch.
Track kinda copied the idea of carrying something around the week before state, so we got monkeys!  Danny is a cool dude, and he matched my monkey and me one day, so we had some fun posing for a picture.
He may drive me nuts sometimes, but Calvin can be nice, too.  And you know I'm not going to turn down fresh pineapple!
Chemistry was an entertaining class this semester!

And school was over!  Praise the Lord we survived!