Scents of Summer Through the Eyes (and Nostrils) of a Runner.

The scents are grand and abundant this time of year in Bedford. The smell of the warm afternoon rain cooling down a hot day. The twangy scent of hay that has just been laid down and is awaiting baling. The sweet scent of honeysuckle that wasps to you as you pass. The lemony scent of that weed that has always made me sneeze. The fresh soil and mulch that has been placed around the homes of the gardeners in the area. The unexpectedly sour smell of that beautiful red flower that I have always wanted to know the name of, yet my google searches remain consistently unfruitful. That summer scent of fresh night that comes after a long hot day. All these natural scents and many more remind me of summers past, the current, and what I know summers to come will be like. 

No matter what, I can always come back and visit this little gravel road and smell the dusty coated scents all around me. (or maybe the asphalt road by that time….)

 

“If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?” 1 Corinthians 12:17

Tonight and today have been a reminder to me how awesome God is. Something as simple as smell and all the scents all around us has been constructed and placed on this Earth by God. He is awesome and in everything there is a plan. Whether it be the sweet smell of honeysuckle or the earthy scent of manure, God is there. And even when the scents fade, the seasons shift, or circumstances change God is there.

 

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As for today:

Early night runs remain some of my favorite and they always bring excitement with them, whether it be a high speed deer chase of the dog, a full moon, a snake, or having to avoid the poison ivy in nearly the dark. 

Happy Tuesday! 

 

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Strawberries Through the Eyes of a Runner.

Yesterday I was able to celebrate the birth of my boyfriend 20 years ago! He has been such a blessing to me the past two years and I thank the Lord for placing him in my life to celebrate the last 3 birthdays with him! 

ImageFor his cake I made Toasted Marshmallow Chocolate Cupcakes! 🙂

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Today we went to church, drove out to pick strawberries:

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Picked Strawberries:

ImageLaid out in the sun, then biked and ran! 

All in all it has been a glorious Sabbath day!

“So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” Genesis 2:3

 

 

 

Full Moons Through the Eyes of a Runner.

Watching a Full Moon rise is one of the most glorious things on this planet. As dusk sets in the moon slowly rises up through the thick of the forest like a flower’s bloom peaking through a former bud. 

I have seen this glorious sight once before, last summer on my road trip with my boyfriend. Each time it amazes me and takes my breath away if only merely for a second. With something as perfect as this, how can one even formulate a thought that God doesn’t exist?   It brought me to praise tonight merely by the sight. I couldn’t help to start singing Amazing Grace despite the fact I was winded from being out on a run. 

The Lord works in miraculous ways and it sometimes takes a larger thing, whether it be trial or tribulations to refocus our thoughts to him. Other times it just takes the rising of a Full Moon.

The past few days have been blessing inside themselves. Whether it be a peaceful moment of reading, a good talk with a strong Christian lady, a run in a thunderstorm, a paycheck, freshly baked cupcakes, a hug from my boyfriend, or a smile of my heart, God blesses us in our stillness. We just need to seek him and stay still long enough to count our blessings. 

I thank the Lord for the strong body he has given me to be able to run, the mind he has given me to contemplate the world with, and the love he has shown to me through his actions and by placing all the wonderful people in my life to show me earthly love. 

I’ll share my last few days and last few runs with you through photos. 

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught…
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me…
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be…
as long as life endures.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.”

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Wednesday: Rainy runs and days.

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Thursday: Sunny runs and days. 

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Friday: Honeysuckle and other joys in life, including, the full moon rising. 

 

 

Crabtree Falls Through the Eyes of a Runner.

Saturday my father, older brother, and I hiked at a place called Crabtree Falls. It was beautiful!

We started at the bottom of the tallest fall on the East Coast…

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And hiked up to the top! 

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It was a fun venture and I’d really like to go back and run it one of these days when its a bit drier. Afterwards I helped my mom in the garden and help throw out old clothes! We are purging this summer!

Sunday was a day full of new things with everything from the church my mom and I visited to new experiences at work. All in all, a glorious day in the Lord. 

Today I was off! I made Lemon Cupcakes with a pudding filling and lemon cream cheese buttercream topped with fresh lemon peel.Image

And then experienced the day by laying out in the sun reading and running with my boyfriend’s sister!

Today was a day which reaffirmed this next quote:

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And to that I must say Amen. And I thank the Lord he is not finished with me and my prayers yet, even when I can’t feel him doing grand things in my life, I know he is, in his timing. 

 

Camping Through the Eyes of a Runner.

Tuesday my boyfriend and I hiked part of the Appalachian Trail and camped!Image

We had beautiful weather here, not too hot, not too cold. The hike was easy and the camping was perfect! We had a couple yummy campfire meals and got to listen to the James River flow by as the stars and the fire lit the night and the crickets provided the melody. 

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Wednesday we found an old gun shoppe that he had heard of. It was a cool old place with a nice old owner who started the shop as a place to get away from wife when she was bugging him.

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Today was a long shift at work and a fast paced, short run. As I work towards the half and the whole marathons, I’m trying to work on distance and speed.

In the day to day life of summer, I must remember to look to God for all my strength and peace through everything, for he tells us to “Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you.” Job 22:21

Clouds in the Sky Through the Eyes of a Runner.

Today is one of those days that make you appreciate every little thing the Lord has created and allowed us humans to enjoy:

The slight breeze as the rays of the sun peek through the clouds. The happy twitters of the birds as they take flight. The scent of honeysuckle as you pass it on an old gravel road. The lush earth that surrounds you while you run. Today everything seems to be at peace and touched by God’s hand which always reminds me exactly what He has done for me.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

And thank goodness he did! I know by myself I deserve nothing, in him, I am able to enjoy this world.

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It is a lovely day for a run! I was able to break in my new shoes a bit and the dog loved splashing in the puddles left from rain and the bubbling brook. 

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And now my boyfriend and I are headed out camping to enjoy this beautiful day even more!

“Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom has thou made them all: the earth is full of your riches.” Psalm 104:24

Summer Job through the Eyes of a Runner.

It’s been a couple days since I last posted because it has been a busy busy last few days!

Friday I got to see one of my best friends from high school who came up from her more southern state. I love this girl so much! We met in 7th grade, became closer friends in 9th and then became sisters in 10th 🙂

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We stayed up til the wee hours of the morning giggling and talking along with my boyfriend and much to the chagrin of my mother and the dog who just wanted to sleep. Also the weather on Friday was the type that, within the first 2 minutes of a run you are pouring sweat and just want it to be over! 

 

Saturday was my first official day as a scheduled employee! My summer job commences! It is the first “real” job I have ever had due to the fact I have a set schedule and a uniform for it. The first day consisted of sitting in a cold room for a four hours while being “oriented.” After I was let out to thaw, I headed home and ran a normal Saturday run of 8.5 miles. And then helped make delicious flounder and scalloped potatoes for dinner. 

Yesterday, I was able to celebrate the beautiful woman who gave birth to me. I hope everyone said thank you to their mothers for everything they have done for you over the years! The Lord calls us to honor the women who give up their lives for their children. As expressed in Proverbs 31:25-30 “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.””

This is definitely my mother! She is an awesome woman and I wouldn’t change her for the world!

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Both my brothers came over and we had a special meal for this lovely woman and watched a very, very odd movie.

 

Today was my first longer shift of work, sitting in front of a computer screen “being trained.” The weather around here has dropped down almost 15 degrees, so I think today may be a shorter, windy sort of run.

Despite your situation, remember:

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Have a blessed Monday! Now I am headed out to fight the wind!

New Shoes Through the Eyes of a Runner.

The beautiful sun peeked in the blinds as I woke this morning hinting it would be a lovely day!

Today I accompanied my boyfriend to his college and while he was taking his exam, I was able to run around the beautiful campus and revisit the track where I made my PR in the 800 during my track days for a short sprint.ImageImage

After I went and got new running shoes!! 

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After checking out some pawn shops and looking at puppies we went and listened to my awesome little brother’s spring concert!

All in all a good day.

Sunshine is sweet; it is good to see the light of day. People ought to enjoy every day of their lives, no matter how long they live. But they should also remember this: You will be dead a long time. Everything that happens then is useless.” Ecclesiastes 11:7-8

Rain Through The Eyes of a Runner.

Just as quickly as the rain three days ago had started, in the past three hours it has stopped!

Looks like Bedford’s mini-monsoon season has ended! And with the rain, away washed my fears about my Statistics grade and my jobless state. I passed Statistics 101 and now have a summer job! With the dry season that followed I was able to make a new type of cupcake, Swiss Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Filling and Penuche (shown below) and got to run 5.6 miles.

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“When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.” Proverbs 10:25

“Ask rain from the Lord in the season of the spring rain, from the Lord who makes the storm clouds, and he will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation in the field.” Zechariah 10:1 

God sends us the storms in life to show us his glory and give us extra joy when there is good weather!

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The storm leaving through the eyes of a runner. 

Changes Through the Eyes of A Runner. From Philly to Bedford.

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Welcome to my blog! My name is Melanie and I am a runner.

A little bit about me:

I am a college (after yesterday *gasp!) sophomore!! I am a rural Virginian native yet a Phildadelphian for the next few years and I love the city!

I have many loves in my life: Christ, time with family, my boyfriend and friends, chocolate, fluff reading, coffee, heels, sunshine, boats, planning events, flip flops, summer, cupcakes, flower blooms, chick flicks, fresh laundry, the beach, hotels, cooking, photography, babies, puppies, letters in the mail, the city, the country, hugs, traveling, clothes, and many more things that will probably come out over the time I am working on this blog.

The inspiration for this blog came from the fact that running is an AWESOME way to get to know a city, the people in it, and the area in general. In the short time since February, when I decided to run my first half marathon, I have come to know Philadelphia very well. Whether it is a run from campus down to Penn’s Landing through center city and old city, or a trek out to Fall’s Bridge, or a simple run around campus, or a quick jaunt into West Philly, running equals exploration!

Last Saturday I left my city to come back to my hometown where I will spend the next four months of summer. So for this first blog post: Changes Through the Eyes of A Runner.

As I crossed over the state line into Virginia, my heart was confused. Over the past year I have grown to love the city and I knew I was headed back to the country for the next four months. Would I be able to readjust to the life I used to know? Would I be completely out of place or fall back into my old ways? I didn’t really want either of these things.

My freshman year of college found me stronger in my faith, involved in friendships that will stand the tests of time, more accountable for myself, my actions, and my sins, with new knowledge and all in all a lot more joyful than I was a year ago.

The city had become my home and now I leave it to return to my old home. In this transition back, I have realized, home is not in where you live, it is where your heart finds love and where God is leading you. Your home is not in a worldly place, it is in the love of the Father.

Jesus replied “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” John 14:23

So with that, I search for a summer job, try and be dilligent in reading my bible and run. Alas it has been pouring for the past two days and I haven’t gotten a chance to run! I’m getting stir crazy!