Hitting the Wall

Psalm 18:29 “In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.”


Labored breathing ignites. Weakness spreads through your body. Sore muscles ache with intense pain. Exhaustion soaks up the last drops of motivation. Overwhelmed with the miles left to go, your pace slows down to a shuffle. Negative thoughts saturate your mind. Impossible. I can’t keep going.

You’ve hit the wall.

Sometimes without warning, it’s when sudden fatigue and loss of energy overtake us runners. Some have described hitting the wall like this: A sledgehammer slammed down on my entire body. A charging elephant trampled me to the ground. My legs turned into concrete.

Once you’ve hit a wall, you must embrace some proven strategies to keep going. Slow down your pace and walk. Stretch out your achy muscles. Consume a sports drink or gel to refuel. Whatever you do, don’t just stop. As impossible as it seems, keep putting one foot in front of the other. Break up your remaining distance into segments. Tell yourself you’re going to make it to the next mile marker, street light, intersection or building.

Luis Manzo, a sports psychologist and running coach, recommends recruiting a running partner to jump in with you at a point where you anticipate a struggle in the run, almost as if fighting for you.

After years in the wilderness, Joshua and the Israelites came face to face with their wall. The city of Jericho, surrounded by walls 12 feet high and five feet thick, stopped them in their tracks.

It looked impossible. Insurmountable. Thoughts of giving up and turning around flooded their minds.

Yet God led them—through Joshua—to courageously conquer what appeared impossible. They were instructed to march around the city walls one time for six days in a row. It probably didn’t make sense to them. But they kept marching, one step at a time. Finally on the seventh day, God told Joshua to have the people march around seven times!

Imagine being in that crowd of people. Exhausted. Nothing left. Feeling stuck.

In that moment they could’ve walked away and given up hope. Yet they kept on going. Faithfully moving forward one step at a time. And there in front of their very eyes, they watched those seemingly impenetrable walls come crashing down.

In our own lives, we sometimes feel like we’ve hit a wall. We come face-to-face with something that stops us in our tracks, knocking us off our feet. Suddenly crushed to the core, we think, I can’t get through this!

What’s a real life wall look like? A troubled marriage. Diagnosis for cancer. Losing your job. Financial distress. A strained relationship. Your wall may look totally different though. But it’s anything that appears impossible or insurmountable. Whatever it is, there is hope. No matter how wide or how tall your wall looks, it’s not the end.

Just like the Israelites, we can choose to trust God’s unique plan, even when it doesn’t make sense. We keep moving, one foot in front of the other. We don’t run in the opposite direction. We don’t stand still as if paralyzed. We persevere and keep going. We let God do the fighting for us.

When we focus on the actual wall in front of us, despair and fear overwhelm us. But God promises to go ahead of us, making our path straight.

READY?  Identify a wall you’re facing right now. Are you standing still or running away from it? What’s the next step you can take to get through the wall? Are you willing to keep going even when God’s plan doesn’t make sense?

GET SET. Hebrews 11:30 “It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.”  (Also read Joshua 6:2-16)

GO! Dear God, I thank you for your faithfulness and patience with me when I’m facing a wall in my life. Help me to focus on your truth and strength instead of the obstacles in front of me. Help me to walk obediently with confidence, just as the Israelites did when Joshua led them around the city walls. Amen.

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Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett

In the Darkness

Ever felt like darkness surrounded you? Like it completely engulfed your entire being?

You know what I mean, right? Those times when you just can’t see anything clearly. Your path is hidden. You have no idea what is ahead. Like a thick forest you can’t penetrate, darkness overtakes you.

It’s in those times of darkness when we feel like God is not there. He’s abandoned us. He’s forgotten about us. Does he even care at all?

Our hearts may resonate with David in Psalms 139:11 when he says this:

Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me.

We usually try to avoid the darkness. We want to stay in the light as long as possible. We absolutely FEAR the dark places of our journey! Every thread of our soul unravels away at the mere thought of walking into darkness.

But I found a nugget today that I’d never seen before. A powerful nugget of truth that jumped off the page as I read it. May it encourage you today and give you HOPE if you are in a place of darkness.

Moses had just returned from the top of the mountain. Face-to-face with God, he received the ten commandments to take back to the people.

The people were trembling with fear. In fact, they stayed as far away from Moses as possible because of the thunder and lightning show at the base of the mountain. And here’s the nugget of truth….

Exodus 20:21 “The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.”

Did you catch the last three words of that verse??? Where. God. Was.

Huh?? You mean, God was IN the darkness? Seriously??

Yes. God was IN the thick darkness.

I don’t know about you, but that gives me hope! Those three words strengthen my soul! Those three words melt away the fearful thoughts of what darkness brings.

Those three words assure me that God is not only with me when my path is full of light, but he’s right there with me when darkness threatens to blind my eyes.

Just like the Israelites, we tremble when the lights start to flicker. We keep our distance from the approaching storm. Like a child afraid of the dark, we beg someone–anyone–to turn on a light.

Have you ever wondered why we’re afraid of the dark?

I think it boils down to this one truth: We can’t see anything!

We honestly believe that if we can’t see something, we can’t depend on it. What you can’t see is untouchable. What you can’t see is unknowable.

But our almighty God breaks down our human thinking with his all-powerful truth.

In him there is no darkness!

(2 Samuel 22:29) “You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.”

(Psalm 112:4) “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright…”

(Isaiah 42:16) “I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.”

Maybe the very reason he can turn our darkness into light is because he’s there…in the midst of the darkness….with us.

Where are you today, dear friend? Are you trembling with fear because of an approaching storm? Are you keeping your distance from the darkness, paralyzed to take another step? Maybe you’re right smack in the middle of a dark valley and you can’t see one single thing.

Although your human eyes may not be able to see the path, his sovereign hands are wrapped tightly around your soul. He won’t leave you. He is with you in the darkness.


Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett

Are You Ready for Battle?

Ephesians 6:12 “Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

The night before a race, adrenaline pumps through your body as anticipation builds. In preparation for running out the door at the crack of dawn, you strategically organize your gear just right. From head to toe, every single item is laid out in clear view to make sure nothing is overlooked: Hat, shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, anti-chafing cream, Ipod, and of course your GPS watch. If any of these items are forgotten, you’ll struggle to run your race. Each item has a distinct purpose—designed for a specific job to protect you. When your alarm blares loudly in the morning, you’re ready to grab your essentials and confidently head out the door. You can’t fathom not being prepared! You fully understand what’s at stake.

A hat protects you from the blistering sun. Your wicking shirt and shorts soak up moisture—keeping your skin dry. You’d never dream of wearing cotton! Your pricey running socks and cream are worth every penny, protecting your feet from blisters. Your running shoes give you ample support for pounding the pavement.  You’ve downloaded the perfect songs on your playlist, trusting they’ll motivate you throughout the race. Your GPS watch is fully charged, ready to keep you on track. A wise runner is fully prepared—ready to conquer the race ahead, like a soldier armed for battle.

But there’s another battle that should get our full attention. We’re told in Ephesians about a spiritual battle. This battle threatens every believer in Christ. It’s ugly. It’s fierce. Thankfully, this battle is one we don’t have to fight alone.

When it comes to preparing for this battle, are we putting as much emphasis on the armor of God as we are with our running gear? Do we intentionally ponder the powerful pieces of armor God has designed for us? Are we carelessly rushing into challenges and difficulties without any thought of our protection?  If so, we are setting ourselves up for disaster. And in this case the disaster is much more serious than sunburn and blisters!

Each piece of armor is designed with precision to arm us for battle. Our helmet of salvation symbolizes what Christ did for us on the cross. In Biblical times it stood for a sign of military strength.

The breastplate of righteousness allows us to walk confidently, not in our own power, but in the righteousness of Jesus.

What about the girdle of truth? Without this, we don’t stand a chance against the deception of the world and the ploys of the enemy. We must cling to the truth of who we are in Christ.

The shoes of peace we’re privileged to wear allow us to demonstrate love to a hurting world.

The shield of faith is the most important defensive weapon we have. It protects us in the heat of battle, extinguishing all the flaming arrows hurled our way from the enemy.

And last but not least, we must firmly grip the sword of the spirit—the only offensive weapon given to us. With it we demolish the temptations set out to distract and destroy us.

So the next time you’re laying out your physical running gear, let it remind you and inspire you to be prepared for the spiritual battle within your soul. Ready or not, the battle awaits you.

READY? Are you being intentional in putting on your spiritual armor? Reflect on each piece of armor and how it can empower you for your life’s challenges.  What steps do you need to take to ensure you’re completely dressed for battle?

SET. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (Also read Ephesians 6:13-18)

GO! Dear Jesus, thank you for giving me each piece of armor. I desperately come before you and ask you to remind me of the power you’ve given me through each of these.  Help me to humble myself as I put on each piece and walk victoriously each day of my life on this earth. Amen


Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett

Through the Storm

Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…”

I absolutely love running under a clear-blue sky, sun beaming overhead. Cold weather? No problem. But I utterly despise running in the rain. If it’s raining the least little bit during training, I happily opt for my elliptical machine or head to an indoor track.

Two years ago I trained for the Country Music half-marathon in Nashville. The day before the race, the weather forecast did not look favorable. The 95% chance of rain left a slim possibility for clear skies. I prayed like crazy for those gloomy clouds to quickly disappear. In one final, desperate plea I prayed for the rain to at least hold off until I finished my race. Come on God, really? Can’t you make it stop raining for just a few hours? Don’t you know I hate running in the rain?

As it got closer to our start time, the weather forecast remained the same and I had to finally accept the sad reality…I was going to get wet. Anxiously pulling a rain-poncho over my body, I hoped this flimsy piece of plastic would keep me dry from the raging downpour. Boy was I wrong! Huddling up together with a sea of 30,000 runners, I anxiously awaited my turn to arrive at the start line. The steady rain drenched my socks and shoes as I inched my way forward. Before the race ever started I was soaked to the bone. After a grueling thirty-minute wait, I was finally off and running. The driving rain felt like a torrential flood as I sloshed through puddles the entire thirteen miles of that race.

Halfway through the race I flung off the heavy rain poncho. My attempt to stay dry proved futile. The sound of rain drumming the pavement almost drowned out the music I was listening to on my IPod. But I could still hear the gentle whisper of my Heavenly Father above the noise.

Lisa, just as I am with you in this pouring rain, I am with you through all the storms of your life. Sometimes I calm the storm around you. But sometimes I allow you to go through it. Although you’ll get wet, I promise to be with you.

Drenched and shivering on the outside, I finished the race. But an inward peace had saturated my soul, ushered in by God’s truth. Once you’ve run through a constant downpour, the scattered showers don’t seem to bother you as much as they did before. And the same is true in our walk of faith. Once we’ve waddled through a heart-wrenching storm, we come out stronger on the other side. Our faith grows. Our perspective changes. The key verse in Isaiah doesn’t say if you pass through the waters; it clearly says when. And we lean harder on Him because we know He’ll be with us through it all.

So what about you, dear friend? What storm of life are you sloshing through? Are you begging God to remove your difficult circumstances? Are you trying to protect yourself from “getting wet” with your own human devices? Or can you humbly accept that He might take you through the storm? Maybe you’re drenched at the start line and the storm is raging. Maybe you’re in the middle and you feel as if you’ll drown in worry and fear. No matter where you are or whatever the storm is, He promises to carry us through it.

READY?  Can you identify some past storms God has brought you through? How can you apply the insight you gained to a current storm you are in now? If you’ve been resisting a storm, can you embrace it with absolute trust in God? The next time you’re running in the rain, ponder the truth of how God is with you always.

GET SET.  Matthew 5:45 “…He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

GO!  Heavenly Father, I confess my selfish desire for you to remove all the storms in my life. Help me to trust you when your plan is not to calm the storm, but to calm my anxious heart in the midst of the storm. Thank you for promising to walk with me through all the storms of my life. Amen



Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett

What’s Your Pace?

Hebrews 12:1. “…Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”

One of the phrases you’ll frequently hear among fellow runners in conversation is this: “What’s your pace?” It’s also a  question most registration forms require an answer to when signing up for a half or full marathon. Deep down we probably know the answer to that question, yet sometimes we may be tempted to alter this figure so as to appear faster. Some runners are fast and can run like the wind no matter what the distance. But for me, long distance running is all about endurance. Speed is not a priority.

Could I run faster at the start? Absolutely!

Could I run at that pace throughout the entire race? Absolutely NOT!

If I started off running with all my might, I’d be sick to my stomach for the rest of the race. So I pace myself, trying to remember that it doesn’t matter if people are passing me quickly. It doesn’t matter who is in front of me. It doesn’t matter if someone else crosses the finish line before I do. My determination is focused on finishing the race. At my own unique pace.

Even if you don’t consider yourself an elite runner, as a follower of Christ you are in a race. Not a physical race, but a spiritual race. Maybe you’ve never thought of your life as a race, but it really is. Our goal is Jesus. We should desire to finish well and have Him say to us “Welcome home good and faithful servant.” 

But if I compare myself to someone else’s pace, I’ll crash and burn if I try to keep up with them. Trying to keep up with your friend who’s further ahead in their life’s journey would be like a brand new runner trying to keep up with a veteran marathoner. Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Yet we often try to keep up with others to achieve a certain image. Or perhaps we feel unrealistic pressure from others to keep up with them. Sometimes pride drives us to run someone else’s pace. Or maybe it’s fear of walking a leg of the race alone. Whatever the motive is, it’s not good if it isn’t where God wants us. We are designed to live this life at the unique pace God calls us to. This life is definitely not a quick sprint, but a marathon with lots of twists and turns. Lots of valleys and hills. And sometimes a lot of flat land in between.

READY? Are you in a season where things are rough? Are you at the start line of a new adventure God is calling you to? Or maybe you feel as if you’re plugging along slowly in a desert land with no oasis in sight. Ask God to show you where you’re running ahead too quickly or not quickly enough. Wherever you may be, pace yourself.

GET SET. Galatians 5:25 “Since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit.”

GO! Dear God, I confess that sometimes I try to run my race of faith at a pace you simply did not design me for. Forgive me for running in my own power instead of relying on the Holy Spirit. Help me surrender completely to the purpose you created me for as I run with endurance each step of the way. Amen 


Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett




Get Out of Your Comfort Zone!

Matthew 14:29  So Peter got out of the boat. He walked on the water toward Jesus. But when Peter saw the wind, he was afraid. He began to sink. He cried out, “Lord, save me!” Right away Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “Your faith is so small! Why did you doubt me?”

After running six half marathons during a four-year stretch, I felt God nudging me to attempt a full marathon. At first I fought against this gentle nudging. What? Are you getting me mixed up with someone else, God? Can’t I just stick with what I’m already doing? But when I realized He was indeed nudging me, I completely surrendered. Yes! I stepped way out of my comfort zone. I’d grown quite comfortable in running half marathons. I knew what to expect. I was comfortable with my pace. Comfortable with the training schedule. Confident in beating my own personal records from previous races. I was satisfied with my collection of medals from finished half-marathons.

But when I finally decided to attempt a full marathon, I stepped into unknown territory. It took me several days to muster up enough courage to actually register for the race. And once I officially registered, fear gripped my heart. I was no longer comfortable.  Maybe you’re comfortable jogging a few miles around the block, but you think you’d be too uncomfortable to sign up for a 5K. Perhaps you’ve grown accustomed to running nothing but 5K’s and the mere thought of going beyond that distance makes you break out in a sweat. You don’t want to leave your comfort zone because it’s just not….comfortable. But you know what? Sometimes that’s exactly where God wants us to be.

I’m sure Peter felt the same way in today’s passage. It’s pretty obvious that Peter most certainly stepped out of his comfort zone! The other disciples huddled together as they watched comfortably from inside the boat. Nobody else dared to follow behind him. He progressed from being a spectator to a participant. He stepped completely out of the boat and then he walked toward Jesus.

But when Peter saw the huge waves in the distance, he began to sink. He didn’t sink from the presence of the waves; he sank because he gawked at the ferocious waves and took his eyes off Jesus. When Jesus calls us out of our comfort zones, the wind and waves may still distract us. What are your distractions? Doubts from your inner soul? Criticism from others who don’t understand? Unexpected circumstances?

When Peter began to sink, he didn’t have to wait long for Jesus to rescue him. It’s because Jesus was right there. When Jesus calls you out of your comfort zone, he doesn’t just watch from a distance. He is right there beside you to catch you when you fall. The first timid step into the unknown can often usher in a tidal wave of fear. When that happens, humbly drop to your knees in prayer. Call out to Him like Peter did and let him rescue you with the strong grip of his loving hand.

READY? Where do you think Jesus is calling you to come out of your comfort zone? Are you still in the boat? Then trust Him as you take that first step out. Are you a few steps out of the boat? Then keep going one step at a time as you fix your eyes on Jesus. Are you beginning to sink? Then call out to Him! He is still there to catch you and get you going again.

GET SET. Psalm 105:4 Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.

GO!  Lord Jesus, I humbly come to you and ask you to show me where I need to come out of my own comfort zone. Please forgive my unbelief and my human tendency to worry! Help me to not focus on the gushing waves around me, but to focus on the strength and peace you promise when we choose to seek your face. 





Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett


Remembering God’s Blessings

Psalm 77: 11-12 “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds”

These words from Psalm encourage us to remember the mighty deeds of God. Meditating on all that God has done seems like a wise thing to do. But if you read the beginning verses of this chapter, you’ll see the reasoning behind the urgency. When the psalmist penned these words, he was in distress. In fact, in verse 2 he says this: “…my soul refused to be comforted.” He goes on to explain that his spirit feels faint and that he’s too troubled to even speak.

But here’s the crucial turning point. Don’t miss this! Instead of wallowing in his turmoil and focusing on his despair, he chooses something else. He decides to focus on the goodness of God in days past. He fixes his heart on the miracles and mighty deeds of his Lord. He remembers how God redeemed his people. And he doesn’t just briefly mention this in these two verses. If you keep reading, he dedicates the entire next chapter(Psalm 78) to recalling in detail all the wondrous acts of God.

So what exactly does this mean for us? I think it’s powerful insight for us to notice that he wrote these things down. He didn’t just tuck them somewhere in the back of his mind. He intentionally wrote them down! By the time he gets to the end of Psalm 78, his focus is no longer on himself but is on the goodness of God.

What if we followed his example? What if we too decided to record the deeds of God in our own lives?

Our family started what we call a blessing journal several years ago. We began writing down answered prayers. We also recorded any blessings–especially the unexpected ones–in this journal. Some days we would simply write down things we were thankful for. Over the years, those once blank pages began to fill up with powerful testimony of God’s provision for our family.

But do you know when our blessing journal became most powerful? It became most powerful when our family was walking through difficult trials. Trials when we were discouraged, in distress and in need of comfort. Sound familiar to the words of our writer in Psalm 77?

Something amazing happened when we would pull out that blessing journal. We would read back through the pages of times when God provided, blessed and comforted us. We were reminded of his faithfulness, goodness and his ultimate sovereignty. Reading through the journal didn’t change our current circumstances, but it changed our perspective. 

One specific time that still strikes me  is when my husband was in a season of  disappointment. He was feeling quite discouraged and doubtful. I pulled out our blessing journal and turned back to pages which described God’s provision for our family in a previous difficult season. After reading those pages and remembering God’s faithfulness, my husband’s spirit was lifted!

And just like the writer of Psalm 77 and 78, the reminder of God’s faithfulness changes our perspective and redirects our focus.

Recording God’s blessings in a journal not only reminds us of his faithfulness, but it can be a powerful tool for our children.

We would let our children record their own answered prayers in the family journal. An answered prayer for a lost pet to come back home and success on a difficult test at school were recorded in their own handwriting. And there have been many times my daughter has read through our journal of God’s faithfulness in the years before she was even born. One day she asked me this profound question: “Mom, one day when I’m older, will you give this journal to me to keep?”

That moment really hit me hard! In a sense I believe she was asking permission to hold on to our family’s journey of God’s provision for a future time when we will no longer be here. What a legacy to leave her! A written testimony of God’s goodness. Things she would forget at some point if they were not written down.

I challenge you today to do the same thing we have done. Begin recording the prayers God has answered. Write down in ink the blessings He’s showered upon you. Date them so you know exactly when God intervened.

It may not seem like a big deal to do this when all is well in your world. But I promise you this: your written stories of God’s provision will leap off the page and pour strength and hope into your heart during your weary days of distress. Do it for your sake. Do it for your children’s sake. And above all, do it to bring honor and glory to the one who deserves it most…your faithful God!

Psalm 77: 11-12 “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.”

blessing journal

Leave a comment and give me your feedback to let me know how you’re doing on starting your own blessing journal.

Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett