Lessons Learned on the Road - Running the Race Marked Out for You

Welcome back to our Tuesday Series - Lessons Learned on the Road. Today I have the privilege of welcome Rosann who I met online at Voiceboks.com and am privileged to run alongside in my journey as a Christian communicator. 

Rosann is filled with contagious joy and a zeal for life. Click over and read her blog, Christian SuperMom and you'll see what mean. She also has a unique ministry to the unemployed at Unemployed Faith. Please join me in welcoming Rosann to Jesus & My Orange Juice.

by Rosann Cunningham

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily tangles, 
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

Few things bring clarity, creativity, and joy to my heart like running. I've had a passion for it since childhood, but it wasn't until a recent particularly turbulent season of life, I actually labeled myself a runner.

When life's circumstances were too overwhelming to face, running became an escape. 

For 3 miles a day I was consumed by God's presence, lost in the worship experience my well-crafted playlist provided. With each stride, whispers from the Spirit reassured me.  I finished with less stress and a renewed outlook.    

Before I knew it, God planted the seed of crazy in my heart.  It was an idea…a challenge…that would stretch me beyond life's current struggles.    

Run a half-marathon? I laughed at the thought.

A 13.1 mile test of faith? My stomach knotted up.

Me? Surely, He must have the wrong person!

But when God calls, the answer needs to be obedience. 

And so it began. 

I became a runner. For real. 

God's lessons in my race were priceless. 

In Life, Be Purposeful

My purpose was an act of obedience, but it was also a mission to regain hope and strengthen my faith. To do so meant approaching it with one goal in mind. To glorify God. 

In Life, Be Equipped

Preparation gives joy a place to settle in, suffocating fear. A training plan, proper gear, and the best nourishment, are all significant factors in equipping ourselves for the journey.

My race wasn't just physically demanding. I had a mess of emotions to deal with. To be an overcomer and effectively equip myself, I learned to do three things.

  • Push myself (painfully) out of the mental and physical comfort zone of a 5K.  It was the only way to build endurance. 
  • Prepare for unexpected weather or tough terrain. I didn't just shop for gear at the Nike store. I spent hours reading and memorizing the powerful promises in God's word. 
  • For  proper nourishment and soul fuel, I met God daily in heartfelt prayer and quiet listening. 

In Life, Be Disciplined

Self-discipline determines victory or defeat.  Our mind is powerful, so eradicating the stream of negative thinking or a poor-me attitude is one of the most complicated tests we face.  

Being purposeful and equipped is the foundation for strong self-discipline.   

Mile four was a common battle zone between body and mind. With knees aching and  heart pounding fast, my mind sputtered lies.

You can't do it.

You're too tired.

You aren't strong enough.

To employ self-discipline, I refocused my mind on God.  I remembered why I was doing it - for His glory. I grasped for His truth - I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Phil 4:13)  I closed my eyes, sensing His Holy Spirit. I wasn't alone.   

No matter how rough the road, He is always there carrying me. He'll carry you too.  

What race has God marked out for you? 

Rosann Cunningham is a Christian Author, wife to the man of her dreams, and stay-at-home mom to two delightful little girls. When she’s not out for a jog or having energy burning dance parties with her daughters, she can be found writing for her blog ChristianSuperMom, and ministering to women whose husbands are in a season of unemployment, at her other website UnEMPLOYED Faith.  Her writing inspiration for both projects comes from a strong desire to glorify God while sharing the heart of her journey through a life of faith.


  1. I love Philippians 4:13. I am so glad that I can still visit you lovely ladies and remember that I need to be focusing on what God wants in my life. It's hard---you guys know my situation and truthfully I've let it get the best of me in the past few months. I love the lessons that you've learned through the simple act of running. I think it would be a wonderful time for devotion, reflection and prayer with God. Shannon and Rosann, you guys are like little beacons of light on my journey to get back to Him. Thanks!

    1. Michelle, I love that verse too! I'm praying for your situation. What a blessing to be a beacon of light for you, friend. :)

    2. Michelle, we are cheering for you as you walk closer to Him!

  2. Your words spoke to me deep today, Rosann. To the place we don't like to talk about. Thank you.

    God has been showing me I need to be more purposeful. More disciplined. It's why I made "intentional" my one word this year.

    And I love your thoughts on needing to be more equipped. It's helping me see what He wants me to linger on.

    Thank you so much!

    And thank you, Shannon, for sharing your beautiful space.

    All for Him with hugs to you both,

    1. Nikki, it warms my heart to know this struck a chord with you. I love "intentional" as a word for the year. You've certainly reflected it well on your blog, dear friend. :)

    2. Nikki, intentional is such an incredible word - it encompasses so much. Whispering a prayer for you today as you live intentionally for Him.

  3. This moved me. Congrats on doing 5 ks I hope to do it one day :) It shows you have God in your life.

  4. Thanks for this encouragement to keep going, even when things are tough. The part especially about pushing past the 5K mark was challenging. My new venture into blogging, while not physical, feels a bit like that right now. But I will push through. I enjoy your posts.

    1. Julie, I'm so glad you found encouragement here. I can totally relate to feeling like blogging (and all the marketing that goes with it) is like pushing through the 5K mark. I've found it to be worth the effort though, on the trail, in life, and in writing. :)

    2. Julie, keep pushing forward. Blogging is like running a marathon. You have to keep walking in faith knowing God is with you.

  5. What a fabulous post. God recently placed a dream on my heart. The dream of opening a brew pub with homemade beer with my hubby - a place where we could minister across the bar. Left and right are voices saying it's just a pipe dream or a fanciful idea that will never come to fruition. We are taking baby steps right now. We need, most of all, to spend more time focusing on Christ.

    1. Thank you so much, Audra! I love the dream God has placed on your heart! What a challenge that would be to minister across the bar. But I firmly believe if God calls you to it, He can be trusted with the details. :) Praying for you as you move forward with baby steps.

  6. Congratulations on running that marathon. God always equips those He has called. I know that He is equipping me for the journey, for the road I am on and the one that lies ahead. Sometimes I feel ill-equipped for the race. For me, discipline is what I struggle with most. I know what I need to do to get to the other side, yet sometimes I'd rather just sit, lay low and wait for life to happen. Thanks for sharing your heart in this space.

    1. Thanks Barbie! I'm actually getting the "itch" to run another one. I was just telling my husband about it the other day and I think I may have heard him sigh deeply. Lol! He was so worried about me when I was training because the long runs took so much out of me and were increasingly more difficult to recover from, and then as race day approached we had the added concern about cold, wet weather conditions. God showed up, as I knew He would, and He carried me to the finish...just like He does in life. It's the discipline I struggle with the most, too. You definitely aren't alone, friend. :)

    2. Barbie, I don't think discipline comes easily for any of us. It's a step by step, day by day journey. :)

  7. I'm not sure what journey God has for me but I am working on a close relationship with him to see me through the times.

    1. We really can't get through tough times any other way, don't you think?

  8. I have to admit that I'm caught up in a string of negative thinking. I definitely should push myself out of my comfort zone, and explore what else life has to offer. Yes, with self-discipline, we can solve our problems, whatever they may be. I have to learn to pray... really pray.

  9. Wonderful post, Rosann. As always, you provoke my thoughts and give me something to reflect upon. :)

    1. Rosann, is so talented isn't she? So thankful she could post here!

  10. Shannon, you could not have picked a better person to guest post on your blog!!! I absolutely love reading Rosann's and your blog.. it gives me that extra fill of Jesus juice each day. ;) Grace, peace and blessings, Carla


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