The Glass is Half Full

Yesterday was the first time I had seen the sun and actually had time to ride my bike before it got dark. I got home at 6:30 from work ran upstairs and changed and than I was gone. I was feeling good and the weather was perfect. I had gone about 4 ½ miles when I looked down and noticed the tire was a little funny. My first thought was my Mom. She had told me to always bring a cell phone with me just in case something like this happened. My phone unfortunately died at work and I didn’t think the sun would be up any longer if I waited for it to charge so I left without it. I came to a stop and felt the front and than the back just to compare (I’m not race bike expert and the tires are so tiny I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to be bouncy…they weren’t). The front tire was in fact flat. So I hopped off and walked my bike about a mile and half and than I carried it for another 3 ½ miles back home. At first I was upset that I didn’t get to ride my bike the 17 miles I had planned but as I was walking back I realized it was actually a gift from God. I was able to slow down relax and enjoy God’s beautiful creation for a little over an hour. The sky was that perfect fall mixture as the sun was setting and the views were magnificent. Our God is truly amazing.

Along the way I was also able to see turtle road kill for the first time (that was disgusting) and five people stopped and asked if I needed a ride the last two miles. I declined all their offers but thanked them for being so considerate and willing. I was actually very surprised anyone would be willing to do that let alone five people.

After I got home I went for a nice run, showered and enjoyed the Office, Parks and Recreation and, Community with my parents. All in all yesterday turned out to be a great day for training as well as worshiping God and spending time with family.

Rwanda/Ethiopia Missions Trip Support

Dear Family and Friends,
     Greetings! I pray that this letter finds you and your family well. I am now in my third year of college studying criminal justice and psychology. I have transferred three times but am now happily at home taking classes through Liberty University Online while working full time as a nanny.
  I am still in process of deciding what I am going to do once I graduate but I know when the time comes God will lead me where He wants me. As I continue my studies and working, God has given me to the opportunity to go to Rwanda and Ethiopia and serve Him and His children.
     On December 27th, I will be departing on a mission trip for 14 days where I will work with several orphanages with an organization called Visiting Orphans. Visiting Orphans is a registered non-profit organization.  Established in 2005 by America World Adoption Association as a way to further help the orphans of the world. Visiting Orphans works to fulfill the biblical mandate given in James 1:27 of "visiting orphans" in their distress. Visiting Orphans conducts many missions trips for churches, schools, and individuals from around the United States to orphanages all around the world including China, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, Ecuador, Ukraine, Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, India and Costa Rica. I have been fortunate enough to be accepted to go on a mission’s trip with this wonderful organization to Africa.
                  I believe that God has given me a heart and a gift for serving children.  During an outreach my church participated in, this became evident. Some people from my church and I traveled down to Washington D.C. in order to assist another church reach out to the community. The church was located in a run down neighborhood that needed to be shown God’s love. We went door-to-door delivering flowers and inviting people to the local church. While doing this, I noticed a little boy alone on the sidewalk.  I felt God tugging at my heart and started playing and talking with him. Soon, two mentally challenged children joined us.  Because of God’s love being shown to these children, I was able to talk to their mother about Jesus.
I am currently so blessed to be able to work with kids on a daily basis. There have been so many times when I am with these kids that I just get an overwhelming feeling that this is exactly why I was created. To love, cherish and nurture God’s beautiful children. . I truly believe God placed a desire in my heart a long time ago for His children and to serve them.
                  I am so excited about the opportunity to serve and to minister and I ask you to join me in ministry. I am seeking your support and prayers for this mission trip. If you are able to assist with this trip, I would ask that you go to and in the right hand corner is a tab called “Donate”. After clicking on the tab you will be able to designate your donation to me for the December 27-January 7 Ethiopia/Rwanda trip. If you are unable to support me financially during this time I completely understand but I will still ask for you prayers. Matthew 7:7-8  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
     I thank you in advance for your prayers and your financial support. May God bless you richly!
     His therefore Yours,
Elise Cooper


A lot of times I'll get home from work tired and just wanting to relax aka I am not motivated at all to work out. There are very few things that will give me the push I need but among those few things are quotes and bible verses. I have always felt words can have a great impact if you really listen and allow them to. I hope these quotes and verses give you the motivation you need today.

I believe in the runner’s high, and I believe that those who are passionate about running are the ones who experience it to the fullest degree possible. To me, the runner’s high is a sensational reaction to a great run! It’s an exhilarating feeling of satisfaction and achievement. It’s like being on top of the world, and truthfully… there’s nothing else quite like it!" - Sasha Azevedo

Run hard when it's hard to run.  – Paavvo
It is the mind that rules the body.  - Sojourner Truth

Man imposes his own limitations, don't set any.  - Anthony Bailey
To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift.  - Steve Prefontaine

Winning is nice, but you savor that victory for an evening and it's gone. Competing well is just not to be equated with winning.  - Bill Bowerman

The real purpose of running isn't to win a race; it's to test the limits of the human heart.
 - Bill Bowerman

Running is a road to self-awareness and reliance … you can push yourself to extremes and learn the harsh reality of your physical and mental limitations or coast quietly down a solitary path watching the earth spin beneath your feet. But when you are through, exhilarated and exhausted, at least for a moment everything seems right with the world  - The Essence of Running

Never mind what others do; do better than yourself, beat your own record from day to day, and you are a success.  - Wiliam J.H. Boetcker

Dedication and commitment are what transfer dreams into realities.  – Unknown

A winner is someone who sets their goals, commits themselves to those goals and then pursues their goals with all the ability that is given to them. That requires someone who believes in themselves, who will make self sacrifices, work hard, and maintain the determination to perform at the best of their ability.  - C. Leeman Bennett
Winning isn't always victory, losing isn't always defeat."
 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Colossians 3:23-24
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (NIV)

2 Timothy 2:5 -7
“If anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.” (NIV)

1 Timothy 4:8
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” (NLT)

Hebrews 12:11-13
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.”

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31

God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through. -Francis Chan

Bill Bowerman: Running, one might say, is basically an absurd past-time upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning, in the kind of running you have to do to stay on this team, chances are you will be able to find meaning in another absurd past-time: Life.

Reverend. J.D. Liddell: You can praise God by peeling a spud if you peel it to perfection. Don't compromise. Compromise is a language of the devil. Run in God's name and let the world stand back and in wonder.

Eric Liddell: I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.

Eric Liddell: You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape - especially if you've got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you're dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job. So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.

"In the dust of defeat as well as the laurels of victory there is a glory to be found if one has done his best."
Eric Liddell

(Sorry if there were some repeaters!) 


Today I woke up at 5:00 am to run my first 10k in Ellicott City, Maryland with my best friend Christina and my Dad (he came to support and cheer). This was my first race since May 2009 and my first race over 3.1 miles so I was a little nervous but also excited.

After we arrived we got our bib number, stretched went to the bathroom twice and than we were off. There were a little over 300 people so the start was a little slow but it didn't take long before I got into a good pace.

I ran cross country in high school so I have had my fair share of courses from hills to mud to woods to flat but today was by far the hilliest course I have ever ran. Every time I saw a hill coming up (which was often) I would initially think 'I'm going to die' but I would quickly change my thoughts and repeat 'I can do all things through Him who gives me strength' over and over again until I made it up the hill. It was incredibly encouraging and allowed me to focus on God and remember why I can and am running.

I ran the first three miles in about 26 minutes and finished the over all race in 54 minutes (About an 8:30 mile pace) and I was placed 15th for females in the age group of 20-29. I plan on training much harder in the next month to improve my time but for now I am happy that I was able to complete the race and remember why I was there; to bring honor and glory to God through my running.

Christina did a amazing job and I was so proud of her. After she finished she told me that she was embarrassed at first but than realized that it wouldn't be any fun so she quickly changed her mindset and had a great time.

It is so true what they say, running is running 10% physical 90% mental.

Another new and exciting thing happened today. I learned that I am dyslexic. My bib number read 52 but from the point when I put it on to when we were driving back home I thought it read 25. Before the race while stretching I told Christina that I hadn't seen anyone with a smaller number she pointed out a 42 and a 38 both of which I responded "Nope, mines lower." She didn't correct me thinking it was some sort of running thing. At the end of the race they had a list of bib numbers of the first 40 people that pr-registered. I went over and looked down the sheet and didn't see 25 so I walked away. Finally in the car Christina said her number out loud and than said mine I started to say something and than looked down and realized I had had a blonde moment for well over three hours. I was pretty upset because I may have won a prize after all but what can you do?

My next race is a Nightmarathon (a 5k with a serious of obstacle courses) in two weeks and in October I will be competing in my first sprint triathlon. I am excited for the things to come and to see where God leads me.

"I run because it’s my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I’m going where I’m going and I’m already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise... it's a consistent reward for victory!"- Sasha Azevedo