lessons from "secretariat"...

This weekend I had the privilege to see the movie Secretariat with my mother. What a fabulous movie! Against all odds a housewife from Denver is able to save her families legacy as her horse, won in a coin toss, goes on to win the Triple Crown. Penny Chenery Tweedy was a wife and mother living with her husband and four children in Denver, CO. She unexpectedly found herself in charge of the families horse breeding business after the death of her mother and the grave illness of her father. She never gave up, she did whatever was necessary to take care of her family and live out her dream to see Big Red (Secretariat's given name) run. I love movies based on real life heroes. I always walk away inspired to keep moving forward and this time was no exception.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that things have been a bit of a struggle for me lately. I have had much on my plate from Courtney's weight issues and doctor's appointments to going back to work part-time while being challenged on the home-front with my inability to keep up with all things homemaking as efficiently as I had in the past. Most days I am so darn tired because we are on the move all the time that just the thought of expending the energy to do something creative makes me cringe.

No energy = no creativity. No creativity = no joy. No joy = no hope.  It a vicious cycle. Add to this list some personal struggles with my writing and a few family issues and you have yourself a real storm.

I am not a huge fan of storms although God sure does seem to place me in the middle of quite a few. I wonder what He's trying to say to me? He has tried many times over the years to get my attention.

"Slow down, be in the moment" is an oldie but goodie.

"Stop worrying about what other people think and worry about what I think" is another all time favorite.

This time after much prayer and many late nights pacing the floors worrying about how I would get it all done He pretty much started screaming in my heart something that He has been trying to get me to do for the last ten years.


Acceptance of where my life is right now...today. Acceptance of who is in my life no matter if they are friend or foe. Acceptance of  my children, my body, my marriage and all that is happening in/with them at this very moment. Acceptance of His unwavering, undying, merciful love that will never end!

There is a great line from the movie that just spoke to my heart this weekend. Penny is faced with every obstacle there is and her back is against the wall. She is tired and frustrated with everyone quitting on her and her horse. One fateful evening she utters these words:

"It's about running toward the future. It's the will to win if you can and live with it if you can't."

In that moment I heard my father's voice as loudly as if he were sitting next to me in the theatre. This was something he used to say.

My Dad also had a shock of red hair and growing up his nickname just happened to be "Big Red". Coincidence? I think not. I know what your thinking...it's just a movie about a horse. This is so schmaltzy!

You are absolutely correct.

One thing I have learned over the years though is that when God wants to get your attention He will use whatever He can to make a point. Even if it's through a schmaltzy family movie about a famous horse...of course!

It's my job to listen and make a choice.

So, do I let my fear of failure overtake me? Do I let my fear of disappointing someone determine my course of action? Do I let my fear of losing a friendship stand in the way of my being an authentic Catholic/Christian called into the service of my God each and every day no matter if the world agrees with it or not? Do I let my worries that I am not doing enough for my son/daughter/husband stop me from even trying to be the best wife/mother I can be?


I must admit over these last two weeks the answer was Yes a million times over. Then came the story of a horse which began with these lines from Job:

Job 39:19-24 
 "Do you give the horse his might?
   Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
Do you make him leap like the locust?
   His majestic snorting is terrifying.
He paws in the valley and exults in his strength;
   he goes out to meet the weapons.
He laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
   he does not turn back from the sword.
Upon him rattle the quiver,
   the flashing spear, and the javelin.
With fierceness and rage he swallows the ground;
   he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet."

These words are powerful filled with such majestic imagery. There was no stopping this horse and there will be no challenge today that will stop me.

I hear that trumpet sounding...do you??

God created the heavens and the earth, the stars and the sky. He created that beautiful majestic horse named Secretariat AND his strong stubborn owner who would not give up until their dream was realized. 

It's not about what I have or what I want. It's about what God has given me and what I need to do HIS will. I think this is a lesson that I will be learning over and over until maybe one day when I stand before God in judgment He will say to me those most beautiful words...Well done good and faithful servant. Welcome Home. 

Below is the music video for the song that played at the end of the movie. The lyrics struck a cord as the film had done. I have listened to it many times since.

It may seem simple or maybe even a little childish but it's what broke through the concrete wall that has been surrounding my heart recently and I am so grateful for it. I pray that it helps encourage you in your walk today, no matter where you are or what your facing.

Blessings and Grace to you all and thank you so much for the prayers and words of encouragement. There is much to be done so let's get to it shall we??


"It's Who You Are"
It's not the price
It's not the game
It's not the score
It's not the fame
Whatever road looks way too far
It's not what you have
It's who you are

It's not how fast
It's not how far
It's not of cheers
It's who you are

In darkest night
You make your sun
You choose your race
And then you run

It's never the glory
It's never the score
It's not about seeing about who's less and who's more
Cuz when you find out how fast and how far
You'll know it's not how much you have
It's who you are

You lose the moon
Then be a star
It's not too soon
Be who you are
Whatever road looks way too far
It's not what you have
It's who you are

It's never the glory
It's never the score
It's not seeing about seeing
Who's less and who's more
Cuz when you find out how fast and how far
You'll know it's not how much you have
It's who you are

When you have found
How fast you can run
Ehen you have found
Your place in the sun,
It won't be just you that you'll find
Has made the run and the climb
It's everyone

It's never the glory
It's never the score
It's not seeing about seeing
Who's less and who's more
Cuz when you find out how fast and how far
you'll know it's not how much you have
It's who you are
It's who you are

Learning to bend and not to break
Living to give more than you take
Dying to live
Living to try
Feet on the ground
Dreams in the sky

It's never how much you have
It's who you are