A Taste of Life Notes: The Amazing Race

The deadline is fast approaching (Sunday at noon) to get in on this year’s Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway. Remember one lucky subscriber—either a new one or one already on the list—will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble. Yay, right?! The biggest dilemma for the winner will be whether to spend it on herself or to use it as a Christmas gift for a loved one. I’m glad I won’t be the one making that decision! :)

For those of you who have not yet subscribed to Life Notes, my free quarterly inspirational newsletter/ezine, I thought I’d offer a taste of it here on the blog. Others of you may not have had time to read the current issue yet since it just came out last week. Whatever the case may be, enjoy the lead article here today!

The Amazing Race

Ever watch “The Amazing Race”, the reality show that follows the adventures of several teams of ordinary people racing around the world competing for a million dollar prize? Without really meaning to, I ran my own crazy version of it one holiday season.

No, I didn’t get on a plane, ride a bike, row a boat, or compete in challenges like milking camels or eating unappetizing international foods. I simply went Christmas shopping. Since we have very few places to shop in our small community, I always have a packed schedule when I make my monthly trips to the city. With my holiday shopping added to the mix, I found myself running—not watching—The Amazing Race.

I didn’t have a partner like the teams on the show do. My only competitor was the clock, but that was enough. I went armed with my list of stops and gift ideas, knowing I had only x-amount of time to conquer it all. After making the drive, I parked in front of the first store and pulled out my list. I resolutely put on my game face and started walking. Or maybe I should say sprinting. I move fast on marathon shopping days. Just ask my family. None of them can keep up with me for an entire day when I’m on the move.

During my race that day, I didn’t stand in lines at airport ticket counters, but I endured them at almost every checkout or customer service. I wasn’t required to search through hundreds of assigned items trying to spot a specially marked one, but I certainly scoured shelves in store after store trying to find what I wanted for those on my list.

While driving from place to place, I ate my lunch and plotted new strategies to deal with the roadblocks and detours that presented themselves. There were stores that had moved or closed, discontinued items, out-of-stock items, high prices, wrong color, wrong style, a late afternoon call from my youngest daughter finally giving me a list of ideas . . . You get the picture. My roadblocks and detours differed from those on the show, but they challenged and stressed me just the same.

I didn’t give up, though. I pressed on until I reached the final pit stop, the finish line for my race—the restaurant where I met my friend Jeneal for dinner. I arrived looking rattled and frazzled, but I made it by the appointed time.

The problem? I didn’t accomplish everything on my list. The clock won.

Even so, I had done the best I could, and the trunk of my car was filled with the proof. Proof that left me feeling satisfied with my efforts. I guess sometimes winning is about finishing or about being proud of what I managed to achieve, not necessarily being the first one to reach the goal or beat the clock.

Are you faced with a race of some sort? I encourage you to put on your game face and start walking. You may have to sprint like I did, but don’t give up. Press on. Let determination propel you toward your goal. If you’re lucky like me, you’ll have a friend waiting for you at the finish line, too!

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14 NIV

*What kinds of races are you running right now? Any other marathon Christmas shoppers out there? :)

*Flickr photo by dave416, Creative Commons License

*If you’re not already a subscriber, be sure to sign up for Life Notes by noon Sunday (CST) to be included in the drawing. Sign up is free and to the right!


  1. Boy, I’m exhausted just reading about your shopping day. I’m a semi-marathon shopper. I plot it all out, then I buy it all–online. ;)

  2. Boy, I’m exhausted just reading about your shopping day. I’m a semi-marathon shopper. I plot it all out, then I buy it all–online. ;)

  3. Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for praying for me this week for my MOPS sessions. I really appreciate it.

    Your “Think about it” line on the side bar of your blog grabbed my attention just now by Mother Theresa. Hmmm. Thanks.Good stuff.

    Jennifer Dougan

  4. Love the Amazing Race. Love the race I’m in with Jesus as well. Truly, it is an amazing stretch from beginning to end. I don’t always like the roadblocks and pit stops, but I’m running with the finishing line in mind. What glory to gather and store along the way and as I go.

    Keep to it, friend. Keep marching on to win the prize!


  5. Hi Cheryl,
    Your R & R is a blessing! Just today in visiting the Ft. Sill Christ Kindl Markt I found several vendors in a giving spirit and just gave me additional merchandise when visiting their booth. I love Christmas and it becomes even more meaningful when surrounded by family members, many of whom are so busy during the year that it seems we don’t get to visit each other.

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