Do-Overs: It’s never too late to start over (unless you die)


I was training for my first marathon. I’d left my running partner and headed for my cool-down when suddenly a HUGE boulder (aka: a pebble) lept out of the ground and tripped me up. I tumbled. I felt like I rolled head over keister. Worse than the mild concussion and bruised muscles and scraped skin, I had an audience.


I had an audience who cared and helped me home.

This was my last long run. The marathon would take place in three weeks and my clumsiness sidelined me.

Fortunately, God gave me a do-over.

I rested until race day as my headaches disappeared along with my soreness. For this race, I ran my personal best earning third place in my age category.

I praise God for do-overs.

When we read Matthew 1, we see a litany of people who received do-overs from God. Among them Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba.

We’ve read about several of these women in my last posts, but once again, I need to be a do-over. I’ve let this aspect of my writing slide as I worked on my garden, my glass, my family, my quitting, and my laziness. Over the next few weeks, we’ll revisit these women and continue on.

As I beg you to understand my long interval between blog posts,  I want to let you know, God is the ultimate giver of do-overs. Think of Jonah and Ninevah, of Lot and his family, Noah and the world, Samson, Mary Magdelene, Lazarus, and the ladies of Matthew 1.

If you’ve slid in your Christian walk or sinned or made a mistake or let something you wanted to do slide away, go to God, repent if necessary, pick up the pieces, and start again.

Best of all, if you don’t know Jesus and think you’ve fallen too far for redemption (you haven’t), God is the ultimate giver of second chances. Admit you’ve sinned, repent and accept his sacrifice on the cross. Start over.

And remember, when you read something here you thought you read before–you have. I’m starting anew. Thank you for understanding.


Surprise! Prodigal Lives ties in with this.

Pearl’s fallen so far, there’s no way up. She can’t even reach out to God. What does she do?

This is a book that explores the issues of our early childhood, of love, mistakes, and redemption. It’s heartwarming, funny and a read you won’t be able to put down.


  1. Carol, sooooo good to receive this blog post! I was about to send out the bloodhounds! All of us need do-over opportunities, but too many of us just stop when life overwhelms us. We become drop-outs. With this blog you’ve encouraged us to keep on keeping on. Thanks!

    • Carol McClain says:

      Oh, I hear you nagging me regularly. I’m so overwhelmed. So much to do. If I only wrote, I could (maybe keep up), but I’m involved in the art community, glass artistry, editing, writing, and I never clean my house.

  2. Jody says:

    Thanks for your encouraging words, Carol, and for being willing to be transparent about your own do over. It’s hard to stay on top of things with so many writing ideas and aspirations. I appreciate hearing that from another writer and I’m glad to see you continue to serve in your own human way. Because, that’s really the only way we humans have, right?

    • Carol McClain says:

      Thank you, Jody. It definitely is hard to stay on top of everything, but God doesn’t mind. He looks at the heart.

  3. I immediately think of Mark 16:7. “But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Peter had denied Christ thrice, just as he was told he would do. He must have felt like utter garbage. Jesus knew that. He also knew that Peter needed a serious do-over. To me, this is one of the most beautiful verses in all of scripture. Jesus came to earth enrobed in flesh, complete with full understanding of what it means to live as a human being. He KNEW Peter was hurting. He KNEW Peter was kicking himself. Most of all, he KNEW that Peter needed to hear from his Master that he was still on the team, despite his epic strikeout with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Yeah, I know that reference is a bit of an anachronism in this context, but it still gets my point across – the unfathomable love and compassion of our Living God.

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