Run the Race! A Tribute to Rena Tarbet



Hebrews 12: 1-3 

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 entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.


Photo credit:  Mary Kay Foundation
www.marykayfoundation.org 


Today, I was sadly informed that a very dear mentor of mine has gone to be with the Lord.  
She may not be known to many, but she will continue to be a legacy in my book! 

Her name was Rena Tarbet and she was an Emeritus Sr. National Sales Director with Mary Kay who started her career in 1967 and was known for her continued fighting spirit against  cancer for many years.  

Rena was a southern lady from Texas and as soon as you heard her talk, you knew you just were going to love her!

She could make you laugh and cry all in the same sentence.  She was bold and wasn't afraid to tell you the truth, yet she was gentle and loved on people abundantly.   

A go-getter and with Mary Kay in her heart, she knew how to keep priorities of God first, family second and career third.  Her faith in the Lord was incredible and she kept on working, speaking, training and being a great leader for Mary Kay.  She wrote several books and training resources on how to be successful even in challenging times.  

Even after retirement, she continued to be apart of Mary Kay and she attended Mary Kay Seminars.  This was her last Seminar 2013, just a few weeks ago where she celebrated the company's 50th anniversary.  Not even knowing, that soon in a few weeks, she would be going home to be with her Lord today.  

Rena was first a daughter of the King.  Second, came her family and friends.  She was a loving mother and Grandmother.  
Before Mary Kay and throughout her career she was a homemaker.  

Strength was her gift.  She never quit, even with her continued fight with cancer.   In fact, it was her platform that made her a role model for so many women who were and are affected with cancer in some way or another.  Her courageous fight and teachings left us all with the affirmation, "If Rena can do it, so can I!".   

She also played an active role with cancer awareness such as the Mary Kay Foundation and her own Rena Tarbet Foundation.  She was a true example of the Mary Kay go-give spirit with many of her Mary Kay sisters and the Mary Kay company.  

When I first met Rena, I was a very new Mary Kay beauty consultant in 2001.  The first time I heard her speak at her workshop, I was amazed at how she was a preacher too!  Well, when she trained Mary Kay consultants you knew you would get Bible and a good old fashion preaching of truth!  She helped me to realize then, that Mary Kay was a great way to utilize our gifts and talents and to encourage others incredibly to be strong in their faith.   

I will always love Rena and be thankful for the mentorship and encouragment she gave me even from afar.  I will take her challenge to run after my God-given dreams and to run the race of endurance. 



Rena closed many trainings with a poem entitled, The Race to comfort us.  I know she finished her race here on earth and her legacy lives on.  

I will see you again sweet Rena, until then, sing with the angels and bask in the presence of our King Yeshua Jesus!  Welcome Home!  


The Race

attributed to Dr. D.H. "Dee" Groberg


Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face, 
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten...
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”
So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.

They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy -- no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”




We have our loving Father cheering us on!  Even when times are tough Mom, we keep pressing on!  We can do it!  


As women, we need mentors who are older than us to teach us wisom. 
Don't you agree?  
Have you been inspired by a sweet mentor mama? 
Please share how you have been inspired or encouraged.  


Moms, keep pressing on, running the race. . . 


Blessings and Shalom, 








To learn more about Rena Tarbet :

NSD Emeritus Rena Tarbet Tribute Page

Rena Tarbet Foundation  

Rena Tarbet You Tube page


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