Category Archives: Running

Favorite Posts

This is my 100th post!

In honor of this blogging milestone I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite posts from the last few years. Some you may have already read, some may be new to you – either way I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Do Life!

I fully believe that we were created to “Do Life” with other people. Meaning that we as fallen, broken, beings need one another while we are on this journey of Life. I think this is even more true or more important for Christians. I’m not saying we should all move into a camp together and not let anyone else in. I’m just saying that we need each other in our daily walk – to uplift, to encourage, to help each other, to be an example of God’s love for a lost world. Continue Reading…

Dreams, Story, Magic

If I asked you to mention a place full of dreams, story and magic, what place would come to mind? A tropical beach? Paris? The Apple store? Disney World? … When you read a good book or watch a good movie what is it about the story that attracts you? If you tell a story about something that happened in your life, what makes the story worth telling? You probably aren’t going to call your friends to tell them a story about how you ate some cereal or vacuumed your house. A story worth telling has meaning, excitement, suspense, tragedy – it’s something memorable. It’s a story of dreams and magic!  Continue Reading…

Oh Happy Day!

…this beautiful child that kept me up half the night and at the moment has about 75 toys spread across the room is a living, breathing, walking, heart-beating miracle! Six months ago she had two holes in her heart that had not shown any improvement since birth. Today, she has two tiny holes that appear to be closing without intervention. Praise God! Continue Reading…

Unlikely Runners

…I’ve often felt that God has a sense of humor in the way He deals with His children. It seems that He likes putting us in situations that are WAY outside of our box. Maybe we learn more when we aren’t comfortable or in control. Maybe when our helping people causes us to sacrifice we receive greater blessing. Maybe He wants to bring us to a place that causes complete and total reliance on Him so that He receives the honor and glory for what is done. Maybe when He puts us into a situation that we would never have chosen for ourselves, it’s just a gentle reminder that He’s in charge of this thing called life. Continue Reading…

What If…?

I love the “what if” question! I love that when I ask myself “what if” I feel…”what if” is scary and sometimes painful and it stirs something inside that motivates me. What if I got off my rear and actually DID something to help others? What if I took a risk? What if I could teach my daughter about living a better story because I’m actually living a better story? Continue Reading…

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Blood:Water Mission Update

This time last year Mike and I, along with several friends, were furiously training for a marathon. It was intense. It was insane. It was life-changing. Oh, and it was painful…very, very painful.

Will I ever run a marathon again? Absolutely not! Never. Maybe if someone were chasing me with a knife but, realistically, they’d catch me long before we neared marathon distance.

Am I glad I did it? Absolutely! The training was very intense – much more so than I anticipated it would be. But, it taught me a lot. It taught me what I’m capable of (with encouragement and support from friends, of course). It taught me that “I can”. It taught me the importance and power of friendship during challenging circumstances. It caused a life-long friendship to form around the families of those that trained and ran together. And, the race itself taught me how powerful a kind word and glass of water from a stranger can be.

Beyond all of that, through the marathon journey we learned about a water crisis in Africa – about how people walk miles and miles every day just for water that is dirty and full of disease. How mother’s are forced to give their children water that could lead to their death because it’s the only water available. We learned that a very small sacrifice on our part can be life-saving to someone on the other side of the world.

Here’s Our Story in video form. This is the video we shared with our church the day after the marathon:

 

Today I received an update from Blood:Water Mission – the organization we supported with our running efforts. Since the start of this organization they have placed clean water sources in 1000 communities in Africa. Because of their work, over 600,000 people now have access to clean, life-saving water. Children can now attend school because they don’t have to spend their days walking to collect water. Women can spend their time working to provide for their families. Babies are no longer dying from diarrhea and other water related illnesses.

The video below shares a bit about Blood:Water Mission’s 1000 Wells project and talks about how they plan to continue providing clean water and HIV/Aids help to communities in Africa. Please take 5 minutes to see life-changing work in action:

Moving Deeper from Blood:Water Mission on Vimeo.

I am so thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to be a small, small part of the work of Blood:Water Mission. If you want to read more about our marathon story, visit the H2O Runners blog. To learn more about Blood:Water Mission and the work they are doing in Africa, or to make a donation, check out their website.

Video Randomness

Well, we survived the marathon…barely. If you haven’t heard how it went, you can read about it over at our H2O Runners blog.

In my last post I mentioned that there were some things I wanted to share. There were a couple weeks toward the end of October and beginning of November that were “reflective” for me. I spent some time delving into emotions, thoughts, fears that I had buried rather deeply. So deeply, in fact, that I didn’t realize they were still lying under the surface waiting to burst free. I blame the running. Of course, I blame just about everything on the running.

I don’t know how to explain it but those last few weeks leading up to the marathon were incredibly emotional (for our entire team, I’m not the only cry baby). I don’t know if it was just the pressure of the race or the relief that we knew was in sight or because we were nearing the end of a very long, difficult chapter that had changed us and bonded us like we had never anticipated. Whatever the reason (Mike blames PMS) I had a couple emotional weeks. Difficult but in a cleaning, healing, changing-for-the-better way.

I’m dying to share more. Once the running was over I thought I’d have time to write until my fingers were numb but alas, the world doesn’t work that way. One thing after another seems to be stealing my writing time. So, for now, I just want to share a short, random video of my beautiful baby girl.

I Can’t Wait

I’m already making a list of all the things I can’t wait to do once the marathon is over. By the way, it’s over in 4 days. Between now and Saturday at around 2:00 pm I’m going to spend my time freaking out and drinking lots and lots and lots of water. But, on Saturday, it ends – one way or another, it will all be over.

The past nine months have felt consumed with marathon training. Even during those weeks when I cheated and didn’t exactly stick to the four-days-a-week running plan I FELT consumed. The nagging fear and hatred that I feel toward running has been a constant weight, hanging over everything. Every night out, every dessert eaten, every Saturday plan – scheduled around running.

After Saturday…FREEDOM!!!!! No more running – at least not to the level of insanity that we’ve been running and definitely not at 6:00 am on Saturday mornings. So, here are some of the things I plan to do with my new freedom from running:

1. Christmas shopping. I’m starting to panic a bit about this one. I’m usually pretty close to finished with my Christmas shopping by this time, if not completely. This year? I haven’t even started a list. I’ll be starting basically from scratch the week before Thanksgiving. Don’t panic, don’t panic. You can only panic about one thing at a time and for the next four days it’s running.

2. Breaking the paci habit. This one makes me nervous, but it’s time. When Mikayla turned one we took the paci away for like an hour. Then she got a cold or something and we gave it right back to her. When she turned two we were already marathon training and I just didn’t have the energy or motivation. We did take it away during the day – she only has her paci for sleeping. But, starting very soon, no more paci. She will be quite upset and I will be very tired. Sleepless nights are in my future.

3. Eat less. I know this is a dumb goal two weeks before Thanksgiving, but it must be so. I’ve taken full advantage of all the extra calories I’m burning by eating everything in sight. Since I’ve sworn to never run again, I have to eat accordingly. If I keep eating like I am now without running I’ll have to buy a whole new wardrobe before Thanksgiving even gets here.

4. Christmas tea. Every year from Thanksgiving to New Years I make Christmas Tea. It’s a tradition and recipe passed down from my mom and one that I soooo look forward to every year. It’s not really a tea, it’s more of a spice/citrus/sugar mixture that you drink hot. Every morning I pour some into the coffee pot so it slowly warms while I get ready for the day then I pour it into a spill-proof mug (well, because it’s me, you know, I spill stuff) and take it with me in the car or wherever I go. Christmas Tea is not usually made until Thanksgiving day, but this year, I’m making early. I’m making it Saturday – or as soon as I can move again after running this stinking race. (And, no, this does not contradict in any way goal #3.)

There are a few more, a few I’m not ready to share just yet. The past couple weeks have been a time of questioning and contemplation. I’ve realized there are some things that I need to share – parts of my story that aren’t about me – parts that other people may need to hear – parts that I can’t keep hidden even though sharing them is risky. So…more to come.

For now, assuming I live through Saturday, I’m looking forward to drinking Christmas tea while Christmas shopping because I’ll need the caffeine to keep me awake since I won’t be sleeping or eating chocolate. But, what I will NOT be doing? I will not be running. Ahhhhhh!

MIA

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything personal or family related. We’re here, we’re good, we’re busy. Mike and I are training to run a marathon on November 13. Training is going well but the prospect of running a marathon is still terrifying.

We are running to raise money and awareness for the water crisis in Africa. Most communities in Africa lack access to clean water. Instead they are forced to walk anywhere from 6 to 12 miles each day to collect water – often from polluted, stagnant sources. Water borne diseases (which are easily prevented) account for the majority of deaths in Africa.

No mother should have to serve dirty, diseased water to her children. And, that’s why we’re running. Just $25 provides clean water to one African FOR LIFE. $25 literally saves a life. We are part of a team called H2O Runners that is trying to raise $10,000. That’s 400 lives saved!

Take a moment to watch this video from Blood:Water Mission. It clearly shows the positive impact clean water can have on an entire community.


Cyanika Sector, Rwanda from Blood:Water Mission on Vimeo.

If you’d like to read more about the water crisis in Africa or to read more about our marathon training or if you’d like to make a donation to help our H2O Runners team, visit our blog at h2orunners.blogspot.com.

Mikayla has several doctor appointments in the next few weeks so I’ll post updates on those when I can. Be safe. Be well. See you after the marathon.

What If…?

I love the “what if” question! I love that when I ask myself “what if” I feel…”what if” is scary and sometimes painful and it stirs something inside that motivates me. A few months ago, I probably would’ve felt differently. That was before…

Before I started asking some what if questions…

What if I got off my rear and actually DID something to help others?

What if I took a risk?

What if I could teach my daughter about living a better story because I’m actually living a better story?

What if instead of sitting and waiting for God to magically reveal His specific plans for my life, I just got up and did something that God has already instructed Christians in general to do?

What if I chose to love people – without condition or judgement?

And where did all this “what if-ing” get me? Right smack in the middle of a scary, risky, sometimes painful story that is all about helping others and definitely doesn’t involve sitting and waiting. And, I LOVE it. Not something I would’ve chosen for myself, not something I think is fun (in the traditional sense), but definitely full of adventure, excitement and the stuff of better stories.

For more about “what if”, read Donald Miller’s post – The Single Most Powerful Question You Can Ask.

What “What If” questions can you ask today?

Unlikely Runners

If you know us at all, you know that Mike and I are not athletes. In fact, I’m the person who will drive around a parking lot 6 times rather than having to walk further from my car to the store. Mike did at least play sports in high school – my “sport” in high school was cheerleading. You know those cheering competitions you see on TV from time to time with the high energy and the jumping and the throwing and the cartwheels…we weren’t like that at all. We were the extreme opposite of that.

Growing up my parents had a rule that all of the kids had to play two sports – or at least try out for two sports. The bad thing (for me) was that in my very small, Christian school everyone who tried out made the team. So in 7th grade I played basketball. In 8th grade my parents changed their rule. They told me I didn’t have to play basketball anymore (I must’ve been really bad). I AM NOT AN ATHLETE.

So at the beginning of this year when I decided to exercise more, that was a big step. I didn’t know at the time just how big of a step. I started out this year with a desire to live a better story. I didn’t know what that meant for me other than I knew I needed to be involved in something that mattered…really mattered…making-a-real-difference-in-people’s-lives kind of mattered. I knew it would involve risks and sacrifice but I wanted to love people, to help people, and to create a better story for Mikayla to grow up in.

I’ve often felt that God has a sense of humor in the way He deals with His children. It seems that He likes putting us in situations that are WAY outside of our box. Maybe we learn more when we aren’t comfortable or in control. Maybe when our helping people causes us to sacrifice we receive greater blessing. Maybe He wants to bring us to a place that causes complete and total reliance on Him so that He receives the honor and glory for what is done. Maybe when He puts us into a situation that we would never have chosen for ourselves, it’s just a gentle reminder that He’s in charge of this thing called life.

This is the kind of story I find myself in today. The kind of story that matters. The kind of story that will cause me to sacrifice and risk much but will help people on the other side of the world. The kind of story that reminds me God must be in charge because I definitely wouldn’t have chosen this for myself. The great thing about this story is that I am not alone. I don’t think I could do this alone. God has given me a husband and several friends who are living this story with me. They will be sacrificing right next to me and as we run (literally) together on this journey we will be able to help each other and support and encourage each other. What’s more is that our impact will be greater because of our unity. Together we can do more than one could do alone.

We are running a marathon.

Let that sink in for a moment…the girl who ran more during 7th grade basketball than I have for the rest of my life combined, is going to run a marathon. We aren’t running just for the sake of running and we definitely aren’t running to get in shape. (I’d love to be “in shape” but that is not nearly enough motivation for me to run.) We are running to raise money to support the work of Blood:Water Mission. BWM provides clean water and aids relief to people in Africa. People in Africa die daily from sickness and disease that could literally be prevented by clean water. They need wells and water filters. They need education about the spread and prevention of aids. They need aids medication. They need people to show them Jesus, people to love and care about them.

I can’t physically go to Africa – and if I could, I wouldn’t know the first thing about digging a well. But the people at BWM are doing this already. They just need support to continue the work they are already doing. Sure, I could send them money. But for me to write a check and put it in the mail involves only me. I would be the only one allowed to participate in that story. By running a marathon and seeking sponsors, dozens of people will be invited to participate in this story. If all of them actually do participate, the benefit to the people in Africa will be dozens of times more than the benefit I could make alone.

The emotions I feel at the thought of actually running a marathon range from excitement to sheer panic. There are definitely risks involved – what if I can’t finish, what if I get hurt, what if I pass out or die from exhaustion or dehydration? There will definitely be sacrifice. If you’ve ever looked into training for a marathon you know that it is much like getting a part-time job…well, if a part-time job forced you to run yourself silly. It takes a lot of time to train for a marathon. Hours and hours and hours every week for many, many weeks. I’m somewhat looking forward to the intense training schedule because I’ll be forced to remove time-wasters from my life. TV will be the first to go – or at least be greatly reduced. I imagine it will feel like cleaning out a closet – getting rid of the worthless stuff to make room for the valuable stuff.

More than anything else, I’m anxious to see what God will do. Yes, there is fear for myself, but really, it’s not about me. Like I said before, I would not have chosen to run for any reason other than someone chasing me with a weapon (and even then, it would be a matter of weighing the pros and cons before actually running). I wanted a story and this is the one God placed before me. We aren’t running for our own benefit or gain. We are simply running to tell a story. Our brothers and sisters in Africa are dying because they lack something as basic and common as clean water. We can help them.

To read more of our marathon story visit the H2O Runners Blog.