Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Forward Thinking

There are (amazingly) only 20 days left in 2012. Where has this year gone? When I look back on the year, so much has happened and so much has changed. I am grateful for the lessons learned - even if some were learned the hard way. One of the greatest lessons of this year for me has been "letting go" of a lot of things and re-priortizing my life (and time) to reflect things that have eternal significance. I am in no way in a "good" place with that, but I am in a better place than I was in 2011. 

So that has me thinking about 2013 and what I need to do to be in a better place at this time next year. What are YOUR plans for 2013? What changes do YOU want/need to make in your life? Do you have a plan of action yet? Now is the time to start thinking about these things so that when January 1 arrives, you are ready to go! Would love to hear your thoughts and plans...mine are coming soon. Stay tuned. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Going back...

I'm going back to Haiti! My church has committed to supporting a medical mission to Anse a Pitre May 25 - June 1, 2013. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! Jeff is planning to go this time as well as several dear friends. I cannot wait to share this experience with them!

I'm also going back to running. I have signed up for a 5K on December 18 and have done really well with the training so far. I am  surprised at how quickly the miles came back...guess that means my body is finally convinced it is a "runner's body." Maybe? I'm hoping these extra 10 pounds will drop soon so I can get my speed (that is a relative term, folks!) back, but for now I'm content to enjoy the Holiday Hustle 5K with good friends and soak in the beauty of Christmas lights in Canton. 

Another great connection between the two topics? Check out the 5K Run/Walk we're sponsoring to raise money for our trip! (Nicely done, right?)

Hope everyone is doing great and my apologies for being "gone" so long. I'm committing to more - but shorter - posts in the future...until I get overwhelmed at work again. :-P

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Medical Mission

While one part of our team built schools and played with the kids (we liked to call it "family life ministry"),  the other part of our crew in Haiti was the medical team. An amazing group of people worked in very close quarters and with limited technology and supplies to treat approximately 800 people and pull over 400 teeth in four days. Praise God for their willingness to give of themselves to help the Haitian people!

The medical tent.
Hundreds of men, women and children waited in the terrible heat to see a doctor.

Because of the close quarters in the tent, the rest of us didn't spend a whole lot of time inside the medical tent. We did, however, get to enjoy the amazing stories over a yummy meal of beans and rice at the end of the day. This is the one that continues to both haunt and motivate me...

An older gentleman approached the work site one morning and asked to borrow one of the wheel barrows. With some skepticism and trepidation, he was allowed to take it. We all watched him take off across the field and many of us grumbled and mused that we'd probably never see that wheel barrow again. A little while later, we stood in humbled silence and awe. The man returned carrying his elderly friend in the wheel barrow who was unable to walk. The doctors believe the man had suffered a stroke several weeks prior to our arrival. 

I immediately thought of the story in the Bible of the friends who lowered their sick friend through the roof to have Jesus heal him (Mark 2:1-12). I was sickened at my own lack of commitment to help my suffering friends around me through whatever means possible...even if it meant pushing him or her miles in a wheel barrow or lowering him or her through a roof to receive the healing touch of God's grace and mercy. I realized how many of my friends are hurting and longing to be healed and how many times in my busyness and selfishness had simply just passed them by. 

That man - and the friends in Mark 2 - are the kind of friends I want to be...what about you?

Walls Are A Good Thing

So I've been home a little over a month. I keep thinking the pain in my heart and urge to go back will subside, but it seems the longer I'm away, the more I want to be there. I am still trying to get my head around it all so it's likely the trip recap will be "recaps" over several weeks...or even months. The one thing I am certain of is that I will never be the same...

My week in Haiti was the most heart breaking and life changing experience of my life. I have never loved so deeply so quickly and felt so overwhelmed by the need surrounding me. The children stole my heart from the time we crossed the border as they ran alongside the trucks waving and smiling. Their immediate trust and quick laughter warmed my heart and made me wish we could all be so quick to love and let others into our hearts. The adults embraced me with smiles and greetings that transcended our language barrier. I learned very quickly that a smile and laughter are the universal language - no interpreter needed. Despite the hot, dry and bleak conditions, most of the people were joyous and grateful for the help being provided to their community.  

Part of the team spent our time there building five classrooms for a school that is scheduled to open in September. The thought of providing the means to educate children to hopefully enable and empower them to improve the way of life for themselves and generations to come brings great joy to my heart. The teacher who will oversee the school told Tim (the missionary that runs the Hispaniola Mountain Ministries) that he wanted to teach the children three things: to read, to write and about Jesus Christ. I can't think of a better mission for a school.

Amazing progress!
Prepping for the inaugural activity in one of the classrooms.
We gave the kids foam visors and stickers to decorate them.
They really had fun...and so did we!
A little help from Moise (Moses) with our activity.
One of the things that struck me most about the classrooms was the order that ensued once the kids were inside those walls. Out in the open, the kids were wild (as most kids are!) and any effort to give them anything or do almost any kind of organized activity often resulted in...well, pretty much a mob scene. Inside the walls of their classrooms, however, they sat quietly and waited their turns and were polite and orderly. It was amazing! 

It really made me think about all the times I've wanted "freedom," but God gently gave me "walls" to reign in my energy and efforts. Sometimes what feels like walls to limit us are actually walls to protect us. Thank you, God, for the times You reigned me in with walls and protected me from myself...

More to come...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Last Post: Next stop - HAITI

This is it! I can't believe it's finally here! Tonight, my journey into Haiti will begin at 12:30 a.m. when I drive to Columbus to catch the bus to the airport. We'll drive to Atlanta and fly out Sunday morning arriving in Santo Domingo Sunday afternoon. By Monday morning, I will be IN Haiti! Praising the Lord for the amazing journey to this country...

I packed my suitcase last night (except for a few things...that I still need to wash!) and it was so surreal. The best part was tucking all those little happies safely in and thinking about those sweet faces. And let me just add, it was quite liberating to pack for a week and NOT have make-up or hair products (again, remember that when you're looking at the pictures!).

I am confident that this trip is truly God ordained and covered in prayer. I cannot wait to share the amazing love of Jesus Christ with the Haitian people whom I have prayed for earnestly over these last few years. I covet your prayers for the team, the people of Haiti, and also for my three boys at home. 

I'll be back soon!!

9 I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. 
I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
 I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

Isaiah 41: 9-10

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I went shopping.

For those of you that know me, this is probably not really earth-shattering news.

But this trip was amazing! I went to buy happies to take to the kids! It was so fun to shop and think about their reactions. I bought bubbles, a few jump ropes, some Nerf balls, Matchbox cars and a construction vehicle set, and some hair pretties for the girls. I have several friends bringing things for me to pack as well and I'm pretty sure I'll be leaving out some clothes to stay under my 50 lbs of luggage...and I'm ok with that.

It was a fun trip, but the best part was coming home with the loot and talking to Riley about it. Of course, he really wanted those Matchbox cars for himself, but was more than willing to give them up after we talked about the boys who would get them that may not have any cars. We even prayed over the toys with him that night at bedtime, and he has since mentioned "the children who will get those toys" in several other prayers. While he will likely grow up never having to want for anything, I pray he is learning to have compassion and a heart to help those who aren't as blessed...

Today's prayer requests:

1. The children who will receive the team's gifts. Pray that they will enjoy the fun, but also that their joy and happiness will come from a relationship with our Heavenly Father and last much longer than these trinkets.

2. The parents of these children. Pray that they will see God's love in our actions and affections for their children and they will also come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Three more days...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Packing...or at least thinking about it.

As our departure gets closer, it's time for me to make "the list." I started trying and found myself marking through a lot of things that would normally put on it...most noticeably - MAKE UP and the mountain of hair products I normally take on a trip (I have really uncooperative hair!).

Who needs all that in Haiti, right?

Here's a peek at what I have so far...

1.  CAMERA. Enough said, but do see above (no makeup/hair products) when viewing pictures.
2.  Sunscreen. Wondering if one bottle will be enough...
3.  Bug spray. Also wondering if one bottle will be enough...
4.  Work clothes & shoes. Oh, and a hat...or two.
5.  Linens. 

Yep. I think that's about it. This should be easy, right?

Today's prayer requests:

1. The children of Anse-a-Pitres, Haiti. Pray we can be hope and love to that they know they are loved and cared for, not only by this team but also by The One who created them.

2. The leadership of Anse-a-Pitres, Haiti. Pray they will be good stewards of the help being provided for their community and move it toward a better future. Ask God to give them His eyes for the people under their care so that they may make wise decisions.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Today was a pretty emotional day. It was my last day at church before the trip, so there were lots of prayers and well wishes...which of course made the reality set in - It's really here. 

My Sunday School class (which is amazing, btw!) prayed over me to start the day and then I was "commissioned" during our 11 a.m. service. 

As if that wasn't enough to cry off every bit of my make up, I shared with our youth group tonight as well. Jeff wanted me to share how God has worked throughout the last two years to prepare my heart and open doors for me to go to Haiti (see Praying for Haiti). So, yeah. I was pretty much a blubbering mess by the end of the day! 

Keeping it short, so here are today's prayer requests:

1. Please pray for smooth air travel. With 40 people on the team, there are a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong (lost luggage, issues with customs, etc...). Pray God will make the travel process smooth and uneventful.

2. Please pray for smooth bus travel. Once we land in Santa Domingo, we have an 8 hour bus trip. Pray God will keep us safe and protect us from difficulties (flat tires, mechanical issues, etc...). 

P.S.: If you're wondering if I'm still running, yes. Ran 4 miles Friday and 3.5 tonight. :-) Hoping that will pay off next week when working in the heat!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Tough Conversation

Tonight, I had a long-awaited conversation with Riley about my upcoming trip. After his bedtime story, I pulled up a map of the Island of Hispaniola to show him exactly where I would be traveling. He was full of questions - Would I get in a boat? Fly in an airplane? What would the bus look like? What would we eat?
The city we will stay in is on the DR-Haiti border at the bottom of the map:
Pedernales. We will work in a Haiti village just across the border: Anse-a-Pitres.
I answered them to the best of my ability, and eventually we moved on to what I would be doing during my trip. In his mind, a trip this long should involve the beach and a swimming pool and lots of fun things (per our family trip to Orange Beach last summer!). And while there will (hopefully) be a chance to see the nearby beach, that is far from the focus of this trip.

Thank goodness for the Internet!! I showed him several YouTube videos of the village and then we talked about the importance of CLEAN water, how different things are in Haiti from our home, and how we have more than enough of everything but there are others with very little. He listened very intently and asked a few questions (mostly about the solar-powered water well on the YouTube little science nerd!). 

But when I finished, he said the most wonderful words....

"Mama, can I go on a mission with you one day?" 

My heart overflowed with joy at his compassion and desire to help these people after hearing just my descriptions and seeing videos and pictures (Don't worry, Mom! I'm not taking him to Haiti...any time soon!). I explained that he needed to be a little older, but that we would do our best to take him on a trip. He asked if Eli could go, and I told him not yet. His response? "Yeah. He wouldn't be a very good 'missioner' right now." 

So, while my heart aches at the thought of being away from my sweet family for the week, it is full of joy at the Riley's receptiveness to embrace a life of service to others. With his daddy beginning seminary in the fall, this will certainly be our life...

I finished our talk with Riley's prayer charge. For the next few weeks, I asked him to pray for these two things, so I guess I'll ask you to do the same:

1. That people will ask Jesus to come live in their hearts while we are in Haiti and we are able to share His love with as many people as possible. 

2. That God would keep Mommy safe until she can be back at home with her boys and Daddy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Counting Down to Haiti: 10 days...

In 10 days, I will be in Haiti! It still seems surreal to think about my journey to Haiti thus far...

For the next few days, I'll be posting some specific prayer requests for the trip. I hope you'll be willing to jump on board and pray for our team.

1. Pray for the people of Haiti. Roman Catholicism is the "official" religion of Haiti (80%) but voodoo became officially recognized as a religion in 2001 and is widely practiced throughout the country. Please pray the Haitian people will open their hearts to God's love and grace.

2. Pray for the team as they have contact with the Haitian people. Every chance our team members have to be the His light to the people of this country needs to be covered in prayer. Pray God will open doors for the team and again, open hearts to His love.

I'll keep it short as I'll be posting more frequently in the coming days.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

One month!

In one month, I'll be in Haiti!

When I think about all the things in the pages of my calendar between now and then, I get a little anxious. Who could imagine that a trip to Haiti, one of the most destitute and broken places in the world, would be the light at the end of anyone's tunnel? 

God is revealing Himself in every aspect of this trip as it draws nearer. From the amazing prayer partners who have committed to pray for the team, for my family, and for me to the overwhelming financial contributions I have received to help cover the expenses, God continues to confirm this is His time for my trip and that He is preparing the way for me. 

Last week, I was feeling especially anxious about leaving my sweet boys for the week. Doubts about their well-being, my safety and a million other things began to crowd my mind and take my focus off the purpose of the trip...even began to make me doubt this was the time. I sat down to do my devotion and these were the verses for the day....

9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, 'You are my servant': 
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:9-10

Wow. Just wow. I had not even stopped to confess my worry and give it to Him yet...and He took it without me asking.

Counting down and praising Him for Haiti...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Do You "Live Like That"?

Sidewalk Prophets has a new song - "Live Like That" - and it brings me to tears every time I hear it. Tonight, I was running when it came on my playlist and it was all I could do not to drop to my knees and pray this song from the bottom of my heart...

Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I'm only just a memory
When I'm home where my soul belongs

Was I love
When no one else would show up
Was I Jesus to the least of those
Was my worship more than just a song

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Am I proof
That You are who you say You are
That grace can really change a heart
Do I live like Your love is true

People pass
And even if they don't know my name
Is there evidence that I've been changed
When they see me, do they see You

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

I want to show the world the love You gave for me
I'm longing for the world to know the glory of the King

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Friday, April 20, 2012

Clean Water for Haiti!

Clean water is commonplace for most Americans.

In Haiti, however, waterborne diseases are a serious concern - especially for children. One report indicates 16% of the deaths of children under five were "directly related to waterborne diseases, before the earthquake" (International Action, n.d.). Since the October 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti, nearly 400,000 cases have been reported...with over 5,000 deaths.

The Hispaniola Mountain Ministry (organizing the trip I'll be going on in June) celebrated with the people of Anse-a-Pitre as they inaugurated a new well system for the village. Our group will be working in this village in June.

This video brings tears to my eyes. 
What if we got this excited about the blessings God gives us each day? 

If you listen closely (toward the end), you can hear "Mississippi" and there's a great looking maroon shirt in some of the shots (HAIL STATE!).

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:35-36

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Praying for Haiti

Since my previous post, I've been asked several times, "How did you choose Haiti?" I didn't really.

God chose me for Haiti...

On January 12, 2010, the already fragile country was rocked by a devastating earthquake. Prior to the 7.0 magnitude quake, over 70% of Haitians were living on less than $2/day. The 2010 quake impacted over 3.5 million people and many remain homeless, even today.

As I watched the coverage of the disaster, tears streamed from my eyes (granted I was 9 months pregnant!). But seriously, there was something about this disaster that was different for me than others...and now I know God was preparing my heart to serve in Haiti.
Photo by WorldHum
I prayed earnestly for the Haitian people and even set up an RSS feed to read the coverage of recovery efforts. I was astounded and inspired by the courage and resiliency of the Haitian people, even in this most awful situation.
Photo by Generally Speaking
In January 2011, I took five beautiful young women to a retreat at Camp Wesley Pines in south Mississippi. The focus was on missions and through the sermons and several conversations with the speaker, Mike Giordano of Life Quest,  I was even more resolved to visit Haiti on a mission trip. I began praying not just for the recovery of this country, but that God would provide an opportunity and the resources for me to go and His time.

I came home from the retreat and applied for a passport. I began watching YouTube videos to (try to!) learn Haitian Creole and set out to read Haiti: After the Earthquake. I was equipping myself to go and be ready when the time came. It all seemed so silly and even a waste of time at points, but now I am beginning to see the bigger picture.

11"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." 
Jeremiah 29:11-13

As I flip back through my prayer journals from the last few years, I see time and time again where I prayed for this country and its people in the hopes that one day I would be going. God has been faithful to provide that opportunity, and I am humbled by the events that have led to this trip.

There is still much to be worked out as we consider the financial commitment of the trip with Jeff scheduled to begin seminary this fall and just the single-parent scheduling involved with Jeff juggling our two boys for a week. I am grateful that he is just as committed to me going as I am...

Again, my apologies for those anticipating reading about my running adventures; I hope to post about running again soon but for now, these are the things on my heart and mind.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Haiti Bound

Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with running...

It's official.

On June 10, I will be leaving for a 7-day mission trip to Haiti. We will be flying into the Dominican Republic and then traveling by bus to Pedernales. We'll be bussed across the border each day to work in small Haitian community. There will be a medical team as well as a construction team and the goal is to build two house and one classroom (or vise versa) during our stay. 

I have been praying for Haiti and its people since the terrible earthquake in January 2010 and began praying in January 2011 for an opportunity to participate in a Haitian mission trip. I never expected the opportunity to come so quickly, nor did I expect to be traveling with a group of people I don't even know (will post this story later!). But God is faithful to answer our prayers...even in unexpected ways. 

I have gotten mixed reactions from family and friends about my trip. While I do understand the concerns - both for my own safety and about leaving my family - there is no doubt in my mind that God has called me to serve in this country. If I do not go, I am being disobedient. And if I say, "Wait - it's not time," I am also being disobedient. Thus, I am going now...and again if He calls me to do so. I am confident He will bless my obedience because that's what He promises...

"And we know that God causes everything to work together
for the good of those who love God 
and are called according to His purpose for them." 
Romans 8:28 (NLT)

I am seeking prayer partners who will commit to pray for our team in the coming months and  while we are away. If you are willing to do so, please let me know. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lenten Sacrifice

Today is Ash Wednesday. For most of my life, that really meant nothing. I grew up Southern Baptist and the Lenten Season is not something that I really observed. However, since joining the United Methodist Church, I have come to appreciate and actually look forward to Lent. 

I have come to appreciate the process of praying through what I will "give up" for the 40 (46 counting Sundays) days of Lent. I finally felt affirmed in my decision this morning. 

This year, I am giving up Facebook for personal use 
and all fried foods.

While both will be difficult and at times tempting, I feel convicted about the time spent on one and the indulgence of the other. I hope this will truly be a time when I experience spiritual growth. 

This amazing video brings me to tears every time I watch it and puts my Lenten "sacrifice" in perspective. He gave the ultimate sacrifice...

What are some french fries and a social network 
in the face of this?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Letting go...slowly

It's been one week. I've had 20-24 ounces of Dr. Pepper everyday. That's about 1/2 (or some days a 1/3!) of what my typical consumption was.

And guess what...


It's going to be a process, but I'm letting the 23 flavors go...all 23 wonderful flavors.

I've definitely felt sluggish most of the week but I've also been pretty slammed at work and home. Hoping now that I'm through that crazy week, my body will have an easier time adjusting to the reduced amounts of caffeine.

I will be watching the scales closely this month (like I don't every month?) as I am definitely consuming fewer calories. I'm also very interested to see how this affects my running. I should be better hydrated and not all sugared up. As you can tell, I have have high expectations for this life change.

I can do this. Seriously.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's Time...

This article from Yahoo! Health is just disturbing: 

When I think about the amount of soda I consume in a day, it makes me a little nauseated. Sad truth: According to the data in this article, I am well above "average" when it comes to the number of calories I drink in a day - all from Dr. Pepper.

On the other hand, when I think about giving up caffeine, it makes my head hurt and I immediately become tongue-tied and sluggish (Ok. Some of this is obviously mental; I get that). which is worse?

It's time. I can do this. It's going to be a gradual process, but I can do this. I need a plan - some parameters for myself and then, when the craving strikes, this is the image that will be in my head...
This pool and "fatty organs." That's just grosses me out writing it so I'll spare you the image on that one. And you're welcome.

Check back for the plan. I'm on it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

One week...but so far away

It's one week until my birthday and I'm not even close to reaching my goal. Well, kind of.

I'm basically where I started...kind of. If the goal was to lose 7 pounds before my birthday, and I've gained 5 pounds and then lost them, then I'm still in pretty good shape, right? Unfortunately, the goal was to lose 7 pounds AND be a certain weight (Sidebar: This is a good lesson for my PR students in making goals singular - an individual/organization can achieve one part of a goal and not the other!). When setting the original goal, I also failed to account for Riley being away at Disney World for EIGHT DAYS last week and the fact that I would "need" cookies to get through the week as well as the introduction of Valentine's Day candy EVERYWHERE (Sidebar: This also provides great material regarding setting realistic goals for my PR students!).

To end on a positive, last week was a good running week. I was able to get in three runs for 12.5 miles. I'll take that after the previous week...which I'm just embarrassed about.

So, how are you doing with YOUR goals in 2012?

Monday, January 9, 2012

L.O.V.E. this stuff!

Readers who've been following my blog or really anyone who's been around me for a significant amount of time are well aware my addiction to Dr. Pepper is a (HUGE) stumbling block for my journey to a healthier lifestyle. I can't stand the taste of Diet Dr. Pepper and although I had a brief love affair with Dr. Pepper 10 a few months ago, I have long-since returned to the "real thing" and all its carbonated, surgery goodness. If it were just one a day, it probably wouldn't be a big deal, but I shudder to think about the number of calories I drink each day.

Alas! I believe I may have found something to help! On the recommendation from a friend, I (begrudgingly) bought some of these on-the-go packets and much to my surprise...I love it!!

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. (and no, they are not paying for this post...although I wouldn't mind a retro-active endorsement deal...). You simply dump the packet into your water (another area I'm working on!) and shake.

I made it until almost 1 p.m. today without a Dr. Pepper and never felt like I was dragging. I think there are other flavors (maybe I'll "L.O.V.E." those in another post), but the Wild Strawberry gets two thumbs up from me.

Maybe I WILL make that February 6 goal after all...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Trying New Things

I have a birthday next month. I am not what you might call "excited" about it, but it does provide an easy deadline for reaching a goal. I've put on about 4 pounds over the holidays that I need to shed. And another 3 would get me into a weight range I haven't seen in about 6 months. Goal created...

To lose 7 pounds by February 6.

There it writing. That comes to about 1.5 pounds a week. Very do-able. Yesterday, I cut my Dr. Pepper consumption in half from the previous couple of days, which should help a lot. I ran 3.5 miles, did 100 crunches and a 2-minute plank (feeling the effects of the caffeine reduction and the ab work, by the way!). Good start.

Today is Sunday - a somewhat hectic day at our house because of Jeff's position with our church. That hecticness - coupled with my disdain for cooking - has resulted in the routine visit to our local Mexican restaurant every Sunday after church. Today, Jeff and I split an entree. It saved us $10 (that's $40 a month and $480 over a year, BTW). More significant to the current goal, it saved us BOTH a lot of calories and from the temptation of overeating. Baby steps, people. Baby steps toward getting back on track.

I'll keep you posted as we try new things and I work on reaching my birthday goal...

If you have "little things" that help, please share! I'd love to have more ideas for reaching my goal!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Marathon Training = FAIL

As you might have guessed (because I did not do a big screaming post about it with a million pictures!), I did not complete the St. Jude's marathon last month. My running goals fell victim to the craziness that I call 'life' and I just couldn't squeeze in all the training miles. I had hoped to still complete the 1/2 marathon but the intensity of the semester picked up as race day approached, and those long training runs got pushed further and further down on the "to do" list.

I am such a freak about goals (and actually attaining them!) that I felt like a big, huge failure for weeks. I am still pretty sad about this failure (ok, I'm pretty sure I suffered from temporary that possible?).

But, just as He always does, God showed me the bigger picture of my failure. And that is this: There are some things in my life that I simply cannot put ahead of training and I was racing toward that line pretty quickly (running pun not intended). My relationship with Him and service to Him, loving my husband, raising my sweet boys, and keeping my job MUST be the priorities on a seemingly never-ending "to do" list. The 26.2 medal is an "earthly treasure" (see Matthew 6:19-21) and my heart was longing for that more than other things. Ok. I get it now.

So, I have my priorities in check now (well, most days anyway!). I will run when I can and do my best to make time for it, but I will not stress about it... it kind of defeats one of my main purposes for running if I stress about it.

Will I ever have time to train for a marathon? I hope so, but my boys will be older and my job situation a little more secure before I try again. Until then, when I get discouraged about my running failure(s), I will cling to 1 Corinthians 9:24-25...

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 

Remember Me?

Hi. Remember me? The crazy girl who thought she had time to run AND blog about running regularly? Yeah. I didn't think so.

I came to the point a few months ago where I had to make a decision - run or blog about running. Since my last post was in August, I guess you know which one I chose.

I am still running. Trying to get in 12-15 miles a week. I have a few goals for 2012 but I am trying to be realistic about those as well. This is the year that I will submit my packet for promotion and tenure (a.k.a. KEEP MY JOB) and my husband is starting seminary in the fall. So, yeah. Realistically, running is about to take a backseat to some things...ok, a lot of things. And I'm ok with that.

I do hope to run regularly, even through the chaos (as a means to survive it!). As for regularly blogging, well, we'll see.

Happy New Year and happy running in 2012!