Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Craving Grace

The New York City Marathon is only 25 days away. 
Last year I was posting like a maniac about the marathon. It was all I could think about and all I was focused on. 

This year is different. 

I think it has to do with how the race went last year. I learned so many lessons from how I ran that race but the most important one was that I finished. Even though I felt like I was going to die. And I trained like an animal. 

So this year, I am still training. Very hard. Diligently. With focus. But with joy. With laughter. With friendship. Not solo. And it isn't as much about how I am hoping to finish but how I hope to run the race. It seems altogether different. 

I believe that is what Jesus wants us to know in life too. It isn't about the finish, but about the life we get to live now. I read this quote from Abraham Lincoln and it has meant so much to me in this time of training, 
"In the end, it is not the years in a life, but the life in the years." 

That rings so true to me for this marathon training but also for the families that we are raising money for with Inheritance of Hope. 

They don't have years to have life together. They have to live right now. 

It puts life in perspective. And we need to be graceful with each other and ourselves. To take care of what we have and who is around us. To not miss the moments by trying to reach some obscure finish line that isn't really there.

The last three months have been amazing. I have loved the training, discipline and deep friendship that has come from running for hours alongside my best friends. When you have little guys at home, there is almost nothing you won't do for two uninterrupted hours of chatting with your friends. So running it is! I mean-we have run y'all. Here are the numbers:

Since August 1st we have run 285 miles, in 50 hours, 34 minutes. And burned 29,694 calories.

This has been work, but it has been so much fun! 
And I've gotten to see the better side of me and to hear more clearly about how I've been made to give my life away so others can know how precious they are. 

I'm so grateful to have met my fundraising goal due to the generosity of others. But Jenn and Amy still have a ways to go. I'd love to encourage you to give money to their funds. 

Please remember, this isn't money going to us, it is going to families that are suffering with terminal illness. It is easy to give to these families. It is simply that we are fundraising on their behalf. 

Their race against illness is MUCH harder than this silly 26.2 marathon that we are running. We run because they can't. They are doing what they can to simply love their families while they can. 

Help us give them the trip that they can't during one of the their final years. Just look around. You know someone who was just diagnosed with cancer. Or who has been fighting for a long time. They can't possibly pay for a vacation. These families need a break. 

$25 or $50 will add up quickly. I promise! Even if you don't know Jen or Amy, go donate. It will be the biggest blessing to them AND YOU. 

We run in 25 days y'all! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Life Is Not a Story About Me

Reflecting back to the finish of the NYC marathon last year, it is such a whirlwind of emotions. I was so grateful to be finished. To have crossed the finish line and be alive, to have so many friends and family thinking of me that day and to have Jesus alongside me. 

I truly felt His presence and knew that He wanted me to know how much He loved me and how much life's race was like a marathon.  Highs and lows. Long miles and quick miles. Happy or sad. Sick or feeling good. He would be with me. It was the most beautiful thing in the world. 

And I was really sad because I just wanted to run and be triumphant and kill the race. I wanted to do everything I had trained to do. It just didn't happen that way. I physically couldn't do it. I immediately started looking up races I could run to prove to myself how awesome I was at running. It was ridiculous. Matt encouraged me to slow down and take some time to let this race just rest within me. 

I've run since NYC. I've run a few 1/2 marathons and then I ran at the Inheritance of Hope 15k in Brevard at the end of April this year. It was absolutely beautiful. All the money from the race went to families (again) suffering from terminal illness and many of the families showed up. 

We started the race and I felt like my friend Amy Patwa was with me the whole race. She and I just got to talk about what it would be like to run in Heaven. And how it is now to run with Jesus here. And how hard but good it is to run life with eyes of faith and not by sight. And I just ran. And I ran through farm fields and by streams and I felt like I was floating. Turns out-I won! First female! 

It was amazing! I've never won a race before and that race and prayer time prompted a whole lot of other big moves in my life. 

I ended up leaving my job of 10 years later that month. And I've been trusting Jesus that He has big plans in my life and in others lives as we tell people about hope and the good things to come as you step out in faith. 

I know my life is not about me. My story is never going to be about me. Thank goodness. God has much bigger plans than that. I am really glad that He wants to use me in the lives of others though. 

And right now He has called me to run with Inheritance of Hope in the NYC Marathon this year and I'm so pumped to get to play a part in lives of families that are dealing with terminal illness. 

If you'd like to help, here is the link: