Saturday, November 22, 2014

Life.... It just got real.

My kids are small. I work part time and I am nearing the need to go full time, life is crazy and busy. Robbie and I have been married for 10 years and it’s not always easy. I’m nearing 31 and my expectations are too high…. 

Life is not a walk in the park. Life has not been “easy” for several years now. I struggle-- more as of late. I know others know what I mean when I say I feel like I’m walking up hill… in the snow…. With 47 pound boulders in each arm. I mean- I fed my kids cereal for dinner the other night and I sat there hungry because my brain and my body could not scrape up a meal idea. Ideal living? Nope. Did my kids think it was fun to eat breakfast for dinner? Yes. Yes they did (thank, God) But sometimes the feeling of “survival mode” lasts longer than one would hope. I DO NOT want to come off as sounding all sad and depressed. Because I know how blessed I am. I love God- who is ever-forgiving. I have a hardworking husband who is knee deep in chores and childrearing with me. I have healthy, happy kiddies.  But, that doesn’t stop my feelings of being overwhelmed. Of questioning what I need to do right now to “mold and shape” my tiny beings into great people. (they already are, by the way) of questioning how I can be better, how my  life can be more impactful. How I can answer that ever burning question of “what am I doing with my life?!?”

I legit feel like I’m trying to sort through a 100 year old attic of questions, feelings, contemplations, and events.  Cobwebs, dead mice, dust and all.

Brutal honesty? I’ve been dealing with feelings of inadequacy- allowing my thoughts to tell me that I’m failing in literally every aspect of my life. Through it all, I keep hearing the whisper that Jesus knows. He knows what I’m going through. He understands life. It’s struggles, it’s challenges, and it’s triumphs. (I referenced this briefly in my last blog…) He is SO MUCH MORE RELATABLE than we give him credit for! I mean, in the very, very beginning Adam and Eve lied right to the face of God. They were forgiven.  Abraham lied by saying that his wife was his sister. He was forgiven… and specifically chosen by God to do amazing works.  Moses murdered someone before he was called to rescue hundreds of thousands from slavery! Peter lied by denying Jesus (THREE TIMES!!) and he was chosen to spread the word of God an he was forgiven. Saul tortured and abused people who believed in God and he was forgiven- and look what he went on to do!! (He became Paul and wrote 13 books of the Bible and became the 13th apostle even though he was a liar, a murderer, and a hater of Christ).  Zacchaues was a traitor, but Jesus singled him out of a crowd of hundreds (maybe thousands??) Jesus was on the cross in an amount of pain and suffering that is unable to be put into words. And do you know what he said? Forgive them Father for they know not what they do….. FORGIVE THEM!!  Yet, I’m a failure? Nope. I belong in the exact same category as these great men of thousands of years ago. Because I’m forgiven. And God says so.

I may be doing a hundred things wrong a day. Am I trying to do right? Yup. Am I working with my own limited knowledge? Yup! Am I working off of my own experiences and trying to make educated decisions on what is right for myself and my family? Yup. Am I gonna screw up? Yup. Every. Single. day. Am I forgiven? YES!!! Do I have a free pass to make poor choices and decisions? Absolutely not. (that conversation is for another day! :o)) Does Facebook (and ALL social media) contribute to my struggles and feelings of inadequacy? Yes. Yes it does and I would like to look into that a little bit…

When we post on Facebook… who is it for? Me and myself? Are there posts out there to educate and alert others? Yes. Are there posts to update far away relatives of the goings-on in our lives? Yes. Are there posts for pure humor? Yes. Are there posts to glorify God and His amazing works? Yes!! Is 89.6% self-righteous and self serving? Probably. Do you feel instantly (even though it may be ever so slight) insecure when beautiful people post beautiful selfies? Or check in at the gym? Or post a family pic? Let me give you some truth: most people who post selfies take 13 pictures before picking the perfect one to post.  (I myself cannot believe the wrinkles around my eyes when I take one!!) Super fun family outing pics? There was probably some hollering and bargaining milliseconds before the pic was snapped.
My family’s instance? “Avery!! Stop hitting Addie!! “ “Addie!!! Stop picking your nose!!!” “Avery! Why did you take your shoes off?? We are in the parking lot and about to get out of the car!” “Addison Reese!! Stop rolling your eyes when I’m talking to you  This is the truth, folks. We post our best selves on Facebook and we could be making others feel inadequate and insecure while doing so….
you’ve done how many loads of laundry today?!
You cooked what for dinner?! (you mean you didn’t feed your kids cereal for dinner?? )
You went to the gym, the grocery, the post office, Target, and the bank today?!
You are all finished Christmas shopping and you bought everyone amazing expensive gifts without even batting an eye?!
Your family just returned from an utterly amazing week long vacation to where?!
All while my carpets need vacuumed. My fans need dusted. My kids need genuine, quality one on one time. My laundry needs put away.  And I’m working a ton of Saturday’s because Christmas is knocking on the door…

Have you ever noticed how often people are on social media when they are out to amazing dinners? Or on amazing vacations? Why is that? Why are people so afraid to disconnect? To be present and real in their own lives? I don’t have the answer for that…. All I know is I can no longer let this crap weigh me down. Life is dirty. Life is rough. There are bumps in the road. There are hurt feelings and broken hearts. I will no longer allow Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to be the measuring stick for which my happiness or success in life is measured. Because I know that I’m a hot mess of a person. I’m turning 31 in less than 2 months. I have a job, a husband, 2 small kids, 2 dogs, a cat, a home, and extended family that all require my attention. I’m not successful at life on the regular. I get that. BUT. I’m forgiven. God’s mercies and His grace are new every. Single. day.  He has specifically chosen me. He’s numbered the hairs on my head and I am worthy in His eyes. (and so  are you!!!!)

 Now… I have to go because I have a sink full of dirty dishes and a litter box to empty.
Glamorous? No.
Facebook worthy information? No.
Real life. Abso-friggin-lutley…..

Monday, November 10, 2014

Remaining faithful

I completed my 4th half marathon in September. It was pain free!! But I ran very tentatively. My slowest pace yet, but also one of my proudest runs. :o) I had the honor of running with my aunt- who says I inspire her?! Give me a break. She is the inspiration! :o)  I told myself to take the rest of the year off and cross train. I now know the importance of cross training, so I’m doing P90x3. It is so intense. It makes me cry and I want to quit. LOL. I’m 5 weeks in and I am going to stick with it! I can do a 30 minute workout 6 days a week! I don’t care how bad it hurts! 

 As far as not running? That didn’t last long….  (runners are beyond stubborn) Robbie got the 13.1 itch so he has been putting in some serious runs, and I’ve been bitten by the full bug. So, after a brief 4 week hiatus, I’m a runner again. It’s for the best, too because (I’ve said it before) my mental well-being and overall outlook on life is way better when I am actively running.  Every run brings clarity because it’s my church!  I can tell you, I’m not running enough because I’m stressed and frazzled. :o/ 

So much has happened that has left me disappointed in myself. Bad things happen. People say mean things. People let you down. This is a fact. I’m learning I’m far more sensitive than I realized. I’m also (unfortunately) learning that my faith is shaky at times.  I try to be logical- to solve the problems and figure out my role in situations and how they should be handled moving forward.  I don’t know why I run out of the faith pool like someone yelled “SHARK!!” I mean, really?!? I picture myself completely submerged and 100% trusting in The Lord and His plan. Then, someone says or does something that surprises me and upsets me and I try to run away from God. I try to take the reigns and right the wrongs. IT IS NOT UP TO ME!!!! I AM ONLY HUMAN. I NEED GOD. I need to surrender all of my hurts and stresses. Whether it’s in the realm of finances, careers, or relationships. I realize that relationships are strained and people are…well, human.  I realize that finances can be stressful. A dollar only goes so far and it seems like there are a million “needs.”  My jobs (yes, I have several) have been roller coasters lately. I don’t want to readily admit that I fail. But, I do. I panic. I stress out. And I fret. And for what cause? What good does it do? Why do I run out of pool shrieking when I can quietly pray? I revisit this lesson over and over. Sometimes multiple times a day.  Am I stubborn? Is it simply human nature? One way or another, I know there is peace to be had. A deep breath to be taken. A prayer to be said. I feel like I am really late (or unusually early?) with a new year’s resolution of sorts. Along with whole body strengthening and diet alterations I need to strengthen my faith and trust. In God as well as people.  Jesus is such a forgiver and I struggle with feelings of inadequacy and failure. Then I laugh because Jesus is way more relatable than most give Him credit for. Including me. I mean… Jesus was hurt and betrayed. People let Him down. People hurt Him. He suffered more before the crucifixion  than most do in a lifetime. So why don’t I trust myself to be real with Him? Why do I feel like I have to be polished to perfection before I can deepen my relationship? I DON’T! As I typed that I took a deep breath.  A sigh of relief? Makes me wonder if I truly believe my own words. Can I be really transparent for a moment? I’ve been frustrated lately because I tell myself, “Give it to God” what does that mean exactly? I can picture myself “handing” Him my stress and worries. But it doesn’t last very long before I’m chewing my bottom lip and worrying. (another deep breath…)

It’s going to be ok. This is a season of change and discipline for Robbie and I. We have been working with people at church as we go through the process to join the marriage ministry. It’s been such an amazing experience! We’ve been married almost 10 years and we’ve had some of our best conversations in the past 3 months. I’ve never really thought about it, but it’s crazy comforting to know that he has my back.  He can put up with my small doses of occasional crazy and I know he’s there. And he will be there. We have watched sooo many marriages crumble (especially over the past 12 months) and we are so excited to be a part of this ministry. I hope that through the ministry I can really work hard on consistency with my trust. Not all in one day and a freak out the next, LOL

I feel like I will look back on this season and be proud of how far we’ve come.  I know I have a lot to learn, but I'm praying that through the marriage ministry and through REACH (local outreach ministry) I will increase in humbleness and steadfastness. I can’t waste another minute stressing about money/work because when I do I miss the blessings right in front of me.  I can’t stress about how quickly the calendar fills up because then I’m not fully present at any event!  I have to let go of MY ways. My worries. My fears. My stresses. My hurts. And I have to embrace the warmth that is all around me.  Last deep breath. I already feel a little better. ;)

Isaiah 55:8  "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

Philippians 4:6 “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Counting my blessings

I have felt a little “off” lately. A little frustrated, a little overwhelmed. And then I get more frustrated because I ask myself why?!?! Why am I feeling this way when I know how blessed I am.  It poses the question- does God truly give you more than you can handle? Not in the terms of negativity, but in the terms of blessings?  {and as a quick side note- let me just say- I believe he absolutely DOES give you more than you can handle, and it’s perfectly explained in a blog that I came across ~Lemonny Things~ } But, back to my original thought… ;) Do you allow your blessings to be turned into burdens by not realizing their worth? A few prime examples from my life as of late:
-man! The grass needs mowed again!
-I cannot keep up with keeping this house clean!
-ugh… I don’t want to go to work today.
- I just wish the kids would give me a break for 5 seconds
- I have a long run this weekend?! When am I gonna get that done??

 These are just a few of the overwhelming thoughts I’ve been having. And for the record, I’ve always had a bit of a ‘negative’ mantra. I try SO HARD to improve my inner voice, but it is not an easy obstacle to overcome.  And I don’t want to continue the negativity by pointing out my many faults with the above-mentioned statements. But I feel it’s important to count our blessings as just that- amazing blessings that should not be taken for granted; should not be treated as a burden. It’s like that saying “what if you only woke up with the things that you asked God for the night before” 
Instead of complaining about the time it takes for my hubby to mow and the dirty toilets that need cleaned I need to BE STILL. Be still and be thankful for our home and our land. God so perfectly timed the selling of our previous home and the purchase of our current home that is was nothing short of miraculous. I need to remember that!  Be insanely grateful that I have a career that I love and  several different jobs that allow me to serve and help those in need.
Now when it comes to motherhood and child rearing I feel that I’m in a frequent battle of feeling guilty for being impatient and promising that tomorrow will be better. That’s not good enough- I need to just take each moment as it comes. Take a deep breath, smile, and realize that my children are treasures. If Jesus can patiently provide mercy and grace to me every single second of the day, then my kids deserve that from me. And believe me- I’m not “too big” to apologize to them. I do that frequently. And when it comes to running- again- I feel like it’s become a battlefield. I worry about the time that long runs consume (which in turn creates more “mommy guilt”). I worry about how I’m gonna get all of my training runs completed, how I’m gonna be ready for my third half marathon in THREE WEEKS. And when I really stop to think about it. I KNOW God didn’t bless me with the gift of running so it could cause guilt, anxiety, frustration, and worry. He gave it to me so I could grow my relationship with Him. So I could get that “5 second break” I “wish” I had. And if I’m being brutally honest with you (and myself)- God has been trying to plant the seed of discipline in me for years.  I can proudly say I’ve ran over 600 miles!! So I’m learning the art of discipline; but not at the rate in which I’d like. LOL It’s ME that places the red tape ALL OVER my blessed runs. Not God. He just wants us to follow His word and He wants to bless us.  We, as humans create obstacles that separate us from Him.  Not the other way around….And it's in the midst of these moments that create our true self.
So… my question. My challenge is HOW DO I TRIM THE FAT?? Cut the red tape? The frustration? The overwhelming-ness, and anxiety so that I can just be? I know the answer is simple- unplug, BE STILL, pray, and focus on the truth that is right in front of me.
There are many exciting things in my future- including joining the REACH team at my church (local outreach and missions!!) and my husband and I joining the marriage ministry team. 2 half marathons are right around the corner. My daughter starts first grade in a few weeks. My son starts his last year of preschool in a few weeks, too. So, let me take my overwhelmed self and turn it all over to God and truly soak in my multitude of blessings!!!

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Hebrews 6:12
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Psalm 46:10

 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God

Psalm 55:22
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

John 15:13

I have never been more humbled and proud to be a part of my church… Today’s message revolved around “John 15:13” Never has a message broken me the way this one did. 
John 15:13 “No one has greater love than this: that someone lay down his life for his friends.
To hear a man tell his story about desperately needing a kidney (his kidney function was down to 14% ) and hearing how God worked EVERY SINGLE STEP out for this man to pass his medical, financial and psychological testing in record time. -All in order to even be placed on the transplant list. Then, How God laid a path for him to receive his kidney after SIX WEEKS on the transplant list -versus the 1 ½ - 3 years that he was originally told.  BUT THEN to hear that a member of our church stepped out in complete selflessness (and complete anonymity) to donate a kidney…. A man who has a small child, and one on the way. A man who could’ve gone about his days just allowing Chris to cross his mind every once in awhile. …Wondering if he was on dialysis, wondering if his health was failing or improving.  But, no. This man, Brian felt the whisper of the Holy Spirit and ACTED OUT IN KINDNESS AND FAITH.  Brian proceeded with pre-testing to see if he could be a donor and lo and behold, he was a perfect match so he and his wife set the date for the transplant- and due to a series of events and circumstances our Pastor and Chris’ wife discovered his identity. (the two men had barely met, as they attended different service times at church) The discovery allowed our Pastor to pray with BOTH FAMILIES prior to the surgery. This allowed the families to embrace, to love, to thank, and to become one- before both men had very serious operations. Brian preferred to keep his decision and his identity a secret because he in no way did this for himself or for earthly glory. He did this so a man could have life. So he could one day walk his daughter down in the aisle, get on his hands and knees and play with his grandchildren, dance with his wife at their 50th wedding anniversary. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! I am trying to put into words how AMAZING  it was to be a miniscule part of this miracle- by simply listening to the story. I left church totally wrecked. If a man can donate a part of his flesh so that another man may be healed- who are we and WHAT ARE WE CALLED FOR? It may not be as a huge as organ donation, it may be as “small” as holding a door open for someone. …With the negativity. The poison. The bullying. The bad attitudes that are everywhere, it is so refreshing to hear of this astounding act of kindness. 
I want to help.
I want to be last.
I want to be humble to those in need.
I want to help.
I want to open my eyes.
I want to live for others.
I want to set an example for my children.
I do not want to be cynical or judgmental.
I want to serve.
I’m challenging everyone to something. When an ‘event’ occurs in your life… do not allow your first reaction and thoughts to be “how does this affect me?!” Instead say- it isn’t about meit isn’t about me it isn’t about me… I guarantee it will open up a lot of room in your heart to help others, to serve in a way that you never have. Even if it’s just to listen to a friend who needs to vent. Or doing your job with a little more pep in your step, or allowing the person in front of you at Kroger to take their time (even when you are tired, hungry, and in a huge hurry). :o)  If we all decreased our selfishness by 1% a day who would we be in 100 days?! I can’t imagine…. But I’m excited to find out. If someone in my church family can give an organ so that someone else may live in health than I can certainly challenge myself to be a better person. And it starts this second.  Selflessness can heal brokenness. Let the healing begin!

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The two amazing families with our Pastor. 
While Pastor Anna sings "Healing is Here" 
Amazing moment... Blessed to experience it!  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Finding the rose among the thorns...

I’m still in shock and mind boggled by the recent arrest of a friend. A friend?!? A woman that I have kept contact with via text messaging and Facebook was arrested for faking cancer…. I can’t begin to tell you the tears I’ve shed for her, the prayers I have said for her. My family prayed for her daily. She led her thousands of Facebook supporters to believe that she had less than 3 months to live. I questioned her honesty years ago when she confided in me that she was an alcoholic, and now a born again Christian- yet there would be frequent pictures of her at bars. ...It didn’t add up for an alcoholic to be casually drinking. But when a woman says she has stage 4 ovarian cancer you believe her.  It just feels like the worst kind of violation to be lied to in this way. To be misled and taken advantage of for so long… The texts I have from her are so descriptive including forcing her husband to go coffin shopping, being hospitalized for 9 days, having a shunt put in her head from excessive brain swelling, vomiting to the point of nearly tearing her esophagus. I mean I can go ON AND ON.  There are no words for the shock. They say hindsight is 20/20, but I never saw THIS coming. Did I think she was milking her support system? Yes. Did I think she was lying about having cancer? No!  It became odd to me how often she would desperately complain about money. But she seemed to be a good old, struggling American with cancer.  Turns out she is just a struggling American… struggling with drug addiction? Maybe? Mental health issues? Most definitely! The odd thing is, she started this *journey* over 2 years ago! I have Facebook messages from her from a few months prior to her announcement where she said her husband filed for divorce. I wonder if she initially started this lie to keep her marriage in tact? But if that is the case- why drag thousands of innocent people into the mix? Probably because it became a gold mine for her to cash in on- at the hand of the well-intentioned givers. She asked to clothing in certain sizes to dress her kids (4, plus a step child). Dozens of people stepped up and donated hundreds of dollars worth of clothing items to her kids…. Someone gave them a vehicle. Groceries were delivered 3 times a week. A weekend getaway was pre-paid for her and her husband. Her own mother sent her large family on a week long getaway. Build-a-bear workshop opened after hours for them so each of her children could make a bear with her voice inside. The zoo gave her a behind the scenes tour of the penguins (her favorite). The list is 14 miles and 2 years long. So while we are all left shaking our heads in disbelief. While she is behind bars, wearing an orange jumpsuit- it seems there is little else to do. But that is very far from the truth. This person, this lost soul needs more prayer now then she did when we believed she was dying. I’m diligently praying for her. Because somewhere she got off on the wrong path. She needs Jesus and she needs us to pray for her…. We need to continue with our good intentions by doing random acts of kindness. Paying for the car behind you in he drive-thru. Holding the door open for someone. Opening our eyes to those around us who are truly in need. Smiling at everyone!! Someone told me today that I am a breath of fresh air in a negative work environment. It made my day! Attitude is everything and we can walk around being incredibly angry with this person- and everyone else who wrongs us. Or we can be humble.  Be blessed. I chose the latter…. Will you join me? 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2 time half marathoner!

I am literally cracking up… Did that just happen?! Indeed it did. I am a 2 time half marathoner! I was utterly under trained…. I blame the brutal winter and all of the random dogs I continue to encounter on my country roads. Don’t get me wrong- I had 2 10-mile runs leading up to the half. But I was messing with my gels and Gatorade vs water. Water DOES NOT work for me, but Gatorade gives me raging heartburn. So, I endured the heartburn on race day. Friends have mentioned Nuun, but I did not have time to experiment with it before race day.
I went to Nashville with a wonderful group of ladies for the Country music marathon (part of the Rock n Roll marathon series). In hindsight I can say it was fun. In the moment it was hot, hilly, crowded, and emotional. I knew going in that I was under trained with literally no elevation training. The course was way hillier than I expected- and way curvier. I don’t do curves and turns well. It was 25 degrees hotter than my hottest training running this time.  But! I ran side by side with a new (and wonderful!) friend, Abby. We were only apart for about a mile when she stopped for a quick potty break and I walked (yes, walked) ahead. She was so supportive and encouraging. I am 99% a solo runner. Not at all used to carrying a conversation on a run. But her and I made it through the 13.57 mile race together. And it was awesome. Did you catch that? 13.57? It was NOT a half marathon… we coined the term “ultra half” because it was longer than 13.1. Every runner we talked to said it was 13.5-13.8 miles. You may think we are being petty, but after 13 miles of hills (and more hills!!) you are ready to STOP RUNNING. And the “point one” is doable. .57 is just mean. ;o) unless you’re training for a full then it is just life, I guess. I jokingly compared my additional 4 tenths of a mile to 26.2… my friends who are full marathoners as well as half marathoners cracked up and said I wasn’t even close. I don’t know that I’ll ever know, because 26.2 is not on my radar. At all. Overall, the trip was a success. We all crossed the finish line… we earned our medal. Or as my son would say “we wonned the game”
The idea of a “girls race weekend” sounded amazing. In the moment it was the weirdest emotional feeling I have ever encountered. In retrospect, it was pretty awesome.  My husband is crazy supportive and he took wonderful care of our 2 kiddos while I was gone. Even when my daughter came home from school puking. :( But when I was in Nashville, I felt such guilt. Not just a guilt you can shrug off and ignore, but a pulling, gut wrenching guilt. I thought I should not have left my family for this. I should not take time away from my family to run… They NEED me there. And the truth is, they do need me. They need me to be the best mom I can be. In order to do that I need to take ME time and my “me” time is spent running. I will not feel guilty about completing a physically challenging run that makes me feel like I’m on top of the world- because that is what gives me the courage to be a mom for another day. Not to mention the fact that when I am running I get to spend alone time with God and in prayer. That is so centering, too. Why would I deprive my family of a more patient me? A more understanding me? An improved version of me? Every single run improves a person. Every one of them. The quick 2 miles, the emotional 13.57 miles. They are all worth it, because I am better than I was before I laced up my running shoes...  
And it’s gonna keep getting better, because training for my next half starts in 2 weeks! ;) ;) 

 Women who run are amazing. These women rocked Nashville. and I'm glad I was with them!

We  are finished! We killed it! Well, we didn't kill it, but we badly bruised it. ;)

After race beer. A MUST!!!

Not a PR, but I'm proud nonetheless.

 It means everything to me to add another medal to the awesome bib and medal rack my mom got me! It has my favorite bible verse on it. Hebrews 12.1 :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Where has the time gone?

I cannot believe what a blog slacker I am! How dare I RUN A HALF MARATHON!! And not update the one or two people who may read this? LOL The Air Force Half Marathon was one of the best days of my life. I worked sooo hard to reach a goal (5 long months) and I DID IT!! My goal was 2:30, with my realistic expectation being 2:45. I came in at 2:35. I was thrilled. Floating all day. Beyond proud. And totally shocked at myself. Yes. Even after 5 months of crazy hard training, even with a big, beautiful medal around my neck I still doubted myself.  I’m now in training for my second half and unfortunately I still carry that doubt. It is lessening for sure, though. For instance, today I felt like poo- just tired and blah all dang day. Until I said a prayer, forced myself into running shoes and went out the door. I CRUSHED my fasted mile ever! I maintained a pace far faster than my typical average pace. It was a blessed run! I’m very proud of it!! I’ve now run over 100 times and over 400 miles. That amazes me. It’s truly a blessing to be able to run. I am grateful for every single mile. There have been some serious tragedies in the recent past and many of my runs have turned into church. Just prayer and pavement. It’s bliss.
I’m so proud of my running because it is a slow ascent to long distances. We are such a generation of instant gratification. We want things and we don’t want to work for them (some of that is a learned behavior, but I’m not getting into that right now ;)) We want the assets, financial stability and lifestyles of our parents and we don’t stop and think that maybe we need to work really hard to get there… in 20 years like they did! We post too many selfies, too many Facebook updates, all in the hopes of instant accolades from our peers. We are jealous of the vacations that our friends take (in which they post multiple photos- every day). We are jealous of the relationships others have… When we need to stop and take a deep breath and worry about who’s opinions really matter. Who's life are we racing? Who is The One we really need to be impressing? Who is The One we need to work really hard for? As much as I’m proud of every single mile, I’m equally proud of the total amount of time and effort that I’ve put in to get to where I am now. My work is nowhere near done. I’m learning everyday and I want to continue on this amazing journey. There are days when I just shake my head and think… “no one said THIS was adulthood” because it is NOT easy. But I’d like to believe I have a better grasp on it since I have such a wonderful outlet.  I don’t want to live my life with the intent (whether purposeful or accidental) of making anyone jealous. I’m a mess of a person and running helps, but not 100% LOL Everyone is in a different spot in their journey and there is no reason to be jealous of others. If you woke up this morning you have a million things to be grateful for. I for one, don’t want to waste a minute of emotion on jealousy because that’s one minute that I’m taking my own blessings for granted.  
I have 6 weeks until my next half (insert GASP! and instant stomach cramps here). A group of amazing ladies and I are road tripping to Nashville for the Rock n Roll Half. There are 5 of us and they are such awesome women. I cannot wait to spend the weekend with them!! Training for a spring race has been brutal. This winter (3rd snowiest in history) has been so so cold. Most of my running has been in the basement on the treadmill. …Not near as mentally resetting as the good old outdoors. ;) So, bring on April 26th. I am not going to be ready for the elevation. But I don’t care. I’ll take the surprise. LOL. I am gonna be ready to run 13.1 miles again. My soul can’t hardly wait…. 

Hebrews 12:1  Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.

My cheering section from Air Force! :)