Archive from March, 2015
Mar 29, 2015 - travel    No Comments

My Latest Adventure

disney osbourne lights

Want to know why I’m this excited? My latest adventure will take me to Italy this summer!

Why does Italy need missionaries? Didn’t the church start there?”

That question has been posed repeatedly as I’ve told people that I am planning on going to Italy this summer. Italy has a long history with Christianity, but most Italians live in a post-Christian world. They are in many ways over-familiar with the old stories, but under-gospeled. There are reminders of miracles, church councils, and Christ throughout the scenery, our hope is for new life to be breathed into this beautiful country.

I will, Lord willing, be traveling on a nine day service-oriented mission trip this May. My church has a partnership with a church plant in Salerno, Italy called Nuova Vita (New Life). We will be a nimble seven person team who will participate in physically labor intensive service for the church plant. The purpose of the trip will be to increase the visibility, perception, and influence of our church partner by transforming and beautifying a neighborhood in the city. 

Italy-Salerno

I am excited about this trip for many reasons. First, the team! Those committed to the trip are delightful, flexible, team players and I anticipate good things coming from this group of people working together. Second, the work! I love seeing physical, tangible movement and progress. I want to encourage those who are in Salerno long-term who will see the fruit of what we start on this trip. I am looking forward to having both physical and spiritual goals for this trip so that progress can be seen (and anticipated in faith for what cannot be seen!) And third, the church planters! Justin and Abbey Valiquette (and their four children) are our missionaries and church planters in Salerno, Italy. I have known them and worked in ministry with them for a dozen years. They were on my Summer Project through Cru in 2003. We labored together, sharing the gospel and our lives for an entire summer and I am delighted to see them again and understand more fully the work of the church they have undertaken in Italy.

How can you help? Great question! Thanks for asking! First, please pray! I am a firm believer that mission trips don’t start the moment we get on the plane, just as they don’t end when we return home. The prayer, team building, support raising, and preparation are all part of the trip experience. Pray for our team and Nuova Vita that we would be a blessing to each other and the city. Second, support me financially. I am raising tax-deductible contributions through Orlando Grace church. The cost for the trip including air fare, lodging transportation, and food is $3000 which I must raise by April 15th. The faith building portion of the trip begins now for me as I humbly ask for partners. I believe that missions requires go-ers, welcomers, and senders and that we can each participate in different roles at different times. It is my turn to be a go-er! 

If you would like to join my team of senders and support me financially, I will gladly send you the details! Just leave a comment below!

Mar 15, 2015 - My Story, Running    No Comments

One More Finish Line

My roommates are rad.

As I hobbled in the front door after running 20 miles at the Glass Slipper Challenge focusing on the soreness in my thighs and the toenails I will likely lose, I heard someone shout, “Wait, don’t look! We have something for you.”

(When I was allowed to look,) I saw that our house had been transformed into a running course and a finish line. Crepe paper stretched toward the back door blocking off the “running course” from the “cheering zone.” One roommate cheered and held a sign. One passed me a glass of water as I hobbled past. And one crowned me with a homemade medal as I crossed through the crepe paper finish line.

It was perfect. 

It was the celebration that my heart loved! They thought about me. They knew these races made me nervous and that it was a big weekend for me. They wanted to show me that they cared. That’s what I love in a good friendship. People who know what is important to you and want to be involved. I proudly wore my handmade “Rad Roommate” medal the rest of the night and it currently hangs on my display rack.  I think it’s the most important one. It represents community, togetherness, celebration, and years of relationship with my house friends. Running has taught me a lot about pacing, endurance, grit, and mental determination. Living with others has taught me about community, togetherness, celebration, compromise, and encouragement. Life is full of lessons. I’m lucky enough to have roommates who help me remember this one — complete with hardware!

medals rad roommate

What lessons have you learned through sharing your life with others? 

 

Mar 12, 2015 - Running    3 Comments

The Glass Slipper Challenge

It was a chilly Florida morning at 3 am when I awoke for the Enchanted 10K. My friend Sara would be running with me both days – my teammate in it for the long haul. We huddled with 10,000 of our new friends, and oodles of mylar space-blankets, waiting for the release. We overcompensated for the cold and wore many layers. I was dressed as Rapunzel and was able to use my hair as a scarf for a little added warmth! Bonus!

rapunzel scarf hair

The Enchanted 10K was just that – enchanted! It was a delightful course winding through EPCOT and the Boardwalk. It was a perfect length to be challenging, but not exhausting. And we had fun with it. Sara and I ran intervals and enjoyed the race. We laughed as we passed mounds of scarves, hats, gloves, and jackets which our fellow runners had tossed as they warmed up. It was a relaxing warm up – in all ways! Warm up in temperature. Warm up in mileage. And Warm up mentally for me for the Princess Half the next day. 

enchanted 10K

It was an even earlier morning on Sunday when my alarm blared at 2:30 am and I let out a giggle of protest at my plans for the day. Getting up at 2:30 am to run a very long way! What was I thinking?! Sara and I spent the majority of the day after the Enchanted 10K stretching, icing, massaging, and ambulating in preparation for the next morning. We dressed in our costumes as Sully and Boo from Monsters Inc. And got ready for the challenge of the day.

sully and boo

 

Sara and I started strong, keeping to our planned pacing and enjoying the sights along the way. I love Main Street where scads of people gather to cheer on everyone. Yes, they likely have a specific runner in mind, but they also joyfully holler for us all. I remembered one cheerleader, Peggy Sue, in this very spot last year with her famous sign, “Hello, Perfect stranger, I’m proud of you.” and I got a little misty eyed. We turn right and jogged through Tomorrowland before running directly through Cinderella’s Castle. Just behind the castle, cast members were positioned handing out tissues. I snagged one assuming it was a prop for the photo op. I would gingerly dab the corner of my eye and try to get a good photo, but as I ran through the castle and caught a glimpse of everyone coming down Main Street, I actually needed the tissue to wipe a tear from my eyes! That was my magical moment this year.

castle run

Miles 8-10 are always my most difficult. I’ve been running a long time, feel spent, and still have a long way to go. Sara was hitting her wall as well. We slowed down, but stayed together. We were going to pull each other through this race. We were delighted to be surprised by a few friends at the 9 mile marker. It was perfect! We were in need of something delightful and seeing two familiar faces was just the thing. We trudged through the last four miles before reaching the Finish line, where the real magic happens. I set a record (for my longest ever half marathon time!), got ice for my irritable knee and proceeded to eat all the calories available!

ice knee run

Hardware follows Hard work. Amen. I wanted something tangible to show for my effort. Not just my effort over the past two days, or my mental stamina to keep going, but my effort throughout the entire training program. I earned my Glass Slipper medals and my Coast to Coast challenge (as I did the Star Wars Half as well– and wrote about it!) I have medals to show for my months of late nights and early mornings spent with just me and the road. These mean more to me than one day of competition. They represent all the ways I’ve “channeled Michael Jordan” over the years! I began running 30 seconds at a time and have slowly worked my way up to half marathons and combination challenges. They hang in my room, silently squelching my self-doubt. They are powerful. They are beautiful. They are heavy!

medals glass slipper challenge

Mar 9, 2015 - Running    No Comments

Channeling Michael Jordan

A week before the Glass Slipper challenge (a 19.3 mile race over two days!), I wasn’t excited, I was sick.

(I’ll spare you the details, but just know, it was gross!)

I’m not sure what bothered me most: the inability to ever maintain the correct temperature to blanket ratio for more than a minute, the incredible amount of tissue boxes that I consume in my snot-filled state, the hazy, drooped eye lids which only give me a partial view of the world, or the lack of productivity.

sick, ill, snot, kleenex

I know, I’m ridiculous! I was ill. I’m allowed to have a cold! But I sat, blew my nose, drank my tea, cleared my throat and thought of all the things I should have been doing. My mind raced saying, “I should be running one last training run. I should be stretching. I should be packing my bag to ensure the correct calorie intake for the races.”

But I couldn’t do any of that right then. I sat, dwelling on the miles I had to run shortly. I was nervous. I had been training for months. I had been looking forward to this challenge for months! I needed to find some endurance somewhere deep inside of me. I sent a bemoaning text to my friend about my viral state and anxiety about my upcoming physical exertion and she wrote back, “Channel Michael Jordan.”

I knew what she meant. Michael Jordan’s performance during game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals is the stuff of legends. He woke up at 3 am the morning of the game with the flu. It’s almost all the commentators talked about throughout the game. The look in his eyes. The way he walked out hanging his head. And his incredible MVP-earning performance throughout the game. He found his drive deep down inside. He had endurance he didn’t realize. He relied on his training and his teammates to make it through.

And I did the same thing!

 

IMG_3258

These races became about something bigger to me. It was about finishing, not timing. It was about proving myself wrong and finding strength and energy I didn’t realize I had. I earned my Glass Slipper. I earned my medals. I earned a nap! Maybe I’ll go channel Rip Van Winkle instead of Michael Jordan for a while…

Where do you find energy when you need it most?

 

Mar 7, 2015 - Health, Running, speaking, travel    No Comments

Internal Daylight Savings

No, I’m not dead.

No, I haven’t decided to live off the grid.

No, I haven’t eloped.

February was just a blur. 

IMG_3398sick, ill, snot, kleenexenchanted 10K

Traveling, speaking, multiple illnesses, and a twenty-mile race can make a month very tight and very exhausting. I feel like I am just now able to process all that happened in February. Like my mind is living a month behind my body. It’s a new kind of internal daylight savings!

But I’m hoping to spring forward in more ways than one tonight. I want to align my clocks, watches, and internal system to live in the present. Yes, I need to think about my blur of a month, but I also need to live where I am. I don’t want to live life solely through my rear view mirror. I think back and muse, “Wow, I led a women’s retreat. I spoke for four hours about the Sabbath one month ago this weekend. Was that real?” I ponder such questions because the distance between my thoughts and my presence can keep me from enjoying what’s going on right in front of me. Maybe you feel the same. Nostalgic for what was and never fully enjoying what is. I am seeking to enjoy life past, present, and future. Remember good times, enjoy today, plan for the future. That’s my new daylight savings plan – enjoy the sunshine wherever it shines!

How do you train yourself to enjoy today and not worry about tomorrow or long for yesterday?

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