"They that wait upon the LORD...shall run and not faint..." Isaiah 40:31

Running is not my forte.

Neither is finishing what I start.

Or pushing myself when the going gets tough.

In fact, for two years, running was the bane of my fairly inactive existence. I ran because the rest of my family was running, and was, therefore, something we could do together. Or, in my case, something we could commiserate over when we were finally home and showered.

Sometime this March, I realized that I had a just-plain-bad attitude toward this whole running thing. I have no health problems. I have joints that are fluid. I have muscles that have the ability to strengthen themselves. I have the ability to move. I have the running clothes, shoes, even and iPod app that tracks my distance and speed. And here I was, surrounded by asthmatics, arthritics and a child with severe dysphagia and I was whining about running 3 miles.


It was about this point I started keeping careful track of my time, distance, eating habits, and stretching. Every run was logged on Nike+. The stats encouraged me to run further, push harder. Weirdly enough, when I stopped whining about running, I started enjoying it. Even if, at first, the only positives I could chalk up to running were stretching and eating more calories.

Round about Mid April, I realized that I didn't loathe the idea of a run. It wasn't about me. It was about the Power found in me.

When I'm weak, You make me strong.When I'm blind, You shine Your light on me.'Cause I'll never get by Living on my own ability. - In Me, Casting Crowns

When my attitude lightened, I discovered I actually enjoyed the quiet time. The challenge. The view. The chance to talk to God totally uninterrupted. (the last one's a biggie...) Now, I have 90 minutes of "quiet time" a week. Just a girl and her God. (and whatever album she's using to fuel her on that last mile).

The DC Race for Respect was May 30th. My (very open-ended) goal was to see how fast I could go during that race. Training took place on our street, rain or shine, heat or cold,  beginning Februrary 28th. By April 6th, I was running 3.1 miles at a time, 3 days a week. Everything else was endurance and speed.

One huge encouragement was the other people who joined our team. Their enthusiasm was catching. People who didn't run regularly started training. Some who couldn't/didn't run volunteered to hand out water day of or joined us for a post-run party to show their support.

The race was an amazing experience. This girl, who started out grumbling and panting over 0.49 miles, came in 9th place (of 66) in the Female age 20-29 category.

As of this morning, (June 6th) I have logged 98 miles. My fastest 5K , which was on race day, averaged at a 10 minute/mile. Here I am, one more proof that God changes people everyday, starting with the small stuff.
Did I mention the photographer? Well, she's pretty cool, too. :)

October 17th is another race. I'm trying for a 9-minute mile. Who knows if I'll make it--stranger things have happened...

                     ...like me learning to like running.

How refreshing to know You don't need me.
How amazing to find that You want me.
So I'll stand on Your Truth,
And I'll fight in Your Strength,
Until You bring the Victory-
By the Power of Christ in me.
-In Me, Casting Crowns


Dear Life,

You really do like surprises, don't you? When Henry was born, I didn't think it was possible for my life to change so radically, so fast. But his birth was only the beginning, wasn't it?

Of course it was. 

Henry enjoys the local, annual production of Handel's Messiah.

Henry's changed my faith. Two years ago, I never thought I'd pray that a child would have the ability to swallow. But every day, we beg God to teach him how.

On the beach, circa March, 2015

He's changed my definition of excitement. Never in my wildest (okay, maybe wildest, but never in my run-of-the-mill) dreams would I be literally jumping up an down because a baby gained 2 ounces in one day. (Literally--not figuratively.)

Passing the 18 pound mark!

Who would have imagined I'd think of a trip to Wal-Mart, where I didn't even get out of the car, as an incredible field trip? But when Addison spent the summer on immune-suppressing steroids,..I did just that.

Feeding time gets creative during a birthday cake outdoors.

Did I tell you that Henry's changed my priorities? Oh, absolutely, yes, he has. And my outlook. And my vision for the future. And even my thought processes.

Even my concept of time has been effected. You know how little kids measure time by markers- naptime, lunchtime, playtime, storytime, etc. ? In our family, we mark time by Henry's schedule. Naptime, feedingtime, therapytime. You get the idea. 

Balloons are just so...happy.

So, Life, you've thrown some curveballs.

And I catch like a girl.

But, oh, Life, God is good. Isn't it wonderful how He gives grace in time of need? Or didn't I mention that Henry's changed my outlook on trials? Before these days, I knew trials shaped us. But now, I KNOW they shape us. And in ways we never expected. And yet, for the better.

Playing peek-a-boo through a paper towel roll.

These two years have been gut-wrenching. Full of heartache. Pain. Worry. Disillusionment. Stretching. Growth. And, that most-dreaded, change.

And I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Except, maybe, that smile. 

Life, keep those coming.