Tuesday, December 9, 2014

If I Can, You Can

A week ago, I wasn't sure that I should have signed up for a second half marathon. Now, I'm sitting here scanning races for my next. 

Yes. It's hard to run 13.1 miles.. For me it is, anyway. But the amazing feeling of accomplishment is unreal. 

I tell people all of the time.. If I can do it, you can do it. I'm 39, overweight and have FULL PLATE OF RESPONSIBILITIES. I have to work at scheduling running time, especially the long runs ( 1 hour +). I haven't been able to get my nutrition just right and so that's been a challenge, too. 

Here's a myth: running makes you skinny. Truth: eating right along with running will help you lose weight. My next adventure is to figure out how to get those two in balance and get to a healthy size and weight for me. 

I have to say, the two races that I chose were amazing experiences. The Chosen and the Rock and Roll Marathons were great races and I have nothing, but great things to say about both!

Now my only question is: what's my next race?!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

An Unexpected Gift

Several weeks ago, I posted a picture on my Instagram account . It was a snapshot of a Land's End catalog with a pair of sandals circled. My mom had looked through the catalog and found pair of sandals that she wanted. On this particular day, she had put the Land's End catalog on the kitchen counter, next to the coffee maker (she knows my daily routine, coffee first, always first). What is so special about this is that my mom has not worn any type of sandal since the stroke because she has to wear a brace on her affected side to support her leg, ankle, and foot. When I saw that she was interested in a sandal, something different, it made me a little sentimental. I tagged Land's End on the picture and within a few hours, someone from the company commented on my picture and asked me to contact them. I emailed them and heard back from a wonderful new friend named, Raija. I told her a little bit of my mom's story, that she had suffered a massive stroke four years ago and faces many daily challenges. I shared with her that my mom's speech was affected and that she isn't able to communicate with words, but she finds many creative ways to get her point across. Raija and I emailed back and forth about my mom's situation. She shared with me that her grandfather had suffered a stroke and that is why our story touched her heart. She wanted to know what types of things my mom enjoys doing or what hobbies she might have. A few weeks later.. this wonderful package arrived.

We were overwhelmed and grateful. Not only did they send us the sandals that my mom wanted, Raija also added a personalized bag, a beautiful blanket and some word search books that my mom would enjoy. I want to express how much this meant to us. The journey with a loved one that requires constant care and supervision can become overshadowed by the monotony of daily tasks and challenges. I will admit that some days, I forget to look for the blessings or take time to notice the progress that my mom has made. The fact that Land's End would take the time to notice a picture and want to brighten my mom's day helped to restore my hope and realize that we aren't alone on our journey. We deal with bouts of isolation and it's easy to feel like no one notices the challenges we face. My faith has been recharged and I am inspired to look for ways to be a blessing to others. Thank you Raija and Land's End for your thoughtfulness and generosity. You have blessed us beyond measure!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Today is a day set aside to let the men in our lives know how very important that they are to us. 

When look at my dad, I think about how his fatherhood is different from most. You see, when he decided to become my father, he didn't have nine months to let it sink in and get used to the idea. He and my mom were literally given the option of taking me home with them immediately or not at all. And if you've ever spent any time getting to know my parents, you'll know that they stepped up and overnight became parents, no hesitation.

I always marvel at how they just did it. Just said yes and became my grace. They completely changed their lives and sacrificed their plans for me. 

So when I think about my dad, I look at him and see a father that chose me. He loves me, still would make any sacrifice necessary for me.. He is full of wisdom and an honorable man. He gives without expecting anything in return and loves unconditionally. He is a true example of my Heavenly Father's love and grace.

Thank you, Daddy. Happy Father's Day.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Prayer From A Stepmom

Lord, this responsibility that I have accepted seems to be overwhelming some days. These precious hearts and souls that I've been entrusted with are always on my mind.

Help me, Lord, to see them through Your eyes, love them like You do, and understand their fears and frustrations with Your heart.

Hold my heart together when they call me by my first name and choose not to call me Mom. I know they already have a mother... But, oh, it's so hard when you love them like you've birthed them, yet you know there's always that defining line that identifies you not as their parent, but as the bonus parent. The person that came into their life because their parents aren't together anymore.

Keep my heart soft towards them in difficult times and help me to always point them towards You and to draw them closer to You. 

Lord... these children are as much a part of me as their father is. I will be there to celebrate their highs, comfort them in their lows, and be their biggest fan in all they do. 

Thank you, Lord... You've given me so much more than I deserve in these children. I count it all joy to be their stepmom. My cup runs over and over. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Way Boys See Things

When you're the lone girl in a family, you get used to hearing the blunt, straight-forward truth about things.

For instance, I had something in my eye that I just couldn't get out. After all three of my menfolk had looked and tried to see what it might be.. Cy says, "Well, what I can see is that one of your eyelashes looks like a broken tree branch. Maybe that's what is poking you?"


Monday, March 25, 2013

Urgent Prayer Request

Please pray for our friend, Amy Anderson. She was admitted to the hospital 11 days ago and later diagnosed with respiratory failure and bacterial pneumonia in both lungs. Due to the severity of the pneumonia, her condition deteriorated and she was placed on a ventilator. As of today, her condition has not improved, the pneumonia has spread and she is being transported to a new facility that can provide a more advanced ventilator.

Amy is the kind of person that you meet and NEVER forget. She is always happy, loving, and full of Jesus. Her family is very dear to mine and plainly said, Amy needs a miracle. Please join me in praying for them!