26.2 (barely)

Whew… Well I’m back in Raleigh after a crazy fun weekend in Ohio.  We saw lots of friends that I miss DEARLY and I absolutely loved getting to introduce the husband to “my Cedarville-world.” My years at Cedarville were so formative and I had such a wonderful “Cedarville experience,” so it was really important for him to meet the folks who had such an impact on my life! Loved every second of it. Definitely TOO short of a trip.

Race day was crazy. The weather at first was a little yucky, but it turned out to be decent running weather after about mile 8. Cool – not too hot or cold – and a little drizzle. Praise God for no thunderstorms!!!

Trashbags to keep us from getting soaked before the race…

Alicia and her husband Pat. Pat did the half and Alicia conquered her first full! WAY TO GO ALICIA!!!!!

This race was significantly more difficult for me in comparison to my first marathon in Raleigh. And if you think I’m just being modest, you can tell from my time alone. In raleigh, I finished in approx. 4 hrs. and 40 min. This time, I added an entire hour. Last time when I finished I was sore. This time, I’m in pain. Last time, I didn’t walk except through water stations. This time, I walked at least 2 full miles after mile 21 and then when I did start running again, I was being passed by fast walkers. 🙂 I even passed by a race medic and they asked if I wanted my leg wrapped (evidently I looked ridiculous while running/limping/gimping).

That’s right. I was in the back of the pack, finishing with the elderly, injured, and the walkers.

But I finished.

This fella was such a good man… texting me… making sure I was ok… having friends shoot me texts. It was really encouraging to have family and friends communicating encouragement/prayers/support during those difficult miles. Especially when I was so disappointed with my time and race performance.

I’m thrilled that I finished, but what I’m MOST excited about is the $2500 that will go directly to water projects in Uganda through Samaritan’s Purse. I loved being a part of Team Samaritan’s Purse and am so excited about the work that they do! So THANK YOU to many of you who helped bring water to the Kihuura community. Your generosity far outweighs the joys of finishing a marathon. You made it worth every mile.

Tonight… the sweet Mister got me a deep tissue massage for some post-race body therapy and I can’t wait!!!!!!!!! Seriously… I think I NEED it. And I’m fairly certain that if you saw me walking today you would agree. 🙂

Happy Monday!

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Q: Why? A: Love

The Mister and I started reading 1 John on Tuesday night and last night I read chapters 3 & 4. Wow, they really resonated with my soul. When I start to loose perspective, it’s amazing how the Holy Spirit can smack me bring me back to reality. These chapters reminded me once again why I do what I’m doing. I could speak more on the subject, but I’ll let the Scripture speak for itself.

1 John 3

(1) See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are… (16) By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (17) But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? (18) Little children, let us not love in word or in talk, but in deed and in truth.

1 John 4

(7) Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (8) Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (9) In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. (10) In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (12) No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us… (18) There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (19) We love because he first loved us. (20) If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (21) And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Why do I run? It’s a simple answer: Love.

I pray that through Team Samaritan’s Purse and the Samaritan’s Purse field workers on the ground, the people of Kihuura, Uganda come to know the LOVE of our great Savior.

Much love – B

Leaving on a jet plane…

Whew… well today is the day…We’re leaving for ohio! I’m pretty excited/nervous/excited/pumped/nervous. My bag is packed and I’m trying to get pumped for 26.2 miles.

It’s going to be a whirlwind. Tomorrow, we’re going up to my old college stomping grounds to introduce The Mister to all the folks at Cedarville that I love. Can’t wait!!! We’re staying with my sweet friend Alicia who is also running on Sunday! (She also has an awesome blog and card company that you should probably check out!). We’re also going to stay one night with a dear friend Kirsten, who shares my love of food like none other… yes she did have a food club in college… yes I did join it. She’s fantastic! 🙂 Then ALL DAY friday I’m visiting with friends and seeing people that were so formative during my college years. I can’t stinkin’ wait for the Mister to meet all of these dear, dear friends.

Saturday is going to be registration day where I go pick up my bib and running chip… EEK! So excited/nervous/excited/pumped/nervous. Then I’m taking the hubby to see meet the community of believers that I worshiped with when I was in college. I LOVE that church. Seriously, if you live in the Dayton area, Apex Community Church is a phenomenal church to check out! I can’t wait for my stud husband to see the church that significantly helped me make my faith “my own.”

THEN… (dum dum dum) SUNDAY… RACE DAY. I have a few things that I’m a little nervous/excited about.

1. I’m so excited that thus far we’ve raised over $2000 for water projects in Kihuura, Uganda. I’m so thankful for friends and family who have supported me and caught the vision of Samaritan’s Purse!! So thankful! I’m excited to see how God uses this money to transform a community for His glory. If you want to learn more about Samaritan’s Purse, click on the “Samaritan’s Purse” tab above. If you want to support the water projects, click HERE.

2. The last marathon I ran was in November 2009: City of Oaks Marathon… and it POURED and was REALLY cold. I picked a May marathon hoping for warmer weather and after looking at the Flying Pigs weather record, I was thrilled that most of the races were in good weather + sun. Please look at the weather forecast:

Yes, that is rain & thunderstorms listed. I think I cried 3 times in my last marathon, not because of the pain but because of the rain and cold. I’m a pansy when it comes to inclimate weather. I mean, at least it’s not COLD. But I would love it if you could pray for the rain to hold off until around 1pm.

3. I’m so excited about running with this sweet friend!!!

We lived in the same dorm unit our freshman year, lived in a hotel together for a summer during an internship in Orlando, and lived together our senior year in a house full of girls. I cannot wait to see her and her husband again and to get to run with her! It’s going to be so fun to catch up and then bust a move on Sunday!

4. I’m pumped to see & meet the rest of Team Samaritan’s Purse! Can’t wait to get to know other like-minded runners who are running for more than just the thrill of a race.

5. I’m really excited about the goodie bag and expo afterwards! Seriously, I love going booth to booth getting free sports stuff that I won’t really be able to carry back on the plane with me. 🙂 Speaking of goodie bags, I received a virtual goodie bag link from the Flying Pig race organization this morning. Clicked on it, scrolled down, and look who you see!!!!!

You can see the Mister and Me!!! See us? In the Join Team Samaritan’s Purse grey box?! See the blurry handsome fella holding a red and white State umbrella in the background??? Yes, that was the mister staying free from the rain during the November 2009 City of Oaks race. Yes, I’m smiling here, but don’t let that fool you. I think this was around mile 15… just prior to the first cry.

Alright… those are the things I’m excited/nervous about. But first I must get my tush to work, sit on a panel, organize a lunch, and then I can hop on a plane and get to Cincy.

See you on the flip side! Much love – B

2 weeks, 2 days, and $810 to go

Yall… this is crazy… I’m supposed to run 20 miles tomorrow. Yeah… I know. I feel like I’m in way OVER my head. Pray for me… 🙂

But that means race day is 2 weeks and 2 days away. I’m feeling a lot of emotions about this race… mainly anxiety. 🙂 But I’m hoping and praying for strength and endurance. I feel like tomorrow’s run is going to be a good indicator of how May 1st will go. But at the same time, not putting too much pressure on this one run. Bad running days happen, I’m just praying May 1st (& tomorrow) isn’t one of them.

I keep reminding myself that although I am running to finish, I’m running for something so much more precious than a finisher’s medal & bragging rights. I’m running for a village in Uganda. I am their runner, their representative, their advocate in my social circle. And together, with supporters and other Team SP members, we’re running for…

  • The construction of a well in each of five villages of the Kihuura sub county in Western Uganda
  • The establishment and training of 5 water user committees in the Kihuura area
  • The provision of access for more than 1,200 community members to safe clean drinking water
  • The provision of more than 2,000 community members with training in proper hygiene and sanitation
  • The growth of God’s church in Uganda.

I truly believe the “Every action, no matter how small, can bring about Change”  (Be the Virus, Samaritan’s Purse).  So thank you to the many of you who have donated! Whether your gift is $5 or $500, your action is part of a much larger movement that is bringing about positive, lasting change in a community.

We have $810 more dollars to make our goal of $3000. I believe we can do it! If you’re interested in making a financial donation CLICK HERE. If you’re interested in learning about Team Samaritan’s Purse, watch the video below:

ps. the top photo is a fav of me and my dad! He ran his first half in Nashville last spring and I was privileged to be able to run it with him! 🙂

World Water Day

This is going to be short and sweet and then hopefully tomorrow I’ll catch you up on the crazy fun weekend I had with my friend Jenny from Dallas.

It’s World Water Day (Say that 5 times real fast… if you’re like me & struggled with r’s, l’s, and w’s, for the first decade of your life… it’s a challenge :)). If you’re a frequent reader you know that I’m raising money for water projects in Kihuura, Uganda. May 1st is the big race day and so we’re on the final leg of training and the final leg of fundraising.

Some quick facts:

Every 20 seconds, another child dies from a lack of life’s basic necessity.

Every day, 6,000 people—most of them children—die from dirty water.

Providing clean water, coupled with heath and hygiene education, is one of the most preventative measure we can take in keeping our world from infectious disease.

Here’s the deal…  I’ve got the mileage covered (or will at least TRY to :)), Samaritan’s Purse has the strategy & people in place, all we need now is the funding. To be a part of our project and to contribute to World Water Day, click HERE.

much love – B


 

Training Update

Ok yall, it’s been a while since I’ve had a training update. First off I want to thank you for your continued prayers and support. Thus far we’ve raised over $1,000 for Team SP! That is AMAZING. Thank you! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

I received an update from Team SP this week that had a lot of encouraging news and I wanted to share it with you. Your support has already gone towards great work being done in Kihuura, Uganda. Thus far your money has gone towards:

  • The establishment and training of 5 water user committees in the Kihuura area
  • The construction of a well in each of five villages of the Kihuura sub county in Western Uganda
  • Providing access for more than 1,200 community members to safe clean drinking water
  • Providing more than 2,000 community members with training in proper hygiene and sanitation

The picture above and one below were sent from the team on the ground in Uganda. These are lives that have been changed because of your generosity so THANK YOU.

But we’re not done yet! We still have $2000 to go in order to reach our goal and I still have 11 1/2 weeks of training. I went to a sports doctor on Wednesday and bought a new pair of shoes because evidently my old shoes were causing me to strain my ankle and achille’s tendon… so these next few weeks of training will be hard physically and mentally, but I’m excited about the next few months. It’ll definitely be a challenge, but we can do this.

Please continue to pray:

  • Pray for me. Pray for endurance, pray for physical strength – specifically in my right ankle and achilles tendon, and pray for self-discipline. This marathon has been much harder to train for than my last.
  • Pray for the people of Kihuura, Uganda. Pray that through Samaritan’s Purse’s efforts, their community will not only be changed physically, but spiritually.
  • Pray for the Samaritan’s Purse staff members that are serving in Uganda. Pray for wisdom as God supplies their needs to bless this community.

If you’re interested in learning more about this project or in helping us reach our financial goal, click HERE.

Once again, THANK YOU for your amazing support. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude as I hear about the progress in Kihuura!

Much love.

Hope for Sudan

I’m a little behind on this… My apologies! But I wanted to encourage you to pray for Sudan. On January 9th, Sudan is said to declare independence. This is a huge mark in light of decades of civil war and genocide.

Samaritan’s Purse is hosting 7 days of prayer which started on Jan. 3rd. Since I’m a little behind, I wanted to list out the first four days but please check their website each day as they post the new daily prayer focus. Also for more information on the work that Samaritan’s Purse is doing in Sudan, read here.

Day 1: Pray …
• for stability and peace during an unpredictable time in Sudan
• for pressure on the central government to keep the vote free, fair, and transparent
• for the Sudan Council of Churches to have wisdom and godly leadership

Day 2: Pray …
• for protection for pastors who are determined to preach the Gospel
• for the spiritual education of Christian children in the churches
• for Christian families that are moving south in anticipation of southern independence

Day 3: Pray …
• that pastors will meet regularly for prayer and fasting
• that churches will grow, even under challenging circumstances
• that all Sudanese will respect the outcome of the vote

Day 4: Pray …
• for protection of minority rights and respect for all people groups
• for support from the international community during this very sensitive time
• for protection for church buildings and property

Samaritan’s Purse has also posted a brief history of Sudan on their website that I thought might be useful as well when praying:

A History of Conflict
Sudan has been embroiled in political turmoil since it gained independence from colonial rule in 1956. The central government in Khartoum, which was largely under the control of Arab Muslims, was constantly at odds with the mostly Christian and animist people groups in the south.

A major civil war erupted in 1983 when Khartoum tried to impose Islamic Sharia law and other controls on the nation. Bloody battles between northern and southern armies continued for more than 20 years, until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was reached in 2005.

Under the 2005 agreement, southern Sudan was granted autonomous rule for six years. In April of 2010, the first democratic parliamentary and presidential elections in 24 years were held. The peaceful elections set the stage for the upcoming referendum on independence for southern Sudan, set for January 9.

“…Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:16-18

Let us pray for our brothers and sisters in Sudan.