Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ten Things Tuesday

I have not been feeling too bloggy lately, but I have been dying to share with you my big accomplishment: I finished my first 5K on Saturday! It was such a fun day, from start to finish. I loved being part of such a beautiful group of women that included every size, shape, color and age imaginable.

The challenge of training for and completing this race has taken on a deeper significance for me over the last couple of months. While I am incredibly proud to have reached one of my fitness goals, I am far more grateful to have finally come to a place where I can say I am at peace with my own body. Like so many other women, I have spent years at war with my body--starving it, stuffing it into girdles, hiding it under carefully chosen clothes, saying horrible things about it, keeping detailed lists of every flaw and mistake. My struggle with infertility was the last straw--not only did my body not look as it should, it wouldn't even work as it should. It was the ultimate betrayal.

However, on Saturday, as I ran alongside my fantastic clinic leader, Renee' I crossed the finish line and saw my wonderful husband cheering for my gorgeous little boy hugged me and cried, "Run! Run!" I looked around at all the amazing women who were celebrating our success together...I was finally able to reclaim this body for what it is: a gift from God. It's not perfect, but it is a gift nonetheless: A tool, a vehicle to move me through this life and allow me to work and play and serve and grow and experience all this world has to offer. I promised God that I would begin to celebrate the gift of my healthy body as a way of honoring Him, and so I thought I would start right here....

1. My arms can comfort my baby, hold my husband, and hug my friends.

2. My hands can write a note of encouragement and fix food for someone who's sick.

3. My legs take me quickly down to my baby's room when he needs me in the middle of the night.

4. My lungs allow me to sing praises to God when I gather with my church family.

5. My heart beats all day long, all night long--I never even have to think about it. That's pretty amazing!

6. My back is strong enough to carry an ever-heavier toddler, bring in the grocery bags, haul the laundry basket, scrub the toilet, and make my house a pleasant place to live.

7. The little lines forming around my eyes and mouth show that I have spent many, many moments of my life smiling. I am thankful for those moments--even if I'm not exactly thankful for the lines!

8. My feet have carried me through some of Jonesboro's roughest neighborhoods, down the dusty streets of Honduras, along mountain paths in Ecuador and trash-littered streets of Guyana, through cobblestone sidewalks in Hungary and Costa Rica, up the side of a mountain in Colorado and through dozens of flooded streets in Mississippi and Louisiana while I tried to do what God had called me to do in each of those places.

9. My body is the most sacred and special gift I can offer my husband.

10. My lips allow me to speak words of blessing to those I meet every day. What a powerful privilege and responsibility.

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Psalm 139: 13-14

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ten Things Tuesday

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday
What a gorgeous couple of days we've had! It's been wonderful to enjoy some sunshine without all the heat and humidity. Playing outside and even working in the yard have been a treat.

My in-laws are coming tomorrow, so in honor of their visit, today's list will be just 10 of the things I appreciate about my family-by-marriage...

1. They truly think of me as their own and treat me as such.

2. They love to travel! I love to hear about all the exotic places they visit...Hawaii, Panama, Florida Keys, Branson....;) As a bonus, my MIL always brings us cookbooks from the places they visit.

3. Technically, both my mother & father-in-law are retired, but the truth is that they are full-time shepherds at their church. They go to the hospital several times a week, sit with the sick, check on the shut-ins, lead a grief recovery group, visit families in crisis--I can't even keep up with all the ways they serve the flock there.

4. They love to try out new restaurants, so eating with them is always a culinary adventure.

5. They adore John Mark! Their support throughout our adoption process was just amazing, and they welcomed their grandson with open hearts. I just love seeing them all together.

6. My sister-in-law has been a single mom for about 8 years now, and she has made many sacrifices in order to be a stay-at-home mom during that time. She is one of the strongest people I have ever known.

7. SIL is "den mom" for her son's scout troop and goes on every camp out, fishing trip, backpacking trip and pinewood derby race known to man. And never complains about it!

8. Both my parents-in-law and my sister-in-law bought webcams so they can talk to to John Mark online. Yes, it's pretty ridiculous. Yes, it's also pretty adorable.

9. My nephew has an amazing head for science. He loves to take things apart and see how they work. Rockets, chemical reactions and physics problems fascinate him.

10. This family has gone through many heartbreaking losses in the last 10 years, but they remain faithful to God and secure in His love. Their commitment to the Lord is a blessing to everyone who knows them, and I'm especially thankful that my son will grow up experiencing this kind of faith.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Running Revelations

This is the LAST week of our running clinic! Can't believe it's almost over...can't believe I've made it this far! I am just T-minus 5 days from my first 5K. (And, yes, I did say "first" on purpose. Trying, trying to convince myself to stick with it...)

We really did have a good session this morning and I made some big discoveries:

1. Long-sleeved t-shirt and shorts: Best running outfit. 56 degrees: Best running weather.

2. Even disciplined, seasoned runners wake up for an early run and think, "Dangit. I just knew it was going to be raining." This could, perhaps, be the most affirming discovery of this year. I thought real runners always wanted to run. Who knew that they are big slugs like the rest of us? (Although, unlike the rest of us, they are big slugs with nice firm tushies.)

3. I am going to look way more legit out there on the track with my first race shirt on.

4. It feels great when someone slows down to run alongside you. When I first realized how much our clinic leaders were having to hold back in order to run with us, it was fairly humiliating. Now I choose to embrace the comraderie and realize that everyone has to adjust their pace a little to stay with the group. (There's a sermon in there somewhere!)

5. Running shorts with built-in panties are my new-found love. So much so that I am considering sewing undergarments into all my other pants. They don't ride up! They don't show over the top of your shorts! They are always right there when you are getting dressed! One down side, however: if you keep putting your shortswiththebuiltinpanty in the dryer, eventually the panty part shrinks up so much that you cannot pull the shorts up all the way. And there you are, running with your crack hanging out.

Still waiting for this revelation: What do I eat before I run? So far I have been running so early that I don't even bother, but the 5K is at 8am, and there's no way I can put off breakfast that long.