Friday, August 24, 2012


I love to run. Really I do. I can't believe I actually just typed that. Seriously. This feeling of love toward running is pretty new... well, I've been watching this love grow over the last 6 years. It was at that time that I started training for my first half marathon.

Me and my dear running friend, Kim

 Since then, I've had a baby (gaining 50 lbs, thank you very much. sigh.), lost the weight, started homeschooling, moved, run four half marathons, adopted two kids from Ethiopia and the list goes on and on...

I've found that my love of running has grown into a great stress reliever for me. It's also provided time alone (a rarity with six kids) and much needed time with God. My life verse that I've been hanging on lately is Psalm 46:10  He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." So, that is what I'm trying to do... Be still. For those of you that know me, this is a big feat. What can I say, I'm a work in progress.

Running also gives my brain rest. It allows me to think about random things like what smells I like/dislike while running. I'm sure you also want to know about these deep thoughts... so, I'll share them with you.

Things I like to smell while running:

dryer sheets (ahhhh fresh smelling laundry. love it!), lilac bushes (one of my favorites), gardinia bushes, cologne or perfume coming from a passerby, fresh baked donuts (this one almost does me in... and I don't even like donuts!), fresh brewed coffee (need I say more? well, actually I do need to say more. I loathe the taste of coffee. I know, I may lose a few friends over this admission.... I can't help it. I've tried and tried to like it. I force myself to drink it. blech. it's just gross.) and the creme de la creme?... my favorite thing to smell while running... a freshly lit cigarette. Yes, I admit it. I LOVE the smell of cigarette smoke. I've never smoked in my life. seriously. cross my heart. and I LOATHE the smell of smoke on a person's body, clothes, hair... and in their mouths. I used to be a hygienist and let me tell you it's NO fun cleaning a smoker's teeth. ICK. But... there's something about smelling the cigarette outside. ahhhh... I even take a deep breath. ha.

Things I dislike to smell while running:

fresh garbage (ewww), exhaust, bacon (makes me nauseated), dog poop (gag), stink bushes (not sure if that's their name, but  you know... those bushes that really stink), gas leaks (time to get Columbia Gas out to close the big gaping hole in the road with the exposed gas line) and yes, I do hold my breath while running by.

But even more than smells that I don't like... are people who make judgements on misinformation. In only two short weeks, I will run again. This time I'll be running to put a stop to stigma related to HIV. I'm teaming up with Project Hopeful (PH) and Team Truth ( This organization is doing awesome things for many orphans around the world... as well as educating so many on the truths about HIV, and breaking down the stigmas and fallacies that have been circulating for 30+ years. Because of the amazing education given to us by PH and lots of prayer, we made the decision to open our hearts to the most overlooked orphans in the world... those with HIV. And Man, did we get blessed.

As much as I love running and the things that go along with it, my love has really grown into so much more than just time alone and staying fit. It has given me time to reflect on how much I love my incredible God, my amazing husband and my awesome kids. All 6 of them. Which is why last year, when I ran the Toledo Glass City Half, I did it in honor of our two kids from Ethiopia that we hadn't even met. In fact, we received our "unofficial" referral call just 5 days before the race. This was something that I had specifically been praying for and many thought that I was praying for the impossible. It was "unofficial" because they could only tell us that they wanted to match us with a boy (3 1/2) and a girl (18 months old)... we wouldn't actually see their faces for another (painful) four weeks. But on that day, I ran knowing that there was a little boy and baby girl waiting for us in Ethiopia. And that the Lord did indeed answer my prayer.

Knowing that we were adopting two children that both had been diagnosed with HIV, my dear friend, Jackie sent me some red laces... for my shoes.

I ran with pride on that day.

It's hard to believe that was only a year ago.

I'm honored to run with Team Truth as they continue to raise awareness, and break down barriers all around the world for so many orphans. But I need your help! Part of the deal with this race is that it's a fundraiser. Thanks to several generous friends, I'm soo close to raising $3000 for Team Truth. My total at this point is $2735. That means I only need to raise $365 to make my goal!!

Would you prayerfully consider making a donation to this race. Just go here. Scroll down, find my name and click. It's THAT easy.

As I've said before... I will do all of the hard work: training, sweating, dealing with blisters, dehydration, chafing, fatigue, sore muscles, pulled muscles, bone spurs, bunions (did I just type that??) etc. All you have to do is donate! And all of the money goes to help PH further their education to the masses... as well as help fund adoptions to families that are willing to adopt, but don't have the means. All children deserve homes. Loving homes. Let's all work together to bring more children into their homes forever.

Isaiah 1:17
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.