Run, Baby, Run

So, I want to be a runner...

No you did not misread that last statement.

I want to be a runner.

Sounds simple enough...but oh it is so HARD!

You all remember that episode of Friends where Rachel and Phoebe go running together? I have never been an avid watcher of Friends, but I do remember being in college and watching this particular episode with my friends. Rachel goes to the park to run. Phoebe asks to join her. Rachel says yes. When they get there, though, Rachel starts to run like runners do at the park...all serious and with good form, etc. Phoebe, on the other hand, runs like a wild kid playing tag. Her arms are flailing and her legs are crazy. She is running all over the place. Rachel is totally embarrassed and eventually asks Phoebe why she runs like that...her answer: because it is fun that way! My kind of girl I tell you!

Hubby loves running...seriously, loves it. He wakes up before the sun every day and runs. When we are in the states and it is the dead of winter and there is snow on the ground, he is still running. He loves it. I want to love it too. I remember before we got married and we were just "good friends" getting to know each other, he would talk about his dream of running with his wife someday. I also remember thinking that with time maybe I could be that runner.

The truth is though, that in the three years that we have been married, we have never gone running once with each other...NEVER. And, lately, I have been feeling a little disappointed about that. Of course, my sweet man of a hubby has never said anything to me about it...but I know deep down that he wishes we could do it.

It isn't that I don't exercise. Jillian Micheals kicks my butt on a regular basis with her "30 day Shred" video. I also play basketball and soccer with the girls a couple of times a week now that they are out of school, and if you have ever been here to visit me, you know that there are over 100 steps uphill from my house to get to any other area of the orphanage. All that being said...I am not too out of shape.

But, when I run, I feel like I am going to joke. I am not being over-dramatic. I can't breathe, I pee my pants, and I feel like I am going to pass out at any moment. So NOT FUN.

So, my question is...what is a girl to do? How can I be a runner like my hubby? I really want to do it...even if I am never that great, I would love to be able to run with him. I know he wouldn't care if he had to run slow...just having me with him, would be enough. Can you help me? Have you been there before? How did you learn to run...and not die...and not pee your pants...and not pass out from not being able to catch a breath???


A Case of Blues

So, I have been feeling a little BLUE lately...Eeyore would be a good name for me.

Do you know Eeyore?

Winnie the Pooh's official website describes little Eeyore like this:
"Eeyore is everyone's favorite delightfully dismal donkey. But Eeyore doesn't see himself as gloomy -- he just has low expectations. He expects nothing from anybody, so whenever his friends do come to his aid his expectations of the worst are overthrown, and he is sincerely grateful. Eeyore's tiny bright pink bow on his tail, the one hint of color against his gray, is a perfect symbol of the kernel of joy that occasionally surfaces in Eeyore. Though he may pretend he's helping because there's nothing better to do -- make no mistake, Eeyore is always there for his friends."

I have a bit of a melancholic personality as it is, which is not one of my best attributes. I had someone very near to me recently (lovingly) tell me that I am also a bit pessimistic. I suppose that is true...mostly because I don't like disappointment very much. I hate that feeling when you get super excited about something and then it doesn't work out. It kind of stinks. So somewhere or at some point, I just decided it was easier to think that things are going to happen instead of hoping that they would and then being disappointed when they don't.

Not very biblical I know.
Also can make me a bit of a downer.
Sounds a little bit like Eeyore huh?

Well, as I alluded to in my last blog post, this has been kind of tough season for my family and for me lately. My kids have been so sick. As a parent that is a hard thing to watch. It is such a helpless and overwhelming feeling not knowing how to fix the "ouchies." It is also very tiring. We went to the doctor today with Miss B., and she has an ear infection in both ears, strep throat, lots of congestion, and is cutting two teeth. I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry with sadness at all my baby was enduring. I also wanted to cry because I just felt so dang tired I didn't feel like I could do much else.

I am just flat exhausted all the time, and instead of using this complete state of weariness as a chance to draw nearer to my Lord and as an opportunity for His strength to be made perfect in my weakness, I am allowing it to steal my joy and make me weepy...not sure if that is even a word but I am using it anyway.

Lots of the ugliness in my character is finding its way to the outside world as well...jealousy, insecurity, selfishness, impatience, vanity. Not good stuff, I know. Sunday before church I totally broke down over something so body. I felt discouraged that so many of my clothes still didn't fit 10 months post-baby. I felt fat and ugly and just yucky. I tried on like 6 different outfits and none of them looked right (or fit). I felt frustrated that because with all of the hard stuff going on with my kids that I hadn't had time to work out and cook, so I couldn't keep losing weight. Thankfully church was amazing and God reminded me once again that really this just isn't about me. I am so glad God takes the time to give us those friendly reminders.

But, today I felt it come back in full swing. Hubby and I were talking about our finances and just what we had money for and didn't right now. I got frustrated all over again when after talking through all of the things that we needed to purchase or save for that it didn't leave a lot extra for other stuff...aka new clothes. As superficial as it may sound, I just really have wanted to be able to get a couple of new things. I am a girl...what can I say. I like looking pretty...especially for my hubby. And, since I have a very limited amount of clothing that actually fits this post-baby body even after the weight loss, I sort of convinced my self that this could be considered a NEED rather than a WANT. Not gonna lie...I totally cried people. I am not sure why I cried, but I did.

Then, when I got home and I was checking my Facebook, I found some pictures of one of my beautiful friends post three babies (one of them she just had pretty recently). She was absolutely radiant. At first, I just admired the pictures and thought her and her kids are just gorgeous and that I was so happy that she looked so happy, but then that ugly green monster called jealousy took over and I started thinking, "I wish I was pretty like her. Her skin is flawless. Her haircut is so cute. Those clothes are awesome. I wonder if they are reasonably priced. How did she get that body after all those kids and so quick after her last one? Why don't I look like that? Why is my body still so flabby and my clothes look so worn out and discolored...some with holes in them? Why? Why? Why?"

I am on the verge of tears again right now. But, not for the same reason as earlier. I am broken by my yucky, disgusting sin and how I am letting Satan get this small win instead of stamping him out like I should be doing, claiming victory. God's Word is clear though, "Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."

Ouch. I guess the question really is in Who's sight do I really want to be found man's? my own? or in God's?

I chose God's.


Castaway Kid

Have you read this book???

Well, if you haven't read it yet...BUY IT TODAY AND READ IT!!!! [if you are related to me, you don't have a must read it if you love me! :) ]

Seriously this book is amazing. The author recounts his life growing up in one of the last orphanages in the U.S. He was dropped off by his alcoholic, drug-addicted mother at the age of 3 and handed a blazer and one way bus ticket to leave at the age of 17. His father had already attempted to commit suicide 3 months earlier before being dropped off at the orphanage but was unsuccessful and was lying brain-dead in a hospital. Thankfully, there were some good people at this orphanage that helped him on his journey...but his journey was not complete without lots and lots of heartbreak along the way. I won't say much more about this book because well that would take away from you all reading it yourselves, but please do won't be sorry.

Of course, for me, this book was even more impacting because I am currently working in an orphanage and walking beside young men and women who are also "lifers" so to speak. Parts of the book literally took my breath away as I thought by name of some of the kids I have known in my time here...and their stories. These stories include abuse (all kinds of abuse) at the hands of mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, neighbors, neglect, murder, drugs, prostitution, and whole slew of other things. Some of them haven't necessarily seen the "worst of the worst" but they struggle everyday to understand why Mommy and Daddy didn't love them or want them or why they were never picked to be adopted or why they never have any visitors or why they aren't smart or why, why, why???? The list really could go on. It really is heartbreaking...devastating.

At one point the Mr. Mitchell writes,
"But even at the age of seven I could see that kids preferred poverty if they were loved, rags if they were cared for, and homelessness if someone wanted them. We were willing to suffer much if we could only be part of our own families."

I have heard those words before...maybe not quite as eloquently, but I have heard them before. I also have wept on the floor with a girl as she screams, "Where was God when that man was abusing me over and over and over again...stealing my childhood and my innocence?"
We can close our eyes or avoid the news and newspapers or the bad area downtown. We can pretend that this stuff doesn't exist....


So my question is, what are we going to do about it? I can guarantee you that there is a child, teenager, or even adult very near to you that is probably suffering through more than you could ever imagine...feeling like a "castaway kid" that no one wants and that will never fit in and that will never be enough. I can promise you that they are there. They aren't all hidden away in orphanages. They are in our churches, our schools, our workplaces, our neighborhoods, and maybe even in our own families. So what are we going do it about it?

I can tell you God really convicted me hard while reading this book.. It is easy for me to just hold my head high and say "Well I work at an orphanage...I am helping this kids...what greater sacrifice is there than that?" Sure I could say those words, but if in my heart, I am not really 100% about investing into these kids and showing them God's truth and love, then I am doing it all in vain. It is worth nothing.

This month of October has been kind of hard month for my family. My kids keep getting sickness after sickness after sickness...which means this Mama is averaging as little as 4 hours of sleep a night....a lot of times even less. As the year is coming to a close, Hubby and I's administration jobs are sending us in opposite yet super busy directions making it very difficult for us to have time together, and well frankly I miss him. The girls are also out of school, so I have been trying to stay on top of them to make sure they are busy and not feeling neglected.

Basically all of that has caused a tension headache that seems to never go away, and it is making me really run down and tired. It has even made me at times question if I am doing the right thing and if all of this craziness was really worth it.

Well, just in case you were wondering.... IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT!

One of the workers that made the most impact on the author while growing up was his house mother, Nola. She loved her "little Robby" as she so often called him. As I read, I just kept thinking, "I want to be like Nola!"

I am so blessed and privileged to get to do what I do everyday. It is tiring...down right exhausting at times. But, I wouldn't change it. I want my girls to have a future. I don't want their past to be the thing that defines them. I want to them to know and love Jesus and to know what it means to be a part of God's family and to know that they have a forever home they can look towards that beats any home here on this earth. I want them for as long as I have them in my care to know a mother's have an example they can look to for what it means to be godly woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend.

"Oh Jesus help me be that for them. And, help us all to have eyes like yours so we can see those that are in desperate need right beside us. Thank You for this beautiful family that You have woven me a part of..."

For more information on the book Castaway Kid or its author R.B. Mitchell you can go to either of these websites...


A Day in the City...

Hello dear friends! I hope today you are feeling blessed, loved, and joyful...I know I am! Today was one of Hubby and I's days off (here at the orphanage we get every other weekend off...or every 15 days). We always start our Sundays with church, but today we had to take one of our girls into the city early in the morning for a meeting that she had. Since we don't really know any churches in the city, we decided to just take advantage of the BEAUTIFUL day God gave us and celebrate as a family of 4. It isn't often that we get to just be the four of us, so we were really excited.

We decide to celebrate by going to the zoo. Mr. A. LOVES animals. He thinks he is Diego, the animal rescuer, so he was all about the zoo. Miss B. loved it too. She was so fascinated by all the animals and people and sunshine. We had SO MUCH fun. Seriously, my heart was just so full getting to be with my sweet hubby and watching my precious children enjoy nature and animals and just life. I love those kids of moments. Here are some pics to mark our day...

Then after all of that fun and excitement we went to this restaurant called "Fanaticos", which means fanatics in English. It is an all sports restaurant known for the big televisions showing BIG soccer, however, there were no soccer games. So what kinds of games were they showing instead you might ask??? FOOTBALL GAMES!!! Those of you that know me know that I LOVE KC Chiefs football...yes I do love them. And, today, in this wonderful restaurant they showed the KC vs Indy Colts game. It was so exciting. I am pretty sure the people there thought I was a lunatic instead of a fanatic with all the screaming and jumping up and down, I did, but it was worth it....even though we did lose. It was just nice to do something "homey" with my sweet family of 4.

Thank you Jesus for an AMAZING day in the city!


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Some bits and bobbits about this blog...

This blog is mostly just ramblings by yours truly. I talk about my ups and downs being a wife, mother, and missionary in Guatemala. I have a tendency to get off on "soapboxes" as those who love me say but it is my desire that this blog can be a place of encouragement in each of your pilgrimages with Christ. At any moment if this blog becomes more about me than about Christ, than it will be done and please help me stay accountable. To God be all the Glory, Honor, and Power!

Books I am currently reading...

  • Eight Twenty Eight
  • Interrupted
  • The Connected Child
  • This Momentary Marriage
  • Unbroken

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