Erin, hey, why didn't you suggest we just eat a box of chocolates together instead?? I would have still been able to think of Forrest Gump. :)
Today's run was my last "long" run before our 1/2 marathon in Dallas next weekend. I ran alone and had a lot of time to reflect on the reason why we started running in the first place. First I thought about the place I was in last year at this time. I was bubbly, excited and confident. Eager to be a mommy. Running was no where on my mind, and certainly not 13.1 miles. Actually, baby bedding was on my mind. I think I drove my poor co-workers a little batty discussing colors and patterns of baby bedding (good thing it is kind of socially unacceptable to hit a pregnant girl, because I think they would have liked to). Now I read a lot of blogs and Facebook updates from giddy mommies-to-be, simply perplexed over which shade of yellow to paint the baby's room. I was one of them. Even though it hurts to read about, the joy in parenting is still so wonderful to me. I hope that with any future children, Lord willing, we can still have that anticipatory joy.
I reflected on my conversation with Erin today. His plans for our families are so great. As I ran, I actually got excited about what He has in store for our families. The feeling surprised me a little. It is turning myself, my plans, over to Him...completely, 100% over to Him, that is the hard part. But I know the rewards are more wonderful than we can imagine. I thought about all the awesome things that have happened when I've let Him be in control.
Then I thought of His faithfulness. I know for a fact that I would have given up a long time ago (let's just say it crosses my mind each time I lace up my shoes), if it weren't for the strength He has given me.
Lastly, I thought about the fact that by the time I finished running, there would be approximately 4 more families affected by stillbirth (in the U.S. alone). Four more families experiencing incredible hurt, too painful to describe. 26,000 stillbirths occur annually in the U.S., leaving families searching for answers. The worst part is that many of them are living without the blessed hope of being reunited with their babies again. I also thought about the thousands of people dying daily (that means TODAY, March 19, 2011), hopeless, because of the water they are forced to drink. Hope Mommies and Holden Uganda are two organizations I cannot ever thank the Lord enough for.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Psalm 86:10
Both Erin and I hope to spread the love of the Lord in 7 days. We didn't choose to bake cakes or wash cars as means of raising money. We chose running. Running is something that is not naturally easy for us, so it will be an accomplishment to cross the finish line. We are running for HOPE. Hope for Moms who have experienced infant loss, and hope for Ugandans to drink life-sustaining/saving water. $13 does a lot to spread hope and love. Please consider pledging $1 per mile (13 miles) to Hope Mommies and/or Holden Uganda.
I close with this beautiful thing: Youth from our church presented Holden Uganda with $500 this week!! Because of their diligent work for the Kingdom, we are sending in funds for another well on Monday. Real, honest LOVE from a child brings me to tears.
We are humbled.