Help Me Be Good Enough!

I have some exciting news! I have decided to run the Disneyland Half Marathon on September 2nd! I'm so nervous and excited I could throw up right on my keyboard!

I'm nervous because:
What if I can't do it?
What if I'm not good enough?

I'm excited because:
Me, running a half marathon! {picture me, giddy, jumping up and down}

Running a half marathon is something I've wanted to do for all of my adult life. I've started running so many times, stopping all too quickly. Several of those times I stopped were after I got pregnant again. But, now I'm committed! I've been running steadily for 6 months. And {fingers crossed} shouldn't get pregnant again! (I'll never rest certain in that again, you know. Pastor Hubby can get a negative result 17 times, and I'll still be taking pregnancy tests a day early because I'm anxious.) And I need your help!

Remember my reasons for being nervous? Isn't that everybody's worry? What if I'm not good enough? Running makes me feel like I am good enough. After a run, I don't feel fat or lazy or stupid. I feel strong and powerful and ... enough.
I need you to tell me you think I can do it! You can do that below in the comments, and it will be amazingly helpful.

But, you can be even more helpful! "How?" you ask? "What on earth could be more helpful than the printed word, encouraging you to accomplish your goal?" You can put your money where your mouth is!

Donate to my website.
There's a little widget right there --------------->
that you can donate through. [All donations are secure and tax-deductible. You will receive a receipt at the email address you provide.]

Why will this help me? Your donation will help me in the same way that running for TNT helps me.

TNT stands for Team In Training, and it benefits The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, or LLS. LLS provides Patient Financial Aid Programs, Family Support Groups, and other education programs for schools, patients, and even politicians. My favorite thing they offer is a connection program that matches new patients with a trained volunteer who has gone through a similar experience (diagnosis and treatment), allowing new patients to ask questions and get answers from someone who's been there. One story I heard was of a woman who had decided she didn't want treatment because she didn't want to lose her hair. In speaking with her peer mentor, she found out that hair loss was not a side effect of her treatment. Simply, that peer counseling may have saved that woman's life! I believe in mentors. I know the effect they can have on a life. If LLS funded nothing else, it would be worth it to me. {but they do more!}

I've chosen to run with and for TNT because I can help people, and receive help in return! It's a win-win! LLS has committed that 75% of the money raised will go to supporting patients. I get to train with people with similar goals, be coached by real running coaches, and be cheered along every step of the way. I really have no reason to fail!

So, I'm asking you to add one more reason to win. Put a little money in. That's your way of putting your faith in me. Telling me that I can do this thing. This humongous thing that's been on the short bucket list I've got. (Bonus: I'll cross it off before I'm 30!) You will motivate me to run farther than I think I can on each training run because I know you're standing behind me, trusting that I can and will do it! I know how far we're stretching our dollars right now, and if you have the faith in me to donate some of that to LLS through me, I'll have to cross that finish line. And, honestly, if I don't raise the funds, I can't afford to do it alone.

In the very near future, I'll have short profiles of the "Honored Heroes" for whom I will be running. (sorry to sound all English teacher-y right there - "for whom" - but I just can't knowingly write it incorrectly.) These two people have fought blood cancer and have won their battles, and I'll be remembering their fight as I pound each mile into the ground.

I've committed to raise at least $2800. I'd actually like to raise at least $6000 and do Nike Women's Haf Marathon with them in October. I'd like to have the $2800 by June 20th. For the second, I'd need the other $3200 by August 10th.

What can you do to help me and anyone affected by blood cancer? (running with me is another option, you can find that information at the top of my TNT page!)

Atheists, Adventures, and Answers (or none of the above)

I'm having a crisis of faith right now. It's not so much that I don't believe in God. I've covered that ground with Him before. I just don't know what He thinks of me. How much is He involved in my daily life? Does He care if I'm late to work? Does He care if I get up on time? Does He care if I exercise? Where is the line that is drawn to show when things stop mattering to God? By this, I mean, nobody would argue that God cares about what color toothbrush I use. But, does He care which toothpaste? Is it the one that's most natural? Best for my health? Cheapest to fit my budget? Or does it just not matter? Who knows? I don't.

So, I'm reading C.S. Lewis' Surprised By Joy, because it sounds like exactly what I need right now. It's the story of his semi-Christian upbringing, decision to become Atheist, and decision to come back to Christ. I love the title, probably because it gives me hope. Hope that, somehow, someday, in all of this, I will find JOY. And I may even be surprised. Like, maybe it will just pop up, smack me in the face one day and say, "Here I am! Right where you least expected me!"

In a quick conversation online with a friend this evening, she encouraged me to pray about something. Something kinda off-the-wall, with the implication that this small little thing that's been on my heart could possibly change our entire life. (the details really don't matter right now) My heart stopped. I wondered, "Could God have something like that planned for ME?" I honestly don't think that this particular thing is something God is going to use to change our life. But I think I needed to consider that option for a moment.

I realized that that is what I'm searching for. Is there some big thing God wants me to do? Or does He just want me to be faithful in the small things? Or the small things to prepare for the big thing? At this moment, so many big things that He could ask of me are swirling around in my head. Quite frankly, it's terrifying me. My heart and mind are racing.

It's also exhilarating. An adventure. An adventure planned for ME. An adventure that suits my strengths - or weaknesses? Something that needs ME. Oh, how I want to be useful. Needed. Necessary.  My heart wants something that only I can do. That's one thing I love about giving birth. It's something I must do. No one else. There's support from others, of course. There's even options if I were to be unable to do it. But, to give birth and know that it was this great thing that was intended for me and only I could do - to give birth to that child, to bring them out into this world - is truly awe-inspiring to me.

I know my kids need me. Should that be enough? Is there more for me, or is it that I need to see the beauty, the huge impact of giving myself for them? Is Christianity, my life, about giving up my desire to be needed in order to bless my kids? Or is it about realizing that this desire is there for a reason? So many questions. So few solid answers.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of my questions! What do you think?