Saturday, September 24, 2011

Marathon: T-Minus 24 Hours

Well, it's here! Pretty much exactly 24 hours until Go Time. I've trained, not blogged a lot about it like I thought I would, and I'm ready as I will ever be. My stomach has had butterflies flying around in it since last Sunday, but I am so excited to see this through!

Last night most of the runners gathered for a 'carb up sesh' at Daniela's (one of the runners and a dear friend) house. Of course, a gathering of women is never complete with out some talking around a circle and a few tears of emotion, right? All of us kind of said why we were doing this run, and my response was two reasons. Of course, I run for these women and our sisters in Uganda that have been terrorized and mutilated and need our support. But, I would be lying if I was not running for selfish reasons also. In school the two things I hated most were math, and running. I was always the one coming in last, heaving out of breath. I came last in everything sports-related. Basically, if my self-worth were based on my athletic confidence and ability, it would be ZERO. So I am doing this to prove to myself that I can tell my body what to do, not it tell me I can't. Because I can. The moment I ran 6km, I knew I could do this. And now, my furthest run has been 16km (a miracle in itself) and tomorrow I will run 21km.

Simply put, my purpose of running this race is to raise money for these women that have had body parts severed, been raped by numerous LRA soldiers, ostracized from their communities and had their dignity stolen from them. I know it doesn't exactly hit home for many here in Canada, but for me it hits home as a woman. How blessed am I to have been born and raised in this country, a place of freedom where I can walk in confidence and with out fear? A place that I don't have a constant, daily fear of being harmed? How blessed am I that I have a nose, mouth, ears? Legs to run? How could I not inconvenience myself to train for a race, if it means I can help someone that desperately needs it? I am able, so I must.

Last night all the runners were given these special, amazing little cards that a woman in Texas and her four year old daughter made for us. Just to bless us and encourage us! Each one is hand-made, different, and has a hand written (not printed on a computer) note, and this amazing Franciscan Benediction. I think we were all in tears when Tina read aloud:

May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half truths and superficial relationships,So that we may live deep within our hearts,May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,So that we may work for injustice, freedom and peace.May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and to turn their pain to joy. And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world,So that we can do what others claim cannot be done.Amen.

I think that pretty much sums up this whole cause.

I would LOVE it if you could donate to our cause and sponsor me in my run. Please click here:

Thank you in advance!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Just Your Average Extraordinary Child.

Today Finn had his twelve month shots. Nope, you're not reading an old post. He will be two this month. Yep, I kept putting it off and putting it off, and finally made the appointment and got 'er done. I was expecting tears and flailing limbs, and he did cry especially during the last needle, but for the most part he was AMAZING. Oh, what? The last needle? Yes, he had FIVE shots. Two in each arm and one in his thigh. What a trooper. (Side note, what did we do in these situations before iPhones and kid apps? Probably saved me and Finn today.)

Also during this visit, Finn was weighed and measured...and he was all average. Average weight, height, and head circumference. Pretty much right in the middle for everything. That's Finn though... virtually every medial point any book says, that's where he his. Not too big, not too small; not too chubby, not too thin. He weighed the average amount and was the average length at birth. He sat up at the expected time, crawled and walked at the projected ages. It's safe to say that he's pretty much your average kid. (Except for his cuteness, in my unbiased opinion...)

As I drove away from the clinic, my 'average boy' in the back seat, I pondered that. I began to wonder about his future as a child...will he always be average? Will he think of himself as mediocre, second rate, undistinguished, unexceptional? Dear Lord, I hope not. I remember school...all the kids that are almost-prodigies get all the attention, all the awards, all the blue ribbons, all the trophies. The expressive ones that sing well make the leads in all the plays. The best basketball players will make the team. The class clowns get all the laughs. The smart ones get the A's and their names on the honour roll.

With my hands on the wheel, I made a promise to myself: I will make a purpose to tell Finn his whole life that he is exceptional. Incredible. Talented. More than enough. Amazing. Memorable. Bright. Incomparable. I will tell him that whatever he loves doing, to do his very best; even if he doesn't get the trophy, lead, or honour roll. Those things are just bonuses. He'll be our ordinary kid, with an extraordinary heart, who will do extraordinary things.

I have always loved this quote by Marianne Nash, and just recently came back to my attention during a message at church. It gets me every time. I think I need to design this in to a poster and put it in his room, so he can read it every day or every night when he's falling asleep (in the years to come, of course!) and know that he is meant to shine in this world. He was born to. He has a responsibility to.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. (Marianne Nash)