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Monday, November 16, 2015

Chickamauga Battlefield Half Marathon

I ran 13.1 miles 2 days ago. I still kind of can't believe it, but my body is still reminding me in terrible ways :)

I woke up in my Chattanooga hotel room with a really sore throat, but brushed it off and got some coffee to help soothe it. Race day was here and I had loads of adrenaline. I met Amanda and Marsha at the battlefield and we sat in the car with the heater running before getting out to brave the start at a brisk 36 degrees.

Mile 1: 11:15

I felt sooo good getting started. I was in the front of the pack with Amanda and Marsha so I had fun watching all of the fast people drift by me as I dropped into the back.

Mile 2: 12:54

I hit a Porta potty here... and for some reason stopped my Garmin... probably a habit from training, but that's why my Garmin time and official time were off by about 3 minutes.

Mile 3: 13:45

I felt like I had never worn my spibelt ever. For some reason it randomly started flopping around so I had to stop and fix it. I had on gloves and my water bottle so I was fumbling around like a psycho. Rawr.

Mile 4: 12:12
Mile 5: 12:13
Mile 6: 12:25

I felt really good through these miles. I found a couple of girls who were run/walking at a nice clip and tried to hang with them.

Mile 7: 13:40

Hills. Mountains. Giant mountainous mountains.

Mile 8: 14:06

It was about here that my right hip started feeling tight. I stopped a couple times and tried to stretch it out, but it was deep in my IT band.

Mile 9: 14:40

More rolling hills and a dead leg. I could run for approximately 30 seconds at a time before losing all feeling in my right leg. Enter Beth. This sweet soul checked on me while I was stretching, and was doing a lot of walking herself... so I decided to stick with her. Her goal was to finish, also, and we found we had alot in common - her husband is a K9 officer and she has a 5 year old little boy. A friend of hers picked her up about a half mile from the finish and I waved her on to finish out strong.

Mile 10: 14:51
Mile 11: 16:01
Mile 12: 16:47
Mile 13: 17:03

I didn't think Mile 13 would ever end. It was frustrating that my lungs were fine... my legs just wouldn't cooperate. I'd try to run and that right one would cave after 6 or 7 strides. When Amanda jumped onto the course with me I knew I had to grit my teeth and get through the finish or she'd drag me :)

Official finish time was 3 hours 9 minutes and 24 seconds. I'm pleased with that time considering all of the elements.

After the race I stretched a little. At lunch I had a hard time getting warm. We had great food and I filled up. We said our goodbyes and I loaded up to drive the 3 hours back home. I didn't feel great... my body was pretty achy. By that night I was running a full blown fever, and by Sunday morning I had a throat full of blisters. Apparently I had a case of strep throat brewing and that sore throat was the first symptom. I'm still recovering - my hips are loosening slowly, my shins are still a little sore, and I think I may have a slightly injured foot. Overall I don't think my body would have felt nearly as beat up if I hadn't been sick on top of the physical activity.

I'm proud of myself for finishing. Training was hard with mine and Josh's weird schedules. I only ran about 6 long runs... and my farthest training run was only 7.5 miles. If I ever do another half it will be when Carter is older. The time it takes to train was just difficult with our current life. I enjoyed trying something new, and seeing the amazing things my body can do when it's pushed. Huge thanks to Amanda for being a constant source of encouragement for me, and thanks to everyone who ran with me along the way to help support the effort :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

On Student Ministry


I never ever thought I'd see the day that I was involved in Student Ministry. Even when I WAS a student I didn't much care for being a part of the youth group.

God stretches Devan. And this was the progression:

Age 14. "My mom is pregnant." Panic.

Age 15. "I now have a baby brother (Greyson). I AM NOT A BUILT IN BABYSITTER. #nope"

Age 17. "I'm never having kids. These creatures are terrible."

Age 19. "This guy (Josh) is so sweet! Maybe someday.... nah. Life is hard with kids."

Age 20. "I'm pregnant."

Age 21. "I have a child with special medical needs." If that doesn't soften your heart, you're a robot.

Age 23. "Greyson has developed into a not-so-terrible creature after all." Carter loves him, too.

Age 25. "Greyson is almost a teenager." He's figuring things out. Experiencing our worldly culture. I worry about his future. I'm such a mom. My instincts kick in, and I decide to start helping my mom shuttle him to student events with Church of the Highlands. I decide to join the team because, well, it's easier to stay and help than to drive back and forth. Plus, MOTION Night, #duh.

Age 26. I've only been 26 for a few days, but it was made so blatantly clear to me recently how invested I am in our Student Team. They serve with such excellence, and truly love every kid that comes their way.

God has softened and shaped my heart, and a big hunk of it is now wholly devoted to the youth of our cities. I know we hear "the next generation" often, but really think about it. What does our future look like if we don't instill Godly morals and decent ethics into our youth? Who is leading our country? Who is dominating the business industry? Who is shepherding our churches? Friends, it's these kids! These sometimes-annoying, overly-dramatic, precious-beyond-words students that are toughing it out every day in broken homes and wayward schools. These are children that worry about moms and dads fighting, older sisters losing their apartment, and grandparents that are in bad health. There is no sheltering this youth. They are SMART. They have the world at their fingertips with technology. They need direction. They need guidance. They need the ones that have gone before them to model good behavior and to own their past decisions and admit that bad choices breed consequences. Hear this - you DO NOT have to be perfect to shepherd people. Grace will show up and fill the gap when you feel least employable for ministry.

Action Steps:

1. Model worship and reverence during services. Forget your to-do list and the coffee you didn't drink yet... lose yourself in worship to our King! Give Him what He's worthy of, and then give more. In giving, in song, and in prayer.

2. Tell a student you're praying for them - and do it! Commit to daily prayer for them, and ask them for specifics to pray about.

3. Pray for your Student Team. Please do this! We need it more than you can imagine.

4. If you have students, get them involved! It will change their life.

5. Lead a Small Group for Students. This is ridiculously easy, and even more so if you have a child that's involved. Open up your home for board games. Pick a park and play frisbee or flag football. Take over a Dairy Queen and have Blizzards with Bible study. Small groups are imperative for students to build relationships with other students who deal with the same details of life.

I'm a prime example of God's calling on your life not being what's expected, or even what makes sense. And if you have a heart for students, hit me up and I'll help you get plugged in.

The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible]. Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God. [Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment]. [They are living memorials] to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Psalm 92:12-15

Friday, June 26, 2015

Lately I've been...

Besides NOT blogging, this is what I've been up to lately...

Making: time for things I love. Running is hard in the heat, but I’ve been trying to get up super early at least once every week to get a run in and stay on track for this half marathon training program. Plus I have three small groups a week on my schedule. I really wanted to attend one last semester but couldn’t find one that worked for my schedule – this summer semester I decided to MAKE the time for it.

Cooking: NOTHING. Josh has been doing all of the cooking and I supplement my lunches with Healthy Me.

Drinking: Vita Coco coconut water. I didn’t really like it at first, but it’s become my go-to after a run. I love the pure and the peach/mango… but it has to be REALLY cold.

Reading: Women in the Word. This is the current study from She Reads Truth. So. Good. I love the book they created for this study.

Wanting: sweets! Every day… especially in the afternoon I CRAVE sweets. Lord, help.

Looking: for ways to improve. Time management, finances, marriage, etc. I have a lot of goals for this year and it’s taking some extreme focus to stay on track.

Playing: Hillsong United’s Empires. LOOOOOVE.

Wasting: healthy food. Some days I take a lunch box full of healthy things to work and then my co-workers will ask if I want to order out with them. I can’t turn down Thai, Vietnamese, or Indian!

Wishing: it was fall! We have so many fun things coming up – like pre-school and Disney! Plus, cooler weather – can I get an amen?!

Enjoying: serving on the Student Team. I never thought I would like to hang out with teenagers, love on them, and share my story of choices and how it’s shaped my heart for Jesus. I love it more every single day.

Waiting: for MOTION CONFERENCE. I seriously can’t wait for this experience.

Liking: Dollar Shave Club. Totally worth the money. Josh and I get the “Executive” blades and now we aren’t shaving with dull razors to save money.

Wondering: if it’s going to rain all day tomorrow. We’ve got a competition in Birmingham that is supposed to be outdoors… I hope it holds off!

Loving: Younique 3D Fiber Lashes. This mascara is a game changer. I get more compliments when I’ve got it on! It makes me feel like a movie star even if that’s the only makeup I’m wearing. Most days I just have lashes and Coola on!

Praying: for two of my friends who are having babies! One of my friends’ babies has been diagnosed with Trisomy 18. I’m praying for a HEALTHY baby. She’s scheduled to be induced on July 2. My friend Nichole is scheduled to induce on June 30 and I can hardly wait to hold her little girl. Safe and fast deliveries, quick mommy recoveries, and strong healthy babies is my prayer!

Needing: to exercise more. I did better this week, but I went TWO WEEKS without picking up a barbell, and only ran a few times during that time period. So far this week I’ve gotten in two runs and two WODs, which is a good week for me!

Wearing: $6 shoes from Walmart. Cutest, comfy-cheap shoes I’ve ever owned. I bought like 3 pair…

Following: Jane.com. Y’all. That site is so addictive.

Noticing: that when I’m not focused on our budget we get crazy. YNAB is a lifesaver. Seriously. Everyone should have it.

Knowing: that I’m loved. Carter tells me ALL the time, Josh shows me, and I read that truth in the Word every day. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16 LOVE PEOPLE!

Thinking: about doing a missions trip. I’ve never been on one and it’s on my bucket list.

Feeling: great. I’m busy and exhausted by the end of every day, but I am so fulfilled!

Bookmarking: blogs about time management and money-saving. #goalz

Opening: my Bible more. I’ve had “read through the Bible” on my bucket list, and decided this was the year for that. I’m following She Reads Truth’s  #365daysoftruth plan and tripling up on most days when I have time. I can’t get enough of it! I’ve been toting a notebook around, and jotting down things that really speak to me.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Snotting, Snoring Toddler-Monster

Dearest husband,

I assume you're comfortably sleeping in your cot at the fire station. Remember that one time when Carter acted possessed when they were trying to get his IV in? You know, when we had him in a head lock and he was screaming at the nurse "Get you hands offa me!!!"? And we kinda giggled because there's so much anger trapped in such a tiny body? Well, he just reenacted that scene in our living room over me clipping his toenails. The demons within him were wailing "Not my yittle tootsies!!!" He had giant crocodile tears and snot and drool... which made me laugh really hard. I think I'm a bad mom.

Hurry home! #itsyourturn

Love,
that crazy "yay-dee" torturing your kid

Carter has a sinus infection... we went to the doctor today for the 3rd time in 3 weeks - yay for flex cards.... that are now tapped out! Anyway, now our snot-nosed, snoring, mouth-breathing, drool-dragon is snuggled up on Josh's pillow sleeping soundly.

4 year olds are fun, y'all!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Love, Mom

Tonight I can't stop thinking about a sweet friend who's mom is battling cancer. Cancer is stealing bodies from this world at an alarming rate, and our only solace is that it can't grip the souls attached to them as it slinks back to the pits it came from. Imagine preparing to say goodbye to your mom. I can't. Mothers share such an intimate bond with their children that good, bad, or indifferent parenting can't take away from the fact that your mother is an integral part of your being. They are the vessels by which God brings new life into the world. Their body grows our life and brings us into material existence. They are endowed with the job of bearing and raising each tiny life and will endure every choice they and their child makes and the impending consequences and outcomes. And they are inevitably aging... And someday we'll part ways and we'll have the truths they taught us... The life lessons... The love - that never goes away. My sweet Aunt Kelli has a tattoo in her mother's beautiful script, that reads "Love, Mom" taken from the end of a letter Gran had written her. Such a simple, common closing... But a testament to the most innate act of a mother.  

Lift up my friend Jordan and his mom. Pray for peace and comfort and assurance of a better life beyond this one. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Slow Down

Today my mom and I went to the commissary to grocery shop. We forgot it's the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday and were completely unprepared for the masses of people present at the store. It was chaos and we forgot a few things on our lists, so while she stood in the line that had begun to back up down one of the store aisles, I ran back to the front section for some Parmesan cheese. On my way back to the cart, bobbing and weaving through the "traffic" at a nice clip, an elderly lady flagged me down at the end of the aisle. I almost passed her because I was moving so fast. I wasn't even sure if it was me who's attention she was trying to get. All she needed was help getting a bottled drink off of a high shelf. She was so sweet, and gave me a good reminder to slow down and look for opportunities to help others. 

Along the same lines... Today I said these words to Carter:

"Carter, don't run, you'll fall."

Never saw it coming :) Time is flying by, and my boy is showing me his strength and resilience each and every day. We're starting a small group that's focusing on parenting, and I'm very excited. At the moment, Carter has been in bed for over an hour, and is still fighting bad guys... Which could translate to fighting sleep. Parenting is hard. Parenting boys is really hard. And parenting boys like Carter seems to be the hardest! I'm looking forward to gaining insight from other seasoned parents, and learning how God wants us to grow our kids. 


Sunday, January 26, 2014

30 Pound Lesson

Today was my first day serving on the Dream Team at COTH. As fate would have it, I was also playing single mom since Josh was at work. Props to all the single moms out there doing their thang... I almost cried in the church parking lot twice today. I was running late, had to park wayyyy out, no parking team since it was between services so no beloved "rides" - those are SO helpful when you have a 30 pound 3 year old that doesn't walk well - plus I was hauling my laptop and sporting a super cool IronMan backpack. I hustled upstairs to check in with my coach, and then had to wait for a while before I could check C in to Highlands Pre-school. He was hyped because he knew he was getting pizza for lunch today. All of that disappeared when I found my seat in service, and as always worship was moving. The message was spot on with the process that I'm already focusing on to narrow down the important priorities in my life and focus on building and nurturing relationships that are meaningful and not harmful. 401 was an awesome experience and I loved meeting so many new people. We put 86 people through 401 today - praise! My team was one of the last to finish and I was able to see the process beginning to end, which was encouraging. Carter was the last kid left, and he was being so good. I love our pre-school staff. The Barden's helped me get C down to the ground floor since I had a newly acquired filebox to tote along with the previous load. It took us a good 15 minutes to get to the car, and I had a moment. In the middle of the parking lot, C stopped because his legs were hurting... He doesn't walk long distances often and he had taken many more steps than usual since I was unable to effectively carry all of our baggage. I was close to tears and managed to get him to the car when one of the younger girls that serves in the pre-school saw me and approached us. She told me that she loved serving kids with special needs and kids like Carter that have medical needs. She said she loved Carter's spirit and the fact that despite his complications he always is smiling and happy. And there it was. All of the affirmation and love that I needed in one statement. That's why I do what I do. Why I go out on a limb and haul him to service by myself. Because he needs to know that he can do anything and doesn't have to be limited, because there are people there that care about him, and because he blesses people with his presence. Praising God tonight for this precious boy he blessed us with who brings life lessons such as these.