That Time I Ran a Marathon…

I did it! I finished it. I have the medal, the t-shirt and the inability to move without a wince and a wobble to prove it. There will be pictures and the ones of me crossing the finish line will likely be the ones of me crying. It was overwhelming.

This was a long time personal goal and I got to achieve it by running to raise money for clean water projects in Africa.

The training has left me with more life lessons/ sermon illustrations than I ever thought possible. It is amazing what the process and pain will teach you. I’ll include those in near future blog posts.

I cried crossing that finish line. I would have cried a lot sooner but I learned something about my body. When I am pushing every limit, it’s best not to do too many things at one time. While I wanted to cry, my body let me know I had two options other than moving me feet. They were simple. You can cry or you can breathe but not both at the same time. There were little moments a long the way that people showed up and I dare call them angels in running shoes. At that moment, a man was running the opposite direction, saw my face and immediately told me to put my arms over my head to catch my breath. If he hadn’t, panic would have set in. Breathing immediately returned to normal and off I went. I ran a good 12 of the last 14 miles at the same pace with an older man named Alam. After 2 miles of ridiculous hills and that guy still nearby, I introduced myself. God bless the seemingly random moments. I saw his family cheering him on at a few different points along the way. Community support was amazing. That folks, was pretty cool. 

My dear, very pregnant friend Katie volunteered for the race (since running it herself was not an option). We got the crying hug we knew was coming at the finish line.

Our  friends and kids and serving pastors Erica and Michael saw me before I hit the first mile marker. That meant a lot. I wanted to cry then but knew that was precious energy I didn’t have to spare.

Tamara and Tony met me at the half/full split with smiles and cheering.

Paige and Josh saw me at mile 26 with about 200 meters to go. They cheered me on, I cheered back with a loud “this sucks so bad”. Thanks for not judging me for that one guys. Josh had finished before me and surely understood the sentiment.

Meg fought the crowd and found me at the finish line too.

I am blessed 🙂 My husband was preaching that morning. I woke him up at 5am cause I wasn’t walking out that door without him praying for me.

There were actual block parties along the way. If you live along the route, you are kinda stuck so you may as well embrace it. The signs were priceless, the encouragement was awesome…and the guy who played Rocky theme music at 4 different places along the route made me happy.

Mile 22 was where the pain kicked in full force with 4 miles to go and what didn’t hurt during training took it’s turn to scream at me. Nothing beat crossing that finish line.

I am grateful for every dollar raised, the prayers, love, support and encouragement.

Yes, I will do another one…but for now, it’s time to recover.

 

 

 

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Purpose and the Sneaky Pain…

It doesn’t have a whole lot to do with contentment. I can preach time and season messages to myself all day, and know it is true. I know what the bible says about the desires of our heart. Yet, sometimes they hit like a freight train.

Most days are good days. 

Then, there are the days. Those other ones. The days seem to come for me when I have time to live life the way I would want to. That is when I have time to do what I really want and to think about the other things I would do. This is not a list of a thousand things, more like a short list of what I want to do really well. The passions in my heart that do not go away. Sometimes, its so real that it physically hurts. I didn’t want to talk about it. I wanted to hide it. A day happened, it hurt, then it was compounded and all the hiding in the world couldn’t suppress it. This one came with a vengeance.

Amazing what the thought of a women’s conference happening all over the country can bring to the surface…again.  I thought I had avoided it. The local event sold out quickly, it was on a weekend where we were supposed to be in Oklahoma for a wedding. Instead, due to bad weather that didn’t happen, I was here and my heart was wide open. I wanted to avoid the pictures. I didn’t want to see the tweets. It was a beautiful thing happening and the thought of it brought me grief. It was genuine. It prompted my husband to ask what was wrong. I immediately advised him it was best to leave me with my thoughts as I was still gathering them. I told him if I opened my mouth, it would frustrate him and I wanted to avoid that for the moment. Of course, I married Ray Ortiz. He asked again 20 minutes later. No way he knew what would follow but he sat, listened and responded with wisdom and understanding (God bless that man).

The pain, you ask? It’s those pesky desires in my heart. I find joy in knowing that God put them there. No way I would willingly put myself through this. This means they are on purpose. This means, in the time and seasons of waiting, God hasn’t let it go and I shouldn’t either. Turns out, He won’t let me. 

The thought of a gathering of women seeking God together, absolutely threw me. One more person telling me to be willing to be uncomfortable in my walk with the Lord, and I was likely to lose it. Hearing incredible women speak, who get to live out their passion versus the 8-5 Monday – Friday that I live…to be honest, the thought was unbearable. I’m not cynical towards these women. I read their books, blogs and listen to their messages. Shoot, I kinda want to be their friend. This was not towards the gathering itself. I missed out. This was about the passions in my heart that won’t go away and require me to trust the One who put them their in the first place. Sometimes, that hurts. 

We are blessed. I have a job that I am good at. It is not my dream but I am good at it and it provides for our family in ways we had prayed for. We planted Revive Church and we are still moving forward. This is amazing. God’s faithfulness leaves me speechless, His stretching keeps me focused on Him and I am constantly reminded that His ways are higher. I know this season serves a purpose, I simply can’t see it from where I sit sometimes. After Friday’s emotional thrill ride, I felt the same way the next day. Still, I trust.  

Clearly, there is more to be said and learned from this….