Saturday, October 13, 2012

13.1 Miles ~ Because I'm only HALF crazy!

 Before we found out we were expecting Audrey, I had started running and had set a personal goal to complete a half marathon some day.  But my running came to a stop when we learned of the complications with Audrey, and that any extra exercise caused contractions.  And since then I have had some medical concerns that slowed me down - Big time. 

But during that ~Slow~ time was when I started to put more effort into the race I was running for God.  I always wanted to do better at spending time with Him in prayer and Bible study.  But it wasn't until I lost one of the most precious things to me that I came to the point of realizing how desperately I needed Him and how my life could be filled with even more joy when I gave Him that time each day. 

As I started back on this journey of running, I made an understanding with myself that I would listen to my body and not push too hard (in the past I would push through just about any pain), and only if my time with the Lord came first. 

All that has brought me to today.  12 weeks ago I began training for this race ~ a race that I wanted to run for Audrey.  Through her life and death, I have learned how much I can truly get through with the Lord's help, and I wanted to honor her (and HIM) for carrying me through tough times.  Of course, today was a completely different kind of "tough" but still something I never could have done without the Lord.

So there I was at the start line, ready to conquer a tough goal I had placed on myself.

I pulled up my "Running" music on my ipod - which consists of a few fun songs that have always been favorites of mine, but mostly worship music - and selected "shuffle."  One of my favorite things about running is just listening to music that helps me worship Him.

The race began and my ipod began to play the Chris Tomlin song, 
"How can I keep from singing Your Praise?"
And I almost had tears running down my face.

This was why.
This was the reason I wanted to run. 
The reason I wanted to do it for Audrey.

Because despite heartaches, tears, blessings, joy -- Despite anything that we face in life, 
How could I ever keep from Praising the Lord?
His love is amazing!
His Name is miraculous!
The King of creation loves Me!

And because of that alone, I can praise Him.
I think about Audrey every day, and I miss her, but nothing should have such a hold on me that I cannot praise the King who created her and who allowed me to be her Mommy.  The King who loves me!

And then we ran down a street called East Street, and passed the house Chad lived in when he was first born.  And then kept going straight ahead, and turned onto the road by the cemetery where my precious daughter is buried.  (The picture doesn't do justice, but there was a slight haze over the cemetery and it was breath-taking)

I love how God works. 

And even when I don't love how He works, I can still praise Him!


So I did it, I ran the race and even obtained my personal goals!  And I was reminded of his greatness and my frailty (especially now as my body is feeling the effects of that long run!) but knowing I can still praise Him.  

"It makes my heart want to sing!"


The words to the song:

There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
And sing the songs You give

How can I keep from singing your praise? How can I ever say enough, how amazing is your love? How can I keep from shouting your name? I know i am loved by the king, and it makes my heart want to sing

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne
how can i keep from singing your praise how can i ever say enough how amazing is your love how can i keep from shouting your name a know i am loved by the king and it makes my heart i am loved by the king and it makes my heart i am loved by the king and it makes my heart want to sing

i can sing

Monday, October 8, 2012

Brokenness to Rejoicing

One year ago to this very hour Chad and I had just arrived at the Days Inn, just a mile from the hospital.  We quickly freshened up and changed, and at 5:30 p.m. we entered the hospital room of one who has come to be a very dear person to us.  She is not a friend, she is not like typical family, yet she is a vital part of how our family has come to be.  She had given birth to her baby boy the morning before, and shortly after that she made a heart-wrenching decision to do what she decided was best for him.

She told the agency to call us~Chad & Becca~ the family she had picked to be the parents of her precious baby boy.

They called us, and 28 hours later we were walking into her hospital room to spend some time with her.

~Without her - we would not have our son!~

She means the world to us.  We do not talk often, we life our life here and she lives her's in Texas.  But we think about her every day as we see her in our son, we talk about her often, and we tell Levi about  
his mom who gave him life.  

After arriving and talking with her for a while, the nurse wheeled into the room this tiny little bundle.  She asked us if we would like to hold him and of course we did.  So, for the first time after hearing he was born just 28 1/2 hours earlier, this little boy was placed into my arms by his mother.  And the following day, not without many tears and broken hearts, he became our son.  Many tears and broken hearts in one family brought tears and rejoicing in our family.

That is too much for me to understand. 
In a similar way - Audrey's death brought brokenness to our hearts and lives but rejoicing to the lives of those she met when she stepped into eternity with Jesus.

And if it had not been for our broken hearts in May of 2010, we would not have been rejoicing on October 8, 2011

 I will never be able to wrap my mind around some things that happen on this earth.  But I can truly say I am at peace and content with the road God has led me down.  I never would have asked for parts of the road I have walked, but I also never would have experienced the blessing, comfort, and joy only God can give through those trials.