HALF { My Shocking New News ... and no I'm not pregnant }

I've been rendered speechless on this one so 
I'm just gonna cut to the chase and spill my news. 

I'm goin' for it. 

 As of last Monday, June 17th, I've begun training for my first ever HALF MARATHON. 

And it's really official. 
I've paid the money.
I've signed up for my October 20th race, in South Carolina. 
Yes, South Carolina. 
I needed flat and October and motivating scenery. 
Why wouldn't I?
{More on that next post}

THIRTEEN POINT ONE MILES IN A ROW 
 RUNNING LIKE A CRAZY PERSON. 
Oh mercy what have I done?

This is SO much bigger than me. 

{ You can read my 5K Journey from this spring HERE. 
It explains the miracle and mystery that I currently find myself in. } 

Just a few short weeks ago I HATED running. 
I mean, HATED it. 

And now, I LOVE it  enjoy it and want to do it. 
Nothing short of miraculous. 
It's a God-thing. 
Truly. 

I think we all have things we're naturally good at. 
Things we enjoy. 
Things that we could do all on our own without any extra motivation. 
Right?

So for many reading this, you could go out and run and train and do a half marathon all on your own hard work and determination without one thought of God or prayer or needing extra encouragement. So you really wouldn't need God in that journey, per se. 

But for me, I kind of cry as I write this because running is something I cannot do without God. 
I'm gonna say that one more time because it is SO true in my life. 
Running is something 
I CANNOT DO WITHOUT GOD. 
Period.

I CANNOT tackle and face running WITHOUT God. 
I wouldn't be even considering a HALF MARATHON today without 
having leaned HEAVILY on God's presence and 
power during my 5k training earlier this Spring. 

So for me, running is about God and Me. 
Not just me. 
This is so much bigger than me. 
This is the 'impossible without God' thing in my life. 
(Along with mothering and a few other things I generally suck at. 
But those are posts for another day!) 

 God and me. 
Together. 
One step at a time. 
One training day at a time. 
One start line at a time. 
And MOST DEFINITELY one finish line at a time. 

I've given a lot of thought to this journey ahead and wondered how to approach it. 
Privately? Publicly? 
With just close friends? 
Include the world-wide-web. 
I take it seriously because I really do NOT want this to be a 'me session' or a 'look what I've done' session. If that were the case I'd never mention it again. EVER.

But if I can take this long, hard journey and make it into a God thing. A "look what God has done" session. Then I think I'm willing to go public with it. If I can shout His name and say, "There is no way on earth that this could have been done without His help" then I'm going for it. 

I want to offer HOPE to the hopeless. To those that think they're stuck in the cycle they find themselves in. I want to inspire others to chase a dream. Or tackle a problem. Or make a change. I want others to believe that with some hard work and determination they, too, can do what they perceive to be the impossible in their life. 

I want to be so bold as to say, "With God ALL things are possible."  
Including, in my case, enjoying running.

There's one last leg of this journey that 
I wanted to share with you. 

Knowing that running isn't a natural thing for me. 
And knowing that training to run 13.1 miles is (and has already proven to be) daunting. 
I wanted to tackle something WAY bigger than me.
 
Something that I'll need YOUR help with. 

I want something bigger than me simply crossing my half marathon finish line on October 20th.

I want those miles of training to count for something more 
than just a pat on my back and a yahoo, I did it! 

 WHAT IF WE DID SOMETHING TOGETHER? 

What if, TOGETHER, you and me and our friends and our friends' friends, 
helped a little girl in India? 

What if we raised money for PREMILA?
Isn't she BEAUTIFUL? 

I wept when I saw her picture. 
Of COURSE I'll help. 
She's beautiful and she needs us.

And since Maddie got me into this running gig, why not, in Maddie's honor, sponsor a beautiful girl in India who has been rescued from a life of exploitation and enslavement. 

 PREMILA needs us. 

Why wouldn't we all pitch in? 

I know there are a LOT of fabulous organizations out there vying for our funds. 
I know that. 
But I also know this. 
AS OUR OWN is an INCREDIBLE organization
that rescues vulnerable girls in India. 
I can vouch for their credibility. 
I can vouch for their hearts. 
I have met some of their staff members and they blow me away with their dedication to caring for these girls they rescue as their very own. For life. 

They don't rescue these girls and ship them off for someone else to care for them. 
They rescue them. 
And then these girls literally become their daughters for life. 
They don't graduate from the program. 
They are welcomed into the As Our Own family. 
Forever. 

THAT, my friends, 
is BEAUTIFUL 
and POWERFUL 
and INSPIRATIONAL. 
That's an organization I can stand behind.

Or in this case, RUN behind! 

I'm just one Mama of a young girl in America, 
reaching out to help another Mama of a young girl in India. We've never met and probably never will, 
but I feel like I know her heart. 
I can tell you this. 
If my daughter were trapped in the evils of slavery, 
my heart's cry would be for someone, ANYONE, 
with resources to step in and help. 

Here's the nitty gritty.
As Our Own does this thing called "I Will Run" and it's a way for people that run to raise money for different girls in India.
Usually when people run for As Our Own, they are required to raise $750.

My heart's desire is that we blow 
that out of the water 
and raise a MINIMUM of $5000. 

SO if you wanna join in on this journey and help PREMILA
you can visit my fundraising page HERE

And donate HERE

And check out As Our Own HERE
{I'd love, love, LOVE it if you took the time to poke around their site to 
see what they're up to. 
It'll be the best website you visit today. I promise! }

And if you're a running machine and you want to set up something like this in your own city and run your own race, look HERE for info on that. 

I'm not big on asking people for money. 
 Actually hate doing it. 
But I've felt like this endeavor is something worth asking people to join. 
So from time-to-time over the next several months I'll be asking people to step up and help. 
On Facebook. 
Here on my blog. 

I don't believe in guilting people into giving
Guilt is a HORRIBLE motivator.
So don't give unless you really want to give and don't feel bad about not giving. Okay?
If you're gonna give, do it for Premila. 
Not me. 

 And if at first you have no desire to give but at some point in the coming months, something inside kicks in and says, "Why not give?" Then I'd urge you to give. On the spot. Do it before you talk yourself out of it. {Just my own personal advice.} 

Again, for Premila. Not me! 

And as I write this, there's a teensy bit of fear welling up inside. Who am I kidding? I feel totally sick to my stomach right now as I know I'm about to press "post" and I won't be able to take this back. It'll be out there for all to read. It'll sort of be really, really official.

13.1 is a LONG time to run. 

Can I do it?

Do I have what it takes to persevere? 

Can I do the hard work day after day? 

Will my right knee hold out because the last couple of weeks it has really hurt? {If you're the praying type, I really would appreciate your prayers for this one.}

The what ifs are scary, aren't they? They're scary for all of us, whatever giant we face. 

So right this minute, I'm putting the what if's out of my mind and asking God to do the impossible IN me and THROUGH me. 

I'm asking for His strength when I'm weak and can't step another step. 
I'm asking for His healing hand to touch my knee so that I can run like the wind. 
I'm asking for the joy of this whole journey to be that I get to be intentional 
about spending time with Him. 

So there you have it. 

If you made it this far in this lengthy post, 
you're on the journey with me. 

I'd love your prayers and encouragement along the way. 

I'd love for you to give to Premila. 

But what I'd love the most, is that through this journey together, that we'd each take one step closer to God, wherever we are on our faith journeys.

So here's to not doing this alone.
God and Me. 
Plus you!
 

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