Sunday, June 27, 2010

10.10.10: First Month: Check.

Well - the first month of marathon training is officially done. Yikes. I am almost half way there in my mileage. The "twenties" still seem so daunting and far . . .

I just did 12 miles with my mom downtown on the lakefront on Saturday. Running on the lakefront is a piece of cake compared to running my long runs near my house on hilly roads. Yes, there are "hills" in the outer suburbs of Chicago. I am not crazy, come out to Cary.
Training is going well - and the sunrise at 5:00 A.M. helps me get my butt out of bed to go run. Convincing myself to get up is getting harder and harder but the little voice in my head tells me that I will feel so much better when I am done. And, I do - but I just love the comfort of my bed.
Challenges Ahead: More miles. Hotter days. Lack of time/desire. I am slow. Need new running shoes but lack of funds.
Welp - I am feeling pretty good about my training so far - 12 miles doesn't seem like a lot to me but then again, it is only July.
I'll let you know how July goes in a bit. And any other new information along the way.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

365 Incredible Days of Marriage

Year #1, check. We made it. Best 365 days of my life. Marriage is officially one of the best decision ever. (Especially when you marry your best friend, like I did.)

And what a year it was. Hectic, amazing, challenging, eventful, and blessed.

What can I say, I am completely blessed with a man who loves and adores me for me. He is a man after God's own heart and am so thankful for the love we share that comes from the Lord.

And what a love it is . . .

sweet love.

deep love.

everyday love.

passionate love.

forever love.

our love.

Joey - Happy Anniversary to the one I LOVE with all my heart, for all my life.

Here's a snap shot of a year ago, what a perfect, beautiful day . . .

Graduation Season 2010 = Bittersweet

Have I ever told you how much I love serving in the High School Ministry at Harvest? Well, I do. I JOYFULLY and faithfully serve every week and was BLESSED to be the leader this past year to eight INCREDIBLE girls: Becca, Bekah, Elyse, Lindsey, Michelle, Michelle, Paige and Rachael. Did I say incredible? Well, they are.

Sadly, they are Seniors, which means, they graduated. I am so unbelievably excited for them but also torn over the fact that I won't see their beautiful and bright faces every week. They made serving in high school ministry easy. Well, this year at least - let's just say last year was a whole different story. That was rough.

However, aren't we all like that? Our lives are like a roller coaster-up and down, twists and turns, good and bad? But ultimately, getting right back to where God wants us? And what a blessing it was to see as each one of these girls reached their highest point with Christ after hitting some really rough low points. And, in the end, God gets all the glory, right? right.

It has been hard and sad - I am going to genuinely miss these girls. Every time I think about it or pray for them in the morning, I tear up. It is crazy! But, see how much they impacted my life? - or better yet, how God has filled my life with joy by SERVING HIM! Praise God! Now, if I can only take that excitement and joy and bring it back in the fall as I start all over with Freshmen . . . (Lord, give me patience. :)

So, here is to each one of my girls. I hope these few sentences encourage them as they start the next big chapter of their lives . . .

Rebekah Charlier aka Bekah: Bold. Watching her grow over the past seven years has been a joy and of course, comical. She was my comedian of the group and frankly, quite honest - very honest and very bold for Christ. You can witness this through this group of girls - she boldly asked Paige to come to Youth Group and look what happened . . . Bekah: I encourage you to continue to be bold in your faith. Never give up and never be ashamed. We are called to make disciples and be bold for Him. He will bless you . . . "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Michelle Martin: Model. Michelle is a supermodel . . . seriously. And when I think of models, I think of example. And that is Michelle - not only because of her looks (wink,wink) but because of her Godly example that she leads by. Michelle is a genuine leader. A leader after God's own heart. She exemplifies Godly characteristics and has the ability to engage others around her. Michelle - continue to be a leader - stand up and out for Christ! Always lead others in the right decision and always serve before you lead.

Paige Kubicz: Devotion. That is the word that comes to mind when I think about Paige. Devotion to her family, friends, school work, youth group, church, and most importantly, her relationship with Christ. Paige always strives to be a better person, daughter, sister, friend, and child of God. She is completely devoted to Christ. Even devoted to help me become a better follower of Christ. Paige, continue to be devoted to Christ when you are in college. That no matter what happens, always keep Christ first! He is going to use you in some BIG ways - be ready!

Michelle Mitchell: Firm. One thing that I have been able to get to know about Michelle is that she is completely firm in her faith. She never gives up and always trusts in the Lord. Michelle's foundation is solid and I know the Lord has huge plans for this girl! Mitch, I pray that you will continue to stay firm and grow deeper and deeper in your relationship with Christ! I can only imagine how the Lord could use you with your firm foundation.

Rebecca Haraf "Becca": Determination. My volleyball star. Becca is quite the little athlete - playing volleyball at Liberty in the fall. One thing about Becca is that she never gives up, always finishes, and finishes strong - especially in her relationship with Lord. Times got hard and the ground got rocky, but Becca never gave up and never gave in. She always got back up and fought the fight. Becca, college is hard, trust me - but never give up. Always seek the Lord for the strength, wisdom, and encouragement. Remember we are here for a short time, so fight the fight, finish the race, and ALWAYS keep the faith.

Elyse Wegner: Growth. I have not seen someone grow and be so fired up over the past few months then in Elyse. Ever since the Spring Break trip in March, Elyse's need and want to grow more in Christ has gone to another level. Just in the past few months, the joy in Elyse's face is hard to miss - you can see the Lord working in big ways in that girl's life! There is a lot in Elyse that reminds me of myself and for that - Elyse, I encourage you to always have that need for Christ. Continue to be fired up for Him and never let that fire go out. Be that LIGHT in the dark world in the fall. You are not alone.

Lindsey Johnson: Christ-like. I thing I love about Lindsey is her since of style. Lindsey is my little fashionista. This girls gots style, y'all. ;) But not only is she always dressed to the nines, she is always wanting to be more Christ-like. That whatever she did - it would be for Him and because of Him and His Glory. Lindsey, continue to give Christ all the glory in all you do and continue to be the Christ-like example to the many you will encounter.

Rachael Houp - Distinguished. I picked this word for Rachael because I think she has a very distinguished personality. She completely portrays the "gentle and quiet spirit" women are called to have accordingly to 1 Peter 3 (that I so lack . . .) but also completely portrays a fun and strong side. No matter what happens, no matter what the obstacle or circumstance is, Rachael endures solely on the Lord with her gentle, quiet, strong and fun personality. Rachael - continue to set your ways strong in the Lord. No matter what happens, whatever obstacle you will have to jump over, God is there, holding your hand helping you through.

There you have it - Eight incredible, God-honoring/fearing beautiful young women that I am proud to call some of my greatest friends.

I am beyond excited to see how God uses each one of you - I can only imagine what He can do with eight fired-up girls all across the United States. Keep your eyes always on Him. He will never let you down.

Always here. Always praying.

Your former leader, now friend for life - Danielle

(Missing: Becca Haraf and Lindsey Johnson)

Aren't they all beautiful?? ;)