Strength for the Climb

My blog is a personal journey of the blessings I have been entrusted with and the strength I have been given to make the climb. I invite you to follow along as I write about faith, family, and Down syndrome.

Pace

Well it's been a month since I had the D & C for the 

miscarriage

 that we had of our third precious child. Emotionally I have had my ups and down when thinking about it, but I do have peace that God has a purpose for the pain. 

The day after the D & C, we traveled to visit my brother and his family in Tennessee.  He relocated to TN in 2002 and fell in love with a southern belle and now calls the south his home with his wife and son.  My mother is originally from Tennessee and it was so great to see many of our family members during our stay!

We were able to kick off the vacation with an event called, Country Music Lends Down a Hand, with proceeds going to the Down Syndrome Association of West Tennessee.  There were a few artists from Nashville and the local area.  My sister-in-law was a part of the planning committee and it was such a fun night out celebrating those with an extra special chromosome! Our time with my brother and family was wonderful, filled with relaxation, great conversations, and fun toys to ride around the land they live on. Luke even got to help feed their new baby goat!

After spending a few days with them we headed back to Nashville where we had the pleasure of staying with one of my high school friends and her family.  We visited the zoo and a water park and we couldn't leave our trip without making it downtown Nashville.  

The pace of summer is moving too quickly.  Filled with play dates, walks to the park, sleeping in and staying up wait too late, bike rides, hockey training for Chris, volleyball camps for Carissa, road trips, and girls' 

weekend away.  With us both being educators, WE LOVE SUMMER.  Please slow down.  I think I love this summer much more because the season of winter was so long and cold. 

Speaking of pace, my sweat sister and I are running a half marathon at the end of August.  We have not raced together since Chicago in 2009.  We have been on opposite schedules with having babies so we long for the day we can race TOGETHER again.  We decided after I had the miscarriage that we would put a race on the schedule and enjoy the training and goal that both of us needed to get a little bit of ourselves back.  

Last week on our training schedule it called for a pace run.  Katie, my sweat sister, and I were not able to coordinate a run together that week so I asked Chris if he would pace my run (while pushing the boys in the jogger) and I would try to keep up.  Chris runs everyday, 5 miles minimum, and he runs fast!  I was about to embark upon a girls' weekend and I knew I would be consuming a lot of good food and not getting much sleep...so Thursday night it was.  Most of the run I was staring at the bottom of Chris' shoes, but so thankful to have someone to do this (painful) run with.  For those of you not familiar with what a pace run is...it's when each mile is at the pace of race day.  So whatever pace you are hoping to finish the race at (race pace)...you average that over the miles you are scheduled to run for that day. 

I was so thankful for that run to be over.  It pushed me and it was not fun, but it was so good to see the fruit of the hard work.  There is nothing better than finishing a good hard run.  I have seen in my years of running that pace runs are key to getting faster overall.  It not only physically helps you but mentally you start to believe you can keep that pace.  You are faster than you think.  I did my first marathon in the summer of 2002 and have completed 8 since then.  I have run at many paces.  Some may say fast, some may say slow...but what I do know that I am better at running because of my pace runs.  My pace from the first marathon to the last was a difference of 3 minutes per mile, and shaved off 1 hour 20 minutes.  I started to understand the importance of setting the pace, especially in long distance runs.  Definitely have learned that mistake the hard way...doesn't every runner feel like they could sprint the first three miles after they jazz you all up at the start line???

When I started to understand the longer distances I became more intentional in my pacing.  

I opened my Jesus Calling devotional that evening after that run with Chris and company and this is what it said... 

YOU ARE MY BELOVED CHILD. I chose you before the foundation of the world, to walk with Me along paths designed uniquely for you. If you trust that My plans are to prosper you and not to harm you. Concentrate on keeping in step with Me, instead of trying to anticipate My plans for you. If you trust that My plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, you can relax and enjoy the present moment.

Your hope and your future are rooted in heaven, where eternal ecstasy awaits you. Nothing can rob you of your inheritance of unimaginable riches and well-being. Sometimes I grant you glimpses of your glorious future, to encourage you and spur you on. But your main focus should be staying close to Me. I set the pace in keeping with your needs and My purposes.

Well I came to realize a few days later that the date I had read was one month off.  I was reading June 18th instead of July 18th.  

This is how God continues to show up and remind me that if we keep in step with Him, trusting Him, He sets the pace for me and our family...each step forward on this beautiful path.