One very hot August morning, Suzanne and I started a race journey we will never forget. This was the Georgetown to Idaho Springs half marathon in Colorado. You may remember me talking about this if you’ve followed my blog for a couple years. This course decreased in altitude from start to finish. So in your mind you think, It’s all downhill from here?!
This could be far from the truth. Typically this combination of up and down road running and trail running is met with temperatures in the 60s and a nice breeze. However on this day there were record temps in the 80s and the sky was completely clear with a blazing sun. We started great in Georgetown, but as time went by we got really tired and hot. There wasn’t much shade on the course so you would see runners in a single-file line following each other, crossing back and forth on the road to be under a bit of shade for even a few seconds.
I think we were at mile 11 or 12 when quitting started to sound really good. Lots of water and maybe even jumping in a pool would’ve deterred us from crossing the finish line. We had made it to Idaho Springs, but had to make our way through town to the finish. We needed momentum, a strength and determination we didn’t have, even a bit of something to take our focus off the struggle and onto finishing. Well, that day it was the song from The Sound of Music, “My Favorite Things.” Suzanne probably thought I was nuts, but the “Raindrops on roses…” lyrics just came. I then added some interpretive arm movements and a bit of skipping instead of running. We had to keep singing, that would be the way we’d finish.
Finally we turned the corner and saw the finish line! Many times I’ll finish a race and be excited for what was accomplished, but in that moment there was so much joy in the finish that it didn’t matter where we had been or how long it took to get there.
Friends, the initial support raising finish line is just around the corner. It’s been a long journey toward this finish. At times, it’s seemed hot and sometimes weary. The road hasn’t been what we expected. We’re tired, yet excited and expectant for how this road will take us to new places we might not have otherwise been led to in ministry. We’re ready to finish and yet start again . . . in Austria.
“O God you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” (Psalm 63:1-5)
These words from David have come across my eyes and heart again and again these last few weeks. God’s filled me with such a deep longing for desperation and pursuit of Him in that desperation through prayer. I may not know His timing, but that doesn’t mean I need to sit back and think, “Well, You’re just going to do what You want anyway. Why even bother?!” And yes, I have thought that and felt that.
He’s reminded me that He opens His hand and satisfies desires (Psalm 145:16). It’s not simply that what I need is set in His hand for me to take, but by taking His hand I will have all I will need — Him. We must grab His hand and keep singing as we approach this finish! Our lips must constantly be filled with praise to the One who longs to fill us.
This morning I prayed with the missions team at my church. As we were praying I sensed God saying, “For Austria!” almost like this battle cry of His heart! Reminding me that it’s not about me getting to Austria or crossing this finish line, but it’s this pursuit of His heart. A heart which overflows with unconditional love for the people of this country. That brings me to tears and also to my knees that He would desire for us to be a part of what He wants to do to show His love around the world.
counting it down
Here’s where I’m going to be very specific about need and how you can pray and even join in! I lack $600 of monthly support to meet the required 100 percent of funds in order to leave for Vienna. God has positioned other things in place like being in re:mission and an issued visa which I will go to pick up in early November. The last item for needing to move forward is this financial support gap.
Maybe this would be 6 people pledging $100 a month.
Or maybe this would be:
1 person = $200/month
1 person= $100 /month
2 people = $75/month
2 people = $50/month
2 people = $25/month
Total = 8 people = $600/monthly support
Today is October 1, and my prayer is that every bit of this will be raised by November 1. Why? Aren’t you hoping to leave in January? Yes, but practically speaking there is a lot of details in moving to Austria that will need to be accomplished in November and December, while on top of celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. I will also be in Austria in early November and would like to know that I’m definitely coming back in January so I can get the ball rolling with where I’m going to live, signing up for language school, finding an oncologist, etc.
This is it! I’m singing and skipping and raising my hands and turning that corner . . . for GOD’s glory and His love . . . For Austria!!
To count it down and really join me in praying we need to know how God’s moving and praise Him as He provides. I’m not always good about updating when I say I will, but I don’t want to miss this opportunity to join together in specific prayer and praise! So hold me to this…please! I am committing to update this blog 6 times this month so we can count it down together (maybe each time I update God will have provided another $100 of monthly support).
Want to be a part of what God’s doing in Austria and join me in this journey through monthly support? Here is a link to how you can join this monthly support team! Let me know if you have any questions.
Are you in?! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do!! Go God!
On October 4 I have my first maintenance chemo, which only includes one of the chemotherapy drugs I had initially. I’m not sure what it will be like, but have heard that it won’t be nearly as intense as what I’ve already experienced. This chemo helps keep Follicular Lymphoma in remission. Pray for God’s peace to cover over every bit of my thought-life. Pray that this drug will do what it needs to do to keep this cancer in remission and that Pac-Man winning streak. Pray for a sick-free day and that I’ll get the rest I need before and after! I don’t have to take steroids this time around, which is a praise to God!
oh where is my hairbrush
Would you believe I have hair and I even had it cut a few weeks ago? And I’m thinking I need to have it cut again this month, to which some of you (you know who you are) will laugh! Here’s a photo of my latest ‘do! Many have said they love my new style, which all I can say is, “This is what growing hair looks like, God’s the stylist!” ha!
a few Seattle pics
In July, Mom and I left from Colorado and met my dad in Seattle. It was there that we met up with my friend Sarah, who showed us around and took us to hot spots like Paseo Caribbean Restaurant (hole in the wall type of place with amazing food), Cupcake Royale and Kerry Park to see a fabulous view of the skyline. Here are some pics with more to come next time: