it’s race week!

Hope you had a wonderful Easter, I know that I did. We had snow!! Craziness!! I’m hoping the weather will be a little bit warmer this Sunday when I run my first post-cancer race, the Vienna City Half-Marathon. I remember watching this race from the sidelines last year and aching to be out there running. I know, I’m one of those crazy people. Who would long to be running 13.1 miles any day? Me! Well, I can’t say that I always long to run that far, but there is something about running that is worship to me.
When I start running it’s like the things that stress-me-out, the burdens that I’m trying to carry and the worries I shouldn’t be mulling over start to melt away. Running for me is like coming right to Jesus and while we’re running together saying, “Um, I think I could go a little faster if you could hold onto this for me.” When I give it to Him, He doesn’t slow down. “Okay, and what about this, my arms are sore and tired from carrying this and trying to run. Would you take it?” And He takes it and still doesn’t slow down. Reminds me of this verse, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7). I can’t say I always leave them in His Hands, but I definitely want to and try.
Sometimes toward the end of a race I run stronger and even faster. When I see that finish line my heart leaps and something within me, a God-force, causes my body to move faster and faster. The adrenaline is pumping and I’m finishing strong as I sprint across the finish line, and then point straight up in the air toward the One who gave me the breath, strength and stamina to even put one foot in front of the other and finish. Go GOD!
Oh how I want that to be true of my life — for God to be glorified and every day to run a little stronger. Thanks for your prayers for Sunday. Pray that God would give me the energy I need to finish strong in this physical race. Pray that it would be a sweet time of worship! Pray that I would stay well-hydrated and that my body would move without pain for those 13.1 miles.
For those of you who can’t sleep in the middle of the night, here is the link where a live stream of the Marathon and Half Marathon will be broadcast. The live stream starts at 8:40 a.m. Vienna time, which is 2:40 a.m. Louisville, KY time:
Or if you’d like to see my results from that morning you can type in my name or number (14313) under the Half Marathon section on this Web page:
sleeping on the train . . . hahaha! yeah right!

A few weekends ago I had my first overnight train adventure to and from Cologne, Germany (there will be photos at the end of this post). Combine Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney World with laying down. Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but it wasn’t as soothing as I thought it would be. The most bizarre thing is that to and from Cologne my train car with a couple others were detached from the other cars (on purpose!) and sent toward their destination. It’s weird to get on the train and be in the end car and realize when you’ve arrived you’re now in a middle train car.
Here’s a short video I made to give you an idea of what my sleeping arrangements were like. But you may have to turn your volume up because I’m not talking very loud, so as to not disturb the other passengers in rooms on either side of me:

what God has been up to here in Vienna and in my journey?
We had a teen night with pizza, fondue and Minute-to-Win-It games in March. I’m so blessed to know this Austrian couple who have taken the reins and have planned 4 or 5 teen gatherings between now and the end of June. We had three teen girls show up for pizza and fondue which was great! We have another teen night on Friday. Pray that God would continue to move in and through these teens in Vienna. That their hearts would be stirred and passionate about Him.

These games required all kinds of hidden talents!!

I applied for my visa on April 5 and that same day they gave me an invitation to come back and pick it up on April 17. Yay God!!

I began a new month of language school on April 3. I think I’m finally adjusting to a regular routine again. Pray that I would give these next two months of school my best, again for His glory. It’s cool to be in a setting where only German is being spoken and actually understanding and sometimes being able to respond. I definitely couldn’t say that a year ago!
Well, I best be heading to bed!! I’m sure there is so much more to say and share, but it will have to wait for another time. Within the next month a hard-copy newsletter will be coming out. If you would like to receive one and don’t already please let me know either through Facebook or by e-mailing me.
photos from Cologne, Germany

Standing in front of the Cologne Cathedral.

I actually climbed all 533 steps to get to the top. I figured it could count as a workout/training!

While in Cologne, I met with some other GEMers and talked to them about this youth Café they started. It was inspiring to hear how God is moving.

The weather was simply gorgeous! Here’s a picture down by the Rhine River.
Have a great week! See ya at the finish! 😉

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