On resolutions

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and got to see family and friends near and far!  I don’t know about anyone else, but it seems like Christmas came and went so quickly and the the new year is approaching fast and furious.

Do any of you make resolutions for the new year? We do in the runningonamission house. We have rules to our resolutions as well. They have to be specific and they have to be achievable…and more importantly they have to be things we can carry through life and build on. (I know, I know… could I sounds more type A?)

As an example, resolutions in years past have been to drink 64 ounces of fluids every day and eating 7 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. This year, we are tossing around the idea of limiting meals purchased outside the house to two per week.

But let me tell you a personal one that has hit me after starting this blog and receiving a gift at Christmas.  I got the devotional to One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voskamp.  In the book, she suggests setting a goal to live in Thanksgiving and see every gift big and small in the world around us.

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So my goal, friends, is to do just that. I think running is the perfect medium.  How many times have I been running and thought about how God the sun felt on my face or how perfectly the birds were chirping in the morning?  Just like Anne, my starting goal will be one thousand gifts.

As I start a new, more intense training plan in the coming weeks, would you all join me by finding one beautiful gift to thank God for in the midst of both hard and easy days?

Here’s to resolutions: to sticking to them, to making them attainable, and to living in Thanksgiving.

As always, if you would to check out more about why I’m running or donate, check out my about me or donate pages.

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Week 10: It’s almost Christmas

It’s been busy at my house with Christmas quickly approaching. I’m sure everyone else can relate.  I’ve been diligent with my training runs, but posting anything about my running or the mission trip, not so much.

Today was fantastic, though.  Today was 60 something degrees a mere 13 days before Christmas in New England.  I had my windows open, no joke.  As I ran my 7 miles in the sunshine and spring-like weather, I had time to clear my head and think.

You see, next week we have a solid twelve hour drive with two dogs and Christmas gifts in tow to go visit with family.  I can now fully appreciate all the twelve hour drives my mom and dad made with two annoying kids (that’d be me and my sister) in the back seat every Christmas break.

In preparation for this trip, we’ve been finishing up projects at work, working later, getting our cars checked out, cleaning up our house, last minute Christmas shopping, and baking some home-made love in the form of cookies for our neighbors. I can’t be the only one who needs to have a clean house to come home to when they drop their bags back inside the door from a trip.

I got to thinking on my run about how we also need to clean out our refrigerator before we go.  When I planned for our meals this week, I thought up how to use the last of the milk, and that last little bit of shredded cheddar.  Oh, and I have an entire bag of carrots that have to go into something. I’m open to ideas for that one.  I got to thinking about how privileged the notion of “cleaning out my fridge” even is.  How ludicrous must it sound to a woman in the barrios of the Dominican Republic that I would have access to and money for enough food that I would have excess at the end of a week.  I have so much of some things I am literally looking for ways to use them and get rid of them lest they spoil.   How privileged am I?  And how many times have I stood with the doors to my fridge open wide and thought “hmmm, nothing good in here?”

I’m not here to make any of us feel bad for enjoying our morning smoothie or the impulse purchase at the grocery store.  I simply realized today how easy it is to forget that our privilege is evident at this time of year not just by the gifts we receive or the cars we drive to visit with family.   We are blessed with full bellies and access to food like so many aren’t.

If you would like to read more about the hunger facing residents of Hispanola (the island shared by Hait and the Dominican Republic), there are some resources below.  Even more importantly if you would like to find out about Fulfilling Smiles, a program for food distribution on the mission trip I’m raising money for, you can check their link out as well.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/01/080130-AP-haiti-eatin_2.html

http://www.drmissionteam.org/how-help

If you’d like to donate to the Fulfilling Smiles program, check out the above link for the Dominican Mission Team (the link will direct you to the “how to help” page but you can check out all the programs our team is involved in from here).

If you’d like to donate to my race and help to send me on the trip next year, check out the youcaring account below.

https://www.youcaring.com/meredith-ng-444115

I hope you all have a great Christmas!  My posts may be sporadic due to travel and great family time over the holidays. I hope I have great photos of God’s great creation and great training runs while I’m in the mountains.  I hope you get to see beauty all around you as well.

Week 9 Update

Wednesday was a setback for me.  Or at least I thought.  I was running on the treadmill to avoid the cold, wind, rain, and darkness.  One minute, my steps felt fine, the next…shooting pain in my knee.  I stopped my workout about three miles early and went home feeling down.

But let me tell you something that I didn’t realize at the time…  I needed that “setback.”

Somehow, Christmas has snuck up on me this year.  We popped right out of Thanksgiving week tired and under the stark realization that we actually only have two and half weeks to get all of our pre-christmas activities complete.  We’re traveling to visit family for the holidays and it’s taken out some of our usual time we get to get things done.

Ladies (but gentlemen, too) can probably relate that somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas you suddenly don’t have all the gifts you thought had covered and stockings won’t just fill themselves.  The tree won’t decorate itself and the post-Thanksgiving dishes never seem to end.  Seriously, where did I get all of these dishes?  I have several sets of sheets and blankets to wash and I’m still so behind on laundry.  There are socks that I’m sure will only find their mates once I’ve done every last item in my laundry hamper.  I’ve got Christmas events to attend, cookies to bake, and every stinking store seems to have a line twice as long as it was two weeks ago.

Here’s the thing…amid all of that, I was exhausted.  But I’m a girl committed to a goal, and skipping a workout felt like a cop out.

This past Thursday, I went to Christmas in Wallingford at my church.  We had a lovely lady who spoke to us.  After thinking about it for a while today, I couldn’t help but realize why I just might have been hurting on Wednesday.  The speaker talked about how the book of Psalm says that “he maketh me lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside still waters.”   In a season in which we can become so busy and lose focus on the true purpose of the season, he (God) offers us rest.   Then she said that sometimes we don’t take him up on the rest.  She said the passage says he “maketh us” lie down and rest.   If we won’t take a gentle suggestion that maybe we need it….he makes us.  Once again, he who created me knows my needs greater than I.  (My mom is reading this and thinking of all those naps I fought so hard when I was preschool age, I garauntee it.)

As I was trying so hard today to figure out how I was running ten miles with no pain when only days ago, two miles was near impossible, something occurred to me.  He was “maketh-ing” me rest and remember why I’m doing this in the first place.  He didn’t want to cripple me, he wanted me to take a day to slow down and remember that this isn’t about my fast time or how many work outs I can obsessively  squeeze in. This is about my goal of getting to the Dominican for a mission trip, and God will make a way that 5 miles on a Wednesday night cannot.

As we roll into Christmas, may we all soak a little more rest in Advent and a little less stress in commercialism and keeping up with the Joneses.

Until next week,

Meredith

My current situation

Well, I guess it had to happen sometime. My current situation is with my knee propped up and being iced down. At about mile number two on the treadmill tonight, I was suddenly hit with searing, sharp knee pain. I started walking and then tried to start again and the pain stopped me in my tracks.

I’m going to follow the rule of two and hope this gets better before my planned ten mile run this weekend. In the mean time, I’ll kick back and watch the Grinch tonight while I get to know my cold compress.

I hope I have better news and more interesting things to report later this week!