Success With Much Love and Support

The finish line has been crossed and people cheered us on from the starting line to the finish line.   I was amazed at how many people stood by the side of the road to cheer on the runners.    I am still processing the run, but what I do know is that I did the best I could do.   A friend of mine pointed out that four months ago, I was not a runner.   I was new to the health club and could hardly complete a 20 minute work out.   As of today, I have put over 100 miles on my running shoes and completed 13.11  miles at one time.   That is an accomplishment, and one I never thought I could say "I have done that". 

This post is not one to process the entire run because first, there are so many people I want to thank.   Without these people the finish line crossing would have looked so different, and possibly may not have happened.  

Mark.  The training schedule not only affected my days, but yours as well, with the early morning and going to bed while the sun was still up so that I would get enough sleep.  Your understanding is much appreciated when I would come home from a run so sore I had to sit on the couch a couple of times while you pulled the kids together and got things done.   I enjoyed our early morning conversations over coffee, something I hope continues in the future!  Your encouragement through the days when I was frustrated, and your enthusiasm when the runs were good is not forgotten.  Thank you for your constant support and for being at the finish line,  knowing you were there kept me going.  I love you and am so happy that you are my husband and best friend.

E and Addy.  You are amazing.  I appreciate your encouragement and excitement as I embarked on a new journey in my life.   It was fun to share each day's stats with you and the hugs and high fives you gave made it all the more fun.   I loved the signs and bell ringing that greeted me at the finish line.   I love you both so much! 

Dad.   To experience one of your passions with you for these past months means more than I can even put into words.   It is definitely something I will never forget.   Thank you for sharing your knowledge and getting me through so many of the unknowns.  Thank you for keeping me accountable in the early mornings, and for all of the conversations we had. 

Mom.   You told me that I can do whatever I put my mind to, and it gave me the confidence to even attempt this run.   Thank you for the continued support and encouragement, and thank you most of all for the mornings that you were home drinking coffee by yourself while Dad was running with me.   I know that took away from your time with him, and I do not take that for granted.  Thank you for being at the finish line, knowing you were there kept me going. 

Julie.   You asked a question that has transformed my life.   I have completed something I had never thought I would do.  Thank you for your friendship, support, and for the mornings that we ran even though it was cold and a cup of coffee sounded like a better idea.   I look forward to summer runs together. 

Leanna.   Thank you for the Tuesday night talks and the support and encouragement you gave during those talks.   I looked forward to each and every one of them!    Thanks go to you and your family for being at the finish line, it means so much that you gave up a holiday weekend to be here. 

To those who came to the post-race party.   Your coming to the party gave me something to look forward to when the nerves of the race were at an all time high.   The great company and good food were great thought distraction as the 13.11 miles passed by.


A New Addition

I wanted to take a moment to tell you about the newest addition to our Compassion family.   This happened a couple of months ago when our church was having a Compassion Sunday.   I wrote a little bit about the experience here.  What I did not mention in that post was that our family also found a new child to sponsor.   One night a week before Compassion Sunday,  we opened the box of packets as a family, we all took a different stack to look through.   In the stack that I had, which was children from Asia, the third packet in the stack was a little girl from the Philippines.  I looked at her picture and was instantly drawn to her.  

Was it the hint of the smile on her face or her pretty pink dress, I am not sure.   I then looked at her name and then her birthday.   It was a done deal, I knew she had to become part of our family.   August 14, 1999, when Mark and I were saying our vows, across the Pacific Ocean a little girl was born and now we had an opportunity to correspond and pray for each other.    I showed her picture to Mark and said, she is it. 

I have written two letters to Mary Grace, I hope she has received at least one of them letting her know about our special connection.   Compassion bloggers are set to leave tomorrow for a sponsor trip to the Philippines, I cannot wait to read about their trip and hopefully get a small glimpse into Mary Grace's world all the while wishing it was my bags being loaded on the plane to make the trip.   I hear of the typhoon that is impacting her country now and lift her up in prayer that she and her family are safe.  

Today we received our first letter from Mary Grace!   What a wonderful thing to have in our mailbox today.   She introduces herself to us and we find out that her favorite color is indeed pink!   Today, the picture of the little girl with a small smile in the pink dress become more than just a picture of a person, today the picture is more interesting as I know just a little bit more about her. 


So Special

Today I received an early birthday present from two very special four year old girls.   I walked into their class this morning to collect them for our computer time and was presented with these two beautiful pieces of art:

I love them!   I am going to keep them as a reminder of the children who were in my life for a very short season. 

The other part of my day that I don't want to forget is a story about another little boy at another center that I was at today.   He has been a challenging student all year.    He has been the hardest student for me to work with.   I have at times been ready to send him back to his classroom and ask the teacher to not send him back to class.    Even the director at the day care center said this student would be the death of her one day.  While getting the children for class today, this little boy came running up to me and grabbed my hand.   He then began talking to me (a first) telling me how he was such a fast runner because he was the first one in line for class today.   Once we were all settled in our group and talking about today's lesson he raised his hand (another first) so I called on him.   He said, "Miss Janelle, your necklace is so beautiful."   I don't know if it was just the day or if we have crossed a new bridge together.   That, I may never know, but none the less, I am glad that today we had that connection. 

After nine months of stretching, learning, and growing, we are near the end of my contract.  I have two weeks left with these children.   I am so thankful that this week was a good week with them.   I think back to my interview and remember my boss saying that the first part of the year is hard because the kids have to learn about you, learn your systems, learn your style, learn how you do things.   He also said that May is easy, the children know you, they know your systems, and they know how you do things.   I am so glad that the hard part is in the past and that I am left with the good time and remember that as I move onto another new journey in life.