Excuse the lollipop; I wasn't expecting to be videoed. I ran a tiny 5k put on by my son's school district's PTA. It was poorly attended, making my chances of winning greater. I won first in my age group, although the girl that won overall women was in my age group, but I got the first place medal for the age group since she got the medal for overall. Makes total sense, right? :-PI can over over-spiritualize with the best of 'em, so hang on to your hats, folks; this one's a doozy! :-P In all seriousness, it's something that is pretty close to my heart, so especially if you're family, I hope you read with an open-mind.
This past year has been one of immense growth for me. I really feel like God has brought me to a place where He's restoring me to be what I should have been if not for a broken world. The more I surrender into allowing Him to father me as only a perfect Father can, the more He makes me whole and restored - not changed, just more the "Annie" I was created to be. There have been three ways in which He's done this in my life this past year.
The first is physically. When I was in elementary school, I had a great passion for track. The P.E. coaches noticed a natural ability in me for sprinting, and I was awesome at the 200 meter relay. I was the second fastest girl in my grade, and I was always striving to beat that other girl that was faster (I still remember exactly what she looks like). We won first place in my 4th grade district wide race, and I still remember everything about that morning. My mom and I went, and she bought me a school t-shirt to wear in the race (we never did that since we were poor). I loved knowing that she was in the stands cheering for me. I was on cloud nine.
So on the morning of my district wide track meet the following year in 5th grade, my parents wouldn't wake up to take me. I kept trying to wake them up, and the coaches kept calling me to see where I was, but the race came and went without me.
My parents are totally different people today whom I love and forgive, but 22 years ago they were at the height of their irresponsibility and dysfunction, so I share the story not to make you think less of them but merely to give you an insight into me. I realized that morning, though, that my passion for running or athletics would not be supported by my parents, so when middle school came around and we moved to the country (not within walking distance to our school), I knew I couldn't participate in track and that passion bitterly died.
Fast-forward to my adult years, and I have never been able to run. My breath control has been the hardest thing for me, so I would always stick to elliptical or strength training and yoga. My third and last baby was born in the beginning of January, and my body was in the worst shape of my life (probably). I knew he was my last, so I went all out and lived it up in total gluttonous fashion - no restraint at all!
As I worked on getting my body back this past year, we decided to get a Bob Duallie Revolution jogging stroller. So I started walking, then walking and jogging, and now just jogging. I remember the first day that I was able to run 18 minutes straight without stopping. That was a miracle for me. It was so elating, and I thought, 'I got this.'
Today, my body is in the best shape of my life. I'm thrilled, and I LOVE running! It makes me feel like I was made to do it. I'm not that fast right now (well, I was before I properly calibrated my Nike+ pedometer :-p), and I still can't run more than about 8 miles, but I am on my way, and it will happen. I got this!
And the way in which God restored me physically totally corresponds to the other two ways He's restored me, but you'll have to stay tuned for that. More to come....