Mar 30, 2015

Washingtonians are probably not going to agree with this but I swear it's true.... It doesn't rain ALL of the time.
In the past 35 days I have learned the art of timing the rain. It may be raining most of the day, but there will be a break. There will be 15 minutes, 30 or maybe even an hour that the rain slows to a drizzle or stops completely.
If you really want to avoid running in the rain, you simply must be ready for it to stop. Then go for it!
A few days ago I waited in the car at Eli's baseball practice until the steady downpour turned to a slight sprinkle. During a pretty crazy rainy day I waited at home, dressed and ready for the moment the sky took a break.
It's there, a calm in the storm, a break in the downpour....you just have to be looking for it. If you hide away or give up looking you might just miss the 45 minutes of sunshine surrounded by the storm.
If you settle in and believe that the storm will never end, you'll miss the opportunity to come up for air, complete the task at hand, smell the freshness of the air right after the rain.
There are storms, no doubt about it, but they all come to an end eventually. Watch the sky for a break in the weather and then soar!

Mar 29, 2015

Farewell


Friday Matt was officially farewelled at work.  This marks an end to 2.5 years serving in this Battalion as the Safety Officer.
The commander gave a great speech as he thanked Matt for his service in the Battalion and praised him for all of his accomplishments.  One of the fun things that was said about him is that Matt made safety briefings tolerable and usually entertaining!
I've never sat through a drunk driving, long weekend, suicide prevention or flight briefing but I picture it much like the safety briefing that flight attendants give before take off.  How many times have we heard that?  Secure my mask before those around me, seat cushion is a flotation device, nearest exit bla bla.  You totally tone that out, fall asleep, read a book, get a few last moments on your data plan before the flight attendant taps you on the shoulder and tells you to turn your phone on "airplane mode".  But occasionally the flight attendant giving the briefing is hilarious and you can't help but listen to every last entertaining word.  This is basically what Matt does.  He takes the most depressing and boring subject matter and infuses it with elements of entertainment that actually keep the class interested and engaged.  
After the commander presented Matt with a plaque honoring his time with the unit he handed the mic over for Matt to say a few words.   He spoke honestly with the group explaining that he did not want to come over to this unit and considered it somewhat of a failure on his part that he ended up in a support battalion instead of a flight battalion.  But once he got to this unit he had the opportunity to learn what goes on behind the scenes and got to know the people that made his job over in the flight battalion possible for all those years.  Spending some time with the "behind the scenes" people taught Matt a great deal and helped him appreciate what this unit does.
I'm proud of the work that Matt did at this battalion.  It has been a very different experience for us, but the lessons learned and connections made over the past few years have left a lasting impression on Matt and will no doubt help him in his future career.
There are quite a few people leaving the battalion, and I listened to numerous people's stories of what they did for the battalion, where they were headed next and their parting comments to the group.  The last farewell of the night stood out to me the most, not just because it was the last, but because of the powerful words that were spoken.
As Major P came up the podium to begin his speech he said "first and foremost I want to thank God". That isn't too surprising.  But what came next shocked me.
He said that his hope was that everyone knows that he is a Christ follower, and noted that if they didn't know then "shame on me" for failing to make that known.  I was so impressed with the boldness to essentially call himself out.
Oh that every Christian had the guts to face the people they work with, play with, work out with, live near, and in any way socialize with and say if you don't know that I love God and follow him, then I have failed.
So I wonder if those who I encounter know?
What a great challenge.
Major P went on to thank specific individuals, his wife, certain members of the command team and the unit.  He finished his speech with words that brewed excitement in me, words that we don't hear enough anymore.  He said it is "the greatest job in the world, and the greatest honor to serve in the United States Army".  And if I were not choked up I might have been able to give a "whoop whoop" but I could merely clap and blink a tear out of my eye.
It is truly an amazing experience to married to a man, to work with, live with, serve with men and women and their families who also have taken on this great responsibility to defend the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic.  
I'm proud to be a military family and I love the camaraderie that come from such a great institution as the US Army!!
So we're off to one more assignment, one more battalion before Matt closes the book on his military career.  Matt is taking over the Battalion Safety officer position at the flight battalion just across the airfield from where he works now.

Mar 28, 2015

7 More Days to Run

Yesterday I had 60 minutes between getting home from work and the time I needed to start getting ready for Matt's work event.  Not a lot of time when you calculate what needed to be done.  I changed out of work clothes and into my workout clothes and started to head out.  Matt asked if he could come along.  That's a weird request coming from him.  So I said "sure".
As we headed out he started talking to me and I politely reminded him that I usually take this time to pray.  And he kept talking.  At first I was listening to him but not really engaging, hoping he'd get the hint that I'm on a mission here and he was hindering it. Then a still small voice reminded me that Matt was talking, a lot, and about things that have been on his heart and I should probably give him the time to listen.  Matt doesn't like to talk about uncomfortable things, like plans for the future.  The fact that he asked to walk with me and that he was talking about the very things that I have been praying about (our future when he leaves the Army) told me I needed to just go with it.  I asked God to allow me to listen, share my opinions and concerns, and just let this time be helpful and encouraging to the both of us. And it was.
Sometimes I am challenged with what I guess what could be called legalism when it comes to Christianity. My commitment was to pray every day on a walk or run.  So technically talking with my husband is not praying and therefore I failed in my attempt to do this 40 day thing.  But it didn't feel like failing, it felt right.  I think asking him not to talk about these things would have been the true failure.
Thinking back to the story of Mary and Martha.  Sit and listen or do the dishes? What if Mary had committed to 40 days of dishes....would her time spent at Jesus' feet been seen as a failure?  I think not.  So I guess I'm saying that sometimes doing the "right thing" isn't right anymore when you feel led to head a different direction.

One week until Easter.
One more week of hitting the pavement every single day.
I'm shocked at how quickly time has gone by, now that I'm on this end of the journey.


Mar 17, 2015

22 Days Down...

I have ran or walked every single day for the past 22 days.
Most of those days I was alone attempting to keep focused on praying for my peeps.
Every once in a while a kid joins me on his bike.  Matt ran with me once, the whole family tackled a few miles of hiking once, and there was that very odd time that about 10 minutes into the run my father in law called.  I slowed my pace and ended up talking with him for the next 20 minutes.  That was not exactly how I wanted to spent my time on that run, but he never calls me so it seemed like a good use of some of my time.
I'm about halfway there and I'm a little tired.
I actually wake up some mornings and start dreading the run even though I'm not planning to start running for another 8 hours.
My legs hurt a little.
I usually run every other day, even when I was training for the half-marathon I didn't run every day.  I'm not running as far as I did when training and some days I spend more time walking than running, but this everyday business is annoying.
Pouring down rain, wind blowing so hard that tree branches were falling into the path ahead of me, freezing cold temps, darkness... you name it, there have been challenges.
My legs actually hate me.  They told me so today when I was dragging them up a hill.

There have been some pretty cool things happen so far.
I learned how to blow snot out of one nostril while closing the other nostril with my finger and NOT get snot anywhere else on my face or hands.  Be impressed.
I learned that sometimes it is ok to just flat out vent to God.
I have seen some answers to my prayers.  Holy cow answers.  Not like Red Sea parting or dead people back to life answers but some things I was praying about actually happened and it shocked me.
I have learned that I have no data reception between 25th Ave NE and South Bay Road and therefore if I intend to listen to iTunes Radio I need to take a different route.
I find that so many times I don't know what to pray for or about. In order to keep myself from making lists or getting too side tracked I started praying for random people out on the trail.
I believe that my fear of dogs is justified.  Dogs regularly lunge at me when I run by.  Not in a friendly way.  In a "I am going to eat your face" way or in the case of that little poodle "I'm going to eat your ankles".
The thing that gets me out the door every day is my desire to stick with what I started, not to give up on this commitment just because of weather or a busy schedule.
I have also learned that if I plan ahead a little more, my running schedule, and life for that matter would be a little easier.
18 more days until Easter... I think I can do this.