You guys are showing up. And for those of you who want to show up, but you just haven’t had the time to sign up yet? Now is your time! Sign-ups are ending on July 7. We want to make sure we have time to get you your shirts before race day! Lee has designed the shirts for us, as well. We’ve already got some preordered, and if you want one for someone you know isn’t entered in the 5k, you can go to their website here and order one directly! We’ve thought of everything! Aren’t they great shirts?!
Secondly, and again, the easiest way to help out with the cost is to just go to their website here and buy and “envelope.” The money goes directly into the adoption fund, and it will allow me to kiss Baby French sooner rather than later. Because we all know that is the most important thing in this whole venture.
But, ya’ll, seriously, thank you for what you’ve done so far. You are changing the world. Do you realize that? You are helping to give a home to an orphan, a child to two parents who are truly amazing people, and at the very least benefit of the whole deal, you’re going to walk or run 3.1 miles, and that helps to get you in shape.
You are amazing.
If you haven’t signed up yet, now is the time! No need to wait. Heck, it’s Friday. It’s payday. Cash your check and sign up now!
First of all, if you don’t want to read everything, you can just go to this link below and sign up:
Secondly, I’m going on a cruise later this summer. I was reading about the ship we’re going to be on and saw that it has a track for running and walking. I decided then and there that I was going to start my couch to 5k program again because if running is ever going to be fun, it’s going to be fun in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on the way to Alaska. I didn’t die after the first day and even felt pretty decent about the whole thing, so I kept going. Now keep in mind I’m only at the end of week two, but I’m at the end of week two after 9 days. I’m trying to amp it up and get it all in before I leave. It was after I’d finished the first three workouts that I started to remember that I actually sort of liked to run. Or at least I liked the feeling of being finished with a run. And then I remembered how much I used to like using this platform to help people and started thinking of ways I could do that again.
Enter my friends Herschel and Lee. Unbeknownst to me, they had started their adoption process. I find it really fun how God works out timing in our lives. You can listen to their story below.
I love these two people with all of my heart and want what is best for them and their soon-to-be family. And I want to be a part in helping out as much as I can. So that’s where you come in. We’re hosting a 5k event in order to help my friends raise some money for their adoption expenses. Do you know that the average adoption costs around $35,000? For any couple to be able to afford these kind of extra expenses is a miracle, so I believe it’s our job and privilege to help out.
As believers we are called to take care of orphans. Adoption is one way to do that, by making sure that these children without homes and families are placed into a loving home. I can 100% guarantee that this child will be loved beyond measure. This home will be full of life and love and creativity and probably more than a few dinosaurs. (Herschel is a big geek, guys)
Specifics for the race:
This will be a virtual 5k. This means that you can run anywhere and at any time on July 23, 2016. If you don’t want to run, you can walk, crawl, bike or swim. If you want to be included for the prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, then you absolutely must run and must submit a screenshot of your mapped run or a picture of your watch showing your distance and time. The main apps I have used in the past are Nike+ running app and MapMyRun. There are a million more, so as long as you can provide a screenshot and post it to our Facebook event page on race day, then you’re in the running for the prizes. If you have a GPS watch like a Garmin watch or a Nike+ watch, or whatever brand you use, you can upload a pic to our Facebook event page and be in the running for the prizes. If you don’t care anything about any of that, just sign up and get a T-shirt!
Sign up here. There are questions you need to answer like for your T-shirt size or whether you even want a T-shirt, for example. You can pay directly to our Eventbrite page, and it will collect the money and all of the information all in one place for us and make our lives a ton easier! And you know me…I like things simple.
Registration ends July 7, 2016.
We want to get the shirts ordered and to you by race day. If you sign up past that date, you may not be able to get a T-shirt, so just do it now in order to save yourself some headache!
First place will get a $75 Amazon gift card
Second place will get a $50 Amazon gift card
Third place will get a $25 Amazon gift card
These will be based on fastest times for the 3.1 miles
I think that’s it! Feel free to ask any questions I may not have addressed here, and share this with as many of your friends as possible! You know, we’ll just be over here changing someone’s world together.
So do you remember a few years ago when we had the chance to come together as a little online community that kind of turned into a bigger online community, and we raised money to help some friends who were in some tough places and just needed a little help?
Do you remember that during those two years we were able to come together and put a little money from each of us to make a big difference in someone’s life?
I’m ready to do that again.
So much of our lives is going to work and making money and coming home to our families or lack thereof, and doing housework and yard work, and staying in our own little circles just trying to keep from sinking a lot of the time. It’s such a hard and vicious cycle for us. We don’t realize a lot of the time that this disconnects us from the rest of the world, and we’re so consumed by our own lives and problems that we feel like we don’t have the time or the energy or the money to help someone out.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of living in my own little world. I want to do something bigger than myself. That’s why we had done the two virtual 5K races a few years ago. And then I got consumed and overwhelmed and just quit. Because it is so easy to just quit. There are so many people who are hurting and the world is going a bit crazy I just want to shut down. And then I get depressed and overwhelmed because I’m not doing anything that has any sort of meaning. You feel me?
I think these last two years that I’ve taken a break from doing stuff like this online has brought me right back to this very same spot: We have a voice. We are stronger together. We can change someone’s life.
So that’s what we’re going to do. Okay? Okay.
Mark your calendars for July 23, 2016. Over here at Easu Project we’re going to host a virtual 5K. You can run. You can walk. You can swim. You can bike. You can not do it and tell me you did just so you can get a cool T-shirt. I don’t care. What we’re going to do, though, is do something that is good for us. And while we’re doing something that is good for us, we’re going to really bless a couple of really cool folks who are trying to adopt. If you’ve been around here for any amount of time, or if you know me at all, you know I love adoption. I love every single thing about it except that it is so expensive for people. So I want to help.
You’re going to hear the story of my friends, Herschel and Lee French here in a couple days, but I want you all to be ready and start thinking about who you’re going to get to join you in this fun little race. We might even have some fun prizes. We will most definitely have a T-shirt for you.
I do want to tell you, though, that if you want to help out a couple of pretty incredible people but don’t want to have anything to do with a 5K or something like that, you can go to their website and read their story here or you can just donate to them and pick one of their envelopes to help them out here.
You guys, we’re going to have a chance to be an incredible blessing to some folks. You in?
I’m starting training now. Let’s do this.
So there was this time when I had a blog that I wrote on three times a week for years. I was a really fun time most of the time. I had friends from all over the world that came to my own little space in the Interwebs just so they could read what I had to say. Which is kind of ridiculous, but it still happened for one reason or another.
And then I think I lost my words.
Or maybe I’d lived them all. Whatever the case, I needed to take some time off to live some life so I could feel like writing again. I know that may sound a little bit weird, but I was just tired. I was tired of trying to think about things and speak about things that I had only minimal experience with. This last year or so has been really fun, though, and I’ve got some plans for us.
I’ve decided to shut down my other blog, Run With The Big Girls. Everything that I did over there can be done over here. And we’re going to do it? 5K to help raise funds for an adoption? Absolutely. Fun ideas to help raise money for mission trips? Check. If we can dream it up here, we can do it.
I hope you’re going to want to hang out with me again, because I think we’re going to make some good changes here.
I’m game if you are, friends.
I’ve talked a few times on here about this really cool opportunity I’ve had to be a part of a book launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s new book, For The Love. I even had this crazy chance to write an endorsement for the front of there book. And they published it. This has been a really fun last few months. If you haven’t checked out the book yet, you can go here to check it out!
But for you guys it’s just getting ready to start. See, I’ve read all of the goodness wrapped up inside this book. And when I say goodness, I mean one minute you’re going to be crying, and then the next minute your husband or friend or coworker is going to be looking at you funny because you’re laughing out loud.
Jen just has this way of speaking to you, regardless of who and where you are. And regardless of how you see yourself, you can’t read one of her books and not feel loved. It just oozes out of her words.
You need to read this book.
You don’t need to read it because I’m telling you to. You don’t need to read it because something I’ve written is in the front of the book (although that’s an excellent reason). You need to read this book because there is something in there just for you. Maybe it’s the chapter about wearing leggings as pants and how it’s just not right. Maybe it’s the chapter on dealing with difficult people. Maybe it’s her thank you note section. But I promise there is something in there for you.
So that’s why I’m giving away two copies. Fresh off the press. Hardback. Just for you. All you have to do is share this post and leave a comment here on the blog telling me why you need this book. I’ll pick a winner at random Wednesday evening and announce it Thursday morning! I like a quick turnaround. So quick! Tell me why you need this book! And don’t say it’s just because I’m telling you so. 😉
Over the years my definition of bravery has changed. Bravery used to mean riding up on a white horse, killing the villain and saving the damsel in distress. Today, though, I’m more of the persuasion that most of the time bravery is just showing up.
You don’t have the words to say to make things better, but you show up anyway? Brave.
Your friend has been through hell and back, and there is not one thing you can do. But you show up anyway. Brave.
You go sit in silence with your people as they mourn. Brave.
You sit and allow yourself to feel ALL THE FEELINGS that somehow seem to take your breath away from out of nowhere. You could distract yourself, but yet you enable yourself to feel and be vulnerable. Brave.
I think for a long time I thought bravery was the absence of fear. But now I don’t think you can be brave without feeling fear at the exact same moment. If there were no fear or uncomfortableness to overcome, there would be brave. There is no bravery without fear.
So let’s be brave together. Let’s show up and be there for our people. Let’s not ignore the feelings just because they’re uncomfortable or not always awesome.
Because when we’re vulnerable and willing to admit that we don’t have control over a situation or we have no words to say, and we just show up? God moves. He moves in our stillness. He moves in our loneliness. He moves when all the feelings just come from out of nowhere. He moves in our vulnerability and makes us brave. He moves in our uncertainty and makes us brave.
“You make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the promises you made
You make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves”
Man, it’s been a while. Last time I wrote a post for here there was snow on the ground. Right now it’s 84 degrees. Oops.
One thing I’ve learned over the last few months? God has a funny way of reminding you that he’s still in the background working even when we don’t see it sometimes.
So in early March Jen Hatmaker put out a post on her blog asking for people to sign up if they wanted to be part of her book launch team. I hadn’t been part of one before, so I thought, Why not. Go for it.
So I did.
Turns out so did 5,000 other people from around the Internets. I don’t even remember now how I found out, but somehow I found out I had made the team. 500 out of 5,000 were picked, so I felt pretty honored to be a part of the team. There was a private Facebook page started and all kind of fun stuff. We all got an early digital copy of the book, so I dug in.
Let me tell you, this book is so good. For The Love: Fighting For Grace in a World of Impossible Standards.
But I’ll be talking more about that later, closer to the time of the release in August. Keep watching for it.
But once they announce to the group of 500 of us, they also had another fun surprise. As it turns out, Jen didn’t want famous people to write her endorsements in the front of her book. That turned out to be part of our job for the book launch team. So after reading the book, I sat down to write. I mean, you’ve read my stuff here. How do you fit ALL THE FEELINGS into 4-5 sentences about a truly great book?
Another couple months went by, and I found out last week that my endorsement go picked to be in the front cover of the book along with 24 of the other launch team.
I may have screamed a little bit.
You guys. If all goes according to plan, I will be officially published. Nope. It’s not my book. But I can’t imagine anyone else’s book I would rather my name be in.
I can’t even…
There is just something about snow that just makes everything a little bit quieter. The road seems a bit softer as you’re driving along. There are usually fewer cars and the normal sound of the road is replaced by a soft crunching sound.
When you’re standing out in it, the snow swirling all around you, there’s just this sense of reverence, I think. People tend to stay in more than they run around. Families get all bundled up and go out and play together while the snow. It just kind of lets us off the hook from some things we were going to do and gives us some incentive to relax and have a little fun.
It’s Lent now, so the quiet seems to just fit. I hadn’t really put much thought into what I was going to do to celebrate it. And then it snowed. And there was quiet.
I need more quiet in my life. Yes. I live alone. But when I’m home, there is always noise. I just need to make room for more silence. So I’ve been turning off my television by 8:30 every night. And the first week I found myself in bed or asleep in my recliner by 9:00 every evening.
The noise is just a filler, a distraction to keep my soul tied up in knots with no room to breathe. The silence is a place where I can just exist. There are no expectations on me. Breathe in. Breathe out. Maybe I’ll read a little more of Bird by Bird. Maybe I’ll finally go through this stack of magazines. And maybe I’ll finish cleaning out my closet. And then, of course, bed is always pulling me in after a long day at work. And any of that works.
Quiet is healing for wounds we never knew we had.
Honey for our souls.
I hope you have some time to go out and enjoy the snow. But while you’re out there, I hope you have a moment where all you can notice is the quietness of it all and be reminded at what a gift it is to you.
Can I tell you how much I hate cleaning and clearing and organizing? I’m just not good at it. But this week I’ve been making a conscious effort to go through one of my extra bedrooms that has just been a store room for things I didn’t know what to do with. I started with the closet. I figured that if I could clear some of the junk out of the closet in there, that would leave me some extra space to hide some of the stuff that’s been sitting out in the middle of the room for a while. I would have room to put an extra bed in there for nieces and nephews and guests. It’s been too messy for far too long.
But it was sitting behind closed doors. I didn’t have to look at it unless I needed to get my vacuum or mop or extra toilet paper. My home is seriously lacking on storage space, so I just used a whole room that I hadn’t been previously using for storage. It was really ridiculous. Last night I found a whole Rubbermaid storage container filled with empty CD cases. I had transferred all the CDs to a holder and put them on the computer, but I think I thought for some reason I might like to keep the cases and the booklets. So I threw all of them in…and DVD cases into this container, and it’s been sitting in my closet taking up room for three years.
Why does it take me so long to clear out the mess? I sit back and watch it pile up until I just can’t handle it anymore and then just start throwing everything away. Things that three years ago were priceless mementos of which I couldn’t let go are now just things that are in my way of moving forward.
See what I did there?
It’s annoying. It can sometimes be a bit painful, but it’s necessary. These things I’m holding onto were part of who I was. Some of them will move forward with me, but most of them will remain in the past…and the burn pile.
So this week has been a little productive. I’m a few cans of paint and a lot of sewing projects getting organized away from getting this room ready to be a place to welcome friends and family into. Or to turn it into a great big huge storage closet for all my projects.
I think the past plays a huge part in our future…as long as it stays in the past and we’ve learned from it. And because I sometimes (read always) tend to hang on a bit longer than necessary, it can slow progress a bit. But moving forward is so good.
I’ve been reading a book called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. Sigh. It is shaking things up within me quite a bit. The premise is she does a sort of fast for 7 months. Each month is a different thing. For the first month she only ate 7 different foods. The second month she only wore 7 articles of clothing. The third month she gave away 7 items a day. The fourth month is all media, and is the month I’m currently reading. It is all quite fascinating. We’re so inundated with everything around us telling us we need more stuff and we need to do more stuff and eat more, it’s overwhelming. Sometimes it takes going without for a little bit to realize that we really aren’t without. Just with Less. And Less is good.
Anyway, when I’m finished with the book, I will let you all know what I think of it for sure. It is definitely making me think about things in a new way. Which is why I love to read and learn. I hate staying stuck in the same mindset when things around me are changing. It’s a good way to become out of touch with the world around me.
So tonight I’m cleaning. Tomorrow I’m cleaning. And soon I’ll have a place set up to keep moving forward.
I can’t wait.
I haven’t written anything on here since July 24. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried. I’ve sat down on average about once a week or so with the best of intentions, but the words haven’t come. At least not ones I wanted to share with you. 2014 was hard. And good. And really hard. And really good.
I chose the word “beloved” last year to focus on. Just to rest in the fact that Christ calls me beloved. Some days it was the easiest thing in the world to believe. Some days it was the furthest thing I felt to be true. But one thing I’ve learned over the years? Just because I feel it, doesn’t mean it’s true.
2014 was hard. And good. And really hard. And really good. And it’s okay. I think some years are just that way. I think a lot of times the really good come with the really hard. I think it’s part of the journey.
So when I sat down to come up with a word to embody 2015, I took a lot into account. I have some things I’d like to accomplish this year. I usually sit down and think about what kind of word I would want to personify the year. This year it found me.
I was talking to my friend, Tracee, about it when she asked me to explain a little further. At that point I hadn’t put much thought into it at all, but I just said this: “Just less junk. Less spending. Less debt. Less weight. Less pride. Less drama. In order to receive more. More freedom. More love. More community., etc.”
And it has stuck with me. I can’t shake it.
So far in 2015 less has meant better budgeting. Less has meant, just today, saying no and canceling my trip to Austin, TX to go to the IF Gathering in February. And it makes me sad. But after two months of struggling with whether or not to go to the conference, I finally feel 100% at peace with the decision. I feel sad, but at peace. It was just the right thing to do with all the circumstances.
I have a feeling less is going to mean saying no to good things in order to make way for better things. And I do believe that. I believe there are incredible things going on with IF Gathering, and I would love to be there with every fiber of my being. However, with my circumstances and my circle of influence, will it make a greater impact for me to go to Austin and experience the conference first-hand or will it be better for me to stream it from home and have some friends over to experience it with me? One thing I’ve found is that just about everything is better with your friends and community.
So I’m saying less.
And I’m hoping for so much more this year than I ever have.