A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘My friends rock

Funny, how life changes. Just like that. How things go up or down, in a single breath. I suppose that’s what life changing events are. Events that alter the course of everything.

Jonathan got a job.

Did you read that?

Jonathan got a job!

He started working this past week for Cisco. From home. Like, as in, he works in the other room. A-maz-ing. Seriously. And such a huge answer to prayer. Not only did God provide the best job, He provided the best job that allows us to stay connected as a family.

I just can’t get over it.

Not just the job part, really. I mean, that does completely blow me away. But, honestly, deep down, I can’t get over just how much God loves me. The past 9 months have been hard. Seriously, hard. I’ve wept. I’ve been lower than I thought possible. Life has felt like too much, felt too damn hard. I’ve failed repeatedly. I’ve hit rock bottom on many, many levels.

Yet, there, at the end, at the bottom, in the worst possible times, there He was. Whispering “I love you. You, Sarah, are Mine. I will stop at nothing to save you, to sanctify you. I, the God of All, love you, the woman with nothing.

Time and again, He’s shown His crazy love for me. Through my friends (oh, precious friends, you’ll never truly understand how you did more than I could ever repay), through His Word, through the church He gave me. It’s humbling to know that you are so loved, so cherished, so desired.

And part of it is terrifying. Terrifying that I’ll give my heart away to someone (or something) other than my beautiful, wonderful Jesus. But, (and what a strong word that is) BUT, He has sealed my heart. Even when I am prone to wonder, prone to leave the God I love, His love is strong enough to cover and seal me to Himself.

It’s a story worth repeating. And repeating. His love is strong enough. His love is everlasting. His love redeems. His love sets right. His love saves.

Here is by far my favorite hymn (sung by one of my favorite bands). My favorite lyric is ::

O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

 

Repeat the story. Repeat it over and over again. His love. His love. HIS LOVE.

Have you seen that new video of Louis C.K. and his rant on cell phones?  If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. In a nut shell, he aptly tells us to put away our cell phones and just be in the moment. Whether the moment is happy or incredibly sad, let those emotions wash over you. Allow that Jesus sized hole in your heart to radiate through your body. And he’s right. We really do need to stop filling our emotional needs with social media and the internet.

But can I tell you something?

Having a cell phone keeps me sane as a mother.

Like all mothers, I’ve used my phone as a “pacifier” at some point in the past 3 years. But frankly, our family views iPhone/iPad/tv watching as a right to be earned, so our kids don’t use it all that often. The chances of you seeing one of the Windham bambinos watching Daniel Tiger on my phone while we grocery shop is pretty much none {but I understand why mamas do it, so no judgement on my part}.

My cell phone keeps me sane because it connects me to my girlfriends. At the touch of a button, I can connect with a friend, send an SOS text, or just laugh at something hilarious a kid just said. Yesterday I sent out this text ::

TextMessage

My situation didn’t change after I sent out that message. In fact, because of a flat tire, Jonathan got home an hour later than expected. But, knowing I have women standing beside me, telling me that they understand and are right there with me, helps. A whole, whole lot.

And yesterday is just one example. Every day my cell phone keeps me connected to my mama friends who find ourselves on the brink of going completely cray-cray, letting each other know we aren’t alone. And it keeps me fighting. Keeps me grounded. Keeps me sane.

While Louis C.K. makes a valid opinion {and one I do strongly agree with}, I can guarantee you I won’t be giving up my phone any time soon.

 

All of us have an inner critic. A voice within that tells us we can’t achieve our goals, we can’t be victorious.

I spent yesterday morning silencing that voice within me that said I couldn’t finish a marathon. I did finish and it was great.  ::

MarathonFinish

I ran with my two friends, Adriane and Erika. The weather started off a bit chilly, around 40*, so we made sure to layer up. At Mile 6, we dropped our first layer with our support team. Then at Mile 8, I stripped down to my base layer and dropped it with our next support team.

Let me stop here to say something – This race, all the training, could not have happened if it wasn’t for the support of my amazing husband. Jonathan spent so many mornings taking care of our kids while I was out running. He spent hours Sunday tracking my progress on the course, finding spots to meet me so that he {and our kids and my brother} could shout and cheer for me.

The first 10 miles were nice and easy. I was in a good groove, felt mentally and physically good. At Mile 10, we stopped for water and GU. And that’s when I hit the runner’s wall. If you’ve run a marathon, or read about marathons, there is an infamous “wall” that runners hit. Most experts say it’s around 20 miles. Mine hit at 10 miles. But there’s a reason for that…

You see, I’ve run the Austin Half Marathon twice before. The first 10 miles of the course is the exact same as the marathon course. At Mile 10, you see this sign ::

MarathonSplit

On the right side of the street is a sign that says :: “13.1 —>” The last two years, I’ve always gone to the right. When I came up to the split, my body said “go left” my mind said “go right”. It was awful. I spent the next 3 miles struggling mentally to get over the idea that I could be done if I had just stayed right.

But I didn’t stay right. I went left. And I kept running.

After getting over that wall, I was able to regain my mental strength. I turned on some music and let myself get lost in the moment. Things went really well till around Mile 21. By this point, Erika had gotten a good break away, but Adriane and I were still together. We were starting to have some serious pain. We took a few walk breaks and even joked that our butts were on fire because our glutes hurt so much. Surprisingly though, the pain seemed to lessen when we ran {or maybe it didn’t lessen, we just ignored it}.

At Mile 22, we saw all our families and friends. It was so, so, SO good. It was the boost we needed to get us through the last 4 miles.

Mile 23-25 are nice downhill miles. See, most people think of Texas as being flat. Well… Austin is part of the Hill Country. And it is called the hill country for a reason. If you’ve ever been to Austin, you know that it is not a flat city and has some pretty nasty hills. Especially if you have to run them.

Having those two miles of easy, made running Mile 26 possible.

As we got closer to Mile 26, you can see one last steep hill in the distance. That hill is literally the only thing between you and the finish. You top that hill, take one right turn and you’ve crossed the finish line.

That hill. Oh that hill. That hill became the voice within that told me I couldn’t do this. After beating my body for 26 miles, that hill represented every person who said this wasn’t possible, every time I wanted to quit, every moment that seemed impossible. But I just made it possible. I just beat that hill and crossed the finish line. I just became a marathoner.

MarathonMedal

When I crossed the finish line, a flood of emotions erupted. I was yelling and shouting, yet nearly in tears. Six months of training for this one day. Incredible.

Now, here I am, on an ordinary Monday. I’m drinking my coffee and blogging. I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that I accomplished a life long dream yesterday, that I became a marathoner. It’s a bit overwhelming. But it’s a good overwhelmed.

Now, once my legs stop hurting, I’ve got another race to plan.

I’ve always dreamed of being a runner. When I trained and ran my first half marathon 3 years ago, I finally allowed myself to believe I was a runner. And while I day dreamed of pushing myself to run a full marathon, the idea of starting {and completing} a 26.2 mile race seemed like a monumental feat.

Not any more.

This Sunday, February 17th, I will be racing in the Austin Marathon.

Last summer, I convinced two of my closest girlfriends to train and race along side me. {Clearly, crazy gravitates to crazy.} We have spent the last 6 months training for two half marathons and now the Big Mama race this weekend.

Adriane, Erika and Me - post 18 mile run

Adriane, Erika and Me – post 18 mile run

Erika and Adriane have challenged and encouraged me. They have stood beside me through injury and flu {well, they kept their distance while I was sick, but did send sweet texts}.  They have pushed me physically and spiritually. Without them, this race wouldn’t happen.

Come next Sunday, I will proudly bare the title “Marathoner”. It has been an incredible experience, a journey of discovery – learning not just how much punishment my body can endure, but how much I need good community and how unbelievably faithful the Lord is when we commit our body and soul to Him.

Did you hear that? It’s crickets chirping. Please excuse the lack of posts lately. In all the craziness of life, our internet went out for nearly a week.

As I had promised, there is a lot of updating to share. First with why I was playing single mom for two+ weeks. Jonathan was accepted into the Cornell University Executive MBA program. It is a sixteen months program, that kick starts with a two week stay in New York. Once classes start {next week}, Jonathan will be doing the program via classroom satellite. He will go again to New York at the start of the next session, and one final trip at the end {next fall}. It’s an awesome opportunity for Jonathan, for his career, and for our family’s future. I am so proud of him and his ambition to continually push himself further and his desire to make the best decisions for our family.

The kids and I missed Jonathan something fierce while he was gone. The first few days were not too bad, but after the first week, everyone was ready for him to come home. Half way through the second week, the kids and I packed up and went to Houston for four days. My dear sweet college friend, Rabeea, got married. She is Pakistani, so we had the opportunity to dive into a new culture while we were there.

Traditionally, Pakistani weddings {and most southeast Asian weddings} last for several days. The first night was the maayun. This night is women only, and consists of dancing, eating and applying henna {which typically is done during the Mehndi, but was changed to this night}. Everyone wears traditional Pakistani clothing. Rabeea and her sisters let me borrow their older outfits. Rabeea’s sister, Aisha, actually gave me the one I’m wearing in this picture to keep for future events.

{Shambhavi – another college friend, Marium – Rabeea’s cousin from the UK}

The next night was the Mehndi. This is the party night. Both the bride and groom’s families attend as a introduction, or bringing together, of the families. Mehndis don’t typically start until late at night and go until the early morning. There is lots of dancing performed for the bride and groom, as well as a blessing given to them by all in attendance.

{Rabeea, Me, Shambhavi}

The following night {Saturday} was a “free night” and when we hosted a bridal shower for Rabeea. This was a nice low key event and a nice reprieve from the hectic schedule. Because my kids had stayed up so late the night before {until well after midnight!} they were all exhausted and fell asleep around 6:30.

Sunday was the actual ceremony, or the Shaadi. For the shaadi, all the bridesmaids wore saris that were made for us individually in Pakistan.

{Dimple, Shambhavi and me}

Shortly after the reception, I loaded the kids in the van and drove back to Austin. We arrived just before my brother and his family, who came to town for a few days. Having the cousins here was a nice distraction for the girls, as they were asking for Jonathan none stop by that point.

Jonathan got home super late Monday night. Our family left Wednesday mid-morning, and I am nursing myself back to health after catching a cold on Sunday.

The last few weeks have been quite the adventure, but I am thoroughly looking forward to some much needed down time.

What have you all been up to lately? I’ve missed you all!

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

As I round out the end of this pregnancy {just over 2 weeks till EDD}, I’m finding myself grumbling a lot more. Joseph is determined to already prove he is different from his sisters, and as such, has brought on some random, highly uncomfortable, end of pregnancy issues I never dealt with during my previous pregnancies. But really, I have so much to be grateful for, that grumbling just doesn’t seem right. I loved Alicia’s gratitude post and thought I’d do my own.

1. Cooler weather {specifically cooler nights} and being able to leave our windows open.

{photo credit}

2. Good friends who threw a Dr. Seuss themed baby shower for us.

3. Jonathan’s new job – Oh yeah, did I forget to mention Jonathan got a new job? Well, he did. And now he’s working two days from home {score!!}.

4. My daughters – Their lives, their laughter, their overwhelming love for each other.

5. Starting my Bible Study Fellowship class last week.

6. Having the energy to make homemade bread {I highly recommend this recipe}

7. My mom and her mothering {even when you’re nearly 30, it’s still nice having a mom who looks after you}.

8. Getting all the finishing touches taken care of in Joseph’s room.

9. Listening to the girls sing.

10. Julia’s constant request to hear David Crowder Band How He Loves Us – and the reminder of just how much He really does love us.

 

What are you grateful for this week?

 

Visit Amanda at Oh Amanda for more Top Ten Tuesday.

I came home from the store on Wednesday to find a nice little UPS box on my porch. When I opened it up, this is what I found ::

My friends, Leah and Amy, got me a rockin’ cool post-pregnancy gift. It’s a water belt used for running. You can’t see in this picture, but in addition to the awesome water bottles, there is this front pocket for your ID, keys, phone, etc. It’s a runner’s dream. Now I am even more super excited for my first post-Joseph run!

Then yesterday, I posted this picture with the caption “For all you curious minds, here’s my octo-mom rivaling, are you over due, must be twins, huge 36 week belly” ::

It was my tongue in cheek way of poking fun at all the crazy comments I’ve gotten lately. Because, dude, they have been rolling in daily. And while the comments are more face in palm than hurtful, reading so many sweet comments from my facebook/twitter friends really made my day.

Then, to round off the day, I scored us a free Domino’s pizza for dinner last night, thanks to Jill. And who doesn’t love free pizza and a night off from the kitchen?!

 

What Friday Joys do you have to share?


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