Saturday, August 29, 2009

Did you feel that?

It was only 77 degrees this morning! Praise God! 7 miles with great company and a nice and easy pace provided me with a most excellent run today.

And cooler temps are in the air!

I felt great this morning. Tried to keep an easy pace for my running partner who is trying his hand at heart rate training. As I told him, if you need someone to help slow you down, I am your girl!

I've been doing many of my runs alone this summer trying to get used to the mentality of the longer distances when most of the time, you are by yourself. Sometimes it is nice to be alone, sometimes it is nice to be with others. Today was very enjoyable being part of the pack. Loved it!

We start our full school load on Monday and with that I pray I am more consistent in my weekday workouts. I've let these slip with all that has been going on around the house and I am starting to notice the difference. Time to crack the whip on myself!

Get out and enjoy the weekend, no matter what you do!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bean's Next Chapter Begins

Marian Hall, Bean's home away from home

Last Wednesday, I had the beautiful blessing of being able to accompany Bean to her new "home" away from home.

Franciscan University is an absolutely beautiful campus which sits upon a hill in the middle of Steubenville, Ohio. It truly gives meaning to the term, "a city upon a hill". We feel so blessed that Bean has the opportunity to attend Franciscan University! It is a beautiful campus, with even more beautiful souls that see to the education of our young people. If you ever have any doubt that the Catholic Christian Faith is alive, look no further than Franciscan! These students are on fire for Christ, for the Eucharist, and for His Word! Knowing that she is there with so many that she already knows and is making new friends daily, offers comfort that a mother can appreciate.

The weeks leading up to this moment have been filled with many different emotions, from fear and anxiety, to pride and excitement. It was a strange place of limbo really. Not too sure how to balance the need to see her friends and our need to spend time together as a family. Admittedly, I did not handle it very gracefully. Most of the time and when I was really wanting to snuggle up on the couch with her, I would react with frustration and even anger to hear that she was going out with her friends again. I tried to tell myself that this is all a normal part of breaking away from us. Everyone tried to reassure me of this as well, but it did not make it feel any better.

The Rosary Garden

Again, I was reminded of St. Monica and her unwaivering faith, her unceasing prayer life. I asked for her intercession many times this summer, not because Bean was out living the life that St. Augustine did before his conversion, but because I needed to rely on the faith that God knows her better than I and that I should begin to turn her back over to Him. I thanked Him as I drove away on Sunday after our last afternoon together. Thanked Him for the opportunity to have been entrusted with her for the last 18 years.

I knew when I took this picture, she was ready for me to leave.

I am still learning to let go. It is not easy. For that I am grateful. I don't ever want to be that person that is happy to see their child leave. I am excited for what the future holds for them, and I question whether or not we've given them the tools they will need for this uncertain world we live in. I rest in the knowledge that they have a deep love for Christ. And if they always remember that, they will find their way.

I have found this experience to be less about saying goodbye to her but more about an interior look at how I have done as a mom. I know that I haven't done things perfectly, and I am ok with that. I believe whole-heartedly that preparing our children for their adult lives is an opportunity for us to sanctify ourselves, draw us closer to the Father, and learn to fully Trust what He promises us.

Bean and her sweet roommate, couldn't have asked for a better match!

Come what may, Lord, I am ready, only if You are with me!

A Dream realized! Amen!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Summer of Change

Life is never stagnant and is always in motion. Therefore, it is always and ever-changing. Sometimes it seems as though nothing is really happening and then one day you wake up and realize that everything has changed!

This summer of 2009 has definitely been full of big changes. Confirmations, Proms, Graduations, Birthdays, College, Babies. Probably some of the most significant of those changes are the additional titles that I have been blessed to receive.

My newest one will be Nana by way of our oldest daughter's first baby! Or Grandma, or whatever this sweet angel who is set to make his/her appearance in early 2010 decides to call me. For now, I will call myself Nana because that is what my mom was to my children, and my grandmothers were to me. It just seems to fit.

Bean has completed her journey as a homeschooler/highschooler and is set to embark upon a new career as a Freshman at Franciscan University. We also celebrated her 18th birthday in June which seems to open up a whole new world merely because of a number.

I know that she is going to be just fine out there in the world, but I can't help but worry. It's just how I am made! The quote that keeps popping up in my mind as I travel this new path is, "You pray, let God worry!" I like that. I think I'll keep it! Will I practice it? That is yet to be seen.

Bean and I will leave next week to travel to Ohio and get her settled into her dorm. While I look forward with great anticipation to some cooler temperatures with less humidity, I am not very excited about leaving one of my children behind as I come back home.

My 44th year started with great celebration. I love being surrounded by my family and friends. I realized this past weekend that I am not only going to miss Bean terribly, but many of her wonderful friends that I have come to know and love will be heading off to various locales as well and the ones that will stay close to home probably won't be visiting as much anymore. I wish I could adopt them all as my own! I will miss each one of them and pray each day for them.

My running has been a total sham this summer so far. I think with all that is preoccupying my mind, my heart just isn't in it. I've battled scheduling issues, sick children, and my own lack of motivation. I am running some, but not the amounts that I need in order to properly train for anything at this point. I am hoping that September will provide me a shot of spunk to get it in gear.

Another change we have made around the F-Troop home is that we have decided to go Vegan to try to clean up our diets and hopefully put an end to the never-short-on-supply allegies that some of us seem to be plagued with. It has been interesting preparing different foods, shopping in areas of the grocery store that we never knew existed!

We have been following The Engine 2 Diet and plan to stick with it for the suggested 28 days. Some of us will continue with it past the 28 days, others may decide to add in a few of the old favorites from time to time.

I suppose the goal of all change is to find the lessons in them that we can take away with us. Change brings us closer to the person we strive to be, and that which changes will most probably change again.

Enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chapter 44

I've been wrestling with the idea of closing down my blogs due to a number of reasons for the past few months.

I've decided that rather than discontinue the blogging (one family/faith-related, one running) I will combine them! Funny how things come full circle. At one time I only had my family blog and decided that people that were reading about my running were probably not all that interested in my family/faith journey and vice-versa so I created my running blog. Keeping up with both of them and the rest of life has proved to be a losing battle. If I have to choose between living life and writing about it, living it will win every time. Hands down.

Well, here I am, beginning Chapter 44 of my life, and I guess I've decided that it's time to stop segmenting my life into compartments. My life has changed quite a bit since 2005 when I began Cirque de Moi. My life is still busy, but I don't look at it as a circus so much anymore. It is a beautiful ride. Full of ups and downs, twists and turns.

I've dubbed this blog, Running Towards Him because that is what I hope to do. Sometimes gracefully, usually not. So, if you've followed my links from the old blogs to the new, here I am. All of me. Well maybe not ALL of me, but you get the idea.

I will share about my life. My kids. My faith. My running. I hope you enjoy the ride!