Thursday, November 21, 2013

Running Tired...

I am tired.  All of our programs work on a January-December cycle so we are nearing the end of another year of hard work.  It seems this time of year I need more sleep and find myself yawning more than normal! When I was up country last week I could see it in our staff too-everyone is moving a bit slower, many of our staff are getting sick and everyone is trying hard to push through this last month.  When I came back home I could see it in the staff here in Monrovia too-even my boys are tired and looking forward to a break from school!  This is the time of the year where the rubber meets the road-can you push through and finish strong through the exhaustion?

How I feel...
 What I need to remind myself...
Yes, there is still a month left of trainings, programming, reporting and assessments.  There is still work to get done-and I can't give in and start shutting down.  Sometimes to keep moving forward we need to take a look back and see what has been done-how far we have come, to know that the finish is getting closer!  
 Looking in the review mirror to see how far you have come-helps us push to the finish.

It's like when you are running and you are so tired-the end is in sight but all you want to do is literally crumple on the road and sleep on the ground.  But, when you think about your training, how far you have come and how you will regret quitting when you are so close to the finish-you can't help but to keep running-no matter how tired your legs are.  
The last couple of trips to projects I have had the opportunity to see many of the amazing things that God has allowed us to do this year-the lives that have been changed and the hard work our staff have put in.  Here are some highlights (photo's by Joni Byker and Theresa Blankers):

Well technician Ju and community members with their new well

Community Development Facilitators (CDFs) Andrew and Henrietta in Ngalhun 1 where they live teaching Bible and health lessons.

Literacy classes-teaching women to read, write and do math.

Amara from our sheep and goat program distributing animals to community members.

Cpt. Roy filling up the chopper with Christmas Shoe boxes-taking them out to the jungle to...

kids like this little girl! :)

It's time for the final 'kick' in our race to the finish. It's time to see how much work has been done, to see God's faithfulness throughout the year-and now kick it up a notch to finish strong.  In Hebrews 12:1 the end of verse says "...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." It's a great reminder to keep on the road that God has us on-persevere not matter how tired we are!

Right now I am in the middle of training for an ultra-marathon.  No, it's not a sanctioned race-but something that I have wanted to do for a while.  Run farther than a marathon.  So in January, co-worker, friend and fellow runner, Alisa and I are going to run from Voinjama to Foya.  Anyone that is familiar with this stretch of road knows that not only is it 43.75 miles/70km-but it is very, very hilly!  One of the biggest differences between training for a marathon and an ultra is the back to back LONG runs.  For example-last weekend while in Foya, our training schedule called for a Saturday run of 3 hours followed by a Sunday run of 3:40min. It's long, slow running so I don't get caught up in how fast I am going it's about time on my feet and finishing.  In those 2 days of running I covered 33 miles and burnt over 3300 calories in 6:40 minutes of walking for 3 minutes running for 12-whew!  Our longest back to back runs are a 4 hour run followed by a 5 hour run at the end of the month.  The idea is to get your body adjusted to running when you are tired, when your legs feel like jelly and you mentally have to find a whole other level of motivation.  After a long Saturday run, I soak in a cold bath, eat and drink as much as I can, nap and try not to think about running again the next day!  But you know what?  My body is adjusting-the training is working and just like work, even though I think and feel like I am tired I actually can keep pushing and finish stronger than I thought.
Mile and hour who knows what on my long Sunday run...

I may be tired going down hill to the finish-but there is always someone else with a bigger load heading up hill that is just as tired!

I am so thankful for all the amazing things God has done through our projects.  It has not been easy, but He promises never to leave us-He is with us until the very end.  It is up to me to keep moving forward, find another gear, start my final 'kick' and not give up when the finish line is so close.


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