Monday, August 17, 2015

God-Sized Goals

As I write this, I am listening to Griffin and his friends watch a movie during his first sleepover. I am upstairs because I can't concentrate. I am simply at a loss for words, and if you know me, you know that doesn't happen often. Words are sort of my specialty. But right now, words are not enough for the emotions bubbling inside of me.

We did it. Through faith, prayer, family, and friends, I officially reached my $10,000 goal for 2015. In fact, I went over it. As of today, my fundraising page sits at $10,315, and I don't even know what to say.

But I am going to try.

Back in February, I decided to set a $5,000 goal. At the time, $5,000 seemed IMPOSSIBLE. Last year I raised $3,475, so going for a higher amount felt unattainable. But, I publicly announced $5,000 was my goal, and I was determined to do it. Then I went to Chicago for a conference with TWV leaders from across the country. It was there that God placed it upon my heart to change my goal to $10,000.

I didn't change it at first. I was scared. What would people say? Would people continue to donate year after year? Wasn't $5,000 enough of a goal? Would I really be "that" person and continually ask people for money. When I went back to school that Monday, I talked to one of my closest friends, Holly, about it. I was totally scared about how she would react, but she simply told me I should do it. Same thing happened when I told my friend Missy. So, I listened to the nudge from God, and I set a God-Sized Goal.

Slowly but surely, I received support from people left and right. Josh and Eric agreed to put on my benefit concert, and it was a smashing success. But even when I reached numbers I had never seen before, I doubted. Just LAST week, I was frustrated because I couldn't see how I would ever get from $7,000 to $10,000. Just last week I talked with Sinead about how I felt stuck. She told me to pray. And I did. I turned to the One who created the heavens and the earth. I asked Him to provide me with more fundraising ideas. I prayed for Him to put names upon my heart to ask. I felt like I had already asked everyone, so I even prayed for names of people I could bravely ask again.

The next day, without ever even asking a single person, a friend who had already donated got his company to donate to my page. Then that evening, a different friend donated for the second time this year. Then an anonymous donor gave a hefty amount. I NEVER said a word to anyone about my prayers. God simply answered them. And in less than 24 hours, my fundraising page jumped a $1,000.

And then today happened. Today a different family donated for a second time. Their generosity alone will provide FORTY people with clean water for LIFE. And just like that, my God-Sized Dream is no longer a goal. It is a reality.

To my friends and family who have listened to me talk and talk and talk about Team World Vision, THANK YOU! To my friends and family who donated, THANK YOU! To my friends and family who have physically supported me on my runs in a variety of ways, THANK YOU! To my friends and family who have prayed for me along the way, THANK YOU! To my friends and family who simply believed in me, THANK YOU. Words will never be enough.

Jesus is alive and well my friends. He is alive and well. And with Him, all things are possible.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Happy 9th Birthday, Griffin!

I have been pretending this day wouldn't come for weeks. Each birthday signifies that another year flew by, and I just have a hard time accepting that fact. How in the world are you going into 4th grade? Seriously, you were just born YESTERDAY!!!

Griffin, I write this post TO YOU because I know that soon enough you will be old enough to start reading this blog. You already enjoy the occasional scroll through my Facebook account, so it is only a matter of time before you start looking through this :)

It's hard to put into words how very proud I am of you. You are growing up to be more kind and compassionate than I ever hoped you to be. You love school, your brother, and anything that involves competition (wonder where you get that from?). You are more wise at 9 than most are at 30. And I am lucky to witness it.

Reading has been a passion of yours for a while, and this year has been no exception. You officially reread each Harry Potter book this year, and you are on Book 7 of How to Train Your Dragon. Sometimes I worry you read too fast, but you are always entertained :) Currently we are reading Wonder together; I am so blessed to be able to spend all summer with you, so we get to read it together often in the mornings. I am sad that we go back to school in just three weeks! Academically, you really took off this last year in math. Reading has always come naturally to you, but it appears that you might actually be better at math! This means Dad wants you to be an accountant, but somehow I know that is highly unlikely. Speaking of careers, you have oscillated between wanting to be a police officer and a teacher for quite some time. Recently, though, you announced that you want to work for Team World Vision when you are older. Dad and I agree that this is a perfect fit for you :)

This year you asked to go to Feed My Starving Children for your birthday party. How could we say no to that? So, next week, you will pack some meals with a few friends and have your VERY first sleepover! Technically we have had sleepovers with cousins and the Scalias, but this will be your first friends sleepover.

Tennis and running are still tied for #1 on your sports list, but you are going to play on your first soccer team this fall. I am not quite ready for anything that commits us to 3 days a week, but I really think you are going to love it. Running with you is still one of my all-time favorite activities. Now that you have your own GPS watch (birthday present this year), I can only imagine how much more competitive you are going to be with me! You have been staring at that watch since the moment you put it on :) You play football at recess, and you love the Green Bay Packers, but I don't see you playing any formal football soon.

One of my favorite things about being your mother is watching you take care of your little brother. The two of you can fight like the best of em', but at the end of the day, the two of you are the BEST of friends. You constantly have his back, and you often give something up to make him happy. This selfless love simply warms my soul.

I know I tell you this all the time, little man, but I am so very blessed to be your mommy. I cannot wait to see all that God has planned for your life. Dream Big. Be Bold. Love others.

I love you to the moon and back! Forever and a day.