Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We finished!

well...our 1/2 marathon, that is. We just spent the past week meeting with people in Cedar Falls and were encouraged by the Lord's provision in many small ways. We enjoyed some good time with family and running the Sturgis Falls (Cedar Falls' local festival) races turned out to be a family activity.

Matt and I, along with my brother, Jeff, and cousin, Lora, all ran the 1/2 marathon. My cousins Nick and Jennifer ran the 5K. My dad served as the race director (which he's done for the past 9 years), my mom organized the kids fun run with the help of my aunt, Deb, and my uncle and grandpa helped run a water stop along the race course. Overall, we had fun running alongside 1000+ runners on what turned out to be a beautiful Sunday morning.

As great as it felt to cross the finish line, I'd have to say the weeks of training are really what I learned the most from. This wasn't my first half marathon...but it was my first with Matt and my first in about 5 years. I loved the discipline of building up our weekly mileage and loved the avenues that running together gave Matt and I to encourage each other. I was also struck at the beginning of the race by the image of 1000 heads bobbing along together and then, even as people spread out throughout the race, by the fact that we were never running alone. People called out encouragements as they passed each other - people who had never met, but were united through the experience of running together on that muggy morning. My mind went to Hebrews 12:1-2

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith..."

What a great image of perseverance in the faith! I've thought back on those moments in the last 3 mile stretch various times in the past two days as we continue to trust God for our support by Aug. 4. We're not alone...we have amazing people supporting us through prayer that we might continue to run this race with endurance. Thank you! Please continue to pray...we are so grateful for you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

May/June update

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Monday, June 14, 2010

home from the hills...

We just had the privilege of spending the weekend in the Black Hills with some friends from church...it was so refreshing to see the uniqueness of God's creation and enjoy spending time with some great people.... I really enjoy connecting with God through nature and through people so I'm feeling especially blessed that I got to enjoy both together. The pics above are both from Spearfish Canyon near Spearfish, SD. Roughlock Falls is in the pic with Matt and I.

I also wanted to give a quick update on where we're at with our goal of finishing by August 4. The Lord has been teaching me a lot about believing without seeing with my physical eyes. I've been reading the Exodus story in Exodus and was struck by how often the Israelites immediately stopped believing because they couldn't tangibly see God's provision even though the day before He parted the Red Sea...just imagine...like, really stop and think about the enormity of that...they walked through a tunnel in the sea and starting doubting the next day. I'm not so different...

Matt and I have 'celebration' times every Friday morning to recount the blessings the Lord has given us throughout the week and this past week I was amazed as we looked back and remembered all the unique connections He'd allowed us to make in just a weeks time. In the moment of trial, however, I so quickly forget these things...just like the Israelites. Thanks for continuing to pray with us...the Lord is providing...tangibly even. And He's teaching me about walking by faith and not by sight.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nothing worth anything ever goes down easy...

"on and on and on we go; I don't understand this winding road...nothing worth anything ever goes down easy..."

I (Kristin) listened to those words from a Mat Kearney song yesterday as I spent a 1/2 day with the Lord (we get two of these per month as part of our job!) Of course the immediate application that came to my mind was related to our current phase of ministry - developing our team of ministry partners. We've been in this phase for the past 10 months, since Matt completed his new staff training with Campus Crusade. As I reflected on the 10 months, I certainly can't say they were easy....but I can say that they've been worth it. My understanding of God's love and faithfulness has deepened in ways I don't believe it would have apart from this specific season of ministry. I've learned more about the painful, but oh so necessary, discipline of letting God and truly trusting God and believing that He is working out all things for the good for those who love Him as Romans 8:28 says. Not that I've arrived in any of these areas...but I've definitely grown.

Here's another area of growth for me...setting faith goals and praying towards them. I shy away from these goals too often out of fear that God's plans might be different than my hopes and that after weeks or months of praying, I'm left wondering what went wrong. In the spirit of trusting God and releasing control to our Sovereign Lord, we felt He was leading us to put our hopes on the line and trust Him for something big. We are currently at 70% of our total financial goal in order to report to campus. We're praying that God would provide the remaining 30% by August 4...would you join us?

So that's our faith goal. August 4 may come and go without us hitting 100% and I will still fully believe that God used the months of diligent prayer to grow our trust in Him. Or August 4 may find us at 100% and ready to start the fall semester in the Mankato, MN area....God knows...may His name be greatly glorified!

Thank you for praying with us...I will post updates on where we're at as we trust God with this faith goal. Blessings.

April update

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