Thursday, November 15, 2018

Behind the Blog: She Runs By Faith

How much can change in 5.5 years, really? Turns out, a lot.

APR 2013

Almost 26-year-old me started this blog as a writing outlet to jot down thoughts about my faith, brand new motherhood, running. As a journaler since my elementary years, having a blog was only natural.

I was on maternity leave with my one-month-old baby boy, who had arrived 5 weeks earlier than his due date. Hubs was finishing his degree, soon to graduate and celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I worked as a corporate graphic designer. Our house was small yet cozy, approximately the size of a two-bedroom apartment.

That house fit our little family perfectly as we navigated a season of much newness.


Flash forward to now,

NOV 2018

Thriving in the 30's, I'm 31 years young. Considered old by some but still viewed as too young to know anything by many. Still writing, just from the perspective of a not-as-new mom that still loves Jesus and a good run. I do drink more coffee than I did 5 years ago. There are now three wild boys running our halls, in thankfully a bigger house; ages 1, 3, 5. When people say our current house is small, I just laugh inside. Clearly they hadn't seen our last place!

6 years of marriage, moving, new career for my hubs. Loving on these littles and homeschooling Kindergarten is my full-time gig.
Crazy but I love it. I may be a little crazy myself.


The Blog: She Runs By Faith

I felt the nudge to redesign and ran with it; quickly, too. My blog's name and design needed to fit the mission. Prayed, brainstormed, designed and BAM!

Hello, She Runs By Faith


The name cuts right to the chase: I am "she". That she does often "run". And, every single thing I do, everything, is done "by faith" and my faith is in God alone.
"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." Hebrews 11:3
Making the time to write has been harder to do with a growing family. Lack of time isn't the main cause of this writer's block though; it's feeling incompetent. The more kids we have, the more I am reminded of how little I know. There are so many curve balls in life, often I feel inadequate, but by faith and in the Lord's strength I'm doing this. Baby steps. Every day.

And so I will keep writing real life thoughts about real life things. The beautiful moments and absolute chaos that is motherhood, a heart overflowing with love while simultaneously feeling completely overwhelmed. And running. The pushing of physical limits that somehow serves as a de-stressor, stirring that inner competitive fire, running after goals that weren't even conceivable 5 years ago. Because doing hard things is fun and sweating is good for you.

... For someone with a writer's block, this post is becoming quite long-winded!

This is me most days. At least one child attached to my body. Wearing leggings or my favorite jeans. A nurse-able top. Hair up because baby still pulls it out. Carrying at least one book, leaving a trail of pens wherever I go. Always looking for a lost pacifier.


The life of faith is a blessed but not bump-free journey. Living for Him is choosing the narrow road and pressing on with that eternal hope and perspective, despite resistance and criticism from this world. Oh, there will always be criticism on this side of heaven and plenty of it! Living by faith is not easy (especially for a people-pleaser by nature, like me) but the eternal reward outweighs any earthly discomforts now.
"Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.  Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation." Hebrews 11:1
"By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight." Hebrews 11:33-34
In spite of feeling ill-equipped, God continues to turn my weaknesses to strength so that I can love by faith, teach by faith, write by faith, walk by faith.

Then again, why walk when you can run?


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Friday, November 9, 2018

A Closer Look at the Rocketbook Everlast

I'm an avid note taker and journaler. Think piles of old journals, sticky notes, sketchbooks, notes in the margins, lists here, lists there.

Recently I was introduced to a new way of note taking in the form of a reusable notebook and, honestly, I was skeptical. Could there be anything better than a traditional ole notebook?

Enter the Rocketbook Everlast.

How to Use This Smart Notebook

The Everlast is a reusable "smart notebook" which enables you to take notes using a specific pen, the Pilot FriXion pens or markers.


Prior to using my notebook, I downloaded the Rocketbook app on my iPhone. It was quick, painless and has very positive ratings in the App Store as well.


After downloading, I went straight to business with the Pilot FriXion Clicker (3-pack for $7 on Rocketbook.com) that Rocketbook sent me. As I mentioned earlier, Pilot FriXion pens and markers are the only writing utensils to be used on the Everlast and replacements and/or different styles and colors are available in stores.


I wrote my fancy test message and allowed the ink to dry for at least 15 seconds to prevent smudging. Sidenote: FriXion ink disappears at over 140°F, so if left in a hot car, the writing may appear faded. Place in freezer for 20 minutes to bring back your writing. Cool! Literally.


Next I opened the Rocketbook App on my phone and scanned in my notes. If you have numerous pages of notes in your Rocketbook, this scan brings in all of the images at the same time. That is a big timesaver as you don't need to page through and scan each page individually.


The bottom icons allow you to either delete, rotate, save or comment on your notes. I saved my test message and it was instantly available in the photo gallery on my phone.


Time to erase! I used the microfiber towel that came with my Everlast though a paper towel works fine, too. After dampening the towel with water, the ink was easy to wipe off the page. Allow the page to dry completely before writing again.

The pen doesn't work well on even a slightly damp page and it may damage the surface of the page. So I'll repeat: allow page to dry completely. (Can you tell  I broke that rule myself?) Then write to your heart's content!


My final thoughts on this reusable smart notebook are very positive. The smart notebook won't replace my simple journals that I keep long term, as it's not recommended to keep FriXion ink on the pages for over a month, but it will definitely have its purpose in my short term note taking.

The Everlast, paired with the Pilot FriXion Clicker pen, is an excellent tool for those everyday notes, jotting down lists and even sketching new design concepts to be sent directly to my phone and then texted/emailed/etc thereafter. It's basically a mini scanner that's easy to bring anywhere and I have been very impressed!

The Rocketbook Everlast is available for $34.00 on GetRocketbook.com.

*Disclaimer: I was sent a Rocketbook Everlast from Rocketbook in exchange for my honest review.*

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Scoobtober 10k Recap | Scooby Doo Virtual Run Series

Disclaimer: I received a complementary entry into the Scooby Doo Virtual Run Series in exchange for my review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Without battling traffic while traveling for hours, paying outrageous amounts for a hotel stay or waking up at crazy early hours, we completed a race series. My dog, Saul, and I participated in the Scooby Doo Virtual Run Series from the comfort of our own small town and on our own schedule!

This run series included the Doo Good 5k in September and the Scoobtober 5k/10k in October. We covered the miles at our own pace, which was perfect for our team as Saul is an elderly ole boy and I have been recovering from a hip flexor injury myself.

For more on the Doo Good 5k, check out my post here.
This is a quick run down of our Scoobtober 10k experience:


October in northern Minnesota started a tad bit snowy, then fall weather returned and then the rain. Rain, rain, rain. Needless to say, running with my four-legged-running-buddy was a bit spotty. We put on some miles walking with the kids in the stroller and biking. Some days, Saul joined me for the warm up on my longer runs.

I was starting to doubt we would hit the 6.2 mile mark by the October 31st deadline but slowly, steadily, we did it!


We finished our Scoobtober miles just in time and shortly after, our race swag arrived in the mail. I received the Official Scoobtober Backpack, Scoobtober Virtual Run Finisher Medal and Digital Finisher Certificate. Because I had opted in for the dog add-on, Saul received his own race swag that includes Scoobtober Dog Bandana and Doggie Medal/Tag.


He seemed to enjoy his Scoobtober bandana and medal for this race. Purple is definitely his color. (Yes, he's blind in one eye, if you're wondering)


My First Virtual Run Experience

The ease of deciding for yourself where, when, and how far to run throughout the race's timeframe makes the virtual run an appealing race option. Especially for new runners or those new to the racing world, a virtual run takes the stress out of race day while still motivating you to get out the door (or onto the treadmill)!

Did I mention all three of the Scooby Doo Virtual Run Series medals are huge?! They certainly went big on those - well done, Scooby Doo Run, well done!

The one thing I feel is missing from a virtual run experience is the running community, which also happens to be one of the top reasons I love racing. Now a fun solution to that would be completing the virtual run series with your local running club or RBF (running best friend) and their pups. That is a virtual race experience I would love! Add the community to the virtual run and I'm on board.

For someone looking to sign up for their first-ever virtual run like me, the Scooby Doo Run Series is the perfect one to start with. Participating was a breeze, logging your miles is stress-free and the race swag is EXCELLENT!

Even better, bring your pup along for the run. The doggy add-on option was totally worth it.



Which, if any, virtual runs have you completed?


My Weekly Wrap

Easing back into running after a groin pull/hip flexor strain in mid-August.

SUN: Off, sick.

MON: Cycling 10 mi 00:34 17.6mph pace

TUES: Treadmill Run 3.26 mi 00:30 09:12 pace

WED: Hip and core strength training

THURS: Treadmill Run 3.26 mi 00:30 09:12 pace

FRI: Cycling 10.05 mi, 00:30 @ 20.1mph pace with arm strength during and plank routine at night.

SAT: Power cleaning and rearranging!

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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Permission to Dream

Our oldest boy shared his dream with me this week. "I want to play my guitar on a stage in front of a bunch of people someday, mom," he said as he strummed away.

My heart felt so proud.

Watching our boys' first steps and hearing their first words have been such precious milestones. Now hearing a dream take shape and be shared, that's something new. He's 5.5 years old now and sounding more like a young man now than the teeny tiny baby boy he once was.

Hearing the dreams that God has placed on his heart makes my heart soar.


My dreams, on the other hand, make me feel selfish. Should a mom, especially of littles, have dreams of her own? In so many ways, I am "living the dream" of loving my family and teaching/learning along side them. This life of learning is a dream of mine, and there's a few other dreams brewing as well.

I read two key posts that gave me new insight into dreaming as a mom.

One:

Author Dani Pettrey's guest post (find it here) plucked the thoughts straight out of my mind and she provided encouragement I have been dying to hear, little did I know it. Simply the permission to dream.
"Having dreams of your own don’t make you less of a mom, they make you a more interesting one.

Having dreams doesn’t ruin your homeschooling environment; you get to learn alongside your kids.

Having dreams doesn’t make you selfish; they make you the creative, unique, multi-dimensional person God created you to be.

Why do I mention these things? Because as a homeschooling mom pursuing my dreams, I, unfortunately, heard them all. Seriously. People are not always encouraging of dreams, especially if they are too scared to pursue their own." Dani Pettrey, wife, former homeschooling mom and author

Be creative alongside my children, pursue these dreams, do the research, put in the work. I can do that. I can continue jotting in my "Believe" Training Journal and developing my writing without feeling like a bad mom for doing so.

Permission to dream. It feels nice.



Two:

I finally read "Let's Break the Internet" (a free guide for anyone creating anything online.) and 6 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer by one of my favorite author-bloggers, Erin Loechner at Design for Mankind. Her advice is simple and powerful.


That's what I've been working on. "Stirring the pot" on some of the big dreams I have.

One is the blog re-design. Maybe you noticed? Maybe you didn't. No worries, if you didn't ;) I started blogging 5.5 years ago and it was time to create something that fit me better right now. The new name --> "She Runs By Faith". {More on the story behind the name to come!}

Teaching my children, enjoying classic books with them and seeing the beauty in education alongside them is a dream I'm living right now. One I didn't realize I had until God called us to this place! This one is by far my most exhausting dream, but also the most rewarding.

And then there's that running goal I'm chasing. Sub-3:00 marathon is where I would like to be someday but a 3:15 is the first step. My injury in August caused my goal race plans to fall apart, but one can't give up that easily on a dream. There's alway another race.

That's where I'm at now.

Taking steps of faith, loving and living where I'm at, and giving myself permission to dream. And, most importantly, this:
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Q: What crazy dream are you taking steps toward today?


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Monday, October 22, 2018

Invisible Mama

Writing heart stuff is hard. It's something I have been avoiding for quite some time.

1 year 7 months, to be exact, since my last dose of #reallife motherhood in blog form. So much is on my heart yet it's hard to find the words these days. Emotions are tough. I launched this blog years ago not to solely write on fun, easy topics but to hit the hard ones that are more difficult to articulate. This one has been on my heart lately and I know it's worth writing out.

....................

Invisible Mama.

She’s not really a person but more so a feeling. A feeling of giving and giving and giving until there's nothing left. You're not even sure who is left, she's almost unrecognizable.

But that’s silly, because I know who I am, right? I am a daughter of the King, the Bible says so. But when I hit that point of emotional exhaustion, I lose sight of that truth and struggle to believe that Someone does in fact care about me. And with an even greater love than I have for my own children. How is it even possible?


Mom. Hey mom!
Mom. Can I have _____?
Mama. Hey, mama! Mom. MOM!
Mama, go away! You're a meanie!
MAMMAAAAAA!!!! WAAAAAA! Curty’s getting my stuff!
Mommy, I love you. You're a nicey.

I love, love, love those sweet little voices to absolute pieces. And I have never been more emotionally exhausted in my entire life. It's the ups and downs of a three-year-old's mood swings. An independent five-year-old with the 'tude of a teenager. And our busiest baby yet.

Admitting a struggle is something I often avoid for fear of appearing ungrateful for the blessings in my life or of appearing to be a whiner, because someone always has it harder. Which is true, someone does always have it harder.

How did the women of the olden days hold it all together? I often think of how tough they were. How they didn’t get breaks ever and husbands were rarely involved in caring for children. How tired those mamas must have been because, heck, they didn't even have dishwashers back then!

Do you think Caroline Ingalls ever complained? Sometimes I wonder. (Caroline is a book I hope to read someday)

Today I feel exhausted and, yes, a bit invisible but I am doing my best to practice contentment and put on a happy face. All of the potty accidents (1), dirty diapers (like 8) and barf (1) today will be something I will look back on and laugh someday. Maybe.

It's quite possible I’m not the only mama who feels invisible from time to time and there is a way through this. Knowing that these efforts of investing into the souls of our children are not in vain, but in fact carry eternal value breathes new life into my spirit. It really does.
 “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:9-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬
This is our mission field. God Himself sees the effort we are putting in, the good we are doing and the seeds of faith we are planting day in and day out — even if it feels as though no one else does. He sees them and He promises that we will reap a harvest of blessing!

IF. That's a big "if".

IF we do not give up.

To the mama who feels invisible, and I write this as much for myself as for anyone else, know that YOU are in a MINISTRY right at this very moment, and a very demanding (and messy) one at that.

Motherhood is a ministry. You are making disciples. You are sowing seeds of faith and love. It may take some time (read: years, possibly decades) to see the fruit, but planting those seeds of faith while remaining rooted in God’s Word is Kingdom work and making an eternal difference.

Continue planting those seeds of faith and pressing on.
DO take a nap, if possible, or go to bed earlier than usual.
DON'T feel bad for asking for help.
You can ditch the mom guilt, too. That would help a ton.

You may feel invisible but you are not alone.
Stay faithful & don’t give up.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

What's in the Hopper for October?

Disclaimer: I received a complementary entry into the Scooby Doo Virtual Run Series in exchange for my review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Let me do a magic trick. Here's a bunch of snow... and then TADA! Now have 60 degrees and sunshine to make it all disappear! That's what's up in northern Minnesota this week and I'm not complaining one bit.

I did get in a snowy run on Sunday but now the kids and I have been thoroughly enjoying this more Fall-like weather. As soon as we finished school this morning, we all headed outside and nearly forgot to come in for lunch! It's just THAT amazing out.


While there is plenty of action in our daily family life, my running calendar is a whole lot less exciting. What IS exciting is that after two months of healing/rehabbing, my hip flexor strain is improving by leaps and bounds.

I dabble in a run here and there, not covering many miles nor hitting record speeds. This injury break has been very low-key and I plan to stay in this not-training-for-anything mode through the rest of this year. Though my hopes for fall goal races ended abruptly this year, I'm enjoying the days God has given me right now and am looking forward to good things to come. My "Believe" Training Journal came in the mail this week and braining storming my goals + dreams has been a great encouragement!


My October running calendar isn't completely empty though! My pup and I did complete the Doo Good 5k back in September and now we're moving on to the Scoobtober 5k/10k this month. The Scooby Doo Virtual Race Series has been a great motivator to keep me out and about, even though that injury stole much of my motivation, and Saul (dog) can use a little extra exercise too.

Saul, the kids, and I have put on a few miles already towards our Scoobtober 10k goal. If this beautiful break in the weather sticks around, I anticipate us completing the distance soon. October 31st is the deadline to get the Scoobtober miles completed!

Want to join in the virtual run experience? You can register for the Scoobtober 5k/10k from now through October 20th. Registration for the Scoobtober Run is $39 for humans and a $15 Add-On for any canine participants.  Join in our next virtual race adventure and click HERE to register: Use discount code BIBRAVE for 10% off registration!



What challenge are you chasing this October?

P.S. How adorable are all of the Doo Good 5k BibRave Pro Pups below?! Thank you, Katy @ Run Katy Run, for making this adorable picture round-up!


My Weekly Wrap

Easing back into running after a second degree groin pull/hip flexor strain in mid-August.

SUN: 6.05 mi, 00:52 @ 08:35 pace. Had to go out for a run in the sleet and snow!

MON: Cycling 10 mi, 00:32 @ 19.0mph pace. Cycling while finishing “The Neverending Story”. Kicking it old school ;)

TUES: 00:25 Runner's Yoga on YouTube

WED: Easy Run 3.53 mi, 00:30 @ 08:32 pac after a walk/run with the kids + dog + big kid on bike (that's always interesting, we only made it .63 of a mile). My hip flexor is feeling much better though I'm still looking to run only a few times a week at least til December. The goal is to get completely healed up so this doesn't linger through marathon training in 2019.

THURS: Yardwork and a walk with the kids because it's in the 60's and sunny again!!! Goodbye snow, for now.

FRI: TBD

SAT: TBD


Let's Connect!





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Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Doo Good 5k Recap | Scooby Doo Virtual Run Series

Disclaimer: I received a complementary entry into the Scooby Doo Virtual Run Series in exchange for my review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Hey all, I'm here to give you a quick post-race update on the Doo Good 5k! My dog, Saul, and I competed the Doo Good Virtual 5k in September, which was a first for both of us — his first race ever and my first virtual race. (For more deets on this virtual series, check out my post from last month)


The virtual race experience was very laid back which was beneficial especially when running with an elderly dog. We broke the 5k distance up into two different run-walks and fit in the miles whenever it worked with our schedule. He's a pretty important guy with a busy schedule, after all!

Our Doo Good 5k race swag arrived via mail on October 8th. Very exciting! For completing the race, I received a shirt and medal. Saul received the add-on dog swag which included a bandana and his very own medal.


The race shirt is super comfy and a pretty medal is always nice, in my opinion. As for Saul, he was okay with it, but wasn't super impressed with being "dressed" in anything. I mean, look at that stink eye he's giving my camera man!


The human medal is some serious hardware! It's big and the center spins. Very impressive for a 5k.


If you're a little bummed about missing the Doo Good 5k deadline, fear not! The Scooby Doo Virtual Run Series has ONE MORE race in the hopper running from October 1 - 30, The Scoobtober 5k/10k.

Joining in is simple! All you need to do is sign up for the Scoobtober 5k/10k here by October 20th, complete the distance of your choice between now - Oct 31, and then post your photo to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #ScoobyDooRun and #DooGood.

Running with a dog isn't a requirement, of course, but it certainly makes it more fun!

After completing the race, humans will receive an Official Scoobtober Backpack, Scoobtober Virtual Run Finisher Medal and Digital Finisher Certificate. Canine participants once again will receive their own race swag that includes Scoobtober Dog Bandana and Doggie Medal/Tag!

Registration for the Scoobtober Run is $39 for humans and a $15 Add-On for any canine participants.  Join in our next virtual race adventure and click HERE to register: Use discount code BIBRAVE for 10% off registration!


How adorable are all of the BibRave Pro + Pup teams below?! Thank you, Katy @ Run Katy Run, for making this adorable picture round-up!


What races are on your calendar this Fall?