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Hi!

Welcome to my blog! I write about faith in real life with real people. Sip on something yummy and stay awhile!

Expecting the Unexpected

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I don’t even know where to begin.

I want to tell you all a story.  I want to tell it well with a touch of poetry to my prose but the story is so big and still unfolding that I don’t even know how to or where to start.  I guess it starts here...

Ready to Run (so, if you haven’t read this yet and you find yourself wandering over to my page today I humbly ask that you skim the post above first...it will give you some context for what you are about to read.)

I’ve been running and running and running and every week from the beginning of July I ran further and further.  I began to run undaunted and unafraid of the increase in miles each week brought.  As I was running God was speaking.  He was speaking through my sweet friend who coached me; he was speaking through a butterfly that showed up every run that whispered, “transformation;” he was speaking through the pounding of the pavement; He was speaking through the physical pain and restoration my body went through after every long run.

I was listening.  I was learning.  I heard him.  One day, while running and talking I had an epiphany.  I wasn’t just, “afraid.”  I was afraid of pain.  I realized that I was concerned with the pain that comes with the things I fear most and because of that I let fear paralyze me.  So, every time I hurt after a run I felt like I was facing that pain and saying no to fear.  I felt like I was living a victory every time I ran another mile longer.

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On Monday, September 2nd I did 9 miles.  It was hard and awesome.  I felt like a rockstar when my Map My Run gal, we call her Gina, told us we hit 9 miles.  With crystalized sweat flakes on my face I came home on top of the world and couldn’t believe that God had brought me this far.

The day after my 9 miles I was exhausted and super hungry...the kind of hungry that leaves you a little bit nauseous all day because you just can’t get full.

Wednesday morning came with a short run and interval workout.  Meredith kicked my rear...again...and I left feeling tired, hungry and satisfied.  I was ready for a shower, a meal and normal Wednesday but God had other things planned.

And, isn’t it funny how we plan for normal?  Who wakes up on a Wednesday morning saying, God, how are you going to change my life forever today?  Most days are quite ordinary and only if we are looking hard enough can we find the extras.  This day was not like that at all.  This day was one of those days that the extra-ordinary stares you in the face and all you can do is swivel and swell in the shock and awe of it all.

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Two bright pink lines.

Two bright pink lines shocked us into awe that tired and hungry Wednesday.  You see, we hadn’t planned on seeing two bright pink lines of our own again.  Blessed with our Bug and our Little Man we decided that we would move forward as four and if God had more to add to our brood we would adopt them in as He brought them to us.

But two pink lines were not planned for that Wednesday.  Not at all.  As a matter of fact and mathematical calculations and all precautions taken, it was evident that those two pink lines were nothing short of a miracle.  A sweet miracle that would take us weeks to comprehend.

The morning after the two pink lines The Fly went for his first run in a long time.  He almost ran to Texas but decided to come home after all.  He came to my side of the bed as I began to emerge from dream-land.

“If for some reason you can’t run, I will run for you.”

Tears.

The next few days were a blur as we scrounged to see if we had any maternity coverage and as I prayed and asked God what to do about the race.

Monday morning, the morning before the evening we had planned to run 10. I prayed, called my doctor, and asked the big question.

“We strongly advise you to cease your training.”

Tears again.  I hung up the phone and laid out on the floor.  The Bug was in preschool and the Disney Jr. channel was watching the Little Man.  (I’m not totally proud of that...but that’s the truth.)

“I made a vow.  I made a vow.  Lord, what do I do...”

As I prayed I began see the Fly.  He had gone for another run that morning with a friend.  They had this crazy idea of growing out their beards and running in hot pink.  He came home and told me.  As I was praying I saw him with that beard.  Suddenly my mind flashed to the Nazarite vow.  When men would enter into the vow they would not cut their hair or shave.  I held on to that image and the only way I can describe it is that gentle waves began to wash over me.  Peace began to fill my heart.

It was like He was whispering to my heart that this was all part of His plan, not what I planned but what He had planned.

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The Fly began to run and grow some facial hair in honor of my vow and commitment.  I continued to walk and workout mostly so I could feel like I was still doing something.  But, really, the truth is that this man of mine loved me so much that He laid down his comfort and picked up where I couldn’t continue.

I went back in my journal to the day that I began to pray about running, the day I learned about what a Nazarite vow was all about.  I wrote this...

“Lord, the extraordinary thing I want is for me, Fly, our marriage, our ministry.”

Last spring as I prayed for our marriage...not because it was falling apart but because every real marriage needs prayer to sustain, let alone grow and flourish...I really sensed God was calling us to a season of partnership in ministry, doing things side by side for the Kingdom of God.  We entered into a painful season, together, side by side, shortly after that as we dug through layers of life lived and began to heal and let go of past hurts.  We are still, now, slowly emerging from all of it.

These were the things, initially, that sparked my heart to enter a vow and run.  The fear-fighting became apparent as I began to run and saw the coincidence in what God had been teaching me all year and how He would bring me back to Long Beach exactly a year later.

Layers. Layers of purpose and transformation. God always seems to have more than thread weaving at a time.  When He transforms a life it’s always for the greater.  He is constantly weaving our stories into His story, the story of His Kingdom.

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So, it’s together that we enter into October.  Hand in hand on an adventure only He could come up with.  Facing fears, trusting and continuing to run toward the prize set before us...but not just one of us.  We are running this race He has called us to, together.  And, I cannot wait to see what is next as He continues to work all things together for the Good.

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We heard the heartbeat today.  New life.  A new season.  A time of harvest.  And all my heart can say is, “thank you...thank you...”

The Fly will run 13.1 miles in 12 days.  Me and The Bug, The Little Man and “The Peanut,” will be rooting him on at the starting line and welcoming him at the finish line.  I plan to wrap my arms around his sweaty neck and tell him one more time that I love him and I love this life with him and I can’t say enough thank you’s for what he chose to do for me.

Then we will go celebrate what God has done, what He is doing and what He will do in and with this crazy adventure He has us on.

Now I humbly invite you on the last leg of this part of our journey.  We would be so honored if you might consider supporting Tim as he runs for this incredible ministry, Kimbolio Hospice, The Living Room.

You can click the link below to donate.  And from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.

Donate to Allison Schrader fundraising for Team Living Room- Long Beach

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Razoo

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