“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word … Continue reading
When I think of spring, I think of a season of renewal. As the snow melts and grass rebounds from the dead of winter, as the flowers begin to bud and the birds begin to sing, change is in the … Continue reading
I always have imagined God making us in a glorious way. Being made in his image, he placed us with all sorts of beautiful gifts and skills and passions. He planned out our whole life, and all the marvelous events and moments in it. Continue reading
The words “fear not” are in the Bible 365 times. If you do the math, that’s one “fear not” every day of the year. And if I’m going to be completely honest here, I definitely need to hear “fear not” a … Continue reading
Vi Bella means beautiful life. When I think of what a beautiful life is, I think of a life spent for the glory of God. A life with happiness and joy and love. A life where you don’t need to … Continue reading
The rough gravel crunched underneath my blue sandals. Sweat dripped down the side of my face. We were in Haiti, visiting the house of the boy I sponsor, named Romario. I took in my surroundings in Romario’s one-room, hot shack. … Continue reading
OK, I don’t even really know where to begin. I hope you all didn’t think I abandoned you or anything. I just have to admit that I’m really busy, but the more truthful explanation is probably a bit more like … Continue reading
It was 11:00 on a Saturday afternoon, and it was pouring. We were in my mom’s hometown of Marathon, Iowa and today was the day of the famous “Marathon to Marathon.” As the name suggests, it is a harsh race of 26.2 miles from the city of Storm Lake to the sweet little town of Marathon.
We were there with some family friends to see the race and maybe sell a few copies of my mom’s book, Love Idol. It was a little over midway through the race when it started sprinkling. And then that little sprinkle turned into a downpour like nothing else, with horrible lightning and a bit of hail. I could hardly walk around out there, much less fathom how someone could run a marathon in that weather. We headed inside as a car went out to optionally pick up the forty-something people still running out there.
The car came back empty.
Not a single person wanted to quit, even in the worst conditions.
I guess they had worked too hard and trained too much to give up now.
Not to mention, my grandpa who I love so much, who broke his foot while we were in Mexico, stood right by the finish line with a boot on his foot under a little tarp getting soaked and refused to leave until every person crossed the line.
He feels it is important that the person hears their name when they cross the line. Even if he is the only one there, and all the crowds have long since left, he wants to tell them, “Well done!”
There is a chapter in my mom’s book about this topic. About how he wants them to hear their name. She compares it to when we cross the finish line of our life, and how God is there to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (And though she wrote it much more eloquently than I could have, it is still an amazing thing to think about.)
But that’s not all. Just the fact that these runners kept running inspires me also. Sometimes, in our life, things get tough. Real tough. But it is the strength to keep running that makes us who we are.
I just wish I could have the courage to say I would have kept running. And I’m still pondering what my response would have been. Because I don’t really know what it’s like for things to be real tough for me. I live in a home full of love and pantries stocked with all I can eat. I live in a sheltered community where 99% of the residents are Christian. I’ve been to Haiti and seen the poverty, but have I ever experienced the true pain of a 4-day empty stomach- of watching my family die and leave me- of sleeping and living in the dirt and on the streets? No.
But I hope and pray to God that he will give me the strength to keep running in the times where it gets tough.
As a 12-year-old girl, it’s pretty obvious I don’t make a lot of money. There’s only so many things I can do. I babysit my sister and neighbors. I clean the house. I help my dad with pig chores. I … Continue reading
So this is my speech! It is from the same program as last year. (You can see my speech from last year here.) So I moved on from the first round, and today I said my speech again for round … Continue reading