28 Days of Gratitude

While every single day of the year should be filled with gratitude, throughout this Thanksgiving month I want to take the time to actually write on here about who/what I am grateful for for twenty-eight days straight, and share it with you all. It has been some time since I have last shared anything personal or meaningful (I had plenty to say earlier this year, hehe), so I am hoping this will help push me to do just that. Lately I have been experiencing so much of His goodness, even amid turbulent storms, and I feel in my heart that God is calling me to share the goodness with you all as a way to say “thank you” to Him.

Before I go on I must give credit where it is due. Audrey Assad started a “Twenty-One Days of Gratitude” awhile back and it inspired me to follow suit when the time was right. The time is right.

Day 1: Finisher

This past Sunday, I completed my first-ever serious race, a Marine Corps Marathon 10K (6.2 mile trek around our beautiful Nation’s Capital). With a push from some of my marathon and half-marathon running friends, I registered for it back in April, but didn’t actually start training seriously until August.

I am grateful for all those who have encouraged me all throughout this journey to my race day and during my race, whether you pushed me to run when I felt like I could barely jog half a mile or the marines who were cheering me on along the way. I’ll be honest, I never considered myself a runner because for as long as I can remember, I have always hated long distance running. Instead of dreading runs and discouraging myself (while it took time and lots of discipline), I continually brought myself to pray and offered them up as a sacrifice to God.

Throughout training I also endured many bodily aches and pains. There were even a handful of times on Sunday when I felt like my body was going to give out on me, which prompted me to walk and stretch some, but more importantly, I didn’t stop running the race. I never stopped until I got to the finish line. I also chose not to run with music playing in my ears because I wanted to have the opportunity to fully bask in the pureness of the race, to hear the sounds of the race and the views that supplemented them. I was able to hear each foot as it met the street, each breath taken, each yell for motivation…all of it. Meanwhile, the interior silence allowed me to prayerfully reflect on how I saw “Veronica” through other runners and the hundreds of marines on the sidelines cheering people on, telling them to stay the course and to keep fighting. God gave me my Veronicas to help me continue the race, giving me drink or giving me a simple gesture of encouragement. Running is truly a humbling experience and I am grateful for the aches, pains, lessons learned, sources of encouragement, and victories. I am especially grateful to God that I crossed the finished line. I didn’t give up. I finished the race.

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Isaiah 40:29-31

He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

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