BIG LOVE BLOG- Our story of love and family

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Country Music Half Marathon....Run for a Cause!

I know it is a crazy time to even talk about something so generic as running with all of the extreme sadness happening in Haiti right now. I guess I have been kind of struggling to sort out my thoughts about it. Heartbreaking. We can all play a role in making a difference there...I am seeing so so much need everywhere I turn these days, it is hard to know how to best help. Maybe I will post more later on this.
Today, I want to talk about the Country Music Half Marathon....If you are a local here in Missouri or live anywhere EVEN REMOTELY close to Nashville, please consider this:
On behalf of orphans all over the world, Room For One More is pulling together a team to run and raise awareness for this cause. We are putting it out there now...And the response has just been awesome already! We will each wear a shirt with a message about the orphan crisis in the world, and on April 24th we will meet up in Nashcity to run for the cause.
This is the perfect time to step out...If you have been thinking that you want to get "back in shape", or, "I have always wanted to run a half marathon"....Or maybe you are completely out of shape and could never imagine doing this race....This is still for you!
I have been running the past few weeks, though previous to this past couple of weeks, have taken a hiatus from running for 3 YEARS!!!!
Feb 1 really kicks of the training time...12 weeks and you can start as a beginner, no problem.
I have friends who are avid runners who will "RUN FOR ONE" and also people who have not exercised in MANY years (you know who you are). This is a time to come together and make a physical sacrifice for a cause close to our hearts.
I was running this week inside our gym and I have just been using the time to pray and think about kids in need. I thought how crazy it would be for some of the children I have spent time with in various countries in Africa, and what they would think if they could see me running, in circles no less...I bet they would wonder what the heck I was doing. I was thinking what if they had a bird's eye view into my gym on a typical day. People working up a sweat peddling and peddling a bike that goes nowhere, people running on treadmills going nowhere, and those of us on the track running in circles....Focusing, all pushing ourselves to a "better body".
How freakin crazy! When I start to get sick of running, usually early in my run, I think about how a young girl, not much older than Bianca spends a good deal of her day, EVERY day just trying to retrieve water for her family. Carrying a load much heavier than we can imagine, and all at the same time, hoping, praying that she is not attacked on her walk back to her village...No thought of high priced tennis shoes, no heated gym, no perfect workout gear, thinking she needs to lose 10lbs...Just a child trying to help keep her family alive....Rocks my world.
This is life for millions.
So, when people tell me, "oh, there is no way I would run that race", that is fine, as of course it is totally your personal choice, but for me, it is different. I personally do not enjoy running...AT ALL.
But the time I spend running is a time I pray for and think about life for people in other parts of the world. It puts my privileged life in check, and I walk out of the gym with a clearer mission. I am more thankful, much more thankful when I walk down the stairs and pick up my kids in the child care. Overwhelmed sometimes.
I am starting to realize, every day, I want to make a difference, but it can be easy to lose focus. Of course, I want to be healthy, and yes, I am still vain in the sense that I want to be a certain size and shape, but even more I want to be "on task" with my life. Wow, life can really get away from you when you are a momma taking care of little people all day. These are precious moments and at times I find myself a little too giddy about the fact that their day school is about to start back...Selfish, yes, of course. These are moments not to miss.
I guess you can see where I am coming from here. Anyway, if you read my blog and are remotely interested, email or post me. We would LOVE it! And we will set up a page for support on facebook.
We will also partner with any other nonprofits for the race and come together as one. Just contact me about it...Now dust off those running shoes and your spandex...Okay, maybe just the shoes!
Face your fears!!!!
Here are a few of the latest pics of the girls!


I found Solie napping like this yesterday! How adorable

Loving the one day of warm weather!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

HOPE RISING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Today was just an awesome day! I am still blown away by the info I learned today! As most of you know, we go to an awesome church and over the past year our church started a journey to make a difference for orphans in the world....Of course I am encouraging this big time!
For any local people reading, it is LaCroix Church and I am just so pumped about what God is doing there! (Please also see this as an open invite to join us at LaCroix if you are a local and looking for a church, checking out church as an option, or just thinking this place might be cool)We just finished a great series called Hope Rising, and it was all about serving the poor and standing for those in need. It had such a huge influence on my life. We were challenged in many ways as a church. One of these challenges was to live for 5 days on what millions of people across the globe live like EVERY DAY. We were allowed tap water and 3 meals a day of one cup of rice and beans.
If you know me at all, you know I love food! Too much I have learned. How interesting what we focus our time and thoughts toward...And for me, deciding where to eat or looking forward to my next meal, or snack seemed to be a big part of my life.-The funny thing is, I would have NEVER known this if I had not taken on the food challenge. I pretty much thought doing the challenge would be "good for me". Eric and I both did it as a family. We went to sleep hungry at night and I know we were still eating like kings compared to so so many people who live on so much less than the beans and rice every day.

Here are some of the random things that I learned/pondered during this week:-Frustration....I felt it big time because I could not be in total control
-We spend WAY too much in a week eating out!
-Looking at my girls in there warm cushy beds, belly's full- I cried at the thought of the 147 million children in the world who have no parents and no security, much less little to no food most of the time.
-I cried about almost everything as a matter of a fact...I was constantly overwhelmed by the feeling of being hungry and how over the top we are as a culture with all of our "stuff" while people around the world are LITERALLY STARVING TO DEATH!
-I was in a bad mood on and off all week from the lack of food...and still we had all of the tap water we could drink.
-Two days I went to the gym and did my typical cardio burn, and when I walked out of the gym I thought I might pass out...And it made me think of what women and children go through walking for miles to get water, only to carry the heavy container once filled while their bellies ache for nutrition.
I caught myself looking in the rear view mirror as I drove our over the top SUV, looking at my girls in the back seat thinking...THIS COULD HAVE BEEN THEM...Not a number that is easy to ignore...MY GIRLS, MY BABIES...BIANCA AND SOLIE

-I knew the 5 days would end if I could "just make it to the end" and then life would be back to normal....FOR US, NOT THEM
-I cheated by drinking tea a few days...How weak can a person be?
-I wondered, WHY ME? Why did I get this phenomenal life that I EXPECT, and take for granted, and millions of other people ARE DYING FROM LACK OF FOOD AND LOVE
-I still went to bed EVERY NIGHT, in my plush, warm bed, and had a shower every day, love every day, a family every day....a wonderful life...every day
Eric and I looked at each other and were brought to tears so many times as we ate our one cup meal, realizing that millions of people would be so so thankful for this one cup meal.
Well, the list could go on FOREVER, but this is a taste, if you will.

In addition to the food challenge our church partnered with a great organization called Feed My Starving Children, and we packed and shipped 157,000 meals for people in need.
On Christmas Eve an offering was taken in hopes of raising $37,000 to pay for these meals, and also to support a great organization called S.H.A.D.E, wHere we will help increase a feeding program for people already serving the poorest of the poor.
Today was the day we were to learn how much our church gave for this need.
I went to church so excited I could hardly stand it, and when the amount was revealed, I felt weak in my knees.

PEOPLE, REGULAR PEOPLE, CAME TO THE 4 CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES HELD AT OUR CHURCH AND IN THOSE 4 SERVICES A TOTAL OF $116,0000 WAS GIVEN FOR THE HOPE RISING FUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE GOAL WAS TO RAISE THE $37,000 THAT WOULD FEED 500 KIDS FOR A YEAR....
HERE IS WHAT GOD DID!
NOW THE MONEY GIVEN WILL IN FACT FEED 1500 KIDS FOR A YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Literally unbelievable!
GOD IS GIGANTIC!!!!
I am so thankful and humbled and challenged!
Are you? Where do you stand? Maybe you have thought about getting involved, maybe you already are involved....We have so much...We can all do more.
THIS IS WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year...In case anyone out there is still reading!

Much love for 2010! What will be on the horizon for the Beckstein family???? Oh, so much! I dropped the ball on Eric at lunch yesterday in mid conversation, how we would have a lot going on this year as I am sure we will start another adoption....HOLD THE PRESSES!!!! He kind of did a double take, but being his awesome self, pretty much played it cool. Did I mention he is a freakin' awesome dad and husband? Wow, I love that dude! I have been spending this whole holiday season taking in my blessings and I am so so overwhelmed by all of the good good stuff in my life! My whole family is just so great and we are so so thankful to have family who love us so big! The holidays were awesome! We just took it in big time as a family. We don't do a ton of gifts, though other people seem to give our kids tons of stuff. I have really been wanting to take on more as far as giving and have been torn between two great organizations we are involved with. On Christmas day Eric gave me this typed up letter that basically said we could totally go for it and take on a few kids in need or maybe even a family (Africa)and I am so excited, and also a little overwhelmed as there is so so much need in this world. Praying God will lead us to the right spot....which, duh? He always does! Side note: OKAY-I just reread this post and I know it sounds kind of too cheesy to be true...And I am not trying to act like my life is perfect, because I am far from that person, but I am just starting to realize more and more how unimportant alot of the "stuff" is that I have spent my time thinking/stressing about. I am always bummed to see awesome people with low self esteem or just not confident in who they already are. I don't want to get caught up in that....and man, if we could all realize what we HAVE...RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW...I am sure we would all live so differently.(ME INCLUDED!) Just awesome holidays in general and good family time. We went to a great New Year;s Eve party last night and just had a ball. There are some really really cool people in this town! And always fun to meet new people. Going to post some pics now!
Solie's First Christmas!
video
Bianca's Giggle Fest
video
Caution...Baby behind the wheel!
video
Solie & Dad

Happy New Year! I know the hat is cheesy, but it was only worn for a second....All you fashion guru's out there! To a GREAT 2010~~