I’m Running 200 Miles for Domestic Violence Awareness | Mile 50 Update | #Running4Her

Hi friends! If you didn’t know, I’m running 200 miles for domestic violence awareness & I’m sharing my first official update today.

I’ve been advocating against domestic violence since 2015, a cause close to my heart due to the struggles I endured through childhood. In 2017, when my mom needed help leaving my abusive father, the local shelter, Friends Inc, went above and beyond to help her heal.

I started this #Running4Her challenge to not only thank Friends Inc. for their services to the people within my community by raising money for them, but I also wanted to use this as an opportunity to bring awareness for this epidemic.

Domestic violence can take the form of physical, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse. 5 million children are exposed to domestic violence per year, 85% of domestic violence victims are female,  2,141 women were murdered last year by a current or former partner (for comparison, 2,996 people died in the WTC – 9/11 attack), (See more statistics here or here)

Click HERE to read the specifics of my challenge or learn how to participate/volunteer/donate.

Running Update

My last update was when I hit mile 11 which you can read HERE. I have to be honest, I had a difficult time getting miles in with the cold weather. After my first mile update was shared and the support for #Running4Her grew larger, I felt a little overwhelmed. There was a lot of excitement with the goal I created for myself, which lead to many asking me for t-shirts, posters, etc.

It proved a little difficult to run & manage the social aspect of my fundraiser, so I asked for my mother to help. Thanks to her, there are a bunch of flyers around the Washington County area, including the Slinger Piggly Wiggly. She also donated homemade skincare products to one of my sponsors, Salon Effervescence, to offer to their clients in exchange for a small monetary donation. They also are collecting donations for the Friends Inc. wishlist. A huge thank you to Diane and all of the other sponsors who’ve been so supportive!

As for actually running, once the sidewalks were thawed, I was able to really pound some pavement. I took my 2-year-old son along for some of the runs, but honestly, I really enjoy running solo.

I’ll post my next update when I reach 100 miles, which I’m hoping will come fairly easy considering the weather.

Fundraising Update

A  milestone I want to celebrate is the fact that not only have we almost reached my $1,000 goal, many of the #Running4Her supporters have decided to support this cause by running with me. In their own time, they have decided to tally their own miles run and raise awareness on their personal social media.

If you’d like to donate running miles yourself, you’re more than welcome to join in…even if you live in another state.

As of today, we’ve gotten $735 in donation pledges & 37 running miles have been donated by supporters.

Follow my running updates on Facebook.

Buy a T-Shirt

I’ve been asked a few times, but I didn’t want to personally deal with the hassle of bulk ordering, biting the cost of printing, and distributing anything. After some research, I’ve chosen to use Bonfire.com to sell some t-shirts, a platform for individuals to fundraise in a unique way.

My Bonfire campaign is 21 days long, starting today (ending June 8th). I need to sell a minimum of 5 shirts or Bonfire won’t print and ship them. If the minimum isn’t reached, my t-shirt campaign simply ends and no one gets charged. Orders would arrive between June 17th and June 26th, directly to your address.

I love the comfort and quality of the shirt & the ability to pick a different color. If you’re not a t-shirt person, there is also an option to purchase a hoodie or tank top instead. Sizes available in XS to 3XL

Check out Bonfire & purchase a #Running4Her shirt HERE.

Other Ways to Support

  • Write a check payable to “Friends Inc.” (memo, #Running4Her) & mail to:
    FRIENDS, Inc. PO Box 117 West Bend, WI 53095
  • Donate via by visiting the Friends Inc. website. (add #running4her to the note before submitting)
  • Most shelters like Friends Inc rely on wish list fulfillment, like shampoo, clothes, diapers, and toilet paper. Click here see what there current need isWish List items may be dropped off at Salon Effervescence (55 E Sumner St, Hartford, WI 53027)
  • Raise awareness of domestic violence by sharing #Running4Her on social media.
  • Donate your time to Friends Inc. in Washington County– Volunteer as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, babysitter, structured childcare, or grocery shopper. (if you are not in the area, click here to find a local women’s shelter closest to you)
  • Join me in running! Log and share the hours run on your regular running route or treadmill. Feel free to raise money for Friends Inc. or the domestic violence charity of your choice.

Sponsors

 

Thank you for all of your love & support. Read about the specifics of my challenge HERE and subscribe to receive updates.

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The Legacy of Rachel Held Evans

A Christian author that I admire, Sarah Bessey, tweeted a few weeks ago that a fellow author friend of hers was in the hospital and needed prayers. I had heard of the name of her friend before – Rachel Held Evans – but I don’t believe I ever read her books or knew much about what she stood for.

Continue reading “The Legacy of Rachel Held Evans”

Prayers For You | Book Review

Sometimes I have a difficult time shopping for gifts for the loved ones in my life. I usually find the gift of a book to be a safe bet for most people, however, I know not everyone loves to read or has the time to.

That’s why I was really excited about this Prayers For You book – specifically made with those trickier people in mind.

Continue reading “Prayers For You | Book Review”

An Ordinary Evening

Tonight, I feel a cold coming on, the itchy throat I told my mother-in-law I was positive it was spring allergies.

My husband decides to cancel our plans to watch the second Ant-Man movie and go to bed early. He wanted to watch the last released Marvel movies in preparation for Endgame.

I decide to browse the Internet while watching Brain On Fire, as he chooses to watch sports before bed. All is normal in the home that we live in, still sharing space with my in-laws, collecting the pieces from a rough few years.

Job loss. Death. Postpartum anxiety & depression. Car accident. Lawyers. Doctors. PTSD. Therapy. In-home therapy. The list goes on.

Things have finally settled into a routine, we both have jobs. My son starts school this fall. He and I have a long bucket list of things we want to do this summer. We might even try Geocaching. Next week, I hopefully can paint my sons room from the golden yellow it is now to white.

My husband and I celebrate 5 years of marriage this year. I want to renew our vows and get new family photos.

I’m on, I think 38 miles of my #Running4Her trek to raise awareness for domestic violence. I’ve reached out to State Representatives. I’ve drafted an initiative to protect police families. I’ve written three books, two published. If only the little girl sobbing in her closet could see what I’m doing now.

More often than I’d like, ‘he’ pops into my mind. Sometimes I willingly bring him into my mind, but most of the time, he just invades my thoughts. It’s been two years since we last spoke, and many years since a happy memory that’s worth remembering.

So, tonight, when my movie was over and I was about to get up to brush my teeth, I got a notification to check my messages and found I missed a message from him, originally sent two days ago. I couldn’t bear to read the entire short message, so I handed it off to my husband to read for me. He wants to talk, I believe, is the summary of the message.

My first instinct, what I’ve always done, is to jump back in wholeheartedly. I’d love nothing more but to respond, but I have a family to protect, and myself as well. He’s always broken my heart, with every chance I’ve freely given. We’ve reconciled so many times, only for me to learn that it’s usually to satisfy his needs. It hurts to learn you were just being used…a pawn…Disposable.

Other times, it’s short lived because you can’t change a leopards spots. I hate to say that because I believe God gives us the ability to change and be better, but as much as I trust God, common sense tells me to not stick my hand in the cages at the zoo.

I’d love to have coffee with him, hug him, hear him say that he’s genuinely sorry and that he loves me.

But he’s never said that.

And I am no longer that little girl willing to do anything to hear it.

So, I won’t respond to his message, but in case he’s reading this…I forgive you, every day, through the strength and the grace of God. I pray for you, specifically that God heals you from the trauma, pain, and illness in your life. I wish you the best, truly, I hope you live to glorify the Lord & find purpose in the path He wants to lead you down. I’m sorry that my lack of response isn’t what you hoped for, I know we are both used to me responding, but I just don’t feel God nudging me to reconnect. I hope you don’t let this bring you down if you’ve found peace and grace and forgiveness. Keep pursuing Him and all will fall into place like it should, in His timing.

A Love Letter Life | Book Review

a love letter life

I’m not a hardcore fan of the Roloff’s (the authors of this new book) and I received this book free to review in exchange for my opinion. Neither of these two things affected my review of “A Love Letter Life”.

The core principles that guide this book is solid and I’d recommend it to several of my younger friends & perhaps even my sisters once they are old enough.

Continue reading “A Love Letter Life | Book Review”

Finding God in the Shadow of Doubt (Book Review)

“How do you deal with the hard questions about God, the church, and the Bible? Where can you find a safe place to openly and honestly wrestle with your faith without being criticized or judged? If you have ever struggled with doubt, you are not alone.

Writing with humor and candor out of his own experiences, and incorporating Scripture, literature, and accounts of others who have doubted, Dominic Done argues that not only is questioning normal, it is often a path toward a rich and vibrant faith. Whether your struggle is with tragedy, the difficult parts of the Bible, the intersection of science and faith, or even God’s silence, you can move through doubt into a deeper, fuller faith—a faith that doesn’t run from questions and the hard work of honest wrestling but instead embraces the mysteries of belief.”

I grew up believing that if I had doubts about God or heaven or the purpose of my life, I was a bad Christian. I wasn’t specifically taught this by any pastor or Christian friend, but it became something that was implied through lectures I’ve listened to throughout my life.

I was taught, more or less, that there is no room for doubt & we as Christians should not doubt God…I was not taught that doubt is a part of our sinful world and that every single Christian, including Mother Theresa, had doubts at some point in their lives.

When I received When Faith Fails for free in exchange for my opinion, I figured it would be just another book I’d toss on my pile to donate to my fellow reader friends, but within the first few sentences, I was pulled in.

This book doesn’t claim that doubt isn’t sinful or anything like that, it just gets the point across that Christians have doubts about the world, about God, about Jesus, and about eternal life. With so many unanswered questions in the world, it’s natural to question.

I LOVED this book because not only did Dominic Done go over how all of us doubt at some point in our relationship with God, he also goes over ways to overcome that doubt and how to change that doubt into faith & how to see God within our doubtful minds.

I highly recommend this book to…well, everyone! It was such a wonderful read.

Buy on Amazon.