Finding Joy in God's Plans

posted by Brittney

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I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I know we sure did!
Eric & I drove to Conroe (hmm weird traveling again...) to visit my parents and see my best friend for her birthday!

Us with our friend Lauren & Kourt's sister at Saint Arnolds Brewery for her bday!
Kourtney & I have known each other since freshman year of high school when we met for the first time at a volleyball camp. We immediately hit it off because of our ridiculous everyday ponytails (jk) and have had a lasting friendship ever since. This woman is my rock, my sister, my MOH forever, and my other half (except for Eric of course ;)). I don't know what I would do without her! Happy 23rd birthday Kourt...LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Us with our friend Sarah at an Astros game in high school
At our high school graduation party...old school.

We weren't able to make it down for Kourtney's birthday party, but I was able to go meet her the next day and go to the Saint Arnold's Brewery with her! We had SO MUCH fun playing Jenga, drinking beer all afternoon, and then laying out. We always have a blast together, no matter what we do.
While I was hanging out with Kourtney, Eric did man things with my dad! So we both had a fun weekend :)

We came back late last night and while we were driving I finished my book called, "Running with Joy" by Ryan Hall. If you don't know who Ryan Hall is, then just know this...he is the fastest American marathoner in history. No big deal right? He is not only a fantastic athlete, but he is a Godly person. His book is about trying to find joy while doing something that God blessed him with. He believes that his ability to run came straight from God and that he is glorifying God by training and competing. The book really hit home with me and I couldn't put it down. Go check this link out...
Ryan Hall is truly an inspiration to me and is one of the major athletes I look up to, not only for his running career, but also for his love for God through his running (and for not being ashamed of it!).

When I first began running track in junior high, I thought I was FOR SURE going to be a sprinter. I ran the 200 and the 400 & competed in the long jump and the triple jump.

This is me competing in the long jump in junior high!
I was an OK sprinter, nothing spectacular, but just average. My coach kept pushing me to try the mile and I was SO not ok with it. Eventually, I decided to agree just so he would stop bothering me about it. When I competed in my first mile race, I won! I ended up continuing long jump and triple jump, but adding in the 1-miler and the 2-miler events as well.

About to compete in a long-distance race!
When I went on to high school, I kept with track, but I also started cross-country and LOVED IT! I really felt like this was MY sport. I still played volleyball, but my heart was in running, and I was good at it! When I started to apply to colleges, I made sure that the colleges knew I was interested in participating in athletics. In the end, it came down to a choice between Baylor and Hardin-Simmons University. Before I made my decision, Hardin-Simmons called me to invite me to come run for their cross-country team. If I went to HSU, I would have a good education, as well, as a athletic career. If I went to Baylor, I would have a GREAT education and more academic scholarship...but no collegiate athletic career. Obviously, I ended up choosing Baylor (Sic' em bears), but it was such a tough decision. I felt like I had given up my competitive long distance running dream for a wonderful education...which I actually did. But it was probably the best decision I ever made. Not only did I meet my amazing husband, and great friends, plus get a good education, but I was able to also have free time to train for marathons and ENJOY doing it. Hence, I found myself being able to RUN WITH JOY. If I had chosen to go to HSU, my whole world would have revolved around athletics. Which isn't a bad thing, but I probably wouldn't have found the joy I have today. It may sound stupid, but I really have learned so much from that whole experience. In the book, Ryan says that God's plan for his life right now is to run and to run competitively. I really do believe that God had a hand in my college decision. If I had ran in college, I don't think I would love it as much as I do now. I run every day with joy in my heart, good run or bad, not only because I enjoy running, but also because I truly believe God is happy seeing me enjoy the gift he gave me. Of course I'm not the best or the fastest runner, but I am good at something I love. That is enough for me.

Seriously, go read this book...runner or no runner. It may teach you a few things...cause I know it did for me!
Here is a running quote to leave you with for the week..."Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run." -Steve Prefontaine

Have a wonderful & JOYFUL week!

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