Sunday, March 20, 2011

Miracles. Happen.

In God's Time
You'll finally get the chance
to hold your baby girl

And all a sudden everything makes sense
In this crazy world
In God's Time

Oh but no one knows
Not you or me
It might be tomorrow
or it might never be
 But don't lose faith
Put it in His hands
'Cause it might be that
He might have a bigger plan
Than you had in mind

Miracles Happen
In God's Time
- "In God's Time" (Randy Houser)

I had been planning all weekend to sit down and write a blog about "Pre-Training." However, you're just going to have to wait until next blog to hear about that, because I just had to share THIS story with you.

This comes from another blog I run... a friend of mine is terminally ill with a rare form of cancer... she's battling crazy odds - and winning, and is inspiring people - including complete strangers - from coast to coast.  She got this amazing message on her guestbook from a couple who are about to become first time parents, after five long, heartbreaking years of fertility treatments.  Elizabeth - the author of this note - is a breast cancer survivor and Dallas 3-Day alumni.  She gave me permission to share the message she left for my friend with you.

From one cancer survivor to another, I just want to tell you that it does get better.  I've been in that chair in the doctors office and heard the words "You have cancer". I felt my world crumble around me. I lost friends. Relationships were strained. My hair fell out. The steroids made me gain 30 pounds. The double mastectomy left me looking and feeling completely disfigured. I was told the chemo would leave me infertile. It felt like cancer took EVERYTHING from me.

Yet, slowly, but surely, things got better. I went into remission. My hair started growing back. The steroid weight started coming off. I had reconstructive surgery. I dared to wear low cut shirts again. I started going out with friends again. I got on with my life.

And now, thanks to the amazing capabilities of fertility treatment, I am about to become a mom! Cancer will always be a part of me, but it doesn't define me anymore. The word doesn't come up multiple times in a conversation. Doctors don't dictate my life. I don't have to organize my schedule around chemo, or ration my energy just so that I can make it through the day. I have a LIFE again and my gosh, life without cancer is SO AMAZING!

It's hard to even describe how amazing it is! All I can say is that you have SOOOOO much to look forward to and SOOO much to be excited about! Being a cancer survivor totally rocks. Not everybody gets the chance to start over. Not everybody gets to see the world the way we see the world. We're really lucky to be part of such an exclusive club.

THIS is why we walk. Because EVERYONE Deserves A Lifetime.  Especially babies who haven't had the chance to be born yet. 
Little baby Taylor is scheduled to arrive on April 3rd.  Please keep Mommy Elizabeth and Daddy Jon in your prayers, and give thanks for the lifesaving research and treatment options that helped bring Baby Taylor into the world.
-- Joyce
My 3-Day Page

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Team Meeting #1

Soon you will be introduced to the members of Music City Spirit individually, but for now, here's a look at the Tennessee 8.  We had our first team meeting this week, so that everyone could get a chance to know each other.

Need a visual for the 1 in 8 statistic?
8 women = 6 spouses, 19 children and 8 grandchildren.
When I first thought about doing an introductory team meeting, I was originally thinking we'd go out for dinner somewhere.  The problem with that was it would be loud, and a long dinner table in the middle of a crowded restaurant really isn't condusive to mixing and mingling.  So I decided to do it at my house.

Then I went to my hubby, who works in food service, and asked him about menu ideas.  My plan was to do a potluck of some sort.  I'm all about keeping things low key and low stress.  It was his idea to do a salad bar.  So I just sent out an email, with a few of the basics (lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, meat, dressing) and let everyone fill in what they'd like to see on their salad.  This became our first team building excercise.  Eventually we'd have pitch tents, shower in trucks, and walk 60 miles together.  But we were at ground zero -- could we even make dinner?

First of all, I can't tell you how exciting it was that all 8 of us here in Nashville had RSVP'd "yes."  I was thinking if we got 5 of us in one place at one time, we'd be doing good.  100% participation?  That's amazing!

So Wednesday night I kept things real simple as a starting point.  I put 8 chairs around the dining room table, and cleared off the breakfast bar.  I put out dinnerware and salad dressing, and left everything else up to us to put together as a team.  The tricky part about this excercise was that if one person wound up not being able to make it... our dinner could be in jeopardy!  Especially if that person was bringing lettuce! 

As people started arriving, I started putting them to work... washing veggies, chopping, opening jars.  The kitchen is always the heart of a home, and having everyone gathered around the breakfast bar working together was a great mixer.  As our salad bar came together we had the basics covered, (lettuce, tomato, cheese) some bonus items  (eggs, cucumbers) and some really creative extras (2 kinds of olives!)  We had bread and dessert and enough food to feed a whole bunch more team members.  Everyone was able to create a salad to their liking, and the best part was -- it was DELICIOUS!

Now I'm thinking back over all the church potlucks and things I've been to in my life and wondering why we never did one salad bar style.

As we sat around the table and talked, we covered topics ranging from kids to favorite places to walk.  Since I'm the only person on the team who's done the 3-Day before I answered a lot of questions.  I love that everyone contributed to the discussion of training walks and fundraising, and that as different as we all are, everyone got along so well.

Of course, one of the most important things we did was discuss ways to tackle our biggest challenge:  How we, as a team, are going to raise $23,000. 

Woah.  10 members times the fundraising minimum of $2300 equals $23 grand.  That's a pretty amazing amount of money.  So how are we going to do it?

That's a topic for another blog post.