Unfiltered Thursday + Giving Back (Lent 2014)

I’m doing another Unfiltered Thursday, which is just a mish-mash of my thoughts and what’s been going on around here lately.  So here we go:

1. I had my first math test in nearly 9 years last night! After cramming all weekend (and a little at work yesterday), I think I did fine.  I finished the test early and celebrated afterwards with a Chobani Flip at home :)

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2. PT update: I’ve had 4 PT sessions over the last three weeks, and have one more today (it might be my last…for now).  I can tell that my knee is getting stronger from the daily exercises at home and the more rigorous ones during the PT sessions; we’ve progressed to exercises like 5 point lunges with a glider (similar to the 3 point lunge here) and tractor pulls with a cable pulley around my waist. I’ve also discovered the amazing qualities of KT tape!

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The tape does a stellar job of keeping my kneecap in place so I feel no pain and very little discomfort when running or doing any activity that used to hurt, like going down stairs.  It also stays in place for 3-4 days even with daily showering!

3. I’ve really been enjoying my lunch this week: canned tuna mixed with avocado, sriracha, and soy sauce, mixed into a bowl of reheated white rice at lunchtime! So tasty, and a great way to get some more fish and healthy fats into my diet.

011The finished product:014Someone else likes it when I make this lunch.012

4. The NB890s are officially my new favorite shoe.  They’re very light yet supportive and comfortable; I ran the Reston 10 Miler wearing these and felt like a deer on the hills!  They’re also wide enough that I haven’t gotten any more blisters on the sides of my feet, thank goodness.

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5. After lots of treadmill running over the last couple of weeks, I’m looking forward to some warmer weather this weekend for my 17 miler! Mike’s dad will be in town and we have plans for Saturday, so I’m going to do my run with CAR on Sunday morning instead.  I’m oddly excited at the prospect of running for 3 hours straight…

Lent: Giving Back

I’m also really excited about Lent this year.  I’m not Catholic and I didn’t really know about Lent till college, so while I would like to observe it every year, I frequently forget about it and miss the start of the Lenten season (Ash Wednesday, which was yesterday).

 But a few days ago, I was window shopping online at various websites when I realized that I didn’t need anything.  I buy a lot of stuff online (to try new products out, to replace stuff I have, etc), but lately I’ve found myself buying things that I don’t need, and in some cases, don’t want (what am I going to do with an entire bag of maca powder!?).  I started to feel grateful for all that we have – I have Mike, a warm house, plenty to eat, a good job, and time (and resources) to spend on my hobby!

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And at the same time, I’ve been feeling a burden on my heart for those who don’t have enough – not even the basics like food or a roof over their heads.  Thinking about what their daily struggles must be like makes my heart hurt.

So for the next two months, I’m reducing my spending budget (doesn’t include necessities like mortgage, utilities, food) by at least half and donating that money to the Carpenter’s Shelter, the largest homeless shelter in Northern Virginia (we ran a race last year in support of the shelter!).  Their mission goes beyond providing temporary shelter; they provide training and resources to help people get back to financial independence, and 90% of the people who complete their programs don’t go back to homelessness again.11296

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The timing of my decision also worked out perfectly (unintentionally) so that I’m observing Lent this year.  I’m actually really excited for this; I’ve already cancelled my March Stitchfix shipment and have been challenged to see my stuff with new eyes –to see that I have enough and more.  I think this will be a great way to remind myself of how much I’ve been blessed and be a blessing to others.

I’m also looking to start volunteering again! This is something that’s fallen off my plate this year because I’ve been really busy, but I also make time for what’s important to me.  And while things like getting my masters and running are personally fulfilling, my life is a gift and my time is about more than just personal fulfillment; it’s about serving and bringing the love of Jesus to others.  I’m adding “volunteering more” to my list of resolutions for this year!58123_626452450703096_440061735_n

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I hope this post didn’t come off as preachy in any way, because that’s definitely not my intention.  This blog is a place for me to be real about my personal convictions and this is what’s been on my heart lately.  Maybe some of it resonates with you.  I loved Ani’s post about a non-religious take on Lent!

Are you observing Lent this year? Have you done so in previous years?

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13 thoughts on “Unfiltered Thursday + Giving Back (Lent 2014)

  1. Debbie

    Found your blog by searching IT Band syndrome. Love it! I’m from Northern VA so I enjoy reading about new places to eat, as well as your injury recovery, and faith. I’ve been struggling with IT band/knee issues since I ran MCM last year. I’m so frustrated! Anyway, just thought I’d stop by and say hello… Oh, and yes, I observe lent. I didn’t while growing up as I attended a non-demonization all christian church, but now attend a Presbyterian church which observes the Lenten season. Love your idea of giving back!

    1. Dawn H.

      Thanks for visiting my blog! It’ll get better, hang in there! I’ve found PT to be pretty useful for strengthening the injured areas and surrounding muscles. I love how Lent can help us put things into perspective again and get ready for Easter :)

  2. Great post :-) I’ve been trying to kick-start my diet as I’ve been making some unhealthy choices recently, so I’ve decided to give up chocolate, sweets, biscuits and cake for Lent. I’ve already had my willpower challenged at work, but I’ve managed to stay strong and am hoping that I’ll be able to make it to April 20th without quitting.

    1. Dawn H.

      Oh that sounds tough – I’ll be cheering for you! By your running/ triathlons, I know you have willpower in spades :)

  3. i recently got the NB890v4 and love them. they are a little wide for my narrow feet; i got a blister on the ball of my foot when wearing thin socks (didn’t have any other clean pairs!)… but they work just fine with thicker socks.

    i started volunteering with my daughter last year to teach her about giving back. it’s a great feeling.

    1. Dawn H.

      Ah we have opposite problems! My feet are wide :) I always thought all sneakers (and shoes in general) would fit so much better if I had narrow feet… That’s wonderful that you’re teaching your daughter to volunteer!! What a valuable principle to pass on.

  4. I really like you’re blog-this is a great post! (I also love those Chobani Flips!) I’ve been also thinking of ways to do something positive for Lent. Still haven’t figured out what to do yet, though.

    1. Dawn H.

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m sure you’ll think of something soon and I’d love to hear what you come up with!

  5. Pingback: RnR USA Expo + Friday Finds | sneaker∙therapy

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