~ ~ where some see a hopeless end, others see an endless hope ~ ~

Friday, August 31, 2012

Almost There

I made a conscious decision to run a marathon.  I am in full mental stability, so there’s no excuse.  And in doing so, I decided:

I’m running this marathon to be uncomfortable.
I’m running this marathon for others to learn about the Orphan crisis.
I’m running this marathon to share their story.

Each day is a new day.  Each day a different challenge.  Today, fighting off the effects of Hurricane Isaac’s humidity, I literally felt like I was swimming my short 4 miler today.  Tomorrow?  I take on the massive 18 miler.

And not to sound ‘un-encouraging,’ I don’t care what anyone says.  Waking up at 5am and running ANY mileage does NOT get any easier.


I’ve definitely become immune to it.

Now, it’s just my routine. That’s what I do.  It’s who I am right now.  It is my lifestyle.

And tomorrow? I’ll wake up and do it again.

And for the next 5 weeks, I know that the road is only going to get longer and tougher, but I have this overwhelming sense of peace that I can face it.  That I can take it on.

I listen to my body now and what it needs.  When it feels like its hurting, it probably is.  When it feels like its hungry, it probably is.  When it feels thirsty, yeah… I’m probably thirsty.

You see… I decided to run this race because I “needed” something more.  And it’s given me just that.

I decided to dedicate this run to the hundreds of faces I’ve met.  The hundreds of hugs I’ve given.  The kisses I’ve received and the smiles that melted my heart.  I dedicated this race for THEM and in doing so… I’ve gotten so much more.

I’m able to share their stories.  Running alongside my training partners, I get to tell their dreams.  And like my early morning training runs that don’t seem to get any easier, these orphans live a life full of despair and desperation~that doesn’t seem to get any easier for them.

But they wake up each day, with a bright new attitude that they can face it.  That they can take it on.

Because, they too have found their source when they’re in pain.  Their source when they’re hungry.  Their source when they’re thirsty:

I’m not running this marathon to compare my hardships to theirs.  I live a very amazing and blessed, comfortable and satisfying life.

I’m running this marathon to be uncomfortable.
I’m running this marathon for others to learn about the Orphan crisis.
I’m running this marathon to share their story.

And I still need your help to do so.

If you feel like you’ve been touched, in any way, by the power of what Visiting Orphans does around the world, I would love for your donations for this cause.

I can’t run this race alone.

I don’t have far to go, and I’m asking for your help in getting me to the finish line…

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO DONATE TODAY:  https://www.visitingorphans.org/cgi-bin/donate.cgi

And… Thank you.

For Jovia.  For Norine.  For Lillian, Amanda, Benita, Grace, Baby Valentine, Nancy, Angel, Denize, Noella and everyone that’s touched my heart.  Thank you,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Go ahead, Eat your cake too.

I love reading my blog from my birthday last year.  And just where I was mentally, emotionally, spiritually…. and where I am today.  People asked me (really, they did ! ), “Soooo, you feel any older?”

And realizing they truly meant it in a sincere fashion, I reply.  “Actually.  No !   I feel like I’m getting younger !   It’s like I’m going backwards…”

And it’s the truth.

Each year I look back at my life bucket list and ponder over it.  The things I put on this list like 12 years ago seemed so far-fetched.  Almost like I dreamed it, but couldn’t believe it… Never reaaaaaally thought I’d ever do any of it.  As the years have gone by, and in my 'aging maturity’ (insert wink and belly laugh), my attitude has completely changed:
~Why NOT accomplish all that you’ve set out to do?  
~Why NOT dream big…and then actually go after your dreams?
~Why see it, if you don’t want to achieve it?

Basically, what I’m trying to get at is:

Why have your cake… if you can’t eat it too.

And now… my dreams have never seemed so reachable.  Sure, I’ve let go of some things that don’t seem worthwhile anymore and gained other things I’d rather do more.  And it seems like with each year that goes by, the more realistic I feel about each dream.  Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life…. the Lord really DOES give you the desires of your heart, so just be careful what you wish for if you’re at all scared of them coming true…...


1.  Swim with the Dolphins (and not at Sea World)
2.  See Garth Brooks & Martina McBride in concert (and doesn’t even have to be together)
3.  Move to California
4.  Camp in the mountains
5.  Hot Air Balloon in Italy
6.  Horseback ride at Sunset
7.  Run a marathon
8.  Take a roadtrip in a Vintage Chevy Bel Air Convertible
9.  Find my cause & Get my own 501c3
10.  Go to Africa
11.  Meet June Carter & Johnny Cash
12.  Have a forever Valentine
13.  Ride a train through the Alps
14.  White Water Raft
15.  Learn Guitar
16.  Hike to the highest point of a mountain
17.  50 yard line, 3 rows up at a Patriot’s Game
18.  Write & publish a vintage coffee table photo book
19.  Hear a true life story from a Native American legend
20.  See a sunrise over the ocean
21.  Ride a helicopter
22.  Read the Bible beginning to end
23.  Sky Dive
24.  Be in a Musical (and no, High School does not count)
25.  Get a tattoo

And so there ya have it.  We’ll see what changes in this year to come… It’s always interesting, always an adventure.

I’d like to leave ya’ll with a few ‘aging’ quotes that helped make this year more bearable… ;)

Good things happen to those that wait.

Things get better with age.

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.

Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone.

and two of my all time faves from some peeps near and dear to my heart… my Gramaw Betty and Grampawpaw Chuck:

“What?  These wrinkles?  I like to think of these wrinkles as laugh lines.  It means you were very happy in your life, my dear.  Laugh lines.  Not wrinkles.”  ~Grandma

"We hope you are having a great adventure today and all week.  As you know you are not getting any younger, so celebrate while you can!”  ~Grandpa

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why Run?

Such a sweet post from my friend Jackie Chapman!  (She does a much better job at paraphrasing what I’m doing than me…I babble.  She gets to the point)….  Thanks Jackie for sharing…

“Why am I Running?"

My Friend Amanda Is Jumping…

My friend Amanda will be running the Chicago Marathon in October. And while that is a big goal in and of itself, she is also raising $9,000 for Visiting Orphans, an organization very near to her heart. This is a big jump for her: to make this run and to make this goal.
In her words… “On October 7th, I have committed to running 26.2 miles in Chicago for all the little kiddos, all the faces I have seen, and the smiles I have absorbed. I have committed to running this marathon for THEM. I promised that while training, while running, during the race that I would share their story. I’m running this race as an incentive to raise the money, to spread the awareness, and to share their cause. And I’m asking for your help in supporting me.
“This is for Jovia. And Lillian. Norine, Denize, Noella, and Baby Valentine. This is for the orphans who are no longer just a statistic, but a face. A name.”
By way of information, Visiting Orphans is a non-profit organization that conducts missions trips for churches, schools, and individuals from across the country to orphanages in China, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, Ecuador, Ukraine, Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, India and Costa Rica. They work to fulfill the biblical mandate given in James 1:27 of “visiting orphans” in their distress. You can read more at visitingorphans.org.
I made my donation and I hope that you will also help Amanda reach her goal.
Visit:  https://www.visitingorphans.org/cgi-bin/donate.cgi
Fund Category: Chicago Marathon
Specify Team Member: Amanda Herdina
Checks Payable to VISITING ORPHANS
449 Metroplex Drive
Nashville, TN 37211
Specify Amanda Herdina/Chicago/Rawanda in the memo line

Jackie has such an awesome story, so the fact she took the time to post and repost this means the world to me!  Once a music industry guru, she has made the brave decision to jump into full time ministry and is now working with Global Initiative.  Read more about Jackie’s adventure at HER BLOG at http://jaqchapman.com

I DO get to visit orphans, telling them how important they are.  That they have a purpose, a destiny.  That they have been forgiven, or that they have a place in this world.  I get to love on them.  And when it’s said and done, it’s probably more therapy to me than them.  And my heart beats.

Because of this, I wanted to DO something I love FOR something I love.  I’m running this marathon for THEM.  When I cross that finish line, I want to remember that I’m running for a Cause.  There are 163 million orphans in the world.  I’m running for THEM…

Run with me?  I’d love for your help in also sharing this blog.  Posting it. Reposting it.  Tweeting it… Help me get to my finish line???


Friday, August 10, 2012

Still Running… Foot to Pavement, ’Soul’ to Earth

People say I’m crazy.  Since I was little, “Yeah…that Amanda…she’s crazy.”

I get it from everyone.  Friends.  Family.  Family friends.  People who know me and people who don’t.

And ya know? 

I’m okay with it.

“Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History”

And, it’s not so much that I’m not behaving… I just like to do things differently.

Why NOT run a marathon to raise awareness and funds for my little butternugs in Africa?

Why NOT go right back to Rwanda after I just got back?

Why NOT devote my time, my energy, my Friday nights and Saturdays, weekday mornings and ‘what not’ to training my life away to cross a finish line 26.2 miles away so I can devote my time, my energy and every piece of my heart to children thousands of miles away?

Pounding foot to pavement.

‘Sole’ to Earth.

You see, when I do things… yeah, I’m a bit of a dreamer.  I like to do things Big.

You see, I was never a runner.  I never wanted to just ‘run’ as a hobby.  

And then I signed up, and finished, two half marathons.   As I’ve seen myself do with things in life, after I finished that first 1/2 marathon in San Diego in 2004-- I said, “There.  I’m done.  That was insane, tough, brutal, and ... hard.  And I don’t EVER want to do it again.”  And I was finished.  I had my heart set on quitting the running world....

And as life has it, the road between then and today was the bumpiest, curviest, most challenging journey I’ve faced.  And almost 7 years later, I felt the emptiness creep inside as my heart tugged towards the pavement.  I was to be out on those early morning training days, and I knew it, but thought I would never be there again.  The training was hard, but I was at such a low place in my life that running was like therapy to me.  It got me through some pretty muddy water and some really tough times, and crossing that finish line for the 2nd time was even MORE victorious for me than the first.

But something was still missing.

As I crossed that finish line at LP Stadium in April of 2011, running 13.1 miles around Music City with 35,000 other runners and even 25,000 more people cheering me on, there was still an emptiness inside me.  One that said I needed more.

I wanted to keep going.

So, here I am, another year later and wondering WHAT IN THE WORLD I have gotten myself into as I endure the long training season for my very first, very long, Chicago Marathon in October.  Hundreds of miles of rough terrain ahead of me.

But instead of wanting to quit, I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a part of this world again.

THIS is what it’s about.  This feeling.  The nerves are there, the adrenaline.  You feel the encouragement from fellow runners.  The high after hitting certain mileage.  How all your conversations usually revolve around which trail, which shoes, which shot block, Gu, or mileage you’re at.

They say it’s a lifestyle, and now I know why...

You see, just like committing to the 1st, and then the 2nd half, I NEVER thought I would ever go to Africa.  I didn’t even think I would ever work for an organization that deals with orphans oversees.  I went to Uganda and Ethiopia last summer and Rwanda this past May.... and like those half marathons, it was hard.  Those trips are tough, insane, brutal and .... Life Changing.

And when I get back.....something is always missing.  Like that 2nd marathon, I know I need more.  

I want to keep going.

And so here I am, committing myself to yet another race to Africa.

My heart is beating.  I’m scared and nervous and anxious and excited and overwhelmed--just like training for a marathon. 

But my heart is beating.

This is what makes me feel alive.  Like pounding foot to pavement in a race, we pound foot to dirt on the mission field.  My heart beats.

I get to visit orphans, telling them how important they are.  That they have a purpose, a destiny.  That they have been forgiven, or that they have a place in this world.  I get to love on them.  And when it’s said and done, it’s probably more therapy to me than them.  And my heart beats.

They say it’s a lifestyle, and now I know why...

Because of this, I wanted to DO something I love FOR something I love.  I’m running this marathon for THEM.  When I cross that finish line, I want to remember that I’m running for a Cause.  There are 163 million orphans in the world.  I’m running for THEM.

I’m asking you today, to remember every race, triathlon, or competition you’ve ever run, any award you’ve ever won.  That feeling you get crossing the tape.  The excitement you feel with each accomplishment.  The overwhelming joy you receive as each step gets you closer and closer to the end.

That’s how I feel when I get to visit these children, and I’m asking for your help in getting me there.

We have opportunities for individuals to sponsor a lot, or a little.  Anything will help.  Any contribution will get me closer to that finish line...

**There are many ways to sponsor if you’re able.  The easiest, and I like to think, most convenient way is to go to our DONATE page on the website.

 -Drop the menu to CHICAGO MARATHON
*Amount to Donate
*Repeating Donation (you can click NO)
 -Click Team Member or ministry and type my name, AMANDA HERDINA in the box

And there ya have it.  You will be well on your way to helping change and inspire an orphan’s life forever.  You’ve already inspired mine....

Run ‘til the end,
Amanda Herdina