Friday, July 5, 2013

A Gift, A Marathon and A Calling

The Doran Family 
Bob (Dad), Nicole (Mom) Jacob and Hope

I invited my sweet friend, Nicole, back to share with you an amazing testimony of a gift God put in heart for her 40th birthday. Little did she know the surprises God had in store for she and her family as she unwrapped the gift...and unwrapped...and unwrapped...

Here is the first part of Nicole's story. 

When my husband, Bob, asked me what I wanted for my 40th Birthday in March, I had a hard time coming up with an answer. A party? A trip? A special gift? Those ideas were nice, but I wanted some different, something with eternal value. 

After thinking about it and praying about it for a while, I knew!  How about WE ALL TRAIN TOGETHER for the ST. JUDE COUNTRY MUSIC MARATHON and JOIN TEAM TOBY MAC AND POWERED BY HOPE! What better gift could Bob, and our children give to me than to literally carve out family time to work together to reach a GOAL with an ETERNAL PURPOSE! A gift we could all give to others.

We set a goal, planned our course and trained for months together as a family.

Our goal? Me: Half Marathon. Bob, Jacob, & Hope: Mini-Marathon.

Our purpose? To raise scholarship funds for a private, Christian school, which is changing lives in the great name of Jesus Christ by reaching out to, and providing scholarship monies, for low income families.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" - Matthew 25:40

Meet The Doran Family 4.0:

Picture Taken in February 2013 while training

Nicole: Anyone who know me, knows that for the greater portion of my then-39 years, I have been a Classical Ballet and Modern Dancer, Instructor, and Movement Specialist. In March 2013, The Lord upgraded me to a 4.0 (the big 40), a term coined by my dear cousin Megan, an avid runner and athlete. This half marathon was my first training, and race... ever ... except for gym class in elementary school! I was very excited!!!!

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40:31

Bob: Awesome husband, partner, and man of God! When I asked him if he would do this with me, he enthusiastically replied... "if that's what you want ... yes!!" I don't know too many men who get up at 5:00 AM, get home at 6:00 PM, and drive 60 miles round trip daily for work, who would have replied in such a way. His answer showed me his immense love and support by which I was tremendously blessed. He made time to train alone and with our children our family.

"Let us run with endurance the race 
God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1

Jacob: Incredibly funny and dynamic 9-year old, whose favorite Bible story is "The Good Samaritan". He aggressively entered into his training with a heart for the kids.

"Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'" - Matthew 22:37-39

Hope: Abundantly thoughtful and sweet 7 year-old, who is noted to regularly say, "You never know..." This mini-marathon was just the first step for Hope toward organizing a kids triathlon for children to raise money toward foundations of their choice.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" - Jeremiah 29:11

If you told me, prior to January 2013, that I was going to complete a half marathon, and that my husband and kids would train too, I'd have laughed. THE LORD called us to this. He equipped us. He prepared us. He saw His work through to completion. 

So, if I can do it... if we can do it... then so can you. He may not call you to run a marathon, but He will call you to something. And, it may seem like He's asking you to do the impossible. But truly, if He calls you, and if you are obedient, He WILL provide for your every need to accomplish His works prepared for you.

Please visit me for part two of this post when I share with you that AMAZING miracles and gifts God unwrapped for our family as we followed His lead in this unexpected journey. ~ Nicole Doran

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