Thursday, December 20, 2012

Running Through Life is available!

For today's blog I wanted to copy/paste an email I sent out yesterday to announce the release of the book: Running Through Life
In case I accidentally forgot to send the email to you yesterday, below is what I said:

To my friends and family: 
This is a very exciting email for me to send out to you. After two years of work, we have finally reached the day where my book: Running Through Life: Reflections from 26.2 Miles is officially available! The journey of writing over the past two years has been quite the adventure with many ups and downs along the way. It has definitely been an enjoyable experience, and it has proven to be a lot more work than I ever imagined. I want to take this time and thank you for the role you have played throughout this time. Whether it was through words of encouragement, your editing touch, artistic talents, or listening to me as I processed through this journey, you have been monumental in helping me. I do not believe this book is something that only I have achieved, I truly believe it is something we all have achieved. Thank you for help, encouragement, and for believing in me. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know about a few of the additional projects I have been working on over the past couple of months to prepare for the book’s launch. These will hopefully guide you into learning how to purchase a copy of the book, learn more about the story of the book, and to help spread word about the book. Please feel free to share all of these items with your family and friends and help me reach a greater audience. 

The Website:I have created a website designed specifically for the book with the url: This is the primary place that I am hoping to direct people to. From this website you can read a new blog I am writing, find out how to order a book, watch the book's promotional video, and more. I would highly encourage you to visit the site, and send others the link as well. 
How to purchase a copy:
There are two main ways to obtain a copy; through me directly, or WinePress Publishing's website. If you are in Germany, I will be bringing back a handful of books with me after break. You can buy a copy from me once school starts back up. The other main way is through the WinePress Publishing website. If you follow this link you will be taken directly to the site: 

Twitter:If you know me, you know I am not too fond nor am I too savvy with social media. But, I have been working hard at cracking into the world of Twitter. I have created a Twitter account for the book: @26_2Reflections - I have already begun tweeting different quotes from the book, different facts about marathons, and different items pertaining to running. Within the Twitter profile is a link to my website, so my hope is that I can direct people to the website from Twitter. If you have Twitter I would love for you to follow me, and from time to time retweet some of my tweets to further expose the book.

The Publishing company I am working with helped create a Facebook Page (Running Through Life) for the book. Feel free to visit the page and "like" it, and share the link with others. I have been blown away by the positive responses I have received from this page. On the day I first launched the site I was hoping to get 50 "likes" and fell asleep having already gotten over 75. Right now we are well over 100, which is amazing.

There is one other thing I would like to mention here, you can read more about this on my website under the page "Katie's Trip"
- One of the greatest joys I have had in tackling this project has been the way in which people have surrounded me and offered their time, talent and energy to assist me. Knowing how much others have helped me, I want to turn around and do the same. Each year at BFA we send out multiple mission trips during our spring break. This year we have 7 trips that involve 87 students going to; Romania (3 different teams), Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Southeast Asia, and Kyrgyzstan. Knowing many students will have to raise finances for the trip, as much as 1,200 euro ($1,500+), I knew this was a perfect way for me to give back. I have decided that 25% of the royalties sold from each book in the next 30 days will go to help a student raise support for a trip.
After coming up with the idea I had a few friends join me in prayer for a week. We were praying for wisdom in how to choose a student. After a few conversations with these friends I felt at peace to approach Katie Kragt. Katie is a Junior at BFA, she participated in the trip to Moldova with me a few years ago, and I have been her soccer coach for the past two years. As so many have given to me of their time, energy and talents in the creation of this book, I want to give back and pour into the students here. My hope is that you will be encouraged and blessed knowing a portion of what you are paying for the book, is going toward Katie's mission trip experience.
I have asked Katie to write a blog on my website from time to time so you can meet her, and catch a part of her vision for the trip. Please keep an eye out for that, as I believe you will be encouraged and blessed by what she has to share. The only downside is that she is a big Vikings fan.

Thank you so much for your support and help along the way. I am absolutely thrilled to reach this point. This is going to be quite a monumental day for me, and I am excited to celebrate in what we have accomplished. 
If you have any questions about anything I have mentioned here please do not hesitate to let me know.

With love,

PS. I plan on celebrating the completion of the book by signing up to run another marathon in Germany on April 7 2013. I'm excited.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Almost here...

Today I received the email I have been waiting for, I found out that the final proof of the book has been approved by the publisher. That means, we are one week away from the book being available! I am quite excited and have enjoyed being able to call and text family and friends tonight in celebration. I plan to send out an email when the book is officially in print to lay out a lot of information regarding the book. If you would like to receive that please send me an email ( and make sure I have your current email address. I will also be posting information on facebook and on the twitter account for the book (@26_2Reflections) Keep your eyes out for the information.
Thanks for all of your love and support along the way.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Oh, what's up Asia?!?

Each year our school sends out a number of different trips during spring break to give the students an opportunity to serve and gain valuable experience in the world of missions. To date, I have heled lead three trips and have absolutely loved them. Each one has been to a different place (Kenya, Russia, Moldova) and each one I walked away with several nuggets of truth that will forever stay with me. Though each trip was different one thing always seemed to remain the same for me; these trips provided a great opportunity to engage and interact with the students. For this very reason, I always keep a close eye on when the trips are being announced, with the hope that the doors will open and enable me to participate.
This year prior to the trips being announced I began praying that I would feel a heavy burden for one of the trips. I didn't want to do one simply to do one. I wanted to participate because I felt a passion and a burning desire for a specific trip. I began praying that one of the trips would involve working at an orphanage. I'm sure I haven't voiced this to many people, but I have a very sensitive heart to orphanages, and get a tug on my heart whenever I talk about them. On the day the trips were announced there was one trip that would be partnering with an orphanage (for the sake of the story, Trip A) heart started beating fast. They were still looking for male leaders, my heart was beating faster. Then they announced a different trip (Trip B) and I started saying, "Man. That would be cool too." I left a little confused and wasn't sure what to do.
For some odd reason this year I have done a very poor job with turning things in on time. It's definitely not customary for me to do this - but on more than one occasion I have missed a deadline simply because I've neglected to turn something in. When it came time to turn in a form indicating my interest in leading a trip... I forgot and didn't turn it in on time. I was still feeling a tug on my heart for the orphanage, but was frustrated that I lost my chance simply by not turning in the form.
A few days later I talked with our Chaplain about the trips and he said there was no longer any needs for a male leader. I left discouraged, but still felt a tug. So I began praying about it again and found myself saying, "Lord if this door is going to be opened it looks like A, B, C, and D are going to have to happen. Those are some hurdles we need to get over."
About a week later I got an email from the Chaplain stating they now needed 3 male leaders to fill 3 spots. Trip A and Trip B were both on the list. If forced to choose I wasn't sure what I would do. But, I was the third person to respond to the email. The first two spots were filled...and the only spot remaining was Trip A...heading to Asia to work at an orphanage. I was pretty blown away. The door had definitely been cracked open, but before I could commit, I needed to figure out a few other items. After a few more emails A, B, C, and D were all taken care of.  It was incredible. I kept seeing each hurdle fall down and create a peace in my heart about leading the trip.
So...I am going to help lead a trip in March. A month ago I don't think I would have anticipated this - but here I am, having seen every obstacle hurdled, confident about the trip. Last week we had our very first team meeting, and I felt such peace, joy, and excitement. I keep getting the feeling that God is going to do something huge and awesome through the trip, and to be honest, I'm thrilled about seeing what will happen. He took care of A, B, C, and D just to let me be a part of this trip. I'm excited to see how He takes care of the rest of the alphabet for me, and our team, both before and during the trip.