Brandon's (and his family's)Big Adventures

We, as a family, press on towards the goal

I Choose to SEE ~ Emily

Posted on June 15th, 2011 by Emily

I just finished reading “Choosing to SEE” by Mary Beth Chapman.  I was drawn to reading this book since I had seen it in Baker Book House and Barnes & Noble.  In a way I could relate to it with tragedy striking our family several years ago.  This was written from a Mother’s point of view, which is extremely different than a sister’s point of view.

In August of 1989 my 12 year old brother was killed in an terrible farm accident.  I was 9.  My sister, Mom, and I witnessed the unimaginable casualty, watching him take his last breath.  That day changed our family forever in ways I could not understand until I looked behind me.  There are several completely different ways that our family dealt with the hurt that changed our lives forever.  Anger, sorrow, fear, depression, avoidance, believing, trusting, they’re all ways to handle pain like death of someone close.  I dealt with the pain of losing my brother in all of those ways, but was unaware of how his death would change my life until I choose to look back at myself.  It will never be easy to understand his death or the pain it caused my family, but I see now how I’ve grown through it and understand that today is not the end of my journey to healing.

I see how satan wanted to use this for his work, but I see how God has used it in my life, and many others’, for His greatness.  I will not let satan win.

Even though I’ve grown in my faith, there are others that experience a tragedy and do not.  Instead they turn their back on God and harden their hearts.  Unfortunately, there are those that haven’t yet chosen to SEE the big picture and may never His experience healing.  The fact is, amazing goodness can be brought out of inconceivable bad.  That, even through unimaginable pain, there is unfathomable greatness.

In this book, “Choosing to SEE,” Mary Beth Chapman articulated amazingly well how God has used her family and the tragedy they’ve all individually faced for God’s awesome greatness.  That’s not to say they don’t have bad day’s, which she explains clearly in her writings, but they’ve each chosen to use the bad day’s for God’s work; not allowing satan to get a foot-hold in their hearts.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s experienced tragedy such as the loss of someone who was dearly loved and terribly missed.  Especially to a Mother or Father who has buried any of their children.  But my recommendation isn’t limited, really, anyone can read this book and be forever changed.

Even though I’d love to turn back time and never go through the unimaginable hurt of the loss of my brother, I chose to SEE what God has done through my life through the pain of that fateful days event. Daily, I choose to SEE.


Below are a few quotes that Mary Beth uses in the beginning of chapter’s.  They each individually spoke to my heart and I wanted to share them.

You cannot amputate your history from your destiny….. My past is something that Jesus takes hold of and makes into a destiny.  That’s called redemption.” Beth Moore

A person who lives in faith must proceed on incomplete evidence, trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” Philip Yancey

We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.“  C.S. Lewis

Every act of evil extracts a tear from God, every plunge into anguish extracts a sob from God.” Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son

Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but turn it into glory.” William Barclay

The quickest way for anyone to reach the sun and the light of day is not to run west, chasing after the setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise.” Jerry Sittser

Even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with the, a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead.” Frank Buechner

There is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it.” C.S. Lewis

After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.“  1 Peter 5:10 ESV

National Running Day Giveaway

Posted on June 1st, 2011 by Brandon

Today is National Running Day. I challenge all of you to go for a run. Since we all like prizes. Everyone who leaves me a comment on this blog post will be entered to win a free book!

Answer this question: What did you do to celebrate National Running Day?

Winner will be picked at the end of the day tomorrow!

Winner was picked:  Congrats to Jessica- Check out her awesome blog

Choice of Books: Jessica picked Running on Empty… Check back often to see what we give away next.

The Barefoot Running Book Second Edition: A Practical Guide to the Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running
The Barefoot Book: 50 Great Reasons to Kick Off Your Shoes
Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America

24ish at Christmas

Posted on December 28th, 2010 by Brandon

I love and hate holiday food.  I am a grazer by nature, so as I see good food I want to eat it.  No matter how long ago I ate, I am still hungry, or at least that is what my eyes tell my brain.  It wouldn’t normal matter, because there is usually not that many sweets around, but its Christmas and they are everywhere!  This year has been tougher for me than last.  Last year I was on the way down in weight and the first month I was seeing some huge numbers so the food would ruin that.  This year I justify my eating with “I can just run that off”.  Well my weight has started creeping up even with the miles.  So the holiday food is really starting to hurt.

On Christmas day I wanted to run, so after feasting on Popcorn and Soda at the movies I had my wife drop me off at the studio so I could run home.  Its only 7.4 miles home, but it was an amazing run.  I was sporting my new compression gear from Nike and new Iniji Socks.  I stayed warm and ran a pretty easy run. 

On the day after Christmas I really wanted to put in the miles, but had family Christmas with my awesome wife’s side of the family.  When I told my wife I would just run home she didn’t even flinch.  Kinda weird, because to me it seemed like it was “So Far” from our house that I was crazy.  After I put the route in my profile it was only 13.2 miles.  That wasn’t enough miles to make it a long run.  So my wife said, “Just run through Lowell” and the light bulb went on.  By changing my route to include a “Shell Aid Station” at mile 10 I wouldn’t need my hydration pack or my water bottle belt.  It was weird leaving the family Christmas a lot earlier than I wanted to, but I didn’t have a head lamp or flash light and knew the route would darken quickly.  The first 5-7 miles went by quickly and cold.  The wind was head on till 10 miles, and the fields that surrounded the road most of the way didn’t block the wind.  I didn’t expect so many hills, but didn’t really care.  I always tell myself, “If I don’t cry at the top, they weren’t really hills”.  This brought back memories of Monte De Sol, my first 50k ever with 6000 ft of elevation incline.  The “Shell Aid Station” seemed like a very quick transaction, and I think they might still be talking about the guy with the wierd shoes.  I only got down about 8 oz of Energy Drink and a trail mix bar, before I needed to run again do to the cold.  The next 6.5 miles were fluid.  No pain, no weakness, no hard breathing.  They floated by even easier than they had the previous day.  Every thing was great until I crossed over the two lane state road, and kicked a very frozen “something” with my left foot.

Again to Carthage - Quenton Cassidy

Time stood still as I contemplated either landing on my face, or flying and trying to land.  I chose the latter.  Every muscle in my chest and back screamed in pain as my lungs tried acting like a hot air balloon or the wings hidden in my spin tried ripping through the skin to help me fly.  Not falling was the only highlight.  Catching my breath was difficult, but after a quarter mile I was back in good form and all pain was cast aside.  I started remembering a story in the book “Again to Carthage”where Quenton Cassidy described a 10K runner that tripped and fell bloodying up himself, and then going on to win the race. 

I didn’t feel pain at all after this run, not that night, nor the next day.  I was shocked. After running over 24 miles in two days, I wasn’t sore.  It stands true that if you do the same thing mile after mile you probably will get the same results.  So when I stopped wearing the shoes, its amazing that the pain went away.

“The Long Run”- by Matt Long – Audio Book Review

Posted on December 10th, 2010 by Brandon

“The Long Run”- by Matt Long
The Long Run- Matt Long

As a fireman, paramedic, and runner, this story is truely inspirational.  Matt Long suffers so much and overcomes so much to regain life.  Not just breathing, heart beating, or taking up space… Matt regains life and inspires so many along the way. 

If Matt can overcome near death and debilitating injury I can do so much more.  I can’t stop my I Pad audio book long enough to get my work done.

Matt Long has started the “I Will” Foundation for athletes and people that have been injured and want to get back there pre-injury abilities….

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