Wow! With school bells ringing and churches moving into high gear, the end of summer is a time of new beginnings. The Run Hard. Rest Well. team agrees. Having just completed our 3rd strategic planning meeting (no small feat since there are many miles between us), we’re enjoying a time of reflection and celebration. Do you mind if I take a short hike down memory lane? I’m not going to go back to the very beginning (you can read about that here).
For now, we’ll only go back 2 ½ years. I was at Ft. Wayne’s Lutheran Hospital with my 18 year old son, Josh, who was six months into an agonizing season of medical mystery. My book proposal – an accumulation of my own journey into rest and rhythm, had recently made it through two stages of review at Zondervan, but was then dropped as it passed through marketing. I did not have a digital footprint, and my speaking platform had too little reach.
With Josh clocking 90 nights in the hospital that year, and Joe (15) fighting a series of rugged surgeries for reoccurring benign tumors on his spinal cord, I knew my speaking platform would not be growing any time soon. So, I decided to focus on a website. This proved daunting. My digital expertise is about as substantial as a wet paper bag. “Lord, who can help?”
I still remember the moment. It was January 3, 2013 and Josh, hooked up to a unit of blood, was sound asleep. God’s clear, still voice had a single name for me. “Bethany.” It was a light bulb moment.
Bethany Andrews, 23, was (and is) a lover of God and a dreamer of big dreams. Bright, passionate and talented, Bethany was in a fight for her life against Lyme. The disease had dashed her dreams and broken her body. She was neck deep into a long, hard season of healing and recovery at her parent’s home in Iowa. I located the phone number and as we talked, excitement grew at every turn
Bethany said “YES” and RHRW emerged into the 21st century via this duo of wounded warriors.
In April of that year, the Lord assembled a team of remarkably gifted people. Since I was unable to travel, this crew came to my home for a thrilling weekend of vision casting. Paige Craig led the team. Her product management expertise was formed over more than 15 years with VeggieTales, Willow Creek Association (WCA) and Concordia University Chicago. Paige invited WCA colleague, Rachel Lance, for her digital marketing and social media expertise as well as Danielle Kiefer, an award-winning graphic designer, who has worked at The Chicago Field Museum, The Chicago Botanic Garden and Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo.
The weekend began with the “simple” goal of creating visibility for a book about rest and ended with the strategic vision to incorporate Run Hard. Rest Well. as a non-profit ministry. After 15 years of training, prep and prayers, RHRW was moving from a ministry of one to a movement of God orchestrated by a small, growing army.
Since that time, all five us of have found ourselves in seasons and situations where God’s been at work through refining fires. Progress with our volunteer team has been slow, but steady. Our passion is fervent and deep. More remarkable servant leaders continue to join the team.
Today, we are seeing the fruit of an exciting northeast Indiana launch event that took place in May. Josh is in Hospice Care and Joe weathered two more grueling surgeries. Our son, Sam, began his Army career and is living 2,300 miles away. We had a devastating fire at camp. I had major surgery. And my dad fought his final battle with metastasized prostate cancer. He died on November 5, 2014 and entered into the rest he knew was his because of Jesus’s life, and His power of sin and death. Unbeknownst to me, Run Hard. Rest Well. became an incorporated nonprofit on that very same day.
Join us today as we thank God us for all He has done … and all He is doing. RHRW is entering into another exciting phase of growth. NEW is the operative word. Prayerful, strategic plans include new resources, tools and retreats designed to bless and encourage you, you who know how to run hard.
Where were you 2 ½ years ago? Where are you today? How has your life been impacted by the rest we were meant to enjoy?
Is This Your First Time Here?
Welcome! We’re a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”
- It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
- It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
- It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.