Best. Decision. Ever.

When I was 7 I sold girl scout cookies.  That was as close to charity work as I got as a kid.  Sure, my parents donated all their crap to American Vets, but I don’t have any memories of much else.

So for 23 years I did nothing.

There was always an excuse.  I don’t have enough money.  I can’t make a difference. Blah, blah, blah.

Two years ago, I had just undergone my second bowel resection after being in the throes of a full blown Crohn’s attack for 9 months.  I was angry at my body for failing me.  For robbing me of the joy that is supposed to be creating life.  And I decided I needed to do something.

Shortly after, I received a timely piece of mail from the CCFA (Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America).  I looked at the glossy brochure with people running and cheering and I thought, “I want to do that!”  Then I read further…  And saw it was a half marathon…  In Las Vegas…

Immediately, my heart sank.  I figured there was no way I could accomplish that.  I’d never run before.  Let alone 13.1 miles.  Six months post-op?  That was crazy. 

But I nervously went to the informational meeting anyway.  I was surrounded by people affected with the same illness.  Wanting to make a difference.  It was empowering.  And I signed up.

To this day, it was the most important thing I’ve ever done for myself.  I walked 13.1 miles in 4 hours and 14 seconds.  Raised over $2700.  And made some amazing friends.  Total win.

That experience changed my perspective on giving.  If you think that $5, $10, or $20 doesn’t make a difference.  You’re wrong.  The generosity of so many touched my heart.  And made me want to pay it forward.

Shortly after the devastating tornado in Joplin, I knew I wanted to help my fellow Missourians.  So when I read about Bloggers for Joplin, I fell in love with the idea and wanted to contribute.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous.  I had been reading Taming Insanity for a while, but I was a little intimidated by advertising my little baby site on a celebrity blog.  But KLZ was so kind and welcoming, she immediately put me at ease.  And when she invited me to guest post?!  I almost peed myself with excitement!

So, pretty, pretty please stop on by Taming Insanity and check out my big time debut.  Here’s hoping I didn’t embarrass myself too much.

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14 Responses to Best. Decision. Ever.

  1. that’s awesome!!! my brother in law has chrones(pretty sure i spelled that wrong – sorry!). so i hear about the stories from my sis all the time. glad you are doing better!

    • Jen says:

      Yeah, I usually misspell it the first time, too! It’s really scary how prevalent it has become. Everytime it comes up, I hear of someone who knows someone that has it.

  2. I heart KLZ, and when I saw your guest post today, all I could think was, why has KLZ kept you hidden from me? How do I not follow you already? We could be twins! Or the same person! We have the same name, afterall, which as you know is SOOOO unusual. Though, thankfully, I’m not afflicted with Crohn’s and I am so sorry to hear that you are as I have a friend who suffers with it. Anyway! So glad to have found you. (Commenting from my office space as well….)

    • Jen says:

      I’m verklempt! Thank you for your sweet words. Reading through some of your posts, the similarities are a little eerie… :) Always excited to meet another Brain Twin!

  3. Sam says:

    I read your post at KLZ’s blog and I just had to drop by and say hi! So great to meet you. Your story and generosity are truly inspiring :)

  4. Following you from the Terrific Thursday Blog Hop. I’d love it if you’d follow back!

    ~Nikki
    http://www.funkyfreshmama.com

  5. Kristy says:

    Woohoo! Your post over there was awesome!! I refer to several of you gals as “my friend so-and-so” when I talk about something I’ve read 😉 When I started blogging I had no idea that I would be getting to know such fabulous women!

  6. You’re an inspiration. Really.

    And I’m so glad KLZ introduced me to you.

    (I like to think I’m good-hearted and crazy, too.)

    I like to THINK it. Not so sure it’s true….

    But I’m pretty nice on Fridays, so there’s that.

    Nice to meet you, lady. 😉

    • Jen says:

      Thank you! I have a hard time seeing myself as inspirational, but crazy? Definitely. I guess we are always harder on ourselves than others.

  7. wow…that’s so freaking awesome!!! What a fantastic job…

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