Monday, November 8, 2010

Fun Ways to Spend Your Money :)

I realized that I've talked a little bit about how to do holidays and birthdays on a "buy used" resolution, but not as much about what to do every other day!

I'm going to offer a new-found (by my family, anyway) activity that gives your money to a number of great causes: a charity, your physical and mental health, family bonding!

We have discovered family races or walks that support a cause and encourage the idea among my family that fitness is "fun" even if you don't think so. I knew that I couldn't teach my children something that I wasn't walking. Hence, in order to prove to them that fitness was indeed fun (which, I didn't personally believe), I began to do it... in front of them. Jogging, family walks, family bike rides, workout videos, whatever! I have the cutest video of my 2-year-old doing the exercises he always saw me doing and LOVING it! What a treasure!

We live in such an obese society that on my list of "Things I Want For My Kids" I have 1: Radical for Jesus 2: Healthy. They have seen me lose 25 pounds and a couple dress sizes in the last year as I've raced to prove to them how much fun fitness is!

That said, I joined an amazing team of people who committed to running a 1/2 marathon and raising sponsors (like a jog-a-thon) in order to bring awareness and support to my friend, the Gilmores. They are moving to Haiti in January (Lord willing) in order to "live the need" among the Haitians in all of their current plights. Its one thing to hear about the need from friends... and a whole other thing to commit to understanding it through experiencing it. This is their goal.  You can see more about their mission here at Christian Friendship Ministries.

This commitment (which I made in total ignorance.... 13.1 miles is a lot of miles to run!) has kicked me into many of the smaller races around my town! I have found that MANY of them raise money for great causes and are just plain fun! We did Feet for Families to raise money for Adoption and Foster Care. That was a simple 3.1 mile race (or a two mile walk) and we got breakfast and all sorts of freebies! We also did a Walk for Huntington's Disease- 2 miles easy. At this one, my friend Dorina and I won a free Me-n-Eds pizza and a t-shirt for playing ping-pong with a snorkel flipper and shaking a ping pong ball out of a tissue box... attached to my bootie. AND, finally, we've just signed up for the Turkey Trot... a fun tradition for many families on Thanksgiving Day. Why not walk off all your meal before you eat it? Plus, "free" socks for the first 1200 to sign up!

All of these family walks and events were about $12 or less and supported causes we connected to. Plus, our family was able to spend the day doing something fun, for a common cause (not our OWN cause) and enjoying some physical activity. NOT BAD!

I just completed the half marathon yesterday. That was hard work! But I love what it has done for my body and my mind. I know that I can keep up with my kids. I feel better about myself. And my kids are biggest (and cutest) cheerleaders!

If you're in the Fresno area, heres a great website Pro Race Group with upcoming short and fun races.

So go at it! Use your money in a way that builds your family in so many worthwhile ways! Not on the next video game, movie, tv show, or "hottest" toy off the shelf! All of that will burn away.... but the time you spend together (supporting others) can never be undone!


The Gilmores said...

Well, it's no surprise I LOVE this post! Running & supporting good causes has been a passion of our family's for years. We love that it is a chance to bond as a family or couple, set fitness and health goals and give God the glory in the process. We take seriously the call to honor God with our bodies. Marcy, we are so proud of your willingness to jump in feet first with Team Gilmore and for Jeremy's commitment to support you and corral the kids when needed. What a blessing! Godspeed!