Mary Beth Johnson is a wife and mum to four schooners, as she's dubbed her children. On a normal afternoon, you would find her in moccasins, skinny jeans and a comfortable tee, camera in hand. Recently moving to the suburbs of Atlanta, Mary Beth spends her days homeschooling, sneaking away to the bookstore, trying to act the part of a southerner, and sifting through recipes in The Vegetarian Times. Food is her love language.
I have a half-marathon planned for the fall.
I say "planned" because I have done this once before and became pregnant with our little Hugh midway through the program. Unlike the last time, I am going at it alone here and I have learned much along the way. The runs on the weekends are longer and quieter (and hotter!) and I miss the laughter with the distracting chatter of my girlfriends, but in the stillness and the open spaces between heavy breaths I am learning new and different lessons. Lessons on prayer and discipline and bringing our thoughts captive to God. Lessons on living with less and ordering our days with purpose. In the blissful quiet I plan and dream and hope for the future. Things I probably wasn't ready to learn or hope for two years ago, but through God's grace I am able to now.
I have a deeper appreciation for the process of living and becoming with every bone that aches just a bit more than the previous year. These quiet moments remind me that there is no fast track or easier route, we must plug in the miles and run each step with resolve. May we be found faithful.
Most mornings after a run I crave a smoothie for breakfast. It's still so hot here and even the air conditioning in our van can't keep up. ;) I wanted to mix things up last weekend and tried this banana shake with vanilla protein powder - it was so refreshing. The original recipe calls for coconut milk, but I used almond instead. Feel free to mix and match with your own preferences.
ALMOND BANANA DATE SHAKE //
2 cups almond or coconut milk
4 large pitted Medjool dates, chopped up
1/2 scoop vanilla protein of choice (optional)
one small banana, preferably frozen
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1-2 cups crushed ice
splash of orange juice
In a blender, combine the almond/coconut milk, dates, protein (if using), banana, cinnamon, ice and splash of oj. Blend everything together well until the dates are in tiny pieces and everything is smooth. Adjust with as splash of this or that as desired and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon. Enjoy cold.