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Tag Archives: Hebrews 12:1

Stay in your lane

Track practice. Track uniforms. Long (and I do mean long…) track meets. That’s our new life right now. For a bit I was unscathed by “sports mom” duty. Thankful for not having to drive to and fro. Or sit through my Saturday in hot sun, or frigid cold temperatures on a Tuesday night.

Until I didn’t have that luxury anymore.

And while it has added a new dynamic to what is already our crazy family life, I am thankful for this season.

I am thankful that she chose it, because it means without mom and dad nagging her to do this or that-she invested in it because it was solely her idea.

I’m thankful for the memories it conjures up of my own long (hours long) track meets. The thrill of standing at the finish line cheering your teammates to the end, even if they didn’t win.

Even if they didn’t win.

I’m even thankful for that. Because it has taught me something. Watching my girl run with reckless abandon has taught me something.

Just stay in your lane. And what do I mean by that?

Rick Warren in his book The Purpose Driven Life likens our unique purpose to a race. He states about our journey to fulfill God’s calling in our lives: “Don’t be envious of the runner in the lane next to you; just focus on finishing your race.”

And I have noticed something as I have watched my girl run. She stays in her lane. She isn’t looking back. She isn’t focused on who is ahead of her. She just runs, until she is finished.

And her teammates cheer her on until the end. Through the finish line. Because she finished. Not because she won.

And that’s the thing with these races. With watching these boys and girls run what appears to be the longest of laps around the track. You get applause just for finishing.

Not for being first. Not for running the fastest time. Not for using the perfect form to jump a hurdle. Not for jumping the highest. You are not looking at the person next to you to determine if you are better or worse.

You put YOUR best foot forward and you simply finish!

Stay in your lane today. Be it in a fast sprint or a slow stroll. Don’t compare yourself to the person who is faster, higher, or first.

Just run your race. At your pace, and finish. I’ll be at the finish line cheering you on.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2019 in On Purpose

 

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Keep on keeping on…

I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past, and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.                                                                                                                                                             Philippians 3:13-14

Lately, life has been an uphill climb. Each climb up the path God has purposed for me has led to a face to face battle with some unexpected and unwelcome boulder.

Usually, these burdens come along once the climb becomes too smooth. Seems too easy. When all those pieces finally get put together, and everything has fallen into place. We get complacent. And we think all is good.

Not so these days.

One day it is the boulder of rejection. Hurt. Doubt and lack of faith in what God has called me to do. In my emotions, I want to quickly turn away and run back down that hill. Yell that they are all right. That I am not good enough. That I don’t know what I am doing. That God really did call some kind of dummy.

But, instead…I get back up. I climb the next hill. Keep on keeping on, as our youth pastor frequently says. I repeat these words as I climb that hill once again that God has purposed just for me.

And, then…here we go again! Another boulder. This time-pain. Crippling pain. Want to stay in bed all day pain. Ready to crawl under a table and cry out in defeat pain.

But, I remember my purpose. I remember my call. And, I get back up. Climb the next hill. Keep on keeping on.

Until another one comes. The next boulder. Knocking me down. Until I am helpless. Literally can’t breathe. I am ready to wave the white flag of defeat. Tell God that I just give up. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t get back up. I am tired of being knocked down.

I am worn out. I am hurt. I am dead tired. I just want my bed, and some sleep. Someone to believe in me. Have faith in me. I don’t want anymore boulders in my way.

I am done.

I know I need to lift my eyes up. But, I’m too weak, life just won’t let up. And, I know that you can give me rest. So, I cry out with all that I have left. (Worn, Tenth Avenue North)

And so I cry out. My God! My God! Why do you continue to allow these things to happen to me? When will things get easier? When will I sleep again? When will you remove these obstacles? Why have you forsaken me!

What a baby!

Didn’t Jesus cry out similar words to the same God? Sure, he did. Yet, he also climbed that hill. Carried a much larger boulder than I ever will. Suffered pain I could never imagine, and gave ALL of himself for ALL of His people.

So, certainly I can get out of bed tomorrow and once again keep on keeping on. And, maybe instead of seeing only boulders in my way, I can praise God for the morning sunrise that greets me as I wearily drive to work.

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For the kids that can look at mommy and know that for just tonight, mommy really needs a moment of peace and harmony.

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Maybe this morning, the climb will be easier than yesterday or maybe it won’t, but I won’t be alone on that climb.

So God,

Let me see redemption win. Let me know the struggle ends. That you can mend a heart that’s frail and torn. I want to know a song can rise, from the ashes of a broken life. And all that’s dead inside can be reborn, cause I’m worn. (Worn, Tenth Avenue North)

That’s my prayer. That I continue on this journey you have chosen for me, even though it may be one rocky climb. Lord, help me to see that you can mend all the brokenness that comes from all the shattered bits of my heart these boulders leave. I pray that I remain faithful in moving forward despite these boulders daily, and continue to keep on keeping on.

And, let us run the race with endurance God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in On Purpose

 

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Try Something Different…Just Let It Go

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Think about the things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8,9

It’s that time of year again. Lenten season. The time of year when for the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday we focus on the meaning of Easter. That focus is not on the Cadbury Eggs that fill the aisles of the local drugstores, or the Easter egg hunts that are already being planned. Rather, it is on the one who promised us new life by shedding His blood.

For many it also means giving up present day luxuries to slow down and spend time preparing and celebrating this gift He has given.

God amazes me over and over, and the season of Lent is no exception. He also seems to find funny ways of teaching me to slow down. So, just as the season of Lent begins, He sends the snowstorm I had been seeking. One that forced me to finally relax. To slow down and think about His promises. In particular, the promise of peace.

See, I am not a peaceful person. In fact, I consider myself to be somewhat of a control freak. A little OCD. And, I can get agitated…easily. Easily frustrated. I worry too much about the opinions of others, and I let it bother me. Until this agitation, frustration, and resentment starts to overwhelm my soul. Starts to steal my peace.

Until I take it out on the ones who mean the most to me.

Until I find myself in the midst of an impending snowstorm pleading for peace. Because, I am aware that my control freak tendencies, my impatience, my frustrations will implode when stuck in the house with three bored and overactive kids.

And, because He knows just how much I adore these three. How much I yearn to be more patient. How much I desire to be a beacon of peace in this place, He did what He promised. He gave me peace this week. Peace so comforting that in some moments I didn’t even recognize the woman who was at home with her “monsters.” I didn’t recognize the woman who let the dishes sit. Who didn’t care about the snow boots strewn across the living room floor. The goldfish on the couch. The screams. The bickering. The two and a half hours playing in snow I don’t much enjoy.

Right in the middle of a week that began the season of Lent. A season when we start to contemplate the things we want to give up to draw closer to God.

Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. Hebrews 12:1

While I have picked to give up that thing, or things rather, that trip me up, I see now that He is really asking me to let go of some other things as well.

Let it go.

Of the need to please people. To make them like me. To worry about or beat myself up over worldly opinions.

Let it go.

Of the dishes in the sink. The clothes on the floor. The shoes and backpacks on the couch. The need to have everything neat, in its place, and put away.

Let it go.

Of the “busy-ness” that consumes my life. The need to go, go, go…and do, do, do. All. The. Time.

Let it go.

Of the need to say “yes,” when all I really want to say is “no.”

Let it go.

Of the housework. Of the homework. Of the demands of work that keep me from enjoying those at home.

Let it go.

Of my guilt. Of my shame. Of my past. My insecurities. My fears.

Let it go.

Of all that causes this heart frustration and agitation.

Let it go.

Of toxic relationships. One-sided relationships. Those that only tear me apart or beat me down.

Let it go.

Of the need to do for everyone but me. To take care of everyone. To fix all the problems of the world.

Let it go.

Of perfection. Because I am a mess. I stumble. I fall. I fail. But, God loves this mess, and he does not demand I be perfect.

So, let it go.

Because, in the end, when I let go of all the things which in the grand scheme do not in any way define me, are not a part of His plan, and only cause me frustration and agitation, I gain so much more.

I gain peace. A peace that the world cannot give (John 14:27).

So, what do you need to let go of today?

Seek God. Ask Him for his peace. His promises, and just let the rest go.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in You Make All Things New

 

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One Word-Perseverance

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I like to think I have a way with words, with at least the written words that express my thoughts, my emotions, my desires. However, sometimes choosing just one word becomes a little more daunting.

Last year I joined a group of women in an on-line bible study in which I participate in choosing one word to live by for the year. This one word would replace any resolutions that would certainly be broken by the second day of January. Deciding on the one word that would define my year was not too complicated, but living it out was often something else entirely.

It is said when you choose this one word that God will reveal how exactly He plans for you to live up to it. And that He did.

While I did prove at times to be far from fearless, I also learned to understand…

Letting go is fearless. Admitting defeat is fearless. Admitting your faults and being transparent is fearless. Telling your story, as ugly as it may be is fearless. Forgiveness is fearless. Asking for help is fearless.

Faith in the midst of doubt is fearless. Embracing the twists and turns of life is fearless. Parenting is fearless. Love is fearless.

This year, this one who thinks she is so great with words, has had a tough time finding the “one.”

Until I lay in bed for the third week of an illness that quickly turned into pneumonia. Gasping for air. Tired. Weary. Worn. More sick than I had ever been.

Crying out for God to just give this weary girl some rest. Cursing Him for not providing the healing He had promised. Angry because the mission He had set out for me couldn’t possibly be fulfilled in this bed. On this couch. Gasping for breath. Tired, Weary. Worn.

Ready to give up on Him altogether.

Ready to give up…something that comes so easy to me.

The one who was “fearless” enough to stand in a room of strangers and tell her ugly story, couldn’t seem to find the motivation or strength to complete the simplest of tasks. To follow through on all the things she needed or desired to do.

The one who can fearlessly wrestle monsters, gives up too easily on other things that just seem to hard.

Like the guitar I played for a week, and then never picked back up.

Like all the books I started and never finished.

Like all the conversations I was too scared to have with the people who needed to hear my words the most.

The ideas and goals I have that I never write down, and then never start.

The good intentions and best laid plans I throw to the side when it gets to tough to follow through.

The “clean” eating. The desire to run I wanted to find again. The dream I so want to make happen. The marriage I take for granted. The prayers I never pray. The time I never have. Too hard. So, I just give up or never start.

And, here I was again. Ready to give up because God was making things too hard.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

So, my one word. The one word God revealed to me as I lay screaming at Him. Angry. Gasping for air. Tired. Weary. Worn.

Perseverance.

Perseverance to pick up that guitar and finally learn to play it. Perseverance to get those dreams and goals written down so they can finally be achieved.

To finish that book. To follow through on those best laid plans and good intentions. To make time for God. My health. My family. My marriage.

To fight the urge to give up on people, projects, hopes when they get too hard. Or, to give up on God when he doesn’t answer.

Perseverance to run the race He will set before me. Never quitting. Never faltering. Never giving up.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2015 in You Make All Things New

 

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