accepting my pace :: just one race

“Running around.” That’s what I call living life outside our home. I need to run around. This is acceptable and code for errands, appointments, groceries, meetings, extra curricular activities, fueling up with coffee and/or sugar. But I’ve had to accept that my life – at least right now – includes none of this “running.” None of the surge of energy from tackling challenges and to-do’s. None of the difficult transitions. None of the pressure from thinking “if I don’t get this done then {fill in the blank}.”

None of the excuses for why life is busy right now. Instead, I’ve had to fully embrace being at rest. All. The. Time.

Before Emmett was conceived, I thought I was in a good groove. I felt like our life and routine was in order and had purpose. My mind went back and forth over the idea of adding another life into our home. I didn’t think I could handle all the busyness. And then after we conceived, I told myself that I could make a few simple adjustments to add a baby into the mix. That we could continue on in the same life direction. I assumed that was what God had in mind for us. I believed that after a month or two postpartum life and our routine would go back to normal, and that just a little while longer and I would be able to get my “running” shoes back on.

A little while after Emmett was born, I did get back to running around. I became an student of mega-speed-multitasking. I planned my days in 3 hour increments, down to the very minute. And about that time, I was feeling torn in two. I wanted to be and to do. I wanted to rest and to run. I wanted to wait and to have now. It was confusing. I know I muddled through many days, seemingly an emotional mess to those closest to me.

Praise God with me though, that the second shoe did drop. First shoe: bed rest. Second shoe: persistent illnesses.

So after facing a few health challenges with Emmett, I can see that I wasn’t meant to handle all the busyness. And through these challenges we’ve had to let most of them go. At least temporarily. And even though I wasn’t ready to know the plan before his life began, I am so grateful for how much he has been used to change my pace. Before, I lived first and loved second. Now, I love first and live second.

Sure, I miss running around, in big and small ways. I miss the people. I miss the fresh air, when it isn’t -30 degrees. I miss the spontaneity. I miss being able to say “I’ll be there.” But these things are simply outside of my ability to influence, let alone control. Health. Doctor’s orders. On one hand, I love the time to reflect, to listen to silence, to train little bodies and big minds, to be present consistently, and to pray. But on the other hand, I want a life out there, I want to prove my worth in relationships, I want to run around.

I was told to keep Emmett home. End of story. No more torn in two. Just whole at home. I spent three to five days in shock. I didn’t know how to keep going with our routine – the life that I thought was in order – seemed completely impossible now. And as only God can, He showed me how all of this has been for my good, to slow me down, to focus my heart on my one goal, and to inspire me to run the only race that truly matters.

Running to Jesus. Or to put it another way: Staying in His Presence every moment of every day.

Sure, I wanted to go out today. Yes, I felt like it was okay (permissible considering doctor’s orders), and it even felt good to wear make up. I put on my “running” shoes. But that wasn’t in His plan for today. I was met with a dead battery. After I shoveled the driveway, mind you.

But I was at rest. Even in the face of changed plans, unmet expectations, and hard work. I was able to accept that I only have one race in which I’ve been called to run. Only one word that is eternal, and it’s not mine. I may let people in this life down momentarily, but when I fix my eyes on Him and focus my running –

I don’t grow weary. 

My heart is enlarged. (Full to bursting!)

I run with purpose in every step.

I run to win.

24 thoughts on “accepting my pace :: just one race

  1. Oh wow, what a trial! Grateful to hear that the Lord has been granting sufficient grace thus far. May you continue to know mercies that are new every morning, for great is His faithfulness. Love the way you ended this, with a focus on the eternal, and the only race that *really* matters. Praise God for the hope of heaven. Blessings to you as you continue to walk this journey.

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    • I’m so blessed and encouraged to know that this post, these little words, led you to praise the Lord with me! It’s so true that the way up is down. Humility is a bittersweet process, and I “amen” your praise to God for the hope of heaven. It truly is all worth it. 🙂

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  2. Oh wow, what a trial! Grateful to hear that the Lord has been granting sufficient grace thus far. May you continue to know mercies that are new every morning, for great is His faithfulness. Love the way you ended this, with a focus on the eternal, and the only race that *really* matters. Praise God for the hope of heaven. Blessings to you as you continue to walk this journey.

    Like

    • I’m so blessed and encouraged to know that this post, these little words, led you to praise the Lord with me! It’s so true that the way up is down. Humility is a bittersweet process, and I “amen” your praise to God for the hope of heaven. It truly is all worth it. 🙂

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  3. Wow! I love this. I love how God speaks and moves. It seems it would be hard to do and a struggle, but I love the quiet way he comes into our lives and says, “no, you need more of me and your little ones.” I think sometimes I have the tendency to run around in my head and run on the internet instead of being with my babies. Even though I am home most days too, it is a constant struggle to keep my life balanced. Thank you for sharing your words?,

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    • Erika, it’s so encouraging to know I’m not alone in this fight for focus. Our faith and families are so worth our effort, but it gets hard to say “no” to good things in order to live our “yes” to the best things. I’m so glad you’re with me!

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  4. Wow! I love this. I love how God speaks and moves. It seems it would be hard to do and a struggle, but I love the quiet way he comes into our lives and says, “no, you need more of me and your little ones.” I think sometimes I have the tendency to run around in my head and run on the internet instead of being with my babies. Even though I am home most days too, it is a constant struggle to keep my life balanced. Thank you for sharing your words?,

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    • Erika, it’s so encouraging to know I’m not alone in this fight for focus. Our faith and families are so worth our effort, but it gets hard to say “no” to good things in order to live our “yes” to the best things. I’m so glad you’re with me!

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  5. I love that God is teaching you and still using you even though it looks very different than before. Your statement that now you love first and live second was huge. God is so amazing and I pray that your new normal continues to be blessed by God. Visiting from (in)courage writers!!! Blessings, Mary!

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    • It’s true that we can’t imagine what God has planned for us, and I’m so thankful to see Him at work. It’s a beautiful mess this redeemed life. 🙂 Thanks for visiting! I’m in awe of how encouraged I am already, and it’s only the first week. 🙂

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  6. I love that God is teaching you and still using you even though it looks very different than before. Your statement that now you love first and live second was huge. God is so amazing and I pray that your new normal continues to be blessed by God. Visiting from (in)courage writers!!! Blessings, Mary!

    Like

    • It’s true that we can’t imagine what God has planned for us, and I’m so thankful to see Him at work. It’s a beautiful mess this redeemed life. 🙂 Thanks for visiting! I’m in awe of how encouraged I am already, and it’s only the first week. 🙂

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  7. I found you through the (in)couraging writers group… It’s funny how life happens and we have no alternative but to surrender. I’ve had many of those moments. Praying you’ll find the rest you need during this season. May God use this to encourage others as they, too, seek rest.

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    • Well put Darlene, thank you for relating to me on this. It’s so encouraging to see new friends on my little space in this world wide web. 🙂 I look forward to reading your post today!

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  8. I found you through the (in)couraging writers group… It’s funny how life happens and we have no alternative but to surrender. I’ve had many of those moments. Praying you’ll find the rest you need during this season. May God use this to encourage others as they, too, seek rest.

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    • Well put Darlene, thank you for relating to me on this. It’s so encouraging to see new friends on my little space in this world wide web. 🙂 I look forward to reading your post today!

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  9. I cannot begin to tell you how often God has slowed me down or stopped me completely because I was running myself out with the need to do and be and accomplish more and I needed to slow and rest and take Him in. I love seeing all the visitors from the (in)courage writers group here!

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    • Aren’t the seasons in our lives so necessary? God’s teaching me so much personal discipline right now, which I didn’t choose on my own – but I’m so thankful He knows best. 🙂 Thanks for visiting, (in)courage is so aptly named – I love it!

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  10. I cannot begin to tell you how often God has slowed me down or stopped me completely because I was running myself out with the need to do and be and accomplish more and I needed to slow and rest and take Him in. I love seeing all the visitors from the (in)courage writers group here!

    Like

    • Aren’t the seasons in our lives so necessary? God’s teaching me so much personal discipline right now, which I didn’t choose on my own – but I’m so thankful He knows best. 🙂 Thanks for visiting, (in)courage is so aptly named – I love it!

      Like

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