Sunday, August 24, 2014

What my sweaty, Sunday run taught me

The morning air is sticky, but tickled with a soft breeze.
   I taste salt as I sip my coffee this morning, because my face is dried with a mixture of sweat and tears from my morning run.
   I pounded out 7 miles today. My intention was 5, but my feet were flying, my emotion was high and I needed to feel the ground beneath my feet.  I needed to burn off the anxieties that have built within me this week.
   Waking up at 4 on a Sunday is not typical for me. I enjoy Sunday as my day of rest normally. But between the week's events and my friend, Mary, asking me to join her for a long run, I reluctantly set my alarm.
  And as I sit here and write, body cooling down, heart rate slowing and taking in the chirping of birds and squeaking of squirrels, I am so glad I endeavored out early.
   I do not want this blog to sound like a complaint session. In the end, I want you to hear my heart and feel what I am learning ,so bear with me, because my brain is a muddled mess of thoughts.
  Lessons I took away from my difficult week:
1. You don't have to meet every goal you set.
    Not accomplishing a set goal is not a failure by any means. Being the goal setter that I am, I often struggle with not meeting what I set out to do. Usually, I accomplish it out of sheer determination, and sometimes stupid stubbornness. This time, my August goal of running 100 miles in the month was unattainable. While I could have pushed my limits and accomplished it, due to emotion and events of the last few weeks, I knew I needed rest. And thus, gave in to the reality of not making it 100 miles this month. It's been a beautiful lesson for me, really. Not meeting a goal is ok; it's not failure. It's a way of re evaluating, readjusting and learning. Pressing on... I won't quit making goals. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a goal setter. But I have finally learned not making the goal is ok, learning in the process is just as important. Not to mention that today when I set out, I took no watch, no phone, no headphones, and the I think the freedom from those "things" allowed me to rekindle the joy of the run, instead of the push of a goal. It was the best sweaty, Sunday run I have ever had.

2.  God will take care of it....
   As busy season is vamping into high gear for me now, I often get overwhelmed with details. I worry about people signing up for the 5K. I worry about getting sponsorship to cover cost. I worry about my time usage. I worry...worry..worry. Can you see the theme here? It's part of my nature, and it's part of how I function each year my event rolls closer. But that being said, I am also working to stop myself and remember that God is in the details. The whole reason I put on the 5K is not to memorialize my mom, although that is a small detail of it. In the end, the reason I put it on is to use a passion and a gift I have with the aspect of event planning and running combined, to ultimately bring God glory. Not me. Not mom. But God. The more we raise for the scholarship, the more we can help students who are going out to carry His light to a world for which I have a heart but can never reach  myself. So God will take care of the details. But every year I have to remind myself of these details. And in a couple weeks I will likely need to remind myself once again.

3. Grief is a journey
   Really, grieving has cycles. This week, as I watched from a distance a close family friend pass into the arms of Jesus, the memories of that sweet woman were strong. As well as the memories of my journey with mom in the end were too. That sweet woman did so much for my family in our last months of mom's life. She continually called mom to check on her. She brought countless meals. She prayed fervently. She loved on us. She checked in with me to see how I was doing. And she, along with a couple others, provided a beautiful last Christmas dinner with my mom in 2010, allowing us to focus on family and not worry about anything else. She was a true servant of Christ. A picture of what we should all be. So saying goodbye stays true to the saying "Parting is such sweet sorrow" .  But it has resurrected much of my own grief journey as well. I have found myself many times this summer missing mom, as I transitioned in life in big ways. And this week, as school started up, and I had a pile on my plate of things to do, not being able to talk to mom was strongly evident to me. Grief is a journey. I am so glad for how far God has brought me out of the once dark pit I was in with it. But every now and then, the wave of it hits all over. This weekend is one of those waves. And it's one through which only I can swim. No one can do it for me. I just have to allow the emotions to flow, to process them, and to keep going more strongly in the end.  Hence, the tears flowed with the sweat this morning in my run. But it felt so cleansing.

 4. It's all Good.
   I'm finding myself embracing this life saying more and more. And there is much truth to be found it these words. In the end, while some moments hurt and sometimes I just need to cry, it's really all good. But I have to walk through the tough process at times to get to that conclusion. People pass away. We all mess up. Events don't always go as planned. Friends can't always be by our side. Kind word aren't always said. But in the's all good. Because I know the One who has my back. He is full of abounding grace and unending love. He sees the whole picture. And He holds the world in His hands.

The humming bird is buzzing above my head at the feeder. A beautiful reminder to me that He cares about the birds, how much more does He care about me and my heart and my needs and even my silly goals......  And so I keep pressing on, one day at a time.  More lessons learned.

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