I love fresh starts.
Blank pages to begin a new page of the story of life.
Fresh cup of coffee in hand, fresh perspective for a new day.
Summer, sadly enough, is coming to a close. I have taken this summer to work on priorities a little, and have sat the writing on the back shelf. It wasn't until yesterday, in the craziest conversation, that I realized how much I have missed it. My writing is not like a famous author's words penned on a page. They may never make it into the books. My words may not stick in anyone's head during the day. I don't have a fancy web page for my blog. I just write. But my writing is an extension of me. And while it's been good to put it on hold for priority's sake, I am ready to gradually return to it. And while I attempted in the beginning of this year to have regular writing days, maybe that's not my style. I write to process life, and hopefully make a difference somewhere a long the way, and so I will return to my somewhat random topics. Generally related to running, life lessons and family.... as I thought about it, the writing boils down a bit to: Faith, Fitness, Friendships, and Family.
As summer winds down, fall season is roaring in. I'd like to say there is a "slow" season of life. But quite honestly, there isn't. And the older the kids are getting, the busier it gets. I find some moments, I long for their toddler days, when life was a bit more carefree. For me, as a mom, those days were much more simple than these days of the "taxi" driving and the dramatic teenage moments. But each season is one to embrace, nonetheless.
My job is at the height of its busy season. I do love it, and it's full of lessons to teach me every day, both in a personal sense and in the career sense of the word. The kids swing back to school in 2 weeks, although my daughter is on leadership team at school this year, so she actually goes back next week. BOTH of them in Junior High this year!! Where has the time gone?!?
I am back in training, after taking it easier for a few months with my runs, so 4 am comes quite quickly every morning. It's a love hate relationship, but being the goal setter I am, it's good to have a race/goal to be pushing towards again. I get kind of lost when I don't have a goal in front of me. It's part of who I am. Both in my running and in my goal setting.
Through this summer, I have been learning much about priorities. I think we, as a culture, struggle with priorities. Everything seems to demand our attention. Family (which is not limited to spouses and children.... parents and siblings fall here, too), friends, work, church, neighbors... the list goes on. For me, saying "no", or even saying the right "yes", has always been a struggle. I have focused on that many times throughout the last couple of months. Who knew that could be such a challenge? For many, it's simple. For this people pleaser, I have to work at it. I have to find courage to muster up a no, and pray over the right yes, and it becomes quite the act of self control for me, which is an area where I struggle. Who knew something so simple could be so challenging? But, as with anything in life. the more it is practiced, the more I learn, and the better I become with it.
On my birthday, I decided I would take a year to read through the Bible again. I have done that once, but I did it more because it was what I had to do rather than because I wanted to. It's challenging some mornings to carve out that time, but I am loving how God is speaking to me already, with the words He had written for us many years ago, jumping out at me in fresh ways.
You'd think by all of these things that it would seem I have taken this summer to "have it all together. " But you know what? I don't think we ever will have it all together until we reach Heaven. I battle anxiety just as bad as I used to. And some days I hate that battle, and that battle makes me not like me. I wish I could just pick anxiety up, like a piece of paper, and throw it away. But, it remains to be my "thorn" (as Paul stated in Corinthians). It is my weakness. And those times where it flares up worse than other times, I am reminded that I am weak, and it is only through His strength that I can keep fighting and pressing on and growing into who I am more and more every day. A painful reminder, mind you, but one that is necessary to keep pressing on. Nothing can be done through my own strength, but when relying on Him, anything is possible.
Lastly, I close with this. It's funny how analogies cross our paths at times. I have always loved trees. That's going to sound a bit strange, but bear with me. Palm trees are my absolute favorite. But I love the variety of tress you can find here in Ohio. And I love that in different seasons, trees experience changes which parallel life a little with how the leaves fall, bloom, etc. So, it is with this idea that it was no coincidence when my friend used a tree as an analogy to my own life to "Be the Tree". Tree's roots go deep and latch onto things in the ground to be planted strong and grow. They drink up water to hydrate and grow. And as they grow branches, those branches stay on the tree (until pruning might be necessary). I am a tree. There's not another tree like me. My roots are planted where I choose to latch on- some choose people, some choose money, some choose work or even themselves. I am choosing to latch onto Jesus, and my faith. And drink in His words to help me grow. And as my branches extend and leaves grow, they are part of me, part of my story, part of what makes me up of me. Just like no 2 trees are alike, no 2 people are. That's what makes the world crazy, tough, beautiful and unique all at one time. Be the tree. Be me. It's good and beautiful. That was the analogy that crossed my path this week. And a good one at that.
That's a lot of random thoughts pushed into one blog. I am not sure with life's schedule how often my fingers will be able to grace the keys of the blogging world, but it's my intention to return to it a little more often. It's one of my "branches" after all, of my tree.