He is a sensitive, yet manly guy who is good with kids...
but that is not the reason for this post.
Alvin called on Monday. There was a lot of excitement in the background. There was a lot of excitement in his voice.
Our conversation started something like this...
"Hey, what's up?"
"I just ran the L.A. marathon!"
"Woah! Are you serious? Did you train for it?"
"Nope... just got up this morning and decided to run it."
Wow, can you imagine? Getting up one morning and deciding to run a marathon? Maybe that's not so hard to imagine for the runners out there, but to me that's a pretty amazing feat! I walked a 10k (6+ miles) last year and that was about all I could take.
I had a lot of thoughts about my short little conversation with Alvin, so I thought I'd convey 3 of them.
Thought 1: Discipline=Freedom
People don't really get up and run marathons on a whim. They have the freedom to do so because they have been disciplined enough to get their bodies in good physical shape. I could use more discipline in my life for sure. Then I'd be freer to do a lot of things... like fit into my white, cotton pants or quote a portion of scripture to encourage someone or find my missing library book. Discipline is a good thing.
Thought 2: Ultimate Responsiblity=Myself
As much as you want to stand by a person and to encourage them, as much as you would like everyone around you to finish the race with you, you can only be accountable for how you run it. Sometimes I forget that I can't make other people persevere. I can come alongside them and encourage them, but ultimately I can only make my own choice to persevere. Spiritually speaking, sometimes it's taken years to meet up with a friend again along the course, but the reunion is so sweet, and it's great knowing we can run the race side by side once again!!
Thought 3: Eyes on the Goal=Strong Finish
Alvin said the last two miles were the worst by far. Hunger and fatigue set in and it's hard to be motivated to keep going. That's when it's most important to keep pressing on and keep your eyes fixed on the goal. I'm in those last couple miles with homeschooling this year. In my flesh, I want to quit or at least stop running full speed ahead... I have a serious case of senioritis. But I don't want to be half-hearted about it... I want to finish strong. So I'll keep pressing toward the goal. Ultimately, I'll keep pressing on toward Jesus.
I didn't drink my tea this morning. Then I went the the Strawberry Festival and I felt groggy the whole morning. Someone, who shall remain nameless, told me that the tea I drink doesn't have caffeine in it. I think maybe he might be wrong.
On the way home, I asked Patrick if I could get a bottled Starbucks Frappuccino. A couple years ago, I started drinking these every so often, after I hadn't had any since a camping trip in college. I'm just not a coffee drinker, and I have never understood the big deal about Starbucks. I've had maybe a couple Chai Teas there in my entire 37 years of existence.
Starbucks is a mystery to me. I don't know the world of carmel, vanilla, and chocolate shots. I don't know the difference between espresso this or mochaccino that. I'm not sure if latte means milk or if it's code for some kind of Italian steamed cream. "Iced Single Venti Mocha, No Whip"??? "Double Tall Cappuccino, Extra Dry"??? I think I'd understand Greek better.
Well, Patrick thought it was high time I tried the real deal. So he sauntered into Starbucks and ordered me up a Mocha Frappuccino. Thick, rich, and icy with a mountain of whipped cream on the top, I partook (is that a word?) of the wonderful, coffee nectar.
Today I am completely ruined. I have finally caught up to my peers.And I have experienced a little bit of liquid ecstasy.
Today... I'm a believer.
Tomorrow... I will have to use self control to not to stop and get another Mocha Frappuccino on the way to church.
On this Mother's Day, I am thankful for the women God has brought into my life.
My mother, who gave me life, who nutured and loved me, who guided me to life in Jesus.
The mothers who are raising their children in difficult times, protecting their souls, and daily worshipping by serving those around them.
The "ladies in waiting" who are diligent to spread the fragrance of Christ as they patiently wait in expectation for a godly man to marry.
The women who have chosen to remain single and those who have known the barrenness of a womb, who have extraordinary spiritual fruit growing in their lives. Those who have adopted spiritual children and guided them on paths of righteousness.
You are descendants of Eve. Her very name means "life." She was fashioned by God to bring forth life and to diligently work to sustain and cultivate it.
"Lifegiving requires an inner core of strength,
because it is not easy to keep giving when no one gives back.
It requires wisdom, a stout heart,
decisiveness, and an eye for beauty.
Women committed to developing and expressing
the lifegiving aspect of their natures,
who embrace the value of their drive
to nuture and nourish life around them,
are compassionate, caring, thoughtful and creative.
A lifegiving lifestyle is not for the faint at heart."
May we allow God to refine us and strengthen us. May we allow Him to grow us and enable us to speak words which bring truth and encouragement. May our deeds reflect the abundant life He died to give us.
I was over atDenise's blog, and she told me (or at least the reader's at large), that I needed to read this post over at Joy's Hope. Denise has good ideas, so I clicked on the link. It was titled "Nice," and I really don't enjoy the word nice, so because I am as stubborn as a mule, I almost didn't read it. But since I knew Denise wouldn't steer me wrong, I read it anyway, despite my strong will.
I'll let you stop and click on the link now so you can read it, too.
Wasn't that good? I love to hear stories of the amazing ways God works in people's lives.
I read all 7 parts.... and I cried. And then I told my husband about it and I cried some more.
Sometimes I don't understand God's plan, but when I read stories like this, I am encouraged that He does have a plan and He does work things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
I want to go hug all my boys now, and squeeze them tightly.... and never let go. I want to stop my tendencies to get frustrated and impatient, and treasure every moment as a gift. By God's grace, I have another chance tomorrow.