From a Resident of Midian

I acted rashly. Out of emotion. Feeling that I was right and seeking to address the injustice rather than my own feelings. I was in what you would call a personal crisis, reflecting on something that had been stewing under the surface for a while but unwilling to address it head on. Until it came bubbling up in a single moment.

So now I find myself here. In this wilderness land. In a desert of my own making as I fled the consequences of my own sin. Of my rashness of judgement and severity of words. Of emotions and feelings that I allowed to be the controller of my thoughts and life. I didn’t realize how well I’d gotten at running until I took off outside the borders and the walls that I thought were trapping me in. That were attempting to confine me, rather than define the work I would be doing to bust them down.

I ran until I felt I was furthest away from the situations, the people, my emotions and sin, and the consequences of my words. Here I am at a well. In my moment of flight, in seeking to not be known for what has been done by me and to me, I find myself thirsting to be known. Thirsting for water that can wash over what I have dirtied. What others have cast upon me too. Not for just a moment’s satisfaction of quenching this thirst, like I felt my actions were…like my emotions led me to believe would satisfy the thirst for justice.

This desert has left me desperate for water that can only come from a well found in Him. Found in my desperate attempt to cling to everything but Him. To flee and hide, only to be found content in my desperate need for only Him. I came with nothing, only myself, and that’s all He has wanted of me from the beginning-just me. Now I am an alien in a foreign land, feeling as if I don’t belong and yet knowing to be content in exactly that. That wilderness is preparing me for the next season, the next step. Preparing my heart and my mind, quieting the voices of doubt and lies and letting me hear Him speak deeply to me.

I don’t know how long He would have me be here, in this land of Midian, but I know it’s not for me to question why I am here but to only present myself over to what He would have me see, prepare for, work out and understand…to be silent and content before Him alone. He meets me here, in the place of Midian. In the daily. To live out my life in pursuit of a desperate need for Him and not myself, not others, not my plan, my emotions, or my sense of justice.

Current Midianite

 

 

 

Running Thoughts

IMG_3593I am not a runner. In fact, I despise it with everything in me. I have since I was younger. This coming from a woman who played both basketball and tennis, both of which involved quite a bit of running, especially in off-season and training. Many friends run, though. I live in a town known for it’s runners, it’s races and it’s trails. I even went so far as to do a 5K a couple of years ago with my friend Hanna (thank you by the way for that!), but it was more of a walking thing for us since it was the Color Run.

So I am not sure why but long about mid-April I took up running, intermittently mind you, while I tried different workouts in my normal cycle. Over the month of May I took on the challenge of logging 30 running miles in 30 days, and I am happy to brag that I finished that up three days early! That’s a huge thing for me because honestly as you’ve ascertained already I hate running. I used to joke that I would only do it if being chased.

Slowly over this last month it’s become more of a release for me, and a time where I can clear out some thoughts and often get re-focused on my life. Saturday morning I woke up at my normal workweek time (because that’s what inevitably happens on Saturdays, without an alarm) and decided to get in a run before it became unbearably hot and/or poured rain. While I am writing this it’s on downpour three of today and hence why I am not currently running. IMG_4131

I have been, for the last month, focused on the next step in front of me when I run. One foot in front of the other. Just keep it moving, even when my pace is an ungodly number…just take that next step. And so as I was on lap two in my normal run route I happened to look up, and look around. I caught this and honestly I had to stop and just take the photo.

In running, much like life, I tend to focus on the things right in front of me without much pausing. Without stopping or taking a moment to look around at where I am at, often finding I get in a place because I was too focused on the step rather than the path. As I continued on running I kept thinking on this thought, and how I don’t focus much when I run on the target ahead until I am right on it. Instead of pushing myself through, even praying through it, I just get that next step in.

While focusing on where and how we plant our feet is good, it can lead us to a habit of not focusing on the end goal, where we are striving to be. As I continued on my run Saturday morning I found I was very present and pushing to the distance rather than the step and debating on going another mile instead of focusing on the step in front of me. It allowed me to see that I can push farther when I am not as present-focused but future-minded.

While I am still not sold on this whole running bit, I am finding it is giving me new perspective on what I am capable of when I put my mind on the things ahead instead of what’s currently in front of me.

Top Five Friday-Stress Relievers

Right now is an incredibly busy time in my profession. I am quite certain that this year, this week has been more intense, more tiring, and more gratifying than any in my seven years in higher education work. As you probably noticed the posts were few this week, and Wednesday’s was photos from my weekend in Bristol seeing Mumford and Sons. As much as I would like to apologize, I won’t. Instead I will give you my top five stress relievers that I enjoy, especially during this time of year.

 

1. Baking. I’m a stress baker. I will purposefully bake for shear mind-clearing time. I have to focus on that alone when I bake or you will severely screw something up. My coworkers know I’m stressed when I have a large Tupperware container in tow. They’ve been getting on to me about making them fat, so now that students are returning they will receive the fruits of my stress.
2. Crafting. With the rise of Pinterest last year, my crafting took on monumental efforts. I have created some awesome gifts for others, and some home decor of my own. I have discovered a love of painting that I never really knew I had. It’s also saved me money on decor pieces or settling for something when I didn’t like it or it didn’t exactly match what I was aiming for.

3. SongPop app. This is a recent discovery/obsession for my stress. I love music, this allows me to compete with people on music snippets. Genius! And it fulfills my competitive nature.

4. Running. This is also a recent uptake of mine. I’ve started a run trainer program and I am loving it. My hip flexors are sore, but I feel accomplished at the end of a 30 minute run. This is not something I have felt before.

5. Reading. Shocker that I would love reading. I have moved around alot in what I have been reading as of late. However I am entrenched in the Game of Thrones series and am awaiting its availability via the Nashville Public Library once more. I’m also in the middle of Myra McEntire’s Hourglass (I highly recommend this book).

 

So what do you do to relieve stress? Anything you’d suggest for this highly stressed lady right here….?

I Only Run When Chased.

I am not a runner. Let me say that again with feeling, I am definitely not a runner. I have never liked it. I distinctly remember doing the mile run in middle school as a part of Presidential Fitness, and I hated every single moment of it. Let’s be honest though…I was a chunky kid. Bigger kids don’t like to run, we prefer to take our own pace and get there when we get there. After all, we bring the fun. Or to quote that pop icon swathed in glitter, “the party don’t start til we walk in.”

For the last three years, I have made a concerted effort to make myself run. I get about four weeks into training and then stop out. So with a renewed clear heart for exercise, I am planning to run in an 8K in November. I am beginning training today and will hopefully get through the nine weeks of it in order to complete the race.

My question today is, what is one thing you have always wanted to accomplish (within reason) and haven’t? What’s stopping you from starting today?