Photo credit to my husband who snapped this at about 11 P.M. as the sun was finally setting along the Alaskan horizon.
My daughter asked me a question this week: "Mommy, are you happy?" It was after one of those "discussions" with my husband. I explained to her that yes, I was happy, but that marriage is hard sometimes. She was concerned for awhile. She watched me. I was in her view. Later when I cracked a smile I could hear her in the background, "You are smiling now." That was Monday. She watches me. It has been an emotional week. I got angry. She picked up on that. I was grumpy. She sees that. I was tired. She didn't ask questions when I went to bed at 8 P.M. one night, before her. I think I confuse her. And I think I know why. You see, we have had the girl talk about changes in her body and what might be coming soon. She knows all that. But I have never personalized it. She doesn't understand the emotional side of what women go through from week to week, or month to month. It is time to personalize it. It is time to explain those changes using myself as her view. That is hard. That is revealing. That is exposing...for me. But it is necessary and it is time to stop the text book talk and get personal, get real with my ups and downs, highs and lows. And the natural reasons why that come so unnaturally for me to share. But I must . . prayers appreciated!
It started because I’d been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. And I figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing.
So now on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes.
Ready, Set, Go:
I heard it the other day. It has been a long time since that song has been sung to my heart, but I got in the car and there it was. "I will be here" You sang that to me almost 19 years ago. Did you really know what you were singing? Did you really think all those seasons would come to pass: the darkness, the growing older, the speaking and the listening and the crying on your shoulder. Did you realize how messy that really was going to be? Through the winning, losing and trying...yes you have been there. 19 years seems like so long but in moving, living, raising a family, it has flown by. We lost sight of each other a few times along the journey, but I think we have found each other again. The finding and holding on this time has a deeper stronger resolve to stick together. Eyes in each others, hands together, hearts bound...all with the 3rd cord of Christ preached from our own wedding sermon. You have been true to the promise you have made so many years ago...to me and to the One who gave me to you. Thank you! Happy almost 19th Anniversary!
Did you know that my mother is a gardener? Well yes, she is! All mothers are gardeners because they provide soil, water, and sunlight for their family.
My mom provides soil for me by giving me a safe home to live in. She also provides me with food so my stem stays strong. Lastly, my mom provides me with love so I will grow into a big beautiful flower, like she did. I love me mom so much.
My mom provides water for me by disciplining me so I will grow up knowing the right things to do and the wrong things that I shouldn't do. She also provides me with support so I can get through all the tough things in my life. Lastly, she gives me encouragement in the times that I feel like I can't do it, and she encourages me to do the right thing.
Finally, my mom shines for me by being humorous because she always laughs at herself and makes us laugh too. My mom is also very fun because she takes us to fun places and she is fun to be with. Last of all, she is gentle because when I do something wrong, she doesn't yell at me, she is gentle about it. She is the nicest mom in the world.
As long as my mom is living, she will always be the best gardener.
So thankful for my children this Mother's Day! They did a wonderful job making the day special for me.
Picture to the left was during one of those times when she need a little encouragement to make it to the top!
Lately, I have been tired. Not tired from lack of sleep but tired from running. I haven't overcommited or overscheduled but everything seems to be coming to an end with extra activities to celebrate and it fills up my days and my weeks and it is all good and fun and exhausting at the same time time and my days that turn into a week are like one big run-on sentence!
A while back, at my son's cross country event, I decided to take a walk to the stretch of race toward the middle. of the run. Usually I stand at the finish line, but this time I experienced a different aspect of a race. The middle was the part of the race where the runners were in agony. I could tell they were struggling and their muscles ached as their feet pounded the dirt path with stride after stride. Those that were able to persevere and push through the pain kept up their pace and some needed to slow down, maybe walk a few steps, to give their mind and body momentary rest. For some, slowing a bit isn't an option; their minds take over and their bodies move with the momentum of just making it to the finish line. That is how I feel. I want to slow down but sometimes I just can't physically do it.
But really, it wasn't the agony or striving of the runners that caught my attention. What caught my attention actually took my attention off the runners. I saw coaches, die-hard supporters of the kids, passionate moms all running alongside, encouraging them to keep going. They were clapping their hands and encouraged with shouts of "You can do it" "Push through" "Keep going, don't stop, don't look back" Sometimes the coaches can get just as exhausted as their runners!
The finish line was around the bend, down the path and these coaches just had to get the runners to the point in the race where they could see that threshold of the end. Sometimes just seeing the finish line is enough to help keep me going when I want to collapse and fall apart in a big sobbing mess. After days like today I need to to hear the words "Don't look back" in order to press me on to tomorrow.
The finish line is just around a few bends. I know that. I have run races much longer than this and I have not only wanted to slow down but have almost quit the race all together. It was those long races in life that have given me the endurance, the hope, the faith, the trust, the truth that there is light at the end of the tunnel. These are the races I have run only to find myself at another starting line.
The teen years. . . I almost quit that race one night.
The college years . . . I was so tempted to take short cuts to get to the next stage life.
Those really hard years of marriage . . . I really thought that the grass would be greener on the other side. It was only by the grace of God that I didn't get off track and hop the fence!
Those years when I had 3 kids under 4 years old. That was an exhaustion that I have never experienced in any other race.
The collapsing economy and our financial emergency. . . it seemed like the finish line got further and further away with every step we took.
During each of those challenges, it was those "coaches" that helped me through each stretch. Those supporters that believed in me, prayed for me, encouraged me, lent helping hands and the feet of those that ran beside me that got me nearer to the finish line. Sometimes as we run our own races, we are also running alongside others all at the same time. Eventually the weariness catches up.
This almost 40 year old me is in the middle of a race. And I am weary right now. Sometimes I find my pace, sometimes I slow down a bit, and sometimes it is just momentum that keeps me going. But in the midst of my weariness I feel a resolve to keep my running shoes on. In fact I need to put them on even earlier each day and get up and find my pace with prayer. Prayer for my day, prayer for those I am running along beside, prayer for those that need encouragement right now. In my notes from a sermon a few weeks ago I wrote, "following Jesus is running and restful."
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
My rest comes when I run with the Lord and not in my own strength. In order to do this I need time in prayer and worship and a dose of daily bread, His Word.
I think in this race we could all use some rest like that.
And we need each other too. We need encouragement to keep going. Friend to friend. Mentor to the one mentored Sister to sister. Brother to brother.
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.." Hebrews 12:1-2
The race really will not be over until we reach the finish line and find ourselves in eternity with Christ. Until then, let's encourage each other through the long, dark stretches and rejoice in the days of easy strides.
Thanks for running and resting with me today!
My name is Rachael. I wear many hats but author is not one of them....yet. I'm trying it on for comfort, searching for the perfect fit for my creative outlet.
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