“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How does this relate to fitness/running??

It has been a crazy week! I prepared this post last week.  I don't have internet at home because we live in the "country" and can only get dial-up. Totally not worth it!!  It was all ready except for a few editorial changes. Then, what Alabama weathermen are calling “Winter Storm 2010” hit. Schools and businesses were closed for about 3 days!(All we got was a light dusting of snow that didn’t even cover the grass) during this “winter storm”, Hubby’s Uncle passed away. It was expected, we were all prepared, so we drove the hour to his home town to be with the family.  I returned to work Monday all ready to post but our internet connection was down!!! Seriously!!
 What. Is. Up?!
Today, internet is finally fixed. Editing is done.
 Here it is:

Emotional/Spiritual Goals and Accomplishments
I’ll start with my most meaningful accomplishment of 2009……..
At the beginning of 2009 I spent time praying and seeking God and His plan for me.  I tossed around the idea of setting a “resolution” but decided I didn’t want to box myself in.  I had become complacent in my life and though I work at a church and in “the ministry” I felt I wasn’t being stretched. I wasn’t happy where I was and knew God’s plan for me was bigger than what I was living.  So I made a decision/commitment to be obedient to God and to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I get so caught up in talking at God and asking God for His help that I forget to take the time to listen for His response.  That decision changed my life in a way I couldn’t comprehend a year ago.
So I spent a lot of time in the first 3 months of ‘09 just listening and meditating on God. My prayers went something like this: “Lord, I want to be used by you. I want to be a vessel of your love. Show me what it is you have for me.  Be it unto me according to your will.”  I have to be very honest; I started to get a little discouraged.  I didn’t feel like I was “hearing” anything.  Were my prayers going unanswered or was I being prepared. I believe the latter is true.
 In early March of ’09 while on my daily run, I was overcome by a wave of emotion so great that it literally knock the wind out of me. I had to stop running and instantly sobs of emotions just took over me. Now, for anyone who knows anything about me, I don’t cry (except if I laugh too hard).  My thoughts immediately went to my mother whom I had been emotionally detached from since the age of 7 or 8.  I can’t explain the inaudible voice that I felt within me, I knew it was God because it was the first time that I felt  peace when I thought about my mother.   This bible verse came to my remembrance John 13:34 “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” 

I had so much unforgiveness in my heart regarding my mother that I had been unable to love her. In fact, my dealings with her had become little more than business transactions (she babysits the boys).  I was hard and calloused toward her.  I knew that if I wanted to step into the plan God had for me I would HAVE to forgive, love, and honor people that I did not necessarily believe deserved it. My mother fit into that category.
I have to say, I was not happy AT all with the thought of talking to my mom about our “relationship” and I especially did not want to apologize!! In fact, at the time I would have rather scratched my eyes out. I deal a lot better with physical pain.  I decided it would be best to write my mother a letter, that way my tones could not be misinterpreted.  I wanted to be obedient to the Lord and that meant I would have to be 100% sincere with her.  It took me a month of writing and rewriting the letter to get it just right.  During that month, I cried more than I have ever cried in my life.  To see all of those emotions in writing brought me to a whole new level of emotional!

The letter was about 10 pgs. It took me a month to write it and it took me another month to get up the courage to give it to her.  I was so afraid of how she would receive the letter.  Would it be rejected? If it was, could I handle it with this new found set of emotions? I was a HOT mess!!  I decided that if this was really what God wanted me to do; he would give me the grace to handle her response, whatever it was.  I finally dropped it in her mailbox (I know I was a total chicken).  I waited for about 2 weeks with no response. Finally, after work one day; I was picking the boys up from her house, on my way out the door she said “I got your letter. Thank you.” And she gave me a hug. It was the first time in a long time that I didn’t cringe as she hugged me.  That was it.  That was all that was ever said about that letter that I had invested so much of myself into.  I had imagined a dialogue where she apologized to me for everything she had ever done, where she would say she was ready to change and be the mother I had always dreamed of.
That never happened. It didn’t need to.  I changed in this process. This wasn’t about changing her it was about changing me.  I believe the Lord used the whole process to bring me healing in an area that had been broken for a very long time.  Hubby didn’t even know the extent of it until this process. For the first time in my life I felt an overwhelming love for my mother.  It’s a very freeing feeling to be able to love someone with God’s unconditional love and to see my mother through God’s eyes.  This was my GREATEST accomplishment of 2009 bare none! 
When I committed to being obedient to the Lord it turned out to be one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have ever done.
That was just one of several relationships that the Lord had me deal with in 2009.
My emotional and spiritual goals for 2010

1.    Be obedient to the Lord when he tells me to do something. Even if its not easy. It will be rewarding.
2.    Spend no less than 30 minutes reading the Bible. This is very difficult sometimes because of our crazy schedule; Im going to buy the Bible on CD so that on days where I cant read, I can at least listen to it in the car to and from work.
3.    Spend an hour in prayer. This is the easiest one for me. I am constantly praying. Especially when I run.
4.    Set aside at least one hour a week with hubby to do nothing but talk and share. We have completely different work schedules so most times he is leaving for work when I am coming home. When we are both home together we do EVERYTHING as a family. We need hubby and wifey time.
5.    Make an effort to create and foster a friendship with at least one new person a month.  This is difficult for me sometimes.
6.    Work on anger….not sure yet exactly on the “how” but I know the “why”.  I could blame my anger or hot temper on my Italian heritage and have most of my life. However, I know the blame game doesn’t bring results.  I’m a lot tamer than I used to be.  I haven’t thrown anything or put a hole in the wall in years!! (those times were rare and extreme) Seriously.  Mostly I yell.  That’s how we communicated in our house growing up. I am nothing like I was about 7 or 8 years ago, the birth of my first son created a desire in me to raise him differently, in a peaceful home.  So I’ve turned it over to God and doing my best to keep it in check when the issue arises.
I would probably still knock someone in the head if they messed with my kids though. I’m just sayin’! ;)

7.    Work on my love walk. To treat everyone, even people that I don’t want to, with God’s kind and love. This is described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.”

How do these goals relate to fitness/running? Number one,It is because of my faith that I am even alive today (dramatic, I know).  I truly believe that God's plan for my life includes health and fitness. I love encouraging other women, building them up, helping them to meet and exceed their goals.  When I taught Pilates, I would often put my workouts on hold to help someone else get through theirs.  
Running also gives me the opportunity to build up my faith. It is the only time, as a working mother of 3 boys, that I get alone time to pray, meditate, and just talk to God.

So there it is.  I plan on doing one post a week dedicated to these goals. This probably won't "fit" in with the typical running blogs, but I have to be true to myself and include everything about my journey! 

 Grace and peace,

Btw- I have been reading everyone's blog posts but I have not able to post comments from my blackberry.  I want you all to know that  you are all such an encouragement!!


Melissa said...

I know that must have been very hard for you. I have worked very hard (in my mind) in the last few years to forgive various people and things in my life and it is so hard. I can't imagine communicating that to some of those people!
Thank you for reminding us what God wants us to be doing.

Mary said...

This is an amazing post and i have been wanting to comment on it for DAYS!! I am learning to to listen to God, to hear his voice and it can be hard at first, if you don't hear, how to know it's him (and not my over active brain!)

WOW--how brave to write the letter, but how good to know that you are following God and to see that it changes you to do something like that! It's like CS lewis saying, Prayer doesn't change God it changes me!

I love how you bring it back to faith and fitness, they are SO intertwined: endurance, obedience, being prepared to do the work we need to. Great post. I love it. Thank you!

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