Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Arch

Recently in prayer I got a vision of an arch or a wave, which made me think of the ups and downs we face. Our lives feel a little like a hill workout sometimes. We curse the times where we look at the road ahead and see nothing but incline. But what I've come to realize is those are the moments where we have the chance to strengthen ourselves. While running with my coach we started up a decent sized hill and she yelled out "This is making us stronger!" It's no different in other aspects of our life. Can you imagine how boring life would be if it was always flat, if we never allowed ourselves to face a challenge? If we never started out strong and then huffed and puffed up the last third of our mountain... But at the top of the mountain the sense of near defeat, yet overcoming accomplishment fills us! One more climb under our belt, one more climb to remind us the next time we face a giant. Those mountains are God's way of taking us to a new level.

Last month I went running in FL and had a real revelation of what living life in a flat environment would feel like, both physically and spiritually. I longed for a hill to tackle and realized on that run that life's hills should be looked at as opportunities not inconveniences.

When faced with the other side of the mountain, you know, the downhill glide, remember to enjoy it but keep your eyes ahead for that next climb. Cherish the recovery, take the deep breaths all the while reminding yourself of what you just accomplished. Don't get comfortable coasting but as my Pastor, Jill Sweetman said "Get comfortable with uncomfortable." It's the hills that make you stronger and enable you to take on more!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hiding Place

While out for a ride with my "coach" last week I bonked (In endurance sports, particularly cycling and running, hitting the wall or the bonk describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by precipitous fatigue and loss of energy.) Of course the next logical thing was to talk about it....Why did it happen and how can I avoid it next time.

On a side note, Jess and I have found that when we ride or run together we have very impacting conversations. Some that have, in fact, changed the very course of our lives. So when the opportunity to talk while training occurs I take advantage of it. This was indeed one of those times.

As we drudged up Cedars road's false flat we began talking about the importance of rest. Yes, rest in our sport is known as the 4th sport, just as important as all three other parts. But in this instance we were more specifically talking about the importance of knowing where, how, when you rest best. How well do you know yourself when it comes to your rest?

I learned this summer that I rest best in a tropical setting. In an environment where the only thing on the agenda is to enjoy God's creation. I learned that I need home cooked meals and that I need to buy more swimming suits because that is my wardrobe on this type of sabbatical. Quiet and time to muse and spend time with God is a must. But I also learned that my home needs to be more like the setting I'm talking about. No, I don't think palms would survive the winter here and maybe I can't trapse around in a swimming suit but I can create a home that feels like a haven, a safe place, a place that is as low maintenance as possible so I can focus on the things that make me feel rested.

We've made little changes since we returned from our last trip. But then the choice is to allow myself to ignore the laundry and dirty dishes long enough to go sit outside at dusk and enjoy the backyard I'm blessed enough to have.