Monday, May 16, 2016


I have a love, hate, love relationship with running. I don't like to overuse the word love but this really is something I feel strongly about. I can remember starting to run for my personal sanity when we lived in Carrollton, Texas, and I was the mom of 3 little kids, I was the director of a Mother's Day Out program, my husband was a full-time senior pastor, he had another part-time job, and he was working on his doctorate. As an introvert, I enjoy the solitude of running and God has seriously spoken to me as close to an audible voice as I may ever get while I have been running.

Then I decided to run a half marathon. Running became a chore. I had to run miles and miles and miles. And then some more miles. After race day I had a hard time running for enjoyment again.

Until recently. One of my friends started running for maybe the first time. She inspired me so I laced up my shoes and headed back out there. The only thing is, I really couldn't run very far at all. It was hard and I was slow and was doing way more walking than actually running. And my running shoes were old. They had holes in them. But, I kept at it and finally started seeing some progress.

And, I got some new running shoes:

I've been keeping track of my times for a few days now. Today I took 34 seconds off my time from last week.

The thing is, I'm still not that fast. And I'm still not going that far. Compared to my brother (who runs in 100 mile ultra-marathons) or my daughter-in-law (who runs marathons), I'm not going very far at all. And I'm not going to be winning any races with my current times. But I'm out there, pounding the pavement, putting one foot in front of the other.

I'm learning more about running my own race lately. Why in the stinking world do we, as women or even as people, compare ourselves to others? To what people have, to what people do, to what's going on in other people's lives? Maybe you haven't done that. Unfortunately, I have. Or this one: living to other people's expectations or even your own self-imposed thoughts of what other people expect? It can be exhausting.

Look, I'm not leaving out living up to God's expectations. His are good and perfect. Or even lessening the importance of community and the encouragement and accountability that comes with that. I'm so thankful for my community and how they have spurred me on in recent days.

I'm talking about the unhealthy comparisons and expectations. Leave them behind. Race your own time.

One of my all-time favorite passages is from Hebrews 12:1-2 -- "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

It's very possible that I might not run faster tomorrow than I did today. I might add some of those 34 seconds I took off back to my time. But, it's going to be my race. And there's always the next day to run faster, to be stronger. I just have to remember whose race I'm running.

Racing my own time,