Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why I had an 11 mile run in the HOT HOT Sun

Our basement flooded twice this week. Different reasons still equalled the same result. Water does yucky things to all the items unlucky enough to still exist in my basement. Then the children all got hand-foot-mouth virus. My little Ethan screamed in ways I did not know possible. We were concerned because even Kurt couldn't calm him, and Daddy-magic always works at our house. Next morning we saw the blisters the size of Texas in his mouth. Ouch. Then, Nathan decided to be un-potty- trained at the ripe-old age of almost 4.  And the basement flooded twice. Did I mention my husband worked late and had two meetings? Hmmm, what's a mommy to do?

Well, first I took the children to Alley Park to play. (Doesn't every mother do that with sick kids?) Since we couldn't play with other children at least we could be outside. I knew the roof would fall in if we didn't stop the multiple meltdowns, so I took them exploring. No one cried. Amazing the healing power of God's good creation. We even found a new, hand-made bridge to an island I have always secretly wanted to explore. What a gift of unspeakable joy to my soul; I know God cares about little things -two boards and a cinder block never looked so good. So off we went on grand adventures and then home to the still-flooded basement.

Then, my loving husband graciously offered to take over dinner duty (we even ordered pizza -gasp) so that I could go on my long run in the hot, hot sun. Can you tell I read Dr. Seuss again and again and again....? I ran the Lancaster bike path to Olivedale and was rewarded with humidity like a wool blanket. In addition to not being able to breath at 7 pm in the evening, I found both my hamstrings were tight. Neither would stretch out no matter what I did. Finally, I made it to the covered bridge and miraculously on the other side it was 10 degrees cooler. Still tight and not at all finding my pace, I had a decision to make. Keep going or give up. How many times in the same week is God going to give me these kind of moments?  Apparently, quite a few until I get the hint.

I think this time I finally got the hint.  Sometimes I have to do what I do not want to do. Oh, that is hard for me to bend. The running decision was relatively easy. I always choose to finish no matter what. But other ones, like being patient with sick, un-grateful children, are much harder. Being thankful for the flooded basement, not once, but twice and trusting that God is in control, not so easy.

I'm glad I kept running. Finally at mile 9, I found my pace and my hamstrings being to loosen. It was still hot, but I was at peace. I made my choice to continue. The exertion was at times almost un-bearable but there was no going back. I needed all 11 miles to come to the place of understanding the importance of making the right choice, even if it is not at all what I want. Jesus told people to take up their crosses and following Him. I thankfully have never attended a real crucifixion so I cannot truly understand what that means. However, I suspect it means that I must be disciplined enough to obey, even when I do not want to. Ah, the gentleness of God in using 11 hot miles, two tight hamstrings, three sick kids, and two days of basement flooding.

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