Thursday, March 01, 2007
Time to start running!
When I was single I used to work out a lot. It's not hard to find time to work out when you have no one else to worry about other than yourself. I hated going to the gym so I started running. Every single day after work, I ran. Running became a part of my daily routine and I loved it so much that I even ran during the horrible Texas Summers. During that time I dated a guy that was an avid runner so we started running together. Since I wanted to impress him, I ran four miles every single weekday with him. He convinced me to enter a 5k while he ran the 10k and I loved it. I felt so good about myself and felt healthy. That time in my life was the one time where I truly loved to workout. Running became my escape from the rest of the world. It was a time that I could be all by myself and leave all of my cares behind. Even after me and the running boy broke up, I continued to run four miles a day. Then about a year later, I lost my consistency in running and started kickboxing. That was fun! After that, I got married and soon after got pregnant and workouts became very hard to come by. Having my children so close together and having a miscarriage in between the first two kids has definitely made working out difficult. I've been pregnant A LOT! And now I struggle with finding the time and finding the energy.

This past Tuesday was my six week checkup. My obgyn is big on working out especially for new moms because he knows it will not only help physically but mentally too. He knows I used to run a lot and he encouraged me to start doing it again. He explained that it would be good for my heart, my mind and my body. As he spoke, I looked at him like he was crazy. I thought to myself how hard it is for me to even have a quiet time with the Lord, how on earth can I find time to run? Last January I got a tread mill. I made the decision to start running again. Running outside would be so much better but I did not think it was possible with two small children. So I started running on the treadmill and I began to use that time for prayer and worship. It was going great. I lost inches, gained muscle and felt so good about myself. Plus we went on a cruise for my 30th birthday so the motivation was there. I wanted to feel in shape and look in shape for the Summer. Then I got pregnant with Zeke and I have not ran since.

Lately I have really been struggling with getting time alone. What mother doesn't? My expectations are reasonable though. I know it is unreasonable for me to expect to have a ton of time by myself right now. I have a four year old, a two year old and a six week old and they need me 24/7. It's not my decade to be thinking of myself all the time or trying to find a babysitter all the time. If I go down that road, I will be discontent with motherhood and I don't want that. But I do think it is reasonable for me to be able to find the time to run. So I have started praying about this. It's more than just me wanting to get in shape for bathing suit weather. It's more than me trying to fit back into the jeans I wore before getting pregnant. Sure it would be great to loose all this baby weight but I know it is going to take time. I'm not about to diet, no way. If it takes a year, it takes a year. However, I would like to be active. Running helps my mind. It helps my brain function better and it gives me more energy. Since I know this, I want to make an effort to do it.

When Zeke was born, I not only gave birth to him but I feel like I gave birth to something else. While I was pregnant with him, I felt like something else was growing inside of me. Actually it was more like something was growing within my spirit. For the past six weeks I have felt like the Lord was wanting me to press in and go after Him in a new way. When I was saved at five years old, he changed my life. He showed me that I could cling to Him in the midst of all the turmoil and He would hold me, He would protect me. And that is an incredible benefit of being a child of God. Now I am feeling like there are some benefits that I have yet to tap into. I don't know about you but I want EVERYTHING the Lord has for me. I want it all! If there are gifts I have yet to receive, I want them! But in order for me to have them, I have to run. I have to run to Him, run beside Him, run with Him.

There are some things I am seeking right now. There are some benefits of the Lord that I want. As I seek Him and as I try to understand and discern this road He has me on right now, I long to know the truth. But in order for me to do that, I have got to get in my prayer closet, I have got to get in my Word and I have got to spend time just listening for His voice. These past few weeks have been tough spiritually. I have felt like the Lord has allowed me to deal with some things in my mind in order to exercise my faith. I have been content a little too long with where I am at. Or maybe complacent. Our confusing journey with church has made it even worse. So it's obvious to me that the Holy Spirit has been working double time to press in and speak to my heart. He's used people, circumstances and His voice to get my attention and I feel like I know and understand what He is saying.

I love how He speaks to me. He does it in such a personal way and sometimes practical way. He speaks in ways He knows I will understand. This past week it has all been coming together. It started with a visit to church last Saturday night and then Dr. Neal encouraging me to run again. That's it! That's it! That is what the Lord has been trying to tell me. RUN! I truly believe that our body, mind, soul and spirit all tell us the same things. Sometimes are minds have to be tested and prayed about because our minds don't always tell us the truth. Our mind will bring fear if we let it. But the past two weeks I have felt like God was bringing all four into alignment with Him. That's how I knew He was speaking. He used my mind to wake up the body and my body to wake up my spirit. I needed to hear from the Lord and I have!

As I run on the treadmill, my muscles will begin to tighten again. My heart will begin to dance again and the serotonin in my body will change my entire outlook on life. That's what I love about exercise. It really can change your life. The same goes for my spiritual health. As I RUN to Jesus, truly RUN to Him, everything changes. It changes my entire outlook on life.

I want all the benefits of having a relationship with Jesus. I want everything He has to give and I think I have been missing out. I want the power of the Holy Spirit in my life and the only way to get it is to RUN.

Looks like I need some new running shoes because I'm running to win!

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally.


  posted at 12:30 PM

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Run On! Good for you.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Paula said...

Great post. I want to go running now!! I know I can't though. I have to say, I use to run before Colton and I can understand what you are saying. Running clears my mind and I would have great conversations with God during that time.

Run the race to win it girl. Run to the Lord.

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

Oh to work out again. I understand. The time I worked out best was before kids but after marriage. My husband and I worked at the same place and we were allowed to work out at al ocal gym for free. I did aerobics 3x week, weights 2x week, and walked at least a mile every day at lunch.

Amazing how it makes you feel to be healthy isn't it? Run Amanda! I will say I can't run, I hate running but I wish I loved it!

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Gwen said...

Okay...this post has stirred something in me that motivates me to use that darn elliptical machine my sweet husband bought me for Christmas two years ago! I have yet to use it consistently for more than 2 months! SO...please keep up the motivation. I would love to be motivated! I think I will start tomorrow! YES INDEED! I want to feel better too!

At 6:18 AM, Blogger Dee said...

GO GIRL! I ran cross country in middle/high school and though there are days I miss it - it was definitely an escape, I haven't run since Kelsey was 2 (she is now 12). So - it's not a desire of my heart - but I have been walking since September and I feel better for it.

I too have been impressed upon by God about caring for my body as the "temple" that he blessed me with. I too find my time on the treadmill (though I am walking) is that of prayer, praise and meditation. Funny - lining up the mind, body and spirit are super! Plus - you are of a different mindset when you spend time working out.

I encourage and pray for you to run, in all aspects of the way you spoke of it.

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Kelly Ann said...

Thank you for this encouraging post! I started running...or more like jogging and trying not to DIE...before getting pregnant. To be perfectly honest I haven't wanted to run on ANY level in quite a while. I know I need to...I know that is the only way to be the kind of Christ follower He desires. Just trying to find the motivation...

Love you!
Kelly Ann

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Kate said...

AMEN! I've been in my running rut for 2 whole months now. Yes, since Christmas. UGH. I think I ran a total of 10 times in two months and that's bad bad bad for me. I keep telling myself over and over - tomorrow I'll start over. So, pray for me. I'm on the edge of having that running fever again - it's just so cold at 7am outside and I can't bear it! But I did it twice last week and afterward I said to myself - look at what you've been missing! PRAY for me! I'm psyched for you. Once you get that motivation - that fever - there's no turning back. I want that back!


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Mommy, Mama, Mandi, Amanda, Babe and whatever else you want to call me! How do I have time to blog with three kids under the age of four? I'm up until midnight and usually later!

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