Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I'm not a sprinter. I'm a distance runner. Give me a cool, brisk morning and I'm gone for miles. But throw a shorter distance of sprints at me and I feel like I'm going to puke--quick!! But really, without working sprints into your running schedule, you'll never get faster. Sprints increase speed and build endurance which only enhances and strengthens your distance. They're essential to good running. Yet still, I'd much rather run distance. However, as much as I love a good long run, after running for awhile, I get tired. And tired is what I've been lately.

We're pretty close to the end of Steve's semester with Texas A & M. We're so close we can see it and after this class he's very, very close to halfway done (technically he's half done, halfway through next semester-it's complicated). That means that we can look at it as if we're going downhill instead of still climbing uphill. Yet the months of work and wear is also starting to show and our family is in need of a little respite. Some of the wheels of our normally well-oiled machine have been threatening to come off. This is how it always is at the end. I can usually see the finish line but it still looms far enough off in the distance to create a bit of discouragement.

But this is the point in a race when sprinting is a must. Any good runner knows that when the finish line is in sight, it's time to sprint no matter what's left.

When the finish line is dangling close, there are all sorts of things to complete and that finishing requires a big push. So what it really means is that it's go time...not coast time. Even if my muscles are straining, it's still time to take it up a notch. However, since we've already been huffing and puffing for awhile, strength starts to wane and it takes a lot of discipline to finish well. This is where we're at.

Yesterday, both Steve and I were tired. Both of us felt the pressure. And both of us were annoyed. We don't often get out of sorts (it's just not our way) but pretty quickly, we realized that our moods and present circumstances were the perfect medium for an argument. Instead of me heeding the warning signs, I decided to dive head first into the fray to let off a bit of steam. Because I deserved it people. That's right.

After nearly ten years of marriage to my husband, you'd think I would know that isn't a good idea (nor is it loving either). Steve can withstand a lot from me at times pouring on patience when I'm being a bit silly, but patience was not a virtue readily available last night and I quickly found myself in a whole heap of trouble. Trouble that I started and knew pretty quickly I needed to repent of.

In an effort to keep short accounts, which is a staple in our home, I quickly sought him out to explain my frustration and seek forgiveness. My problem wasn't really with him. More with a need for some rest. He of course, felt the same too. Our family rides on his shoulders along with all of his other responsibilities. We're quite a bit to carry just by ourselves. And not to sell myself short, I carry quite a bit too as his helper and can find the race wearing at times. Who doesn't? That's just life isn't it?

We have a pretty small house and with the children still awake, finding a place to talk by ourselves wasn't easy. We finally just huddled in our room and shut the door to sort things out. And sort them out we did.

While this was going on, there was a literal circus taking place right on the other side of our door. I remember thinking, as we were restoring fellowship, "I cannot believe the craziness that's going on literally two feet away from us. Thank God for that door!" You see, the children knew we were in there. And they wanted in too. All they knew though, was that we had told them to stay out, just for a few minutes until we were done talking. They could hardly handle it.

The whole time we were talking, Joshy was singing John Jacob Dingleheimer Smith and Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (not at this moment-no) at the top of his lungs. Caleb was keeping time to the music by banging his gun right against the door on the upbeat. Ellie decided she was not to be outdone and was wailing at the TOP of her lungs chanting, "Mama! Mama!" in the most pathetic tone creating an off-tune sort of harmony with her older brothers. And Isaac, who being the oldest was probably more onto our disagreement than we would've liked, kept interjecting worriedly with "Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy." like a repetitive set of background vocals.

It was absolutely comical.

And we ignored it.

Because, those four precious hooligans causing all that racket on the other side of the door depend on us to sort things out, to make things right, to restore fellowship. It's up to us.

After talking, we opened the door to let them in and they all spilled through the doorway like a row of dominoes right on top of one another. But their joy was evident. We were back on track and all was right with their world and ours as well.

It reminded me yet again, our strength is small. God's strength is enormous. We might feel tired. But God carries us. We're all grown up now. Our children are depending on us to make the right choices. Staying on the same team when the pressure is mounting is important. Seeking forgiveness is key.

Focusing on the sprint with our eyes on Christ is paramount. Only He can make us fly like the wind when our strength is gone.


  1. Oh my. I feel ya on the whole school thing. I will pray for endurance for you. And what a good idea to lock yourselves in your room. I remember my parents doing that plenty of times. Trav and I should start to implement that, as we usually just try to speak ABOVE the noise, which, as you know, is impossible. :)

  2. this was such a helpful post for me because we are in the same spot with the master's degree as you-on the downhill, feeling tired. i will be thinking of the the sprint now!