Sunday, May 12, 2013

Something In A Name

"I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage."
-Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables

There is so much meaning in a name.

 I have been very delicate lately; I know you wouldn't know it to look at me or talk with me. I am not one to freely share my delicacies. But I was a struggling mama this week. I know there are a million blog posts about Mother's Day, but this one is for me. This one is my encouragement. Because, you see, I haven't wanted to be a mom this week. I haven't wanted to respond to the word, "Mommy."

There is so much meaning in that name.

Mommy. Mommy. To children who are safe and secure this is a name that brings comfort. This is a name that brings images of support, encouragement, and sacrificial love. This is a name that offers protection. This is the name they call when they are hurting or when they fall and skin their knee or when they need a drink of water. The name they run to when they need a hug or their tears dried. This the name they cry out in the middle of the night. This is the name that they cry when they wake up in the morning.

There is so much meaning to me.

Sometimes I can't be the Mommy. Sometimes I am too fragile; sometimes I am too broken. My children built a house of cards this week. As they built, I felt like that house. So unstable, so moveable, so ready to fall at the slightest bit of movement. But then something beautiful happened. My son, so patiently and purposefully, would re-build. He delicately and slowly took each card that had fallen and placed it back upright.

There is meaning in another name.

I needed that. Christ (Abba, Father, Daddy), to me, is that delicate and loving hand. The one that patiently puts me back right when I fall down. That name I call when I fail. That name I call when I cannot be Mommy. The name that re-assures me when the days are long and the children need me. The name that I cry out to in the middle of the night. The name which is above every name.

I do not have to be the end all. There is a name above Mommy. A name that is more and means more. A name I can cry out to. A name that takes the broken and re-builds. A name that sees my sorrows and wipes my tears. The name I cry out to carry the burden that is too heavy.

So I breath out. I take my little ones into my arms and I say, "yes." Yes to being their Mommy because when I fail, there is another name...more sweet than Mommy. More gentle than Mommy. More loving than Mommy. There is a name that gives me the strength. Strength to love more each day, strength to grow in compassion, strength to give sacrificially.

As my littlest one curls up in my lap and snuggles close, her soft hair tickles my nose. She says, "I love you Mommy."  I choose to remember there is another name. There is a name in whom I can find rest for my weary soul. I am embraced when I call out this name. I am held and snuggled. I am loved and so are they.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Run ~ Reflections of My First 5K

You will not find any photos in this post so enjoy the story, and you can imagine the pictures. 

 I run. I run for my health; I run to clear my head; I run to jump in puddles; I run to have fun with my family.
I DO NOT (or did not) run 5K races. That was until last weekend when I completed my first 5K. I was not fast, but I was not last either. I completed in 29.14 minutes. I was not "wasted" at the end; I felt great! So, why, since I have been running well...forever, why did it take until I was 32 to run my first 5K?

Competition: Unfortunately, or fortunately, I am fairly competitive. But even though I have this competitiveness inside of me, I hate competing. I ran track and field in high school (long time ago). I ran the 800, the 400 and the 4X400. I loved practice days, but I dredded meet days. I was sick to my stomach all day long. I was shaky with nerves; I had to use the restroom every 5 minutes on race days. 5K races never interested me because all my past nerves and insecurities came rising to the surface all too quickly.

 Cost: Pay to run? Why would I do that? I know most of these races are fundraisers, but why would I pay to run when I can run without paying? And, here's the thing. We all run. We are a running family. We do not run every day; we do not always run together, but we all run. And race fees can add up very quickly even if just three of us are running the 5K. The fun runs at the beginning are great, but my oldest did not ever want to do the fun runs. She wanted to run the 5Ks. And she can do it, and she runs more steadily and faster than I do. This summer lends itself to me running these races alone. My oldest injured her knee last winter and cannot run on the road yet (or even run for any length of time). My husband agreed to hang with the kiddos so I could run (what a gem he is). The cost for one of us to run is much easier to swallow.

The morning of race day came too quickly, and I asked my family not to come watch. Not because I didn't want them there, but because I couldn't stomach having them there. You know the feeling in the pit of your stomach that prevents you from eating and causes your legs to feel like jello. Yes, this was me (at age 32) on race day. I couldn't fall asleep the night before. Once I did sleep, I had the craziest running dreams. I woke up way too early and almost called in sick. But I plowed through confronting my nerves. The elementary school bathrooms and I established a relationship that morning, but I didn't allow that to stop me. 

Then we were all called to line up. I thought I was going to lose the banana I ate for breakfast. I stood there waiting for the "gun" to go off. And it didn't. A cute little 5th or 6th grader (after singing the National Anthem) said, "Go!" That was it? No freak out moment? No waiting for everyone to be ready? No false starts? No pressure?

What freedom! I was just running. I was running for my health, not to compete with all these other runners. I was running with a friend, and we were enjoying it (well except for maybe some of those small hills). I got into a rythm and felt strong.

So, I ran it. I did it. And I jumped up and down for the rest of the day proclaiming to the world, "I ran my first 5K!" I didn't care what "place" I came in. I didn't care that people passed me. I kept a steady pace and stayed on target with a time that was comfortable to me. I was not running to push myself to my limit; I was running to push myself to the next level. I will run another 5K in early June. Having this as a goal has kept me consistent in running at least 4 times a week. I like this. I like having the accountability to run.

Sometimes we all run in the field next to our house. Sometimes I run with one child in the baby jogger and three on bikes. Sometimes I run alone. Sometimes I run on the treadmill (although not my favorite). Sometimes I run with a friend. I like this culture. I like this "non-competitive running to be active" lifestyle. I like teaching my children through modeling it myself. And not just teaching them to be healthy and active but teaching them that they can overcome, that they can face their fears, their nerves, their insecurities and overcome!