Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Summer's Rain

To capture a moment in time by the tale,

You must stop and look and listen and hear.

Two kids on a towel, in the shade, on a hill,

A shelter of oak tree from the rain we peer.

One little boy love, all smiles and hugs,

One little girl joy, searching for bugs,

Together between my legs they remain,

From under a tree during this sweet summer rain.

The pitter the patter, the now steamy summer heat,

Wraps our trio in a golden moment complete.

Squeals and laughter, giggles galore,

I'd sit on this towel forever--ne'er asking for more.

Oh, to still time! To stop it's thieving hands,

From pilfering these moments, sifting them like sand.

I could dream no sweeter dream than time standing still,

For one boy love, one girl joy, and one pondering mother...full to the brim.

--Jennifer Durham, July 28, 2010

holy experience

#45 sun-shining, summer showers

#46 living on a culdesac

#47 a little girl who finds enchantment and excitement in all the world around her

#48 a little boy content to climb, and pull, and love on his Mama

#49 an oak tree to provide perfect shade and shelter

#50 a husband who keeps a beautiful yard full of green grass

#51 the gift to capture these moments in words

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

I Run:Lesson Six

So, now I run, I swim, AND I bike. I love incorporating the other sports, but the training schedule is brutal. I'll be honest....I will be VERY glad when August 8th has come and gone and the finish line is behind me. In the meantime, I'm having to buckle down and learn how to work through one of my most difficult lessons yet.

Lesson Six: Injury is inevitable. How you respond to the injury says more about your character and faith in God than anything else.

My injury....plantar fasciitis in BOTH feet. What does this feel like? Well, back in mid-June, I'm pretty sure it all started with some sort of torn ligament in my right foot. This felt like knives sticking into the side and arch of my foot every time a stepped. That went away, but was replaced by a dull, throbbing ache in the mid-arch of my foot, tender to the touch. This dull ache has never gone completely away. For a month, I lived in pain. I don't think I really realized how much it was affecting me physically and mentally until I just broke down one night and cried and cried and cried.

Now in the running world, this type of injury--I'm finding--is referred to as "Plantar," but you must emphasize the word and say it with contempt like a pirate would say, "Arrgh!" Got the picture? Every runner I know sympathizes, and they all offer advice, but really it just boils down to a simple matter-of-fact: the only cure is rest. Rest. For someone in the middle of training for a race, this word is like a death sentence. I would love to rest. I would gladly rest, but I have a race to finish. A goal to meet. A call to heed.

Now everyone has "injuries" in life with which we must deal--mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally. Some are like my "Plantar", constant, just under the surface, distraction causes the pain to fade, but at the end of the day sometimes you just have to cry yourself to sleep. Other "injuries" are more public. Maybe you bleed for all to see, or there's a scar that you just can't cover up. Regardless, of what your injury looks like or feels like, it's there, and you have to deal with it.

Now, I don't know enough to argue whether a sinful world is the cause of our injuries, our sinful selves, or God gives us injuries to test us. An argument could be made for all, I think. Fact is probably somewhere in the mix of all of these lies the truth. Regardless of the why, I do believe that God's sovereignty allows these things to happen, just as much as he protects us from other circumstances. Again, why? We will have to ask Him that one day, but I suspect, as in all things, He just wants us to depend on Him and not ourselves. He knows that our only true fulfilment, peace, clarity, success, and protection comes from being dependent upon Him--completely.

I took a cortisone shot in each foot to help me continue training to finish this race. I HATE needles. I wanted to run out of that podiatrist office and never run again. I wanted to give up. But, it was almost like an out-of-body experience, or I should say an in-body God experience. I looked the doctor in the eye and said, "Give me the shots." I felt God's hands on top of my clinched ones as the burning liquid filled my feet. I felt a peace, even as the tears trickled from the corners of my eyes. This is what I was called to do.

You must be willing to make the sacrifices needed when following what God has called you to do.

How do you respond to "injury"? What is your pattern of response when things get difficult? Do you quit? Do you try to find a way out? Another path? Do you doubt God's calling? Do you ask yourself, "Did God really say that, or was it just me?" Do you try to change your circumstances instead of riding out the storm? OR

Do you grin and bear it? Do you pray and go before the Lord and seek His face and beg for strength and wisdom and endurance? Do you push through because God's original calling was a true one, a wise one, and to doubt now would only make you weaker, expose your belly to the enemy? Do you educate yourself? Do you follow the Great Physician's instructions?

How do you respond? And what does that response say about your character and your faith in God?

For me, it means I rest more. Instead of barreling stubbornly through my training program despite it all, I consider my ways. I listen to my body and the Holy Spirit more acutely. I cut back on my running, but I still run. I still swim. I still bike. I train harder on my pilates video to strengthen the core of body to help support the rest of me, to hopefully prevent more injury. I follow my doctor's instructions: stretching, icing, Rx ibuprofen. I pray daily and speak against the enemy of fear. I tell myself and prepare mentally that if I have to's ok. I will finish. God is my Redeemer, my Healer, my Coach. He would not call me to complete anything He has not already equipped me to accomplish.

2 Timothy 3: "10 You (my readers), however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch(5k training), Iconium(10K training) and Lystra(Sprint Tri training), the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.

12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

13 while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting

and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Sometimes it helps to make scripture truly personal, so you can literally see God in your daily life. Now, in no way does my small experiences of running and training compare to the persecutions some of you face on a daily basis. But if I find these promises to be true in my own life, in what is a seemingly meaningless daily venture...then Oh! How much more will our Big God make this true in your own life for the truly unbearable injuries???

Keep running. Keep training. Keep believing God. No matter signature

I Live My Life Out of Bags

Yes, it is true...I live my life packing, unpacking, and repacking different bags for different uses. I was especially made aware of this after our recent trip to the beach with two kids in tow.

(Weston's first trip to the zoo...not so sure about that statue.)

There's the ever-present diaper bag which also functions as my purse, so it literally weighs 5lbs. on some days--no exaggeration. Contents: wallet, Blackberry, Flip video camera, Canon digital camera, lipstick/meds pouch, diapers, wipes, juice cup, juice bottle, formula bottle, formula dispenser, bib, spoon, jar of baby food, and snacks. At any point in time, this could also be carrying two changes of clothes and/or any other miscellaneous items that may be needed. Check bag one.

Bag two--the beach bag. We love summertime! We love the water...we loved the beach, but we must be prepared. Contents: swim diapers, two changes of clothes, four towels, two spray cans of sunscreen, one tube of baby suntan lotion, one face stick, one spray bottle of hair sunscreen, 2 swimmies, 1 baby float (deflated), 1 inner tube (deflated), possibly a magazine. This bag usually has a secong bag stuck in top of it--a small shoulder strap cooler for water, juice, and frozen yogurts, and filled with ice. This bag with cooler weighs about 10lbs. Then there's the Childcare Bags. These are needed for quick drop offs at the YMCA, Sunday School, or any other childcare opportunity I can find=) Contents: 1 juice cup, 1 pull-up, possibly a change of pants, 1 formula bottle, 1 juice bottle, wipes, and diapers.Which means currently, I can't forget my WorkOut Bag. You never know when an opportunity will present, so I try to have this one handy if my brain can remember it. Contents: 1 towel, goggles, swim cap, deoderant, Sportsband, iPod, armband, headphones, change of clothes, flip flops or running shoes, socks.(My little wave crawler...he was determined to swim right out to sea if he could.)

Oh, and we also tend to stay out late at family and friend's houses, or maybe a kid or two is spending the night with a grandparent or friend, so occasionally there's the overnight bag to carefully plan and pack. It's one thing if I forget something, but to torture someone I love by forgetting something my kids need is embarrassing, and I work really hard to avoid that!(Savannah's Bo Derek shot=)

Traveling to the beach included several reusable bags full of stuff. Who needs suitcases when you have reusable grocery bags that stack neatly and squish together nicely in the back of a car? Bags of food, snacks, kidware, diapers, formula, kitchen utensils you think the condo won't have. One bag for all of Savannah's clothes and essentials for the week. Another bag for Weston's...thank the Lord we didn't have to pack the pack-n-play. A bag for my clothes. A bag for Joey's. A bag for our portable floor fans...sad that none of us can sleep without that whirring white noise.
Whew! Bags, bags, bags galore! Have you kept up? Or just enjoyed the pics=) Ha! So I do...I live my life around the planning and packing and repacking of bags, especially in the summer. But you know what...I'm not complaining. I love every trip planned, every adventure experienced, and every moment explored. My kids are the best! My family is amazing, and my friends are so much fun. I have a feeling the future holds more bags: book bags, gym bags, sports bags, lunch bags, and inevitably...bags under my eyes=) But I wouldn't trade a single moment for all the money in the world! May your summer be bagged-full of possibilities too! post signature

holy experience
#39 family vacations
#40 moments to stop and be fully present in what God has given you
#41 the laughter of children
#42 the making of memories
#43 the ocean and it's reflection of God's grandness and goodness
#44 the ability to pack a bag