“I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
I woke up this morning to the sound of the birds chirping on my alarm clock. I bought physical alarm clock a couple of years ago in attempts to help with leaving my phone elsewhere other than my bedside every night. It’s been the greatest change for me. I leave my phone away from my bed and don’t check it as I’m drifting off to sleep and it’s now typically not the first thing I reach for in the morning.
Usually, I love waking up to the sound of the birds as the alarm shines like the sun in a way to gently awaken me. But this morning, I hit snooze for nearly an hour. I didn’t want to hear the birds and I certainly did not like the harsh light beaming across my face from the clock. I wanted to pull the covers over my head and forget about everything.
I am, by nature, a morning person. It typically has been my favorite time of the day. There is something so peaceful about the stillness of the morning as the sun begins it’s ascent bringing dark shadows to light, inviting the world to slowly awaken from slumber. Dew drops scattered on the green grass and the crisp fresh air. It is truly magical.
I love getting my workouts done in the morning before everyone else is up. It gives me some time before the rush of the day to run or strength train. I had a routine I loved before the Coronavirus outbreak which included early morning gym sessions. I’ve tried to stick to that routine as much as possible for consistency sake, even dragging my husband into the workouts with me for my own motivation to keep going.
Before I went to bed last night, I looked at my calendar. Half way through April. That almost doesn’t seem possible yet at the same time it seems as if we should already be turning to the month of June.
Wednesdays are typically my long run days. I had a half marathon on the schedule in May which was promptly canceled as the world began shutting down. 11 miles on the calendar for this Wednesday. Do I still train in hopes that the marathon I signed up for in August will still happen? Or do I save my miles? I honestly don’t even know what to do yet.
The 11 was penciled in, it hadn’t disappeared overnight like I had secretly hoped it would. I finally decided at 10 til 6 to go ahead and get up and start running on the treadmill, however many miles I lasted.
They were painful miles, I’m not going to lie. I stopped every couple of miles to sip my water. And after I was done, I silently thanked God for giving me the stamina to complete those 11 miles, as hard as they were.
Ever since a suggestion last week from a friend, I have been making a note of at least three things in the morning I am thankful for. Some of them I write down in my gratitude journal, others I have been thanking God for in my heart as I rise in the morning. And you know something?! In the midst of all the hard and chaos, it has been so good for my soul.
Life looks completely different these days than I ever thought it would like. A perfect example is if you could see me right now, my hair a mess, dishes in the sink, bits of kinetic sand on the floor, typing at my kitchen counter with a recipe book open for something I was going to make an hour ago but then couldn’t due to the demands of someone needing something every single minute in the last hour (how is that even possible?). I’m standing, not even sitting in my comfy chair because my seven year old is sitting where I would sit with her chrome book borrowed from school to get some of her work done, my five year old is sitting on the steps in the backyard eating dried seaweed for a snack, and my three year old is for one moment playing by herself with the baby dolls and for that I am SO THANKFUL. My coffee is cold… again, but it’s still good.
This isn’t the first time my life has looked different than I thought it would. That has been my story for the past several years. Expectations of where I thought we were headed completely changed in a moments notice. I had a choice to make. Was I going to sink or swim?
I did a lot of both, but mostly it was getting up each day even when I didn’t want to and putting one foot in front of the other, not in some sort of “I am so amazing” way but because I knew where my strength was coming from. Leaving it up to me, I would have never gotten out of bed a few years ago and you would probably still find me there today. There have been times I’ve needed the grace to not pop right out of bed and face the day, but I didn’t let it keep me down every single day. Because I knew that God had greater things in store for me.
He didn’t promise an easy life, did He! I think I have been forced multiple times to face the idea all of the things that I grip tightly to as my comforts are things that may not really last or satisfy the soul. The Word of the Lord is what endures forever. And that truly is the greatest comfort.
We are all figuring it out. This is new to everyone. Some days 11 miles are great and other days making an extra cup of coffee and snuggling on the couch with the littles is what works. There is grace, there is comfort, and there is HOPE!