The Ankle Clicks (#jammed daily devo, day 132)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 132: Reminded.

Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.” Proverbs 23:12

The pink morning sky made my feet light as I hurried to the end of the pier. Warm image-132morning air, boats leaving the river, and the first orange glint of the sun …made me want to run.

Click …click …click …

Recalling the sound of the spin of my ankle around it’s joint the day before, I remembered why that wasn’t a possibility. Some days it’s hard to be grateful for slower steps.

“Develop a disciplined life. Be attentive so you can be well informed.” Proverbs 23:12 (VOICE)

We have to come to terms with the fact that we aren’t in charge of defining who we are, and why and when life happens.

Today’s verse layers adversity in hope. “Instruction” and “discipline” aren’t fun experiences. Some are more painful that physical pain, others are make life almost unbearable. When stripped of everything we think we need, we realize how much we can depend  on Him. Jesus holds our hand when we run, and He holds it when we walk and wait and hope and seek. The grip is just as tight. Jesus’ handshake is firm and confident.

“ears to words of knowledge …”

“attentive to be well-informed…”

It’s hard to accomplish either of those things when rushing by life too fast. It’s not always easy to understand why life’s pace is slowed for some and sped up for others. The dangers in looking around in comparison come so naturally to all of us. Entitlement has little in common with God’s good and just system of judgement. The way He loves us is perfect.

In this season of walking, we learn to love who we are with or without all the things we love to do. He is still who He says He is even when we can’t do what we want to do.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for walking and running. Thank You for the different paces of life and seasons of growth. Some hurt more than others. Please forgive us for focusing on the negative attributes of hard experiences. Bless our hearts to embrace the unexpected changes in our life that You will for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Walking,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

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The Ankle Clicks (#jammed daily devo, day 132)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 132: Reminded.

Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.” Proverbs 23:12

The pink morning sky made my feet light as I hurried to the end of the pier. Warm image-132morning air, boats leaving the river, and the first orange glint of the sun …made me want to run.

Click …click …click …

Recalling the sound of the spin of my ankle around it’s joint the day before, I remembered why that wasn’t a possibility. Some days it’s hard to be grateful for slower steps.

“Develop a disciplined life. Be attentive so you can be well informed.” Proverbs 23:12 (VOICE)

We have to come to terms with the fact that we aren’t in charge of defining who we are, and why and when life happens.

Today’s verse layers adversity in hope. “Instruction” and “discipline” aren’t fun experiences. Some are more painful that physical pain, others are make life almost unbearable. When stripped of everything we think we need, we realize how much we can depend  on Him. Jesus holds our hand when we run, and He holds it when we walk and wait and hope and seek. The grip is just as tight. Jesus’ handshake is firm and confident.

“ears to words of knowledge …”

“attentive to be well-informed…”

It’s hard to accomplish either of those things when rushing by life too fast. It’s not always easy to understand why life’s pace is slowed for some and sped up for others. The dangers in looking around in comparison come so naturally to all of us. Entitlement has little in common with God’s good and just system of judgement. The way He loves us is perfect.

In this season of walking, we learn to love who we are with or without all the things we love to do. He is still who He says He is even when we can’t do what we want to do.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for walking and running. Thank You for the different paces of life and seasons of growth. Some hurt more than others. Please forgive us for focusing on the negative attributes of hard experiences. Bless our hearts to embrace the unexpected changes in our life that You will for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Walking,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Smiley Faces

the-smiley-faces-pic-1“MOMMMMMM-A!!!”cried my wallowing six-year old, accompanied by her trademark stomp of dissatisfaction. “It’s doing MINUSES now …that’s too HARD….”

For days, exasperated sighs and incorrect buzzers had drifted from the kitchen counter at breakfast. But every once in a while, I would hear a jubilant yell:

“A smiley-face! I got a smiley face! I beat the teacher! Ha ha ha ha !”

It’s my hope that, somewhere in her small victory celebrations and the obsequious high-fives, the fact that she’s learning math trumps beating the “teacher” on the other side of our tablet.

The capricious people-pleaser innate to humanity seeks “the smiley-faces” from life’s the-smiey-faces-tweet-1audience. And when their approval alludes us, it can leave us feeling unworthy, unqualified, unloved, and all sorts of other “un” words. We can relieve our hearts of the burden to please others, when we start to see Him first.

1. Start

“I do not run like a man running aimlessly…”1 Cor 9:26

Paul is talking about the discipline he enforced upon his own life to serve Christ. (NIV Notes) When my life get’s hard, I tend to snap. When the side of my brain that signals I’ve earned the right to lose a little control trumps the logical side, I am libel to tell my kids to pick up there “s-word.” Or, ask them what in the “hocky-sticks” they are thinking. I might stomp up the stairs, roll my eyes at my husband, or cause my kids to flinch in fear. Anyone relate?

When the endurance of preparedness kicks in, the logical side of our brains replaces the-smiley-faces-pic-2lunacy with a pause. A moment, to just sit in the pocket of reaction and allow the memory to search out truth. If we read the truth of God’s Word day after day, it will remain alive and active to guide us on the fly.

Paul knew the cost and sacrifice of such discipline, but knew also it wasn’t aimless.

2. Stamina

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Cor. 9:24

“All the runners run” challenges me to lay down my efforts to succeed in exchange for consistency and discernment.

In a long-distance track event, I like to watch the runners who get boxed in after the lanes merge. Despite all of the preparation and experience the sport can offer, some of the best runners in the world still end up there. Against all odds, sometimes a runner jolts out of the pressure pocket like lightning …and sails back into the race. I love to root for those runners.

the-smiley-facesHave you found yourself boxed into places you’ve never wanted to be …places you prepared never to be? Let me encourage you from a place of commraderie. Human weakness will never go away, but neither will Jesus. Sometimes the only way to get the prize is to take a leap of faith. To reach out for His hand through the spikes clipping by, and let Him pull us back into the race when we’re ready to jolt.

3. Seek

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last forever.” 1 Cor. 9:25

Phil 3:14 explains that the winner of the race, in the time period Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians, won money and a wreath of leaves. (NIV notes on Phil 3:14) We train awfully hard to earn promotions, win medals, buy houses, and take vacations. The incomparably majestic crowns in Heaven are going to make a free trip to Disney World equatable to a free Oreo cookie. Just one cookie. Without the milk.

the-smiley-faces-pic-3

When I get to heaven, I want God to be proud of me… like a whole reward chart overflowing with smiley-faced stickers. He’ll always love me, but I want to have endured obedience in the pursuit of holiness. I want to break free from the pack and run down that straightaway praising His name as the tape breaks across my chest. I want to win. For Him. God doesn’t paint a whole picture of what that looks like for everyone. It’s as individual as each one of us. And His is the only approval we’re intended to rely on.

Happy Seeking,

Megs

 

 

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The Wake Up Call

Waking kids up in the morning is a pain in the you-know-what.

I NEVER woke my kids up when they were babies.  Three-hour naps twice a day?  Fine.  Go for it.  Sleep all you want.  All parents’ instinct is this.  Why?  Because all parents learn very quickly that a baby, toddler, kid of any age, who is overtired …is like dealing with an insane person.  Little bodies go limp and start flailing to the ground, tears stream down worn-out faces, nerves fry at all ends, and they fall down.  Literally.

This is the first summer since my kids don’t have to wake up to come with me to coach Cross Country practice. Instead of packing breakfast to-go I am watering my plants and enjoying my cup of coffee.  There is a big, quiet, gap in my summer mornings.

My oldest daughter, Brianne, though totally in love with “the runners” was the first to raise her hand at the family meeting when repeating the grueling schedule of the previous fall was discussed.  “Too busy,  TOO busy.” was her “two” sense.  And she was absolutely right.  Coupled with the diagnosis of my auto immune disease, my husbands long work hours, and my parents permanent move from down the street to South Florida …it was time to take a step back.

Brianne, now six, has loved every minute of having no agenda.  Her rise and shine time drifts longer into each day.  All-day Kindergarten was brutal on her.  I see pure joy in her face as she slowly meanders down the stairs in the morning and rolls onto the couch to watch a movie.  

Little Lo, now four, has only gotten half the memo.  She still bounces into my room somewhere between 5am and 7am in the morning to snuggle, and follows me around my morning routine.

“Momma, I want hot chocolate.” she will sleepily request.  Hot chocolate and the Disney Channel …that’s how Lo rolls for the first few hours of the day.

One morning, the Cross Country team stopped by our house, and through a lump in my throat I watched Brianne remember …and witnessed her love for the whole scene rekindle right there on the spot. “The runners” waved every time they run by.  It motivated my little girl, who has literally grown up around and thinks distance runners are the coolest people on the planet.  (Which they are …I mean, duh.)

“Mom, if I get up and get ready can I run with you in the morning?” she asked.  After all the “wondering what my kids are going to be passionate about,” I somehow knew early on running would eventually be it for her.

The first day she slept through our run, but I gave her my GPS and challenged her to see how many times around the yard add up to a mile. The answer is 10, and she happily ran for 1.57 miles. The next day Brianne made it up and out the door on time and we ran a mile and a half.  She talked the ENTIRE way …and she cut me off …a lot!  My old teammates would die of laughter if they could see it! Day three in a row, we ran 1.75 miles, ending at the lake, my favorite morning spot to take a picture.  

A lot of things have changed over the past year.  My body is in pain all the time from my battle with AS. Running just isn’t as healing as is used to be. My parents have moved away, making my everyday life is drastically different without them.

“Mom, you know what?” Brianne asked, while running, of course.

“What, Brianne?” I responded.

“I’m really glad I have a mommy like you who is a coach, ” as she looked up at me and smiled.

“But I’m not a coach anymore, Brianne,” I replied.

“Oh, yes you are, Mommy.  Except now, you get to just coach me and Lo Lo.  You’re little runners.” she explained.

Be still my heart.

“Yes, yes I can, Bri Bri Girl.  You really love to run, don’t you?” I asked.

“Yep.” she nodded.

“Awesome.” I told her.

Happy Summer Mornings….

Megs

And now …May 22, 2019.

It’s good to look back and remember God’s hand on our lives …to remember His answered prayers and miraculous healings. In the grand scope of our memories, lie some of the answers to our next steps. Today, I needed to remember this painful season in life. The joy I have in Christ remained through it all. He blessed me with sweet moments of motherhood and miraculously healed my disease. Jesus relieved my physical pain and healed my heart. 

I needed to remember my little runners, who are now growing up to be their own people. Brianne joined running club, this year, forgoing sleep to get there before school starts. She’s been so committed to dance over the last five years, I wondered if she would see it through. After the first day, she came running in the door …

“Mom!” she said, “all of my friends sprinted out in front of me at the beginning, but by the end I ran out of people to pass except for a couple of boys!” To see her rediscover the passion I could see so early in her life, all on her own, healed my doubts as a mom. We all have them. Doubts, fears, and decisions affecting our kids that don’t wait on assurance. 

“Mom!” she came flying in after another running club day, “I was second today! Just one boy beat me!” I will not be able to contain myself if she ends up being a competitive distance runner. No matter what she does, I needed to remember that though my influence in important, I am not the author of her passions. She will find them on their own. God will draw her to Him, just like He did me, and she will experience the full life of following Christ. I needed to remember that, today. Motherhood is so hard. But oh …we have a God who is so good.

…the other side.

Ahhh, the beginning of Track season.  32 degrees, but the sun was out and the wind was dead.  “Shorts and T-Shirt” weather, as one of our brightest observed.  My view of the track has always been linked closely with pain…and joy…and hurt…and triumph…and nausea…and pride…and…well, you get the picture.

From the other side of the track as a volunteer coach,  I recalled my initiation into track at fifteen. A green pea, I thought over a decade of ballet wold lend me the coordination and speed it took to be a hurdler.  Yet, I took notice of how much fun the distance runners had out on their runs… and I fell over a lot of hurdles.  

I laughed as some of our Cross Country runners deserted the distance crew to be sprinters, and wondered what painful episode caused the sudden change in heart.

Quickly pulled back to reality by my run-away child, I caught the glance of every non-parent in the weight room as she stumbled hazardly through bars and leg press machines.

Practice rolled on, and I fed my 8 month old a bottle while attempting to coax my stubborn ‘almost-3” year old down from the bleachers, I collected goals and last week’s mileage from the distance runners.   Learn new names, calculate workout paces, establish new goals…and chase after my 3 year old who believes with all her little heart that she can keep up with the ‘runners’ as they exit the track to log some miles.

The thrill of the “chase” made me question my motives,  Why coach?  Why drag my 2 kids up to the track?

Truth?  Track is a piece of me.  My little peepsters misbehave and make the experience a wonderful combination of gut wrenching and embarrassment on some days, but being at the track never was a completely comforting experience.

I had drifted towards distance runners, just like I had at fifteen.

I always wonder how people know what their passion is.  (Little kids on American Idol that say they’ve known since they were 2 they wanted to sing.)  Perhaps it’s just what you gravitate to….what you love so much that any pain that goes along with it is overshadowed by the triumphs.

Maybe my daughters will learn to love distance running and it’s masochistic ways, too.  If not in running than in something that they question why they love, until they are out there in it. I’m trying to instill an experience in them that will help shape their determination, by simply showing them who I am.  I might not have it all figured out yet, but maybe that’s a good thing to accept early on in parenting.

Practice isn’t perfect, but it can make it.

Happy Track Season,

Megs