It took me three weeks to work up to the beginning program, but eventually I trained for that first 5K. I found running to be a great stabilizer for me. When I run, my body releases tension, my head seems to clear and I just feel better in general.
Yesterday I finished my 22nd half marathon. I hadn't trained properly for it so it was a tough one. That and the fact that I'm coming off an injury I sustained in an 8 mile trail race back in January made for a rather painful race. On a tough race like that all the "good thoughts" disappear about 7 miles in. I get frustrated with myself and my mind starts turning toward negative thoughts.
Yesterday I started thinking about how overweight I am and my lack of self control as it pertains to eating and training. The half-marathon mind cannot be held accountable as it gets crazy in there - but at some point for whatever reason, I thought about how "ugly" I must look. Then I thought about my life and literally had the thought, my whole life is ugly.
The second I heard that thought go through my head - I heard this resounding Not True! It was sort of like God pulled out a huge "not true" stamp and landed it on my head. It was funny to me - and the thoughts it initiated kept me going for a good mile or two more. Even though many parts of caregiving can be "ugly" or difficult, or not the normal picture of life, there's still much beauty in it.
I thought about how beautiful it is to lay down one's life for another. That's what we do isn't it? Jesus said there's no greater love than this. That's beautiful. The way we care so much for another whole person and strive to meet every need - no matter what that need is at the moment - He thinks is beautiful.
Sure, it's tough. Sure it's not the normal picture of how life is supposed to be. Sure, we lose a lot of freedom by choosing caregiving - but He thinks it's beautiful. Now when I think something that's not true - I'm going to envision a huge "not true" stamp coming down on the top of my head! lol
As I opened my Bible this morning for devotions, I just happened on the passage in Luke 7, and I felt it applied. Jesus was dining with one of the Pharisees and a woman who had a shady past, an ugly life, began to wash Jesus' feet. The Pharisee thought if this man were a prophet, He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner. The truth is - He did know. And He found beauty in it. Jesus used this imaginary "Not true!" stamp to negate the Pharisee's thoughts as He explained that this woman performed acts of kindness, of caregiving if you will, when the Pharisee did not. He found it beautiful - not ugly.
May we all experience the "Not true!" stamp when we think what we do is less than beautiful. I've said it before but it bears repeating that as we demonstrate our love through caregiving - we look a lot like Him. And I feel that He is pleased.
Today I am going to purposefully let Him show me the beauty in my situation. My thoughts will be on how He takes good care of my soul with the same type of love that I provide care for my son. I'm going to think about how this woman washed Jesus' feet out of pure love and how He saw the act. I believe that's how He sees us as caregivers too. He is just as passionate for us as we are for our loved ones, just as protective, compassionate, and loving - maybe more. I will turn my thoughts to these truths today. I'm going to trust Him and rest in Him for one more day - will you join me?