Monday, July 27, 2015

Just 10

I am training for a marathon. That's 26.2 miles. Whew. It's hard. My longest run so far is 16 miles. I have had wonderful, inspiring runs where I felt I could run forever and ridiculously tough runs where I questioned all of it. I am doing it for the best cause I can think of. I am doing it to honor the beautiful and much too short life of my friend, Jenna. I'm raising money for pancreatic cancer action network so they can continue research to end the brutal, horrific disease that took her life at 40 years old. (If you're interested in donating, click here. Any amount is welcomed and appreciated.)

This week was a cut back week. That means that last weekend I did two runs and then a long run of 16 miles, but this week I did two runs and the long run was 10 miles. This allows our bodies to adapt to longer distances, gives us some mental space to breathe, and gives our bodies a rest. I thought about that on my 10 mile run. The chance to rest. Jenna did not have a chance to rest. Once she got her diagnosis it was doctor's visits, chemo, hospital stays, trips with family, lunch dates with friends, moments with her husband and sons, just soaking each other up. There were grand moments of joy and love and peace, certainly, but there was no cut back week for her. I can't express how much I hate that. I can say that no matter how hard cancer tried, it could not steal her joy, her spirit, her love of life. Suck it, cancer!
Three kiddos, a baby cuatro in the belly, Jenna, and me at her Jenna's Fight Club 5k
Those thoughts were running through my head as I got ready for my training run on Saturday. My mom and her husband graciously offered to watch our kids that day so we could do some work around the house. (side note: if money and time grew on trees this house would be divine. As it is, it's home sweet home. Home without trim, with terrible wall textures, woodpecker holes in the siding that have grown thanks to swallows who make nests in our walls, etc., etc., etc. Thankfully, the view really IS divine and the 2 acres suit us beautifully and the floor plan is great and it's full of potential. Just no money or time trees. Thus ends my side note.) I met my mom to swap cars, since Lord knows I wasn't going to move that many carseats/booster seats. We stopped in the parking lot and Isaac asked how long I was running today.

"Just 10."

He giggled. "Ten is a lot to me."

I shook my head. Why did I say that? "You're right. Ten is a lot of miles to run."

I do that a lot. I bet you do, too.

"Just 10."

"I just stay home with my kids."

Someone compliments you on your outfit. You don't say thanks. "I've had it forever. It was on sale."

Someone says you look great. You don't say thanks. "Ugh. I really need to lose a few pounds and I just found another gray hair yesterday."

Do you do that?

"Just this." "Only that."

Ten miles is a lot of miles to most people. Parenting is important stuff. When I give a compliment I am sincere and I should assume the same when they are directed my way.

We are not just this or only that. We are created with purpose. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are made in the image of God.

We mess up every day. All of them. Monday through Friday, plus weekends. Multiple times. Because we're humans.

But I did not run "just 10" and I don't "just stay home with my kids." I'm not just anything and neither are you. I am 100% me and you are 100% you. We're going to wake up and love and laugh and fall on our faces, perhaps both literally and figuratively. We're going to raise our voices when we should hug, hold a grudge when we should forgive, roll our eyes when we should apologize.

Gosh, I wish I didn't. I wish I were perfect. Like that person on Facebook who I swear always does her hair and make up and never shouts at her kids and always gets along with her husband and is going on ANOTHER vacation. Seriously. How is that her life? Come on!

Well, it isn't her life. It's a piece of her life.

Life, real life, all of it, is ugly. Beautiful. Brutal. Glorious. We're going to celebrate grandiose victories and endure the deepest depths of grief. If we're really lucky we'll have people surrounding us to hold our hands and wipe our snot, pick us up when we are weary and love us no matter what.

And those people love us because we are who we are. 100% us.

Life's too short. We all say it. We have to live it. We have to live it before we get the bad news from the doctor or before the car crash or before the marriage crumbles.

Let's stop apologizing for ourselves or minimizing our accomplishments.

Let's shine. Not to draw attention to ourselves, but to brighten the lives of the people around us.

Let's live boldly. Kindly. Lovingly. Purposefully. Beautifully. Brightly. 100%.

It's Monday. Instead of being in a Monday funk, let's all do one thing to brighten someone else's day. What will you do? Share in the comments if you'd like.

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