What could you do in 6 months?

 “When I _____________ I feel God’s pleasure.”

Whatever you do, do your work with all your heart, as for the Lord rather than for men…”  Colossians 3:23

It was October 30th, a year ago this week; I remember, because the next night, while taking my daughter trick-or-treating at I thought, “I picked the worst day of the year to start something healthy.”

A friend had just shared that she was going to drink more water and eat real food for ten days, and did I want to join her?  Then she added that we might as well add some exercise.

I was thinking of going for leisurely walks, but she had in mind a Beach Body “Insanity” workout.  I spend a couple hours on-line reading workout reviews on Amazon and picked out a more realistic sounding DVD program.  (In this selection, I was setting a goal to engage in 30 minutes of exercise 6 days a week  for the next three months, taking me through those yummy-comfy-cozy winter holidays of feasting, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year.)

As one good habit led to another, I began setting and accomplishing other smaller goals.   With each success, momentum built, till 6 months later, …

  • I had run my first race in freezing rain, coming in first in my age group (thanks to the very crummy weather narrowing down the competition),
  • run my first 5K without a friend to pace me and not slowing for walk breaks,
  • run my first 10K,
  • run a 10K in single digit temps with a negative degree wind chill (And I hope I never do that again!  My face was so numb at the end, I felt like I had been given a shot of Novocain.)
  • and had run my first half marathon(All of these felt like MAJOR milestones at the time!!!!)

race finish 01I discovered that I am a “slow and steady” girl.  I am not made for speed, but I can go longer distances (and really enjoy it).

The habit has stuck.  (It helps that I have a friend who is training for a marathon that enjoys company on her “short runs”, aka my “long-runs”.)  And, I’m really looking forward to my next half marathon; this time with confidence that I can finish strong.

I’ve never been a “runner”, but at my first local “Jingle Bell Run” when someone asked, “Are you a really fast runner?”  Instead of saying, “NO!!!”, I replied with a smile and a question, “Do I look like a really fast runner?”   We laughed, and I thought, why are we all so nervous and insecure?  Why I am I comparing myself with others?

We are all running our own race.

(Physically and spiritually.  We all have a course to run.  We must set our goal and press forward.  We our eyes on Jesus, run the race marked out for us, and run for the prize, bringing glory to the LORD as we do our best to steward what is entrusted to us… body, soul, mind, spirit; talent, time, and treasure.)

I decided then that I was going to run for “FUN” and, as Eric Liddell, run to feel the pleasure of God.  And, if I come in last, I’ll add “making everyone else feel fast” to my list of encouraging ministries.  (Sort of like my “fair-skin ministry” of helping others “feel tan” at the beach.)

Jeff Galloway’s goals have become mine, whether I’m running a short 5K race or walk-running a marathon some day,

  • to finish standing up
  • smiling
  • and wanting to do it again.

My first half marathon was one with the slowest required pace available, an 18 minute mile pace.  I was so nervous when I started training for it because 13.1 miles sounded impossible, and I didn’t even know if I could finish.  So when I registered, I signed up for the last and slowest corral.

Not only was I not picked up by a bus, I finished smiling with a most surprising time with energy to spare,  and one of my first thoughts was, “I gotta’ do this again!”  — In every way, I met and surpassed my goal.

I know I’ve written a little bit about this before, but running has been a huge part of my story this past year!!!  I did something that I never thought was possible for this non-athletic girl.  And, I want to encourage you to challenge yourself physically.  Whether it’s like my friend who has fibromyalgia who walks around her house and lifts 1/2 and 1 pound weights or like my beach-body loving, marathon running friends.

This kind of accomplishment gave me so much confidence in my ability to choose discipline over momentary comfort, and it has given me a lingering addiction to setting and pursuing goals.

Now, at the anniversary of my spontaneous 10 day commitment that changed my entire year (and hopefully my lifestyle from here on out), I’m wanting to address another area of my life.

Six months… What do YOU want to do?

  • set a goal
  • mark out a few deadlines/mini-goals to get there
  • invite a friend to join you, for encouragement and accountability
  • learn all you can about it (on-line, books, magazines, videos, related documentaries, seek advice and ask questions of experts and armatures)

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Eric Liddle said, “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure. ”  When do you “FEEL” the “PLEASURE OF GOD”. 

I want to challenge you to complete these sentences (with single adjectives/verbs or longer phrases) several times for yourself as a poem:

God made me _________________. 

And when I _____________ I feel His pleasure.”