Man. You guys. Winter is hitting us hard, but not in the form of frigid temps and snow. It’s 78 and windy and everyone is puking or running a fever or popping prednisone or tamiflu. It’s just awesome. I’ve had a headache for a week and a half and would trade my left arm for thin, cold air, just to relieve the sinus pressure. I have hardly been on social media and haven’t set eyes on this blog in a week and a half. Last week we had some life stuff happen plus I was sick, and this week, well, everyone else in our house seems to be following suite. Lila has the flu and strep, a truly winning combo.
Sometimes, winter just blows in and life gets hard. You just start to ache for green grass and blooming tree’s. Color and life. For change to blow in and alter your course. To get you back on track.
I have only run twice in the last week, and it’s been a trot at best. I had these great plans to train for a Spring half marathon, but life just doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. And that’s ok. Because as usual, there is much to learn.
My body, my goals, my attitude, my health, my organization(or lack thereof), my expectations of what the first month of the year would bring have been very different than what was on paper January 1st. It just didn’t start the way I wanted. Am I alone? Do you ever set out with goals and expectations just to have to veer off course before you even get started? That’s how I feel. Like I just can’t keep my car on the road.
Nothing tragic. Nothing catastrophic. I’ve struggled a bit with my purpose with social media, and this blog specifically. I’ve wondered if racing and training really need to be in my cards right now, as it seems my family just needs more of my time and focus during this season. I’ve almost canned my Instagram account multiple times. Last week I think I posted once, and it was so amazingly liberating. The world didn’t stop because I checked out of Instagram for a few days. Shocker. I often wonder the point of it all. As I sit here, beside my sick girl, throw up bowl nearby and the diffuser in my kitchen working overtime, I wonder where exactly God wants me. But maybe, the answer is lying right next to me.
Because through it all, I’m learning this…….
God is bigger than my circumstances. He’s bigger than my doubts. Than my questions. He’s bigger than my faults. Bigger than my “what on earth am I supposed to be doing with my life right now” moments. Though there is much more to all of this than I am free to share with you here, God knows the details of my story and this life I’m living. He knows what my “setbacks” are, as He knows yours. He knows the details of your parenting, your marriage, your friendships, your work, your hobbies. He knows your struggles and your fears and your weaknesses. He also know your strengths and how He will use this season in your life to bring about good.
He knows it all.
And as I have been navigating some struggles and frustrations, as my winter winds have blown stronger than expected, I can rest in knowing that God is bigger.
“God’s love isn’t based on me. It’s simply placed on me. And it’s the place from which I should live…..loved.” ~Lysa TerKeurst
Maybe your year isn’t going as planned. You had plans. Goals. Expectations. Hopes. Dreams. And here only a month in, it’s all been derailed. For one reason or another, you’ve had to take a detour. Sometimes, detours are the most scenic way to reach your destination. You would have stayed on the straight and narrow, perhaps boring and predictable, highway had you not been taken a different way. Being thrown off course isn’t always a bad thing. Maybe it takes you to great and unexpected places.
During our trip to Colorado after Christmas we had some trouble getting back to Denver due to some avalanches on the highway. Lovely right? For these Texas chickens, it was basically like we had to cheat death to get home. We got off the main road and took a back highway(called a pass, and to me, this word does not inspire safety) through the mountains. And ya’ll, it was amazing and beautiful. We came through the storm and the fear, and on the other side were mountain ranges and blue skies. Windy roads and good talks. Distractions from what we left behind and a clear view of the road ahead. And had the main highway not been blocked, we never would have discovered what was hidden in those mountains. Those back roads. The quant little towns. We got an entirely different view, and a new perspective. And we made it home.
“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” ~Shauna Niequist
So, if you’re stuck or navigating a hard season, keep going. Know that in every season, both bitter and sweet, there are things to learn and ways to grow.
All your kids are sick. You have a baby with colic. Your husband lost his job. Your teenager is making you question if life is worth living(sarcasm..ahem, maybe). Your marriage is rocky. Your friendships are struggling. Your career goals aren’t panning out. You have an injury or a major health concern. Whatever it may be, rest in the promise that it serves a purpose for your growth and your betterment. God doesn’t check out. He doesn’t leave you with it. In fact, He’s already gone ahead of you. He knows what comes on the other side. And the purpose of it all is to bring HIM glory, not us.
Is it going to be too much? Yes. Because really, most of life is more than we can handle. But then we see our need for Him. He allows more than we can handle, absolutely. If life were always within our grasp, if it were always something we could navigate on our own, we wouldn’t need a Savior.
Spring is coming. Color and blooms and life and a reminder that there is always a new beginning. A fresh season. But don’t miss the now. In all it’s mundaneness it can unfold some of the most unexpected joys and blessings. The hardest of seasons can bring about some of the biggest change and most profound growth. When the winds stop blowing and the storms pass, beauty can emerge. But it must be made in dark places, in the waiting. In the trial or the storm. Under the hard stuff you are being molded and refined. Shaped and woven into something even more beautiful than before. Let’s not miss the journey, let’s not miss today.
“Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is.
You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural.
You are more than dust and bones.
You are spirit and power and image of God.
And you have been given Today.” ~Shauna Niequist