Lessons From My Morning Run...

About three days a week I drag myself out of bed to go on a morning run with one of my good friends.  We talk, we laugh, we share, and a couple of times we might have even shed a few tears.  I don't know if it's because it's just so stinkin' early that our senses are dull and before we know it we've spilled our guts to one another. Maybe it's in an attempt to forget that our legs are tired and we feel like a pack of monkeys have jumped on our backs.  But, whatever the reason, we open up and we share our lives with each other.  But it seems like one of the most common topics we seem to always come back to is how as women, wives, mothers we often feel overwhelmed and inadequate.

Why is this?

We worry about laundry not being washed, dried, and folded the second it's dropped in the laundry basket. We worry about dinner not consisting of a grain, a perfect protein, and a vegetable.  We worry that we aren't skinny enough, or that our haircut isn't just right.  We worry that we don't keep our homes clean enough.  We worry that so and so irons her husbands pants before she even hangs them in his closet or that she irons at all (because I do not- but that's a whole other post).  We worry that our prayers aren't eloquent enough or that our bible study time isn't in-depth and intimate enough.  We worry that we aren't liked.  We worry because our kid doesn't have enough friends or that they spend too much time playing video games. We worry that we worry too much!

And what's worse- Is that often times instead of our hearts breaking for one another and lifting one another up in prayer we compare ourselves to each other.  We take intimate information that was entrusted to us and we put ourselves up against it to either make ourselves feel better or to inwardly punish ourselves for not being more like that woman.

In an attempt to be real and transparent- I tell you I'm not immune.  Early in the mornings when I'm out running with my friend- I talk about all the laundry I'm behind on, how my poor husband has to dig through the clean clothes to find himself something clean to wear.  I never iron- I would rather chop my own arm off. There are days where my children drive me to say and act out in ways that would make you drop to your knees and pray for me right where you stand.  Sometimes we eat popcorn for dinner because I feel like the simple act of opening the fridge might bring me to tears.  Sometimes I'm hateful to my poor husband for no other reason than the fact that he walked into the room.  And there are times when my laundry room is so full of clean and dirty clothes all piled high on the floor that I have to re-wash clean clothes because I've lost track of what's what.  I don't tell you all of this to give you ammo to judge me, but to let you know that you are not alone.  All of these things make me feel at times like a failure.  They make me feel inadequate and like I am so overwhelmed with it all that I might cry- and sometimes I do.

And it seems to be universal.  Every women I spend time with seems to share this burden of time spent feeling overwhelmed and inadequate.  We all play the compare game.  We convince ourselves that every other woman has it together and is Super-wife or Super-mom but us.  We find our worth in things of this world- clothes, hair, how clean our house is, how well dressed and put together our families look, how 5 star our meals are, and the list goes on and on.  When the one place we should be looking for our worth and our sense of calm and peace is from our Creator and Heavenly Father.  Isn't that why Jesus Christ died on the cross?  To free us from the burdens of this world.  To free us from self doubt and worry.  To free us from anxiety and comparison.

Dear Friend, find comfort, for "everyone who is born of God overcomes the world..." - "our faith" is the "victory that has overcome the world" (1 John 5:4).  Have faith in our Savior.  Have faith that his promises are real and true.  Don't let the world define you or let the world's view keep you from encouraging and lifting up those women around you  that are hurting and struggling with the same worries and doubts that plaque us all.  For it is in Christ that we have "victory" and that "victory has overcome the world" and all the doubt and peace robbers that come with it.  "Love one another" (2 John 5), encourage each other, and pray for each other.  And "walk in the truth" (2 John 4) knowing that it is only in the truth that we will find our worth and be able to steal our joy back.


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