To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
It’s one of those seasons. You know, the one where life is so busy with juggling three kids, two jobs, two different sports, and house-sitting for my parents, among other things. There is just no time to do the things I WANT to do. It’s all I can do to get a semi-healthy dinner on the table every night. Or, most nights–sometimes we’re eating out of a cooler on the bleachers watching baseball practice.
One of the things I really want to do is run. It’s really more like jogging, but it’s faster than walking, if only slightly. My goal is to run a half-marathon. Someday. Okay, it’s more of a dream. Or a fantasy.
Last year at this time, I was the fittest I had ever been. We were homeschooling, so I could pop into the gym several times a week while the tweedles did a homeschool PE class or went swimming. Then came summer. With the boys spending the bulk of the summer with their dad, I was constantly riding bikes, working out, hiking, and jogging. I even bought myself a sleeveless sundress.
Then came this new season. I had been a stay-at-home mom for ten years, since my oldest was born. This single-working-mom-with-three-kids-in-public-school was a challenging adjustment. We don’t get home until around 6 in the evening, and those 2 hours before the tweedles go to bed are filled with dinner, homework, showers, and if we’re lucky, a couple chapters in a book. And that’s only if we don’t have Scouts, football practice, baseball practice, or a school event in the evening. By the time I get the kitchen cleaned and the book bags staged for the next day, this mama is too pooped for planks.
This morning, however, I didn’t have to be at work until 11 am, which gave me some time for a quick jog after dropping off the tweedles at school. But it’s been weeks since I’ve jogged. I managed one lap around the subdivision, and couldn’t go any farther. It’s just this season, I reasoned with myself, slowing down to walk as I approached the driveway. I hate to walk. If I’m gonna go through all the trouble of getting ready to exercise, I’m gonna break a serious sweat. But today, I decided to give myself the grace to walk to the next driveway to catch my breath. But then, for some reason, I kept walking. Two. Three, maybe four driveways. The intention was to turn back around and surrender to my fatigue. But I started jogging again, completing a second lap around the neighborhood. That little bit of walking enabled me to go twice as far as I had planned or expected.
We all go through these seasons where we need to let ourselves walk when what we really want to do is run. Your “run” may be volunteering. It may be homeschooling, writing, crafting, or, like me, it may be actual running. It’s okay to “walk” for a season. It’s okay to slow down, catch your breath, and re-group. You don’t have to go full-throttle all the time, and you don’t have to stop altogether when your other responsibilities begin to overwhelm you. When you allow yourself to walk, when you give yourself some grace, you may just find that you’re able to begin running again sooner–and farther–than you thought possible.