Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Going the distaaaaaaaance
Ok, so for the past hundred and something days I've been doing this 90 day challenge. Thank you Jesus I'm on the home stretch now with only 9 days left! In the beginning I had a lot of time to dedicate to each thing as well as momentum on my side. I would like to say my motivation has remained for the most part, but the transitional life i lead has left me aching for more minutes in the day to complete this task. Nevertheless, I have learned so many amazing things during this like: the blessings of discipline, the joy of digging in the word, how to have grace on myself, dying to self, how to live in the spirit, how to really live out the word, significant things of God's character and nature, and more of who I am in Him..... a daughter of the King.
Now with the end of this season in close view I'm seeing an even bigger picture of WHOLENESS than I ever have before!!! I've also spent some time asking the Lord what is next. Is this over? And the answer I received was a very clear NO.... it is just beginning! So, for those of you who have stuck with me this whole time... first of all I'd like to give you a standing ovation (really, I'm doing it right now) and secondly i'd like to share with you the highly anticipated (by no one other than me) "game plan" for next season. And whether or not you have been doing this 90 day challenge with me, I'd still like to extend a humble offer to join me on this next amazing challenge. If you'd like me to help you with your own personal challenge, I'd love to... just ask :)
The idea and heart behind it is to develop some healthy biblical habits that promote wholeness and health so we can live to the fullest in this fallen world and be the stewards God is desiring us to be with our minds, body, soul... and all He puts in our care.
I've always been a sprinter. Even in Jr. High track I chose sprinting because I knew I could do anything for a short amount of time. As I got older I began to see how that mentality creeped into every part of who i was. Physically I could run hard and fast for brief periods but before too long I would wear out. Mid-2010 was a prime example of this. I had been doing small quick things for God giving Him very little commitment, but lots of passion and gusto. Around the time I contracted Dengue fever in Thailand was when it all began to rapidly go down hill. I saw my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual all collapse within days/ weeks of each other... i was a MESS. Sure, some of the things that attributed to this were out of my control but as I began to get better I realized how every single decision I made actually did matter and how connected everything is. One of the things I was encouraged to do was to start to look forward with more long-term vision... rather than just throwing all my chips in the air and hoping they land in the right place.
This was something very difficult for a free bird like me to do. It took a little bit of coaching and a few panic attacks for me to begin to see that this was healthy. More recently (about a year later) while I was in New Zealand I began to run again. I tried and tried to run long distances but I just couldn't do it... in fact, I hated it. In the meantime I was also feeling a bit of anxiety about committing to a few other things in my life (like long-term missions). One day while I was running, it was almost as if God audibly said "Lindsey, your sprinting days are over... I need you to be one of my long-distance runners now." And when the Lord speaks... I answer. I'm telling you it was so clear. And without much thought at all my timid yet confident answer was, "yes dad... anything for you". I know it sounds crazy... but right at that moment I had such a peace run over me. All of the things I had unintentionally worried about (like long-term commitment to places, goals, people... yes people) in the past were gone. And then in God's gracious humor... being freed from this actually broke something in the physical and i could now run long distances with so much more ease!!! HAHA. Praise God.
So what better way than to honor God with a symbol of my new found freedom and victory than to run the music city half marathon!!! April 28 of this year my sister, a few cousins, some other amazing friends and myself will be running to raise money for Hands and Feet Project's orphanage in Haiti. I tell you this not only so you can be praying for us, but to also give you the opportunity to support us if you'd like!!! I'm trying to get 50 people to donate $1 per mile (13.1 miles)... or just throw in whatever you've got in yo back pocket! So for the next 15 weeks I'll be training with my sister learning more about discipline and becoming more fit to serve Him with everything!!! But THIS is only half of the "game plan".
The other half: You know I can never do things the easy way right? Ha. Well, our "official" training begins in about 3 weeks which will give us 12 weeks of intense training up until the half-marathon. The past few months God has been laying the spiritual disciplines on my heart so I ordered "Celebration of Disciplines" by Richard Foster. A few days ago when I opened the book I starting dying laughing when I realized there were 12 of them. It was almost a no-brainer as to what I was supposed to do. So while i'm physically training I'll also be spiritually training as I go through one of the disciplines per week, practice it... and blog about it. I could not be MORE excited for this. I really thing there are some special nuggets of gold God has during this next season... and I'd love for you to come along side me!!!
For the 3 weeks leading up to this I'll be finishing this 90 day challenge and doing some sort of detox to prepare my mind, body, soul and spirit for what's ahead. If you'd like to ask me anything please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
One last thing... today as my sis and I were running I was telling her the story I just told you in one ear. In her other ear was a man on her ipod telling her when we should run and when we should walk for our "pre-training". All the sudden we realized how similar life is to all of this and how God's desire is to keep us trained for long-distance by giving us preparation tools and crucial instruction on what's to come. The problem is sometimes the other "noise" is up so loud we are unsure of what He's even saying.
Clearly in the word God desires to produce in endurance in us to run the race... "and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Rom 5: 3-5
and "let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter or our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb 12: 1&2
Just sit and meditate on this scripture for a little while and ask the Lord how He might want to speak to you through them. We take more ground for Christ in the physical when we understand the power of prayer and the victories to be had in the spiritual. The more we commit ourselves wholly to the Lord, the less interference and more authority we are giving Him to MOVE in our lives! Celebrating true spiritual discipline brings freedom in the unseen AND the seen. Let's not let the fallen world beat us down, but let's rise above as son's and daughters and seek freedom in healing for all through Christ!
"... but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." Heb 12:11-14
Amen!!! And we're off.....