Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lesson from the Pastures...

You know the Bible references sheep often. I saw a verse this week in one of my daily emails, and deleted it. Now I wish I hadn’t, but it was talking about us being sheep, and Jesus being our shepherd. I am a farm girl, raised on a farm, love the farm, still own calves, and spent Sunday night moving calves from one pasture to another. While I’m no expert on sheep, I do have a lot of cattle experience, and I’ve been thinking about that verse ever since I deleted it. Calves don’t know things that I do, that’s why I need to be in charge and they need to listen. I want them to be in fields that have enough grass and have full ponds, but there are always those calves that don’t want to cooperate, that want to try to run off or stay where they are. Normally, I win, but when they don’t cooperate, it’s only harder for both of us. I’m like one of those obstinate calves, the kind I want to send to the stockyard and sell. I want to stay where I am, I want to do things my own way, and I think I know best, when truly, my farmer, Jesus, knows the better plan. He knows things I don’t know. He knows where the full ponds are, and where there is plenty of grass. Why do I continually think my way is better, that if I could just have my way, things would be fine. I guess because I’m dense, and sometimes have the understanding and foresight of a calf. I can’t see more than the grass in front of my face. Thankfully, Jesus has unending patience and love, and he doesn’t send me to the stockyard for slaughter. He keeps guiding, keeps nudging, keeps trying to steer me to the right pasture.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight

Today my prayer is to submit, to quit relying on what I know, and instead be lead to the hope and future the Lord has for me. I pray the same for you, too!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Never would have dreamed it...

So, I’ve mentioned a little of my running in the past.  Well, we finished our No Boundaries program Memorial.  I’d like to say it ended with a bang, but really it ended with the heat, miserable heat.  I live in the south, and this year it seems as though the unbearable heat has made an early entrance.  It made for a horribly hot Memorial Day race.  Let me back up a little, in my mind, I’ve wanted to be a runner for a while now, but it just seemed like a thing those skinny runner people did, not something I could do.  My cousin talked me into joining a program called No Boundaries 10 weeks ago that was supposed to work us up to a 5K.  This 10 weeks has been semi life changing in a way.  Here’s one of my secrets, I’m a little lazy.  Not so much lazy in that I don’t work hard, but lazy in that I don’t necessarily want to give something my all, b/c what if I do and I don’t attain the goal, or fail.  That’s too much for my little brain to handle, so I played basketball and didn’t ever shoot lest I miss, I played softball and tried to request the easiest spots again lest I miss the fly ball.  That’s the way I’ve done things.  School and work have never really been an issue, b/c  those came easy for me, but the stuff that was hard, I just didn’t really try and used that as an excuse.  Running doesn’t allow that, I guess there are “good” runners, but runners come in all shapes and sizes, all paces and speeds.  I’m never going to win a race, but I can beat my prior times, I can set a goal time and meet it, I can succeed. But all that requires training and self-dicipline…again things that don’t come naturally to me.  So, I go to God, and ask for help on the quest to be a runner, and I’m reminded of a verse a Sunday school teacher brought to my attention a few years ago… 2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline… Power and self-discipline, two things I really need to make this commitment and overcome my natural laziness. So, I’ve completed the 5K, though not at any breakneck speed, it was over 5 minutes faster than the one I did last year with no preparations, and now I’ve let another friend talk me into something I said I wasn’t going to do… a Half Marathon!!  I’m terrified and excited at the same time.  I am so lucky to have a great group to run with a lot of mornings.  They truly are what gets this night owl out of bed at 5:30 am to beat the heat.  I’ll share more as we go along, but just wanted to let you in on the new goal!