Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Kind of Runner Are You?

Years ago, while homeschooling four children under the age of eight, I received these wise words from a friend.  She looked at me and said, "you are a long distance runner."  She went on to expand her observation.  She saw herself as a short distance runner.  She could do anything for a short distance.  She was fast out of the block and could push her abilities to the finish line, as long as the finish line was in view. She was the one who attended all the funerals, weddings and baby deliveries.  She was there to bring the meal or assist, for a short period of time.  She would not sign up for the constant day in and day out assignments...like having home group at her house each week or homeschooling her children, but she ran her short distance race with grace and success.

She saw me, however, as a long distance runner.  I would not be able to see the finish line, and I would have to pace myself.  I would have to keep the goal in mind, but not get frustrated on the long, sometimes mundane course ahead of me.  At that time in life, my race was raising four children, working in leadership in the church, homeschooling and helping my husband start his own business. I was the one with home group at my house every week.

I am sure she has never thought of our conversation again, as she has run her race so well.  I, on the other hand, have rehearsed those words so many times as I see the long distance race before me.  They have encouraged me to pace myself and learn the lessons along the path.

These next few weeks, I have a short distance race with my son in a leg cast.  I have come out of the gate grateful and with full energy.  I have made up songs, carrying him to the bathroom yelling "potty patrol", moved from one thing to another to keep him from being bored, while hearing "momma" more than normal.  I see the finish line in front of me, and "norm" will be back again before the holidays.

On the other side of me, I have had some very long distance races.  Homeschooling only came to completion with four of my children at the time of graduation from high school.  Marriage is also a long run...sometimes the hills can be exhausting and the valleys can stretch your relations, but the union into one comes with a price.  Other losses and disappointments can show their head when you don't expect it, showing that healing doesn't always come overnight...another long distance race.

I am still on a long distance run and I still don't see the goal line, but He does.  He has given me encouragement for this race in His word.  My responsibility is to know that He sees the finish line and He knows the prize that  is set before me.  Ultimately the prize is Him, but along the way, I know He has other blessings in store. I know He is strengthening my muscles, toning me up and preparing me for the next leg of my journey.
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all,
but one receiveth the prize? 
So run, that ye may obtain.
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.
Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
I therefore run, not as one that beateth the air:
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection:
lest that by any means when I have preached to others,
I myself should be a castaway." (1 Corin 9:24-27)

 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Heb. 12:1-3

Blessings on whatever type of race God has you on, either a short or long distance run.  May you see what type of runner you are as you race forward.  May you have His strength to get to the finish line.

33 Joining in with more words:

myletterstoemily said...

what a lovely illustration of how perfectly
different we all are!

i am praying that the Lord will strengthen
your "feeble arms and weak knees."
hebrews 12:12 sounds like a praying mom.

also that He will complete heal that little
leg so that your littlest runner, will run the
race the fastest and strongest.

that's how it is with my children. my
youngest is the glue, strength, and
wisdom of our family.

you can do this, and it can be one of your
son's sweetest memories . . . his special
time with mom.

Anonymous said...

I seem to do best in the distance running - I'm comfortable when I have time to plan. However, I can run the short distance, but I become unsettled, inside, and feel like I'm only half way taking care of the "whatever."

Theresa said...

Beautiful, Janette. The kids sang a song in VBS one year that stuck with me. "Run, run, run the race, keep, keep, keep the pace. Keep your eyes on Jesus"! As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus we will run well.

Farm Girl said...

I love this post, it is good to be reminded that I too am a long distance runner. When you are homeschooling you have to wait until they graduate and get out in the world before you find out that you did a good job. My first was the day my daughter got her acceptance letter in the mail from a college.
I never thought about marriage being in that race.

I always quote the Hebrews 12:1-3 to myself when I want to give up.

I was wondering how you were doing with a baby and a broken leg.
I have been praying for you.

This was a lovely post. Thanks

Sassy Granny ... said...

Immediately I think of the endurance built into those who run long distance. Without it, they'd never make the finish line, much less see it.

Yours is a heart built with endurance. Winded. Sweaty. Maybe even weary ... but definitely one to run until the running is done.

Bless you!


Janet - AKA: Latte Lady said...

Hmmm... interesting.

I'd like to think about this. I've never heard anything like this before.

I am going to post about this today and I'd like to highlight your blog and post.

Blessings and FAVOR !!!!!



Sandy said...

This is a beautiful post, Janette.
I enjoyed reading it. Isn't it
wonderful to feel Lord's strength
that is made perfect in our human
weakness? I think we are all long
distance runners. The Lord sees
what's ahead for all of us and
He leads the way to victory
through His blood!
Holding your little guy up in
love for a complete healing for
his leg.

Debbie said...

Oh Janette I can't tell you how much this blessed me. It is just soo true. I have found that sometimes we just don't have a choice in what kind of a race we are in though do we? haha I would pick the short one every time. Those long, winding, up hill roads are sometimes soo tough to keep on for me. I like to see the end in sight or the light at the end of tunnel or whatever. But I love that He does give us the grace to just keep running on. Pressing to the finish line. I soo admire the fact that you homeschooled all of your children. What a large, overwhelming I am sure at times and difficult task. And yet one with such rewards I am sure as well. Praying your little one is his busy, running, sweet little self before you know it. Hugs to you, Debbie

Jenn said...

This is my first time to your blog...Lea from myletterstoemily recommended your blog.

Great thoughts today...reminding me that I'm in this for the long haul and with Christ I can do all things.

JillAileenJones said...

Oh the distance, I am so glad I have good running shoes! lol
There are days I wish I could see the finish line, to know the outcome and to know that everything will be ok, especially with my kids.
Then there are days I am so thankful that I can't for I would miss out on all those blessings that come even during the hard times because I am sure I would try and change things!
Thanks for the great analogy! This was awesome.
Now I must run-speaking of that-to finish doing HS and planning what is for dinner-church tonight and so that always brings some added work planning out the day.
Blessings-hope today is a beautiful running day for you-sorry about your little guy too. We have had 4 broken bones with Brandon-getting sort of used to it now I hate to say that! Praying for a quick healing.

Trisha said...

Great words of encouragement, friend! May you enjoy this short distance run with your sweet boy and continue to make some wonderful memories! Praying for quick healing.:)

Cindy - Letters From Midlife said...

I think for most things I am a sprinter (short distance runner) but if it is something really important I can go the distance. But I do tend to do better with projects or goals that I can start and finish quickly.

Cindy - Letters From Midlife said...

I meant to add that where my walk with the Lord is concerned, I have no choice but to be the long distance runner because my race won't be done until He takes me home.

Sonja said...

you know... I think God has given you a special little window during his time... one where 'mommy' is heard more often, and you know so well, when his leg heals, he will be off and running free again, with mommy back in the background of all that claims his attention. These are special and precious little times. Not sure who benefits the most, you or him!! :)

This was such a good post Janette... so many hearts on the same path in these blogs!


Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Yes we all have a long distance race here on earth...like you all have said.
I do think it is interesting that different personalities run differently and God also seems to know that.

All of us have the long distance races....raising children, marriage, our relationship with God and family.

Blessings on all of your races...I am so glad I have such wonderful runners along side me!!!

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

I love the way you explained this. When I saw the title, I thought "I'm not a runner", but you made it clear that I am :-) Thank you my friend.

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

i love this! that verse in Hebrews is one of my favorites and the word unhindered has been rolling around in my head for awhile.... i see a blog post coming! ha!

praying for your little guy!

partialemptynester said...

Oh, I just love this post! Reminds me of a similar illustration that has always stuck in my head...that poem that was so popular years and years ago...footprints...the one of when there are double footprints, then just one and the person talking to God thinks He left when really the person was being carried and the footprints were God's? Well, I've always looked looked at "dance footprints" and thought of myself as dancing through life with God...sometimes He picks me up and twirls me around as I need a lift...so all that to say, I'm not big on running, marathons or sprints, so I must be a dancer :))

Thanks for such a beautiful reminder today!

Sydney said...

I am reassured that no matter the race..I can seek strength from the One that has all my days written in His book. I can run to HIM knowing that if I put it all in His hands that..that is the best place for all my cares to be.

May you find comfort in knowing that He has it all under control.

Resting in His arms,

e-Mom said...

Beautiful Janette! The older I get, the more I wonder if I'll complete the race victoriously. Seems like those obstacles keep coming! You've reminded me to keep a long-term perspective, instead of a short one.

I was just at another blog, and read the passage about producing 3--fold, 60-fold or 100-fold for God. I want to do the latter, Lord willing!

Good for you for maintaining your cheery disposition in this short term season of playing nurse to your sweet son.


Amanda said...

I get what you are talking about... it is similar to the comparisons of people with long-term vision and short-term vision. I am one who is great with short-term vision. However, I am not drawn to dream up big schemes, have a long-range vision, and put in all the hard yards to start with, with no real end in sight.

I must be similiar to your friend who your spoke of in your post.

Of course, we are all running in the race with our Lord, to the finish line, but I think your post is referring to mainly the 'tasks' we are assigned, or drawn to, along the way. It all comes down to how we are individually wired. That is why He has various giftings within His Body.

Great post to ponder on...

Debbie said...

Janette, as you run this long distance race know that you are not alone. As your sisters in Christ may we encourage you on your journey. You are an encourager to me, that's for sure. May the Lord provide you with His strength, especially those moments when you don't know if you can take the next step.

I think I'm a long distance runner too. So may we run together?

Love you,

gianna said...

I love this analogy especially since I am trying to get back into actually running again.
Hmmmm...That is a great question...what kind of runner am I? Or what kind would I choose to be if I had the choice?
Much to think about.

Gwen Toliver said...

Very good food for thought -- may we be faithful regardless of what kind of race we're currently running!!

Crown of Beauty said...

I love this post, Janette. It is so honest...and yes I could tell from reading some of your recent posts that you are a long distance runner.

In a way we all are, but some do better than the others, some take longer to learn.

Your post relates very well to the recent one I wrote, about living as a kingdom person.

I do hope your little one will be able to feel all the love you have caring for him in his leg cast.

You are such an encourager.


Cherie Hill said...

Wow this was VERY thought provoking and insightful. I'm probably the long distance runner. Spiritually! I don't exactly enjoy running . . . I speed walk! LOL
God is teaching me that it's a journey, not a giant leap . . . and there are lots of valleys to walk through and many mountains to climb . . . I'd like to think I can reach a "destination," but I'm convinced that it's ALL about the journey. So, I'm learning to savor it . . . every bit! :)

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I am not a runner...I have trained in dance. I think what encouraged me with my friend's words was what she could see in me that I couldn't...that I would endure the long distance run. She saw that what God would call me do, at many times, wouldn't have a finish line in sight. Her words have kept me going many times.

Thanks for all of your comments...how honored I am. May we each have passion for our journey and take the pace God has set for us.

Deborah Ann said...

After reading this, I have to applaud you. I am a short-distance runner. I need instant gratification, I get discouraged if I can't see the prize dangling ahead. So go girl! Keep running, you are a great encouragement to us all...

myletterstoemily said...

thanks for stopping by hailey's blog. that
will be such a surprise for her!

you are such a blessing, and i can't imagine
not having you as a friend. :)

see ya' when i see return!

Dianne said...

Dear Janette,
Hi, I am so glad to meet you and so glad that you decided to be my friend on this journey.

I love your analogy and I think you are so right. I am definitely the "short distance" runner.

Just as a track team consists of long distance, short distance, hurdlers, etc., I think it takes all of us doing all of our different distances to make a successful team for God.

I have been prone to look down on myself at times for being the "short distancer," but I have to say, your positive post made me proud to be one.

Beautiful writing, dear friend.


Diana said...

Great post! Have a blessed Friday.

Nana said...

Such a great post, Janette!
Wow, I'm definitely a short distance runner. I guess I've known that for a long time and it really has helped me not to 'beat myself up'! Ha!
I'm so grateful that God does give me a few 'long distance' runs to add a bit of variety and endurance.VARIETY is a word I love, too! Hope you guys are having an awesome October. Much love, friend.

So, I Begin this Journey...... said...

Interesting question.... I'm not sure Janette what type of runner I am. I've always "walked" rather quickly....now I would say I keep a good pace while jogging.
I know one thing if you were truly my neighbor..... I would try to keep up with your pace! What an inspiration you are to me Janette.


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