What’s Running through My Mind

My friend Jennifer wrote a great post about her efforts to become more physically fit and her attempt to tend to her spiritual health as well.  Finding balance in this life is hard–whether you’re a mom or a mogul.  The distractions of the world are always beckoning, and spiritual pursuits can fall by the wayside.

In recent posts here, I have talked about my own attempts to become more physically healthy.  So far, I am forging ahead with my walking efforts, and eventually, I hope to be running part of the time.  However, I have really allowed my spiritual exercises to wane over the past couple of years.  I pray quite a bit because there is just so much to pray for in this life.  But reading Scripture and listening to good teaching hasn’t been as much a part of my life as I would like.

So in an attempt to feed my mind with some spiritual food today, when I was going out for my walk, I dug up my husband’s old sermon tapes from his years as a pastor.  Yes.  I said tapes–cassettes–you know that horribly ancient and inferior technology.  We don’t have a lot of Mark’s sermons on mp3s or even cds, but that’s ok.  We don’t have a great mp3 player or cd walkman either.  But I do have my old cassette walkman from the Dollar General.  I popped the tape into the walkman, and, well, I walked.  I was so encouraged by Mark’s sermon on Luke 8:19-24, that I am planning to go through all the sermon tapes we have.  I was struck by how I have not taken advantage of this great resource for biblical teaching that I have in my own house.  And, while I love my husband’s preaching and teaching, we also have many other recorded sermons and lectures with lots of biblical content.  So it may take me a while to get through all that we have!  (Sidenote:  some of Mark’s sermons and articles and articles by other good teachers/pastors can be found here.)

God used my friend Jennifer’s post to convict me of my need to find ways to make spiritual pursuits a more consistent part of my life.  Then, when I listened to Mark’s sermon, I was convicted of how I don’t appreciate how blessed I am (and we as a Christians in the US are) to have so many good Christian resources at our fingertips.  I should be so much more a woman of theWord than I am when there are so many ways for me to receive teaching available to me.  So I am praying that I will be more bathed in Scripture and that my life will reflect back Christ to the world more than it has.

Honestly, I have spent my entire life surrounded by Christians and good teaching, and I have always struggled with making the time to read the Bible and pray regularly.  So this is nothing new.  But it seems that just as I have to keep picking myself up off the ground regarding my physical nurturing, I need to  keep doing the same with spiritual pursuits.  Thankfully, God is gracious to forgive us our sins.  He always welcomes us to Himself with open arms.  Repent, be forgiven, and live for Christ.  This is the pattern of the Christian life–isn’t it?

Life Update

The Walking/Running Thing

I intended to walk on Tuesday, but my knees disagreed.  So I took a day off, and Wednesday I took a short mile walk with our dog Simon.  I am eagerly yearning for the days a week or two from now when this gives me energy and doesn’t make me sore and tired and weak feeling.

Mark’s Work

Mark has been home more working on his writing projects, and that has been nice.  He is working on leads for other writing projects, and he continues to work at a couple part-time jobs.  Our hope and prayer is that I will continue with my one part-time at-home job, and he will be able to bring in the rest of the income we need to manage our family.  As always, we covet the prayers of anyone who is willing to offer them for us.

The Kids’ Stuff

The kids are all doing pretty well.  We only have one playing a sport right now.  Calvin is playing with the local Catholic parish’s baseball team.  Their pre-season tournament games have been rained/snowed out, so they haven’t played yet.  If we have a dry couple of days, they are slated to play the first of the pre-season tournament make-up game this Friday evening.  No matter how Calvin really does at baseball, it is good for him to be out there with the other boys.

Evangeline just finished a year with the Kirkwood Children’s Chorale. Participating has really improved her singing voice, and they performed two major concerts, one smaller concert, and at a couple of off-site venues.  She had her “re-audition” to see if she will move up to the next choir on Tuesday evening.  We are waiting to hear how it went.

All of the 3 older children participated in a drama workshop last weekend.  At least one of them, and possibly all three are planning to audition for a summer production of a local Christian theater group, and this workshop was to help them prepare for the audition experience.

Nevin played indoor soccer through early March.  He is still my biggest reader, and he will spend as much time as we let him reserving new books to check out from the library.  He hopes to play baseball on the Y’s spring instructional team starting in May.

Charis is about to finish K.  It is hard to believe, but she will be 6 on May 8!  She is reading, and playing, and happy.  Here’s a picture that her K teacher took near the daffodils outside their school last month.

The children’s school is considering its options for next year.  It may have to close if its leaders can’t find a new meeting place.  Updates from the leadership sound hopeful, but no details have been given.  With the school’s uncertainty about next year and the question of affordability,   I continue researching all the homeschooling possibilities available to me because it seems likely that is the direction we will head with school next year.


I am satisfied with life and God’s grace that is evident in it.  I have many blessings, and I see God’s hand in everything and every circumstance around me.   Yet, I feel a little restless and I am not really able to verbalize exactly what I am feeling and thinking about.  I am praying for peace and a more content spirit and the courage and faith to keep moving forward.

Marathon Training — Nah

Yesterday, a friend from church said, “I heard you’re training for a marthon, now.”  I think this friend knew this wasn’t really the case, but I still answered him, “Hah.  No.  I am just trying to do what the marathon runners recommend to out of shape people who want to train for a marathon.”  Then I told him of my modest goal that I mentioned in my last post.

So, here’s what I did since Friday.  On Saturday, I was unable to go on a walk–unable in the sense that I was barely able to move to accomplish all the wife, mother, bookkeeper  tasks I had on my to-do list.  You see, on Friday, I went on my 30-walk, as recommended.  I clocked it with my car at 1.8 miles. Then about 3 hours later, I went on a more leisurely 1-mile walk with Evangeline and our dog, Simon.  For one who has done very little exercise in a long time, this is apparently how to make every part of the body ache the next day.  Sunday was Easter, and we were away from home all day.  I could have walked with friends who went out for an afternoon stroll, but I didn’t have the right kind of shoes with me, so I declined.

I was determined to get back on track today with the new regimen.  So I set the timer on my phone and headed out for 15 minutes and then turned around to return.  I  made it a little further than on Friday, so I feel confident it was 2 miles.  My 5’11’ son accompanied me on this walk, and I was struggling to make it up a slight incline on the way back.  I think I walked at a faster pace to keep up with his longer stride, so coming up that little hill about did me in.  However, since Calvin was with me, pride kept me from calling Mark to come get me in the car.

Will my blog become a journal on how my walking-someday-to-become-running is going?  Maybe part of the time.  Will it be about my training for a marathon?  Nah.

We’ll See

My friend from our Seattle days, Lindy, is a runner.  She does marathons, etc.  A few years back, my then seminary-wife friend, young  Jessie, ran a half-marathon here in St Louis.  Now I see that my friend from Atlanta, Jennifer, is running in 5ks and 10ks.  I am always impressed when I learn about their achievements, and I always encourage them.   I have lots of other friends who run for exercise, too.  But at my size and with all the failed exercise attempts of my life, it seems running is not for me.

Well, I have been thinking about it alot, and I finally asked Lindy what she would recommend for someone like me who is way overweight who would like to start running.  She recommended this book:

 I ordered the book used from an amazon seller, and last night when I was killing time at Borders, I read the first chapter.  It was inspiring. The author, John Bingham, was 43, a smoker, overweight, etc., when he started to run.  He advocates walking and interspersing short runs until you run out of breath throughout your walk to get started.  He writes a column in Runner’s World magazine, and I looked at that last night, too.  The starting program in it advocates just walking 30 minutes 3 days a week, and on the opposite days going out to walk and interspersing it with running.

I’ve read a lot of inspirational diet and exercise books before.  I have participated in a lot of diets and exercise programs before.  I have even lost lots of weight before.  But here I am years later with nothing to show for it.  It might be that I will start this and not keep with it.  It might be that I will start it, and I’ll be able to run, but I’ll lose no real weight.  However, if I don’t give it a go, I’ll never know.

So, here’s my goal–to be able to go on a hike with my 4 kids at a local state park by my birthday toward the end of July without being winded.   I don’t think it is too lofty, and it gives me a motivator.  We’ll see.