I have made a new habit of running outside.
Always been a treadmill weirdo.
I just love a good treadmill.
But, this spring, I've been [almost] daily heading to the park by our home.
The other afternoon, a little over half way into my run, I passed a young guy.
Running the opposite direction, on my same trail loop.
I took a passing glance.
To make sure he wasn't gonna grab/kill/kidnap me in the woods.
He was young and fit.
And, knowing he had a slightly shorter distance back than I did...
I turned on my 33-year-old afterburners.
I absolutely had to beat young-fit-runner-dude back.
Or it would have totally ruined my whole run.
My whole afternoon, actually.
All I could think about was winning.
I got back to the starting point, where most of the runners begin...and no sign of him.
Jogged back to my car.
Started pulling out of the parking lot...
When low and behold.
There he was.
Just crossing the starting point.
I think I may have beeped and waved.
And yelled out of my window, "I WON. WAHOOOOooooooooooo!!! Sucker!"
(Okay. I left my window up. But I was high-fiving myself in the car.)
This is how I am wired.
I cannot even go to a gym.
Because I'm mentally competing against everyone.
And when I have to bench press more than the meatheads,
I end up with meathead biceps.
And Phil's not really into that:).
Anyways~ just keep in mind, I cannot be told I cannot do something.
I actually love the challenge of proving the doubter wrong.
Now let's talk about having a catch with my kiddos in the yard.
Philly and I can throw forever and barely say a word.
(Sometimes I get the eyebrow when I toss it over his head...
But overall, it is a relaxing, enjoyable time.)
Niamh and I having a catch sounds a lot different.
She gets easily frustrated by her mistakes.
That begins the whining.
And she throws her glove.
And stands with her arms crossed, with her back to me.
Until I tell her I am going to peg her with the ball if she doesn't turn back around.
-->Here is my sweet, gentle-hearted girl turned upside down.<--
And then she starts the "I cannot do this."
"I will never be good."
And I make every attempt to encourage her.
You can do absolutely ANYTHING you put your mind to.
I never had very much skill at any sport, but I NEVER let that stop me.
I ALWAYS made up for a lack in skill with an abundance of effort.
It is your ATTITUDE, woman.
Get it under CONTROL.
THAT PART IS TOTALLY UP TO YOU.
NOW TURN AROUND AND THROW ME THE BALL.
BEFORE (oops:), Before I know it,
I am talking in all caps and my attitude is kaput.
And I feel frustrated because I cannot get this tiny version of me
~ except in this ooooooone, little area~
to understand what I am saying.
After our Sunday catch yesterday, we both went back into the house a little exasperated.
Niamh frustrated with her throwing skills.
And I was totally bummed because I just want her to understand that she is good.
She rocks softball, actually.
She just needs confidence.
She just needs to see herself how I see her...
I see her potential.
She sees her failure.
After a few minutes of cool down:),
I wrapped her into my arms and told her that she is unique.
And she is New York Yankee material:).
That I am smitten with her.
And I am proud of her softball abilities.
And we can keep working on the throwing thing:).
But my heart still felt uneasy.
She doesn't respond to challenge like I do.
She doesn't beat it.
Knock it down.
Laugh in the face of defeat.
She doesn't buck up like I do...
She shrinks back and doubts.
I could not understand how this could seep into her soul.
It hit me tonight.
While I stood at the top of the basement stairs.
Completely lost in thought.
I think I had intended to grab some laundry.
God reveals in housework sometimes, ladies.
Whenever I consider the things I believe God is calling me into,
I make excuses.
I tell him I cannot, Lord.
I have no credibility.
I am too quiet.
I am not an engaging person.
Once people actually get to know me, they will be disappointed.
You did not give me ability in these areas I feel called into.
You jipped me, Lord.
I will never be good at this.
I throw my glove down and turn my back to him.
And I even cross my arms.
I had done it on the couch not five minutes before getting up to do laundry.
Just beat myself down.
What a humbling revelation.
This whole week I could not understand how Niamh,
who absolutely LOVES softball,
who cannot wait to get to practice, cannot WAIT to play,
how she can have such a negative attitude about her abilities.
How she can become so hopeless;
I literally see her on the brink of greatness~ and all she sees is the tiny flaw.
And I felt my heart sink --SINK--when I realized I do the exact same thing to myself when it comes to my life in Jesus.
He sees ability. I see past failures.
He sees treasures. I see flaws.
He sees opportunity. I make excuses.
Just when I think I have all the right pieces to teach my children~
that I am fully knowledgeable in some situation~
that I am an example to them~
My Father stops me in my tracks.
And brings my heart to a place of new understanding.
I cannot communicate his message of worth and value and ability to my children
if I can't even put it to work in myself.
So, I am going to work on my confidence in Christ.
In his work in me.
In my triumphs and not my failures.
And I will love.teach.be patient as I try and give that same, hard to learn truth to Niamh.
But I get it now.
I understand the tendency to doubt and give up.
And sometimes the answer is not to work harder, harder, harder.
Or bust it in the face:).
Or use every ounce of our own strength to beat whatever is challenging.
It is just a matter of seeing ourselves the way God sees us.
Seeing our potential in him.
As a gritty, little softball player.
And a nutty, running-obsessed housewife.
Understanding we are perfected only in him.
Linking here, friends.
Check her blog out.
Because she is way awesome. And I kinda love her:).