Friday, November 6, 2015

light & momentary // eternal glory

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The other day I was chatting with some friends who are also moms, discussing the weight of the responsibility to teach and train our children. The next morning, I read 2 Corinthians chapter 4, a passage where Paul encourages his children in the faith. And my crazy brain likes to imagine myself into the pages, and so it seemed like it would also be good encouragement for mothers and their children. So, after a little adjusting....here's the Jana-version.


Since through God's mercy we have this ministry of motherhood, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways ... On the contrary, by setting forth the Truth plainly to our children we commend ourselves to their conscience and every man's conscience in the sight of God. ... For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay (oh how fragile and imperfect we are!), to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed ... We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus and die to ourselves, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body and to our children. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.

...with that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak to our children, because we know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus to present us with our children in His presence. All this is for their benefit, so that the Grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly our bodies are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, mothers, let's fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


What are "we" as mothers to do?
We do not lose heart
We have renounced secret and shameful ways
We commend ourselves to their conscience
We have this treasure in jars of clay
We are hard pressed but not crushed
We carry around in our body the death of Jesus
We believe and therefore speak
We know that God will raise us with Jesus
We do not lose heart
We are being renewed day by day

And what is God's part in all of this?
~ through God's mercy
~ by His light
~ power is from God
~ life of Jesus being revealed
~ to the glory of God


Some days it is hard to remember but we must cling to: For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

That eternal glory is 1) receiving our personal reward for a life well-lived, 2) seeing our children there worshipping at the feet of Jesus, and 3) being in the presence of God Himself! How worth it all of the motherhood heartache and sacrifice will be in that moment!


Monday, November 2, 2015

RUNNING TO WIN

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Now, I realize the Apostle Paul has the corner on the market when it comes to the faith = running a race analogy, but I had to jump in with what I've learned over the past six months.


Setting a [Crazy] Goal
I have fought the fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day. 2 Timothy 4:7-8

Let me first start by saying that I am not a true runner. I don't absolutely love it. I don't get a "runners high." I'm not super fast. And I probably don't have very good form. But I do love to be healthy and in shape and last April I needed something to jump-start me again. I asked my friend Liz to run a 5K with me in June. And then after that, I decided to be crazy and train for a 10K in October with my friend Charity. The longest race I've ever attempted.


Consistency in Training
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Training was pretty consistent--3 runs a week, following a plan on the Endomondo app. I slacked a little when we traveled to Montreal and also when I got sick two weeks before the race, but otherwise I stuck with it. Early morning, mid morning, early afternoon....slipped in a run whenever it happened to work with our varying schedule. Long runs on the weekends at the park. Space for me to be alone, in the quiet, getting healthy, releasing stress.


Running Even When it Gets Tough
Consider Him [Jesus] who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:3

Race day wasn't too chilly for the end of October. It was the first year for the race so there were only 62 participants (this included 5K/10K/15K and lots of walkers). Charity and I picked up our packets and warmed up. The course was beautiful but So. Many. Hills. The entire race felt like constant up and down. I trained on hills a little bit but not quite enough. I did okay until around mile 5 (of the 6+ miles) and then I started to lose hope a little bit and my brain wanted to stop.


Importance of Friendship
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:10

But Charity was so encouraging and we chatted and she took pictures and she talked some more and we just kept running. Together. I'm not sure that I would have made it through mile 5 and 6 and 0.62 without her. It's so much more fun to run with someone! I think there's no point (or fun) in doing a race on my own--I needed that accountability and encouragement.


Crossing that Finish Line
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. . . . He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son." Revelation 21:3, 7

We sped up a little right at the end and ran over the blue carpet proudly. It wasn't the easiest or prettiest race ever, but we made it. Stats according to Charity's running app: 6.62 miles, 1 hour 2 minutes 33 seconds, and an average 9:27 min/mile. (My longest training run was about 5.5 miles with an average 10:30 min/mile.) I didn't love running the race but I'm so glad and proud that I did it.


The moral of the story?
It will all be worth it in the end.