Do you know what it’s like to run a sprint so hard that when you cross the finish line all you can do is lay down in the dirt and look at the clouds? To pour yourself out and feel so good about what you’ve done, but feel the weariness in your bones? To wonder if the tired you feel is your new “normal?”
That’s where I’ve been.
Zambia was AMAZING. And I have SO many beautiful stories to tell about healing, and hope, and the HEROES. Oh. My. Goodness. The HEROES.
The women and men who came out to learn how they can help the orphans and vulnerable children in their families, their churches, and the homes they have opened … They are HEROES.
Even just looking at this picture makes my heart swell with joy. They took off work, rearranged their schedules, and came out to learn how to bring healing and hope to hurting children — children who have been abused, exploited, trafficked. They came together and wrestled with hard ideas and began to dream about the difference they could make in the lives of the children all around them. I LOVE these people.
And I love my people. My FAMILY. As much as I loved being in Zambia, as much as I loved seeing 100 people come together for such a beautiful purpose … I love coming home.
By the time I got to baggage claim, I was SO tired. Would you look at this?
Bill looks great. But look at me. This is what 28 hours of straight travel looks like. No shower. No makeup. I don’t even think I brushed my hair the whole time.
So, I’ve been home more than a week now. When I got home, the first thing I wanted to do, after I slept for 12 hours straight, was cook for my family. Some of this is “mommy guilt” kind of stuff I’m sure. And that I want them to appreciate me. I needed to know I as missed.
And while this is part of it. Even more I know, it’s important to come off of a sprint and connect with the marathon. With the enduring beauty and messiness of my marathon priorities.
Before I’m a ministry leader, I’m a wife. And mom.
So, I’ve been cooking full breakfasts before I send the kids to school. I’m talking eggs, bacon, french toast, the works. And then packing lunches. And then fixing favorites for dinner. Last night was salmon with a coarse mustard and maple syrup glaze, green beans, and a savory sweet potato mash. Yum, right?
But, I start falling asleep around 7:30. This is getting better, now. I made it until 9:30 last night. Go me! Right?
So, why am I telling you all of this? Several reasons.
- It’s kind of an excuse. I have about a million stories to tell, but I haven’t gotten back into my writing rhythm yet. It’s coming. I’m just not there yet.
- I’m learning how to be kind to myself. Coming off of 3 1/2 weeks of travel, I’ve needed two things — to recover and reconnect with my marathon priorities.
- I’m wondering if you can relate and need permission to be kind to yourself. Maybe you’re right in the middle of something that is draining you. Or something’s going on with your health and you just can’t even figure out how to make it through the day. Or you’re doing work that energizes you, but there’s a cost. Or maybe, just maybe, the sprint has taken over and you are wearing yourself out.
Maybe you need permission to be kind to yourself. To draw your nearest and dearest close. To rest. To reconnect with the marathon.
I LOVE the work I do with RiverCross. I love that I get to help orphans and vulnerable children in such an innovative way. I know that God has been preparing me for this all of my life. Honestly, I can’t even believe I get to do this.
What I’ve learned is that there are seasons for sprinting. If we’re going to make lasting impact, there are seasons for sprinting. But, after the sprint, you have to take a breather. Lay in the dirt and look at the clouds overhead. Fill back up and recover your “normal.” You have to be kind to yourself. You have to reconnect with the marathon.
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1b-2a
Oh, and if anything here resonates with you, would you pop on over to Facebook and connect with me? I’d love to hear your thoughts, your feedback, and hear about the sprint you’ve been running.