A long run--part 1

I've written so many blog entries since April 2nd and now. Like, 15 or 20. And they were great...inspiring or funny or maybe some of both. Of course, it would have helped if I'd actually written them outside of my head. But I promise, they really were great!

Well, there was one blog I did write. It was about a month ago, and my over-active guilt complex compelled me to write something new. So I wrote what was in my heart, and it wasn't very inspiring. Or it inspired the wrong thing--I finished it, re-read it, and burst into tears. So it was relegated to the "drafts" box, and I shut down the blog for another month.

But now it's the end of June, and it's been a shameful 3 months of silence. That's not right. So I'm going to post this, but it's not the end of the story.

May 28th:
I'm tired. I mean, really, really tired. The kind that doesn't go away with a normal 8-hr sleep, even on those nights when the rats in our attic don't have a party in the eves above our heads.
In an effort to combat this near-constant state of fatigue, I joined a gym. Counter-intuitive, perhaps, but all my Nursing school professors promised me that physical exercise would help with concentration, a sense of well-being, and restorative sleep.
So far it appears they lied.
BUT, it has given me hours of focused meditation while I sweat on the elliptical. And here's what I've concluded. The first 10 minutes of exercise are the worst. Your heart-rate's up, your breathing starts to get tight, your muscles are sure you're betraying them, you wonder what's so great about exercise when you would be much more comfortable with a good book and a plate of bonbons. You would bet your life it's been at least 18 minutes, you've got to be about done, and with eager anticipation you check the clock...and see it's been 2 min 23 seconds. Surely you know what I'm talking about, right???  But then, after swearing you're about to die, you get into a rhythm, your breathing gets less painful, your muscles give up complaining because they realize they aren't going to win anyway.
My point???
We've been back from our Stateside Assignment in the US for 5 months. It may sound like a long time to you, but when we're looking at 3 1/2 years...it feels like its been just over 2 minutes. Our minds are tired, our spirits feel restless, it seems like we should be headed for a break again awfully soon.
The overwhelming needs of the city feel crushing. The demands on our time feel endless. The kids' emotional states feel fragile and I feel responsible for that. I read passages like Matthew 11:30 about Jesus' easy burden and light yoke, and my heart just doesn't get it. Not fully. There are some days I feel more like the psalms, crying out, "how long, O Lord?" God is always faithful to give me just enough to see me through the day, and don't get me wrong. I am so grateful for that. But I'm ready for joy that comes in the morning--not dread that it's another day again so soon.
But I remember that after those first 10 minutes, when I get in the rhythm of the run at last, I feel like I could go on forever. I feel good again, and strong, and ready to laugh. So that's what I'm holding onto.The someday when the renewal of my spirit is enough to actually last day by day (2 Cor 4:16), not peter out by 11am.


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