I’ve never really ever been the marathon personality type. The type that goes the distance, runs with endurance, continues even when it’s hard type. I’m more of the sprinter type. The who gives it everything for a short bit knowing there’s an end in sight, then takes a long nap on the couch. I admire the marathon type. The ones who get up every morning and do it all again, with perseverance to stay in the game. That’s why I write blog posts and not books. Because books are marathons. I’m a sprinter who would rather write what’s on my heart and hit publish.
But then I became a mom and realized that motherhood is the grand daddy of marathons. Or rather, the mother of all marathons. It’s a race you can’t quit. But what if you want to? What if the whining and the monotony and the training and the nonstop talking and the messes and the sibling squabbles and the day after day and ALL OF IT JUST BECOMES TOO MUCH?!
You have to keep running.
You have to keep looking up.
You have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
As soon as you start to take your eyes off of Jesus, the overwhelm will overwhelm you and you’ll be pacing the driveway with a fake cigarette in your hand.
You can try and sit on the sidelines and binge a show or have another gin & tonic with the colorful little straws, but none of that will equip you to stay in the race. None of that will equip you to finish well the race that is set before us.
Is the race the same e’ry day, over and over, all day long? Yep.
Is it exhausting? YESSSSS.
Is it doable? Yes it is, in fact. Doable and hard can be in the same sentence. That’s what I’m learning in my race right now. This desire to escape when it gets hard is ingrained in me. But quitting is not how we win this race.
By the way, “winning” in the context of the motherhood marathon means a few different things to me:
– Finding joy when I want to quit
– Loving like Jesus (umm, not yelling, getting annoyed, acting more childish than the actual children, forgiving)
– Being willing to begin again, each morning, multiple times a day
– Showing up with a gracious heart when I want to stay in bed and not care for one single person but myself
– Not comparing who does what with the kids, accepting my role and responsibilities and seeing them as a privilege
– Raising girls who love God and seek after Him
– Raising girls who love each other and others
– Raising girls who can eat something other than chicken nuggets, eventually tie their own shoes, and, you know, not wear pull-ups their entire lives maybe?
It doesn’t matter how I got here, or if I’m a marathon or a sprinter type of person, I’m in a marathon now. So by God’s grace I’m going to lace up those shoes, and run well by showing up again tomorrow. There are some little girls on the sidelines watching me in this race, so I can’t give up.