|Ok, I am seriously thinking I need to have this framed and hung somewhere I can see it all the time.|
So, I saw this earlier today. By the end of today, when I couldn't stop thinking about it, I thought I absolutely must write about it. It is one of the simplest things I have honestly ever read, and yet, it has spun around and around in my head. It propelled my run this afternoon (and because you asked, yes, it was my best run. EVER. ), allowed me to let go of silly stuff and concentrate fully on the girls tonight.
A quick overview of the day: Chaos reigning this morning, leading to all three girls losing TV privileges. I am so done with the constant background noise (ha, unless they are gone and the house is altogether way too quiet). It only adds to the madness of three little girls and the ever present odd one out. Luckily, Jess gladly steps out of the chaos as soon as the arguing starts, preferring to cling to me. She hates the drama. Seriously. Anyway, by 3:00 this afternoon, the girls were at it again, and I banished them back to the TV. Yeah, mother of the year. I know. It really was for their good. This time, anyway... :) Anyway, left for my run feeling so frazzled and totally not in the mood. Was talking to a friend who even knew I was going to try and back out. I never even had to say I was thinking about it. I just really wasn't feeling it. Really. Needless to say, I blasted my iPod and took off. At first, I was simply trying to outrun the thoughts going through my head. The failures of the day, the constant unchecked items on my to-do list, the arguments that would probably occur upon my return. Then, when I finally outran the thoughts, and the only focus I had was the fact that breathing, at this point, felt completely the least natural thing to do, this picture re-entered my mind. And I ran. Reminding myself that the only thing holding me back from my best run ever was me. This afternoon, I had everything I needed for a great run. I have been taught well, have the most amazing shoes, great music, and the most gorgeous day ever. The only thing that could ruin this blessing of a day would be me. So, again, I ran. I went two miles in an absolutely mind blowing 15:37!! Let me just say, I hit the two mile mark, and seriously, as soon as I turned around, I remembered I would have to go UP monster hill. For those of you not local, monster hill is a quarter of a mile steep incline. It reads at the base: challenging slope. Challenging is an understatement. I contemplated (seriously, I am not joking) calling my mom to come rescue me. I didn't know how I was going to do it. I prayed, then took off running at the base. Ran all the way up. Walked the last mile to my car, and realized I ran (ok, and walked) 4 miles in less than 40 minutes. Ecstatic doesn't even come close the overflow of emotions I felt on the drive home. So, I told myself I was an amazing, strong woman, with legs that would carry me as fast as my feet would keep up, and went with it. My mind said I could do it, and I did. I still feel giddy when I realize what I accomplished tonight. I know this won't happen every time, which makes the night even more special. Came home, still pumped, grabbed dinner, and declared it movie night. The girls have never been so happy to camp out in front of Lady and the Tramp with me ever. We went out to attempt firefly catching, and caught an astounding 6 fireflies. Unless you count the one Jess accidentally let free. Then we caught 7. Four people, seven fireflies. We should win a trophy for our catch. But, it was fun. Jess kept yelling, "Tireties, tireties, please come back! I want to catch you!" She would pause for a minute or two, run to a different part of the yard, and yell it again. It was too cute. However, those fireflies were really smart, turned off their tails, and flew way as fast as the possibly could. When we realized firefly catching was pretty much a no-go, we decided to play flashlight tag. Let me say, I have never ever heard so many giggles. Or run so fast with a 25 pound child clinging to me, laughing the whole way. I think it is going to become a Tuesday night summer tradition from here on. That is how much fun we had. The girls didn't even go to bed until 9:30, and for those of you that really know me, you know this never happens. Ever. It was worth every second. They crashed. I am feeling the need to do the same. Desperately.
Ok, moving on... Every once in a while, I am really blown away by a few words placed delicately in a sentence together. Like the one above. I glanced at it quickly at first, moving quickly on, because I was in a rush. A few minutes later, I realized I really wanted to concentrate on what it said. This is what I read: It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not. This is what I thought: The only thing stopping me from accomplishing goals is my feelings of inadequacy, which are only feelings. Really, I am so much more than my brain tells me I am. The thought really reminded me of the book I finished a little while back. Totally goes hand in hand with it, actually. I have really been praying about something I felt God wanted be to do. I felt like I needed to start a connect group on the book, You're Already Amazing. I read it a few months ago, and the concepts have seriously changed the way I look at myself. It showed me that I am already amazing. It taught me that the style of clothes I wear don't determine my amazing-ness. It showed me that the speed or distance of my runs doesn't determine how amazing I am in God's sight. It showed me that nothing can change what or who God made me to be. Only I can fulfill God's purpose for me, and that makes me amazing. I am one-of-a-kind, completely irreplaceable daughter of the king. The book seriously is amazing. Anyway, I had been praying that I would get some small confirmation that I am not in over my head. Pretty much feeling like this picture is more than enough confirmation for me, and I am really thankful. I may not feel like I can do it, but I know in my weakness, He will give me the strength I need. And that makes me really really happy. :)
So, getting back to my real thoughts on this issue, this really has been going through my head all day. When I found myself frustrated at my incapabilities (like, seriously, I only have TWO hands??), I was easily able to re-focus and remind myself that my mind would hold me back much more than the lack of eight arms. There were many moments today that I really fought my mind. So many moments I thought, if only this, or if only that. If only I had money to put the girls in daycare (yes, that thought really did go through my mind today) so that I could actually finish more than one task during the day. If only I had more patience, so that I wouldn't be frustrated by walking into a disastrous kitchen that was clean the last time I walked out of it. If only I could plan activities to keep the kids totally happy all the time. And, then, I remembered: I was only thinking of the things I am not. I never allowed my strengths to come through. I only berated my weaknesses. I didn't accept them, and find ways to allow those benefits to strengthen me. I am quite talented at making $10 feel more like $25. I am so blessed to have enough time to research fun, inexpensive (sometimes free!) ways to keep the girls entertained out of the house once, sometimes twice, a week, saving the money for other things that may be slightly more important. While my patience is not overflowing, I get so many people reminding me that I am doing a good job. I am nowhere near perfect, but I am blessed. I get to spend very important moments of time with my kids, where some Moms are required to work, because of finances, the absolute need to get away for a few hours, or any other reason. Being a stay at home mom is a blessing for me. For other moms, it could feel like a curse. I am just thankful I find it a blessing. The lack of every day excursions do not hurt the girls. This morning, we had a pajama Lego party. It was fun. The little girls and I (Sara was too big for such silliness - party pooper) stayed in our jammies and dumped out every type of block and Lego out all over my room. We built some crazy things, and used the Lego people and animals to do some amazing things. Who knew that Buzz Lightyear could drive a tractor, pulling a trailer filled with chickens, cows, horses, pigs and children? Might have even had a dog or two thrown in. All right, who am I kidding, if it was in the trailer, it was absolutely, most definitely, thrown in. Anyway, a little bit of creativity and imagination never hurt anyone. Getting outside, riding bikes, doodling with sidewalk chalk, attempting to climb trees, it's all beneficial in so many ways. All of those thoughts I struggled with today did hold me back. Until I realized I was allowing them to make me feel inadequate. Then those thoughts got kicked out. I moved on and had an amazing day. I will seriously never again underestimate the power of perspective. :)