Jun 202014
 

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”  John 15:15

I have begun the search. For a crazy soul who would say “yes” to training for and running a marathon with me.

I sent out some texts to possible prospects. One of them responded, “Ha, ha, ha. I am rolling over laughing right now as I read this.” And unfortunately the others said the same thing in so many words.

At this point I could be in a frustrated.  Choose anxiety.  I could worry that I am going to have to go at this what feels to be daunting task alone. I could doubt my original call from God to do the race in the first place. Or I could choose a different route of thought.

I could give this concern to God and allow Him to take care of it. Trust Him to be faithful as He always is when we are taking steps of obedience to Him.  Understand His ways are not my ways and be content to simply enjoy the journey with Him.

I am choosing the route of saying no to anxiety and “yes” to the peace Jesus offers me, His daughter.  I know He is aware of my desire to have a running buddy through this process and I trust Him to meet my needs in the way He see’s fit.  This could mean not having a running buddy-and I have come to grips with this.

So, I set out into the unknown with God.  Again.  I have begun the training runs with my Father as my running buddy.  My friend.

I remember so wanting to be cool in Jr. High.  This meant being friends with the “cool kids”.  If you could become friends with them, you were automatically “cool”.  Who your friends were determined your worth.  Well, as I have so matured in years since then, I can see the search to be cool is over.  Because I have the “coolest” friend, Jesus.  He says I am His friend and that is good enough for me.  My worth is found in this friendship.

The fact that we have the ability to share life with the One who created all we see is beyond my comprehension.  (No wonder He is the “coolest”.)  I must remember even if I do not have a physical friend with me, I am never alone.
When I go running with my “coolest friend”, I have praised Him for the trees stretching on either side of me, forming a green archway above my head.  The sea of brilliant magenta blooms as far on my right as I can see.  The rolling hills in front of me.  And this causes me to remember-

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.

   From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

   who made heaven and earth.”  Psalm 121:1-2 (ESV)

What help are you in need of today, my sister?  What question seems to be going unanswered or desire seems to be unmet?  As we run with Jesus, lets lift up our eyes.  Look around at the majesty of His creation.  Praise His Name.  Give Him our cares.  And watch as our faithful Friend provides for us, and partakes in our joys and pains of the journey.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 162014
 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8

I went on a run at my parents house earlier this week and I was asking God where He would have me put my time and energy this summer. “Run a marathon” came to mind.

This had to be God’s idea because there is no way I have the gifting, motivation, or need to run a marathon.  My dreamed up plans up to this point for the summer had consisted of sleeping in, going to a pool with the girls as much as possible, hit the community free lunches at the park, and have some good eats while watching Netflix in my comfy black arm chair.  I guess you could summarize my plans for the summer in one word “lazy”.

God’s word “marathon” and my word “lazy” were not seeming to gell nicely.  This is how life with the Lord seems to go.  He has a completely opposite idea of how I should spend my time.  (But I have to give Him credit, His “out there” ideas haven’t disappointed me once yet.)

My ongoing chat with God went something like this: “Sure, Lord, I have done all the race lengths before it, but my half marathon was a year ago and it was quite the booty woopin.  It is true though that running with You is a joy, but I am not sure I can do it or have the time to put into training for that length of a race!  (Also it cuts back on my eating bon bons on the couch time.)”

I pondered this marathon thing some more as I finished the run and came into my parent’s house.  I went into the kitchen and my Dad strolled in and plopped a magazine down in front of me. “Thought you might want to read this,” he said.  I picked it up and the headline read,

“Winner of the Boston Marathon gives tips for exercise and health”. Hmmmm. Coincidance? I think not.

My husband was in support of it. I bought a book and read up on the training schedule and I had enough time to train this summer. I emailed a marathon running friend about what would be the best one to do and asked if she thought I could do it, she said “The Portland Marathon is a great first one to do (so close to home!) And yes you could do it.” Check. Check. Check. All was a go.  (“Okay God, you win.”)

I realize I go through a similar cycle with the Lord every time He asks me to step out in faith. I get scared. I get a little uneasy about doing something I have never done before. I give Him the reasons this was not in my plan and why I am not qualified/equipped/smart enough/talented enough to do what He is asking of me. I ask Him to confirm and confirm again.

And every time He gently confirms through others, His Word, an inner peace, and/or other “coincidances” that this is THE way for me.

He quiets my heart and says, “It will be okay. Do not be afraid. I will help you. I will be with you and lead you.”

And I realize “Yes” is the only real option. I think back to the “Yes’s in the past and they have brought me more life, joy, peace and purpose than I could have ever known.  So I say “yes” to training to run a marathon this summer.  Expectant for how God will do a work in me.  Saying “yes” to Jesus is the only way to live.  It is living real life.

What “first” is the Lord calling you into this season?  Join me in training for a race this summer, or stepping out in a way that you believe God is directing you.  Be brave.  Be a faithful daughter.  Be ready.  Because good is up ahead!

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 102014
 

I feel compelled to run my first marathon.  And also compelled to vomit due to the scary unknowns this “first” brings to mind as I write these words.

But I have found life in running with Jesus.  I would never have believed this fact if we were to have a conversation 3 years ago.  When I reluctantly said “yes” to a friend’s invitation to train for my first 5K race, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.  I may not be the fastest or talented, but that is not why I do it.  I do it because I found and continue to find life on the run.

I began to praise God for the sunsets and green all around me.  Talk with Him about my fears, questions, desires, requests and wisdom in mothering.  Find peace and purpose for my life.

The runs with my friend became a time of deep sharing and prayer.  A time of laying down burdens and being encouraged in Jesus.

I found life in stepping out in faith.  Stepping out with Jesus to do a “first”.  My “first” (5k race) seemed daunting, too much work, and wasn’t something I felt gifted in (or even remotely good at).

But over these last 3 years I have felt more joy, purpose, and peace then I ever have before.  Training for and running a race was a hand in hand working out my salvation/God’s direction for my life and working out my physical body.  My Spirit and body were stretched out of the comfort zone, but in doing this I found life.

So I will continue to step out in “firsts” for the Kingdom.  Going on my first rollercoaster last week.  Writing my first devotional.  Running my first marathon.  And I believe this is not just a “season of firsts” for me, but a lifestyle when saying “yes” to Jesus.  Following Jesus is about embracing “firsts”.  Overcoming fears.  And trusting in His love and promises through it all.

Our Father has a plan and a purpose for each of His daughter’s.  And He longs to give us life as we commune with Him.

I wonder if you have felt inclined or are currently feeling called to step out into a “first” in saying “yes” to Jesus?  And if not, if you would be willing to ask God if there is anything He is calling you to do in this season?

I would invite you to join me this summer in the “Life on the Run” 3 month challenge.   A two fold physical and faith challenge.  Physical-to train for and run in a race with a trusted friend.  Find a 5k, 8k, 10k, half marathon or marathon race to train for and sign up, then find one of the numerous training schedules online and begin!  Faith-1.  To read the Standing on Peace Running Devotionals each week from this site (or sign up to receive the regular emails) 2.  Make your couple runs a week “prayer runs”-talk with God in prayer as you sweat by yourself or with a friend.  It is a “workout” of your salvation and body in an effort to keep in shape physically and as a daughter of the King.

Prayerfully consider participating in this “Life on the Run” 3 month challenge this summer.  Let me know in the comments section or email me at jillian@standingonpeace.com if you are in and how your training is going!

My prayer is that you would step out and do this “Life on the Run Challenge”, even if running or participating in a race is a “first” for you.  And that you would find comfort, strength, encouragement and true life in running with Jesus.

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”  Jer 29:11-13

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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