Monday, April 20, 2015

Walking 100 miles!!

As I've been walking in the last few weeks, a certain song has been running through my mind off and on.  I decided that, despite a few fishy lyrics, I would take it for my superhero walking song.  You might recognize it from the (also sometimes questionable) TV show How I Met Your Mother:  500 Miles  (YouTube Link).

Okay, so I haven't walked 500 miles.  But as of today, I have walked 100 miles!  Today, I have walked 100 miles in 2015!  100 seems like so much!  I would never have believed on January first that I was going to walk 100 miles by April 20th.  But I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

I just started by putting one foot in front of the other.  I started walking 100 miles a half-mile at a time.  It was a long, long road that got me to 100 miles including some major setbacks (flu and a second miscarriage in March).  I think that's the way to reach most goals we set for ourselves, though.  One foot in front of the other, chopping our goals into small baby steps, we are able to achieve the goals set for ourselves.

Sometimes our goals fizzle out and die.  Sometimes, our goals stop being important to us.  I think what makes the difference is where God is in our goal.  Have you asked God about reaching this goal?  Have you asked God where He wants you to go?  Maybe your goal will take you away from God's plans and purpose for you.  Maybe your goal will do more harm than good in the long run, either for yourself or others.  I've had some pretty lofty goals in my 30 years.  (Anyone else go through the "I'm going to be a star" phase?  Just me?  Okay, moving on!)

Ten years ago, my goals in life were
1.  Teach kindergarten
2.  Get married
3.  Have kids

I achieved all three by 23.  At first, I thought, "Great!  Mission accomplished!"  But I had a lot more living left to do.  If average life expectancy is at almost 80 years old, I had 57 years of life left.  I soon realized God had much more in store for me than those three goals.

Today I'm wary of setting long term goals.  My goal of teaching kindergarten was great and I enjoyed the five years I taught.  But in two months, God completely upended my plans and I was resigning my job to stay home with my daughter.  Rather, I'm learning to ask God, "Where to next?"

Right now, He's sending me off on the next 100 miles.  Only He knows where He's sending me tomorrow, though!

(Me in all my unedited, non-hair fixed, not yet showered, bleary-eyed glory!)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Missing the Target: When You Fall Short of Your Goals

You know that saying, “Shoot for the moon, if you miss you’ll land among the stars?”  If we were to take it literally, it would not be true.  But the figurative language behind it is true.  Falling short of our goals happens but letting that destroy us is not the best course of action.

In January I realized I’d walked more than twenty miles.  This was quite a goal considering I was more of a couch potato than anything for the past decade.  So I set two goals for February:

1. Walk daily
2. Walk fifty miles

Both goals were fairly practical.  The mileage I was working at and that I planned on increasing halfway through the month would provide enough walking to easily achieve the fifty mile mark.

Then life happened.  About halfway through the month, I was sick one day.  Nothing serious, but serious enough to stay home.  There went my goal to “walk daily”.  But I was determined to get that fifty miles.  I walked in rain or shine.  Some days I brought my daughter with me, other days I walked alone.  I was walking 2.5 miles daily and on course to hit my fifty mile mark on the last day of the month.  And the flu hit.

February 27th, I took my daughter for our walk.  It was almost 6 pm, the sun was setting, and it was misting but I was determined.  However, she was wilting before my eyes and I knew something was wrong.  I took her home and 20 minutes later the pukies hit our house.

I thought I could squeeze my walking in the next morning before my husband left, adding a couple laps to make up for the shorter walk the day before.  But here’s the thing about kids:  they share their germs!

I missed my goal by less than three miles.  On March 3rd, when I attempted my walk, two laps (1 mile) had me exhausted and ready for a nap.  

I could look back on February as a failure.  But I would be wrong.  Did I meet my goal?  No. In my efforts to exercise I’m finding myself a better wife, a better mother, a better friend, and a better follower of God.  I have more energy and I want to be up and active more than I want to curl up on the couch with a good Netflix binge. 

If you’re putting all your effort into reaching your goals, they will get met.  The timeline might be extended a bit but they will get met.

If you’re putting all your effort into reaching your goals, even when the timeline is not met you’re still hitting the target.