2013 wasn’t a stellar year for me in running or in life. Nothing major on either front, just small things that piled on top of each other and kept me from being my personal best. I’ve taken a few weeks off since my last race, running sporadically and riding my bike some, and the time away has been good. Now I’m ready to get back to business.
When I received an e-mail from You Version about selecting one Bible verse to make my personal focus for 2014, I was intrigued. It only took a moment for my verse to come to me. Isaiah 40:31, the mantra I latched onto during my last race of 2013.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
Of course, this verse speaks to me in the literal running sense, but as I thought about how to apply it to my life, I realized it was perfect for me as a focus for this year. I, of course, have goals set for the year, some involve running, but many are life goals and I needed this reminder that my faith will give me strength to run my race and not grow weary.
This year I will run and not grow weary:
…as I learn to love people again. This sounds odd, I know, but it’s very easy to become hermit like when you work from your home and spend much of your day alone. I’ve grown complacent about reaching out to others and inviting them into my life, and I have some goals to remedy that.
…as I grow used to intentional stillness. At any given point, you could walk into my home and find two televisions blaring with no one watching them. Or, you might find me mindlessly checking Facebook or other social media – time better spent in quiet reflection. That doesn’t mean I’ll give up social media or quit letting Big Bang Theory and NCIS reruns make background noise as I work, but it does mean there will be more time spent in stillness. I often run without music because I love the quiet reflection and creative thoughts produced. I’m excited to see how much more creative I’ll become as I let God fill the empty spaces in my mind rather than Leroy Jethro Gibbs or Sheldon Cooper.
…as I tidy up my life. I mean this in a very literal sense. The ridiculousness of my closet was brought home to me when I tried to cram another new skirt onto already overstuffed racks. I’ve used the downtime I’ve had over the last month to begin the painstaking process of cleaning out, selling some on eBay, giving some things away, and trashing some things. I’m not in a hurry, which is a good thing, as I think this will probably take all year. I’m being brutal about it. I may (or may not 😉 ) have had a slight problem with shoe shopping over the years . I’ve paired down my shoes to the ones that I actually wear (for the most part), and have given, thrown away, or sold the others on eBay. I even sold a much beloved pair of Jimmy Choo’s! My sweet little nephew happened to be here the day I was cleaning out my shoes and he helped me move all the ones I’m getting rid of to my guest room, which is the temporary host to all my junk. He told me that I had more shoes than anybody he’s ever seen. Sigh. Out of the mouths of babes. Anyway, check out eBay occasionally, you may find some great deals.
…as I hone my craft(s). It’s sometimes a little overwhelming to realize how little I actually know and how much there is left to learn. I’m proof positive that you can teach an old dog new tricks, though, and I’m learning how to be a better writer and photographer with every day that passes.
…as I implement good nutritional habits in my life. I’ve spent the last year or so discovering what works for my body and what doesn’t. I’ve learned that dairy doesn’t really agree with me, and that I feel best when I use good common sense in my eating. For me, this means keeping carbohydrate intake to a minimum, focusing on whole, nutritionally dense foods, eliminating sugar and artificial sweeteners, restricting wine intake, and allowing myself occasional indulgences. The only thing I really miss is cheese, so that’s what I indulge in when I splurge. My holiday menu would have made you laugh. Almost every dish included some type of cheese. I even roasted a brie!
…as I explore newly discovered aspects of my personality. One thing I learned in 2013 was that I love to cook. Who knew? I’m excited to discover other new things about myself. I hope I never stop learning, exploring, and discovering.
…as I pick myself back up. This year, just like all the others, holds no magic power to make me achieve all my goals, overcome every obstacle, and reign victorious through every pitfall. I will fail at things. On any given day, I will make poor food choices, not feel like running, have road rage, get mad at my family, say something I shouldn’t. But, the power of faith, the sure knowledge that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord, the remembrances of all those other times I’ve tried and failed, then persevered, all work together to remind me that I can not only do this thing we call life, but do it with style, even if I have fewer toenails and more bumps and bruises.
I hope that you’ll focus on a verse for your life this year as well. The new year is a great time to brush away any mental cobwebs that have accumulated and start fresh. Happy 2014!