What is it that sustains you? Where do you find your support that nourishes and keeps you going? When you become overwhelmed or stressed, weary and immobilized, what is it that holds you up and allows you to keep going?
Several years ago, when I was training for the breast cancer 2-day walk, I had to set a training schedule and discover the best way to pace myself as I trained for the 25-mile-long days of walking. It required changing my eating habits, making sure my shoes would offer the proper support, hydrating, and rest. When I would go on my training walks, to have a friend walk with me or someone to check in with on the long walks was a good way to connect and share how I was doing. These were the new practices I would need to adapt in order to be able to endure the long walk of 39 miles in two days. In addition to the physical needs, I would need to work out the best ways to keep me grounded so that when I was tired and wanted to just stop walking or when I was beginning to allow the blisters, or the sore muscles to consume my thinking, and give up, it was then that I would have to realize … this was a marathon… not a sprint and I would need to pace myself.
The past three weeks of adapting seem to have been a relay of sprints and we have all been working to adapt and adjust to the new rhythm. And now that we are settling in, now that we realize the severity of the coronavirus, and that staying home and remaining socially distant are crucial to the health of others as well as our own, we have to begin to ask “what is it that will sustain me through this marathon?”
I’ve been thinking about these things over the past several weeks each morning when I wake up, before beginning my day filled with phone calls and zoom gatherings, writing and working to connect throughout the day, I enjoy a few moments of downtime and quiet. It’s just me, my coffee, and God.
Some of us when we are overwhelmed, we become immobilized and not sure how to work, so we just stop. Others over function, and it becomes difficult to maintain the pace in which we started.
I learned that what sustained me in training for the breast cancer walk, was the ability to establish a routine and time to walk, and also more importantly to allow a space in which I didn’t walk, didn’t talk about or think about walking. I talked with friends and family about other areas of topic in our lives. My walking did not consume my life or the lives of the people around me. it was establishing a balance of life in which I was working, walking and spending time with friends. It was the prayers and encouraging notes that folks shared throughout the journey. My walks became a time in which I would listen to a book or music and pray. My walking and training became a time in which I was able to connect with God in prayer.
Friends, it we are running (or walking) a marathon with very little (none at all) training or time for training. How will you maintain a level of care, care for others from a distance, what do you need to feel connected and supported? When you are overwhelmed, where is it you go? What do you need?
This morning as I made my coffee, I found myself reaching to the back of my cupboard for the coffee mug that gave me my focus for the day, I share it with you in the pictures.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid…for the Lord God goes with you…” Deuteronomy 31:6
It is my hope and prayer that in these days, you might find yourself a routine. That you remember to ask yourself ‘what do I need to be nourished or grounded today? what is it that nurtures and sustains me when I feel overwhelmed?’ Talk to a friend (or call me) and share these ideas with one another… because this is how we remain connected and walk alongside one another on the journey.
We are in this together, and know that I am praying for you in these days that you will find the nourishment, the sustaining grace, love and peace as we journey together!
On a personal transparent note, I am truly grateful for each of you. Several of you have reached out and inquired as to how I am doing. I am doing well, and like everyone, working to establish a rhythm that fits. Some days I do well, other days not so well. I am making sure that rest is a priority and I also go unplugged for a couple hours each day. When I go for a walk with Zeke, oftentimes I leave the phone at home. But please know I am beyond grateful for your prayers, and that you are in my prayers, I am here and available when you need. We are in this together, and while we might not be physically together during a time of remaining socially distant, it is the commonness we have in Christ Jesus, through the work of the Holy Spirit that connects us all. May the peace of Christ be with you all today and always.