Sunday, April 29, 2012

What I'm learning while I'm learning how to run (part 1)

I'm learning . . . the power of giving my word to something bigger than I can currently keep.

Almost exactly a year ago, I started going to the gym.  Around that same time, my hero Brene Brown said on her blog that she was going to use an iPhone app to train for a 5K and some crazy little voice in my head said, "If she can do it, I can do it."  I downloaded the app and started with the first assignment:  run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds.  I couldn't do it.

One thing you have to know is that originally I never planned to actually run a 5K.  I just wanted to build some capacity for exercise.  But pretty soon, panting around the walking path at the park, I decided to take it on and I gave my word to actually run in a 5K race if it killed me.  Which I thought it might.

It has taken me a year (yes, a solid freaking year) but I have finally grown into the word I gave, which is the point, right?  When I gave my word, I couldn't even imagine what it would feel like to complete 3 miles--which I did today.  Giving my word meant not having the option of saying "Never mind" when things got tough which somehow gave me what it took to keep going.

God used his word to create the world.  In his image, we use our word to create our lives.  There's real power in this.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hiding out

I am just barely an extrovert.  My temperament tends to balance right on the fence separating introversion from extroversion and even though I tip toward the outgoing, it's not by much.

That can mean that whatever I'm doing--whether I'm with people or not--I'm happy.  Of course, it can also mean the opposite--that whatever I'm doing, I'm not happy, wishing I were alone when I'm with people or looking for someone to call when I'm alone.  Fortunately, the former is more often true.  What is even more true is that I need a good balance of both and that I don't enjoy long, uninterrupted periods of either one by itself.

So, on my second trip to Houston this week, I showed up for a large gathering, a social lunch, a working group, and a face-to-face coaching session.  Tomorrow, I'll go to a big party to schmooze with people I don't know.  But today, at exactly 3:00 p.m., I showed up at my previously reserved hotel room and locked myself in.

Here is 2 briefcases worth of work spread out on the bed:

And here is my comfy chair with my laptop open and ready to work:

There's also a desk with papers spread all over it, a small refrigerator with a cold Coke in it, and a really hot bath waiting for me to finish with the work.  In the morning, I'll sleep til I wake up, go down and eat breakfast and run on the treadmill, and come back up and see how much more I can get done, just to have a chance at catching up with my life.  I can't even tell you how happy this makes me.

I love the chance to go into a cave like this precisely because I live most of my life with my friends and my family and my clients and all the people I care about--and I wouldn't have it any other way.  And, truthfully, it will be hard to give up this hotel room at noon tomorrow when I have to check out whether I like it or not.  That's okay, though.  I have a party to go to!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Walking in the way of the cross

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer

That was the prayer for Good Friday in my devotional reading today.  What got my attention was the phrase, "Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross . . . "  Am I walking in the way of the cross?  What does it mean to walk in the way of the cross? 

I've been chewing on this for awhile now and all I can come up with is bullet points.  Walking in the way of the cross means

  • pain
  • loving self-sacrifice
  • forsakenness
  • forgiveness
  • surrender
  • and eventually, resurrection.
What would you add?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Family ties

This past weekend, my siblings and I celebrated our parents' 50th wedding anniversary by meeting at a lake house with just our spouses--something we had never done before.  Seriously:  we have not all been together--just us, without kids and extended family--until we started leaving home.  Let me just say, it was a great idea.

For one thing, look at this amazing deck overlooking the Texas hill country.  For another thing, look how relaxed everyone is!  We sat out on this deck for hours, talking and laughing.  I hadn't seen my brother act out a story since he was a little boy.  Thirty-plus years later, he's still hilarious.  

My mom and dad brought their wedding album and old family photos and photos from our growing-up years and we sat at the table and talked about our memories-- at least some of them actually happened, I think!  People have been asking me how the weekend turned out and I guess I'd have to say that the most telling moment was at the end, when we all stood around and agreed that we would like to do it again and more often.