Finishing the Race

Sunday, June 9, 2013

You have prepared for months, the day is here, you as ready as you will ever be, you start off great and then just when you see the finish line in view you see how far you still have to go and just give up.

I have to admit that I have started many projects and not finished them, I have committed to many things and felt like dipping out early, I have ran many races and barely made it across the finish line.

It's so easy to have a great start when you are all fresh and full of energy, excited for what's ahead but as time wears on it's hard to keep the gusto you once had and still feel motivated.

At the beginning of the school year it's so exciting to get fresh new school books and supplies, to get back into a good routine and schedule. The school room is all ready and organized, but at the end of the school year it gets harder and harder to stay organized. Everything gets disheveled from a years worth of crafts, projects and lessons. As the end approaches it's hard to keep going strong.
                         Here is our school room at the beginning of the day, all nice and clean:)


After lots of paint, glue, cutting, legos and brain power...with an 8, 5, 3yr, and 18mo old...


At the end of the day it can be pretty scary!

These past weeks have been one of those times where I have felt like handing in the towel. I am just done! Please just scrape whatever is left remaining of me off the floor.... I have nothing left to give.

I was home schooled up until 9th grade when I duel enrolled in college. I always assumed I would home school my children as well. But when it came down to it I was scared, scared I wouldn't be able to do it, scared of what people would think of me, scared my kids wouldn't listen, scared I would fail them.

Yes, there are days when I am overwhelmed and still scared, but every time I think I can't do it, God who has called me to do this, stretches me and gives me supernatural strength. I feel like I am the one who is learning, learning daily to trust the Lord, to look to him, not to depend on my own strength, to find grace and forgiveness and to ask for lots and lots of patience.

This last week of school I have been very tempted to end early. Nothing wrong with stopping a few days early...we finished most of  our work!? But I know this is more then just finishing those last pages and lessons, it's a lesson in perseverance for me.  I feel like I have fizzled all out and don't have any umph left in me but I am so close to the finish line... I want to finish it well.

The end of this school year reminds me of the first race I ever ran in, I was so excited. I did run quite a bit but I hadn't really trained for a race. I started at the beginning of the race with all the elite runners.( I don't know what I was thinking) They all started out at a very fast pace of course and amateur that I was, tried to keep up with them. After a while I realized of course I was way in over my head, my breathing was getting very hard, my legs were feeling very heavy and I slowed my pace. As I plotted on I was so mad at myself for starting out too fast, here I was being passed up by little kids and old men, who tried to encourage and push me on.

 I didn't finish last but it might as well have been to me. I felt so bad at the end of that race, I plopped myself down as soon as I crossed the finish line. Somehow I got 3rd  place in my age group(there were probably only three) but I knew I could have done better if I had just started out at a slower pace, saved my energy and been more prepared.

Truthfully I barely crossed the finish line of this school year.. you might say I limped across. I just focused on getting it done... which I am thankful we did on time. I am looking forward to this summer to get refreshed and recharged... ready for the new school year. I think I need it more then the kids. Just as I have learned to be more prepared in running a race, I learn each year how to be more prepared for the school year and figure out what works best for me and my kids. I know a big key to being prepared is not comparing myself to others and being disciplined and faithful with what God has called me to do.

If you know God has called you to do something, it's a lot easier to do it knowing that He will give you the grace and wisdom you need to accomplish it. There are so many things I never would have even attempted if I didn't know that God was calling me to do it. Taking that  leap of faith out of your  comfort zone and into the unknown is so hard, but much easier if God is the one pushing you and cheering you on.

I love this verse in Hebrews 12:1-2

"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." 

I picture all those who have gone before me, cheering me on to run the race of this life well, when I get discouraged or feel like giving up. I try to focus on  Jesus, my reward, knowing that He will keep me strong till the end if I keep my eyes on him.

Whatever God has called you to do, know that He will give you the strength to do it. He knows that we do not have the strength  in ourselves. I think that's why he gives us things to do that seem so impossible for us. All the glory has to go to him because there is no way we could have done it in our strength.

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

Is there a finish line in front of you that seems impossible to finish let alone finish strong?

  Remember that when you are depleted of strength or ability, that's exactly where God wants you to be. He wants you  to be emptied of yourself, to call on him so he can  fill you with his supernatural strength.

If you have ever done anything physically challenging, you know that your body will tell you that you are done but somehow when you get the encouragement or motivation you need, you find, you can dig down deeper then you thought possible and sprint to the end.
Me and the kids after my first half marathon which I was able to finish well...after much training

At the end of my race on this earth I do not think that I will be physically able to sprint, but I pray that I will finish well the race that God marked out for me.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." Ephesians 6:10

"Being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

5 comments:

  1. Thank you again for taking the time to encourage others with the encouragement that you have found in the Lord. I am wrestling myself with something He has called me to do that seems impossible, and that I have begun many times, but halted midway because of my own weakness. Just today I have decided again to get back on the horse and try again... God is able. We just have to put him first and come to Him every time we feel that there is a 'road block.' Remember His promises and persevere!!! Thank you!

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  2. yes! thank you katie for always encouraging me!! it is always scary to put myself out there and share whats on my heart but i know God has encouraged me so i can encourage others:)keep persevering!!

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  3. p.s. Where is this school room?? I am picturing your house and I am guessing that you have made it inside the shed/garage? If so, great use of space. If it is in your house, great miracle-working!

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  4. its actually the front porch, right when you walk in the door, it has been many things, but i think this is the best use for it, you will have to bring the girls over some time and see it for yourself:) let me know when you are in the area we would love to see you guys!!

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  5. Now I can picture it!! I will definitely let you know:) Thanks!

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