Monday, June 16, 2008

Why anotherbattlewon?

Okay, I'm obviously just learning to "do" this blogging thing. I just discovered a message left a week ago from someone! I've really got to do better on my new blogging commitment.

The message I received asked "why anotherbattlewon?" Thanks for asking! It's not deeply spiritual or anything. It's sort of a "mantra" I came up with when I started running. Since I'm not very fast - and I seem to be getting slower with age and injuries - I had to find some way to encourage myself to do what I knew I needed to do! Running was a sport I took up a few days after my 47th birthday. My first race was the Petal Y's 5k in 2006.

I actually started "getting in shape" around the time of Katrina - didn't we all! What with battling the heat, sawing and hauling logs from the trees that were in my house, washing clothes my hand, etc. I began to rediscover a level of fitness or lack thereof! The fact that the only channel available to us after the hurricane featured the second season of "The Biggest Loser" didn't hurt either. With all that for motivation, I started getting myself in shape by MOVING! At first, when we were finally able to start getting back to normal, I went to the Y and used the exercise machines there. Then after signing up for the race, I found how much fun running could be and decided I'd like to give it a try.

Like most of my "commitments" to get in shape, I was pretty hit and miss. Then I met some people from the Pine Belt Pacers. (You can check out their website at On the last day of that school year, as I was walking out to my car, I saw "Coach Becky" setting up for that afternoons 5K training at the Thames track. I definitely wasn't in the mood to run. I was exhausted and had just gotten some news about a former student that pretty much knocked the wind out of my sails. Becky encouraged me to come on out and give the training a try. After getting home, I decided that going back would be a better use of my time than sitting on the couch. So I put on my old tennis shoes and headed back to the track. That day, I discovered how good exercise could be for helping me shake off the blues or feelings of being overwhelmed by life. I was able to clear my head and think.

As I plodded around that track, it occured to me that I'd won a battle. True - it was a small battle, but I for once I hadn't allowed my feelings to stop me from doing what I needed to do. I hadn't "put it off till tomorrow". That's where the saying "another battle won" was born. As I ran, (some would say walked quickly) around that track, I'd run it through my head....every day I run is another battle won. That saying got me off the couch more times than I could count! Before I knew it, I was enjoying some of the "benefits" of running. I lost weight, I felt much better - as in stress didn't have as great an effect on me, and I even got a little faster!
Now, another battle won fits a lot of areas of my life - even blogging! For years I've thought about doing some writing, but always put it off. After all, I wasn't very good, (just like I'm not very fast) and it takes time and....well a hundred other excuses. By blogging, I'm winning another battle against procrastination in my life. I may lose some, but at least I'm winning a few more!

So, that is the story of "anotherbattlewon". Thanks for taking the time to read it.
By the way, if you're interested, the Pine Belt Pacers are doing 5K training at the Thames track once again! You can check out their website or I'm pretty sure you can just show up on Tuesday evenings with a water bottle, a pair of running shoes, and your own version of anotherbattlewon!
Have a great week!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Just being myself .....isn't all that easy.

We’ve all heard it – “Just be yourself, and you’ll do just fine.” Great advice – but I find I have a hard time just being me. Certainly I can’t be alone in this. I read every day how we as a society compare ourselves to the women in the magazines, etc. and find we just don’t measure up. I look at others and see that I’m not as smart as, or as pretty as, or as talented as, or as patient as….you get the picture. I find myself wishing constantly that I could be a homemaker like this person, or as good a teacher as that one, or could cook like my friends, or entertain like they do.

But it’s not just that I find others better at things than me. I find I’m just as guilty at finding fault in others. Well, at least I’m not as….you fill in the blank….as that person. Problem is – I’m not that person. I have no idea what their life has been like up to this point. I have no idea what God has planned for them that they are either struggling with or growing in. I’m not them. I’m supposed to be me. I’m just not always comfortable being me so I try to deflect responsibility by comparing with others!

I used to see it in my students…”How come he gets to….”, “Well, she did….”. You get the picture, a whole lot of looking at someone else instead of looking at themselves and where they are. How many times did I hear, “It’s not fair!” Baby, if life were fair, I’d be taller, richer, and my students would be more obedient. It’s not about fair…it’s about living where you are each day. It’s about looking to God to get direction and taking responsibility for you.

This brings me back to being myself. I’ve been reminded this week of the time when Jesus was talking to Peter, who wanted to know “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21:21-22) It’s not about what someone else has or does; it’s about what He’s called me to be. The purpose He has for me isn’t the same as someone else’s, so comparing is ridiculous! I may not be a part of the Body that is lovelier, or more noticeable, but I am an important part of the Body all the same…and I have a job to fulfill.

No, I won’t get younger, or prettier, or a hundred other things. But hopefully I can become more like Jesus each day – and He’s the only one I need to compare myself to. I will not attain perfection, but each day I can show a little more of Jesus by allowing Him to shine through the ‘me’ He has created me to be. No, I don’t always like who I am, but thankfully God isn’t through with ‘me’ yet.