Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mindfulness on My Morning Run

Today I realized something that has been buzzing around in the back of my mind for a few days now, only to become one of those 'aha!' moments that wakes you up and reminds you of the skin you live in.

I should run life. Life shouldn't run me. 

Let me preface this [seemingly] simple epiphany by pointing out that Aaron and I have been extremely blessed. We are always blessed by God's goodness and His grace, but there are times in life when those blessings seem to pour sweetly - sweeter than you could ever imagine. We've been in Winter Park for a little over a month (!!!!) and I am increasingly surprised by our smooth transition. Sure, it's taken a while to get physically settled, and we traveled here and there in the beginning, but we're putting roots down. 

I could not have asked more for what God has done in getting us connected quickly. Even in the midst of my doubt and unfaithfulness, He is faithful. I didn't think we would find our church home so quickly, but we have. The first Sunday we walked into the church, I was overwhelmed with joy that this is where God has us. It felt strange to know so quickly - to have something so certain after a long period of uncertainty. 

Since that Sunday, we took the membership class and dove head first into some wonderful relationships that we hope to cultivate over the years. We learned how our unique gifts could best serve the church, and we are preparing for that sweet time when we can truly give of our time and resources according to our spiritual gifts. We started attending a small group that renews the heart and mind, and I know we have both been so hungry for this community. 

I like to joke about it, but the small group we have been attending is full of counselors. One of the perks for "geeked out" reformed Christians living in Orlando is that it is home to Reformed Theological Seminary. Our church is blessed to have many gifted students enrolled in RTS and the counseling program, so of course they bring such wisdom and insight to the group. Our small group has five counselors (maybe six?) and it was a little intimidating at first, but Aaron and I both feel immensely blessed by this group and what they bring to the community. They are deeply compassionate and introspective, and the way they look at life and the Christian faith is truly enlightening; I find myself viewing life through a more reflective lens, and it is so refreshing. 

One of the counselors in the group mentioned what we were all thinking - that sometimes, life can feel like it is running you, not that you are running life. This resonates with me lately in so many ways. In this small group we all talked about our metaphorical "landscape" to describe our weeks with a little more color (like I said, they're counselors y'all). It took me a while to come up with a landscape to describe my week because I realized I had been completely non-observant; I have let days come and pass, simply going through the motions without paying attention to what the Lord has placed on my heart and in my life. I described a generic field that was unidentifiable in a lot of ways, mainly because I haven't taken the time to stop and look around. This wise group of counselors pointed out that a field was an interesting choice for a landscape, because being in a field means that you can see in any direction or go in any direction - if you decide to look up. Seriously, guys, it's like I'm getting free therapy over here. 

Anyway, this week, I am trying to be more mindful. Aaron has been really great about asking more intentional questions, and I really am starting to see a pattern of mindfulness that is abundant and sweet. 

This morning, I discovered that if I start my run just five minutes earlier than I normally do, I get to see this:

It's amazing to me that five minutes can change everything. This sunrise made me weepy, not just because it is beautiful, but because God gave me a desire for mindfulness to leave the house five minutes earlier just so I could enjoy it. 

{Also, this song randomly came on Pandora. Mornin' Jesus - you're too good.}

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"Pleasant words are [like] honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24