I hope in return the volume of excitement for her was felt in my reply. I was SO HAPPY for her, I was celebrating in her accomplishment and smiling over my phone as I read. SO PROUD of my friend who is determined to run a race or two this year. I didn't ask her how fast she ran or how long it took her - it really didn't matter I was THRILLED for her that she set out and did it! It didn't matter if she ran a 7 minute mile or a 27 minute mile, it wasn't about that. It wasn't about the time, it was about the accomplishment and celebrating it.
Last night a friend from Bend was visiting. As we were visiting she thanked me for offering to run a race with her this year. We'd determined early on it wouldn't be a RACE, but we'd complete miles together. She shared she'd gotten to the place where she could run for 10 minutes straight without stopping. She was proud! She was feeling accomplishment and she was ready to try and go further. I hugged her and told her I was very proud of her. I shared 10 minutes is awesome! She was beaming with pride. I was smiling big. SO PROUD of my friend who has set her mind to something and one foot in front of the other is making her way. AWESOME!
Running has changed me. It truly has. When I run, I'm "dating Jesus" ~ this is our time to be together uninterrupted. His time to show me, to speak to me and to remind me. My time to confide, to open up, to ask, seek and knock. My time to listen. It has also changed the way I look at other women. Truthfully.
I'm going to be honest. I have always looked at others with envy. The quiet whisper in the back of my mind "I wanna look like that" or "shoot me if I ever let myself look like that"... Yes, very judgmental. Very sad. Since I've began seriously running, seriously dating Jesus the way I look at myself and others has changed. When I see a woman who is lean and in shape, I no longer look with envy. I look with appreciation and think GOOD FOR HER! As I know it is not easy to be disciplined and dedicated. I know how easy it is for life to get into the way of taking care of ourselves. I look at people who are healthy & fit and I appreciate the dedication in making time to take care of themselves. I no longer envy.
And when I see a woman who is overweight or unhealthy, I don't think hurtful thoughts or 'shoot me' I think let me encourage them. I pray they are encouraged by others around them, I pray they come to a place where they pause and realize we only get one body we must take care of it. I don't think hurtful, mean thoughts. And when I see a large woman working out, running, walking, yoga whatever I smile BIG INSIDE for them. I know what it is like to be the "big girl" and it isn't easy. I know what it's like to be the big girl in a gym or class full of lean healthy girls - truthfully it takes more to show up when you are the odd girl out than when you are "one of them".
I'm thankful for the gift of loving one another, for lifting one another, for supporting one anther and most certainly for embracing one another. I'm thankful through my dating Jesus He opened my eyes to see more than the surface. I'm thankful he opened my heart to appreciate and love my sisters. So blessed to have a heart that wants to cheer on and encourage the women in my life, those who I can enjoy lunch with and we share our journey and those who I am beside on a yoga mat & can smile and cheer on along the journey.
My life is blessed and it is blessed abundantly through the journey shared with other women. Blessed by women of all sizes, backgrounds, economic levels and social status. There is something rather amazing when you desire to dig deeper to love others as He has loved you. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 1 Peter 3:4