Mama and Marathoner and Keeping God First

My body knows how to wake up right at 5am, it’s been conditioned to do so since my collegiate swimming days, if not before when our first bell in high school chimed at 7:25am. Jon jokes that he always thought he’d be the early riser, but God had other ideas. At this point it hardly matters even though most people think it sounds horrid. One hour is on the clock, I down a glass of water first thing, grab a banana and start the coffee. Maybe this already sounds way to structured for a morning to some, but this is me and this is the gifting and personality I’ve been given! And for the most part its propelled me.

I open up my laptop and send my first messages to my team, since they are ~11 hours ahead time is of the essence in making sure tasks are moving forward and bugs are taken care of. About 20 minutes later with coffee in hand I grab my Bible study and let everything fade around me. We just came back from Maryland, I didn’t take my study because of the nature of our trip and the fact my current study book is giant! Over the past year and a half Bible study discipline is one of the core areas I have worked on, it’s been challenging and beautiful. Now, I miss 5 days of study and I feel similar to not getting water after summer runs in Atlanta. The unquenchable thirst. In both cases if that weren’t the case I would be worried. Like a rain gauge that has been sitting dry for far too long in both running and spiritual growth hydration is the key.

After I wrap up study time (for anyone interested I do the She Reads Truth Monthly Study Plan) I usually have several messages highlighting my notifications bar. If I have a few spare minutes I’ll go ahead and try to resolve whatever is lighting up, but if Elijah is ready to get up then it waits a few minutes. It’s 6am Elijah is typically stirring, I let the dogs out, wake up Jon and we are off to the races. And for me that means semi-literally. It sounds intense, however, my gaze has been set for the day, not on the never ending to do list and work crises but above on the things that matter, therefore I feel sturdy and ready for the day.

I rock Elijah for a few minutes, and then he’s ready to move. He knows mommy goes out the door soon so quickly asks if he can go “side”. I fix him breakfast as Jon makes his way to the living room and by 6:45am, at the latest, I am out the door. I get in 6-8 miles depending on the day, some days depending on work load I’ll break my miles into a morning and afternoon run, but I always get them in. Not every run is easy, especially in Georgia summers, but they are worth it. Usually I’ll go half and half throughout the week between listening to Worship music or a podcast, and there is always one run that I go completely silent. It’s rhythmic, and my soul needs quiet and worship as much, and even more than my brain wants to know “all the things”. I’m not slow by any means, but I also have a long way to go to reach some lofty goals and so there is always the question….

But wait, why? You aren’t at Olympic Trials, you aren’t that caliber of runner (yet), why work that hard? And it’s something I battle with regularly. One, because I’ve been gifted with athleticism, and I’ve tasted that level in another sport. My mom told me when I thought about hanging up my cap and goggles after my sophomore year at GT that God gives you a gift and he gets to tell you when it’s over. That “over” was very clear after my senior year ACC Championships, but I still left a lot of potential on the table and this is just a continuation of something that started when I was 8 years old. Second, it allows me to build community all over Atlanta. People I love and a lot of people I would love to meet Jesus. So I want to keep showing up and putting what I’ve been given on the floor every day. And last, like anyone feels the mental release when you workout – thanks dopamine – it helps you breathe out and relax when it’s over!

So I warm down at by 730-745am, walk inside grab a shower, get Jon off to work and Elijah and I start our day together. It’s not easy friends, I am incredibly blessed I can work from home with flexibility. There were a few months that were really hard, now he’s able to have a little bit more structure around his day and it has made all the difference. In August he will go back to his Mom’s Day Out program two days a week, and that will be exciting as I get into the heaviest part of marathon training to be able to use some of that time for training. However, the grounded and peaceful feeling I feel isn’t because I have it all figured out, but because I know who does.

The days go on, most of the time they fly by. I pray we stay anchored in truth and love, that God brings clarity to the sport I love and have built such a community around, and that our top priorities remain our top priorities. Mama & Marathoning isn’t easy, but there is a whole lot of beauty God is bringing through it.

For now friends!

Give It Time…

As a way to finish off my birthday celebrations this past month, I got away for two days by myself to enjoy the Flower and Garden festival at Walt Disney World. It was the first time I had been away from Elijah for longer than a quick overnight. It felt quiet, uncomfortable, and it honestly took me a while to let myself breathe. I don’t mind traveling by myself, some people find it odd, but I’m safety conscious and I’m not a bar/club goer nor do enjoy late nights so I weed out some of the riskiest behaviors, so I enjoy removing distractions and going.

And it was nice. I flew out, landed, got my workout in, explored Epcot and its Flower and Garden Festival whimsy, and then I laid around in my room for two hours breathing and letting my body melt into a layer of myself that I do not frequently visit in these days. BUT I should. I should work to let myself breathe, relax my shoulders for more than just my time block for yoga every few days.

Regardless of whether you travel to do it or not, quietness has to be routine. And true quietness of body, mind, and soul – the kind of quiet soul where you are just an access point away from reaching into the heavenly – takes time to get too. And in this life we miss it. We might give ourselves a lunch for peace and quiet, or our husbands let us go get a massage or mani-pedi. But it’s different when you give yourself the freedom of space.

God wants that for us. He went away to Gethsemane to pray for quite awhile, he went to be still in a boat away from people and distraction. He went away, maybe not far away, but away to be completely quiet. It’s not an hour time block that needs to be added to the calendar, and it doesn’t mean it’s always easy to come by. I have a 14/15 month old at home and most days it seems like every minute of time is accounted for and includes my quiet time each day, but that’s not fluid and free space for me to breathe and just sit in quietness with myself and Him for an extended period of time.

Unfortunately for us in these days it does typically means having to schedule that time in advance, but do it unapologetically. Especially if you have kids, they say “it takes a village”: utilize them! They won’t mind helping carry the load for 24-48 hours whoever that is. Then, give yourself time to breathe, give it time to melt, give it time to hit the quietness that is truly supernatural. Let Him speak and move and just give you the rest He so longs to give you.

Give it time, and then give that time forward.

Jordan