One of the coolest parts about the trip is that I get to live in the middle of nowhere. I've always been a city girl, I went from living in a small city to living in a giant city, but a city none-the-less. I have to say, I am LOVING living in the country! It's absolutely beautiful! But not only is it beautiful, it's peaceful. You don't get all the noise that you get in the city. It's great :)
Like anything else in my life, I'm trying to find the lessons that God has for me here, and there's one particular lesson I want to share with you guys.
In the three weeks that I've been here I've taken up walking and running. I've always loved walking, in the summer I can walk for hours and hours and not get tired, but running is a whole other story. It is particularly difficult for me here because there are hills everywhere! But see that just makes it more fun.
I'm not a runner. I've never been one and I don't think I'll ever be one, but I enjoy it, and I especially enjoy it when I get to do it in a place like this one, where I get to see hills, cows (yeah I had to stop my run today because some cows were crossing the street, there's always a frist time for everything right?), horses, trees, etc. But the challenges I have found in running make me want to keep doing it. Since I'm not a runner, my body finds it difficult to run the distance that I set for myself everyday. My body is not used to running, so I have to be patient with it BUT that also means I get the joy of pushing myself.
Running is teaching me about perseverance. It's reinforcing my idea that giving up is only an option for those who want to take it. The minute when I want to give up and say "I can't do it anymore" is the very minute I have to push myself to keep going. We tend to believe that the most we can take is what we are taking on right now, that our pain or our disappointment is at its peak and we are on the verge of crumbling, but the amount of strength the human spirit contains is incredible. Strength that is there for us to use if we choose to do so. When you are on the verge of giving up, keep going. When everything within you is screaming that you can't take it anymore, challenge that thought and say "yes, I can and I will". No matter what is going on in your life, the best thing you can do is hold on. Surprise yourself with how strong you can be.
Running is also teaching me about staying in the present. See, I live in Illinois, A.K.A flattest state on the planet. But here, everywhere I look and everywhere I walk there's a hill. So when I started running, if I looked up and I saw a hill I would tell myself "you won't make it", and I would stop and just walk it. A few days ago I decided to try something new. I've been running the same road for three weeks so I'm starting to get familiar with it, I'm starting to know when a hill is coming. So now whenever I know a hill is coming I just look at my feet, I just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other and tell myself "right, left, right, left" without thinking about what's coming. A lot of times in life we look at the long run and forget the importance of what's right in front of us. Concentrate on your day TODAY, think about the RIGHT NOW. You know what happens when I think about where my feet are and not where my feet need to be? I make it. I run those hills like a boss. Put yourself in your present and stay there. Your recovery needs your attention RIGHT NOW, not in six months. Your dreams need you to move RIGHT NOW, not in ten years. Whatever you are trying to accomplish in life, it starts with today. So don't give up because there's a hill and maybe a few obstacles, just put one foot in front of the other and see where that takes you.
But the number one lesson runing is reinforcing for me is that you have to be yourself, you have to be free of everyone else's thoughts and opinions, you have to run your race at your own pace. The eyes of the world will always be on you, the important part is not that, it is where in the world will YOUR eyes be.
I have my own dreams and desires, and I have my good days and bad days. Some days I sit in my room and read for hours and some days I sit in front of the tv watching Winnie the Pooh (like right now. Judge me, I dare you) for hours. I am who I am, I run as fast or as slow as I want, and I follow Jesus Christ wherever He leads me without any shame. I am the only person that can choose when I learn, and I am the only person that can choose when I want to give up. I have no control over my life or what happens to me, but I am completely responsible for my actions and my reactions to other people's actions. And so are you, so remember that. You are free to be whoever you want to be, but you are not free of the consequences of your choices. Choose as wisely as possible. Always do the best that you know how.
Just take this day to put one foot in front of the other, don't even think about tomorrow :)
~ Diana :)