Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Celebration in the Air (Titus 2 Tips on Thursdays ~ A Guest Post}

The truth is: I like to do things well. Running was something I could not do well. Even as a child I dreaded the once-a-year-all-school cross-country race day. I often felt it was a minor miracle that I survived to the end of the 1 km run. Running was tough, all those hills to navigate, the need to persevere even when you could barely breathe and always finishing last was difficult on my pride.

Two years ago, my husband started training for half marathons. I was adamant that I would never go into such a thing. Yet something deep within intrigued me about the actual race day. There was celebration in the air that comes from goals accomplished. Laughter and joy permeated the atmosphere. Strangers cheered one another on. That’s the part that touched my heart. A sense of community with people I had never met, rooting for one another when life felt hard. It was beautiful.

My children wanted to follow in the footsteps of their father. I didn’t want to push them into anything. I know that the running world can be intense, focussed and driven. Let them be kids and run when and wherever they want. Not everything needs to be structured in their lives. Yet they both said they wanted to try and now they love it. Their smiles are big and genuine. They are learning life lessons about setting goals, working hard and finding joy in finishing what they have started. Their enthusiasm called me to take to the track as well. My young daughter’s words run through my mind each time I lace up my running shoes. “Don’t worry, Mom. The first kilometer is the hardest. It gets easier.” My trainers, my family, have loved me through the hard bits and found ways to help me persevere.

A few months after my husband started his running training, I also joined a club. My group involved women from different ages and stages of life getting together a couple of times a month to share stories of how God was working in our lives. I needed to hear from those who have walked through valleys in their faith and have come to the other side and still say “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” I don’t always run the race of faith well and I get discouraged all too easily. My support group, these women of wisdom, articulate the importance of listening for God, using our eyes to see Him and opening our hearts to understand His Word. Our time of prayer together renews, breathing hope and joy into my life. They are not merely cheerleaders, but coaches who need to say challenging things at times to help growth occur.

A journey of faith requires living in a community that loves, supports and encourages. 

Meditate on the powerful words of Hebrews 12:1-3: 
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” 
Listen for Him.

Look for Him and keep your eyes there when you find Him.

It will reap blessings far more precious than any running medal ever could.

Stephanie loves children and knows that they have taught her many life lessons about faith and loving Jesus. She is a wife, mom and Kindergarten teacher.  
Although reluctant at times to embrace change, she loves to learn from others. 
This year she may even enter her very first running race.

A Soft Gentle voice
I am honoured to host these guest posts in this series on women mentoring women 
Some weeks you may find tips from the kitchen or healthy recipes, tools other women have used to grow spiritually, hints to help us build up and love our husbands, and lessons they have learned as they have walked along with their children to teach them to love God wholeheartedly, habits they have developed in keeping their home, ways they have worked on to keep their behaviour respectful, or rhythms that allow peace and rest in the home and hearts that dwell there within.
You will find all the posts in the series here.

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behaviour,
not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled."

{Titus 2:3-5}

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