In spite of my back continuing to protest, my running was a bit more frequent last week. I had intended to run on Sunday, but duties from the home-front, and my back pain won out and I spent the day cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping.
This is week four of the back pain. We thought perhaps our box spring was not helping the situation so we picked a new one up. We should have done this when we bought our mattress in May, but we were trying to be frugal and really didn't think we "needed" a new one. I mean, a box spring is a box spring, is a box spring, right?
Wrong. I've noticed that I've been rolling downhill into the center of the bed for a few months now. My sleepless nights were becoming more frequent again, and my back pain was not relenting.
Since Saturday, I have slept better than I have in quite some time. In fact, our youngest came into bed with us last night and I never knew. I can certainly confirm that 7 hours of quality sleep versus 2 or 3 hours of intermittent sleep really does make a difference during the waking hours of the day.
This week of training will become more like normal. I intend to incorporate some new things that will give opportunity for strengthening and endurance and still keep increasing the mileage. I'd like to be back to my base of 40 - 50 miles/week very soon.
Last weekend, I spent away on retreat. I thought it would be good to get away and spend some quiet time reflecting on where I am right now. Little did I know that the Holy Spirit had great things planned for me and the weekend was more than I have ever experienced before. Being the first week of Lent, I felt a bit guilty coming off of the retreat feeling like it was already Easter.
The rest of the week I spent processing what exactly happened and how it would impact my journey. There were several things that came up this week that were highly unusual and I became suspect that much of what I was experiencing might have been a deeper challenge of my new found peace. Aside from a few small bumps along the way, I felt the presence of God with me in a new way and my peace not only stayed with me, but it also seemed to grow.
The real contest for me now, one week post retreat, is to continue to feel the peace of Christ. To see with the eyes that He revealed to me while on retreat. To hear with His ears; to love with His heart. As I found myself becoming irritated while waiting 15 mins in line at the grocery store yesterday, the old anxiety and loss of compassion tried to eek away. Thankfully, I was able to call on Him to show me again how to look upon the situation and find the meaning in it all.
For it is not in the big things that I typically fall, it is in the small things. And once I begin to let those tiny moments of holiness slip away, the big things become more difficult to face and my obedience to His will grows weaker.
As I read this morning,
" Only the cross of Jesus Christ and His victory over sin can free us from the tyranny of malice, hatred, revenge, and resentment and give us the courage to overcome evil with good"
And while I realize that treating others as Christ would have us do is to show His love for them, in the end, its result is a change in my heart that blesses me in ways that are unimaginable.