Missionaries wake up at 6:30, and then exercise for 30 minutes.
I woke up at 7:30, found the keys to the jeep, stole my headphones from the driver’s seat and took off. I blasted Beyonce and ran til I couldn’t run anymore. Then I did that again. Then one more time. The one last time. (Note: Missionaries do not listen to Beyonce, but I need a little help ok?) As I am running, I feel myself fighting. It sounds like this:
Okay, just for a little bit….Wait no no no, I’m running! I WILL keep running!
Kind of like what real life feels like sometimes.
(I have a feeling missionaries listen to this all the time.)
When I’m finished I walk back home. Did I mention I am a terrible runner? And terrible with mornings? But instead of going home I end up running some more, toward the ocean. I switch my Beyonce to church music and hike up over the dunes. I am right there on the coast of North Carolina. There are no shops or sidewalks or lifeguard stands, no public bathrooms or parking lots. Just dunes on one side and ocean on the other. The wind stings my shins with sand. I am alone here.
At this point, I turn off the music. I walk past the sea turtle sanctuary and sit my sweaty self down. I let go of the fight because I’ve stopped now, on purpose. It’s time to be still. I just breathe and be in the place that I love. When I’m ready, I talk to God for a while about some things I am not so good at. I ask him for specific help.
(I used to sit back and wait for God to fix my life. I was complacent with the small piece I gave Him, and trusted that He would take care of the rest.
Then there was a period where I realized how little I was giving Him, how much more I needed to give instead. I had to wake up! I had to choose to be better. I had to re-dedicate myself to be who He needed me to be, who I needed me to be.
But somewhere in there I lost a little of my ability to trust Him. I felt so guilty about my complacency that I decided to do it all myself for a while, to not expect any help, to not deserve any help. That wasn’t smart. God does not require me to be a certain girl before he can love me. I am always enough and He is always reaching, I just have to let myself reach back. And then, within a matter of days, I have to learn all over again to let Him help me. This is a cycle.)
God and I have to talk about this again for a while. I’m feeling strongly about two things by the time it’s over, so I write them in the sand and walk home. When I get back to the beach house, Mamaw is cookin breakfast.
“Here, getcha a piece of bacon,” she says.
“What kind of eggs do you want sweetie?”
Yes. This is happening to my life. Mamaw will make everyone eggs exactly how they want them, one person at a time. But don’t feel bad, she loves this stuff. I was telling her last night that if I don’t write I go crazy. It is what keeps me sane, happy, feeling like I belong in my own life.
“I know it,” she said.
“Everyone has something like that.”
“What’s yours Mamaw?” I asked.
“I suppose it’s waitin on people,” she says.
I want to be like this, to find my sanity in taking care of other people, in scrambled eggs with cheese and sunnyside up and any other way I can contribute. Do you think the San Fernando Valley likes bacon?
I want to start my mornings early, battling in body, and mind until my spirit can find something to stop and be still about. I want to come home tired. I will. Oh man, I haven’t even told you about all the stuff missionaries do after that teeny little exercise part. This is gonna be really hard, but I like being awake.
I need to be awake.
(Bad at running. Bad at mornings. Great at eating bacon.)