Tag Archives: discouraged

Matter Over Mind

9 Aug

That whole “I’m my own worst enemy” thing is such an a-hole. I find myself encountering it in my head before many of my runs.

You don’t have to run up “the hill” tonight. Just run to the bottom of it.

  • This is what my mind starts to tell myself at about 5 minutes into a run when I don’t feel like being out there. “Don’t run up the hill, just turn around and run the flatter parts again.” Although the thought sounds wonderful, I fight against it. I focus on the positive things – the longer blades of grass that often tickle my ankles as I run by them, the pretty sky I’m enjoying, my rockin’ tunes, my time for me. Before I notice it, I run the hill.

Maybe you aren’t a runner.

  • This is usually said to me after I talk about how I often whine about running. Some days, it is just so difficult to get out the door and start my run for whatever reason. I’m tired. Hungry. It’s raining hard. My leg hurts. I don’t want to run intervals. I try to talk myself out of it. I tell myself that I can just do it another day. I know I likely won’t want to do it then either though. When I finally get on my way, I think about the notion that maybe I am not a runner. It’s actually really motivating and helps keep me running.

Maybe you should try something else.

  • This is said to me after I vent about not losing any weight. They suggest that I need to do more than run four times a week. Maybe my body just isn’t responding to the running like it would something else. The funny thing  is though – I do actually enjoy my running. I do feel stronger and leaner. Something is working. I may need to add in a few old fashioned Phys. Ed. calisthenics to help build my core better but I don’t want to give up on running. (Even when I feel like I want to give up on running. It’s a twisted emotion.)

If you don’t feel like running, don’t run.

  • Said to me to ease my pout and support me in my anti-run feelings that intensify right before I’m about to head outside. The most recent one innocently came from Nia. She wasn’t trying to be unsupportive or discouraging, she was trying to help me feel better. It’s just, that is the time I need to be stronger than the temptation to not go. Andrew gets my evil eye as he tells me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. “Just go. You’ll be fine once you’re out there. It’s only x-amount of minutes. You got it.”

No matter what I’m feeling or hearing before my runs, he’s right. I am fine once I’m out there. In fact, I feel good. Not only because I ran and the sense of health and accomplishment, but also because I overcame my mind. Told it to shut it, I’m doing this. Matter over mind really makes me feel like I’ve defeated that enemy.

Wanted: Child-Friendly Church

29 May

Is there any Catholic church out there that actually genuinely welcomes children?

I just read a new announcement concerning children on our church’s website and it left me really downhearted.  It is basically a list of rules our church wants parents and children to follow.  While I understand the need to have rules because many people are rude and don’t respect property or clean up after themselves, it still makes me feel like our children are not wanted there.

It would certainly not be the first time.  I recently wrote about my concerns with having Nate in church, but before that, I experienced the feeling at two different Savannah churches.  One when Nia was an infant and she had started to get a little fussy.  I was already sitting in the last row and was about to get up to take her outside when an usher came up to me and told me that I would be more comfortable in the nursery, oh yeah, and you’re not allowed to have food (Cheerios to help keep Nia occupied) in church either.  The next experience happened this past winter.  Andrew, Nia, Nate and I went to church with Anna Marie, Ella and Maggie.  We were there early and sat in the back of the church at the end of the pew for easy escape.  An older man chose to sit directly in front of us even though he saw we had 4 small children.  Of course they are going to make noise.  They are children.  Two of them are toddlers.  If the noise level even hinted that it was going to be distracting, we’d take the culprit outside.  That wasn’t good enough for the man in front of us.  Just as Andrew was getting up to leave with Nate, the man turned around and said, “You know, there’s a cry room for children like yours.”

We were so disgusted.  Andrew replied, “Yes, I know sir” and got up and walked into the standing-room-only cry room where he was about to go anyway to calm Nate.  When Andrew got back to the pew, he and the man exchanged some words which led to the man asking Andrew if he wanted to “step outside.”  What?!  Not only was that crazy because the man was like 70 and walked with a cane, but as Andrew said to him, “Are you serious?  We are in church!  You’re ridiculous.”

Shouldn’t church be the one place you can receive compassion and acceptance?  Shouldn’t it be where people offer a helping hand or a sympathetic smile not a sigh of annoyance or a look of disdain?   Shouldn’t it compel people to offer even the smallest act of kindness like letting a car pull out in front of you in the church parking lot?

All I want is to worship and feel like I’m part of a community.  To feel welcomed and loved, not scolded and filled with resentment and discouragement.  Here we are, trying to raise our children to follow a religious path and to be loving, patient and accepting as we’re told to be by the Bible, but we keep hitting roadblocks.  I thought church is supposed to help clear the road, not set up the obstacles.

Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe I’m expecting too much out of church. I just know what I feel and need.  All I can do is pray for the grace and strength to not let those obstacles push us off the path.  I believe all that matters is that we keep God present in our lives and keep trying to do the right thing – no matter how many bumps we hit. After all, that’s the way it should be, right?

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