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So I’ve became a runner again. Sort of. I’m the part-time turtle, actually, following behind my daughter’s cross country team in case one of them should fall, get sick, or get lost. I waited a week to give all the other parents ample opportunity to offer their services, but it turns out they go into hiding when the word run is offered to them. And when I say hide, I mean they find faraway places where only God can find them. I kind of wish I had joined them.

My feet—these 41-yr-old feet—have faced a lot of abuse in my youth. Hand-me-down tennis shoes from my brother, growing up in a countryside only the tough and gangly inhabit, a school bus stop light years from our house, pregnancy, but most of all—ballet. Yes, those pretty-pink satin slippers are not for the weak. Squishing my feet into them year after year produced a lot of good things, but one big fat ugly one—one ghost of the stage that won’t leave me alone: aches and pains. They can take quite a bit of activity as long as I don’t run or tread upward too much.

I thought about bowing out, I mean, who can chase after youth-sugar-hyper-fueled athletes, with damaged feet? But then C sprained her ankle, the coach is without an assistant this year, and thoughts of her limping behind her team MILES away from any adult to protect her kept me tossing and turning until I finally gave in and did that volunteer thing.

Like I have time.

So once or twice a week, I throw on my Sketchers and run down pain alley.

And then, my day job picked up. My usual one to two days a week turned into five because one of my coworkers got stuck in Florida, I’m behind authorly deadlines and now I’m running on fumes.

Can you hear me panting?

And now my feet say they need a break, so I’m thinking about pulling out my bicycle. Hmm. What does a mother do?

She does what all those facing a hurricane do. She says, “Lord, it’s all you now. Just you.”
And then I remember there’s no better place for my daughter to be, or thoughts of family and stranded co-workers facing a mighty storm, and for these feet that just won’t run any farther: In God’s hands.

His care and creativity surpass anything a volunteer can fix. He can calm a hurricane to a tropical storm, and he can run alongside all those little ones, miles from their nests.

Maybe he lets the storms strand us for a while so we can remember His capable hands again.

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