A Time Out for Mommy

My lungs are burning, I thought.  Whether from cold or effort I don’t know. 

That was the first real thought of what might have been a hundred during my first mile.

It’s been too long since my last run… especially since I’m pushing this double stroller.

Why didn’t I pack tissues?! There was room in the stroller for goodness sake!

If my fingertips are this numb, how are my kids doing? Why didn’t I make them wear gloves? Worst mom ever!

Gosh, I have to pee. I know. Pregnant with my third kid and I have to pee. Big surprise.

How many times is EK gonna drop that blanket? I’m never going to make it for three miles if I’m stopping every ten feet.

This is just a sampling of how my mind rambles while I’m running. It’s extremely silly sometimes, how my mind will come up with anything to think about besides the work it’s doing. And the truth was that even though it had been awhile since my last run, I wasn’t even working that hard. What was hard was the cold, my runny nose, and the fact that I always have to go to the bathroom.

But I needed the time out. Time outdoors. Time out in the sunshine (which has been hit or miss these days). Time out for my kiddos – not like a punishment, but a total removal from their current situation (sitting inside, toddling along after me, asking to be picked up). Time out of my normal laundry-dishes-picking-up routine. Time out from my “feed the kids, change a diaper, clean, repeat” routine. A mama can only put together 2732 puzzles before she needs a time out.

And y’all, when I tell you I need a time out, I’m serious. I get frustrated easily. Call it hormones, call it a generational curse, call it whatever you want. But I do. I work on it all day, every day. I pray about it. I have others pray with me about it. But I’m human, and I lose patience and lose resolve. So when I need to get rid of some frustration, I like going on a run. Winter is the worst, because my time out can’t happen if it’s below about 45 degrees (yes, I’m a weenie and I hate the cold). But when it’s 45 or above, my double jogging stroller is my best friend, who understands my venting and my struggles. Okay, fine. “Understands” is a stretch, but you get the idea. At least the stroller doesn’t struggle back.

Sometimes, I’m in need of more than just a run. I’m in need of a run to Jesus. I pray harder every mile. I pray for myself, I pray for my kids, my Hubby, my friends, my family. I pray for grace as a mama. I pray for patience and a clean heart. I pray that the 25 minute nap that J got in the stroller will last him till bedtime. I pray that I won’t collapse going up the last hill before I’m home. I pray because I need Jesus so much. I know that he’s the only one who truly understands, and can cleanse me and mold me into a more perfect woman in his sight.

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