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Walking Side-by-Side

As many of you readers recall from past blogs, I used to be an avid runner. I loved it so much! After a cycle of health issues that occurred, I traded running for low-impact and slow-paced workouts. It took me months to grieve the form of exercise that consumed my life for so many years. But here I am, years later, using my fancy running shoes to take my daughter on walks around the neighborhood, and I LOVE it more than I ever loved running. 


On a walk with my husband and daughter.

When my husband accompanies our daily walk around the block, I almost always end up a few strides ahead of him. Even though I gave up running, I still get caught up in a fast-paced lifestyle, and I am the queen of the power walk! He will gently pull on my arm to slow me down, causing me to fall into a leisurely pace next to him. Somedays, I roll my eyes. But most days, I am grateful. When walking side-by-side, we are fully present with one another. 


Our usual walking route takes us through the cemetery and leads us to the Catholic church. The cemetery road is quiet and peaceful, and typically where I let my daughter get out of the stroller. What I consider mundane is her exciting childhood, so I allow her to explore. There have been days that I have stood in the same spot for 10 minutes while she ran from one edge of the road to the other, collecting leaves. Another day, she sat in the grass behind the church while two women walked past us multiple times. She often walks in the opposite direction from home or tries to push the stroller. But if there is no reason to get home, why rush? 


I would be lying if I said I was content with not rushing through the rest of our day. From the second I wake up, I am ready to ‘do something.’  My favorite hobby is multitasking. I often work to find rest instead of working from a place of rest. I tolerate chaos. I push myself until I am so exhausted that I can not be fully present with the people around me. Why do I rush?


Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)


Walking alongside Jesus

He does not tell us to come to Him after we complete a long list of chores. He desired to take our burdens and replace them with rest. He desires for us to live a peaceful lifestyle with a balance between work and play.  He desires a slow pace that allows us to be fully present, not only with the people we are with but with Jesus Himself, who walks alongside us every moment. 


My conviction for this week is to intentionally slow down throughout the day and call to mind that Jesus, our Living Lord is walking alongside me right then and there. When I feel overburdened with my to-do list, I will ask Jesus to replace it with rest. When I feel stressed or feel chaos begin to erupt, I will ask Jesus to replace it with peace.


Jesus never ran, so we don’t need to either. Jesus never rushed throughout His day, so we don’t need to either. 


Until next time, your sister in Christ,


Abby



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