{Run wild, live free, love strong, You and Me}

This morning I got on the treadmill for a 30-minute run. But what you might not realize is how I’ve just recently got back into running- like as in two weeks ago. It was a love and passion of mine in college and as a newlywed (I even successfully ran a marathon!), but after having kids, my love for running kind of came to a stop. My friend Katie gave us her treadmill before moving and I finally dusted it off.

I’d made excuse after excuse to not get back into it:

  • I’m more overweight now from having four kids
  • It’s going to require a lot of work to get where I want to be
  • I don’t want to reinjure my knee
  • The first step is always the hardest. Ugh.

Not only that, I’ve feared failing, so I haven’t done anything except walk and exercise videos.

But you know what? All these excuses have done nothing but keep joy away from me. When I run, I feel the stress melting off me. I love running in warm weather and feeling the sun on my skin and sweat releasing. The release of endorphins puts me in a better mood. I love worshipping Jesus when I’m running and I always feel like I’m going somewhere. God gives me new ideas for writing and I love being in nature on the warmer days.

So why haven’t I been “all in”? It’s my fears. And that fear is paralyzing if I let it. It’s taken an opening of my eyes to see where I’ve been deceived. It’s taken just a few runs these last few weeks to remind me how much I love it. To remind me of what I’ve really been missing out on.

I really can move forward in faith. It’s possible. But I have to do my part.

Whether you love to run, sing, write, perform, teach, paint, lead, run a business- whatever it is that you love to do, you were created to find freedom and joy in those very things.

God is all for your joy, too. I hope you know that he loves when you take great delight in something that He’s given to steward. He is for your freedom.

As I was about 20 minutes into my run this morning, the song “Run Wild” by King & Country played on Amazon Music. The words “Run Wild, Live Free, Love Strong, You and Me” rang in my heart and mind as I put one foot forward in front of the other. After all, I was running! God was assuring me of his desire for me to live and run in freedom.

In the beautiful freedom of his love and grace. In the freedom of giving my body to him as an act of worship- scars, hurts, imperfections and all.

To run wild because he’s given me the body to do so. But not only that, to love strong in the process. To love my family well, my friends, those he desires for me to reach for his kingdom, those who aren’t easy to love, and more. To run the race of faith well and not give up.

I know I’m not alone in this journey of faith and life even if it feels that way sometimes. You aren’t either. I’m grateful we’re running this race of life together, aren’t you?

To every soul locked in a cage
In the prison of your past mistakes
No, there’s no time left to waste
Yeah, you can make your great escape
We’re made to run wild, run wild, run wild
We’re made to run wild, run wild, run wild
– King & Country

 

Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mom to 4. She is the author of  Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her writing appears regularly on Her View From Home, TODAY Parenting, and For the Family. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

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When the dreams for your life don’t happen

This particular summer after my senior year of college, I interned in Nashville at a highly respected publishing company. I was also enjoying the amenities and excitement of music city and meeting famous musicians. God was giving me more opportunities as a Christian writer and I was making plans to settle in and stay a while.

During the last two weeks of my internship, the word seminary and getting my master’s degree kept coming to mind. I told my sister, brother-in-law, and parents about the idea and received nothing but affirmation to pursue further education. It began making sense.

Immediately, I applied and even received a scholarship. All the necessary details came together and before I knew it, I was driving back to the rolling hills of Virginia awaiting a new apartment and roommate, approaching my first week of seminary classes.

God had completely altered my perfectly laid out plans. He intervened at a critical part of my life and career as a single woman and unbeknownst to me, he had even more in mind than simply a master’s degree.

Taking a Risk of Faith?

It’s often in these crossroads in our lives that we want to wrestle with God and test him even more, isn’t it? It’s like we know he’s up to something but we’re just not sure we want to believe. We think:

Do you really know what you’re doing Lord? Are you serious? You want me to do what? Ugh. This is not what I had in mind. I’m a little scared. Will you really walk with me through this?

Often, these landmarks come when we’re comfortable too. We’d rather stay complacent and not step out in faith. It feels good to not have to risk anything or rely on anyone greater than ourselves. It’s easier to dig our heels in the ground and ignore those constant nudges in our heart.

But when God changes our course, it teaches us invaluable lessons and experiences:

–    To trust the One who knows us best down to the very strands of hair on our head

–    That we’re not in control of our lives even when we think so

–    To remember there’s a bigger story going on- bigger than ourselves

–    To anticipate the good gifts He desires to give us

–    That it’s okay to pursue something different if it makes us grow and change for the better

–    To depend and lean on the Lord for each step of the way

–    To position us in the best place possible for his glory and the good of others

–    To bring new people and circumstances into our lives to mold us more like Christ

Within weeks of arriving on campus, my good friend Bonnie kept telling me I needed to meet her friend and neighbor Jeremiah who was also in seminary and happened to be in two of my classes. What’s funny is I did not(I repeat not) want to meet or date any guys in seminary. I didn’t want anyone thinking I was just there to find a husband and receive my “MRS” degree. There were very few women in seminary then.

A God who is in all your details

I brushed Bonnie off multiple times until one day, Jeremiah and I bumped into each other after class. He invited me to lunch and from that point on, we were inseparable. One year later, we married in the town we met and made a promise before God to love one another for life among all our family and friends.

I’m so thankful the Lord intervened in those post-college days. If I didn’t leave Nashville, my life would’ve looked completely different. I would’ve missed the blessing of studying more about God, making new friends, serving in a new ministry to college women, and meeting the man who is now my husband of 13 years.

If you’re in a season of “redirection,” I know it’s tempting to doubt, question, and sense a loss of control. As a toddler, I know the feeling of wanting God’s answers “now!” But remember that your Savior is in all the details still. He is sovereign over your life decisions and cares about the concerns on your heart right now. He has something good in mind when plans don’t go your way.

Trust his hand even when you can’t see the road ahead.

 

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;

    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;

    he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Don’t assume that you know it all.

    Run to God! Run from evil!

Your body will glow with health,

    your very bones will vibrate with life!

Honor God with everything you own;

    give him the first and the best.

Your barns will burst,

    your wine vats will brim over.

But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;

    don’t sulk under his loving correction.

It’s the child he loves that God corrects;

    a father’s delight is behind all this.

–    Proverbs 3:5-12, MSG

 

** This article first appeared on TheCourage.com 

Dear Son: Will You Please Stay 5 Forever?

Last night, we cuddled under your dream tent and read Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. As I read you squeezed my arm and said, “I love you, Mama” with your double-dimpled smile.

“I love you, too, Will. I want you to stay this age forever.”

“But I won’t,” you said so matter-of-factly.

And my heart ached a bit—tracing back to when your big brother was five and he’s now 10 years old strutting double digits, glasses, and a shoe size the same as mine. My eyes grew watery thinking about how fast time has gone with you and your siblings. And how you only have a few months left of morning preschool with Mrs. Brenda and Mrs. Ashley. In the fall, you’ll be heading out the door with a backpack and lunch sack just like your brother and sisters…

 

** Continue Reading my article this month over on Her View From Home.

 

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