this isn't the best part...

I wrote this last Saturday and realized I never posted it. Oops! 

when you're running in a race, you typically have the finish line in your mind the whole time. But I would venture to guess that every so often, even during a race, your mind will wander. Maybe you run by a person who's shoes catch your eye, a bird in the sky, the far off distance, changing atmosphere and surroundings, etc.... If you're like me, then many things can and will distract you, even while running a competitive race. Tonight my mind was wandering {which was fine, since I was just driving in the car} and I began thinking over a few things. Transforming my thoughts into words can often times be difficult for me, so bear with me, please. 
I went out for a girl's night out tonight - moment to pause and reflect on how much fun I had with my girlfriends! - and we had a yummy dinner, followed by some time spent chatting, followed by going to the IMAX to see the new'ish movie Inception. It was just a super fun, relaxing evening out with some of my friends. Jason works on Saturdays and so I typically miss out on these events, but since my Mom is here visiting, she kindly offered to baby sit, so I could go {thank you, Mom!} 
On the way home I began thinking about the evening, thinking over the past week, looking forward to fun events we had planned in the week(end) following and just overall giving thanks to my Savior for the life He's blessed me with. I said a quick prayer out loud {because sometimes I just can't contain it all in} and as I ended, I heard myself say "I wouldn't trade this life for anything." and then it hit me.... "really, Stefanie? Really?? you wouldn't trade this life for anything???" Long, quiet pause while stopped at a red light. 



I guess, not anything

To be with Jesus for all of eternity? sure. 
To trade earthly riches, for riches in Glory? Of course. 
To hear "well done, thy good and faithful servant?" You bet! 

As I kept driving I kept thinking... "I could just shrug this off as me being a little too sensitive to my own comment in my own prayer." But I know myself well enough and I know how the Holy Spirit tends to get my attention. So I began to do what I sometimes hate doing - digging a little deeper
Am I running this race to get to the goal that Jesus has set before me? Do I run with patience and yet with the smell of sweet victory so close, I feel like I can touch it? Or am I planting such deep, emotional, sentimental roots here, that the thought of being ripped away actually terrifies me and I secretly hope it won't come for decade upon decade? And then I mull over the fact that its not a bad thing to enjoy the life God has given me. Its not a bad thing to NOT want to die tomorrow and leave our family's behind. Its not wrong to want to live long enough to see our children marry and give us grandchildren and to see more than just one generation rise up and bless their Creator. Certainly none of that is bad! But I think I was feeling guilty as I thought over this whole subject because I remembered how easily distracted I can become, as I'm running this race called life. I get side tracked first, into thinking its my race. Like, at the end my goal is to be an old lady, still married to the love of my life, puttering along together, enjoying our now large and still growing family, telling our great, great, grandchildren all about Jesus. That's a great goal to have, but it shouldn't be my end goal. Because life doesn't end there! 
I began realizing how often I become content - so content that I become complacent. So complacent, that I forget why I'm here. Saying things like "I'm just a stay-at-home-mom." and seeing a great opportunity to share the Gospel with a friend or stranger, but passing it by, thinking "I'll try again tomorrow." Really? Because... you've been promised tomorrow?! Its almost like sometimes I see this race as a race with more than one goal at the end; more than one prize. Like you can win gold or silver, but it doesn't really matter. 
God basically reminded me that though He's good enough to give us blessings even here on earth, He doesn't want me storing them up here. He doesn't want me putting all my hope in my family, or my marriage, or my children's future. He wants me to share His free Gospel and to love the way He loves and to serve the way He served - showing others what it is to "run this race with endurance... looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of God!" -Hebrews 12:1 
Its so easy to become distracted and to think the right now is all we get. But its not. If your hope is in Christ, your treasures are SO much more than this. Even in the best, most happiest time of your life - keep in mind Heaven is that much sweeter! And I really believe the trials we do face here, are just reminders for us to put our focus back on Eternity and to remember this isn't our last stop. I'm loving this life God has given me, but I love when I get those moments where I can say to Christ, "I cannot wait to be with You forever!" 

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Matt. 6:19-21

7 {comments}:

Melissa Joy said...


Stef said...

Hey Melissa, you may not be ON facebook, but you've got the general idea! :-)

Jessica said...

Great post!!

I have such mixed emotions when it comes to this. I sometimes react about what a burden it is to have this mind-set, how challenging to keep perspective, and remember not store up treasures here. But I'm forgetting about his amazing grace then. On the flip side, when I hear people talk about how much stuff they want to get, activities they want for their kids, & all that...I can tell I don't fit in with them either. All that becomes just as burdensome, if not more. Make much sense?! I guess it's just the natural friction we experience. I often think about this verse about simple living..

1 Thess 4:10b-12
But we exhort you, brothers, that you abound more and more; and that you make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, even as we instructed you; that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and may have need of nothing.

Stef said...

yes, Jess, that makes total sense. I also don't want to go completely wacko selling my things, never saving up money for the future and acting like having stuff and enjoying my family is wrong. God isn't a God of chaos and craziness :)

I think these things are taking on more weight with me, since getting married and having kids. I do love when the Holy Spirit really probes my heart like this!

Gina said...

This is a great post Stef and such a great reminder. Life extends so much further than we can see and though things here are importnant to take care of, they are by no means the end goal. And though sometimes it's easy to feel like some things can't go on (or go on well) without us, it's even better to remember that God is good, he loves us, he will provide, and his plan is always better than ours! :-)

The Thomas Family said...

I love Phil 3:12-14. This thinking is good. Thanks for sharing!

The Thomas Family said...

I love Phil 3:12-14. This thinking is good. Thanks for sharing!


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