I'm so sorry to leave you all hanging after my life changing blog about shampoo and conditioner. I know that you have been waiting in strained anticipation to read the next installment of Cleanliness is Next to Godliness, but I am afraid I am going to have to disappoint you and talk about something else (Shampoo Update: I have been doing really well with my shampoo/conditioner conservation plan. I have even dabbled a bit in using only one body wash at a time. I guess a tiger really can change it's stripes!)
A few weeks ago I took a little bit of a vaca/long weekend and went back to WV to chill with the McNemar clan (pronounced Mick-Nee-Mer.....or Mac-Neh-Mara, if you are a telemarketer). I haven't taken a "real" vacation (you know...one that involves a beach, overpriced souvenirs, large amounts of debt, and jet lag) in over two years; but to me there is really nothing better than sitting out by the river with my family. You can see stars, hear crickets, AND say things like this: "MOM, can you bring me a diet coke?" (and I don't even have to tip her).
At one point during the weekend there was a whopping 10 McNemars under one roof. The suggested number of McNemars per household is 4, but because the house had such high ceilings we thought we would take a risk. If you want a McNemar stampede all you have to do is utter the following words (not necessarily in this order): ice cream cake, river, relax, Sharon McNemar's famous spicy scalloped potatoes, party, relax, free food of any kind, buffalo chicken dip, relax, Randy McNemar's famous steaks or hot dogs (basically anything that can be grilled), sleep, AND relax. If you haven't already noticed, there is a theme here. Let me break it down for you; the McNemar's love to eat, relax, and sleep (sleep is a deeper form of relaxing, but for emphasis I decided to list them both). We do other things like work and such, but if you want to see us doing what we were made to do....just pop on over to my parent's place and watch us in our natural habitat.
I wanted to list a few highlights of my time spent in my hometown of Buckhannon, WV.
1) This conversation:
Me: Mom, you never let Dad make any decisions.
My mom walks over to my dad and starts rubbing his back.
Mom: Raaandy (in a sweet voice), Katie thinks I don't let you make decisions. Is that true?
Dad: Sure, you do. You let me decide to ask you to make all the decisions. What's for dinner?
My mom smiles at me slyly and walks away.
2) Playing "Where's Kylie?" with my cousin Heather's little girl. And where was Kylie????? Kylie...was everywhere. Kylie is just over a year old and is completely adorable...I could just put her in my pocket. She fell asleep on the living room floor between Heather and I as we were having a slumber party. Things I learned that night: Kylie loves going through purses and playing with lip gloss, Kylie loves to do things she knows she's not supposed to do, and Kylie doesn't like to go to sleep because she is afraid she is going to miss something important.....so, basically... I learned that Kylie and I are the same.
3) A conversation I heard at 8:30am Friday morning at The Daily Grind between three septuagenarian Buckhannonites while they had coffee and read The Record Delta (the awesome local newspaper: http://www.therecorddelta.com/v2_main_page.php big ups to Brian Bergstrom and Katie Kuba!!)
Old Man #1 wearing a members only jacket: Why can't everyone just leave Lady Gaga alone?
Old Lady with standard grandma hair cut: I know! What's all the fuss about?
Old Man #2 wearing knee socks and orthopedic shoes: The kids like her music, that's for sure. My granddaughter is dancing to one of her songs for cheerleading. I don't see anything wrong with it.
Old Lady with standard grandma hair cut: Well, those cheerleaders practically wear nothing but their underwear these days, so that makes sense to me!
They all start laughing.
I am sitting at the neighboring table with my jaw hanging open hating myself for not having a video camera.
Now that we have all of that nonsense out of the way...on with the show....
I was walking to work this morning thinking about patience. I realized that even though I am much more patient that I have ever been....I am still really impatient when it comes to certain things in my life. For example, after almost 4 months I am just now able to really run again after hurting myself in my half marathon. It's been really hard having to wait and take the time that I needed in order to heal properly. It drove me completely crazy to not be in control. And once I did heal, I wanted to get back to running 6 or 7 miles at a time, but I couldn't. The doc told me that even though I feel like I can keep on running....I need to start off at one mile and very slowly build back up to longer distances over a six month period. He told me that the reason I got injured to begin with was because I increased my run too quickly. He said that three months of training is not enough to build the appropriate amount of muscle strength in order to sustain for 13.1 miles. To me, three months seemed like a reasonable amount of time to train for a half marathon...even though I have never run a race before in my life and had never run more than 4 miles before. (I should also mention that along with being impatient I am also prone to stubbornness.) But this smarty pants doctor guy thought just because he went to school to study such things that he knew better than me and advised that someone take at least six months and ideally an entire YEAR to train for their first half marathon. I figured that I would be sore after the half marathon, but I never planned on taking this much time off. And the reason that it has taken me so long to heal is because I ran after the half marathon even though I knew I was injured and that it was too soon. I knew I was further injuring myself, but I didn't want to stop. Running is good for you....why stop? When something is good for you, why would you have to stop? This was just another lesson to me about why God should be left in the drivers seat. I need to be willing to take things slowly as I begin running again so that I don't hurt myself. Thankfully, I am learning to pace myself. Over the last few years, I have learned to run my own race, at my own speed, and remember that taking time to heal and built strength is a very important part of living a healthy, joyful, and peaceful life. When I think of patience I always think about how Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead after four days of being buried in a tomb. Mary and Martha, Lazarus' sisters, thought that Jesus had taken too long to come after they had sent word that Lazarus was ill. They had seen Jesus perform miraculous healings for complete strangers, so it makes sense that they would assume that He would heal his close friend Lazarus as soon as He could. I understand how they felt because that is how I feel about things in my life sometimes. I can't imagine why Jesus wouldn't immediately answer my prayer....especially when it is a really holy and godly one. : ) But Jesus did raise Lazarus from the dead and by doing so showed just how awesome and powerful God is. He could have healed Lazarus from wherever He was, but He waited until He came to Bethany so that people could witness that Jesus is God. I also think back to Moses and Aaron when they were trying to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. God gave Moses and Aaron the ability to perform miracles in front of Pharaoh in order to show God's power, but God continued to harden Pharaoh's heart no matter how amazing the miracles were nor no matter how bad the plagues were. Why did God do that? Why did Jesus wait to raise Lazarus and why did God have to show multiple miracles and bring multiple plagues to Egypt before finally bring the deliverance He promised? It is so that God's power, glory, and sovereignty could shine. God's promises don't diminish as time passes. It is in the waiting that we are able to fully appreciate and experience God's hand in our lives. Learning to rest, wait, and heal has been a hard lesson for me. In the fast paced world we live in today, resting is seen as a weakness. God continues to show me that not only is rest good for my body and soul, but that it is essential to building my relationship with Him (and others for that matter). It is during times of rest that I am able to hear His still small voice and just bask in the knowledge that He is in control.