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Blacktop Therapy

to run: to go steadily without restraint. how running helps pattern our minds to move forward in all ways in life. {grace uncommon}

So much of life is constrained. As wives, moms, caretakers, homemakers, income generators, volunteers and all around do-ers, we’ve got a lot on our plate. Expectations loom large and there’s just never enough time. So often we feel like we’re failing in any number of ways.

Just when one thing starts going well, another falls short. We think we’re catching up only to realize we’re lagging so far behind.

Kids aren’t behaving or potty training won’t train. Fighting, refereeing we feel like we’re losing control of our home. Marriages lack spontaneity and fun, feelings fade distant, and love feels thin. Teens test us, pushing the boundaries, and we desperately fight for resolve. Friendships fade because we can’t meet desires, we just don’t have enough time.

And suddenly we realize we’re trying to do it all. Too much. Life is messy and we have seasons of chaos. Times when our life is less about us and more about sacrifice. We give up self for our marriage, our kids, our career. Our dreams get pushed to the periphery, caught in the stolen moment, the midnight hour and the sunrise view.

It’s life. And it’s grace. Because in the most difficult times we realize where we stand. We find out who stands with us, and for us, even when we can’t meet their demand.

Our calendars aren’t slowing down, nor our days clearing up, and we realize that nothing can change but us. Our attitude. Our peace. Finding balance and grace and love over all, challenges our every day. Each day we fight for joy. To loosen where we can, and tighten where we must.

Because life never goes forward in a straight, even line. It’s messy and unruly and jagged and torn. And there is beauty in the broken. Much love in the mess. Because despite it all, and because of it all, it is ours. 

Feet on pavement, rhythm and timing. Dark and light and stillness and sound. Meditation in the silence carried on the breath of wind.

To run. To go steadily, without restraint.

People ask me what I think about during long miles and I never have a good answer. Because it’s anything and everything, and nothing at all. And sometimes all at the same time.

For me, running is therapy. It’s the time I move forward. I set my path and everything fades. In the moment it’s just me – the day that is given and my open hand to receive it. And though there are times when miles pass without thought, my soul is completely connected to God. Because to me, God and nature go hand in hand. I cannot see one without seeing the other. It’s where I found my faith. Running, being out on the street is where I feel the most free. Free from heartache, betrayal, deception, unforgiveness and pain.

I want to challenge you to set a goal for your body. So often we set goals for our life or career, we spend time in study and hope and pray for things to get better. But I firmly believe we have to move physically in order for our lives to move forward. Nothing works well when one area is failing. Find balance. Find peace. Walk. Run. Move. Steadily and without restraint.

It’s a practice, this life. Moving forward. Seeking peace. Giving grace.

Join me on the open road and practice, every step moving you forward. Find your pace. Find your strong. Nothing can change but us and, for me, it all starts here. On the street.


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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Kat March 2, 2014, 7:59 pm

    Even though I’m just a 15 year old girl, I found this to be so inspiring.
    I’ve recently started running, and I do feel a heart-lightening peace come from it. Thank you for this. Spoken like a true runner.
    #ARunner’sInnerPeace

    • Tammy March 3, 2014, 2:24 pm

      Oh gooood! Kat, I’m so glad you’re here. Keep running girl – to all that is good. Your faith, your dream, your vision for life. Encouraging you on.

  • Mary April 17, 2014, 10:10 pm

    I agree, the more life gives us the more we grow the more we draw near God. Road trips have been most helpful to me, again seeing God in all his glory. Feeling at peace while trusting God a safe journey to and fro.

    • Tammy April 19, 2014, 6:24 am

      I love that, Mary! We’re going to take our first family road trip this summer! I find God so clearly in nature too. Blessings!

  • Tracy Morris July 19, 2014, 4:47 pm

    Great blog! I always thought keeping my mind occupied when running would be the most difficult thing but oddly it isn’t…
    You’re right in that often our lives are so busy, it’s just nice to get out on the road and just be! I empty my mind of all the business and home stuff that’s buzzing around and I soak up the sights and sounds of nature all around me.
    It’s amazing what we miss when buzzing around in our cars. The birds in the trees, wind blowing around the butterflies, scuttling rabbits and I even saw a fox slinking through a gap in a hedgerow just couple of weeks ago!
    I feel truly blessed to have my health and be able to run 🙂

    • Tammy July 20, 2014, 5:06 am

      Isn’t that the truth Tracy. So thankful for a healthy able body. Keep running! xo

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