The last few weeks I have been pondering a lot about the idea of training. I have thought about the training of the body, the training of the mind, and even the training of a child.
When I found out that we were having our eighth child, I knew myself very well in that, although I would have loved to have a painless (for the most part) birth, I would inevitably opt for another natural one. Our seventh (Maleah) was our first home-birth, and the longest labor of all. It was also painful. I began to lose control and panic at the end.
I knew with the birth of our eighth child I didn’t want that, so I read a book and decided to take the doctor/author up on his idea of training my body for birth. Much like a person would train for a marathon before actually running one, a woman has the opportunity to train herself for her big day as well. I began to train physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
The results? I barely made it to the place where I gave birth. From start to finish (the first moment I thought I may be having a real contraction) was about 2 and ½ hours. I was able to stay calm and relaxed. There was one moment that I wasn’t sure if I could do it. God used Keith to speak sweet reassurance, and immediately after that it was time to push. I would have given birth with one push if they would have let me!! But, I submitted and waited until the second contraction to push our little Mercy into the world. It was the less painful of any of our natural births by far.
You are wondering why I am telling you this, aren’t you? Well, recently I decided to begin to not only add regular cardio type exercise into my life, I wanted to begin to train again in such a way that I built strength. 5 days out of the week, my older girls and I walk/jog for 30 minutes and then do 10-15 minutes of Pilates a day. Every day working on a different part of the body. Sounds easy? I felt like throwing up during the first few days!! They make it look so easy. Now in week three I am no longer feeling sick, but a little stronger. It is still very hard, but we are not giving up and it feels great!
As I thought about these two areas of training, I realized the importance of training up our children at a whole new level! As we were praying together and reading scripture yesterday morning, we were asking God to give Keith wisdom with his scheduling. We asked that He would grant him joy and peace in the midst of stressful times. We prayed that Keith would be able to relax and find rest in the Lord. I looked over at my boys (7 and 5 years old) who know so very little about the commitment of a schedule, the stress of life, the responsibility of providing and caring for a family, and my heart went out to them.
I found myself wanting to bring them over and coddle them. No, I don’t want them to grow up. Life is hard. A blessing no doubt, but still so very hard. Will their wife support them and lift them to the Lord? Will she be a proper help meet to lift their arms when they get heavy? I don’t know. What I do know, is right now, it is my responsibility along with Keith, to train them up to be men who can lead, love, and live righteously.
Every day, taking the necessary steps. Every day, pushing through. Not giving up. Not giving in. Not giving out. Even when we feel we are going to hurl. Even when we are discouraged. We will sweat, we will tire, we will fall down, but we will get back up! And, by God’s grace raise up a man. A man of God.
Training = No pain. No gain.
God help us. Without You, we can do nothing.