I’m so blessed to live by the sea. Not only by the sea, but by one of the most beautiful beaches and coastlines in Europe! I never tire of seeing the view, even though I’ve lived here now for nearly four years. After my fourth child was born, back in 2014, I took up running as a cheap and easy way to get fit, and I never lack motivation to get out in the mornings knowing that this wonderful scenery is awaiting me just a mile away. OK, maybe if it’s pouring with rain, or freezing cold, then it is possible to lose a little motivation!
I used to always run with headphones. At first I was listening to music. Then I got into the wonderful world of podcasts, and enjoyed listening to one of more of those whilst pounding the promenade. (Wonderful multi-tasking: keeping fit, having some ‘me-time’, getting inspiration or listening to a sermon, and, in the summer, working on my tan, all at the same time!)
Recently I’ve started to leave the headphones at home on my shorter mid-week runs, and instead I’ve tried to use that time to pray. All mothers of small ones, especially home educating mothers of four or more, know that it’s really hard to find time to pray. And yet we know that we should be praying for our kids and our marriage, and it’s easy to feel guilty about that when there’s just too much going on at home. It’s all about giving ourselves grace and finding what works for us. For me, it looks like this might be a good solution, and I’m excited to see how it might deepen my prayer life and my relationship with God.
One of the reasons it works for me is that I often feel closer to God when I’m out in nature by myself. At 7am in the morning the beach is still pretty empty, other than a few dog walkers, the occasional early morning runner like me and a handful of lucky people who are able to commute to work by cycling along the promenade. Any later in the day and there are just too many distractions (which is where headphones come in handy). I know that I’m fortunate to have a husband who works from home and so enables me to leave the house with the kids in order to go for a run.
Anyway, I really encourage us all to keep pressing forward on our spiritual journey. Don’t settle for second best and miss out on what God might have to offer you. Keep reviewing your schedule and see where those gaps are and where those possibilities are to fit in special one-on-one times with the Creator of the universe. And do let me know if there are any other mother runners / prayer runners out there!