Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What do Running Shoes and Caregiving Have in Common?


This weekend was the annual Oklahoma Brain Tumor Foundation Race for Hope. They do the races each year to raise money for OKBTF, a foundation that offers help to families who are dealing with a member who has a brain tumor. Some of my family has done it several times but this year was the first year we got together and formed a team for my sister, Tina, who has a brain tumor. It's non-cancerous and not growing, but she had a shunt put in back in 2008 that has to be maintained or the tumor blocks the fluid from draining properly from her brain. The sitter couldn't sit with Chris so I took him with me and my son-in-law sat with him while the rest of us did the races. For some reason, my newest great-niece enjoyed talking to Chris, even though he didn't talk to her. They had a great silent conversation!

So, as a runner I am always thinking about running shoes. When I started running, I didn't know there were special shoes for running, I just wore what I had. Now I understand there are actually four different types of running shoes. After I run between 400 and 600 miles, depending on the shoes, they need to be replaced. Each runner has their preference as far as shoes go and some runners use different types of shoes based on what type of run they are doing. For me - I go for cushion. I need the extra padding so my feet don't hurt.

To have the best run and take the best care of your feet, each runner selects the type of shoe needed for the types of running they do. For instance:


  • Endurance  shoes are for runners who log tons of miles. These guys may run 100 miles or so every week. (unbelievable!)
  • Speed shoes are designed to be lightweight so they don't weigh down the runner who is trying to go faster and faster.
  • Cushion is for those of us runners whose feet hurt, especially on longer runs. They also help provide some cushion for those old knees.
  • Stability shoes are designed to offer support for those who have fallen arches or awkward cadences when they run.
As I was thinking about getting new running shoes this morning I thought about these four types and realized as caregivers we need all four. Now, of course they can't make one shoe that meets all these needs for all the different runners. Each caregiver has their own set of needs too. The difference for us is that we need all four of these. We have to be able to endure day after day of endless tasks that have to be done for our loved ones, endurance. It doesn't take us long to figure out how to be efficient with our responsibilities so we can get more done in less time, speed. On any given day, we need the comfort of Holy Spirit to soothe our souls, cushion. And we need His strength to help keep us keeping on without faltering, stability.

Runners have to choose which type of shoe they want to use for each run, or race. But for caregivers - we really need all four of these every single day; or at least I do! I really wanted to find one scripture where all four of these were promised - maybe you can think of one - but I couldn't. But there is always Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. 

I guess the thing is, no matter what we need today - whether it is one of these four key areas or something else, He is that. He can pour His strength in us so we can endure this day. He gives strength to the weary (Isaiah 40:39). He provides us with comfort when our souls need a little bit more cushioning. (Isaiah 61:2) He is our rock, our sure foundation - the One who holds us up when the journey gets rough. (Psalm 18:2) He is always on time, even if it feels like He's not! (2 Peter 3:9)

Basically, He is. Maybe this is what He was communicating to Moses when He said I Am. He just is. Whatever we need today - He is. He's our all in all - everything all wrapped up in one. Comfort, peace, help, strength, endurance, security, stability, etc. You name what you need and He's got it. He is it. He can provide it.

Today, I will trust Him for everything I need. Personally, that's endurance right now. But you know how caregiving goes - that might change at any given second. But no matter what, I'll continue to trust Him to be that. Whatever that is at any point in my day. My meditation will be on how He is here and He's a now  God. He is the I Am. I'll turn my thoughts to His beyond-abilities. He can do beyond what we can think of, He can do beyond what we can imagine. So I will just let Him be God in my life today. I'll be still.. and just know He is God. And I will trust Him for one more day - will you join me?

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