Earthly Kingdoms

The week of spring break did not include a peaceful, relaxing vacation, on a warm tropical island, in which I was lying on the beach, soaking up the sun, sipping a cool drink, and reading a good book.  Instead, it included a house full of my children and their friends and cousins. (I like to refer to my nieces and nephews and the neighbor kids as my “donated” or “adopted” children.  They are always over and I often feel as if I have six or seven children instead of only four!). So, needless to say, this week included many, many sleepovers, late nights with wild children, and an empty linen closet.

Why an empty linen closet? Because every single blanket, sheet, comforter, and pillow case were used by pre-teen engineers to convert the basement into a secret hideout, in which each boy had to pass a series of obstacles in order to be initiated. This became their living and sleeping quarters for the next few days. Obviously, my girls and I were not “allowed” in the basement and felt a bit left-out. After all, every good palace needs a queen and an elegant princess or two. We were tempted to storm the castle but decided the boys would be better off left alone.

And now, that the week is almost over the walls and windows (aka blankets, sheets, and pillow cases) are starting to cave in and the once brilliantly constructed fort is becoming a piece of dilapadaited old news.  Once what was so important and protected is left forgotten and scattered in ruins.

Today, it occurred to me how often I do the same with so many different aspects of my life. How often do I get something that I wanted or needed so badly only to find it buried underneath a pile of junk a few weeks later? How many times have I let a relationship or friendship run dry because I was too selfish to nurture it? It becomes pretty easy to take my, God-given, gifts and talents for granted. It seems that certain talents can become so second nature and so simple to execute that they become stale and boring, or it seems I leave them to become un-important and forgotten. I hope that from this day forward, when I look at the “majestic buildings” in my life, I don’t leave them to become broken down old structures.  Instead, only with God’s help, may they develop into something more beautiful and perfect as time passes.

On a lighter note, despite a busy week with my kids, this was my first week of training with my new coach, Carla Hastert.  It went really well.  I’m building up my miles and I’m finally back on the track doing speedwork. I have a more intense workout today and I’m thinking of running a 5k tomorrow strictly as a good, hard training run.

Lastly, the riddle of the week…I came home from one of my runs this week and showed my kids my bleeding, bruised elbow and asked them, “How do you think Mom hurt her elbow while running, without falling down!?”  Now this takes talent!  If you don’t know this already, you’re sure to find out that I tend to be a very accident prone individual. More about that later…car accidents, broken lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners, tripping into waitresses while they’re carrying a tray full of drinks, falling down on non-slippery surfaces, etc. etc.

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