Running Towards a Common Goal

I can’t believe I’m only three weeks away from my half-marathon. I really need to get another long run in this week – as in 10 miles. I didn’t run while we were in New York nor this past weekend, and now my deadline is creeping up on me. My longest run has been 8 miles during training the past few months. There will be an extra 5.1 added to that on race day. Girlfriends, please pray I can run the whole thing before they end the race and kick me off the road.

I was asking myself again why I’m doing this (as I strained my muscles into obedience while jogging up a hill last week). God reminded me that I didn’t set out with the goal to run the half-marathon. I set out with the goal to do something my husband really wanted me to do with him. I wasn’t sure I could even run 2 miles, much less 5 and then 8 and now 13. But all JJ wanted me to do was try because he wanted us to have something to do together – other than laundry, kids, bills and school projects – with a little romance thrown in once and a while!

We used to run together when we first got married but stopped once we had kids. Although it’s been hard and taken LOTS of time out of my days that I didn’t really have, it’s been worth it because we’ve grown so much closer. We’ve spent much more time together the past several months than we had in a while. All because we had a common purpose – a goal we were running towards together.

Even on days like I described in yesterday’s post, when our relationship is a bit tense, we have a reason to put that aside because it’s time to run. We measured a new running course Sunday night near our house while we were still in the midst of processing our honor/dishonor issues. I was grateful we had something to pull our hearts and pride out of that yucky place.

Do you and your husband have a goal that you are running toward together? It doesn’t have to be a half-marathon! Maybe it is spending 15 minutes a day just talking, or going for a walk. It could be renting a movie and laughing together once a month. Maybe it’s getting a budget so you start drinking instant coffee at home and now have a reason to sit down in the morning. Or maybe it’s learning to dance or joining a bowling team.

I’d love to hear how you, or someone you know, have come up with a common goal to run towards with your man. Or is there something you want to do that will bring you together? We could all start praying with you for it! If you are not married, what is your picture of together time with the man of your dreams?

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Digging for Pearls says:

    My hubbie and I have been faced with a multitude of struggles lately, but we really are trying to make a point of working and supporting each other instead of tearing apart which is the normal response when faced with difficulties – to draw into your own problems and ignore your spouse. We also have tried to get together with friends, watch movies that make us laugh, to find joy in the every day routines….

    Praying for you as you work on this goal with your husband.

    Blessings,
    Pearls

  2. I’m glad you explained why you’re doing the half-marathon. At least you’re torturing yourself for a good reason!

    And thanks for the reminder to be intentional about investing in our relationship. The past few months have been focused on weathering storms outside that we’re not sure are over yet. Supporting one another has brought us closer, but it would definitely be a good idea to consciously choose something that will build our relationships. Setting aside some computer/TV-free time in the evening might be a good place to start…

  3. Laurie Ann says:

    Steve and I are in crisis mode working together on resolving some financial crises that have hit us hard in the last few days. Would you believe that out of 3 vehicles, only 1 is running? It's not so much of a challenge because we work within a block of each other so we ride to work every day together; however, because he worries about $$$ I'm trying to take a load off him by not spending money frivously. As an avid reader, my addiction jones is beginning to show.

    In our marriage, we are working on spending more time together. You'd think with an empty nest this would be an easy task. It's not. But we are committing to spending time talking each night. Also, I'm learning not to yawn through old John Wayne war movies, and he's learning not to make dis the smart aleck remarks my guys on Law & Order make, LOL!

  4. Lysa TerKeurst says:

    Hi Friend…

    I have 3 words for you…

    GREAT RADIO SHOW!

    This would also make a good devo… just FYI.

    Thanks for your sweet marriage encouragement to us all.

    Love you friend!

  5. Renee, this is such great encouragement. Several years ago I started down-hill skiing as my husband is an avid skier. Unfortunately, after a couple of winters of really trying to enjoy skiing, I admitted defeat. My son now skies with his Dad and they have a lot of wonderful father/son outings each year.

    So, next I took up golf! I took lessons and actually enjoyed it. (As you can see, my husband is a 'sports guy'.) To this day we've only golfed together a couple of times. See, he is VERY competitive and a perfectionist. Instead of enjoying the time together, he tends to want to correct every swing, comment on every drive etc… and I usually just end up frustrated and wondering why on earth I WANTED to do this :o) !!!!

    Anyway, your post has stirred my heart again to try and find something we can enjoy together. Our son will be off to University in another year and a half, and I am concerned about how that will change the dynamics in our home. My husband and I tend to be two people co-existing in the same home, but not really connecting with one another. Praying the Lord will show me something else that I can work on so that we can enjoy being together.

    Praying for you as you continue to prepare for your race. You're sweet heart and motivation of love makes you already a winner my friend.

    Love & prayers,
    Joy

  6. I have nothing but sheer admiration for all of you girls that can run miles. I’m doing good to run to the mailbox and back!

    My husband runs, but he’s been doing it so long that I would be a hindrance to him and not a help if we tried to team up on that. We do sometimes go together to the local high school track and I walk while he runs. Not exactly the same though.

    What we are working toward together is getting completely out of debt. We were out of debt except for the house and then came my daughter’s braces. We are still at it though and hope to be debt free, house and all, in the near future.

  7. Elizabeth M Thompson says:

    My man and I have decided to join Toastmasters together. His role at work is requiring more and more public speaking and my shy guy wants to develop and project more confidence.

  8. On hubby’s off days we put goody bags together for children in hospitals. Doing this together helps us bond and gives us that alone time that we so desire.

    I wish you blessings with your half – marathon!

  9. Renee
    Unfortunately with 3 young children ages 4,3 and 2.. it is VERY tough to find anytime to be together.
    And with my husbands job, he is really tired at night.. so when the kids go to bed.. he goes in/takes a nap.. (he also has diabetes which makes him tired).
    So by the time he gets up I a stay up for a bit but am ready for sleep.
    We have no babysitter as we cannot afford it financially.
    I would love to have more US time.

    Any suggestions??

    Chrissy Gunning

  10. Tabby @ ♥I Choose Bliss♥ says:

    On hubby’s off days we put goody bags together for children in hospitals. Doing this together helps us bond and gives us that alone time that we so desire.

    I wish you blessings with your half – marathon!

  11. awcamp@bellsouth.net says:

    I’m trying not to simply dismiss my husband when he brings up sports or other topics in which I have zero interest. I’ve done this for so long that I’ve left some deep wounds, so I would appreciate your prayers. I’ll be joining him for a basketball game soon…
    For Chrissy, I remember those years and they are not easy. This season of life feels all consuming, at times. But it is a season. Do you know any homeschool families with older daughters that might be willing to babysit? I will pray for you.
    Renee, thanks for sharing details of your running half-marathon. It’s amazing how much it connects to marriage. Blessings.

  12. Lelia Chealey says:

    Praying together. We don’t do that on a regular basis. I’m doing LOVE DARE right now…the book in Fireproof. Tough tough stuff, but so good!
    We also want to set some financial goals.
    Today we just talked that we need to make Christ a bigger priority in our marriage. He so often gets pushed aside which is so ironic cuz He is Who we need the most. We always call on Him, I just want to do that FIRST not later.
    Great challenging post Renee!

  13. My husband and I have had opposite schedules pretty much since our daughter was born and we lost our jobs within a two month period a year and a half ago. Recently I joined an online community to help lose weight. John kept talking about it, but never got off the couch. So, recently we came up with our own competition and goals to reach by Christmas. We are helping and encouraging one another as we strive to reach those goals. We have also started doing a Bible study together twice a week. It’s taken us a while, but we are finally seeing ways we can spend time together and things to do besides watch TV.

  14. My husband and I have had opposite schedules pretty much since our daughter was born and we lost our jobs within a two month period a year and a half ago. Recently I joined an online community to help lose weight. John kept talking about it, but never got off the couch. So, recently we came up with our own competition and goals to reach by Christmas. We are helping and encouraging one another as we strive to reach those goals. We have also started doing a Bible study together twice a week. It’s taken us a while, but we are finally seeing ways we can spend time together and things to do besides watch TV.

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