A friend is beginning a new Bible study. She said she is planning on the study to step on her toes and make her run to Jesus. Well that’s novel. It strikes me as novel anyway because I don’t typically enter into things looking for a race with injured toes.

I don’t hope for my toes to be stepped on. I like for things to feel good to me, not too easy and not super challenging (because what is fun about that?). I am not one to look for a race. I would rather cheer someone else on than actually be putting forth the effort to run. I want ease. I value ease. I am all about a great short cut. And pretty toes with an intact ego to match.

I want ease in parenting, in marriage, in friendship and in writing. I want to find what I want as simply as possible in the grocery store and I would really like it if dinner made itself. “Why is nothing simple?!” is my constant refrain and so to seek out a race, to seek out something that might challenge my status quo is the opposite of what I want.

At least one part of me.

There’s another part of me that is tired of the spot I am in. There’s a part of me that yells, “Just grow already!”. There are ideas in my head and they are disgusted by my manicured toes and my spot as a spectator. There is a little bit of Bethany who is weary of feeling winded at the slightest exertion, weary of sore muscles after the smallest bit of heavy lifting. It’s time to get stronger. There is a pull, a tug to pursue more, to challenge myself in ways I’ve not been challenged before.

What will I choose? What do you choose? If you see me limping – this is progress. If you hear me say, “I don’t know,” it means I am seeking answers to questions I thought I already had answered. If I see you striving for your best you, I will call that out and send lots of encouragement your way, (it may include banners, a megaphone and a cheer…or perhaps just a note and some chocolate). If you see me lacing up my sneakers, please play some great music, say a prayer and offer to run with me for a bit.

I can grow with good company. I can do hard things with friends encouraging me along the way. Thanks friend for being brave and hoping for a race and a challenge that includes sore toes. Thanks for the invitation to join you.

We can be this for each other.

Cheerleaders who drop off chocolate.

Encouragers who encourage by stepping into their own brave.

Sisters who drop a ‘keep up the good work’ note in the mail.

Friends who sit at a coffee shop and walk through tough things together.

We can do this. We can become all that we are meant to be. The joy is that we get to do this together.