. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

Running Up Hills

I took a run the other day. A run. As in, I mostly ran the whole time, which I have only before really wanted to do. I ran because I know now that I can go farther than I think I can. That I can go farther than even the hardest I can push myself. Because I know now that running up a hill feels more doable than teaching my kids German, and I have to do that. So I ran the hill.

When we first heard about this opportunity, to live in Germany for a year, we thought we would homeschool our two kids. Well, we though I would homeschool them while my husband went to work everyday. Because my kids don’t speak German, and the thought of putting them in German school scared the poopy out of me. And them. Then we found out that homeschooling in Germany is illegal. Even the kind of homeschooling where they attend online academies. So we found an international school close to where we would live, one that teaches in English. But it only goes up to the grade below my oldest’s current grade-level. No can do. Still, the thought of putting them into a state school, where teaching German-as-a-second-language is not widely available, was not an option for us. That’s when we found the Montessori school. The one where the teachers speak English, and they start teaching it in 1st grade. The best fit for us.

But my kids will need to know German if they want to make friends, or watch a movie. Or order a pretzel at the bakery. So this summer, I teach them German. Yep. I. Because, although we have a tutor, two hours a week doesn’t cut it for the intense learning curve we have to turn. Here’s the catch – I really don’t know German, either. So we get kids magazines and come up with questions using google translate and play memory games for vocabulary words, and we continue to work through Rosetta Stone, and all of the sudden I am teaching my kids a language with which I am only barely familiar.

Running the hill was easier, I think.

I am learning that God’s strength is really the only kind that can get me up the hills. I started running up the hill because I wanted to know that strength that can only possibly come from Him. The living He offers every morning when I get up and first-thing ask Him to somehow speak life into my soul with His Word, is the only way I can really live while I’m here running hills and teaching kids to speak what I myself cannot.

And He keeps reminding me that those who fear Him lack nothing. He keeps whispering, as I run up the hills, that trusting Him is the key to this living. The key to this year. The key to running up this hill. He keeps pointing me back to the verse I found just before we left, the one I find myself clinging to time and time again.

He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.  (Isaiah 33:6)

So I run, and I look for the rich stores of the wisdom and the knowledge and the salvation for this living I know I want to do. I plan a German lesson for my kids, and I wonder what God was thinking when He moved us here with such little understanding of this German-speak. I start to think He might have overlooked this (rather large) detail when He plopped us here in the middle of these beautiful hills. And then I remember the key to the treasure of the rich stores.

The fear of God.

So I run some more, and I tell Him I trust Him, and I realize I fear Him more than I fear ordering a pretzel at the bakery. I fear following His way for me, the way I know He has laid out right before my eyes for now, more than I fear not knowing exactly how the German-speaking hairstylist will use those scissors on my long locks. I fear God and trust Him more than I fear the burning lungs at the top of that hill. And that, my friend, is when I find myself running up the hill.

14 Thoughts on “Running Up Hills

  1. Steve on July 20, 2012 at 5:59 am said:

    Thanks, Bria! May God grant you strength for the language hill!

  2. Bria, you are an inspiration to me! I am so proud of you and they way you are raising my grandchildren. Keep running up those hills, and He will bless you beyond belief.
    I love you, Dad.

  3. Diane on July 20, 2012 at 7:40 am said:

    Perfect words. I needed them this week, so thanks for the encouragement. Run on. I have learned through running that hills are where the endurance is built. Hills are the thing that increase lung capacity and therefore strength. Miss you and like your Dad, am super proud of you and your teachable heart!

  4. Angie on July 20, 2012 at 7:50 am said:

    Bria – God has given you a beautiful gift in your writing. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing this experience with us. Praying for you and heading out to run up my hill for the day.

  5. Linda Thompson on July 20, 2012 at 7:55 am said:

    A good honest blog this AM…hope this will encourage you.. parts of Heb 12:1.”.let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”.

    Hang in there..you are doing a great job with the girls and I am praying there will be special friends for ALL of you that will even speak English!!

    Love, MOM xxoo

  6. Oh, beautiful! I am teary and so thankful for you, dear friend!!! Psalm 121 comes to mind- “I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.”
    No mistake that He dropped you right into the middle of some beautiful hills. I LOVE that you are writing more!!! Perhaps this was part of His plan? To put you in a place where you HAVE to write?
    Love you!!!!

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