Half or Whole?

A few short months ago I had big lofty goals and dreams.  I thought I was invincible; that I was the epitome of my ‘once upon a time’ athletic self.  In these few short months I’ve realized that not only am I again athletic, just not with the same prowess I once had, but I’m also realistic.  I’m realistic to the point of knowing when I need to bow out of the fight, to take a knee, to walk away.

All that being said, I’ve decided that a full marathon is not going to happen for me this year.  I’m not injured, but my time with my children is.  I am spending too much time away from them, trying for what has become a selfish goal.  They are all in a season of life where I NEED to be present, as much for them as for me.

jen hatmaker quote time with children

And to be honest, I’m okay with all of this.  I know what my body is capable of at 39 years old.  I know that, moving forward, if I want to run a 5k or a 10k, I can.  I know that I am in shape (finally!).  I also know that my daughter is facing her senior year of high school, and college applications, and the end of this season in her life.  My son is entering high school, beginning a new season in his life.  My other son is entering 7th grade (and that’s middle school and, well, you remember middle school – so very much AWKWARD).  These are tough years for my babies.  I am their mother first and intend to be present for everything they need me to be present at…even if that presence is just to snuggle on the couch and complain about the pressure of college applications or to play catch in the yard with a football or even just to make dinner together.  Soon enough, they won’t be needing me in quite the same ways.

time with children

I know what you’re thinking…’you need to do things for you.’  I hear you.  However, I can still do things for myself without feeling like it consumes every spare moment I have.  In about 15 months, one of my children will be, most likely, going AWAY to college (which sucks, by the way).  I do not have any regrets about this decision, not one.  I do apologize to those of you who have invested in my lofty idea to try this.  But, I’m not really sorry.  I know this is the right thing.

For the next 6 weeks, my life will be (relatively) consumed by training for my first ever ½ marathon (taking a few moments here and there to celebrate some birthday’s and other life moments and milestones).  I’m not a fast runner (like, not even a little), but I have decent endurance which will help me to finish the race and be proud of myself…even if it takes me 3 hours.  After that, I intend to be fully and completely present for my children, my husband, and myself.

And today, I went shopping with my daughter instead of running.  I don’t even like shopping, but I know it was the right decision.  She got stuff and I got time.  Win-win.





…we’re tired, grumpy, cranky, exhausted, and just want to be left alone.

…our children aren’t perfect and will misbehave.

…spouses will argue and disagree.

…our houses are a mess.

…we say “yes” when we should say “no”

…being joyful is hard – really really hard.

…we’re wrong (I rarely admit this one).

…we need a friend, a real, true friend.

…we are scared of the unknown.

…our dreams do not become reality

…our smile masks hurt and pain.

…we make mistakes and need forgiveness not condemnation.

…we laugh until our sides hurt.

…we cry until the tears stop falling and yet keep crying.

…we need to know someone cares.

…we need to be loved.

…we don’t have enough money.

…we have to say goodbye.

…we want to scream at someone.

…getting out of bed seems like a really bad idea.

…we put extra sprinkles on our ice cream.

…we need to celebrate the little things as much as the big things.

…we feel broken, battered, and bruised.

…we need a vacation – a real vacation, not just a day off.

…saving money isn’t very much fun.

…life is sucky.

…we forget our children’s names (what???  don’t judge.)

…we drink the whole bottle of wine.

…exercise is WAY overrated.

…we find out who our true friends are.

…we break the law.

…we are scared, frightened, and confused.

…taking a nap is the best medicine.

…we disappoint.

…time moves too quickly.

…we don’t get to have an opinion.

…our opinion makes a difference.

…we move on (from friendships, jobs, and difficult situations)

…being a parent is hard, really really hard.

…we pretend everything is okay.


This week – not my best week.  I was not on my “A” game and had a tough time with simple tasks at work and made more mistakes than I care to admit.  I told my children they were lazy when they weren’t doing homework (because they should only ever do homework and not be children.  Whatever). I barked orders at them for not seeing there were chores around the house that needed doing.  I didn’t spend any time with my husband. I didn’t take the dog for a single walk (she’s needy and LOVES to go for walks).  My half-marathon training was done half-heartedly.  I’m tired, and, quite frankly, a little burned out in this season of life.  I’m busy.  My family is BUSY.


And, sometimes…

…a quiet evening at the lake watching the sunset and reconnecting with your spouse puts everything in perspective.

…your children, while growing SO quickly, remind you of how blessed you really are.

…witnessing a baptism AND profession of faith of an entire family steals your breath right out of your lungs.

…attitude really IS everything.

Sometimes…God whispers to me when I’m most distracted to see if I’ll notice.


Here I am, Lord.  Send me.

Here I am Lord