Monday, April 7, 2014

Chase, Not Just A Childhood Game "-My Messy Beautiful"

What do you remember playing growing up?

The street I grew up on filled quickly with screaming kids after Saturday morning cartoons.  We pretended to be super friends, we played dolls, raced cars, jumped rope, and we played chase.  Running, tagging, yelling, laughing, and at times even fighting.

I grew up around a baseball field.  Many times those of us who were not playing ball, played chase.  We chased each other and we chased every ball hit out of the field....if we got the ball, we could turn it in for a free snow cone. We even played chased on skates at the rink on Friday nights.  

It seems we were always chasing something.  I don't think much has changed. Chase is not just a childhood game. It's been my life.  I have chased, diets, emotions, to-do lists, status, control, negative thoughts, a clean house, and sometimes being something I wasn't.

The game of chase has left me drained...physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

It's exhausting!!!

I am learning to play chase differently. 

My one word this year is chase.

I want to chase what matters.

I am learning to chase Jesus through love and through obedience. In the past I chased Him more out of my circumstance. I am learning to chase Jesus, because He matters.

I am learning to chase health and transformation. In the past it was about the quick fix and the next best diet plan. I am learning to chase health and transformation, because I matter.

I am learning to chase relationships. In the past it's been about a to-do list and my routine. I am learning to chase relationships, because people matter.

I have been changing how I chase Jesus and health for a while.  The journey He is taking me on is transforming me inside out. I am learning that I am capable of so much more. I am learning that I can't do His will if I am bound by fat and the struggles that brings. I  have learned that there is redemption in running. I have learned that I can survive crossfit. I am learning that I can share my stories. I am learning that as I write I find healing and lessons. I am learning to trust. Trust, when there is no weight loss. Trust, when the circumstances around me are hard. I am learning to never give up. I am learning all things through Christ. I am learning that bumps along the journey don't have to take me off the journey. I can still chase what matters.

But, its just been since about October that I have been figuring out how to change the game in relationships....especially with my kids.

I have been parenting by routine and a check list for 10 years. I have been parenting by volunteering for things that make me more busy. I thought it would be a good way to spend time together, but it appears to take me further away. I confess I have even been parenting behind my phone.

The conviction of needing to chase my kids differently has come through many ways. One way is words written at Hands Free Mama. Over and over again I would read her posts and wonder how she became a fly on the walls of my home.  She taught me these words, "Stop! Only love today."    

I was doing a bible study titled Chase by Jennie Allen on the last snow ice day (yep, where I live it's usually ice, not snow that shuts down our schools and roads) we had, I was convicted again.  I frequently chase a to-do list and not the people behind the list. On this cold day, I chose my kids instead of my list. That list was a mile long. My house was still is. I confess it was hard, but the blessings of time with my children was better than a clean floor.

I tell my kids no, more often than I tell them yes. On a typical day after school, I become almost robotic. Backpack cleaned out, chores done, homework finished, and repeatedly tell them to hurry....we keep checking off the list.....and I have to remind myself, its about the hearts of those I love and not completing the list. 

Have you been playing the game of chase? What are you chasing?  Are you tired of chasing it? 

Changing the way I's easier said than done. There are days when I feel like I am drowning....and on those days I want to swim with sugar instead of holding the hand of Jesus. I want to check off my to-do list, stay in the comfort of routine instead of saying yes to my child or something not on the list.

But, I promise we can be game changers. Like me, you can learn new ways to play. Whatever you have chased or you are currently chasing, the game is not over. You can do it differently. We can do it differently. 

Know you are worth chasing a different thing.  Know the hearts of those you love are worth putting aside the list.  Know that Jesus has a plan and purpose for you.  Know all things through Christ.

Tag, You're It!!!
You were meant to chase what matters.

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!


  1. There was so much in here that I could relate to. I particularly like what you said about knowing that you are worth it. With weight, that's the hardest part for me. Reminding myself that my goals and my needs matter.

    And yes -- running can bring redemption. I have to say thought I'm not with you yet on the cross training -- I'll just have to take your word for it :-)

    Keep chasing what matters!

    (I found you on Momastery)

    1. Thank you so much for reading! You are so worth it!!

  2. Great post! You are not alone and I "chase" on a daily basis. I find myself running on the hamster wheel only to not move forward and get right back on the next day. I rush my kids and move on to the next item. Every. Single. Day. While it's happening, I am almost having an out of body experience- watching myself be ridiculous and fighting internally to make it stop. Thank you for putting this out there. I found you via Momastery, and I am proud to be in this Messy Beautiful project with writers like you. Sending you love and light.
    Meg Horan

    1. Thanks for reading Meg! Isn't this project so amazing? I wish I could sit and read all day! Thankful we are not alone!

  3. Thank-you for sharing - I am searching for that balance between chasing what matters vs my non-chasing the "whatever issue/problem/shame" that I also should address

  4. Thank you for sharing your messy, beautiful life. Thank you for getting me to think about what I've been chasing. xo


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