The Long Race

May 24, 2014Filed under blog#family#fitness#software developmentMarkdown source

It has been too long since I have written anything—too long not for my audience (small as it is), but for my soul. The last few weeks of class were of course even busier than the rest of the semester, courtesy of a couple major assignments I wrapped up and studying for and taking finals, all while doing my normal work as a software developer on the side. Writing simply fell by the wayside, alas. Even my devotions posts simply didn’t happen. And that is all right; there are seasons for all of these things, and it is not as if I didn’t write many thousands of words in late April and early May. They simply were not blogging words.

So here I am tonight, writing simply to unwind. I spent much of the day working on various software projects—a pattern I expect to carry throughout the summer. In addition to my regular work for Quest Consultants Inc. back in Norman, I am picking up various web design and development jobs over the summer. God has been gracious in answering prayers for opportunities to pick up extra contracting work, and I have several really excellent opportunities to supplement my 20 hours a week for Quest with other work. That is nice not only financially, but also intellectually. The change of pace between different kinds of work helps me stay fresh on all of them. My own personal side projects are coming along slowly, but that is all right. Slow but steady is the best way to go about those kinds of projects anyway.

That lesson is one I have learned more and more from my ongoing and ever-increasing delight in running. So far in May I have run about 125 miles; I expect to run over 150 miles this month in total (though of course all such plans are always subject to revision, and never more so than when one’s wife is 37 weeks pregnant). I am now running easy, aerobic miles ten to fifteen seconds faster per mile than I could manage in my personal best half marathon time a few years ago. I run so (relatively) quickly now not because of any particular innate athleticism—quite the contrary, as anyone who has known me since high school can attest. I can run as far and fast as I do only because I have stuck with it and used a smart training plan. And really, as in most parts of life, it is that sticking-with-it that leads to getting somewhere. Of course, sticking with it is no guarantee that things will work out. It is usually a requisite step along the way, though—a necessary-though-insufficient condition. That is simply the way God built the world.

Little Ellie is quickly wrapping up her second year of life in this big world. She is saying lots of words (at last!), whining until she has driven Jaimie a bit crazy (in too-typical toddler fashion), and growing up in big ways and small. We are having a great deal of fun watching her start to be more socially aware and active, even if it is a little strange to have a daughter old enough that she has friends whom she loves and who love her in turn. She has also discovered a deep love of Star Wars—no surprise for a daughter of ours, though the intensity of her delight in the movies, for a girl who is not yet two years old, did surprise both Jaimie and me a bit. You should hear her try to say “Darth Vader” or “Dark Side” or “Star Wars.” It is impossibly adorable.

Jaimie is, as noted above, some 37 weeks pregnant and quite ready to be done carrying our second little gal on the inside. She is still plugging away slowly at the second novella in her Bloodlines fantasy trilogy. She manages to keep Ellie entertained—no small feat—and does a remarkable job taking care of things around the house so that I can focus on work and school. Her struggle with depression has not diminished, but God has given us grace to carry on and she and I have both learned to respond in better, healthier, more helpful ways when the slumps come.

As for the future, we really have no idea what the next several yeras will hold. I plan to finish my Master of Divinity—Lord willing, around December 2016. In the meantime, we will keep raising our little girls, I will keep writing software, and we will keep exploring and seeing what we want to do and how best to pursue those desires in a way that honors God. Who knows what those years will hold? God only, and certainly not us.