I don’t know what you do when you run or exercise, but I often talk to myself and assess how I am doing. The other day as my team leader and I were running four miles of hills and stopping to do burpees after each mile, I was doing my normal mental chatter. The first thing I was talking to myself about was that I was dying going up the hills, so I was assessing my body to see which part of me was dying the most, whether it was my ankle or my lungs, and I came to the realization that I really was not dying. I was breathing well and had a good pace, and my ankle for a change was not hurting, which sadly meant that I was dying because the mental thought of going up a steep hill was killing me 😉 The other thing that I was thinking about was going up the hill in the dark, my flashlight on so I could make sure my foot landed on a secure area with each step, and how much more careful I was at running and placing my feet when it was dark; in the dark I rely completely on the light. Every time I have fallen or reinjured my ankle it has been in the daylight. I thus proceeded to turn this into a lesson in my head because why not I guess So here is my 30 second lesson for you coming from a girl trying not to die as she runs.
In the light of day, we often let down our guard looking straight ahead because we think we can see! We forget to make sure that our feet are finding secure ground with each step and before we know it we are on our face wondering how we had fallen. (My favorite question my team leader asks me after I pick myself up after a very graceful fall is, “did you not see that rock?” My answer being, “obviously not!”) When I run in the dark I rely completely on my flashlight watching the ground, doing everything I can to make sure my feet find as level of ground as possible to take the next step. In life we do the same thing. When life is going well and we think we know what we are doing we forget to watch the ground. We are so confident, thinking we know our next step, that before we know it a lot of times we have face planted in the dirt. In tough times we are more than willing to turn to our heavenly father and rely on His light watching every step we take because we cannot see without Him, thus we take our time to make sure every footfall is secure. If we want to run with confidence, trusting the placing of our feet, we must rely on His light and direction both when we think we can see and when we know we can’t.
Outside my time talking to myself when I run in the mornings, my time here in Nepal continues to be a challenge, but it is going well. I have fallen in love with the culture and the people here. I look forward to the day I can tell you I have fallen in love with the language as well 😉 I am working to increase my time spent in language study in hopes that I will be able to speak in conversation by the time we return to Humla in April. Language for me currently is very similar to me running up hill. It is a slow process and when I do an assessment of myself I would say I am very capable of making my goal but mentally I am dying. So, pray for me in this area. I also continue to take motorcycle lessons. I have not yet braved going out in the street but that will come soon. Since I did not drive a motorcycle in the US I am required to take a driving test here before I can do too much driving on the streets so pray for me as I prepare for that as well.
The past couple of weeks here I have put a lot of time and effort in preparing my research proposal to submit to the college in hopes to get a research VISA in April. I am happy to say that my proposal has been accepted and submitted and now is in the process of getting cleared for VISA purposes (which can take up to 2 months). In my time outside of preparing for my proposal and studying language I have been working to put together different health pamphlets to take with us to Humla and to use in different health seminars in the area. In my time in Humla this last fall the big thing that I felt needed addressed was just basic health education. So, a team of us have been working to put together a few pamphlets and get them translated into Nepali on nutrition, hygiene, woman’s health, and basic first aid.
I continue to meet with a couple of women here. I enjoy learning about their lives as they are also eager to learn about mine. I currently have started meeting with two women who are in nursing school here and have gained a lot of insight into the medical world here through them which is a huge blessing for me. Pray that God continues to open doors for me as I spend time with these women.
Another opportunity that I have been privileged to take part in is women’s education here in Kathmandu. It amazes me how many people they can fit into a room here just because people want to learn. They want to understand. They are hungry both spiriturally and intellectually for anything with substance. The people and their instant curiosity, respect, and love for you here continues to be something that I am intrigued by and want to learn from.
I feel like I am running up hill mentally in a lot of different ways here in Nepal, yet I am so very blessed in so many things here as well. I am doing a lot of relying on God because I am not sure my next step. However, each step I have taken he has proven faithful. I know that with His help I can run with confidence this race He has marked out for me.