We finished school for the year on Thursday. To celebrate we spent the morning at a local science museum. Later, while on a bike ride, I realized that this completed my 16th official year of homeschooling. And since Ben is 2 ½, I have 16 more years to go. Woo-hoo! Half-way done!

When I was young I was a distance runner. My dad, a phenomenal cross country and track runner in high school and college, was my unofficial coach. I remember him advising me on how to run a mile race. “The hardest part, Annie, is the middle half. At the beginning you’ll have enough adrenalin to go fast. With the end in sight, the last quarter isn’t too bad either, unless you have blown your pace early in the race. The time you really need to push yourself is that middle half mile.”

Life is like that too, sometimes. Starting something new is exciting. Our energy and enthusiasm are high. When we began homeschooling I had so many ideas and so much passion. (Plus a lot fewer children and responsibilities.) Much has changed in the past decade and a half. Still, our goals and reasons for educating our children at home remain largely the same. Beginning is easy. Staying the course can be challenging. Finishing a difficult task well is tough.

I want, in this middle season of life, to not lose my focus. It is too easy to grow complacent, to be satisfied with “good enough.” We can do this in whatever endeavor the Lord has given us to do. We can do it in our walk with Him as well. When I used to run, my dad’s words would come to me during the middle of a race. “Now is the time to push myself,” I’d think. My dad’s words, along with those of the writer of Hebrews, are ringing in my ears once again, as I’m in the middle of the most important race of all.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I Corinthians 9: 24-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.


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