I’m someone who is filled by time spent with the ones I love: my family + Seth + Seth’s family. I’m so thankful for these past few weeks of extra time with family and his family. Lots of laughter (and yes, some tears), hugs, good conversations, good food, lots of coffee, tons of shopping at Whole Foods, and yes, miles, too. I sometimes believe my heart is only filled and full when I’m around those that fuel me. God has given me a sensitive heart–one that pumps steady when it’s at peace, and one that races when it’s stressed or lonely. Mammoth is a beautiful place. It’s quiet and peaceful and always beautiful. But, with a quiet town and winter settling in, I needed a little extra time with my family and Seth so that my heart can keep beating steady.

As I get back to work and run my legs off, my heart is beating steady and strong. And, I’m filled. But, I was reminded this morning:

“In the multitude of anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19

As I ran my first short workout this morning, the mountains were quiet and still. Mammoth has welcomed me back with frost, cold fresh air, and snow. The snow made a pile on my bangs and my eye lashes turned to icicles as I focused on my footing ahead of me: powering up the hills, pushing on the downhill, driving my arms and chest forward, breathing calmly, squinting and focusing. I didn’t see a soul out on the mountain trails, except for my teammate. We worked separately, but together. I laughed when my coach met me on the trail in his Jeep. Seeing my bangs in a mess and ice on my eyelashes in the window’s reflection, I smiled: this is what hard work is.

Just a few days ago I was running on the 101 with Seth. Towards the end of my run, I warmed up, finally. After a few chilly morning in his hometown, Santa Clarita, I was ready for warmth. I took off my long sleeve and he tied it around his waist (he’s a keeper). We finished the run and as I did strides, he put on his wetsuit and ran to the ocean. He’s filled in moments of meeting God: in the water, in running, on his bike. We get each other. God speaks deeply to both of us through our sports.

As warm as that day was in Ventura, the next morning, I woke up to rain. As I ran on the overcast bike trail in Santa Clarita, I looked at my watch and felt my turnover: quick and steady. I smiled; this would be a good long run. And, it was. My heart beat steady.

Just a few weeks ago, I was grazing pavement (no pounding for me) near my hometown. The American River Trail will always be my stomping grounds. It’s home to me. I know every section of the trail by heart: the mile markers, the blind corners, the places I’ve run the fast. I’ve fallen in love with distance running doing fast long runs on that trail. I’ve had fast workouts where I feel like I’m flying and I’ve had disappointing workouts where my legs go numb from starting tempos at 6am. I’ve run that trail with friends and my mom has biked with me multiple times with me to help. It’s a place where I’ve cried and laughed and prayed: I’ve lived on that trail. I’ve been filled by God’s peace on that trail more times than I can count.

And, so, I realize: my heart beats steady anywhere I go because God has given me a heart that can get through the quiet mountains, to the paved bike trails, to the warm ocean air. God is a God of comfort: He knows my heart. My heart isn’t just filled by time spent with those I love, but also when I LET God fill my heart, when I choose to listen to His loving voice, when I’m in His Word, when I keep my eyes on him.

God is a God of comfort. And, He longs to fill us up.

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One thought on “Filled.

  1. Beautifully written, Lauren. Very poetic and sweet. I am glad you can find happiness and comfort in all places and can find fulfillment not only in the places familiar to you, but on the roads you must travel to pursue your big goals. It’s not always easy to smile when your face is numb or your feeling stressed or lonely, but if you can focus on the things you love in every situation you will always be at home. Welcome back to work!

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