Friday, June 13, 2008


A couple weeks ago, I heard a new song called Aware. I immediately loved it. I found the words reminiscent of where I am right now.

The other night I went for a run.

Well, a walk/run. I don't run the whole time because my knees kill and well, it just hurts to run, people. Kudos to all you marathon runners out there.

My younger brother called me out on this the other day when he read another post where I mentioned that I went for a run.
He was all like, "You don't run."
And I was like, "Uh-huh! Kind of. I walk/run - what do you do?"
Silence. Hhmph, that's what I thought, little bro. ;)

Anyway, I digress. But now I guess I must call it what it really is - a walk/run. Or I really like to call it "interval training."

Before I went for my walk/run I read my friend Amy's post about running. She is my neighbor and I was talking to her earlier that day about the Avon walk she has started training for and she just happened to mention that she could not listen to music during the actual walk. So, in preparation for that she was not listening to music while she trained. She really felt she could have some good quiet time with God while she didn't have music blaring in her ears.

That is nice, I thought and we went on our way. I also thought to myself that I would not be giving up my music during my walk/run. Because then I am sure it would be all walk and no run. It is about the only thing that motivates me to run.

So, back to my walk/run. With my headphones on, I am about to head out the door only to practically trip on my little dog who is very insistent on going with me. He is 6 pounds and he only gets around the block when he usually decides to park it under a tree so that I have to carry him the rest of the way. He doesn't normally go on my walk/runs. I couldn't resist, though and took him around the block and back home.

As I was walking with him. (No running at this point). As I was walking, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye - a long blade of grass. I thought it was a snake. It wasn't but when I turned my head just a bit to the other side I actually became aware of a very large black snake. Very large. About 2 steps in front of me. I jumped to the street and we missed it. It slithered into the woods.

I took the dog home and I headed back out. Same route. Now running. Music blaring through my headphones. I notice something out of the corner of my eye again. It was that same dang snake but in a different spot. Dodged him again.

So, I'm walking, running, walking, running - Music blaring... Stay with me here.

During this walk the following things happen which either never happen during my exercise or I just don't notice. My "interval trainings" are usually pretty hum drum.

A large jackrabbit jumps out in front of me. Dodged it.

I ran out in front of a minivan. She stopped for me so I could cross the street. Nice lady.

A frog hopped out in my path. Dodged him.

All of a sudden about 20 minutes into my walk/run, I became very aware - I mean very aware of the sound of the wind blowing through my headphones.

Not the song, but the wind over the song.
I have NEVER noticed this before.

Now maybe, it was just that I was running downhill, but I run downhill a lot. Because running uphill hurts! Or maybe my headphone was out of my ear a bit.

Whatever it was, to me, at that very moment it was like God had been trying to get my attention the entire walk. Just to be with him. Just to have some time alone to commune with him in his beautiful world for a little while. My dog didn't do it, the snake didn't. The rabbit? Nope. Frog? Nope. Even a big white minivan.

It took the wind over my music.

I immediately pulled my headphones out.
Then I was aware of the quiet.
The precious quiet and only the rhythm of my breath. (Note: with music on, I don't typically hear how heavy I am actually breathing!)

Then, I just started running and running and running. No walking. Just running and focusing on the beauty around me. It was an exhilarating feeling. I ran for a long time. More than I usually would. And it didn't hurt! (until the next day- ouch). There were no more interruptions that I needed to dodge.

My prayer during my cool down moments were some of the words to the song I mentioned above:
Just make me aware, God.
Always make me aware.
It's not all about me.
Take my world and turn it around.
That the obvious can finally be found.

Here's the song. Without the headphones and running and all that.


Amy said...


LOVE THE POST! Yes I love my music...I love the praise and worship songs and just sing my heart out to God (so thanks to all you song writers out there). And yes when I found out that I couldn't have my tunes on during the Avon Walk or during a marathon I hope to run in next year (definitely a prayer request there)...I was like WHAT how in the world am I going to do this?? I always would say to myself when I wore my tunes...I can run one more song...then I would say I can run another song etc...

But when I did take the tunes off and walked and talked with God or I should say listened to God it truly has been awesome!!!! God has shown me so much and it has been some sweet fellowship with Him.

Which led me to post on Wednesday's "Wednesday's Walks" each week.

So great post Janel...AWARE..I love it.

Maybe one morning God will have us meet and prayerwalk/run the neighborhood:)

Later neighbor!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! I love visiting your blog and reading your posts.

Dawn Ward said...

Great post, Janel! Well said, and I love the song.

carrie said...

that's a great song and some great thoughts you've put in with it. This is also one of my personal prayers. I get so spacey and miss stuff constantly.

that was a cool analogy with the wind over the music. You might've inspired me to write some lyrics for a song I'm working on. Is that ok?

Kellie said...

Some of my greatest "quiet times" are while running.

I put the praise music in my ears and run, run, run.

I had to laugh one morning when I had both my head phones in (I usually run with only one for safety) but I had Praise You With Dance (Casting Crowns). And on the "I will lift my hands, for you have brought me out of the pit" part, I was running with my hands up in the air, when all of a sudden a group of bicyclers zoomed passed and all waved at me. They probably thought I was the biggest nut!

It's awesome to hear how God chooses to get our attention, and how we respond when we finally understand that he's trying to get our attention!
Great Post, Janel!

Kellie said...

OH! and I'd have hung up the sneakers with the first snake!

You are a BRAVE woman!

Rebecca a.k.a. Mum said...

What a great story, I love how you have equated all the surprises with needing to take the music out of your ears and just run with nature (if you like).

Glad you had such a good run, but sorry for the ouchies the next day!

3littleheels said...

Okay I was just sitting here with the new baby thinking, "Let's read some blogs." Well you have managed to make me laugh and reflect on a lot of thing right now. Reflecting is not a good thing to do when you are a postpartum mom with crazy crying hormones. Thanks a bunch for the laughs today. You are just truly amazing to me! So practical and yet so fun.

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