Impossible Battles: Even the Winds and Waves Obey Him | alyssajhoward.com

Impossible Battles: Even the Winds and Waves Obey Him

We all have them. Obstacles and impossible battles that we have no idea how to overcome. We are taught from an early age to face them head on. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. For some of the battles, this is true. We can face them head on and win.

Then there are the impossible battles. The ones where it seems that no amount of fighting will keep us from defeat. The ones where our demise seems inevitable. What about these battles? How can we possibly face these head on when we feel hopeless about the outcome?

 

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Surviving Christmas: Learning to Be Like Mary When You Feel Like Martha | alyssajhoward.com

Surviving Christmas: Learning to Be Like Mary When You Feel Like Martha

Without a doubt, Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s also one of the busiest. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be fun, but it can also be exhausting. This year has been particularly trying for me personally with two toddlers running around the house. Surviving Christmas has become my main priority this holiday season!

 

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Overworked and Exhausted: 5 Tips to Avoid Burnout | alyssajhoward.com

Overworked and Exhausted: 5 Tips to Avoid Burnout

My alarm went off at 4:40 this morning. The last thing I wanted to do was get up and go for a run. Don’t get me wrong. I love to run, and I am actually enjoying training for my first half marathon. But if I’m being honest, the transition from sleeping in my bed to putting on my running shoes was brutal. …And my day was just beginning.  I’m fairly certain that neither one of my toddlers slept well last night. There were more tears this morning than we’ve had in a long time (my own included.) As I was changing probably the worst diaper in history, the exhaustion set in. I was totally burned out.

 

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Pushing Through the Pain Towards Victory in Jesus | alyssajhoward.com

Pushing Through the Pain Towards Victory in Jesus

When I find myself exhausted during a long run, it’s easy for me to concentrate on how tired and weak I feel. If I stayed in that mindset, however, I would probably find myself defeated. I have to change my thoughts in order to find the strength to keep going. I need to remind myself to breathe and to persevere. I tell myself that pushing through the pain will be worth it.

 

It is during these difficult moments that I develop the most strength as a runner, and the same is true in life. Learning to endure during a difficult run is very similar to enduring through life’s struggles. If life was never difficult, we wouldn’t have the opportunity for growth.

We usually learn more through our struggles than we do in the good times.

 

We all endure trials. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one struggling or that your struggles are somehow more difficult than the struggles of others. The truth, however,  is that every person on this planet endures tough times. We all have a story to tell when it comes to the battles life has thrown our way. Continue Reading

Choose Joy! 3 Keys to True Happiness

Choose Joy: 3 Keys to True Happiness | alyssajhoward.comJoy is something we all hope for. I haven’t met a person yet who didn’t have the desire to find true happiness and contentment in life, and we all search for it in different ways. We focus on our careers, our families, helping others, our faith, etc. all in the hope of finding true joy.

An American author named Tom Bodett once said that in order to be truly happy in this life we all need “someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” If we look at his quote through biblical eyes, I do believe he’s correct. Continue Reading

Pace Yourself

One of the most important aspects of running is learning how to pace yourself. For starters, you have to pace your overall training. When working towards an upcoming race, it’s important to not push yourself too hard. Training properly involves a gradual progression of miles and speed. Pushing yourself too hard, too fast will ultimately result in injury and burnout.

Another way a runner paces themselves is during their individual runs. For me personally, I have a much easier time pacing myself during training than I do during races. It’s so easy to get excited about a race and to start running too fast in the beginning. Unfortunately, I burn myself out too quickly and have no energy left to finish the race. I literally have to remind myself to slow down when I start running.

 

We are often told that hard work will pay off in the end. At what point, however, do we cross the line between working hard and working too hard to accomplish our goals? Just as runners run the risk of burning out when training, we run the risk of burning out when we push ourselves too hard in our day-to-day lives. Continue Reading

Facing Criticism in a World that Loves to Criticize | alyssajhoward.com

Facing Criticism in a World that Loves to Criticize

Criticism happens. Occasionally it can be a positive or constructive tool in our lives; but more often than not, it ends up leading to hurt feelings and defensive emotions. In school, our teachers critique the homework we submit. In the workplace, our boss is criticizing our job performance. At home, our friends and family critique the choices we make in life. Facing criticism is simply a part of life, and we must learn to handle it with grace and understanding.

 

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