I have been thinking a lot lately, and mostly it' the same thinking I've been doing for the past few years. A lot has happened for our little family in just a short amount of time and with it has brought lots of trials, lots of triumphs, some good ol' laughs, and some hard cries.
But, I am certain that no matter what comes my way, that
I am capable of doing hard things.
It may take a lot of effort, planning, and just plain endurance but I can, I know it.
I was taught so many great life lessons when I was in high school running Cross Country for all four years. It taught me what I was capable of even when my body said, "Not another step!" My mind wouldn't let my body give up- and I was pushed harder and harder. And I know I am better for it.
I still remember my cross country coach yelling words of encouragement during a terrific race in my Junior year. As I rounded that corner, with the finish line just moments away, it was time to "Kick it in." I was doing better than any of my other races by 3 minutes. For those of you who may not be runners, every SECOND counts. I was elated as I passed multiple clock stands quoting my times along the race course. I didn't really believe them actually. But when I saw my coach, who had been following me closing during sections of the race, I knew the time was true. She yelled the most encouraging words to me that have stuck with me every since.
"You can do it Brianna! This is what you have been working for all this time! You've got this! GO GO GO!!!!!"
And with those words, I "kicked it in" with tears flowing down my checks as I realized I had accomplished something so great. I had exceeded my goal of race times, I had trained hard for years, and the feeling of crossing that finish line and seeing my time is something I will never ever forget. I cried and cried as I passed the finish line and then slowed to a walk. One of the workers at the end of the finish line said, "Why are you crying? You did great!"
And that's exactly why I was crying. Because I had done something great.
My coach hugged my sweaty body and we both were excited beyond words.
I often think of those words of encouragement she gave to me as I face other challenges in my life.
I think about how in this stage of our marriage, the beginning years, there are lots of things that will make us stretch and grow. We may not have the money for a car, for fancy toys or phones, or for many other luxuries in life. We are on a strict student budget and as we sit and calculate how much money we have to spend each month on certain things, it can be a hard pill to swollen. But each time I think to myself, "this will be hard but, I can do hard things."
"We can do hard things."
Running a race together
It's kind of a game, or a race, for me. And I will be victorious.
Can I make it on this much for groceries for each month? Yes, I can.
Can I survive without new clothes? Yes, I can.
Am I ok with hand-me-downs or second hand items? Yes, I am.
Can I move over and over again for work or school? Yes, I can.
Can I be creative with what I have to work with? Yes, I can.
Will I be able to find success in the challenges I know I will face
in the future with my growing family? Yes, I can.
We will make it on what we have been given. It is a challenge but we can do hard things.
We have already grown stronger through our trials. I know at the end of the month when our budget works, I will remind myself,
"You can do it, Brianna! This is what you have been working for all this time."
It's exciting really, to be given certain challenges. It may not seem fun or exciting at the time but when I have conquered them, I know that I am greater and feel better about myself and I will have a knowledge that I can do hard things, and be made stronger for it.
2008 after a "fun" run with our YSA stake