Growing up, I had this idea that I’d like to get married to a hard worker, go live in the country, where I raised my children, sitting on the front porch snapping beans, giving them sage advice, that they always longed for. Then they’d grow up and have happy families of their own, and my grandchildren would come over and I’d bake them cookies and spoil them. Everyone would love each other and get along, and we’d live a peaceful, quiet life.

Doesn’t that sound amazing, kind of like a lovely country song? I still get those longings when life feels overwhelming, and the world seems scary. A few months ago, I applied to The Life Coach School. I was and am really excited. However, there are times when I have thoughts like, “Why did I do that? It will take so much energy to start my own business. Why do I try so hard? Why not just put my kids in school and watch TV all day until they get home? What if no one wants to come to me? What if it fails? We should just move to the country, get a few animals, and live a self-sustainable, quiet, peaceful life, snapping beans, and baking cookies.”

Then I had an epiphany this morning. I started running when I was a Freshman in University. I considered myself a runner until about 6 years ago, when I had my second child. Until then I ran most of the time. I would have lapses of when I wouldn’t run, but I would always come back to it. After my second child, though, I tried a few times, but I would either get really bad headaches, or extremely painful feet. I decided it was probably behind me forever. Then a few weeks ago, I just started again. I decided I didn’t need to be the kind of runner I was before. I didn’t need to be faster than other people, or run farther than other people. My only goal was to enjoy the run. This works most days, but some days, it’s just not that fun. I realized, though, if I’m not willing to go on the not-so-enjoyable runs, then I’ll never get to go on the enjoyable ones. So, I’m willing to not enjoy a run sometimes. I’m willing to just do it, so that I can have some enjoyable runs.

Another thing I’ve been struggling with is scripture reading. I’ve had times when I loved scripture reading. I would feel the Spirit so strongly, and have really powerful insights into life. I have also had times when I’m just going through the motions. I feel kind of hypocritical or maybe even self-righteous. I realized, though, if I’m not willing to read the scriptures when I’m not feeling spiritual, I’ll never get to read them when I am feeling spiritual. So, I’m willing to read them no matter how I’m feeling, so that I can sometimes feel that strong Spirit when I’m reading them.

This can also apply to marriage, parenting, and even to going to life coach school. If I’m not willing to feel self-doubt about becoming a life coach, I’ll never get to feel the confidence and excitement of being a life coach. So I’m willing to not “feel it” sometimes, so that I can have an amazing life, because even though that quiet peaceful life sounds so appealing, it is not a reality. People don’t always get along; kids don’t always want our advice; and sometimes the cookies burn. We are wired to grow, we can do it intentionally or resist it. Growth is hardly ever comfortable, but it’s a lot more fun to do it intentionally.