It was suggested by The Hubs, of course. I asked him for advice; he didn't just dish it out. And I predicted his recommendation. After eight and a half years of marriage, one can start knowing what advice the other will probably give.
"endurance: the ability to withstand hardship or adversity; especially :the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity" endure: to undergo (as a hardship) especially without giving in; to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding" (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
I have not really had first-hand physical experience with endurance because a) I am not an athlete and b) I gave birth to preemies (two and three pushes, baby) AND had an epidural. But I do know about it in other ways. Praying without ceasing. Reaching out time and time again for reconciliation. Standing my ground on truth and convictions. Advocating for my children. Working through the hard times in marriage when it would have been easier to ask for a do-over. Staying at a job for a year that I cried going to every day. It hasn't always been pretty, but I've endured.
The cliche' little phrase says, "Life is a marathon, not a sprint." As a non-runner trying to become a runner I know little about sprinting and even less about marathon-ing. But I'm learning that building my endurance is not only going to enable me to go a longer distance, but it is also good for my heart and lungs.
There are things in my life I want to sprint through right now. There are other things I want to just sit and rest with awhile. And there is a time and place for either in some circumstances. But endurance - that really is the key in life. Keeping a steady pace, a focus, and pushing through another couple of minutes instead of giving up. It is possible. I'm learning just how possible it is.
"...and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2)
"May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light." (Col. 1:11-12)