Renewed Strength for the Uphill Marathon Days {Renewal Through Christ Series}

renewal series

To continue our Renewal Through Christ series, I am thrilled to welcome my friend Betsy back to the blog. Betsy’s words always exhort and point me back to the truth of Christ in a simple yet profound way. She makes me feel capable of tackling that next task and reaching my full potential in all the various roles God has given me. Today she is talking about the next area of renewal we will be exploring together: the renewal of strength.

Betsy de Cruz pic

Betsy de Cruz enjoys God, life, and dark roast coffee. She and her family live in the Middle East. Most days she feels privileged to live overseas; other days she wants to pull her hair out and catch the next plane home. Betsy’s vision is to encourage women to get God’s Word in, so their faith can spill out, even during life’s bumpy moments. You can find Betsy at , on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Renewed Strength for the Uphill Marathon Days

I always say I would have had 10 kids if only children didn’t get sick. I can handle diapers, meal time, story time, bath time, and getting them to bed. I can handle home schooling and sky rocketing hormones, but sickness? Sick kids leave me worried and weary.

I’ll never forget checking my 18 month old boy into the hospital at 5:00 a.m. After 6 months of intestinal infections, he got a virus that left him severely dehydrated and unresponsive. As day broke we sat waiting for the doctor, and my heart broke to see my big, strong husband cry.

The same kid later developed an asthmatic cough. He’d cough five times a minute. That cough kept us up nights and sent us to the emergency room and countless doctors. Total strangers approached me all the time to ask what was wrong with my son.

Then there was the week he spent flat on his back hallucinating from fever, unable to lift his head, open his eyes, or eat. Those seven days turned me into one distraught, dog-tired mom!

And that’s only one kid.

Motherhood: It’s worth it, but it’s a marathon.

Any mother would tell you. Nothing compares to the joy of feeling a newborn’s breath on your cheek or watching your girl twirl around the room in a princess dress. Your heart bursts with pride when she walks across that stage at graduation.

But if the joys abound, so do the heartaches. Mothering is a marathon, and sometimes you’re running uphill. You take your boy to a learning specialist. Your girl comes home crying. The marathon stretches ahead of you, but you’re not sure you can take another step.

On the uphill days your strength ends, and you come to the end of your rope.

That’s when God pours His power onto your weakness.

Are you there today? The road continues steep, and you’re running on fumes. Remember that God rides across the heavens to help you. God’s presence, God’s promises, and God’s power will renew your strength.

renewed strength

Plug into your Power Source

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)

Nothing renews our strength like staying close to the One who’s the Strength of our Hearts. Everything else may be giving out on you, but God will get you through. Plug into his power through prayer, His Word, and fellowship with His people. Keep close by Him on those falling apart, dog-tired days. Before you know it the day is over, and God gave you the strength you needed.

Live Grounded in Him

Keep yourself grounded in His promises. Read His words, remember them, repeat them, and request that He fulfill them.  God says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) He’ll renew your strength as you come to Him and claim His promises.

Step into the Flow

Ask God to pour on His power; then walk in faith even if you can’t feel it. Say, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13) Step into the flow of His power and take the next step. Prepare the next meal. Make the next carpool stop. He’ll renew your strength when you ask Him to pour out His Holy Spirit on you.

Whether potty training has left you powerless, or waiting up for your teen has wiped you out, God will renew you strength as you call on Him. Plug into your Power Source. Stay Grounded in Him. Step into the flow of His power. He’ll come through for you every time.

Now it’s your turn: How do you get through the uphill marathon days?



The winner of last week’s giveaway of Contagious Disciple Making is Bev Duncan! Thanks to everyone who participated!

29 thoughts on “Renewed Strength for the Uphill Marathon Days {Renewal Through Christ Series}

  1. You just don’t know how hard parenting will be until you’re in the middle of those moments, but thank goodness for faith to get through it! I just remember God’s whispered words to me over my children, “I’ve got this. I’ve got them.”


    • “I’ve got this.” That’s such a good word for parenting, Kathryn. Yes, parenting looks easy from the outside, doesn’t it? But when you’re in the middle of it, it’s downright daunting! God is for us.


  2. Betsy,
    So good to see you posting in Abby’s series. For me plugging into my power source is what gives me the renewal that I need. Unfortunately I wait until my battery is empty to do this (will I ever learn). I need better discipline in plugging into Him more everyday so that I don’t let my battery get so low. Thanks for great encouragement and advice on renewing our strength through Him!
    Bev xx


    • That is a great point, Bev. I often wait until I’m empty too, but plugging in regularly helps us avoid getting to that point. Let’s keep running the race with our eyes fixed on Him!


  3. This post reminded me of the movie we took our teenager to see this weekend, McFarland USA. It’s the inspirational story of a cross-country track team. When they faced a big hill, they would lose steam, so the coach made them practice running up hills over and over! Just like Bev said, the more we practice going to our Power Source, the better we are at tackling those hills:) Thanks for this good word today, Betsy. You always inspire me!


    • Thanks for being here and always being so encouraging, Kristine. I think God must be doing with us the same thing the coach in the movie was doing. I’ll have to check that one out.


  4. “But if the joys abound, so do the heartaches. Mothering is a marathon, and sometimes you’re running uphill….. That’s when God pours His power onto your weakness” Amen and Amen. Over the decades of motherhood… I look back now and I know that it really is ONLY God’s promises and presence that got me throught and continues to even now. Great post! Blessings to you! Keep shining for Jesus!


  5. “Keep yourself grounded in His promises. Read His words, remember them, repeat them, and request that He fulfill them.” That’s good Betsy. Staying grounded in Christ is the only way we can survive this craziness we call life! Love you friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such great wisdom here, Betsy! Constant prayer…communicating with the Lord who is right there with me. Always remembering that and never allowing myself to feel alone. These are what keep me going in those hard moments. And when on those days when the road ahead just seems too overwhelming, I remember the advice a wise friend gave me when I was about to sink under the pressure–“Don’t think about anything you don’t have to deal with today. Just do this day what needs to be done. God will make clear what you have to do tomorrow.” Little did I realize that was straight from scripture–Matthew 6:34: “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” And the beautiful reality is God’s Spirit is faithful. He shows us each and every step right when we need to take it–steps today that will help us get through the rough spots tomorrow. What a wonderful God we have!


    • That was great advice your friend gave you, Sabra. I always remember Tsh Oxenreider’s advice on The Art of Simple.come. She said, “When you’re overwhelmed, just do the next thing in front of you.” It has stuck with me for several years now. God will show us step by step!


  7. Plug into Him. Our power source. Such good words here, Betsy. And I well remember sick boys and the croup so bad one could barely breath. And the steamy shower and me scared and no other adult present in our single parent home. BUT GOD. Him always present. Holding me while I held them. And forevermore…holding and never letting go. Thanks and thanks to Abby for having you guest!!


  8. Thank you for this encouraging post, Betsy. It is so helpful to draw and lean on the things we know to be true, whether by reading them in the Bible or elsewhere. We sing a song called “Hosanna” at church and one line says “When we see You we find strength to face the day” — that always speaks to me. And a couple of days ago I spoke to a church friend about struggles we were having, and she sent an email today with a verse she was praying over us. So remembering God’s promises and also seeking support from Christian friends (who can pray and hope and encourage even when we lack strength) are so helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that song, Jeannie, and I love that particular line in it. How beautiful that your friend from church is praying for you. I’m praying for you now, friend! Is your son any better this week?


  9. Cheering Abby for this awesome series and you Betsy for your awesome words. Just this morning I had a toddler who didn’t want to get dressed. I thought my day was going to be ruined, but I called out to God, and he got me through the moment. The power source is so key. Fabulous encouragement! Cheering you on from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith. Love you gals.


    • Bless your heart, Kelly. It’s easy to let one bad episode ruin our whole day, isn’t it? I’m glad you were able to call out to God. I did it myself this morning! (algebra lesson with frustrated teen) 🙂


  10. Hi Betsy! Starting my day in the Word and centering myself on God gives me perspective to make it through the day. My marathon days are not with little kids anymore except for my students but even on the most stressful days it helps to feed your passion-whether it is reading, writing, drawing or whatever. Having a little time that is just for you can refresh and restore. I am so glad that I stopped by today. Blessings!


    • What a good word you have today, Mary. Centering ourselves on God’s Word, and spending a bit of time just for you. Great ideas for making it through the marathon running with flying colors, rather than drooping and dragging!


  11. This is incredibly important advice. I love this: “Plug into your Power Source.” I need to do that far more often. I feel depleted a lot these days. Kids’ illnesses can definitely be the most draining things in our lives. I have a daughter with diabetes and a son with epilepsy. I truly get what you are saying here :). Thanks for the encouragement!


    • Believe me, I need to plug into my power source these days too! I’m so sorry about your children’s illnesses. May the Lord bless them with stable, improved help, and may He give you joy and strength for each day.


  12. Children’s sicknesses are definitely one of the hardest things about parenting. But as they get older and face marriage struggles and faith crises and housing decisions, those things seem pretty tough as a parent too, and I long for the days that all I needed to do was rock them close and give them Tylenol every four hours. 😉 But through it all, Christ is there. Holding our hands, giving us His strength! Amen. Thanks for sharing this encouraging word, Betsy.


    • Yes, Lisa. My kids are high schoolers now, and the problems do seem to get tougher! (Although I’d never want to go back to the running to the emergency room nights!!!!) You are right. Christ is with us through it all. He’s our Power Source!


  13. That is a great blog, Abby. Thanks for sharing it with us. It is so true and encouraging. I like the verse in Psalms. I have not noticed it before. Dennyse


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