Category Archives: relationships

A great way to start the day.

Standard

I’ve been walking with some friends each morning (Mon.-Fri.) for the past week in our local park from 6am-7am. It’s amazing to me how good it feels to get outside first thing in the morning and walk with friends. Makes me wonder why I never did this before…

I enjoy solitude and I guess different seasons have different things for us. There for awhile I was getting up and biking by myself and that was great too. It was a great prayer time and just time for reflection and thoughts inside my own mind. But this season of walking with friends each day and getting to know them is really quite lovely.

In one weeks time…we’ve told lots of stories. We’ve laughed, we’ve groaned, we’ve expressed struggle and perhaps some sorrow too. We’ve shared prayer requests. We’ve walked around bee hives. We’ve ran to get away from horse flies. We’ve lost keys and had to walk another lap to try and find them. We’ve greeted strangers as they meet us on the path. We’ve sweated together and watched the sun come up now together 4 times. When we arrive at the park, it’s still dark…but every day as we walk we watch the day begin together.

It’s a physical experience, an emotional one too…as we connect with each other’s hearts. And it’s also a spiritual experience. We were made for connection.

If I was working fulltime right now, I have a feeling I would’ve probably declined thinking it was too much to add to my life. But being on sabbatical…I have no excuses. I even get picked up and driven to the park, so it’s not as if I even have to drive 🙂 When a car pulls up at 5:50am to pick you up, you pretty much need to be ready to go!

I’ve made a friend. One of the ladies that I walk with…I never knew her before. Oh I would’ve recognized her…but just last week when we got together at a party I could barely remember her first name. Now we talk about most anything that comes to our minds.

I’m amazed at how that all works. Connecting with other people really isn’t all that hard, or at least that’s how it feels with Patti and Lori.

I have no idea how long we’ll do this. I try not to paint myself into a box because I know my track record. I tend to say things that are sweeping and that I’m going to do and commit to for forever. I realize that seasons come and go, but for this season at least…my morning hour walk with these two ladies is one of the best parts of my day.

It gets me out of bed, early. I always feel better when I get up and going. And…it gets rid of the exercise guilt first thing. I often even do some form of exercise later in the day as well…but if not, at least I know I’ve walked 3-4 miles already.

I come home and my girls are still asleep and I have coffee and quiet time to myself. My morning routine is complete!

None of this costs a dime.

The best things in life are for free. Friendship, Nature, Quiet, Peace…

How do you start your day? How does it set you up to have a great day? Who do you connect with these days? What relationships are you pouring your life into? How does exercise work into your daily life? When do you have some quiet time to yourself? I’ve found walking with a couple of friends each morning is a lovely way to cover all of these bases first thing.

God…today I am so grateful for Patti and Lori. So grateful that you took three ladies who are all working on health and weight and have probably struggled with it over many, many years and put us together to encourage and build one another up. I am so thankful that as a widow I have friends each day who are with me to greet the new day. So thankful to feel loved and to be able to love others. You’ve given me intimacy that I didn’t know I was even missing. You’ve once again provided and filled holes in my life in ways that I could’ve never expected even a week ago. I am grateful. I trust that you will continue to always be faithful no matter what the future holds.

Back on the wagon…

Standard

After two weeks of working on my house and other projects…I’m back in the saddle on weight watchers and exercise. I really was tempted to just pitch the whole thing and did for two weeks. Sometimes dealing with weight just makes me weary. I love projects that you start, work hard on and finish and can see the final product. Weight and health just aren’t that way. So here is what happened…

Last night I went to an Arbonne party at a friend’s house. In the process of the evening I caught up with an acquaintance from church. Someone who I knew…but honestly, not very well. In the course of the evening I discovered she is doing weight watchers too. She goes to the meetings and talked about how much she’s lost this past year and how she’s been kind of off the wagon the last couple of weeks. I told her my story…How I have lost some weight (minimal…I’ve kept 5 lbs. off) but got a little disheartened. She out of the blue proceeded to mention that we live close to each other, which I never realized before and she asked me if I would want to start walking with her in the mornings.

Part of me wasn’t sure about committing because if I commit and then want to back out it gets awkward. But part of me realized that if I’m going to stick with this then I really need some accountability and although we don’t know each other well…maybe this is a relationship that God is bringing into my life for whatever reason, so I said yes.

Fast forward to this morning.

I woke up at 5am to meet her by 5:50am to walk from 6-7am at the park. It was still dark when we headed out!! I am a morning person, but wow…

We met another friend at the park and walked for an hour. Four times around the loop…probably 3-4 miles. The time flew by because we were in conversation the whole time. And lots of other people were out there on the trail too. We already plan to do it again tomorrow morning.

I’m home now…it’s only 7:15am, my kids are still sleeping and I’ve already exercised and had time with friends. I feel good.

I wish I had the good sense to realize this and make it a priority every day. Exercise does feel really good. A horsefly started chasing me while we walked towards the end and I started to jog to get away from it and honestly…that even felt pretty good. Surprised myself!

I’m a gung ho type person. But my gung honess tends to not last me as long as I wish it would.

I really hope this is something that I can continue.

I love what’s happening to me creatively, and the clarity that I have in life right now. I really want this year to be about health too.

How are you doing on taking care of yourself these days? It’s so easy to slide back into old patterns. So easy to give up.

For me things like flossing, skin care, drinking water, eating healthy, exercise…these things are tough for me to discipline myself to stay on top of, even though I know I need to.

Today I’m going in to purchase short term health insurance for the next year. It’s so bare bones. I know that I must stay healthy. This has to be a priority in my life. It helped today to be with friends and in the struggle together. I believe that God brought that acquaintance into my life last night for a reason and I have a feeling she will fast become a good friend as we walk together. I hope so.

Here’s to fresh starts and new mercies. I  need them daily.

 

For whatever season you’re in…

Standard

Life is full of all kinds of seasons. Times when things are going great and you feel on top of the world. Times when if just one more bad thing happens you just might really lose it. Times of ordinariness and boredom, relentless repetition. Times when you’re confused and just aren’t sure where you fit in…and many other seasons too numerous to mention.

Whatever season you’re in right now isn’t going to last the rest of your life. Most likely anyway.

Yesterday during yoga the instructor asked us to think about what season we’re in right now in our lives. Out of four people who shared two of us said something positive and it was obvious that we are in a good season and two said something that could be seen as negative…or at least unsettled. I would guess that’s how it probably shakes out no matter where you go.

I used to be in a season of stress and feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and unsure how I had gotten myself into the whole situation in the first place. I found myself living 10 hours away from home and family, teaching full time, single parenting, a home owner of an old house, and various other jobs and responsibilities that I had somehow taken on that often started to feel more like duty.

I was in that season a long time.

I am now in a season of peace, serenity, calm and simplicity. My life has greater clarity and focus. I have time. Every day I have to remind myself not to think ahead and worry or wonder about the next season but to simply enjoy this one for what it is.

In talking with others I find that when we share and pray for one another sometimes when you’re in a good season it feels awkward to be honest about it when they are in a bad season. Basic human decency and kindness suggests that it might be rude or unkind to be on top of the world when your friend isn’t.

But…when I’m on top of the world, the good news is I have something to offer, to give, to help someone else who isn’t. I know how it feels to be in a hard season…being on top of the world doesn’t change those memories. And maybe that’s how life actually should work anyway. Those of us in a good season, helping and loving those who aren’t. And then vice versa when life changes as it will for us.

In my writing on this blog lately I sense that I’m brimming with joy and peace and I’m aware that if you’re going back to school or if you never had a break from your job at all, if you’re struggling with the weight of life right now…you could read my writings and feel envy or jealousy, or just hurt.

I vowed to myself that when I was on sabbatical I wouldn’t try to stir up any of those feelings in anybody because I know what they feel like. When you’re in a bad season it doesn’t take much to go down those paths.

So today…if you’re in a rough season of life I just want to pray for you and offer help in whatever way I can.

Life is full of seasons and changes, ups and downs, moments when we feel overwhelmed and stressed and hopefully moments of calm and focus. God for those who are struggling today in the season they’re in…encourage them, inspire them to have courage. For those who need to make changes but aren’t sure how, give them a first step in a new direction that will bring the changes they need and desire. For those who are weary and heavy laden, give them your rest God and take their burden. For those who are hurting and feel alone…bring comfort and Your Presence God, hold them together. For those who are feel trapped…bring freedom. For those who don’t know where to turn next and wake up in the night full of anxiety about the future…lead them in your ways, break the bonds of anxiety and fear. For those who don’t know how they’ll pay the bills or have enough money to feed their family…God provide for their needs and show them ways of getting help. For those who feel so desperate and hopeless…God give them hope to hang on. For all of us, help us to live very aware of Your constant presence. Help us to be in relationship with you where we talk with you and listen to you all day long. Speak to us from Your Word. And help us to be faithful to be in Your Word to hear from you. When we are afraid lead us to still waters, cause us to pour out our hearts before you. Bring to our minds the needs of others so that we can pray and care for them better. If we need help and someone around us could actually give help…cause us to ask for it, break through our pride and embarrassment over not having all the answers. For those of us who are in a good season right now…thank you. Show us your ways, teach us how to live…make us aware of ways to help others. We know it is better to give than to receive. If we can help someone else today, be Your hands and feet, then make us aware of the opportunity and cause us to desire to take it. We trust you in every season of life God. We know this life is so uncertain in so many ways and yet when we are anchored in You…we are secure.

Amen.

Peace to you on this Tuesday.