Thursday, May 31, 2012

Starting Over

Proverbs 24: 15-18 - Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; do not plunder his resting place; for a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.  Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.

Lost my drive and focus for a little bit there, and even though, I kept being badgered by the voice of failure and doubt and negativity, etc., etc., etc., I'm going to concentrate on the part of the above scripture that states, "...for a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again..."

I just had a very relaxing vacation where I reconnected with the Lord God again, and am willing to try again to get this thing right.  What I will do differently is blog just once or twice a week with a goal at the beginning of the week, and the results at the end.

So, as the title says, I'm starting over again, but this time with a different format that may take some of the pressure off.

So, as the saying goes, "once more, with feeling!"

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 20

Psalm 22:22-24 - Here's the story I'll tell my friends when they come to worship, and punctuate it with Hallelujahs: Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers; give glory, you sons of Jacob; adore him, you daughters of Israel. He has never let you down, never looked the other way when you were being kicked around. He has never wandered off to do his own thing; he has been right there, listening.

We are so blessed, and should be completely comforted, to have that assurance, that God will always be there, has always been there, and is always there, listening, never wandering off to do His own thing.  So unlike us...

Yeah, I did my own thing.  Felt guilty, but not guilty enough to remedy it at the time.  Accomplished some things, but not enough to call it a workout.  Went out to socialize, washed the hair, and watched DVD's...nope, definitely nothing to call a workout.  Oh well, there's always tomorrow...hopefully...

20 days down, 345 to go...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 19

Ecclesiastes 9:11  - I returned and saw under the sun that— the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

Solomon was really in a dark place when he wrote this.  He must have been feeling a lot like many of us feel from time to time:  what's the use of being good anyway?  We try, we strive, we do what God says, and yet, evil still prevails all around us.  So what's the use?

Why workout today?  Just gonna have to workout again tomorrow?  Why cook today?  It's just gonna get eaten and add to the weight I have to work off?  Why cut the grass?  It's just gonna grow back and I'll have to cut it again next week.  I could go on and on, but you get the gist.  Sometimes hopelessness is one of the ugly obstacles we must overcome to reach the expected end God promised us.

I sure didn't feel like doing anything worthwhile today, especially when I looked out and saw the veritable mountain of work that had to be done.  But then I remembered that even God took six days, so why should I think that I have to do it all in one day?  I also decided to look at a counterpart of that scripture verse, as found in James 1:12 - Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

I went out and tackled what I could, and did the same thing God did: I looked at it and saw that it was good!  I triumphed over those spirits of hopelessness and lethargy, and continued the restoration process to my garden.  I'm sore because I didn't stretch after finishing, but the task is done, and it's coming along very nicely.  As well as the muscle tone to my arms!

So there!

19 days down, 346 to go!

Day 18

Romans 14:20a - 
Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.

I've mentioned before that I found out that I had been putting food before God.  Well, it has been destroying the work of His Hands as well.

I thank Him that He hasn't saddled me with a lot of the afflictions that so many others possess, but I still have my own burdens to carry because of food, not the least of which is all this excess weight surrounding this fearfully and wonderfully made temple of the Holy Spirit.

It's only been a couple of days, but my knee still aches from mowing the lawn.  I don't know if I wrenched it, or it's just reacting (again) to being made to carry all this extra weight, I don't know.  But what I know is, something has to give.  And it's not going to be me.

I went out with my coworkers, and we had a really nice time.  What was even better was I didn't eat to excess.  As a matter of fact, I had a very healthy meal that was both satisfying and filling.

I can overcome this power food has over me.  I know I can because I have already been making wiser food choices and eating less than I had before.  I don't want to think about food all the time, but I guess that'll come in time.  For now, I'll be happy with this little victory.  Yay me!

18 days down, 347 to go!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 17

Proverbs 24:30-35 - I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; and there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; so shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.

Wow!  I took a look at all the work that's needed on my lawn and garden and almost got discouraged when I read this passage of scripture.  But, as the old adage says, :"Once begun is half done."  I have begun the arduous, yet loving, task of restoring my lawn and garden to its former glory.  

The front and back lawn have been mowed and most of the weeds have been cleared.  The major tasks at hand are trimming the trees and bushes and repairing the outside woodwork.  That's going to take time and money, but slow and steady wins the race, and I intend to win this race.  

One (or two) bright spot:  the clematis and peony are in bloom in the back garden, and the rhododendron and azalea are in bloom in the front garden.  The wild honeysuckle that I've let become an arbor over my back porch is beginning to bloom and the scent is one short of heavenly.  I remember taking long walks through an arbor that was covered in it, and feeling closest to God simply because of the wonderful scent that perfumed the air.  I'm really looking forward to it being in full bloom!

Anyway, my workout consisted of working in the garden, in the wonderful outdoors, instead of my original plan of walking indoors with Leslie Sansone.  I love her, but nothing beats the great outdoors with all that fresh air and beautiful lighting that comes right before the sun begins to set.  Thank You God, for the wonders of Your Hands!

17 days down, 348 to go!

Day 16

Isaiah 43:22 - I, the LORD, said to Israel: You have become weary, but not from worshiping me.

Yeah, so true.  I was worn out, but defintiely not from staying in the Lord's Face.  As a matter of truth, I think I was so worn out because I stayed out of the Lords Face.

Didn't do anything unusual or out of the ordinary, but was so tired all day, I actually resorted to candy to try to boost my energy.  Then stopped to grab a sandwich for dinner on my home from leaving work earlier than planned ('cause I was so tired).  Met a friend in the parking lot and couldn't even stop to catch up ('cause I was so tired).  Ate my sandwich and promptly fell asleep.  Was awakened at 7pm by my nightly alarm.  Only had energy to do a few (and I mean very few) abdominal exercises, then went back to bed.

Gotta do something differently, can't keep being this worn out...

16 days down, 349 to go...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 15

Ephesians 5:15 - Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

I can't live more than one day at a time.  For that matter, I can't live more than one moment at a time.  No matter how much I enjoyed yesterday, I cannot relive it.  I can try to duplicate it, but I can never relive it.  Same with a day in the future.  I may be looking forward to a particular day, but I can't live it right now, I have to wait until that day arrives.  

There's a saying going around: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that's why it's called the present.  Each day into which we awaken is a gift.  Something the Father didn't have to give to any of us.  And in truth, there are some who didn't get today's gift; they opened their last present yesterday.  Not a time for sorrow, just a lesson for today.

I regretted not doing some things yesterday, but I can't go back and correct it.  What I can do is learn from it and apply the lesson to today.  I was nicer to some people, I was firmer with others.  I worked my body even though I didn't feel like I had the energy.  So many things that I didn't strive for yesterday, I did today.  Some things I didn't get done today because of poor planning, but if God gives me tomorrow, I'll apply that lesson then.  If not, I am grateful for today.

For example, I knew that I had to do a rigorous workout today because I took it easy two days in a row, but I didn't eat the right foods to give me the necessary muscular and energy support.  Therefore, I wasn't able to put my best effort forward.  I gave what I could, but I learned a valuable lesson.  Planning helps to make the most of each opportunity.  I don't have to be a Martha Stewart, type-A, anal list-maker, but putting some thought into the next few hours makes a big difference in the long run.  And I do have a long run ahead of me (I hope!)

If I'm going to be an effective soldier in God's army, I've got to respect this temple and do what I'm supposed to to make the necessary repairs, and then maintain those repairs.  So rest, hydration, activity, God-centered, all of that works together to make this journey work.

15 days down, 350 to go!