I did it. I accomplished my goal. I ran a 5k. “Ran” is a relative term. I didn’t walk, but you could maybe call it a slow jog. The two fastest walkers passed me before I got to the half-way point. It’s actually a little embarrassing. I was slow. At the same time I felt really good about it. I accomplished my goal.
I’m trying to get into shape. The getting in shape thing didn’t end after I finished the 5k. I still have to keep on going. I’ve got myself some accountability. I’m trying. And I appreciate all of you who have cheered me on and encouraged me. It’s been a bit humbling to say that I’m not too good at something. I have felt nothing but love. It’s meant a lot.
I ran the 5k in 45:02. The picture proves it. I’m not sure what my long term goal is. I know most people it would be to get faster or to go longer. I’m not like most people. My ankles can only handle so much. So I find myself trying to come up with new fitness goals. It’s kind of fun. It’s kind of daunting. No matter what, I still need to continue. I want to get in shape.
So our relationship with Jesus is not just that one time, “I made a decision to follow Jesus, and now I’m good.” A relationship with Jesus takes time and effort. Kind of like getting into shape. And even if we get in shape, we still need to work to stay in shape. It’s not always easy but it’s totally worth it.
I encourage you to try something a little different than what you normally do. Change it up. Keep it interesting. I’ve been memorizing a passage from the Bible this week. It’s been good. It helps me to focus on what Jesus has
taught and apply it in my own life.
So what do you want to try out that’s a little different from what you normally do?
I love coffee. Perhaps a little too much. Right now I’m trying to limit myself to one cup a day. Well, okay, two max. But that’s it. My husband got me into drinking the lovely hot drink black a few years back. He said that you couldn’t really taste the coffee if you put other stuff in it. It took me a while to wean myself off the milk (never cream or half and half) and sweetener. I didn’t really make the change because of the taste though. I really did it to make life simpler. And it is. At least I think so. Did I mention that I love coffee?
I won’t even start on my new favorite roast from Thailand. I think it’s going to replace my all-time favorite Bolivian blend.
Well anyway, I was thinking about it today. Every morning (except Sunday) we make coffee. No matter what. Maybe not every morning, but it’s been part of our morning routine for a long time.
I have been working hard in the last couple of weeks to get up early to read the Bible, read a section from a discipleship book, and pray. I have a huge desire to spend time with God, but I’ll admit it. It’s tough with limited amounts of sleep. I’ve been moving my time with God frequently, because as soon as I get a routine down, my life situation seems to change. Right now I’m making my God time first thing in the morning. My goal is to make my God time as routine as my one cup of coffee.
Are you regularly spending time with God? It can be a struggle to start the routine but oh so worth it.
If you come to my house, you’ll probably see this in our dining room. I have been asked many times what’s drying on the rack. It’s okay. I would have asked the same question a couple years ago. They’re cloth diapers.
Before becoming a parent, I only had one friend who was using cloth diapers. She told me about the cost benefits. It got us thinking about it ourselves. I asked my friend what brand of cloth diapers and told people that’s what we wanted.
After we had been using them for a while, I realized how many brands and types of cloth diapers there are. The ones below are called All-in-Ones, but we also use pre-folds with wraps. There are so many accessories as well – doublers, diaper liners, fasteners, wet bags, pail liners. If you haven’t been in the market (recently or ever), you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s okay. That’s my point.
For some of us it’s pretty intimidating to read the Bible. There are so many names and terms and words and books. We give up before even trying. When I first started to read the Bible (seriously), I admit it – I didn’t get it all. I’ve found, though, that the more I read, the more I want to know. If I have a question, I ask or look it up or study it more.
If you ask me about cloth diapers now, I can tell you a whole lot about them. It took time for me to learn all about them. If you ask me about the Bible, I know a fair amount but know I have more to learn. My knowledge of cloth diapers is only helpful if I actually use cloth diapers. And I do. In the same way my knowledge of the Bible is only helpful if I actually apply the knowledge to what I do in life. And I try.
Give it a try. Open the Bible. Read for yourself what it’s all about.
The picture below is our fridge earlier this week.
We NEEDED to go shopping. One of the major adjustments for us moving to Vermont was grocery shopping. Before Vermont we were within ten minutes of five major grocery stores. Now it takes a while to get to any larger grocery stores.
We were supposed to go grocery shopping early last week. We thought, “Well, we can make it ‘til Saturday, since we’ll be in Lebanon anyway.” Saturday plans were cancelled. Then we thought, “Well, we can make it ‘til Monday, since we’re going up to Gove Hill.” Monday plans were cancelled. Tuesday wouldn’t work with the town meeting. Wednesday didn’t work with meetings and such. I finally went shopping yesterday!
Our relationship with God can go in a similar direction. We start to get busy. We tell ourselves, “Tomorrow I’ll read my Bible.” The next day we tell ourselves, “I’ll spend time with God praying tomorrow. I’ll have more time then.” Before you know it a month has gone by and we feel like we’re running on low (like my fridge).
Lent is beginning on Wednesday. Lent is the period of time that we prepare for Easter. Lent is a good time to refocus ourselves on cultivating our relationship with God. After the kids go to bed we can give up one show that we kind of sort of like and read Philippians. We can wake up a half hour early and thank God for all He’s done in our lives. We can unplug from technology for an afternoon and enjoy God’s creation by skiing. We can take some steps to carve out time with God.
Here’s a prayer that can get you started:
you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
(Psalm 63:1-8 NIV)
This is written by Kathleen Blackey, follower of Jesus and co-pastor at First Baptist Church.