Winter motivation

Weather is one excuse I made this winter to postpone/cancel running.

Weather is one excuse I made this winter to get out of running.

It’s hard to run in the winter.

For the past few months, excuses have been crawling into my head and crowding out my good intentions. Sometimes, the weather defeated my plans.  I was sick, then my son was sick, then my daughter was sick, then my husband was sick. Other events became more important and ran into when I should have been running.

And then there is the monotonous running in circles around the gym that just doesn’t spark my motivation to get into gear.

For me, running consistently this winter has become a choice rather than an already made conclusion.

In my relationship with God, this concept is also true. It’s hard to run in the winter. When stressors come and storms blow in and life piles up and buries our hearts, my first reaction can often be to expend all my energy digging myself out, instead of digging into God’s Word. This past weekend was a particularly stressful one and I spent too many hours trying to figure out a solution, and not near enough time seeking wisdom from my Heavenly Father. When I surfaced on Tuesday, I opened up the Bible app on my Kindle to continue my daily chronological Bible reading, and I realized that I had neglected this essential time with God for four days – each day that I was consumed with a work project during the weekend.

Habits are not mindless, Pavlovian reactions to do what should be done. They are a result of thoughtful planning and consistent, ongoing hard work.

Running is my response to God’s challenge in my life for regular exercise. This week marks a new start and commitment to that routine. Instead of allowing my excuses to claim victory, I will get to the gym whether or not I feel like it or it is convenient.

Most importantly, my relationship with God must take center stage in my life. With God’s strength I will resist problem-solving urges and instead cast my cares on Him.

It’s hard to run in the winter. But, push forward, keep going!

Spring will be here soon!

Melting into Spring

Jackson and I were talking on the phone the other day on my way home from work. The snow has been melting considerably this week because of an unseasonably warm spell, and Jackson happened to be looking out the back patio as we were talking. Suddenly he exclaimed, “Mommy, mommy! The snow is melting into Spring!”

As of today, the only snow left is the large “parking lot piles” and what’s been kept in the shade. It’s amazing with all the freezing temperatures and mounds of snow, green grass survives and renews our hope for spring with it’s appearance this week.

Maybe you’ve been going through a frozen time in your life as of late. Maybe you’ve felt numb to the things of God and the flames of your faith have grown cold. The weight of all the pressures and burdens of your life have continued to accumulate around you and you’re now snowed in, alone and desperate, though you wouldn’t admit it to anyone.

Winter doesn’t last forever. And if you are so buried that you want to retort that in some places on the planet it is winter year round, then you need to move.

Spring is coming!! In the midst of the snow storm you may not see it, but it is still true. 

If you need dug out of your spiritual snow pit or your heart popped in the microwave to defrost, why not give your shovel and life to God? Pray one (or all) of these guaranteed “Yes!” prayers to break into new life and the warmth and security of God’s great love and purpose for you.

–  forgive me.
–  renew the joy of my salvation.
–  give me a hunger and thirst to know You.
–  open my eyes to opportunities around me to be your hands and feet.
–  give me the strength to do what you have asked.
–  let me see people as you see them.
–  take my burdens and help me to take up your cross.
–  use me.

Though these seem like simple prayers, coming from a genuine, contrite heart, expect your winter to begin melting into Spring.