Tempted to Quit? Keep Moving!

My legs quiver as I step onto the sidewalk in front of my home. How can I launch out for a walk feeling so weak?

Photo/KarenJordan

I take a second step, determined to go forward with my plan to regain my health by exercising.

Obstacles. My motivation to exercise overpowers my temptation to stop. I gain strength in each additional step, as I begin my lesson in perseverance.

But it will not be an easy journey. There are obstacles to overcome and goals to reach. Can I make it?

Resistance. Exercise, like other worthwhile endeavors, demands strength and stamina. The first morning I attempt my new exercise program, everything within me resists it, like opposite poles of two magnets.

I would rather do just about anything other than exercise. So, on my first day out, I let temptation win. I stay home, and I feel guilty the rest of the day.

Failures. By the next morning, my previous day’s failure serves as my primary motivating force. So, I lace up my walking shoes, purchased just for this occasion, and jog slowly out of my garage. My first goal has been accomplished. And the next thing I know, I’m crossing the street facing the next block.

Intimidation. Okay, this is going to be a breeze, I think. But by the time I turn the corner, another fear presents itself, as if to try to stop me in my tracks. An all-male construction crew building a house nearby alarms me because of the recent crimes in my neighborhood. I’m fearful of walking in front of them. But I hold my breath and walk on. I move this obstacle out of the way, as I change my route and proceed in another direction.

Distractions. As I walk uphill, I become short of breath. When I slow down to breathe, a gray squirrel catches my attention. He’s busy burying an acorn in my neighbor’s yard. I watch him as I walk by. When I look up, I’m already at the end of the street, about to turn the corner to complete another block.

Goals. I continue to accomplish small goals as I walk. In a short while, I’ve gone far enough, and I decide to return to my home. My mind is cleared by the fresh air, but my body is affected by the exercise.

When I arrive home, I’m exhausted, but surprisingly refreshed. As I sit down for a cool glass of water before I shower, I recall the distance I’ve covered. I feel good about myself, and I’m grateful that I resisted the temptation to quit.

Strength. In 2 Corinthians 12:8, Paul tells us that the Lord’s “power is made perfect in weakness.”

I find that to be true as I confess my weaknesses to the Lord. Somehow,  I find strength as I face my weaknesses each day.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak … those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength … they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Is. 40:29-31 NIV)

Where have your faced resistance in your life? How did you overcome it?

Photo/KarenJordan

Prayer for Family Unity and Reconciliation

Does unity and reconciliation seem impossible in your family?

Photo/TaraRossMy family is separated by distance, and we have often also been divided by some of our differences—interests, opinions, lifestyles, ages, economy, and some pretty serious disagreements.

My mother longed for unity in our family, and she always grieved over our physical separation. Now that my children are grown with families of their own, I understand Mother’s concern. But I also understand the need for my children to find their own paths, which often includes some difficult times of being apart.

With each family member going their own way, I will admit that I’ve often lost hope for unity and reconciliation. And I’ve wondered if I would even recognize when the answer to this particular prayer comes.

What does unity and reconciliation even look like?

Continue Reading »

Facing the Mirror

It all started with my mirror ….

Photo/MilesRoss

I didn’t like what I saw–gray hair, wrinkles, and an extra chin. I could only see my faults—weaknesses, mistakes, and failures–nothing worthwhile.

But that’s not the worst part. I found myself focusing all the negative things around me, too. And I almost missed it.

Continue Reading »

Enough! Considering the White Space of Grace

As I considered all the changes I needed to make awhile back, the word “enough” seemed to keep rolling out of my restless heart and consuming my anxious thoughts.

Photo/Jordan

Where do I begin? 

Do I work on one of those book proposals? Do I need to write another blog post? Do I have a speaking event scheduled this month? Do I need to work on my website?

I don’t know where to start! Enough!

At first, I thought this mental confusion might be an emotional reaction to stress. Soon, I realized that I needed a divine revelation.

I needed some white space!

Continue Reading »

Awakened: The Lazarus Project

As I prepared to celebrate Easter, I received another invitation from Ron Benson to join The Lazarus Experiment on Facebook. 

Photo/KarenJordan (www.karenjordan.net)

… Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:33 NIV)

Everyone needs a do-over.Resurrection is the ultimate do-over.

But Jesus didn’t need to reset his moral compass. He didn’t resolve to do better the second time around–the first time was perfect in every way. Resurrection for Jesus didn’t mean a do-over.

Continue Reading »

Considering the Power of Our Comfort

Photo/KarenJordan

 

… He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us … (2 Cor. 1:4 MSG).

Have you ever been pulled into someone else’s painful narrative? You’ve suffered the pain of losing a loved one. Or you know what it’s like to be left behind. You might be sitting in a waiting room right now.

Continue Reading »

Look at the Birds!

Photo/KarenJordan

“Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds” (Matt. 6:26 MSG).

What a great reminder for us all, as we face the mirror and our work today! 

I captured this shot at DeGray Lake this past week. I don’t claim to be a great photographer, but I LOVE this shot! 

Speaking of the mirror and my work, I don’t really have the freedom to spend too much time on blogging today. [You’ll understand why if you read my post from last week.]

But I DO have the freedom to share my photo and this promise from God’s Word with you. 

I pray it encourages you today!

Photo/KarenJordan

What promise from God’s Word encouraged you today? Be sure to leave your comment in the space below.