I didn’t get up as early as I planned today, but I did get up earlier than I usually would on my day off. My inclination is to beat myself up for that shortcoming, but I’m choosing to instead focus on the small victory. It may not have been 6:00 a.m., but it was 8:30 a.m. and that’s better than 10:00 a.m. Lifestyle changes aren’t solidified in a short four days.
The dogs and I donned our winter attire (yes, I dress my dogs in sweaters) and took a walk. Our usual loop through the neighborhood was transformed into an icy obstacle course. I laughed as I watched the fur balls try to avoid stepping in the snow. They were not pleased when I took them through a beautifully unbroken stretch of powdery stuff in one of the common areas.
I stood in that now pockmarked expanse and took a deep breath of freezing air. All was silent around me. Intricate snowflakes landed on my vest, my hair. Unbidden, a song of praise arose in my throat, spilling out at the exact moment a small group of birds began to twitter.
Arriving back at the house, I settled down to stretch and do my Bible reading for the day. Right now I’m in the book of Job, which isn’t usually looked upon as the most uplifting of stories. I was surprised to find this unexpected treasure:
Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects;
Therefore, do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.
For He bruises, but He binds up;
He wounds, but His hands make whole. – Job 5:17-18 (NKJV)
I have experienced a long season of discipline and difficult growth. Didn’t feel good at the time, but I can honestly say that I am grateful for the fact of it. God loves me enough to put me on the right road. He tenderly cares for the blisters that arise from the unaccustomed terrain. He holds my hand. He shows me lovely things.