Thankful Tuesday

Today was a snow day, which is really the only thing that snow is good for in my personal opinion. But it was wonderful to just relax and literally be stuck in my little house. Last week was really crazy and exhausting and the past few days I had been feeling like I had reached my end emotionally. Just ask my poor husband who has had to deal with my tears the past two days. I have been on this health journey since the end of December, and I have been working very hard to treat my body well and also get into my BMI. I’ve been working hard and not seeing the results I would like. But today I have come to a place where I know that even if I’m not where I want to be yet, it’s not for lack of trying. I am working hard and I am being faithful. I am treating my body well and I am not quitting. In fact not only am I not quiting but I am enjoying this journey (most of the time). I am learning how to cook and bake in ways that are new and innovative for me. I am working out consistently and I am working out hard! When I remember all of that it puts it in perspective for me. Would I like to see more results faster? Yes. But that fact doesn’t change the reality that I am working hard with consistency. This is a big deal for me, and I don’t want to lose sight of that. Weight loss or not I am still walking in VICTORY.

I think that’s a great place to start this week’s Thankful Tuesday. So, this week I am thankful for:

1. snow days

2. the gym

3. black bean brownie

4. a temporary full time job, where I can work from home during the move

5. signing the lease for our new apartment

5. a husband who encourages me and pushes me towards success

6. a husband who works hard at the things he is passionate about, like his full length album, and works hard even in the mundane things, like shoveling out our cars

7. daily victories

8. the opportunity to see God work through our move to NC

9. having coffee this week, and not needing sugar in it, and also not needing to drink it everyday

Last week felt long and exhausting, and I didn’t always have a very good attitude about it, but reflecting on life and the things I am thankful for reminds me that I really have a ton of blessings. Even in the frustration and discouragement God is still working, isn’t He? What are you thankful for??

Lessons from a tree

Tonight my husband and I decided to take advantage of the incredible day and go for a walk around our neighborhood. The weather was literally perfect. The sun was shining, their was just enough breeze to keep us comfortable, and we were seeing signs of spring popping up all around us. There is nothing quite like the first signs of spring after a long winter, and we had a very long and cold one this year. Just seeing flower buds was exciting. As we were walking down the main road we came upon a cluster of blooming trees with small white flowers. They were beautiful and sang to us the song that means that spring has officially (hopefully) come to stay. The winter has gone, and with it the snow and ice and chill that seemed to invade every room of our home. In it’s stead is sunshine and warm weather. Our frozen world is thawing, and we all, collectively, sigh with relief.

As we walked along the street it dawned on me. The tree with the small white flowers is like me… and you… and us. In the winter it is barren. No flowers, no leaves. It is frozen in winter snow and ice. But then, in triumphant victory, spring arrives. The ground thaws, the flowers begin to grow and the tree that once was barren begins to bloom. What was once ugly and dead, is now filled with the prettiest flowers you’ve ever seen, and it is beautiful. I am that tree. Winter comes in my life. Hurts and disappointments harden my once soft heart, and in some ways my life begins to feel like that barren tree. Barren of joy, and peace. Barren of the beauty that those things bring. The winter in my heart has been long and cold, but spring is coming. I can feel it! The ice is melting, joy is entering. Inspiration, and joy, and love, and compassion have been changing my heart of stone into one of flesh, and I am beginning to bloom. Life has been hard for a few months. It’s been wonderful in a lot of ways, but it’s also been tough and painful. I’ve been stretched and pushed, and I know that God is trying to grow me. But I have resisted, oh how I have resisted. And as a result winter came. The dry cold season lasted longer than I’d like to admit. But the breeze of spring is blowing through my life, and I am experiencing new life. God is working.

“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” The words of Isaiah 43:19 echo in my mind. I look at the tree, and I look at my life and I think we are the same. New life is here, God is doing something different. He is making roadways in the wilderness and rivers in the deserts. He has been preparing me for this place. Even the desert had it’s purpose.

So I bloom, and for the first time in a while I breathe freely, without fear or worry. I am beginning to feel like myself again. And I see the river flowing in the places of my heart that were one dry like the desert. I see the roadways being built, and the dreams coming to pass when I was beginning to believe they never would.

Friends, maybe you too are like the tree. Maybe you still feel like it’s winter even when the sun is shining. Maybe your heart of flesh is coated in a layer of ice. But fear not, He has not left your nor forsaken you. He is working the winter, and desert time for your good. There are blooms and rivers and roadways awaiting you on the other side. Behold He is doing something new. Do you see it? Do you believe it? Will you receive it and walk in it? I’m learning to. I’m learning to walk on the roadways He builds, and drink deeply from the river of His presence.

“The winter is past, the rain is over and gone.” (Song of Solomon 2:11)