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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

By the time June rolls around, spring has given way to summer’s heat and January is just a distant memory.  Cold weather?  I can barely remember what it is to wear shoes and sweaters.  By now, resolutions often ring a faint bell but they are pretty hazy this far away.

This year, I do remember my resolutions and I can still recite them at the drop of a hat, thanks to this monthly check-in.  I am now at the point of accepting some of them as part of my routine, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are ingrained or permanent habits.  (That old saw about it taking 21 days to make or break habits is bogus – it takes far longer to truly make something stick.)

1.  Read my Bible daily.  First half of the month, right on track. Second half, not so much.  I won’t whine or make excuses, it is what it is. But there is now this frequent niggle and nudge inside me to pick it up and read it more days than not.  I’m encouraging that niggly nudge to grow and get stronger.  It’s the same feeling that can get me up and going to the gym before daybreak.

2. Exercise.  At the risk of repeating myself, see #1 above.  First half of the month, definitely on track. Second half, other things took priority.  And I don’t kid myself that gardening burns as many calories as the gym.  I may sweat buckets while dragging the hose and digging weeds, but the exertion level is not the same.  However, I’m okay with my results for the past four weeks; the things that overshadowed my regular routine were important and urgent and are now completed, so no more excuses.  And my weight dropped beneath 120 earlier this month.  It still hovers and flutters around that mark, but we’re headed in the right direction.  Anyone trying to lose a few pounds, take heart.  Changing the way you eat and exercise are key – they don’t always yield dramatic results, but be patient and let them work their slow magic.

3. Prayer life.  It’s not without ceasing but it is regular and more frequent than daily.  I pray for health of friends and family and for many who are near-and-dear to my nearest-and-dearest.  I try to stop and appreciate and give thanks for the abundance of good things that happen every day.  From small mercies to big blessings, all good things come from God and I hope I never forget that or fail to give Him thanks.

4. Cultivating the fruits of the spirit. This one is still an enigma.  I know I set it as a resolution but how can I measure this?  It isn’t like cultivating plants in my garden.  I can see how my plants grow; I can see them mature and bloom and bear fruit.  I know there must be a way to similarly see and measure this growth but in the meantime, I keep praying and studying know the more I do that, the more the fruit will grow.

I hope this month finds everyone thinking back on whatever you resolved to stop or start roughly 150 days ago.  Whether you’re struggling to keep those promises, or struggling to even remember what you promised yourself, there’s no time like today to get started.  And think how great it will feel in December to know you made good on your resolutions in 2012 and see the results of your efforts.

Happy resolving,
Terry

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So, how’s everyone doing?  It seems this is where daily routines start to become habits, but some things are just plain hard to put into regular practice and to be honest, I’ve stumbled in a few areas.

1. Cultivate a daily prayer life.
My goal is to pour a cup of coffee, do my daily Bible reading and then spend time in prayer.  It’s putting “first things first.”  Is it a habit yet?  Nope. In fact, right now I’m a few days behind on my reading. Again. But I’m trying!

2. Read the Bible through in 2012.
Still (pretty much) on track. This month, I worked my way through Job, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther and most of Isaiah, plus Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and Galatians.  Both of these readings remind me that some things never change.

3. Exercise at least 4 days a week and drop the last 15 pounds I want to lose. 

  • Week one,  I managed a 3-mile run and yoga, and two brisk walks with the dog.
  • Week two was back to Pilates, plus some elliptical (knee is still iffy) and an hour of Body Pump on Friday
  • Weeks three and four both consisted of two hours of weights, plus an hour each Pilates and yoga
  • This week has seen me back in the gym early for elliptical work, then body pump and Pilates.

My goal weight is 110.   I’m at 123, which is up a couple of pounds from last month.  February is Girl Scout cookies month.  What else can I say?

4. Get my desk organized and keep it that way. 

Recipes are in my notebook; projects are in folders.  Tax docs go to Mr. Official and college info to Swimmer Girl.  We’re going to ignore the microbursts of mail sitting on the island and my sewing table (next to the desk.)  Organization is sadly still not a habit but it is getting better.

5. Cultivate the fruit of the spirit in my life.

I stumbled over a video imbedded in this entry at How to Live Richly on a Budget.  It’s 12 (highly entertaining) minutes so grab a cup of coffee and settle in.  The upshot is in the last couple of minutes where he describes a scientific “discovery” for success by doing the following daily activities for 21 days in a row.

  • find 3 new things you’re grateful for,
  • journal about something positive that occurred in the last 24 hours,
  • regular exercise,
  • meditate (an antidote to multi-tasking), and
  • commit a random, conscious act of kindness

Science and scripture are in sync; good things come from kindness, self-control, patience, love, etc.  So what would you like to change in your life? There’s no reason to wait for next January – I hope you’ll commit to it today.  And tell others what you’re trying to do so they – and we – can encourage you!

Happy resolving,

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