I'm not much on exercise just for exercise. I think it is ridiculous to pay to "work out." Yes, I've done it, and I can't say I won't do it again. I will think it is ridiculous when I do it again. I see the big thing on blogs is to do a certain video, but let me just say... if you take up certain hobbies, you will not likely need to purchase such things! Today was a gorgeous day of 60 degree temps and full on sun that spurred my husband and I, both off work today, to work outside in the yard. We have built a new garage (well, not us exactly) and now we are building a staircase to enter the second floor loft (my husband, exactly). It is an outdoor entry and he is doing a fabulous job so far.
While I was awaiting opportunities to help him, I saw a need that I could attend to. We have a very sloped back yard and one area that we frequently walk needed stairs dug in, with the extra soil going to another area that needed filling. Fortunately, this particular area has the most wonderfully loose, somewhat gravelly soil that was rather easy for me to dig. The most difficult areas were those in which the weeds had taken a firm hold. I worked hard and to my astonishment, dug in quite a nice set of 4 stairs in the bank. We are still working on the grating that will be the actual run of the step. This project will also allow me to move some perennials from an area that is no longer sunny due to the garage to a lovely sunny bed created by the steps. When the ground warms up a bit more, I will begin the move. I want to make sure I don't hit frost - yes, there is still frost in there.
Gardening will do a lot for those arms! Especially wheelbarrow's full of dirt to move. I don't think my back will like me much tomorrow. I guess I didn't lift with my legs. I feel like I got a great amount of exercise, got to be outside (not in a stinky gym or watching a television), AND got a great project done! If you need cardio, which I absolutely hate, just push that wheelbarrow around faster and up the hill instead of down!
I feel like I'm having to stretch some spiritual muscles as well lately. In our small group book, I just finished reading about pain. Yesterday, I wrote all this out, only to discover that I'd lost a connection somewhere and the following was all gone (kept the above portions which is why they are a day off!). Probably not a bad thing, as I was rambling a lot! What I will rewrite is how much pain can hone us and our ability to love. It deepens our responses to others, making real the empathy we want to convey. I don't think anyone truly searches for pain in order to relate to others more deeply, but it is a great silver lining. I am trying to focus on that silver instead of the gray of the cloud that seems to be following me.
I am also trying to find the gratitude in my pain. I want to be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18, my memory verse), and I find this difficult when directly dealing with pain. I find it simple when I deny the pain and pretend it isn't there. If I continue to deny it, I won't be able to work through it and allow God to heal the hurts and bring me closer to Him.
Talk about a workout. I am thankful that He allows rests. I am thankful that He provides people to walk with us through trials. I am thankful that "In my anguish, I called to the Lord, and He answered me by setting me free!" Psalm 118:5 (another of my memory verses!)