Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Gift of Encouragement

        I have never liked to do things that make me sweat. High school phys.ed. was my least favorite class, and  over the years I have tried many exercise classes -- even joined an adult ballet class and a Zumba class for a while -- both were pretty funny to watch, I am sure. I've wasted a lot of money on gym membership, and exercise equipment that I didn't use. Now at my age, my pep is pretty much dwindling. But I know I can't just sit down and give in to it, just because my strength is failing. So now that I am at the Medicare/Social Security phase of my life, I am trying once more to put some effort into moving before I just settle in the rocking chair. I am not ready to retire yet!

       Funny thing, though.  I am finding lots of encouragement that is making a difference in my desire to move more.  And it seems that I need lots of encouragement.  I feel like God has provided the encouragers that I desperately need. My friend sends me messages almost every day -- praising my little accomplishments and pushing me to keep at it.  One daughter bought a Fitbit like mine and we have a friendly competition to see who gets the most steps in a day.  The other daughter is a  Zumba queen and has totally changed her body through her faithful routines.  Even my son has joined the gym. So even when I'd rather just collapse on the couch, I'm trying to get myself up and moving.  
      Several times I have had people to walk with me at the beautiful new walking track, and that always makes the time pass quicker.  And when I walk alone, I have my playlist to listen to and sing praise songs to the One who never really lets me walk alone. I like singing "your grace is enough!" And "Lord, I'm asking you to be strong enough for both of us!"  "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."
        The two songs at the end of my playlist are " Happy" - which describes how I feel when I have made it to the end of my 2 miles. The last one is "Overcomer", and I have never yet been able to walk long enough to get to that song -- I listen to it in the car as I drive home. "Stay in the fight -- you're not going under 'cause God is holding you right now. Don't quit, don't give in."
         Encouragement is a gift -- and I receive this gift from unexpected places sometimes. I want to have the strength to make it to the end, but I also need the reminder to be an encourager to others who might need a reminder of the faithfulness of God.

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