Monthly Archives: January 2022

Becoming second nature…


I’ve watched people walk by my window for a number of years and thought, “I want to be a person that walks on a regular basis.” There were times in my past, more often than not, that I was that person, but for quite a number of years now, that hasn’t been me.

It’s not that I haven’t walked at all. I have had my share of times when I’ve walked around the neighborhood or gone to “hike” in the arboretum down the street. I just haven’t been consistent.

Last year, my bloodwork showed that my bad cholesterol had gotten higher than my good cholesterol (though my overall cholesterol was still “normal”). I took some action with my diet and added in an Omega 3 supplement that I thought would help. After a few months, my bloodwork showed very little change. I told my doctor I didn’t understand, and she said that consistent exercise is really the best way to keep cholesterol in check.

Well, 5 months later, in October, after I turned 54, I decided to commit to following this walking app I had found. I told myself I would follow it for 12 weeks. Technically, that 12 weeks should almost be up, but I’m still working the plan. There were days when I had so much other physical activity from yard work, or walking all day Christmas shopping, that I figured I could skip using the app. Then, there were days that were too busy with holidays, family gatherings, travel, weather, etc. However, I haven’t given up.

After the first 6 weeks, it was time again for bloodwork, and to my satisfaction, my cholesterol had decreased overall as well as specifically bringing down my bad cholesterol. It’s working and that was just the motivation I needed to keep going with following the walking app. I won’t stop until I complete the 12 weeks on the app….and then , I still won’t stop.

I’m becoming that walking person that I desired to be and I don’t ever want to go back to being a person who just watches the walking people go by. Walking is once again becoming second nature to me. I desire it, and this is such a positive thing for me!

The fact is, this is how we develop and grow into people of virtue. We choose behaviors, consistently, day after day, following disciplines, that turn into habits, and the more we repeat them, the more they become a part of who we are. There are things that come more natural to us that we picked up as children that seem like they’ve always been a part of who we are; loving to learn has been that way for me. Yet, other good behaviors haven’t come so naturally to me, and those require more concentrated effort, choices to be disciplined, to develop habits that will eventually become second nature.

Four and a half years ago, God opened the way for us to move to this neighborhood and into our home, both of which have felt like places with more space to breathe, to be and to become. Now that I’ve allowed the influences and inspiration around me to lead me to become a walking person, that victory is pushing me forward to work on some other habits that have needed my attention, other behaviors I want to change or new ones to develop. I’m so thankful to have more emotional and mental space in my life now so that I can think through choices that lead me to disciplines that will overcome some bad habits, developing new ones that will become second nature, in time.

I’m thanking God for his answers to my prayers, for his ways of working things for my good, for his provisions and his care. “When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Ps. 118:5-6)

God empathizes with us….


This Advent season was a time of contemplation for me, though I was outwardly busy with the usual buying of gifts, preparing for family gatherings, decking the halls and such…. From the first part of December forward, I had one line of thought running through my mind and heart. God empathizes with us; God sits with us in our sorrows and our struggles and completely understands all that we are experiencing.

Why and How? Because of Jesus coming and putting on our flesh, walking where we have walked, feeling hungry, having sadnesses and joys in his life, getting tired and having sore feet from walking all over Israel….everything that Jesus experienced as a man enabled God to fully understand us as humans. God has always been love as primarily who God is, but because of Jesus, God’s love for us grew even deeper. I keep thinking that maybe this is why the God of the Old Testament seems a bit different than the God of the New Testament….

My heart has been soothed in ways I never fully realized prior to this Christmas season. I want to encourage you to invite God to come sit with you in your hard human places and to let God love you there, to realize that God fully understands what you are dealing with as a human, God truly empathizes…. as our world has gone crazy with the chaos of Covid and climate change, and all the ways life has challenged us as humans, as a country, as individuals, in these last couple years….God gets it in ways we probably don’t even yet understand ourselves.

As 2022 begins and we end up the 12 days of Christmas with Epiphany on January 6, I hope for you to feel a new Light in your spirit as you let God into your world just a little further…. God’s love brings a Light that will shine for you in all your darknesses when all other lights have gone out. I pray that you feel God’s Presence and Light in all the times and seasons ahead in this year.

A Time for Everything – Ecclesiastes

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet, no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.