I long for more of the outdoors this year.
Although it was not a goal or a new year’s resolution,
I just needed something to keep me going through this season of cold and snow.
We’re halfway through the first month of the new year and I have ventured out 6 times.
A friend told me of an app called “couch to 5k” that helps you get off the couch and start running.
I’m not really good with apps, I mean I’ll get them and forget to use them.
As I walked the other day among the tall pine trees, I wondered if anyone had created an app called “couch to mountain top” because that seems to always be the direction I’m walking.
My daughter Autumn loves to hike, it’s one of the ways her and I connect.
She is always up for a hike, a walk, or a climb and that encourages me.
One day in particular we made our way to a place we had hiked before but decided to take a different route.
A well worn ribbon of dirt covered in snow was the path we took.
The hike was uphill all the way for almost 2 miles. The old snow was hardened and packed, making it more difficult to make the trek.
I could feel myself wanting to quit half way.
My mind was shouting “I thought this was going to be an easy one?”
My breathing was hard, my lungs chilled from the atmosphere, but the skies were blue there were no clouds to hide the sunshine. It was one of those beautiful Colorado winter days.
I told myself to stop thinking about how hard the hike was, so I tried to sing instead. One line from the song
“How great is our God” and I realized that was not going to happen.
I tried to talk with Autumn but realized I was too out of breath to carry on a conversation and I was holding her back from her rhythm.
So I decided to make a list in my head of all the things I was grateful for.
1. I’m grateful to be alive, to be able to walk and see the beauty that God created.
Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
I’m grateful to connect with my 20-year-old daughter who could be doing so many other things than hanging out with me.
I’m grateful to live in a place where my back yard is the great outdoors.
I’m ever so grateful for the friends that I hold close to my heart, even though we are separated by miles.
I’m grateful that God’s mercy toward me is new every morning.
Doesn’t that blow your mind?
Everyday when we wake up, The Creator of the universe says,
“Today you get another day to do the things I’ve called you to do and I am with you through it all.”
I began to feel my spirit lift, my heart was turning from complaints to joy.
Just as I looked up to see how far ahead Autumn was, three deer sprinted out of the dried shrubs and crossed my path to the other side. I shouted “Autumn look!” she turned back just in time to catch a glimpse of their small white tails with black tips.
There was a spring in my step the rest of the way up.
As we reached the top of the mountain I turned around to the panoramic view of the north-west side of Colorado springs and it was breathtaking.
Something happens when we choose to be grateful.
Gratitude touches every part of our body, mind, and soul.
It can help you face your greatest struggle with a perspective of hope.
It can help you climb your tallest mountain.
It can take the stress out of your day giving you new eyes to see the great possibilities.
I have read that having a grateful heart boosts your immune system as well.
The bible says Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinks within himself, so he is.”
So before you begin to complain and grumble, before you reach out to your friend to vent your worries and woes, how about changing your perspective and choosing in that moment to be grateful no matter what you’re facing.
Ephesians 5:20 talks about giving thanks to God for everything.
Become a person who counts their blessings.
Who is the person/people you are most grateful for?
Call them, text them, drop a note in the mail and tell them just how grateful you are for them.
Don’t wait for a special occasion, the time is right now.
Step outside and be grateful for the street you live on, the house you live in even if the roof leaks, or it needs a makeover.
Stand in a place where you become aware of everything and everyone that is in your life.
Understand the reality that tomorrow is never promised to any of us.
So choose today to take your next step with a grateful heart.
When your heart is filled with gratitude you just never know what blessings you might receive.
Praying for you,