taking care by taking care…


© photo by michelle bryant

Hate is such a harsh word and I never allowed my children to use it. I “dislike” many things: okra, beets, people who hurt children to name a few but I “hate” only two: mornings and exercise. See, I’m not a morning person and I’m not in shape. Yet, somehow this morning I managed to get both feet onto the floor, stand erect and get dressed for a workout. What was I thinking?? I was still half asleep so of course, I wasn’t really thinking at all. But as I was driving to the gym I noticed that the sun was so beautiful as it rose and God seemed so present at that particular time of day. My thoughts drifted to my determination to make this a permanent goal – THIS TIME! Because if I don’t my clothes are still never going to fit the way I want them to, I’m never going to be as happy as I could be, want to be or better yet, deserve to be and most of all.. I feel so old.

I’m actually headed to the gym on a quest because my thirty-year high school reunion is coming up this summer and I’ve never been to a single one. UGH!! Talk about old! But then I start to think, well, old isn’t THAT bad when you really think about it – grandkids, retirement, gardening, shopping, travel and having someone beside you whose also growing old – how lovely. Being recently divorced, I’ve been thinking about life in general a lot, so it seemed appropriate my mind would take another rabbit trail on that road about growing old…alone. I mean I’m used to eating my meals alone: microwaved meals for one, cereal for dinner, or just not eating at all. As if loneliness wasn’t bad enough, now I had to add getting old on top of that. So dreading the morning, the crunches, just the thought of a treadmill makes mi want to take a nap but I have been trying to psyche myself up for greatness. Will I make it? I don’t know. All I know is that I have decided to take it one day at a time.

My mind drifts back to this morning, to “what was I thinking? Here I am headed to the gym” when after a grueling boot camp-style workout the night before, I somehow managed to muster out of bed the next day and endure even more torment from the same instructor…before 8:15 am (must’ve been that “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” motivation). And I asked myself, “Where did that strength come from through my achiness and pain?” I literally felt like I had been run over, backed over and run over again. I mean I had places that hurt that I didn’t even know existed on my body and I told myself “I am NOT getting out of this bed.” Yet another little voice told mi, “but you want to look pretty for your reunion.” And so I, like a groaning, eighty-year old lady I sat up, put one foot on the floor and then the other and before I knew it I was standing. Once standing, I had to go to the bathroom and that was that. I got dressed and was out the door.

Although I moaned (literally and loudly) and complained the entire class, I was glad to have it done at the beginning of my day. And when I told my instructor that she said the most profound thing to mi. She said, “When you are obedient to what God wants for you He provides the necessary stuff you need to get you through it.”

And I thought, God has provided mi with so many desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4) why should I not expect that he could give mi this also? But it’s up to mi to see it, to be it, to embrace it, to go for it! I’m sure I’m going to have so many “what if” questions or doubts running through my mind, so many times I’ll want to stay in bed or say I’ll exercise “on my own later” but I know if I can just put one foot on the floor and then bring the other one there also and make myself stand up..He will give mi the “strength necessary to get through each and every day..one day at a time. This desire combined with his strength should over rule that voice that talks mi into staying in bed or perhaps you into eating an entire bag of oreos.

I asked God to send mi someone to help motivate mi (and he did with a vengeance- she’s tough!) My instructor tells us to envision ourselves as we are working out how we want to see ourselves – all I see is that awful person staring back at mi in the mirror but I’m trying to think differently this time and maybe I’ll make it. I don’t know. I hope so.

I mean I’ve always had a goal and could do anything for a week or two but today, the sun rises on a new day and I feel more confident. And it’s not about the way my clothes fit or the way I look or even about being alone, fat, and happy it’s a way of thanking God for always taking care of mi (even when I didn’t deserve it) by taking care of “mi”… and if I look drop dead hot at my class reunion well that’s just another blessing He has chosen to give mi along the way.

© michelle bryant

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