Sunday, April 26, 2015

Getting in shape

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)
Me and Wilbur Dean 
Hiking season has officially begun for hubby and me.
We took our first hike of the season on Easter Sunday afternoon, and, according to Dean’s GPS, trekked 2.25 miles over the trails here on the Huey homestead.
“No steep hills or thrashing through dense underbrush,” I warned DH as I laced up my hiking boots.
Off we went, Dean with his weighted backpack (he’s getting in shape for a fall hunting trip to Colorado) and me with a water-bottle-stuffed fanny pack and my walking stick named “Wilbur Dean” for the man who made it for me. (Note: “Wilbur Dean” refers to my walking stick; “Dean” or “DH” refers to my Dear Husband.)
The second week we hiked 2.5 miles with some climbing, and last week we put on 3 miles—and me with a bigger fanny pack (to hold more water bottles).
Oh, I felt that third hike—for two days.
But if I’m to enjoy hiking and the scenic views of God’s beautiful creation while doing so, I must discipline myself to get in shape so I won’t be huffing and puffing and stopping every 25 steps to catch my breath (like I did on our hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains last year) and won’t hurt so much at the end of a hike.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
So in January I began a training program to get myself in shape—walking indoors, working out on the elliptical trainer which I talked DH into getting me for Christmas (he uses it more than I do), and water aerobics and swimming several times a week. My goal is to hike 5 miles without feeling like I’m dead or nearly so by the end of May.
Building up my stamina—training myself to endure more and more—can be grueling and painful. It takes time out of an already too-busy schedule. But it’s vital if I’m to grow stronger and build up my endurance.
The same goes for our spiritual life.
If we are to grow and become stronger in our faith, we must do more than endure the hard times and the difficult circumstances that appear on the trail of life. We must allow them to stretch us and make us stronger and better. We must embrace them and cooperate with them.
And when you get to the point when it seems impossible to put one foot in front of the other, you say, “I can do this. I can do all things through Christ, who gives me the strength” (Philippians 4:13).
So keep stepping, Pilgrim. Your faith, which is more precious than gold (1 Peter 1:7), is in training.
Thank you, Lord, for the faith-building exercises You send my way. Give me the strength to endure them and remind me to stop frequently and enjoy the view. Amen.

More tea: Read 1 Corinthians 9:24–27; Hebrews 12:5–13

So, I'm thinking, how can I use this in my next book?

What's coming down the pike . . . 

Getaway Mountain
Reclusive romance novelist Melody Harmon, her career on the skids, flees to her writing retreat in the Pennsylvania mountains rather than team up with Don Bridges, an ex-cop turned suspense writer.  When she discovers caches of cash - to the tune of a million dollars - she assumes it's her late husband's gambling winnings. Then dead bodies start popping up. Don wants to help her solve the mystery, but trust isn't one of her strong points. Can she overcome the pain of betrayal and learn to trust and love again? 

I'm currently working on the edits on this one, the first in a romantic suspense series featuring Melody and Don. I'll keep you posted. 

Enjoy your week. 


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