Happy Groundhog Day

Happy Groundhog Day

Well results are in and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of winter. Oh goody! I just love the arctic chill and icy roads that come along with winter (sarcasm folks). Honestly though winter hasn’t been completely awful this year, after a mild winter last year it was even nice to have a few snow days so quickly into the new year. However, I’m now done with them. I’m ready for spring! Spring clothing, spring flowers, spring decor, I love everything spring! (Except the spring allergies).

I feel like this winter, so far, has been topsy-turvy. We’ve had our arctic days then the temps will go up to a nice warm 60 degrees, all in the matter of a few days. I’m not a fan of change so this back and forth weather has been pushing me to my limits of handling change in my life. Which is probably why I’ve experienced a couple melt downs this week.

If you read my post from last Friday you know that my beloved treadmill broke. Thankfully, God has provided us with a “new” one that my grandparents no longer used. Wednesday I excitedly went out to run on the new machine, looking forward to a smoother run than I experienced on the old one, but I was surprisingly sadly mistaken. This treadmill feels faster when I put in my usual speed, and I felt like I was going to be thrown off of the dratted thing. The whole machine just felt different and I don’t like different, especially when it surprises me and breaks up my routine.

I had a routine. Wake up, have my quiet time, make breakfast, run while listening to music, get showered and go to work. I loved my routine. I had gone less than a mile on the new treadmill when I hit stop and started sobbing. I missed my old treadmill, squeaks and all. I didn’t like this new one. Along with everything else February brings up, it just hit me in the worst way.

February is a hard month for many different reasons. It’s the month my father left and it’s the month we lost my Uncle. I’m not the biggest fan of February.(Thankfully there’s a lot of chocolate to help though because of Valentines Day). But as I found myself sobbing over the treadmill, I felt so silly, I don’t like to cry, and I especially don’t like to cry and not know exactly why I’m crying. I gave up on the treadmill and ran outside, feeling better after the run. I was able to refocus and remind myself I needed to be thankful we had replacement treadmill at all, because without it my running would be at a standstill during these long winter weeks.

I woke up today with the resolution to give the treadmill another chance and the resolve to be thankful for it (despite first impressions). I hopped on, tried to figure out the speed, got frustrated, but I made it past a mile on the machine and thought “okay I can do this”, then I ended up having to stop to fix my music on my phone and that’s when it went down hill. I started back up but couldn’t get back in a rhythm, thus sending me into fits of frustration so I promptly hopped off, put on my winter gear and headed outside. The cold wasn’t extremely bad, and I happily didn’t run into any icy patches on the main road. Things were going okay, until I went off the road to run on the paths.

I live on a golf course and I utilize the cart paths when it’s closed, like in the early mornings. I love it because it keeps me from having to just run in circles around the neighborhood, plus I don’t have to worry about cars. The thing about the cart paths though, they flood quiet easily, and any water this morning from the rain yesterday, turned to solid sheets of ice, black ice, lying in waiting to trip up unsuspecting persons. Like me.

I artfully dodged most of the ice patches, only getting a little wet in the process. Then, as I was running toward a group of deer, telling them to get out of my way cause I was not going to stop for them  (yes I talk to the deer), I suddenly happened to glance down and my heart dropped. Underneath my feet lay a solid sheet of ice that stretched out at least a hundred feet in front of me. It covered the entire path, making it hard to find my way off it. I felt like Bambi, when he gets on the ice for the first time and his feet slide out from under him. I tried to glide a little to the side so I could get in the grass, but I ended up falling face first on the ice. Thankfully, God protected me and the only thing that hit the ice hard were my knees, and it wasn’t even that hard thank goodness. My wrist weren’t hurt from catching myself and my ankles didn’t twist painfully. He truly spared me from what could’ve been a painful accident.

My gratitude though didn’t stop me from laying face down on the ice crying, one out of shock, and two because in my head I was thinking, I wouldn’t have had to come outside and run if the new treadmill was like the old one, I’m sure if anyone of the neighbors were watching they got a good laugh this morning. I got back up turned around and ran home, but much slower this time, and noticing a lot more ice I hadn’t seen before, finally I just crossed the golf course and ran in the grass all the way home. I had no time to finish my usual run, I was late as it was and had to get ready for work. I missed my old treadmill and thus another melt down ensued

Let me interrupt myself here to say my mother is amazingly patient with me. She let me cry but she also spoke words of encouragement. She reminded me that we needed to be thankful for the new treadmill, even if it wasn’t what we liked we would eventually get used to it. She reminded me it wasn’t good to allow the love of my routine to become an obsession, as I had obviously done. She knows how much I don’t like change, but she reminded me how much I hated the old treadmill before finally coming to love it, and if I kept trying with this new one, I’d most likely fall in love with it too, or at least come to tolerate it. She reminded it was better than having no treadmill and not being able to run because of inclement weather.

I needed those reminders. I needed someone to calm me down and pull me out of my downhill spiral. I needed to be reminded that I could let this either ruin my day or I could move on and choose joy. I took a shower, a deep breathe, and chose joy.

I don’t like change. I like having routine. But we have to be willing to adapt with change because its inevitable. The only thing that doesn’t change is God, His character, His love, His faithfulness, never changes, and that’s what I hold on to when everything else around me changes. “God must have a reason”, is what I said the night my dad decided to not come home. I didn’t fully grasp the concept of that at age 12 but years later I think I have a better grasp on it. God must have a reason for what He allows in my life, any change He allows is good in some way or another. A verse from Psalms confirms this,  “You are good and you do only good (Psalm 119:68). What a verse right?! God is good and only does what’s good. The world tries to get us to believe He can’t be good because bad things happen, “Arrogant people smear me with lies, but in truth I obey your commandments with all my heart” (Psalm 119:69). I know the truth. That He is good, everything He does is good. So any change He allows must be for my good in some way, and I also know that His grace is sufficient for those times change knocks me down like this morning. “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Each time, every time, all the time, His grace is sufficient for me.

So, I’m not going to let this change take me down. I’m going to roll with it and make myself learn to like (or at least tolerate) this new treadmill, and be thankful for how God provided it. And I’ll do this all through His strength which He gives me (Philippians 3:14), because goodness knows I’m like Bambi on ice when I try to do it on my own.

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