Posted by: kathryngraves | April 4, 2017

New Beginnings

I struggle with keeping up an exercise regimen in the winter months. I do really well until about Thanksgiving, and then whatever routine I had usually falls apart. I blame it on the holidays at first, but then when nothing changes in January or February, I realize it’s because I feel more like hibernating in the winter. I must be part bear. When spring arrives, so does my energy and readiness to begin again.


Photo: Pixabay

Starting Point

But after so many months of choosing to sip a cup of hot tea and curl up with a book over any active pursuit, it can be a real challenge to find a starting point. That’s where friends come in. Just yesterday, two of my friends shared their recent successes with diet and exercise. They each told me how much better they feel, and one told how much more mobile she is after losing 60 pounds. I remember feeling good about my physical condition last fall. These conversations made me want to feel that way again.

Maybe they motivated me a little more because I spent a day helping my husband and son paint the exterior of a house last week. It took  two days to get over being so sore I couldn’t move. I knew at the time that if I’d kept up with yoga all winter, I might not have been nearly so sore.


Photo: Pixabay

Find Your Favorite

Besides yoga, walking is my other favorite exercise. I don’t like walking on a treadmill indoors, so now that the weather is warmer, I can begin going out on most days. A number of years ago, our town installed a walking/biking path through the park that is beautiful this time of year. One more reason to get moving outside.

Make a Plan and Join a Crowd

I could feel discouraged over my lack of stick-to-itiveness, and sometimes I do, but I feel better just knowing I have a plan and that this morning I worked out with a yoga video. I also feel better when I know I’m not alone in my struggle. It’s funny how God works–this morning, after my yoga session, I sat down for my daily Bible reading and discovered other people who had problems staying with a project.

As I looked over my notes, I saw that I was scheduled to read Ezra 5. The first two verses tell how two prophets gave a message to the people from God and then they all got busy (again) working to rebuild the temple. Work on the temple had stopped for a long time because of local opposition.

These verses really struck home for me. My two friends, although they aren’t prophets, gave me a message God used. And because I will rely on God to help me, like the people did when they re-started building the temple, this time I will succeed and see it through. All kinds of schedule challenges will seem like opposition. But just like it was wrong for them to stop building because of opposition, I will need to persevere, too. It seems like God wanted to seal the deal with me today.

Know the Reason Why

After all, my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I need to keep it in working order so it can be used in whatever way God wants. It was a shameful thing to look at Jerusalem and see broken-down walls and the temple in shambles. It is also a shameful thing for our bodies to be allowed to crumble from lack of use and poor maintenance.

Do you struggle with feeling like you’ve failed at something? Is it difficult to get going again after a long hiatus? Do you sometimes feel like a hamster on a treadmill, going through the same on-again, off-again cycles?

Be encouraged. You’re not alone. We can do this together. As my friend Anita Brooks says, “It’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.” She’s right, so let’s begin again at whatever needs to be re-started. Our God is the God of second chances (and third and fourth…) and He’s on stand-by, just waiting to help.


Photo: Pixabay



  1. I am that bear! I have been in hibernation all winter and can’t seem to get motivated! I started PT on my back last week and I can already see results because I am using my body again now it’s getting back to eating better!

  2. Thank you Kathy for the jump start! We all need a little push to go from the winter break back to reality!!

  3. I’ve been hibernating, too. I’m ready to hit the trails again. Good word!

  4. Such great words of encouragement, Kathy! This subject is so timely for all of us. Thanks!!!

  5. Truly words of encouragement. Thanks, V. Smith

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