Joy is insisting on watching elmo so i write this with his little voice in the background. i am trying to develop a habit of running(actually very slow jogging) to the gym, working out then walking home. the walk home takes 20-30 minutes at a nice slow stroll. during that time i like to spend it praying. i cannot tell you how wonderful this spiritual exercise has been for me. it has been much needed refreshment to my thirsty soul. i love the quiet, stillness of morning. the beautiful trees, birds singing, and cool breeze are awesome. prayer flows so freely in this environment. so easy to pour out my heart to the Lord. the walk seems like it often begins with an overwhelming heart of thankfulness as i thank him for all the wonderful things on this walk. i feel so blessed to just have a community with sidewalks, gym, playground and lake to enjoy. this has usually been a time where i make my requests to God. but today i just felt the need to just sit and enjoy his presence. psalm 46:10 says,”Be still and know that I am God”. and being still and quiet is so hard for me. even after the gym i said, “okay i will just sit for 5 minutes then i gotta get going.” like i just had to get home but i didn’t. jeremy was fine gettting the girls breakfast. i tend to rush things instead of resting. so i sat on a bench overlooking at a gorgeous lake and was quiet. i even tried to quiet the chatter in my head. you know the constant to do lists and errands to get done for the day, week, month, etc… i just wanted the time to listen. too often i fill my life with busyness and rarely take time in silence and solitude. if i do not get away and be still, how will i ever hear when he is trying to speak to me? i am 30 years old and wishing i would have started this habit sooner because it is so awesome for my soul. so i resisted the urge to move and sat for another 5 minutes. then on the walk home i continued to try to be quiet and listen instead of the usual prayer requests. and at first at felt bad like i should be praying and perhaps this was wasted time. but is so not true, this practice of silence adds to my life instead of taking away from it. the habit of seeking silence and solitude is so hard and i see why it is called a spiritual discipline because it is so stinkin difficult. but like all good disciplines(eating healthy, exercise, studying and reading,…) they are so worth all the sweat and effort. since starting this prayer walk thingee i now(well mostly) look forward to waking early. before it was almost impossible to get my butt up to go to the gym. the physical benefits were not motivating enough i guess. but now i do not want to miss this opportunity. it is really combining too benefits. i also used to try to wake early to pray and study my Bible. but that usually resulted in me falling asleep on the couch. i am so thankful we can make this work. jeremy and i each get three mornings where we can get out. another helpful thing is on my walk i dont try to get physical benefits out of it like walking fast or with weights or with tight abs but just enjoy it and not lose my focus on those things.