Monday, December 27, 2010

A December Walk

He restores my soul...Psalm 23: 3

I was awake most of the night listening to the wind howling, thankful for a cozy comforter to wrap up in and a warm house. The older I get the less I like the winter months. I find myself staying inside most of the time, not brave enough to venture out in the harsh temperatures. I was grateful to have the day off of work and to snuggle under the covers a bit longer for some much-needed rest and relaxation following a busy couple of months filled with holiday preparations and activities, which left me feeling anxious and worn out.

When I finally coaxed myself out of bed, I looked out the window and the birds were already busy flitting about in a fury from tree branch to bird feeder. I look forward to the arrival of the winter birds. They make the bitter harshness more bearable. Red-bellied woodpeckers were furiously pecking away at the new suet cake I had put out a few days ago. Several cardinals brightened up the barren trees with their colorful attire. I paused and sat down to enjoy the birds. I've missed watching them at my feeders.

Since I had to return to the work force last spring, I don't have time to enjoy a lot of the simple pleasures in life. Last month, I realized fall had passed and I missed it. I was rushing back and forth to work, rarely pausing long enough to see what was going on outside my window. When I leave the house at 4:30 AM it's still dark, so I only see the deer that cross the road in front of my car as I drive down the mountain on my way to work.

I pray one day I will be able to work from home again and get back to my quiet mornings enjoying the beauty of God's creation. There's nothing like working in the comfort of your own home and being able to take a break and go for a walk in the woods. I am blessed though! Even though I work in an office building now, my desk sits in front of a window with a bush outside. I'm often treated to busy sparrows darting in and out of it while I work, and occasionally a blue jay or cardinal will make an appearance to brighten my day. It sure beats a stuffy cubicle, so I always try to remember that things could be much worse.

As I watched the birds outside this morning, I felt the urge to go outside and take a walk by the pond. Though I don't venture out too often in the winter months, I bundled up and braved the wind and cold. The frozen ground crunched under my feet and the wind was strangely refreshing as it stung my face. I noticed deer tracks on the frozen surface of the pond. The echo of crows squawking in the distance was carried along with the wind. Left-over fall leaves danced across the ground before they were caught up in the breeze and carried away. Squirrels scampered up and down trees. The sun sparkled like millions of diamonds across the icy pond, and the deep blue sky could be seen in all it's glory through the leafless trees. And, I didn't have to watch for snakes while I was walking. That is one thing I love about snakes!

Though winter is my least favorite season of the year, it still has a beauty of its own, and a short December walk was just what I needed for restoration and renewal today. It eased my weariness and replaced my anxious thoughts with peace, preparing me to cope with the start of another busy work week tomorrow.


 Thank you for the blessing of a quiet morning walk to enjoy the beauty of Your creation. Thank You for refreshing my spirit and giving me renewed strength for another week. When I get busy and distracted by everyday life, remind me to be still and know You, for You are the One who restores my soul and refreshes my weary spirit.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

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