On this journey to follow God's path for us and make a difference in the lives of others, we often need to try something new.
You know, venture out of our comfort zone. Ouch. That stings a little.
And yet, as the old saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
So let me encourage you. Try something new.
You don't have to change your whole life. Here are some ideas for trying one new thing. You might be inspired to try something bigger next time.
~ Get up early and watch the sun rise.
~ Host a festive party and invite those less fortunate.
~ Take a class to learn something fun like woodworking, gourmet cooking or flower arranging.
~ Challenge yourself to write an inspiring story.
~ Create a new recipe using new ingredients and share it with a new friend.
~ Go out of your way to talk to a cranky neighbor.
~ Buy school supplies for a family with lots of children.
~ Try a new sport like kayaking, tennis or running.
Believe me when I tell you, I get it. It's scary to try something new. But you can do it. Seriously.
When we keep our minds open to possibilities, it's surprising what we have deep inside of us. I mean something so far out of our realm, it's laughable. That's what life looks like for me lately.
One recent morning, before even getting out of bed, I had a crazy idea to try something new. Maybe not crazy for other people, but this idea was absolutely foreign to me.
The weather was cooler and my schedule was flexible that day. I had a good night's sleep.
So instead of my usual morning exercises, I had the insane desire to go for a run.
No laughing allowed.
"What?!?" I imagine my super fit daughter exclaiming.
She knows all my physical limitations -- AKA -- reasons not to run. The plantar fasciitis and the asthma and the dreaded D cups that make running not only uncomfortable, but downright embarrassing.
And in my mid-fifties, there's also the struggle with urinary control during all that jostling.
I'm not a runner.
So why the urge that morning? Why the burst of energy that threw excuses to the wind?
God only knows.
As Forrest Gump famously said, "I just felt like running."
So after hubby left for work (clueless of the crazed mental state of his wife), I used the bathroom and put on my big girl panties. I squeezed into my strongest sports bra, donned "athletic" pants (LOL!) and a T-shirt, and tied on my best plantar fasciitis-approved "walking" shoes. With my hair in a no-nonsense bun, I drank a hefty glass of water, used the bathroom one more time, and headed out the door.
I walked at first. There was a man with a pickup truck scrounging through discarded building materials at the curb, and two teenaged boys waiting for the school bus on the corner.
This 56-year-old woman wasn't about to begin some nutty running thing in front of strangers.
Okay, the road cleared. No people, no cars. Just past the end of the street, I picked up the pace.
I was RUNNING. On the street. In PUBLIC. Making sure to touch down my heels with each step. (I tend to walk tip-toed, not helping the plantar fasciitis.)
Oh - there was a man cutting his grass. (At this hour?) Tempted to not let him see me running, I powered through my D cup embarrassment . I told myself, "I don't know that man and he doesn't know where I live. People run this street all the time. He doesn't know I'm 56."
News flash -- he didn't CARE. He was mowing his grass. He probably didn't even notice me.
Whew. I made it past him. And I was tired. It was time to take it down a notch -- to walking.
Pacing myself, I caught my breath. Asthma wasn't acting up and feet didn't hurt. Yay! Amazingly, I didn't have to pee. Yet.
But my head hurt. I forgot that little bodily restriction. Bouncing makes my brain hurt. I learned that in aerobics class decades ago. Apparently some people get "exercise headaches." [Raising my hand.]
Nonetheless, after walking a bit, I ran some more. On a side street close to home, where no one knows my name. Until I got tired again and my head was throbbing.
Back to walking, I rounded a corner onto the main road. I recognized an approaching car -- a neighbor on her way to work. [Cringe.]
It was okay. She'd seen me walking before -- usually at the end of the day. She probably wondered why I was out so early. Or maybe -- just maybe -- she didn't CARE!
Can we say self-conscious, people?
On the home stretch, our little street, I headed home. Headache fading, I did it.
I went for a run!
Okay, a light jog -- for about a half block of that jaunt. Will I run longer next time? Become a regular runner? Sign up for marathons some day?
Nah. I'm not a runner. It really gives me a headache.
But I'm glad I did. Every so often we need to try something new... stretch our muscles... grow bolder and stronger. Life is more interesting and that's the only way to fulfill God's purpose for our lives.
When I began this blog over a year ago, it started out strong. But in recent months, it's lapsed. Now it's time to try something new. It's time to take it to the next level. To be diligent and disciplined.
I went to a blogging conference and learned a lot. So we'll mix it up and offer new ideas that hopefully inspire you and help you enjoy the life God has given you.
So along with many other changes in life, I'm making a commitment to blog once a week.
Oh. And in the spirit of life changes and trying something new, I was on TV this Wednesday. Just a tad outside my comfort zone. [Yeah, right!]
I'm not perfect, just human, doing the best I can. You can watch it here: Lowcountry Live .
Now I challenge you. Take a tiny step to try something new. Muster up the courage to venture out of your comfort zone as God creates a new day for you.
The sun sets on one day and a new day dawns.
"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
Isaiah 43:19 NLT
Photo by Dianne Miley at Isle of Palms, SC intracoastal waterway