When life gets busier and more hectic than usual, as it sometimes does this time of year, sometimes it is tempting to cut back on activities that we make think are "non-essential", or "not as important". This is a good practice if it involves things like deep cleaning, staying caught up on the ironing, or working in the flower beds. But, there are two things that I purpose not to skip or scimp on, no matter how busy I am: daily Bible reading/study/prayer and 4 days a week exercise.
There is absolutely nothing better than I can do with the limited time I have than to spend time in God's Word. Reading my Bible and praying always puts everything else for the day into the proper perspective. Hiding God's Word in my heart gives me words to reflect on throughout the day, especially as things get stressful and overwhelming. If we don't spend time in the Word, we have no Words to hide in our hearts! Currently I am reading my Bible, taking notes, and praying first thing in the morning. I drink my coffee and read and pray, and then I either run or begin to get ready for the day. There have been seasons of my life when I did my Bible study at night, just before bed. When I had new babies, I would pray in the middle of the night while I was nursing. I kept a Bible near my rocking chair so that I could read whenever I had a quiet moment while nursing the baby. During those months, I did not have a scheduled "Bible time" first thing in the morning, but between the middle of the night praying, and the whenever it was quiet Bible reading, I could make time for God's Word. Sometimes you have to be creative. Just don't skip time in the Word because there doesn't seem to be any time for it. I consider it the most important thing I accomplish each day.
Running 4 days a week is a doable goal for me. Even when traveling out of town or with many holiday gatherings, purposing to run 4 days a week is an easily accomplished goal. Just like with my Bible study, I am currently running in the mornings, before the children are up (well, sometimes Sam is up, but thankfully he doesn't cry the whole time anymore!) When Sam was younger I ran during lunch while everyone was occupied for 30 minutes, or I ran in the afternoons when either the older children could watch him or we ran at the local park that has the playground. Carving 1 hour out of my day (and 2 hours for a long run on one day), 4 days a week is doable. Hard. But doable. I want to encourage each of you to at least walk for 30 minutes a day, 4 days a week. Walk up and down your driveway, around the block in your subdivision, or around the parking lot if you live in an apartment. Push your little ones in a stroller or wear them in a snugli. Let your older ones ride their bikes or tricycles. Have your even older ones walk with you! If you have access to a walking track in your community, use it. There, you and your children can all walk at a different pace, but you can see them at all times. I feel so much better when I exercise, and I know that you will too!