Extra pounds. Unnoticed by others, yet they are absent. The scale creeps down and my heart floats up in happiness at the small success. I continue along the steady, healthy course in spite of the effort and my impatience, the desire for a quick fix. This slow start, I know, is best. It leads to a change that will last.
Extra commitments. Giving myself and my family room to breathe. Saying no to even good things. Delighting in outdoor games and the cracking sound of a sturdy book's spine. Watermelon, a young girl's giggles, and my husband's smile bright from his suntanned face. I drink them in, remembering the difference a year makes and knowing that these days cannot be recaptured.
Extra spending. Our first month without the security of R's paycheck. Without a doubt God has been creative with our finances. I marvel at His ability to stretch pennies farther than I could stretch dollars. I sink deep into the abundance of His provision. Just last week, CJ lamented that we would soon have to start living on less. "Start? We have been living on less for more than a month!" I exclaimed joyfully. Her eyes opened wide, and my girl saw Him in all of His glory.
In throwing aside the extra, the unnecessary, we are able to fix our eyes on what is of true worth. What is real. What is good. What is important. Casting my thoughts on these things, I don't fret that the pace is too slow. I forget to worry about the uncertain future. I look only at today and His incredible goodness.
And it is well with my soul.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
~Philippians 4:8 (ESV)