Are your shoes on?

put on your shoes

It’s Wednesday morning. So I rolled out of bed into my grungy tennis shoes and worked out. It’s been my routine for years.

The hardest part?
Putting on the shoes.

Once they’re on, the body handles the rest.

That’s the way habits work.
Force the first step and the next one follows.

I never look forward to the workout, but I never regret having done it.

This year I’m trying to memorize the book of Philippians with Partnering to Remember.

The hardest part?
Opening up my memory book.

But once it’s in my hands, I’m good to go. memorizing Philippians

That doesn’t mean the memory work comes easily or that it’s necessarily productive or profitable every time (far from it!). But if I don’t open it at all, I know it won’t be good.

Some days my physical workouts stink too. I’m barely moving, barely breathing hard. But…it’s still better than if I did nothing at all.

Just showing up can be the hardest part of the battle. But just showing up is what God wants you to do. To see you make a move. Take some initiative.

So let God see you standing there with your shoes on.
Go do your first thing.

Put on your shoes.

* * *

What new habit are you trying to start?
What’s your first step?

At Ann’s we’re considering The Practice of Making a Habit

RELATED:

Are you memorizing Philippians, too? How’s it going?

23 comments:

Brenda said...

Loved this. What great advice. You are right the hardest part of workout its the beginning and the best part when you walk back in the house after a workout. And starting the morning study is harder than when we close the Bible after a close time with our Lord. Getting up and starting the day is then so much easier and sweeter.

Lisa notes... said...

Brenda,
It is funny to me that after all these years though, even KNOWING the rewards to come, I still have a hard time getting started with my workouts. Thankfully I don’t dread my time with the Lord like that, but you’re so right that it’s still harder to start. I’m thankful he’s so gracious to work with us anyway!

mom2six said...

Oh the memory work - it is so difficult for this old brain. But as you so well state - so worth the rewards. Good thoughts.

Kay said...

Funny, I had just that experience this morning. I know I've got to get back to my routine with exercise, but I so didn't want to do it today... but just putting on my tennis shoes this morning was enough to get me started. Now I have to get away from the computer and on the treadmill. :) Oh, and my morning cup of coffee is like tennis shoes to my Bible study... ha. ;-)

Barbara H. said...

So true -- so hard to just get started with anything, but "once begun is half done" as the saying goes.

Alida said...

I admire your tenacity!

My new habit for the year is speaking up and speaking out for Him. I just got back from 45 minutes teaching religion in a public school here in Belize. I dread walking into the classroom. I am exhausted I am not a public speaker. I have to do it again tomorrow. But I know that it will strengthen me and the kids in Him.

Lisa notes... said...

Nancy,
I know exactly how you feel. As you mentioned on your blog, I also trip over the words. A lot. But yes, the rewards are always worth it.

I especially love when the words come back to me at times I’m not even trying to remember… God is faithful.

Kay,
“I so didn’t want to do it today” – I think I say that every time. ha. I wish we could have our 10K goal in front of us; I’m still sad about that. But who knows?

Your cup of coffee in the morning for your Bible study is my Diet Dr. Pepper in the afternoon for mine. :-)

Lisa notes... said...

Barbara,
Kinda funny that after I wrote that post, the next chapter I read in “Switch” was: Building Habits. They called that first step: “Preloading a decision” with “action triggers.” It all relates so well to your quote “once begun is half done.” I have another project (school-related) awaiting me that I really need to apply that to…

Alida,
What a great new habit to develop! Good for you. I pray the Lord’s strength and courage to keep you on this path. Many blessings on your ministry, sister.

Nikole Hahn said...

You go! :o)

Cherry said...

Such a good comparison ... thanks! I totally agree with the morning exercise ... so very hard to take that first step to doing it. I'm trying to exercise 3 days a week, first thing in the morning. So hard sometimes ... and so hard to take that first step in developing other habits. This morning I combined two, and worked on my memorizing (Colossians in a year) while I exercised!

Craig said...

I'm with you Lisa. But only to verse 8 so far. Interesting how repeating it again and again makes it really sound like a letter - to friends.

I'm really glad I found your blog.

God bless

Connie Mace said...

"But just showing up is what God wants you to do."...what a wonder that in our weakness He will be strength...but it can't happen while we're making excuses...just show up...wise words

Lauri said...

Loved this!! It's so true, the putting on of shoes and opening of book can be so hard, and yet I never regret having done it.
Thank you for this reminder, i really needed to hear this tonight!

Yolanda said...

I am so glad to have found your blog. You are a wonderful testimony of your faith and I love the book of Phillipians.

April said...

showing up is half the battle, and it's the showing up that counts! Thanks for posting...I found you on Imperfect Prose...

life or something like it said...

hm, nothing like a swift kick in the butt to start my day...thanks for the kick :)

Brian Miller said...

great challenge because getting started, building momentum is the hardest part...but once its done....my shoes are on...

Misty said...

this is soooo true, esp for someone like me who struggles both with exercise and bible reading/memorizing. such a great reminder to just take that first, crucial step. it can't happen otherwise.

Shaunie Friday--Up the Sunbeam said...

I love this Lisa and need to take it to heart! Going to carry this with me today, "Go do your first thing!"

ed cyzewski said...

This is a particularly encouraging post as I work through some new year's resolutions to get up early and write more in the AM hours. I never realized how dark it is at 5:30 am? I have yet to hit the ground running before 6:30 am, but I'm still getting myself to the keyboard a bit faster, which is a step in the right direction. Thanks for the encouragement to keep at it!

Loni said...

Ohhh - I can so relate! Pushing to BEGIN to exercise - pushing to be consistent with Bible reading . . . It's sticking with beginning!

Thanks for sharing. Joining in Imperfect Prose with you . . .

Ramblings by Carol Nuckols said...

It's funny, I was just talking to a friend who gets up at 5 a.m. to go work out. He said once he's got his sneakers on, he's fine. I walk for exercise, and when it's cold and windy, the hardest part is walking out the door. But once I'm out there, I'm always glad.
Yeah, just show up.

emily wierenga said...

i always appreciate the workout after the fact, too :) i think there's a certain kind of 'rush' that comes with working out both one's body and one's soul... you never regret it. well done, dear lisa. :)

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