And I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And I will praise You,
I will praise You with the harp,
O God, my God--
My exceeding joy.
But now, Jehovah, You are our Father;
We are the clay; and You, our Potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand,
And all of us are the work of Your hand.
That's two different songs and two different Bible verses which in my head are forever connected. Lydia and I wrote them (the tunes, not the verses) on the same evening. I mainly wrote the tune to the top verse, which is Psalm 43:4. Lydia mainly wrote the bottom tune, which is Isaiah 64:8.
The verse on the side of the blog today is "I thank my God every time I remember you.", Philippians 1:3, and when I read that verse I always think of Lydia. I think of others too, but always her first. She's my James 5:20 "My brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner's soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins". I was a believer who had wandered from the truth, until Lydia, carrying out the Lord's will, brought me back. And then, together, God taught and matured us both, bringing us closer to Him. It's a special friendship.
Another special friendship of mine is with Tabitha. We tend more to physical things, like working out, lately. We haven't actually seen much of each other, but hopefully more soon. Next time I'll probably see her will be Sunday. We're going to church together. She had a dream of some sort, from which she woke with the conviction she should go back to church. She's attended a church of someone she knows that she liked, so she wants to go again and is asking her husband and I to accompany her. I'm looking forward to it.
I just got back my internet. We have dial up at home, and our modems were fried 2 1/2 weeks ago. Additionally fried was our plasma screen tv, the one hooked up to the DVR and Wii. That's not been fixed, but we have an extended insurance policy so we're hoping it'll be covered. We've not thorougly checked into that yet. And I'm hoping the Wii and DVR are okay. We tried to hook up the DVR to another tv, but we couldn't figure out how. We think you need an HDMI connection, which the plasma has but none of our other TVs.
One good thing about having the internet back is the job searching. I really need a job. I was looking at jobs last night (we got the internet back yesterday afternoon, and I didn't get on until the night.)
I'm still praying and hoping to be able to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. When I've been working out, it's mainly with that in mind. Admittedly, I've not been working out as much lately, sadly. I was mainly working out using the DVR and Wii. We have Wii fit plus, and I'd recorded Bollywood Dance Workouts from FitTV on the DVR, as well as a handful of other workouts. I was working out like every other day. Then I didn't really workout anything but my arms (I would use some dumbells while watching tv) or on my exercise bike until last Saturday. Then I caught the Bollywood workouts in real time. I also really did a lot on my bike (normally I only do a few minutes) and other stuff. Well, I ached all over, especially in my abs, on Sunday. Grr. That grr is not because of the intensity of the workout, but because my abs were what I was working out the most a few weeks ago, but just a few weeks of being lax, and they ache like crazy doing the same kind of workout I'd been doing consistantly just two weeks before. Shows how much damage was done through inactivity.
Then on Tuesday, Tabby and I worked out together on all kinds of ways. I woke up yesterday really feeling it in my shoulders (the front of them, where my arms connect with like my collarbone) and my inner thighs, both areas that I have neglected a lot I guess up until now. Both areas are important though. All of my legs have to be strong, and my shoulders will be carrying a lot of the weight of the backpack (though my hips should bear most of it) when I hike.
Yesterday I took Sophie on a short walk. I really need to walk her more, because she needs to be shape too. Plus, it won't hurt me to work her out! :) Rat terriers apparently sleep more than other dogs (doesn't surprise me-- rat terriers are half cat, didn't you know?) so I wonder how that will translate into our hiking time. Shouldn't really hurt anything though. You tend to get up early and hike until like 4 to 6, so you have daylight left after you stop to make camp, get and treat water, make dinner, etc. But once we stop, all Sophie has to do is eat and sleep, while I run around putting up the tent and cooking and all.
I'm hoping for the following physical benefits of the trail:
Improved Cardiovascular health
Help reprogram my circadian clock. Right now I'm nocturnal, but still respond to sun and singing birds just like any other human. So if I've just got a thin tent between me and the outside, the sun will probably wake me up. You really want to get up early, so you have daylight on your side. You can't safely hike in the dark, and while you might be able to set up camp (if, for example, you leave one camp site in late morning, you might not reach the other one until dusk, and then have to set up camp in the dark) you'll really annoy other hikers flashing your flashlight to make dinner and stuff.
I'm hoping for the following spiritual benefits:
More time alone with God.
Having to rely on Him more tangibly to keep one safe and healthy and whole.
Simplification of life and possessions.
Heightened awareness of His miraculous creations
More thankfulness in the little and every things.