Three years ago, we were adopted by our dog, Shalom.
We originally thought she was a sort of lab mix, but as it turned out she is a Dutch Shepherd. Neither of us have ever had a Shepherd, but we are completely in love with them now. They are smart, intuitive, protective, loving, and energetic...very energetic.
We learned very quickly that if we didn't exercise her in the morning that she would put her energy to use in other ways like digging holes all over the yard, escaping her crate for fence and keeping critters on their toes.
So each morning, I take her for a long walk, often about 2 miles long.
At first this routine was purely to wear our dog out, but it soon became a spiritual practice for me as well.
I found that starting my day, everyday, with a long walk with my dog forced me to take pause; to slow down; and simply be. I don't listen to music, or a TED talk, i just simply walk in silence; saying "hi" to neighbors along the way and noticing amazing things in creation.
About 2 years ago, my new phone was able to keep track of my exercise, and so I started bringing it with me as a step counter. But I also would stop and take picture with it of the cool things in creation I noticed. It was then that #morningwalkswithShalom was born.
I started sharing my pictures I take each morning. My hope is that they will remind all of us to take pause, step out from the non-stop lives we all live, and simply be. When we do this, we notice all the amazing things God is doing around us that we otherwise would miss.
Fittingly our dog's name, Shalom, means peace or "when everything is as it should be" in Hebrew, which is how we feel when we are with her and how I feel on my walks.
I have gotten a lot of response from people who say they look forward to the next post. So may you be inspired to find your shalom, you way to stop and pause.
If you want to follow my pictures I post search for #morningwalkswithShalom Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Shalom to you.