apparently, i’m almost back to normal…..

i’ve been to the gym four times this week. i’m sore but i’m back to working out again. i hope that i can get over there today for a shoulders and abs workout. wowie got a new rowing machine and i’m lovin’ that because it’s a full body cardio/resistance workout in 20 minutes.

i’m eating well. well, except for those darn dark chocolate covered espresso beans! those things are addictive.

speaking of eating well, i used all of my leftover marinara sauce, kale, pasta, corn, potatoes, carrots, onions, baby bell peppers, and threw in some ground beef and white beans to make a great pot of soup. look in your fridge today…. what can you make with what you’ve got?

i’m able to sing again. listening to some great teachings from matt chandler at the village church. i’m still asking the father to create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within.

AND, i’m going to get to see my grandbaby next monday!

what’s going on with you?

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

Bicycle Race by “Queen”

Columbus, Ohio has great running/walking/rollerblading/cycling trails and I’ve been taking advantage of them as often as possible while visiting Hannah, Austin, and Liberty! 

I’m a people watcher even when I’m pedaling 13 mph on a bike and I’ve noticed that the people who are out riding their bikes or rollerblading are having the most fun! I’ve seen ladies who are at least 70 pedaling old fashioned bikes with baskets, obese men who have to ride with their legs spread out a really odd angle to accommodate their massive girth, and little girls wearing their ballet tights riding these trails. And everyone of them is having a good time!

And that’s what keeps them coming back to the trails. They are not exercising, they are kids again and they are having FUN!

Have you ever noticed that straddling a bike or strapping on skates makes exercise fun for must of us? I think it’s because it reminds us of our best childhood moments.  For me, riding my bike was my first taste of freedom… I rode down to the convenience store on the corner to buy cigarettes for one of our neighbors that we called Uncle Arthur. He let me keep the change to buy a coke or candy for myself! It was heavenly! Freedom and candy at the same time!

What about you? When is the last time you rode a bike or went skating?  Why not go this weekend and see what  childhood memory pops up? 

       

During the last several months, I’ve driven across the Mississippi River into the deep south and then over the Mason-Dixon line. During my travels, I’ve visited several churches with various worship styles and very different preachers. I’ve had the joy of listening to sermons told story-style. I’ve heard preachers who share their love of church history. And I’ve been screamed at to get my life right.

While the worship style has varied and the preaching styles have impressed (and failed to impress), I have noticed one thing that they all have in common.

These churches are filled with men and women who are sick and out of shape!

At one church I visited  the pastor even went so far as to tell his congregation that the body is insignificant because it will eventually die. Really?  Do you really think that God would have taken the time to fashion our bodies out of clay if they were insignificant? Did he fail to notice that all of the mornings prayer requests were for healing?

I’m beginning to wonder if it’s possible that the church is distracted from making disciples by our headaches, diabetes, heart attacks, etc.? Are we not worshiping in spirit and truth because we’re in pain?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We have no account of Jesus ever being sick! We read that he was hungry, thirsty, and tired but never sick! I want to be like Jesus in every way —- and that includes divine health!

I believe that it’s time for the church of Jesus Christ to get in shape physically as well as spiritually. We must represent Christ in body, soul, and spirit! Church, let’s agree that our bodies are a reflection of Christ in us for the world to see and decide to take care of them.

 

We all experience pauses in our spiritual and physical routines.

We find ourselves on a spiritual pause during those  times when it seems as if God is not listening and when we are absolutely positive that He’s not speaking. For me, these spiritual pauses are not a time when I try to build my faith but fall back onto the faith that I’ve built throughout the years. I remind myself of all that God had done for me when it seems as if He’s not doing anything at all. Sometimes the best I can do during a spiritual pause is maintain.

During these spiritual pauses, I have to be a wee bit more careful in what I’m reading, watching, and seeing. I don’t need to hear others complain about how God failed them in the past. (As if God ever fails!) I need to read books that encourage me to stand firm and not quit. And I really need to be careful what I’m watching! I have to feed my spirit what it needs to maintain it’s strength (joy!).Liberty

And right now I am experiencing a pause in my physical routine. I’ll just call this pause “Liberty.”

Truth be told, I’m not interested in going to the gym, running, or working out. All I want to do is watch her sleep, hold her when she’s awake, and spend my time loving her.

We’ve all experienced pauses in our fitness routines like this, haven’t we? We need to do exactly what we do during those spiritual pauses while  our pursuit of physical fitness is on pause.

We need to maintain the fitness we have gained throughout the years. For me, that’s throwing in a bike ride and jumping on the treadmill a few times a week. It’s doing a short full-body workout once or twice a week instead of going to the gym five days a week. This is not the time to increase my workouts, lose weight, or gain strength. It’s a time to maintain what I’ve gained.

It’s also important during these times that I become a wee bit more vigilant in my diet. I try to throw in a few more salads, eat more fruit for dessert, and drink a lot more water!

If you’re going through a spiritual or physical pause, don’t quit! Just choose a maintenance plan that works for you!

  • On Thursday I became a Grandma.
  • On Tuesday I rode my bike for 22.2 miles on the Olentangy Tail. 
  • On Wednesday I rode my bike for 12.16 miles on the Scioto Trail through downtown Columbus.

And I’ll be 50 in October. 

I’m not just talking the talk about aligning your spirit, soul, and body with God’s plan and purpose for your life. I’m walking the walk! Alright, I’m pedaling the pedals!

What about you? What are you doing to align your spirit, soul, and body with God’s plan and purpose for your life?

ImageI grew up in the projects and in the projects there were two things that I looked forward to each summer. One was the ice cream truck and the other was the book-mobile. ImageWhile I didn’t always know if we would be able to come up with some loose change for an ice cream I did know that I would be able to climb up the steps of the book-mobile and exchange the book I got last week for another.

I never once thought that they were coming to help the poor kids from the projects. I just assumed that the they were coming to MY house just for ME! And that made me feel important.

The ice-cream truck and the book-mobile both had bells and horns that would announce it’s arrival as it came down the street and into the projects and I could recognize the difference between the two. Man, when I heard the book-mobile I’d frantically search for last weeks book and run like mad because I wanted to be the first one on the truck so that I would be able to get the book I wanted.

You and I are supposed to be like that ice cream truck and the book-mobile that takes treats and books to those who can’t go get them for themselves. We are supposed to be taking Jesus Christ to the world in which we live. We are the church-mobile.

Like the bells and horns that announce the arrival of the trucks, it’s our body that announces the arrival of the good news. But what do people see when they see us coming? Do they see something they want?

Is it possible that the good news of Jesus Christ is being delivered in such poor packaging that people turn away?

If that is true, are we responsible to change the packaging to better reflect the abundant life that Christ has promised us?

When we begin to see our bodies as more than “our” bodies then we will change how we care for them. Paul clearly teaches us how we should view our bodies:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

It’s when I began to view my body differently that I began to pray that my body become my business card or, if you want me to sound more religious, my tract. I want my first impression to be so impressive that people want to get to know me better so that I can tell them how Jesus has changed every aspect of my life.

What I’ve learned from not having internet service for almost three weeks:

  • Pinterest never lost my interest.
  • True friends will call or text to check on you.
  • Bills are easier to pay online.
  • Recipes using specific ingredients are hard to find without Google.
  • Learning about a new city requires that you actually leave the house.

What I’ve learned about living life without a gym:

  • There are no excuses to skipping your workouts.
  • If you don’t have a treadmill try going outside.
  • Be creative with resistance workouts by trying new things like resistance bands, straps, and body exercises.

Maybe you’ve used a thousand excuses for not working out. You’ve complained that the gym is too expensive, running hurts your knees, or that you just don’t like to exercise.

If you haven’t found something that you like to do then take a moment to think about what it was that you liked doing when you were a kid. Did you like riding your bike? Did you love to go swimming? Did you love playing team sports? Did you take dance, karate, or gymnastics? Whatever it was that you loved doing as a kid then find a way to do it as an adult. Stop making excuses and start finding ways to reach your fitness goals!

We are still waiting on our baby to make her grand appearance. The doctor says it could be any day now…. I’ll post a picture as soon as she arrives!