Chapter 9 Reflection Questions:
What thoughts, emotions, or images come to mind when you think about exercise? Are your associations positive, negative, or a mix?
Oh boy, big question! “It hurts, this sucks, I hate this…” That’s with traditional exercising. I love to dance! I took dance lessons for a few years, and lost almost 20 pounds in the process! I love to play tennis. I love to swim. The things I love are hard to do on a regular basis unless I have a membership somewhere, and I don’t have the money for that. However, Spring is coming, and the tennis courts will be open. I am warming up to the idea of trying the elliptical machine my husband found through www.freecycle.org (amazing website!). I want to go walking as the temps warm up here soon. First step: buying a knee brace for my right knee though. It’s been giving me trouble lately.
Lysa describes her experience of literally running on faith one day when God prompted her to keep running until He told her to stop. She ran 8.6 miles, 5.6 miles farther than she had ever run before. What experiences have you had that required faith you didn’t think you had to see something through? What did you learn? How did it impact your relationship with God?
LIFE! Life has never been easy, but it hadn’t been overly challenging either. I struggled with bullying throughout my schooling, but all those adolescent issues are NOTHING compared to what life became starting the day after Thanksgiving in November of 1999. My sister’s boyfriend died in a car accident. We used to all hang out together, so this was quite shocking for all of us, but especially my sister. Exactly one week later, she chose to end her life in his driveway. Three days later, my grandfather, with whom I was quite close, died of a heart attack (the day of my sister’s visitation). 10 days, 3 losses. My world had not only been turned upside down, but shaken, stirred, kicked, beaten, and set on fire. I struggled to go on. Depression set in very quickly, and I contemplated suicide quite frequently. My sister and her boyfriend had both died in cars, so driving became a place of anxiety for me. All I wanted to do was drive my car into a bridge support beam! I fell so far from God, and yet, when I look back, He never left my side. He surrounded me with people who lifted me up, threw me into the shower, dragged me to the dining hall on campus, made me eat, took me to class, sprayed me with Febreeze…
Yeah, my God loves me. And as He allowed me to deal with the depression surrounding my heart and mind, He gave me more and more insight into that TRUTH. And here I am, over 14 years later from the day my world crashed and burned, pressing on because God has proved STRONG in the face of my WEAKNESS.
In what areas of life do you feel strong? For example, in your professional knowledge, your gifts of hospitality, your creative skills, your ability to pray for others, etc. Have you ever used these strengths to help someone who was weak or didn’t know as much as you did? How might such experiences give you insights into what it means to allow God’s power to take over your weaknesses, especially weaknesses with food and exercise?
I feel strong in my ability to write, to creatively share God’s Word with children of multiple ages (I have been writing my own devotionals each week for the children at our church! So much fun!), in my hospitality and cooking abilities. God has allowed me to take my brokenness, share with other broken people, and come to places of healing for both of us. He has blessed me with amazing roommates over the years, with friends and family who all need support, and we are able to pour into each other!
I am learning more and more that in the toughest times of life, I get through because God carries me. So in this battle with food choices, healthy lifestyles, and exercise, His strength will bring Victory. His victory in my life, through my obedience. His Spirit will equip me in that obedience. Today is a new day. Let’s do this!
“Teach me your way O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name (Psalm 86:11). When it comes to your body, what forces compete for your attention and loyalty? Do you feel torn between the desire to honor God and the desire to be loyal to cravings and excuses for not exercising? How do you imagine your life might be different if you had an undivided heart?
Ah, TV, lying on the couch with a blanket and a book or my laptop, watching my son play, taking a hot shower…all these things are so much more appealing than exercise! House cleaning, which can be a good workout, is also something I need to do more frequently, so I think building exercise into things that need to be done or things that are fun and enjoyable will give more success in the areas of physical fitness. I like what Christa shared on the blog for today, week 4 Tuesday, about listening to books on tape while she works out, so I think I will try that. Praying while I walk will be good too! Maybe I will finally listen to the Word of Promise DVD set I got! I made it to Joshua a while back, so…yeah…
When you think about your schedule and daily demands, which of the following statements comes closest to describing how you feel about your time?
Most of my time is within my control. I have a limited number of responsibilities or obligations that can’t be changed but I am otherwise able to plan my own schedule.
Some of my time is within my control. I have several responsibilities or obligations that can’t be changed, but I do have pockets of time each week that I can use for things I want to do.
Almost none of my time is within my control. My responsibilities and obligations are all-consuming right now. The only way I could add one more thing to my schedule is to skip what little sleep I manage to get each night.
How does your response help you understand your feelings about making time to exercise? On a scale of one to ten (one being very little and ten being a great deal), how much effort would it take to make time in your schedule for regular exercise (three to five times a week)?
Right now, my life is totally option A. I need to just do this! It won’t take much work at all to fit this into my daily schedule. The only effort is getting it to fit mentally! 😉
Lysa says about exercise, “I’ve learned to embrace the benefits instead of resisting the hardship.” Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On one side, list all the hardships of exercising; on the other side list all the benefits. Which list has more influence on you? Do you feel the benefits outweigh the hardships or vice versa? Can you imagine that it might be possible for you to embrace the benefits rather than resisting the hardship? Why or why not?
|It hurts||Stretching feels great!|
|My knee hurts||More energy overall|
|I’d rather read||Toning my body|
|Finding time to do so with Zander||Clothes fit better|
|Finding things I can do indoors for free||Can be fun when done with the right people|
|Affording good shoes and workout clothes||Sleep better|
Now, I know the benefits outweigh the hardships. I know I need to embrace this and JUST DO IT! I am going to watch Murder She Wrote on my laptop while I use the elliptical; I am going to take Zander in his stroller to the mall and walk. And first, I am going to buy a knee brace. Yep. Please, help hold me accountable! Ask me if I am reaching my goal of at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes; then after 3 weeks, I want to increase to 4 times a week. Then 5 times a week!
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.