So that God Gets the Glory & I May Live.
"There are only seven days in a week, and someday is not one of them."
I have never been one for following a program when it concerned exercise or my health. I can only think of one time that I paid for and attempted to stick to a regiment. It didn't last long. It wasn't the program's fault, it was my lack of self-discipline. Staying healthy, being responsible with my finances, taking care of my family and home comes somewhat with ease. I blame it on a slight type A personality. I felt that for the most part I kept my head above water and was happy with life. Over the last year and half there have been some big changes for our family. I spent a year teaching full time, then my husband's radio station sold and we uprooted our lives for a new adventure in a new city. I began to sink. While working, we ate way to much take out and I would bury my end of the day tears in a gigantic (I kid you not, ginormous!!) bowl of cherry ice cream at night. As much as I wanted to soak in God's word in the morning, I would fall asleep in my Bible. 4:30 am is early ya'll! The dreams & desires I had in my heart were slowly fading. Unhealthy & emotional, I knew something needed to change.
This week Matt & I finished up the Whole30. We dedicated ourselves to 30 days of clean eating that excluded sugar, grains, legumes & dairy. We also pledged to walk/run everyday. On a personal note, I resolved to taking two nights a week to hone my writing skills and publish one blog a week. Finally, I worked on heading to bed earlier so that in the morning I would be awake and listening for the Lord's voice. To be honest I wasn't sure if I would succeed. I'm not going to lie, it was hard - like dizzy from lack of sugar, I'm going to eat your face off, just let me sleep hard. But I was determined. As the month progressed, my mind and body adjusted in several ways and I found my self strong enough to stick it out. Not only did I finish strong, but I am renewed to to continue with pursuing health; mind, body and soul. I'm sure there will be set backs and days that I still struggle. But I won't give up. I want to be disciplined.
Before turning over this new leaf if you will, I spent sometime praying about it. I believe that I am a whole person made up of body, mind and soul. They're all woven together; one affecting the other. I also believe that God created each part of me and wants lordship in all three areas. He laid a few verses on my heart that formed & sustained my efforts this last month.
Therefore I run thus; not with uncertainty. Thus I fight; not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into submission.
1 Corinthians 9:26-27a
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 you are not your own. You were bought at a price; you may glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
My body. It's easy in the busyness of life to allow the disappointments, celebrations and the down right no time to think moments dictate how and what we eat without much thought to the long term outcome. I did! Most days it was just about survival. Eventually it catches up with you. I realize that this scripture passage is concerned with my spiritual condition, but our lifestyles can play into our spiritual state. What I put in my mouth matters. I can't give into every whim. And I can't tend to my mind & soul with food. My body is God's temple it is not my own. I must exercise self control and take care of the gift he has given me. So that God may be glorified.
Finally, my brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.
My mind. Wow, this is a battlefield on so many levels. Never mind all the garbage that today's entertainment provides; add in a hot political climate, a dash of imagination and my own not so humble opinion. You get a recipe for disaster. My mind can be happy one moment, saddened the next and flip to judgement in a heart beat. I beat myself up and then wonder where everyone else has gone wrong. And when I am discontent, let's just imagine up a new "reality". Ha! I'm a hot mess and you probably didn't even notice. That's the tricky thing with the mind. It's easy to hide what's going on inside. But this is all the more reason to heed the truths of Philippians 4:8. If what I am watching, reading, listening to or thinking doesn't meet the 4:8 checklist, I need to shut it down. If I am clothing my thoughts in truth, I can have self control over what shape those thoughts take. A disciplined mind is a transformed mind.
He will circumcise your heart...and you will love Him with all your heart and all your soul so that you will live.
My soul. Ultimately, my fleshly body will fade away. I will be given a new heavenly body that will last all of eternity. My soul will remain. What I do with it here carries on and becomes a part of who I am in heaven. I am more & more convinced of the importance of tending to my soul. Deuteronomy says that God will circumcise our hearts. That is not a comfortable word. The Latin word means to "cut away from", while the dictionary adds the definition of it being a spiritual purification. The Lord wants to spiritually purify us by cutting away anything that is not of Him. A healthy soul is disciplined. It is protected. It is fed with God's word. It is exercised with selfless acts of service and love. It is denied the lusts of this world. So that I will live.
Maybe you're struggling with your resolutions? Perhaps the moment for new goals or dreams has passed, buried in the daily routine and your thinking...
"Maybe tomorrow. Well, maybe next year. Someday."
Admittedly, the struggle rages on. As I pound on these keys trying to put words to my thoughts and heart, I am a week late on posting this article. Being disciplined takes hard work and sacrifice. I used to tell my students, "if something is hard, we try harder'" I repeat it to myself now; a mental exercise of not giving up. I don't want to be staring Someday in the face and know disappointment. I want to proclaim that I ran my race and I ran it well. I want to be disciplined.
So That God
is glorified and I may live.