Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Memory Lane

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires

Today I am setting out on my trial run at a healthier lifestyle. I have even persuaded a few other lovely ladies to join me in my little adventure.

My desire is two fold.

1.To lose a little weight, exercise more, and be a physically healthier person.

BUT - this cannot happen without being spiritually healthy too. Thus, my second desire...

2. To make a conscious effort to be in fellowship with my Heavenly Father on a DAILY basis and to search His wisdom that will enable me to make better choices.

I really don’t want to focus on what I eat or how much time I spend not being active. I would rather focus on a deeper walk with Jesus, because living in light of His desire for me is much better than meeting the usually unrealistic and vain goals that I set for myself.

I also believe that when I am most in tune with Him I will be a more loving person that is exhibiting the aforementioned “fruit(s) of the Spirit”.

As I began preparing for this little change in my life, I began pondering John 15:1-13

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

When I am abiding in His perfect plan, it is then that I am most satisfied. He comes right out and says it.

When I am close to him, I am bearing fruit and bringing honor to the name of Jesus. When I am close to him, my joy is FULL! When I am close to him, it is then that I can love others the way He has loved me.

I am reminded that I AM His.

My heart is complete because of the grace He bestowed upon me. I need His grace because I fail - often. But He always loves me - when I succeed and when I fail, when I look like an idiot and when the world adores me. I need his grace and my heart rejoices that He has shown me there is victory because of His sacrifice. I am willing to make some sacrifices because I love him, not because I HAVE to. His love is unconditional.


I think we should start this little journey by remember the things that God has already pulled us out of and given us victory over. I believe that when we look at how much He has already enabled us to do, then we will realize that going for a walk is really a gift not a burden and that passing on the third piece of pie is really no sacrifice at all - especially when He has called us to give up much BIGGER things, that we, really, no longer miss.

Here is a small list from my trip down memory lane:

1. I had to give up MY life plan to follow His. It seemed so hard, but I cannot really remember what I sacrificed. I can only recall what I have gained - Hope for whatever comes next, a true gentleman of a husband, a son who is more wonderful than I could have ever imagined and friends that love me not just for what I can do/give them.

2. I had to give up smoking and drinking for a season. I had to do this because it was an escape for me. It was an unhealthy escape that instead of bringing me joy only fed my desire to ignore my problems and halt my growth as a person. This is not something everyone must give up, but for me, it was necessary. I truly believe that I have the freedom to engage in these activities now - because they are no longer a stumbling block in my relationship with God (though it would be unwise for me to smoke since we all know it can cause cancer) I have chosen, however, to continue to abstain because of my family history and to keep the promise I made to my husband. I will however enjoy dinner at a brewery or good conversation with friends over a glass of water while they enjoy a bottle of wine.

3. I gave up on mainstream music for a time. This was another of those things that isn’t a big deal for most people, but for me when I would hear a song on the radio it took me straight back to the time of loss, pain and heartache that I was experiencing when that song first snuck into my brain. I needed a break so those wounds could heal and God knew that. Now, it is no big deal to sing along to a song that made it on the soundtrack of my life, because those wounds no longer bleed, but remind me of the mighty power of God to bring joy and hope to my life. Plus, what would road tripping be without music you can sing REALLY loudly to?

Ok... that is enough for me.

Can you name one thing that God “took” from you, that in hindsight is really no big deal?

As you reflect on those victories, may it be the way God enables you to go for a few more minutes on the treadmill or just say no to a second helping, because it really isn’t a big deal, is it?

P.S. I totally gained two pounds in the last week. I ate less crap (except for two packs of pop tarts in the last two days -- they aren't even that good. What am I thinking?) But I didn't get much exercise. Hopefully I am just retaining water (which means I should be drinking MORE water) or wearing heavier clothes. Seriously, this was NOT the result I was expecting. Arghhhh! I hope you are doing better than I am. Press on friends! Maybe I will weigh again in the AM and get better results :)

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you have a great perspective. I'm about to start losing my baby weight (I have my 6 week check-up this week), but I dont want to focus on that so much that I lose focus in other areas. Great to know we are on the same page!


I love comments! Tell me what's on your mind!