Friday, June 13, 2014

A Taste of Where Fitness Meets Faith by Kimberley Payne


I did it all wrong. During the Christmas season, I stopped doing the things that I needed to do in order to be right with me, and to be right with the world, but most importantly to be right with God.
My first error was in going to bed much later than normal. Over the Christmas holidays, I would allow the children to stay up later than their regular bedtime, and then found myself eventually going to bed a few hours later. My body clock was thrown off. 
My second mistake was letting my body dictate when I felt like getting up. I know from years of experience that the process of waking up – no matter what time it is – is slow and painful for me. I will feel just as groggy and resentful about being yanked from my warm, cozy bed after a six-hour sleep as I would after a twelve-hour slumber. So, when I relied on my body to signal me to wake I would actually stay in bed extra hours then feel guilty for sleeping in. These two mistakes threw my physical and emotional state into alarm by changing my routine.
Then to further upset my system, I stopped taking my morning walk. Usually after bringing the children to the bus stop, I would continue on for a forty-five minute walk. It was a good time to get my body moving, my blood flowing and my mind thinking. Without this walk, I didn’t get my usual energy surge needed for the day. Without this morning boost, I felt like I was dragging myself, and so I also did not have the enthusiasm or desire to do my other exercise – strength training. I was on a downward spiral.
Physically and emotionally, I was out of sorts. Add to this the new chores and unique assignments of the holiday season. I was shopping when I normally would be reading. I was wrapping when I normally would be writing. In addition to this, I was cooking, cleaning and preparing for festivities.
As if that was not enough, I had two children home from school for two weeks. I love my children – let’s get that straight from the start – but they are kids. They bicker and argue and they complain and fight. And they love me. They want to spend time with mom. They want to help mom shop, wrap and cook (they never want to clean though). They want mom to play with them, to read to them, to be with them.
Too much sleep, no exercise and children all day -- they were the ingredients for a stressful holiday season.
However, there was one other thing that I had neglected that could have truly helped me. I did not spend time with God. Oh, I continued to pray at meals and bedtime, however, I did not spend quality, one-on-one, reflective time with Him.
On my morning walks, I do more than just look at the passing homes. I practice my walking meditation. It is a time when I connect with God and talk to Him through my thoughts and prayers. It is a mindful and special time between us that I have come to cherish. On my walks, I explore my life and give praise and thanksgiving for what He has given me. I open my heart and pour out my troubles. I give thought to others and pray for the needs of my family, friends and community. Without my morning walk, I not only missed out on the healthy physical benefits, but more importantly, I denied the spiritual healing it had provided.
Generally after my morning walk, I return home to hot coffee and my pen and paper. I spend one hour writing. I record any enlightenment God has shown me and I reflect on the prayers I had offered up. It’s a time for me to not only talk with God, but to listen for a response. For the entire Christmas season, I had not done this.
Lastly, I did not spend time in His Word. My usual routine affords me time each day to spend reading and studying the Bible. But because the time set aside was not given its usual priority, it was lost.
I enjoyed my holidays. No one was sick this year and we were able to visit many relatives. However, each day took a little bit more out of me and by the end of the month, I felt very drained. 
God is the only thing that really rejuvenates me. He feeds me each day. He gives me the energy and enthusiasm needed to get through the day. 
I will take this past Christmas season as a lesson for my life. My resolution is to pledge my life anew to Jesus. Although routines change, and life can throw me curves, I resolve to spend quality time with God first and foremost every single day in order to be right with me, to be right with the world, and most importantly to be right with God.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

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