So, I backed off a little bit on my exercise this last month or two – I decided to scale it down a little to give a muscle I had injured some time to heal. That muscle definitelly started to feel better, but the rest of me does NOT. So, that’s over now and it’s time to get back to work!
Anyway, what I have noticed is that although I still worked out about three or four times per week, I kind of let other things go too – I ate more chocolate (which I have always indulged in, but I in-DULGED!), allowed myself more treats (like torilla chips – yum!) AND didn’t do a very good job about my water and green tea intake (which is VERY important for me to not be a slacker about!).
I did a wonderful job of backing off!
See, I am kind of one of those really interesting types who doesn’t really give stuff like that my personal best if I am not going at it pretty much full-force. Some might say that means I am an extremist, and I guess in some ways, I am. Honestly, I think it’s because I know myself pretty well – I am a slacker at “heart ” (tee hee) and if I don’t stay focused, I can lose it pretty quickly. Sad, but true.
I think the Lord tells us, when we are seeking Him, when it is to our benefit and within His will to be extreme. For example, I believe in being an absolute and total follower of Christ – a overboard, ultra-committed, way-out-there-on-fire-for-Him full on disciple! I am a Jesus Freak and I am not ashamed to say it.
I also find that I fall into the category of being “extreme” by the world’s standards when it comes to how much I actually find that I need to exercise to stay fit. The world likes to tell us that three to four thirty minute sessions a week is just fine. But it definitely is not for me! I lead a pretty sedentary life during the week – I have a customer service job, I blog and do a lot of computer work, and I sleep during the day as I work at night. Sure, I have errands and housework to do, but those things do not keep me fit at all ( I know some women who swear by it, but I am not one of them – it just doesn’t do enough for me – never has, never will).
Anyway, I digress. What I really meant to talk about was that I noticed that although I am not into a different size of clothing, or haven’t really gained a ton of weight (maybe five pounds, but I am not getting on that scale, no siree!) that everything has just gone – well, kind of “soft”, since I took this little “break.” Gummies, anyone?
After working for a couple of years to lose a lot of weight the healthy way, I am not about to allow that to get out of hand again – God really helped me through that endeavor and I don’t want to blow it after all of the grace He threw my way.
And soft, in this sense really isn’t just “soft”, is it? Let’s be honest; it’s just plain “flabby.” And flab is baaaaaddddd.
Yes, flab is bad, both physically and spiritually. It causes heart disease, makes one lethargic, can lead to depression, anxiety, and a whole bunch of other things that are not what I would categorize as good. One then becomes a slave to their poor health, rather than spending time focusing on the good things – like Jesus, family, friends, and enjoyment of all the blessings that God has placed around us. Like this coffee, for example!
Uh-hem….hold the whipped cream please. Smile.
So, let’s just assume that flabby is not okay. At least it isn’t for me.
BUT, soft is a different thing altogether. I have really been praying that Jesus would soften my hard heart and He is starting to work on me in that area. Not even a year ago, I just felt like my heart was icy in a lot of areas – especially towards people. I knew this wasn’t good and that I needed to ask God to soften it up – give me HIS heart – HIS kind of love to feel and show to others. I was scared to pray for this, let me tell you! And I still need a lot of help from Him – every single day (I always will, because I NEED Him). But, He has shown me, as He has chipped away at the black ice that had built up inside of me, that it is definitely rewarding to live with a softened heart. It’s starting to melt!
You know, I was just thinking about that difference between flabby and soft in relation to the living Spirit of God. When we are flabby, we can’t zip up our jeans the same way, things are more restrictive and tight, stuff just jiggles around and has no order to it – it is just chaotic and irritating. But when we are just a bit soft hearted, well, to me, that would be a better kind of place to live in than inside of a hard heart – because God is just so big, so vast, so without limits, He needs our hearts to be pliable – moldable to Him – movable – flexible, and certainly not rigid.
When I was a young girl, I cared about practically everyone – I would cry for others at the drop of a hat. Although that isn’t a terrible thing, when I look back on it now, I see that my motivations and intentions weren’t really pure. Sometimes it was because I truly did care about and love others. But other times, it was just because I got a sense of identity, acceptance, or satisfaction about being that care taker. That was not a soft heart, but a flabby one.
So I have been to both places, my friends. I have had the flab-ridden heart and the heart of a black iceberg – neither one is fun, and neither one is the heart of Jesus.
I am grateful that my Savior is finally starting to soften up that heart but keep the flab out too. I know that it will be a process and look forward to him proceeding at whatever rate of speed He deems as good. I have yielded to Him and plan to continue to do so, as I know He has a lot of work to do inside there. He has taken away my fear, allowed me to embrace vulnerability once again, and reassured me that soft as it is becoming, He will not allow it to be pierced without His permission or protection.
Isn’t it wonderful to yield ourselves to our Lord and Savior?
I have always loved hearts and what they symbolize – but now, I love them for what they always should have represented first and foremost in my life – I love hearts because they remind me of Jesus and HIS love for all of us. I love hearts because although at times they are broken, He can repair them and remind us of His wonderful power and grace. And I love that He fills mine up with all of Himself and keeps making it softer and softer by the day.
I love hearts. And I love soft.
Thank you Jesus for living in mine.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you
your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26