"Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind" (Leonardo da Vinci).
This quote drew me in this week as I stepped in some muddy puddles and then huddled on my sofa during Texas' mini Icepocalypse where our schools and society shut down for three days. It was a nice break and by Saturday I proudly finished up building the Clue mansion in my Minecraft server.
This week we have the opportunity to began building our own real worlds, thawing out that frozen water and taking those steps forward. They don't have to be big leaps, but they do need To Be. Personally, I have taken a step back to wait and see what would be the best steps. Now I am taking them. What about you?
My best friend and writing buddy convinced me to sign up for a writer's conference called Realm Makers, and I am going to register for it today. Am I a little afraid? Yes. When she first mentioned it, I grimaced. Traveling to another state, for many days, to interact with people who I do not know, about an industry which has been full of roadblocks and hazards, has left me reeling and disenchanted. And yet. That little whisper voice says, "If it scares you, it's calling you out." Stagnant water loses purity. I don't want to become stagnant water. So let's do those scary things.
Scary looks different to everyone. Sometimes 'scary' is actually just 'something different.' What do you need to do today that allows you to be freer than you were yesterday? Maybe it is something like registering for a conference, or maybe it is sending an encouraging text or email. Maybe it is taking a few minutes to go on a walk outside, or attend a fitness class, or put down that soda and drink a glass of water instead.
"I have great confidence in you. I am filled with encouragement; I am overcome with joy in all our afflictions...God, who comforts the humble, comforted us by the arrival of Titus, and not only by his arrival, but also by the comfort he received from you" (2 Corinthians 7:4, 6). Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian church, recognized the need for encouragement and for action. He saw the circle of inspiration and how one person's actions influence another, and that 'an object in motion stays in motion.' Encouragement blossoms. Titus showed up, his church encouraged him, he encouraged them, and they encouraged Paul. Isn't that a great picture of why we have a church body? Your actions today matter.
So let's hold each other accountable and have some fun. Do something today which breaks you out of the moldy pond. One little trickle, one little step, that's all you need. Do it scared, do it on your knees, but do it.
Here's a list of options if you need one:
- Send an encouraging text or email
- Thank the grocery store cashier and mean it
- Give a compliment to someone who looks downcast
- Give a giftcard to a teacher
- Attend a group fitness class
- Do That Thing on your list that makes you cringe
- Schedule that doctor's appointment
- Hug that person and let them let go first
- Make up your bed
- Pick up that book and read a chapter
And then once you have done that small (but really, quite big) thing, let me know what it is. I'd love to hear about those steps forward. Let's take them together.
If you need a good book to read, Alliance Book One, Insurrection, is now available in paperback and ebook. You can purchase anywhere books are sold.
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id6445369055
Additional locations: https://books2read.com/u/49VD9J
Strange noises. Dazzling beaches. A secret military base. Saylor must navigate these mysterious elements -- or die trying.
People usually go to the gym for fitness rather than therapy. For me, it was the place to lift heavy weights and lift the anxiety pressing upon my spirit. The gym was my therapy. Body Combat, the treadmill, the weight rack, they stood ready to greet me every day with open arms. While my heart broke from dreams slowly shattering before me, my arms and mind grew stronger. The gym became my release, my freedom, my success. While I couldn’t convince the world to buy my stories, I could convince my fists to grip those heavy weights and defy gravity.
In November 2018 I took brave steps and became certified in BodyFlow, a LesMills program of yoga, tai chi, and pilates. As I taught classes, I realized that people come to the gym for strength building rather than therapy. There are a few special people who come specifically for Flow, for stretching, for relaxing, but most want the sweat and then head to work. So I noticed that one of my favorite programs, which had made a big difference in my Monday routine, called CX Worx, lasted half an hour rather than the hour that most other programs do, and I noticed how I felt when I missed it. CX works the core from the knees to the neck. The other trainer at the gym, Connie, who had encouraged and mentored me throughout my Flow training, mentioned I should use CX as part of my training for fitness, and to give CX certification a shot.
I recalled Flow training, where one of the girls attending had stated that she had first been certified in CX because after she’d had her first baby, she knew her core would need the most work. She used the program to repair the problem. And maybe this is obvious. And maybe I had been saying this to myself all along since I was a kid – I knew that as an adult female I would have to work very hard to have a strong core and not have an ongoing-looking baby bump. Lower abs, mommas. You feel me. And then something clicked. Use the program as a tool. The more I taught Flow, the more I saw lasting results in myself. Maybe I could offer that to myself and others with CX.
However, when I looked at Les Mills training times for CX, there was only one offered in Texas in 2019, in Houston (about an eight-hour drive), and it was in the middle of February, when my hubs would be in a community theatre show. Can’t do it.
So the next Monday during CX, I yanked that band and I tugged at the weights and my heart did flip flops. Connie’s bright smile through it all inspired me. I said a prayer: God, if you want me to teach this too, then make it available. I’ll show up here and do what I can, but if you want this to go further, show me what to do.
Five or so days passed. On a whim I checked the Les Mills training calendar again. There, like a shining star, stood one new training date, April 27th, in Austin. Two hours away.
A couple weeks continued by, as I repeated to myself that I would not stress about the New Things To Come. Everything in its time; what will be, will be, you know. Then Connie announced she was pregnant! Ah! Yay, so exciting. And then I realized: I’m going to have to sub! Ah! Finding myself a copy of a CX works training video so I could begin to shadow her in class, I explored the first couple tracks and had to pause the video. WHAT HAVE I DONE. Connie’s class is not like this! This is mega intense! I said to myself. Hands on hips, I inhaled. Sweat poured down my temples. Gulping down some water, I perched on the edge of the bathtub. Quiet. Heart pounding. This is hard.
And then a small voice said, You’d get bored if it were easy.
Here we are. Four weeks away.
I went through the video again this morning, recognizing my weakness, demarcating my resolve. I may not be good enough. But I’ll show up.
I have to be able to do a three to five minute hover, also called a plank.
I can’t do it yet, but I will show up and work for it.
As the trainer on the video stated: Fitness isn’t about perfection, it is about progress.
So we progress. I hope you will progress with me. What goals are you working for? If it were easy, it would get boring. Let’s make new moves, and voyage into what was truly meant to be. And soon, people will come to my classes for fitness, clarity, and therapy. I will be strong so others can be strong. Let the games begin.
Every one of us, it doesn’t matter what we look like or sound like or feel like, no matter what we do, what we have done, the plans we have or have had, we are all trying to do our best. It’s about time to stop comparing. It’s time to stop saying, “It should be this way,” or “I’m not good enough.” Stop.
It’s a struggle of mine. I so deeply have limited confidence and I don’t know why or where it came from, but it’s there. And we need to stop. It’s time to deal with it.
The Not Good Enough.
Know that today, right now, no matter what you are doing, or have wanted to do, or thought you should be doing, you’re okay. If God had other plans for you, he would have put them into play. But the ones he has in play now are right and best. So be encouraged in the thing that you are doing, regardless of how hard or easy it is, or how much you feel like you are doing it good enough. You are. So just show up, hang in, and be happy with your best. Even when you feel like your best should be better. Know that you are on the right track.
I have felt insecure the last couple of weeks as I’ve been learning the tracks I need to teach for my BodyFlow training. The hours spent learning choreography and notes have made me fully aware of my lacking and newness to the idea of leading a yoga, tai chi, and pilates class. I feel quite out of my element, and challenged. There have been many tears.
But if God had something different, he would have put that into play. What is in play is the thing that is. So go with it. Smile with it. Cause it’s the best. And you are the best to be in that role, in that job that you are doing.
We often receive and share the reminder of brokenness. Do you feel like you are inherently broken and can never be right? There’s more to life, there’s more to your plot line, than being broken. You are capable of doing great things because of God’s love and power in your life.
Release the demands of pretention. Release what no longer serves you. Release the expectation of perfection.
Because of the work that God has done, because of Jesus’ sacrifice of life establishing victory for us, his children, his living body on earth, we do not have to stay broken.
Strong. Capable. The best fit.
Yes, you can.
Fear can be a lack of trust, but it can also be a nudge in the right direction. Consider the source of fear, and not just the fear itself. Ask ‘why am I afraid’? Do you fear the unknown? Are you afraid of letting someone down? (By the way, this is your projection of what you think they want) Do you trust yourself? Perhaps the fear can be the tool to get you where you need to go.
Do not fear the fear, embrace the fear and find its root. Because the fear will help you get to where you need to be. The more afraid you are of it, the more you might need to pursue it, look it in the face, and deal with it.
We have nothing to fear. The children of God have nothing to fear on earth. Yes, there are times to use wisdom and safety. However, use fear to learn. Learn about yourself, learn about others, learn about God’s sovereign capability.
Overcomers. Capable. The best fit.
That is reality.
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