Thursday, October 25, 2012

Heart and Health

So this past week I have been trying to live out what I learned on my week away.  And what a success!!!  I have been a pillar of patience and understanding, listening well to all those I encounter, and seeing them through the eyes of Christ.  Yeah, right.  Baby steps...

During our last meeting, Larry told us not to look at our notes or manual for a while (which of course I obeyed by waiting a whopping 48 hours before reviewing mine).  His thought was that we should see what comes to the surface for us...conversations, time alone, something we heard in a lecture.  One of the conversations that has risen to the surface for me has been one I had with a lovely and precious woman named Carolyn.  Carolyn was in full time ministry, but has since pulled away and is staying at home.  She is married and has no kids of her own, though she claims many of her friends' children and opens her home as an after school stop for these adopted ones.  As Carolyn shared about her life and how she spends her time, she kept returning to a phrase that I latched onto and now claim for myself.  She said that she is trying to focus on "her heart and her health" every day.  That's it.

That's it???!!!  That's it.  And ladies and gentlemen let me tell you it ain't easy.  I have tried to do just that each day.  Just those two things.  And I fail.

Taking care of my heart and my health can look different for everyone.  For me it looks like going to the gym and attempting to work out, take my vitamins, and eat food that doesn't look the same french fry color.  That's the health part.  And just for your enjoyment here is a blurry but adequate picture of my first attempt at a yogurt/spinach/flax smoothie in my new blender...

Gonna keep trying on that one, though how awesome is it that my brand new blender is now inundated in every single crevice with sitcky, yet extremely good for you, spinach liquid.

The heart part looks like being still, pulling away, and making a conscious effort to sit my booty in my red chair and read.  Sometimes it's the Bible, sometimes it's Real Simple magazine, sometimes it's Harry Potter.

This is proving to be SO HARD!

How can I justify sitting?  How is that ok?  How can I justify working out or spending time on my grocery list so I won't fill my cart with Lucky Charms?  How could I have the NERVE to actually snuggle up and take a nap?  While my kids are at school and my husband is working away all day?  While all my friends and neighbors are busy scurrying around doing what they do?  How is  it ok to take care of my heart and my health?

I don't know.  But I am trying my darndest.

As Ian so often reminds me, "Comparison is the thief of joy."  (We don't know who said it, but it's such a good one don't you think?).  So often I spend time looking at others to help determine my schedule, my parenting, my outfits...

The only way I know to go about this "heart and health" business is by battling back all my impulses to move.  To go against everything in me that tells me to go anywhere other than places that are good.  And I don't mean good places like Target or Anthropologie, though they are exceptional places.  I'm talking about good places that lead me where I ultimately want to go.  Places that push me toward what feels so unnatural, like silence and quiet.

Yesterday's Jesus Calling (by Sarah Young) was so spot on:

Lie down in green pastures of Peace. Learn to unwind whenever possible, resting in the Presence of your Shepherd. This electronic age keeps My children "wired" much of the time, too tense to find Me in the midst of their moments. I built into your very being the need for rest. How twisted the world has become when people feel guilty about meeting this basic need! How much time and energy they waste by being always on the go, rather than taking time to seek My direction for their lives.

I have called you to walk with Me down paths of Peace. I want you to blaze a trail for others who desire to live in My peaceful Presence. I have chosen you less for your strengths than for your weaknesses, which amplify your need for Me. Depend on Me more and more, and I will shower Peace on all your paths.

"I have chosen you less for your strengths than for your weaknesses."  How powerful and freeing is that?

So I continue plundering my way through the noises in my head to seek out peace and quiet in the presence of Christ.  And along the way maybe I'll learn to make a real smoothie.  I'm sure my kids hope so.

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