Food and Fitness

First Love FITNESS, Week Five – His Grace is Enough

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 4 comments

IMG_2021As I’ve listened to my class members share their physical and spiritual struggles, I’ve noticed a common thread. Personal challenges may look different, i.e. getting out of bed in the morning to have quiet time with God, or setting foot in a gym to work out, or not giving in to the temptation to eat a cookie, but at the root of all these trials really seems to be the same issue: self-discipline. We can know in our mind and desire in our heart what we want to do, but we still have trouble implementing our good intentions in our flesh.

I don’t think our difficulty with self-discipline surprises Jesus. In the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus was “overwhelmed with sorrow,” He asked three of His closest friends to stay awake and keep watch for Him but they repeatedly fell asleep (Mark 14:34). Peter, James and John couldn’t do the one thing Jesus asked of them, when He needed them most. To His sleeping friends Jesus said, “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Mark 14:38).

Centuries later, His words still define our struggle with self-discipline.

And God knows our weaknesses go beyond what we’re willing to admit. He knows we sometimes keep our issues in a deep, dark place called shame. Someone reading this may be struggling with pornography or alcohol or anger, or not having an affair; for this person, self-discipline can seem more than difficult. It can seem impossible.

But do you believe that “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37)?

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First Love FITNESS, Week Four – “Just Rest!”

Posted on Oct 10, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 0 comments

IMG_1951A benefit of writing your own study is that you get to decide what to say and when to say it. Even though I’ve led “First Love FITNESS” before, I continually ask God what He would have me teach for the upcoming lesson. I trust He hears me and will answer according to HIS plan.

At the start of this week–which was really just a blurry continuation from the end of last week–I was feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and discouraged. Probably what Jesus calls “weary and burdened” (Matthew 11:28). There were so many things I felt I “had” to do, that I didn’t think I even had time to write to my prayer team, asking for prayers to help me do them.

Does life get crazy-busy for you sometimes, too? Even when we’re filling up with good things (as we discussed in Week Three), it can feel we’re going, going, going. Jesus understands: “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he (Jesus) said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’ (Mark 6:31).

In the midst of my own personal chaos, God had just given me the topic for Week Four. I’m a major proponent of Nike’s slogan, “Just do it!” but I also desperately need to remember my First Love desires I “Just Rest!”

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First Love FITNESS – Week Three

Posted on Oct 3, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 2 comments

IMG_1845First of all, God is awesome. Yesterday morning, as I was about to leave home and head to church for First Love FITNESS, I felt an urgency to pray for any of the ladies in my class who might, for whatever reason, be considering not going to class that day. I dropped to my knees on the stairs I was ascending and asked God to please touch the ladies HE wanted in class–to in His own way direct them to come. You can imagine my delight when, about an hour later–after class had started–one woman shared in front of everyone that she’d been considering not coming to class that morning. She’d wanted to have her own quiet time with the Lord, but then sensed He wanted her to come to First Love FITNESS, so she did.

I smiled and felt chills all over my body. God works in mysterious ways, and although they are higher than I can understand, it gives me such joy when I sense I’ve been even a teensy-tiny part of His “work” in this world.

Week Three’s Lesson was on “Filling Up with Good Things.” My “Coach’s Tip” was that it’s much healthier to eat five or six small “meals” a day–every two to three hours–than to consume two or three larger ones. And please make absolutely, positively sure you eat breakfast! Ideally, every “meal” should contain protein and good, complex carbohydrates: protein keeps you feeling full longer, and the healthy carbohydrates regulate your blood sugar and give you energy. The greater frequency of eating keeps your metabolism going, not slowing!

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First Love FITNESS, Week Two ~ “No Pain, No Gain”

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 0 comments

IMG_1786First, I want to apologize for not getting this recap of “First Love FITNESS ~ Week Two” written and posted sooner.  Suffice it to say I’ve been busy as a mom.  I imagine other mothers out there understand, but still I’m sorry I didn’t at least get our daily gospel reading schedule posted for you.  I will try to do better in the future, and I thank you for your grace!

As you can see, I had a helper at “First Love FITNESS” this past week: a precious little princess named Candice, the daughter of one of the ladies in my class. Our workout went longer than expected, so Candice joined in at the end. Copying her mommy’s every exercise move, excitedly lifting a pink 6-lb. medicine ball, and proudly showing me how fast she can run, I observed a little girl passionate about fitness! I think God may have planted a new seed within me… maybe “First Love FITNESS–for Kids!” will be next….

But back to our class, I was so blessed to meet again with ladies desiring to become physically and spiritually fit. After opening with prayer, I loved hearing the difference that some of last week’s scriptures had made in their lives, especially 2 Timothy 1:7… “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Because self-discipline can be an area of such great struggle, our group as a whole found it extremely encouraging that God GIVES us the spirit we need to overcome our weaknesses and temptations.

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First Love FITNESS ~ Week One

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 3 comments

IMG_1733Yesterday was an exciting day–the first for “First Love FITNESS,” a 10-week class I’m leading at my church to help women become physically and spiritually fit. It was last winter that God asked me “to share with others” this particular passion of mine (Hebrews 13:16). For months I’ve been praying God would bring whomever He wanted to the class. It was a joy to tell the ladies sitting around me that they are the answers to my prayers.

Every week I’ll recap here some highlights of what we discussed and did in class so that those who aren’t able to physically attend may still partake and benefit. Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day in Colorado Springs (today it’s snowing!), so I let our entire workout be outside.

After opening with prayer, I shared a key verse for First Love FITNESS: “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7-8).

Getting to the heart of First Love FITNESS, I shared a quote by Richard Chenevix Trench: “No man can be without his god. If he have not the true God to bless and sustain him, he will have some false god to delude and betray him….For every man has something in which he hopes, on which he leans, to which he retreats and retires, with which he fills up his thoughts in empty spaces of time, when he is alone, when he lies sleepless on his bed, when he is not pressed with other thoughts; to which he betakes himself in sorrow or trouble, as that from which he shall draw comfort and strength — his fortress, his citadel, his defense; and has not this a good right to be called his god?”

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Fall’s Foods-of-the-Month: Dinner with Martha and Mary!

Posted on Nov 28, 2012 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 2 comments

Do you ever feel time is flying by–uncontrollably fast?  That it was just August, and you blinked, and now it’s November?  That’s how I feel!  I think, as a mom, the Fall months are especially susceptible to disappearing before our eyes.  With two kids in high school, one in junior high, and one in elementary school, “normal” life is already full; add on all the extra, unforeseen events–happy or difficult–and somehow the end of summer has become the beginning of winter.  During these months my blog has had to take backseat to other priorities.  But there’s always a silver lining….

Back in September, while contemplating my “Food-of-the-Month,” I happened to read the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42.  I’m guessing I had been praying for HELP in juggling the many activities, needs and concerns in my family’s life with my own when Jesus‘ words became personal to me.  Instead of “Martha, Martha…” I heard “Laurie, Laurie, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

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