Puzzling Together What We Don’t Understand

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We’d been splashing in our pool much of the morning–it was already 84 by 10 a.m. It has been a great summer to own a pool; spending so much time in the pool has also led to the purchase of new diving rings, many swimsuits for the girls, and of course a few new floaty toys, which means on any given day our shallow end is full of diving rings and a 5 foot long inflatable shark & dolphin.

I held Beckett while he “swam” to over the dolphin, he pointed and it and said, mow-min (dolphin), then he pointed at it’s flipper and clearly said, hand. I giggled a little at the way a two-year old sees the world.  He doesn’t know the name for a flipper, and doesn’t understand that not every living creature has the body parts he so loves to point out and name on himself.

Second later, I knew my splashing toddler had revealed a deep truth.  It is in our nature to try to fit the unknown into what we know.  When Mark and I teach friends a new board game, we reference games they already know–creating a context for them (yes, we are board game geeks). When Beckett sees the paws of my parents’ Beagle, he calls them feet or toes, not paws–that’s the context He has.  When we consider and teach about God, how often do we try to fit Him into the context of reality as we can perceive it?  How often do we compare His almighty, creating, healing, world-holding hand to our own–frail & powerless without His strength.

I wonder if rather than acting as if I was made in God’s image, I behave as though He must somehow fit into what I understand–He must fit into human terms and time constrains.

How marvelous when I turn things around–when rather than robbing the dolphin of it’s unique features, I acknowledge it is different than I am.  It doesn’t fit into the context of human biology as it is an entirely different creature.  What kind of bold faith might I walk in each day if I don’t rob God of His omnipotence by comparing His mind to mine, His plans to mine, His heart to my own?

We were made in God’s image.  He is, was, and always will be–He doesn’t fit in our boxes. Let us worship this awe-inspiring God and teach our children to name & recognize the many qualities of God while not limiting Him to only what we can see and understand.

Remind yourself daily:

1) God is not like us, we are made to be like Him.

2) His thoughts are higher (so so so much higher) than our own

3) Us trying to fit God’s ways into our human understanding is as ridiculous as calling a dolphin’s flipper a hand. Let Him BE God.

 

 

Cleaning Up 8,726 Times

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I clenched my fists and answered the girls in my sing-songiest voice–the one I use instead of an exasperated shouting voice. We’ve had the same dialogue 8,726 times. It goes something like this:

Me: Okay, girls it is time to clean up ______ (fill in with the toy of the day)

Girls: Oooooohkay

Me: Thank you (ignoring their reluctance)

— Girls diligently take care of 3% of the mess–

Girls: It looks clean, doesn’t it, mommy?

Me: Well….not really; you have a good start. But I still see (list 15-20 clearly visible items)

After several reviews & lists of what still needs to be cared for I am frustrated and choosing my words slowly & carefully as to avoid words I will regret.

Yesterday, these shenanigans went on as usual while the girls attempted to disassemble the beach towel forts they had made poolside. And, mommas, I actually walked away and asked myself, “Why am I doing this? Why am I torturing all of us?” We all know I could clean up this mess by myself in 6 minutes and everyone would be happier.

And, mommas, if you’re hoping that this post is one with the magic steps for getting your kiddos to clean up, you will be sorely disappointed. What I do hope you’ll find in this post is the reason not to grow weary.

By no mistake, yesterday, I viewed, Wellness Witness’s video in which I was reminded that God’s purpose is greater than my preferences. So, momma, my preference would be to let the girls go play somewhere else, where I quietly clean up their mess and move on with the evening.

My preference would be not to wake up early in order to spend time in the Word prior to my babies waking.

My preference would be to ignore the hundreds of little injuries that seem to occur in the hearts of my girls throughout the day, rather than slowing down to walk through their hurts & hangups with them.

But, mommas, God’s purpose is greater than our preferences! His purpose for our people is that they would know Him and make Him known. And, I am called to help equip them for God’s purposes–they are in training in our homes, mommas.  If we don’t help them walk through quick and complete obedience when it comes to cleaning up play forts, how do we expect they’ll be ready for obeying their Father when He calls them out of their comfort zones for His purposes?

His purpose is so much greater than our preferences.  So, mommas, do not grow weary–don’t let your preferences get in the way of leaning into the work of training our people for His purpose.

Don’t You Want to be Healthy AND Whole?

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I had one faithful year of exercising–it was my junior year of college; I would rise before my roommates & sneak across the street to my college’s gym.  There I would ride the stationary bike, lift weights, or maybe run a little.  I got engaged to Mark that same year, so maybe that was my motivation, I’m really not sure.

Since then, I have had many bursts of motivation for some new exercising routine I’ve decided upon–roller blading with the jogging stroller everyday, riding a stationary bike in our basement, yoga, pilates, PiYo from Beach Body. None of them every lasted very long, though because my why was all wrong.  Michael Hyatt, wisely, writes that we lose our way  when we lose our why. I would also assert that we lose our way when our why is weak or has bad roots.

The why for my fits of exercise in the last several years has been something like: my stomach looks flabby because I just had a baby (or a second baby), I feel guilty for not exercising, or the classic middle school reason to do something–everyone else seems to be exercising. I stayed with PiYo for several weeks, which was quite a long time for me, because I did notice that it helped me regain strength and flexibility (three c-sections take their toll)–but after a few weeks, I fizzled.

I cannot be the only momma with a story such as this one–and, I know I am not the only momma who desires to properly steward the glorious gift of a body that God has given me. My relationship with exercise & fitness changed entirely when I was introduced to Revelation Wellness. This organization has so captured my heart, strengthened my body, and stirred up my soul, that I can’t keep it to myself–I had to share with you all.

Revelation Wellness is a ministry committed to sharing the gospel by means of fitness. When I signed up to have access to all of the workout videos online, I didn’t sign up under anyone–no one gets a commission or moves up a level because I have joined.  What I did find is a community of Jesus-followers who are whole-heartedly working to get “healthy and whole by the power of the love of God…” Now that is a why that will help me on my way–getting healthy and whole such that I can help others to be healthy and whole.

Why I love Revelation Wellness & You Will Too

1) Every single workout (there are hundreds to choose from of all different kinds–cardio, yoga, full-body strength, pilates, etc.) is overflowing with scripture & God’s truth. I walk away from my workout, warm with His presence and a smile on my face feeling as if I just had another Bible study time.

2) Real people are instructing me in the videos–Jesus-loving mommas with messy buns, sweaty foreheads, and tank tops are my instructors & encouragers. I rarely have to fight the comparison game with RevWell workouts because the women are real, no scenes are cut to fix their ponytails or wipe their sweat or get their sports bra looking just right.

3) A community of women (and men too) was mine to join when I began my RevWellTV subscription (for only $10/month); I get to be a part of a Facebook challenge group where I can check in, be held accountable, be encouraged, and have the joy of encouraging others.

4) God is honored by Revelation Wellness–during workouts, I am encouraged to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading as to whether to push harder or hold back a bit (rather than listening to my pride talking); daily, I am reminded by the community that exercising, praise God is a get to not a have to.

5) Revelation Wellness is being used by God to redeem and restore women who are broken–broken from eaten disorders, food addictions, low self-worth, injuries, obesity, and the list goes one.  What is the point of being whole in body if your soul is broken? RevWell, by God’s power, is helping people to be entirely whole.