The Only Reason You Should Exercise

I promise, it's not what you think

If we were in a room together, and I were to ask you to raise your hand if you’ve ever felt uncomfortable, frustrated, disappointed, or embarrassed by a feature of your body, I am confident every single one of us would have a hand in the air.

We know the models on the websites aren’t real; we know they’re airbrushed–we have seen the Youtube videos.  We know that the average woman isn’t thin, toned, and a size 4. We know that beauty is fleeting.  We know all of this in our heads, but getting it to our heart is an entirely different game.

Lately, every shirt I slip on, in my mind, seems to accentuate my (un-toned) tummy and my outie belly button (that was an innie before my middle baby made her home in me). I glance down at my son walking towards me, and notice the way it sticks out. And the inner dialogue begins–I should’ve eaten only one serving of the sweet potatoes yesterday rather than two, I should really be more faithful with my exercise routine, maybe I should cut out potatoes and fruits all together for awhile…

I am absolutely an advocate of caring for our bodies (you’d probably think I was nutty if I actually described our family’s dietary choices), and I do want to get into a more consistent exercise routine.  But, when I look at my tummy and you look at whatever it is that makes you grimace and start your own inner dialogue of I shoulds, and decide to change food choices or the exercise plan, the motive is all wrong.

The motivation there is rooted in getting rid offitting into…looking like…

Basing who I am and how I feel about myself on the way my body looks is ridiculous. My body is not who I am. My body is simply the carrier of who I am. When I order a soy latte from my hubby’s Biggby, I am not overly concerned with the appearance of the cup, but the contents. The cups change with the seasons–sometimes they’re holiday themed, and other times they’re sleek and white, but the contents is what I am after.

Your body is a gift but it is not who you are.  Your body carries the part of you God created to last for eternity–a soul of a daughter of the King of Kings. And our choices about the care of our bodies, our temples, should flow out of hearts that are abundantly filled with admiration for all of God’s creation, including ourselves.

So, as we pull on tank tops & swim suits here in Michigan (because, hallelujah it’s finally hot!), let us think more about our contents than our container. Let the only reason we make changes for our temple care routine be to better glorify God and be prepared to share our contents.

“Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:7, AMP


*I’ll see you later next week, I’ll be taking Memorial Day off from posting as y’all will be too busy to read anywho!*

My Forgetfulness is Still Dangerous

My fear is evidence of my forgetfulness.

I wrote that statement in my post, “When Fear is Dangerous” nine months ago as I was reflecting on the fear I felt sending my big girl off to first grade.  Have you noticed that God will teach you something, and you may be delusional (like me), and think you’ve mastered that lesson, until circumstances demand you rely on God in that same way again.

On this long road called leukemia, with my sister, I have had many forgetful moments.

“Fear in the believer is a function of forgetfulness.  To the degree that you forget who God is, who you are as his child, and what you have been given by his grace, fear is is your default emotion.” (Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies)

When the doctors told us they had exhausted all the medical options as she laid in ICU, and we considered the possibility that the healing we’d been begging for might be provided completely in Heaven. I pounded my head against Mark’s shoulders, weeping, telling him “this is the wrong story.” I feared us leaving that hospital without our Shannon–my fear was evidence of my forgetfulness.

When the infection didn’t have its way, but instead God did–initially I could not even rejoice. The fear that God might allow us hope only to take her away from us was suffocating–my fear was evidence of my forgetfulness. I was forgetting Who God is–kind, tender-hearted, compassionate, merciful.

I experienced mountaintop moments as I pushed away my forgetfulness of Who our God is and relished in all God has done. He has astounded doctors; He has done what medicine was incapable to do–what was impossible for man clearly was not impossible for God.

I’ve been way to hard on those Israelites.  I used to look down on them, on their forgetfulness–as a modern believer I used to look at the litany of miracles God did just for the Israelites and I couldn’t believe their responses of doubt, unbelief, complaining, and even worshipping of false Gods. Psalm 106: 7 reads, “Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the Lord’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them.”  And now, here I am, just like the Israelites I have seen God deliver mighty miracles before my eyes, and so quickly I forget.

As I ride the elevator down after visiting my sister, I forget because the journey isn’t done, she needs more miracles, and she needs Him to sustain her as she waits. And, like my toddler stomping and grabbing my legging impatiently waiting for my to put raisins in a bowl, I want the miracle of healing in all its fullness now. And every moment of delay, I either fight or forget–I either fight to recall His faithfulness or I forget and fear.

Mommas, today, you have something that makes you forgetful and leads you to fear. Will you join me today in recounting His faithfulness thus far and boldly declaring His goodness right in the enemy’s lying face? He has not brought us this far to leave us.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
 He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
 He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

Psalm 103:2-5

I Fired My Husband

“Our kids come to church every week and learn about the gospel and Jesus and then they go home and ask two questions: does it work? and, how do I do it? And those questions are answered Monday-Friday through mom and dad.” (Pastor J.P. Dorsey)


So to clarify, mommas, we aren’t just responsible for teaching our people the Word of God by gathering around it &  memorizing it. The way we treat our spouse (and single mommas, don’t check out here, really the way we treat any person) teaches our kids that either the gospel works and they can walk it out, or that it is false or idealist and impossible to actually live.

I don’t know about you, but I want my people to know the gospel is true and confidently walk it out.

Today, I am sharing with you three qualities of a very good marriage based on the sermon “The Meaning of Marriage” by Pastor J.P. Dorsey.  Again, if you aren’t married, don’t close this window yet. These qualities really apply to all of our relationships–regardless of who you’re interacting with, your babies are watching and they are learning about the gospel.

Three qualities:

A very good marriage (or relationship) is:

1) meeting its missional purpose

2) understands the limits of the marriage metaphor

3) flows out of personal abundance

Meeting its missional purpose: God’s design for my human relationships is for me to display Jesus to those I am in relationship with such that they have a more clear understanding of Jesus because they’ve interacted with me. It is not designed to fill all my buckets in my particular love languages, it is not designed to make my happy all the time, it is not designed to make me whole. And, mommas, as I sat and listened to this sermon, I was reminded that even though I may have had this as head knowledge, I was not treating my marriage relationship and my relationship with my babies as though it’s primary purpose is displaying Jesus.

Understands the limits of the metaphor: J.P. explained this so beautifully; I have tried to create my own metaphor, but his is too good–he spoke of the moon and the sun.  The moon reflects the sun. If I bring the cucumber and pepper plants that Mark and the kids planted out every night to bask in the light the moon is reflecting, they’ll die. The moon reflects the sun, but it cannot replace the sun. Mark regularly shows me what Jesus looks like by the way he loves & cares for me.  However, he is only reflecting the true light, Papa God. When I make him my sun, my light, my source, my soul will begin to die. So, at J.P.’s encouragement, on Sunday I fired Mark…he is a wonderful husband and a terrible god.

Flows out of personal abundance: Hang on, mommas, because this is where the conviction made my heart ache. The empowerment for me to be a Jesus-displaying wife to Mark and  Jesus-displaying momma, comes from a personal abundance in my life with Jesus Christ.  It comes from me being rooted and grounded in Him.  Two broken people don’t magically come together to make wholeness.  Two people overflowing out of their personal, one-on-one relationships with Jesus Christ display the gospel in a tangible way to onlookers.

So, mommas, whether it’s the relationship with your man, your mother-in-law, or your babies, its purpose in your life is for you to display Jesus Christ to the other person.  So, fire who you must and set aside time tomorrow to start filling your buckets with Jesus.

Note: Do yourself a huge favor and LISTEN to the sermon that this post is based upon by Pastor J.P. Dorsey