Devotional – Deep breath in, deep breath out

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

One day at a time. Just today. That’s all I need to concern myself with.

But it is just so hard!

The past few days I feel a bit like the proverbial chicken missing his head. I suddenly have  many many many things to juggle, and I feel like my hands can’t move fast enough to keep all the balls in the air. For example, yesterday I went down to my church to work on a few things I needed to do. I got a lot accomplished and felt great, until I got home and realized I’d forgotten to drop of my husband’s bass guitar so the worship team could use it. “Oh well, I’ll just take it down tomorrow morning after my workout” I thought. Continue reading

Devotional – An Idol Named Jim

1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!

I’ve fallen off the bandwagon. In more ways than one. First, with my devotional time. Second, with my exercise routine. I have been lamenting my loss of passion for the gym (what I call “Jim”). I went on a cruise a couple weeks ago, gained 8 pounds in those 7 blissful days and have not managed to get myself back to a good workout/eating right schedule since I’ve been back. But NOT being at the gym so much this past week has made me realize a few things.

The past year or so, exercise has become a HUGE portion of my life. I spend 8-10 hours a week visiting “Jim”. Not getting my time in lately has caused some unexpected results. My house is clean. I’m spending more time playing with my children, errands are done, I’m talking to my mom and sisters more, I’m back in the word in my devotional time. I’m feeling very convicted this morning that my enthusiasm for weight loss has become something more. It’s become an idol. Continue reading

Devotional – Just Like Jillian

I haven’t blogged my devotional in a while. Partly because I had a rough week and wasn’t in the word much (maybe that’s why my week was so rough?). But also because I’ve started a reading plan that includes more than just a couple verses picked out to support a devotional book. The plan I’m doing now includes several (gasp!) chapters of the Bible per day. Also, right now it’s got me in Exodus and Acts. Let me tell you, Exodus can be pretty tedious. I know God has things to show me, even in a book that’s pretty full of very specific instructions on building things that seem to have no application in my life. It’s been kind of a struggle to pull anything out that I feel like writing about.

Until today.

I’m still in Exodus, but after an experience at the gym this morning, I viewed God’s detailed instructions a little differently. I pulled a circuit routine off SELF magazine’s website yesterday from renowned trainer Jillian Michaels. She has been a HUGE motivational presence in my weight loss journey of the last two years. Today was the first time I actually attempted one of her workouts though. I have experienced great success working out on my own, but as I’m trying to get into a bikini for my cruise in three weeks, I figured a little Jillian might be just the extra boost I needed.  Goodness, it was intense. Each of the moves in her workout was completely foreign to me. I was drenched in sweat within about 5 minutes. Halfway through, I actually felt like throwing up. I am a pretty fit person, I spend about 10 hours a week at the gym and I work myself out pretty hard. But this routine was different. I was out of my comfort zone entirely. Having never done these moves before, I had no idea if I actually would be able to perform them. Every time I felt like quitting however, I imagined if Jillian were there with me. Encouraging me in her sweet nice way to keep going. For those of you unfamiliar with Jillian’s training style, this might help you understand. Oh yeah. She doesn’t mess around. I don’t agree with her choice of language (obviously) but she has the ability to push people to where they need to be. Her workout was beyond hard, but it was specific and when I felt like I couldn’t do it, I leaned back on my knowledge that Jillian doesn’t ask people to do more than her experience tells her they can achieve. Somehow, I made it through the workout.

After showering, still physically reeling from my sweat-session, I sat down to do my devotional today. Suddenly, God’s instructions to His people in Exodus were fascinating. Back in the day, God didn’t pull any punches. He was very particular about what His people were supposed to be doing. And He didn’t take it too well when they didn’t do 100% of what He asked of them. Kind of like Jillian’s workout today. And, even more so than a great trainer would, God asks us to stretch ourselves beyond what we think we can accomplish, but always has our best interest in mind. The Lord’s life workouts are not easy. They are not comfortable and many times they leave us exhausted and hungry for a rest. Today when my muscles were shaking, burning and aching for relief from the pounding I was putting them through, I trusted the instructions of a woman I have never met. But I struggle to follow God’s direction in my life. Why is that? He loves me. He wants what’s best for me. My trust in Him should be completely unconditional. No matter what happens in my life, how difficult the situation is I need to remember that God is there for me, and never asks more of me than He knows I can handle. Just like Jillian.

Devotional – Not Cookies?

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
And lean not on your own understanding:
In all your ways acknowledge Him.
And He shall direct your paths.

First – sorry for the break from my devotional blog yesterday. I woke up late, so had to squeeze my Bible time in to the kids nap time…you mom’s need no further explanation.  Suffice it to say, I wasn’t so much waiting on the Lord yesterday as just trying to get thru it before the munchkins were back awake.

Today is a different story. I saw the impact my lack of quiet time had on my day yesterday. Let’s not do that again, ok Tonya?
This morning, I’m back to an exhortation to trust God. Again. Fitting, since my trust is so easily placed in other things. Like cookies. Let me elaborate.
Continue reading

Like a small rudder steers a large ship

My Bible study this week (we’re working our way thru James) was on James 3:1-12. I’ll admit, I had a rough week and (GASP!) didn’t read the study book prior to our group meeting last night. But it’s amazing how, even when we don’t take time for Him, God’s got our back.

Yesterday, I was at a funeral – of a woman who died too suddenly and much too young. As I listened to the way people talked about her, the nice things that were said, the praises of her character, and had all wonderful memories of her running thru my own mind, I realized something…we don’t take the time we should to say those things to each other when we’re still around. Why is it we only make the effort once someone is dead? Encouragement and edification seem to be lost in the hussle bussle  of the world around us. We often think kind things of others, but how frequently do we actually tell them? Continue reading