Do You Live Your Life to the Hilt?

by Sandra Allen Lovelace  @SandraALovelace  #WallflowerWomen  #TimetobeYOU!

Working back into mornings at the gym, I realize the schedule-loving part of me isn’t all there is. Having a reason to get up and out at a reasonable hour with exercise to stay fit and mobile is great. But when my body settles into the actual routine, my mind wanders. In the past I used that unfocused energy to improve my workout. I pushed myself to do more reps and sets, and add weight … as if somebody set a standard for me, slightly out of reach. That’s how an injury sidelined me.

When I lost focus, I walked away from my self.*

You probably know physical recovery is an excellent time to ponder what went wrong and how to avoid a repeat performance. For me, that means paying attention to what my brain’s doing as I pursue my health goals. Letting my thoughts stray down the same old toxic alley is not an option. These days I choose to keep track of the monitors when I’m on a machine. The mental math to calculate the distance or time that’s left occupies my synapses. Or I glance at the number that reflects my level of effort to make sure I’m not gunning my engines.

Oh yes, and now I’m working my upper and lower body at each session. That means I have to keep track of what I’ve done to make sure I cover everything. The lists are handy, but I try not to refer to them unless I have to … another way to keep my brain engaged. And, after two weeks, I’ve been able to avoid the deadly drive-myself-until-I-drop game. Hallelujah.

By God’s grace, I’m noticing a similar process happening across my life. I used to throw together what could barely be described as a meal, and head back to my desk. Now I pause and prepare a nutritious lunch, and sit down to enjoy it … on the deck if the sun’s out. Jim Elliot, martyred missionary to the Auca tribe in Ecuador, describes what I’m learning.

Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.

It’s easy to let life slip by without a backward glance.
If you want more, maybe it’s time to pause and engage with your  self.


*self, the intimate person God designed with a purpose

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  1. I am reading a great book right now called “Refresh” by Shona and David Murray. It talks about the importance of physical health (getting enough sleep, exercise, good nutrition) in order to maintain emotional and spiritual health and avoid burnout. Christians can be prone to believing “spiritual” is somehow more important than “physical” when spiritual health is so interconnected to physical health. Lack of sleep is one example in the book; with illustrations of how we can be impatient, short-tempered and prone to depression without enough sleep – not exactly “loving our neighbors” as our spiritual lives might desire! We serve God’s purposes best when our whole self is at its best. /SB

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