Fast Feet~Swift Heart

I love to run.
I've written about this before, but maybe you haven't known it.
I don't jog.
I don't run long distances.
It would surprise me if you ever found me in even a 5k race.
I sprint.
I run hard and fast for short, but varied distances.
I'm quick, but I'm diminutive in stature and so I'm not necessarily fast.
There is a difference.
But I am fast enough, run hard enough and long enough to feel the pleasure of my Lord who faithfully puts His cadence right next to mine.

I love to eat healthy.
I haven't always eaten healthy, but I have now done so for years.
Sometimes I want things I haven't eaten in years. It doesn't happen often, but it does still happen (especially when I have a competition in figure/body building coming close).
Like yesterday...I went to a sandwich shop with a few of my family members. I always get a salad. I'm one week out from a show and eating even tighter than usual.

After next week it will be a while before I want to eat any fish. You can trust me on this!!!

My family all got sandwiches. They sure looked good and I'm sure they were good. I got recapping how long has it actually been since I have eaten a sandwich...or regular bread that is? I figured it was maybe 2008. My 12 year old son chimed in that he has never seen me eat a sandwich on bread. I assured him he had, but he was probably very young and doesn't recall.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with distance running. I just don't do it. It's hard on my body and I don't enjoy it.

I'm not saying it's not ok to eat bread with a sandwich. I just don't do it. I know and have felt the deleterious effects it has on my body and its ability to perform. I'm not just talking performance as in athletics. I'm talking day to day living-quality of life.

Just as my feet are fast to run so is my heart swift to overcome. We can do so by the shed blood of the Lamb.

My Bible says he has given us life and wants to make it abundant. Most interpret abundance as an accumulation of all things tangible. I interpret it as a presence of all things good. This means that in spite of opposition, struggles, temptations and God honors my desire to please him as I move toward him.

Practically speaking, I take the education I have been given in physiology and nutrition and apply it to my life. I make every choice based on long term goals. I know immediate and short term satisfaction could not truly satisfy me--at least not for any given length of time. I don't want heart disease, it runs in my family. I don't want emotions that fluctuate, I want to be even keeled/balanced and I know healthy eating will give me this. I also will gain longevity, it slows the aging process, I feel better and I wake up in a good mood pretty close to every day. This is all fruit of my choices.

Something that's hard for many to understand is that I know it's MY choice. I don't force it on others. We live in such a judgemental society most people live in fear of being judged. That's not really my style. People frequently have one of two responses to my lifestyle:

1. Extreme attraction to the discipline and outcome or
2. Extreme discomfort to the point of avoiding me.

In all honesty, I'd rather it be something in between on both counts.

I went to a women's retreat last weekend and I had a small group of women speak to me and share they were watching me and they knew I was someone who did what I said. I didn't just speak without the follow through. I listened to their words and I got thinking for a moment...
so sad to me that we live in a day and age when what we do and what we say don't line up as a society norm. I'm not saying there isn't grace and even more so, mercy, for people's shortcomings and oversights, but our culture has so gotten sucked into an appearance only mindset.

Here is what I know--my commitment to my health is only a carry over of how I feel about God. He put my conviction for extremely healthy living in my heart. In 2008 I clearly heard Him speak over me as I chomped on some grape nuts cereal and said, "What I have for you is far greater blessing than that bowl of cereal will ever give you." See, he had already been working in me to give up certain things. Cereal was one and I absolutely love breakfast cereal. My whole life it was a favorite. But I love God more and desire Him more. So I let it go.

Here's the delicate balance for the Christian who is also on a fitness quest:

As a Christian in Fitness there is a delicate balance between knowing our body is a temple, but we don't worship the temple. We worship its owner! We worship the creator and we use the temple to serve His purpose. My purpose includes needing to be very healthy and living long without severe side effects of aging. He may not be asking you to run, or give up bread or cereal, but he is asking you to do something and that something requires your obedience.

I do the same in my walk with God. I am committed to obeying His directions as much as I am committed to eating healthy food and maintaining proper exercise and rest. I didn't get to high levels of self discipline and obedience over night. God built a foundation in me that was slow and painful and endured through many years of refining and disciplining. I've been through a lot. I've been through things too painful to talk about. But in 2004 God told me of the unique call and flavor He had on my life and I had to be alright with people not understanding my call. I figured if Mary the mother of Jesus, could be ok with it, so could I. If Joseph could be okay with it, so could I. If Jesus was ok with it, then so was I. I don't always like it, but I endure it, because of my deep sense of duty to the King of kings. He is in fact my everything.

So how does any of this apply to you? Nuggets to glean from what I've written for all of life not just fitness life:

➡️Not everything is as it looks, but sometimes it is.
➡️People are always watching to make sure your talk matches your walk.

➡️You are extremely valuable to God and He enjoys living your life right alongside of you. Let's keep it healthy and long.

➡️Not everyone will want to get close enough to you to learn about who you really are.

➡️People will take their insecurities and allow it to place barriers between themselves and others.

➡️Grace is amazing, but without mercy doesn't go very far. Grace makes the way for mercy, but mercy makes way for restoration.

➡️Use your strengths and areas God has blessed you to help both yourself and others live their best life making God the center of their life. His love is truly extraordinary.

➡️Know a sliver of my heart as you read this. When I look at people my soul sees their soul. I see the inner person. I am not distracted by externals. I am not disarmed by how others are toward myself (attracted, repelled, inspired, distanced)-I purpose my heart to how I can be toward them. To me this is the epicenter of Christian living. Christian living to me isn't formal. It's just common sense. He's my best friend and the more time you spend with someone the more like each other you become. More of him and less of me.

Be blessed. Trust God with your own process. There is tremendous joy in the journey--even when every road seems to have a dead end or the roads seem endless with opportunity and you no idea which path to take--Jesus is there taking care and making a road carved out by his hands just for you and his marvelous plan. Your life has meaning, significance and value. He will never let you go. You never let yourself go either. Never give up. Never quit. Learn from failures, shortcoming and mistakes. Surround yourself with people you bring out luster a shine and know it's ok to love who you are inside--a designer original.

Simply Magnificent.