Gratitude Day 201 – Refresh Wednesday #2

Wed., Jan. 23, 2019

1 Corinthians 6:19 – Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves?

Last Wednesday, I began “Refresh Wednesdays.” Each Wednesday, I plan to post some easy, quick little thing I’ve done lately that brings joy to my life.

In the first “Refresh Wednesday,” I shared how I updated our beautiful front porch from Christmas decorations to a winter wonderland-inspired décor that will be appropriate until our Wisconsin winter disappears.

Today, I’m going to share one of my new mantras for 2019. It’s really very simple:

20 minutes in blue

20-minutes.

I prioritize things that are important for me to do each day for just 20-minutes. Nothing more. Just 20-minutes.

Here’s an example: exercise. For years, I ran multiple days a week, lifted weights a couple times a week and rode bike when weather allowed a couple days a week. Since we moved to our current house three years ago, exercise has been such a struggle for me. I don’t have my favorite running trails anymore. As we focused on remodeling our house the last few years, I felt like I didn’t have time and/or energy to exercise. All too quickly and easily, exercise fell by the wayside.

At my annual physical two years ago, my doctor encouraged me to lose 10-15% of my body weight. (One person told me that I should find a new doctor!) Ugh. It’s so challenging. When I went for my physical last fall, I was down a few pounds; just not as much as I would have liked.

I know exercise is important. I should exercise, as both of my parents struggled with health issues at the end of their lives. My pants would fit better if I lost those pounds my doctor encourages me to lose. And yes, I would be able to wear those things in my closet that don’t really fit but I’ve hung onto, anticipating SOME DAY I will be able to wear them again.

I’ve put together exercise schedules, willed myself to get make exercise a priority … all with little success. Through the process, I keep reminding myself of the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I knew that I needed to change my approach if I wanted different results.

Here’s my new approach in 2019: 20-minutes of exercise a day. This is all I expect of myself. A 20-minute walk or run. A 20-minute DVD. A 20-minute online video. Or 20-minutes of exercises that I choose to do myself. Just 20-minutes a day. I should be able to find this short window time, right?

So far, I have been. Some days when it works, I might do two 20-minute exercise blocks. I’ll go for 20-minute walk and do a workout video later. I don’t expect myself to do this every day; my first priority is always that first 20-minute block.

20 minutes 2

With this mentality, I no longer talk myself out of doing some form of exercise. I KNOW 20-minutes can be found. It just needs to be a priority.

Honestly, exercising is not about fitting into clothes better or anticipating someone will finally notice that I’m down a couple pounds. The real reason why exercise is so important? It’s how I want to care for my body. I view my body as a temple. Just as we want to carefully care for the temples, the places where we worship God, we should also care for our bodies as a temple for God. Neglecting to care for my body says to God that I don’t value how God created my body, my temple. Exercise is one way that I can express appreciation for the finely-tuned body God has provided me.

As I get a little older, I also must be realistic about what I expect and how I care for my body. I’m convinced that 20-minutes a day is really more helpful for my body than one day of overdoing exercise. Not only is it good for my physical body, it also gives me a mental break.

What is something you’ve been wanting to change in your life? Something you’ve been trying to change … but keep reverting back to the old way of doing things, yet expecting different results? What is one thing you can do today for 20-minutes that will bring joy to your life as well as provide self-care for your temple?

20-minutes

Just find 20-minutes and do it.

Now, if I could only fix my eating habits as easily …

For refreshing my physical body, 20-minutes at a time, I am grateful. 

Holy God – thank you for the wonderful temple that you have provided me with my body. Forgive me for the times I have not appreciated my body nor cared for it well. May I discover easy and important ways to care for my body. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 202 – Working Together

Thurs., Jan. 24, 2019

2 Corinthians 6:1 – Since we work together with him, we are also begging you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

And then, there was winter.

After scooting by the beginning of winter with very little snow and very mild temps, well, winter has arrived.

In the last 24+ hours, we’ve had 8-10 inches of snow. And we had several inches last weekend. I know, it’s not like living in Buffalo, NY … but it’s snow.

snow plows

We live north of Madison, WI. Today, I saw this cool picture. Count all of those snow plows, working together. They are on a main commuting route in Madison called The Beltline. How cool is this?

I know. Some people were complaining that not enough snow was moved before the morning commute. Or there wasn’t enough snow or salt. Or the side streets weren’t cleared. Let me just say … it’s impossible to get all the snow moved at the same time so that everyone can get just where they want as quickly as they would like. The roads department can’t do it all right now.

What this picture shows me is something super cool: teamwork. A bunch of folks working together, for the benefit of others. A little reminder that sometimes, we need to remember the bigger picture. We aren’t the center of God’s universe. When we figure this out, well, it really is a happier place for us.

Can we just stop wanting more for ourselves and decide that the best way to feel good about ourselves is to help someone else?

Can we set aside our personal preference for the benefit of a larger group?

Can we encourage others to do their best and in turn, then be encouraged to do our best?

When we see ourselves as Christians, then we are part of a larger community. Christians aren’t a community of one. They are a part of a huge family that includes people that are very different from you. In fact, there maybe some you don’t even really like. They are going to look different than you do, care for things that aren’t as important to you and irritate you some day. And just as you are a beloved child of God, SO ARE THEY.

I think we Christians can do some really amazing things here for God’s kingdom on earth. If we’d only work together and decide what we hold in common is really more important than where we differ.

So, let’s give each other an extra dose of grace today. Let’s find some folks who are excited to work together. Go make a difference in someone’s life, a community or the world. We can plow through a lot of barriers when we work together.

For a wonderful example of working together, I am grateful.

Lord God – thank you for giving us wonderful examples of working together, with the best example of all found in the Trinity of God. Help us to focus on the things we agree on more than the areas where we disagree. May we unite and work together for the glory and honor of your kingdom. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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