I don't love working out.  In fact, I like to find excuses to avoid it most days.  It disrupts my schedule and messes up my hair and make-up.  And when its over, I usually need a shower so I don't smell like nasty sweat.  And yet, I know it's a valuable discipline.  Once I've done it, I feel better.  I like knowing that I'm getting stronger.  I like seeing the results in the way my clothes look.  I like knowing that I've made a healthy choice.

SiL (Sister-in-Law) and I have been doing a workout program for about a month now.  Though I'd like to see faster results (you know, like the ones in the infomercials), I have to rejoice in the little victories.  I can kick higher.  I can do more push-ups.  I haven't dropped 10 sizes in 60 days, but I've made some progress.  It's not easy, but I'm not doing it for the easy.

Last weekend I was challenged to start a "spiritual work-out" for 90 days.  I knew this challenge was for me b/c lately, I'll admit it, my spiritual muscles are weak.  I've neglected Bible reading, put off prayer, and filled my mind and heart with worthless junk.  And my soul has definitely gotten flabby.

So, one week into this challenge, and wouldn't ya know, I'm not seeing the results as fast as I want.  Not because things aren't happening, they're just not happening right this second.  I want to be a prayer warrior, or a Bible-buff.  I want to be spiritually fit now.  But, just like my physical workout, it's not an overnight success.  Getting up early is a discipline I've neglected for too long.  And quieting my heart before God doesn't come as naturally as you'd think.  In order to be spiritually healthy, I have to invest the time it takes to make real changes.  It's not easy...but I'm not doing it for the easy.

Anyone else out there trying to live a more disciplined life?  What have been your most difficult days?  What have been your victories along the way?

Marthas Anonymous

Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

I’ll admit it, I’m a Martha.  It’s really nothing to be proud of, and yet, I tend to wear it like a badge of honor.  If Jesus were to come to my house for dinner, I would absolutely be the one bustling around trying to get the food on the table, frustrated because Mary wouldn’t help, and annoyed with Jesus for not appreciating my efforts. 
I think I might be a stress junkie…or worse, an approval junkie.  I tend to get the most approval when I default to my Martha ways, picking up the slack here, lending a hand there, making promises that I have to back out on later because I’ve over-extended myself, and constantly fighting with the guilt that comes from sitting down.  In an effort to appease that inner nagging, this Single Girl can book a whole week with others-oriented activities and wake up on Sunday with a do-gooder hangover and a heart full of resentment.  See…being a Martha is nothing to boast about. 

And then I got to thinking about the verse about the “Lord of the harvest.”  And I’m just certain that God put it on my heart because I started to look at it in a completely different way.  You see, I always focused on the “harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few” part.  After all, that’s the kind of verse you use on Bible College students when you want them to feel a sense of urgency about going into the ministry.  And, indeed, there is an urgency.  So, a Martha like me just runs out into the field at full speed, trying to harvest all alone.  And when someone draws my attention to another field, what can I do but run to that field, then back to the first field, and then add a third, fourth, and fifth field?  But upon further inspection, I noticed that the verse doesn’t say:  “pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would give you supernatural determination to work yourself sick.”  Of course not.  It says something much more practical:  pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” 
Do you think I ever do that?  Nope. Why not?
Because I don’t like how I might look to someone if instead of saying “yes,” to whatever service they want me for, I instead say, “Let me pray that God will send the right person for that ministry.”  I mean, seriously, how’s an approval-junkie supposed to get a fix in a situation like that?
Which makes me think…maybe my crazy/busy life is less about God and more about…me.  How’s that for humbling?

So, I guess it’s time to get real with my events calendar and do some pruning…and some praying…and some sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Any advice from former-Marthas out there?

True Woman 2012

One of my all time favorite things in the world is the True Woman conferences.  I've been three times and I'm never disappointed.  I am always overwhelmed with truth and a fresh understanding of myself and my God.

This year, I had the pleasure of introducing eight new women to the conference.  They came with hungry, seeking hearts, and before it was all over, most of them were waving their white hankies in true surrender to God.  It was an honor and a pleasure to be among them.  Around the table on Saturday, each woman told what had especially touched her own heart over the weekend.  It was so beautiful to see such an eager response to Jesus Christ and fresh conviction to live for Him.

I need more of that in my life.

Sometimes...no, scratch that, OFTEN I lack the freshness I so need in my Christian walk.  I don't stop long enough to taste and see that the Lord is good and I find myself floundering on a path I've set for myself, never consulting God as I take each difficult step.

And so, having come through that Furnace of Affliction, still seeking God on the other side, I have been trying to determine what true submission in the Christian life looks like.  And not just the Christian life, the Christian life of a single girl.

It's definitely the beginning of a journey...or perhaps the middle of a journey that I'm finally opening my eyes to.