Working Out of the Old Me

I started interval training last week and love the way I feel. I’ve always  loved hanging out at the gym because of the close connection that comes when I sweat with others. There’s a realness to the gym, especially when I’m pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. The vulnerability that comes from exposing weaknesses brings a new strength and resilience as others cheer me on and sweat with me.  I’m encouraged by my sweat and theirs.

My instructors are amazing; they make me believe I can do the impossible and help me when I get off track. That’s important because I begin to see myself as they do. Knowing that God believes in me is what makes me continue along the path He sets before me. He always stretches me beyond my own limits in a loving way, and that changes the way I see myself.

Working out isn’t about getting a new body; it’s about getting rid of the old me. The me that believes I can’t, I’m too old, I’ll never be able to…. Love enables me to beat the old me and see myself in a new light. It’s what transformation is all about. Recognizing and getting past the old me’s negative notions are the keys to moving on to the new and improved me. When I saw the photo Sussy posted this afternoon, I smiled and thought about what working out means to me. It means working my way out of those negative notions and into a whole new me.

I know I can’t get to where God wants me to go until I work my way out of the cocoon that keeps me from getting out into His world in a way that allows me to be who God knows I can be. Working out is never easy, but it is much easier with a guide and others in the same boat beside me. The same is true when it comes to living and loving as God desires.

Bonnie Pfiester

Bonnie Pfiester

Focus Phenomenon

I’m used to having to hold things at arm’s length if I want to read without my glasses. It’s an after forty phenomenon when it comes to focus that irritates as I accept the limitations of eyes that are getting old. Being too close to truly see a situation is another universal which has to do with heartsight rather than eyesight. That was the message God had for me this morning. Being too close for comfort applies to both eyes and hearts.

It’s frustrating enough when I am reminded that my eyesight can’t be trusted, but finding that my heart can’t either is worse. God forced my heart to focus yesterday. Like someone holding my head and making me look at something I didn’t want to see, He bid my heart to focus and take in what I have avoided seeing. His hands were gentle, but they would not allow my heart to wiggle free.

I have always been guilty of living in La La Land, but I thought I had made progress. I saw yesterday that I’ve not only not made progress, I have lost ground in regard to my heart. Fusion holds too closely, and that causes a lack of perception in regard to the heart. God did some refining yesterday that forced me to let go and take a step back. His fire burns away and cleanses as nothing else can. That’s the powerful message in Malachi 3:1-6 this week.

“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.  “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they maypresent to the Lord offerings in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

“Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the Lordof hosts.  “For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”

It doesn’t surprise me that it would be a week of refining and cleaning, but I wasn’t prepared for the lesson on focus. I realize I am still fusing, and that is not good for the heart. God doesn’t change or move, and He is the perfect example of self-differentiation. He cleanses but doesn’t consume, and that is comforting. There was a time yesterday when I so wanted Him to come and take me away, but He and I both know I’m not ready to go. I am thankful for a faithful God, a sweet Savior, and a wonderful Comforter to get me ready:)

Change is a Good Thing:)

Singing a new song turns my heart in a new direction. When I lift my voice in praise, my heart is filled with God’s love, and I dwell in His kingdom. Nothing is the same as God calls for change. My heart has undergone serious changes lately, and God is calling it, and me along with it, to change. Mylah and Lillyann are a big part of the changes. When I am with them, I know I am in the right realm:)

God has shown me that trusting Him and getting my focus where it belongs makes more than a world of difference, it makes a kingdom of a difference. Things don’t fit anymore! God has change in mind for me, and I am ready to let Him have His way. Change involves leaving behind the known and embracing the unknown. Drawing nearer to God helps me put my trust in Him and not worry if others don’t understand the changes that come as I grow.

There are several ways to grow, and I pray I age gracefully. I do not want to cling to the past or worry about the future. It’s human nature to resist change, but maturing involves changes. Those changes will draw me nearer to God if I let them. I have the choice of rotting, rusting, drying up, or becoming ripe. God prefers ripe when it comes to aging. Holiness is a state of maturity, ripeness, and readiness to do God’s will. Like a fruit at its peak of ripeness, coming of age is a wonderful thing if I let God bring me to a place of readiness.

I can fight and fuss and fume. I can resist and wrestle with God. God knows there are plenty of old folks who do. The stench that comes with that kind of aging ruins the atmosphere in a room faster than anything. I want to age in a way that leaves a different mark in a room and in God’s world. I have beautiful friends who are aging as God desires, and I love to be near them. They are a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room and make me want to be the same.

There are many factors when it comes to aging, but one is certain. I will continue to age until I die. I don’t get to decide how I will die, but I do get to decide how I will age:)