Happy Monday and welcome to the first full-fledged week of Fall!
If you don’t read anything else in this post today, I want to remind you that Monday is not a day to skip your workout or your healthy eating habits. Monday is the day that sets the tone for the rest of the week. So take a deep breath and be kind to yourself.
I’ve started taking my kids to the gym with me four times a week, which sounds crazier than it actually is. Our gym has a wonderful P.E. program for homeschool kids and I cannot tell you what a blessing it has been to this mama – I need my 45 minutes of exercise!
One of my favorite classes to take whenever possible is Yoga. I know what you’ve heard, and it’s true. Yoga is not just an exercise class, it is something you practice: posture, flexibility, breathing, and strength. It’s a very quiet and relaxing form of exercise that actually energizes and strengthens me. As a Christian, I choose to meditate on the word of God and His abundant mercy in my life. I feel no guilt over practicing better posture or breathing with other individuals who may or may not subscribe to my faith. I like the idea of not being so immersed in my church-bubble that I have to intentionally meditate on the Lord in the middle of crowded room …that’s not inside of a church building.
Just this past Monday, in the middle of such a class I had a profound moment with God. This particular Yoga class was for beginners and reviewed all the basic positions with lots of guidance from the Coach who reminds us to breathe. Breathing sounds like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how often you forget to breathe deeply when you are in the middle of downward-facing-dog! Towards the end of the class, the Coach asked us to take a moment to reflect on how we were speaking to ourselves when we found a new position challenging. I thought about her question for a moment and then I just about burst into tears.
What had I been saying to myself all along? What were the words that flooded my mind when I felt challenged?
You’re awkward, unbalanced.
You can’t do this.
Your body is crooked.
You’re never going to master this.
I was horrified when I realized the thoughts I was allowing to creep in without consent.
As I reflected on this the rest of the day, I realized that the words I had impulsively used towards myself in an exercise class were actually similar to the thoughts and feelings I was having towards myself in my day-to-day tasks!
Could you please be a little less awkward?
What’s wrong with you?
Why can’t you get it together?
My friends, those are not the words of love and grace. Those words are lies that you and I have accepted from the enemy and his number-one job is to trick us into becoming hopeless, full of fear, or stuck in a rut before we even realize it. This is what the scriptures mean when they say to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5, Hebrews 10:19-24).
I want to remind you today that there is no place God’s love cannot find you. There is no power or shame that can prevent you from experiencing the mercy and grace of Christ.
If I can be redeemed of my own negative thoughts in a crowded Yoga class on a Monday then you can too, wherever this day finds you.
You are LOVED, exactly how you are!
You are CALLED, to love others extravagantly!
You are NEEDED, in a world that is so broken and desperate to belong!
So go make Monday great! Try a new exercise class or go for a walk and talk with your neighbors! Be kind to yourself and know that the love that God has for you is not limited to how perfectly you perform!