Today, I am honored to share a guest post by Denise Long. Denise and I met very recently through the Blogging Your Passion Google+ Community. You can read more about Denise in the post and bio below. I’m always looking for other guest bloggers to share their STRETCH stories here on The Stretched Blog. If you’re interested in guest posting leave a comment.
Stretching More Than My Legs
Jon, thanks so much for allowing me to stop by! I love this concept of stretching. All my life I’ve sought to stretch my life. Ever since I was a teenager (many, many moons ago), I have set some uncomfortable goals and ran after them hard. I learned many lessons from these efforts. Like, some goals simply fall under the “tilting at windmills” category. Others add immeasurable richness to life, even if you never fully attain the hoped-for results. But the most important observation has been that the goals that have fallen within God’s perfect plan for how I am to live my life are the most satisfying and fulfilling. God-sanctioned goals clearly give the biggest bang for your buck.
Over at my blog, A Disneyfied Life, I speak about using my love of Disney to help me reach my fitness and healthy lifestyle goals. In short, I’m a 53-year old, Pooh-sized Mom with enough physical limitations to think that running a 5K is tilting at one Goliath-sized windmill. So when you combine my love of Walt Disney World with the runDisney Expedition Everest 5K Challenge, that gigantic windmill shrinks a bit. But as much as I love the motivation Disney offers, I know where my true strength lies.
O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.
I believe that God wants us to live our best life here on this earth so we can more effectively implement the plans He has for us. And I know for a fact that I am not living my best life if my energy reserves are depleted before noon and lifestyle-based diseases like high blood pressure and high cholesterol bench me from any sort of active ministry He would like to move me into. God wants more for me, so I should want more for myself. And if our bodies are His temple, I feel certain He is not pleased when I abuse it through overeating and an overly sedentary life style.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
I Corinthians 3:16-17
For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty; and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
Since my laziness and lack of control directly hurts no one but myself, it’s easier to sweep this sin under the kitchen rug. So for this and many other reasons, I have committed to run Disney’s Expedition Everest 5K Challenge on May 4, 2013. And just so you understand how much of a stretch this is for me, I’m 53 years old, have about 100 lbs to lose, and I have had three knee surgeries back in the day. Oh– and I’m flat-footed. And I hate to sweat.
Things have not been easy, but since I began this journey on January 2, 2013, I have lost seven pounds and have consistently put my treadmill to use three times a week in accordance with my sensible training plan. And while I wrestle daily with the most inane choices (do I really need cheese on that sandwich?), I have a spring in my step and a song of praise on my lips. And on the darker days when I’m haunted by past failures and battle a sense of helplessness, I remember that God isn’t finished with me yet and he never leaves me or forsakes me. I’m not running along this path all by my lonesome.
How about you? Have you stretched yourself by “healthifying” your lifestyle? Any verses you’ve used to encourage yourself along the way?
Denise is a wife, mom, legal assistant—but most of all a follower of the Christ who should have nothing to do with her, but who chooses to walk with her daily. An incurable Disney World fanatic, Denise’s blog, A Disneyfied Life, recounts her training escapades as she works toward Disney’s Expedition Everest 5K Challenge and celebrates a disneyfied life.
Time for this week’s 3 Thumbs Up! Stretched blog post. For the past several weeks I have used this post as an opportunity to highlight three things that get my thumbs up. This has become a highlight for me as it gives me a chance to support the work of others. So… here are three things that get my thumbs up this week.
Thumbs Up Number 1: Josh Hamilton. I’m not a Texas Rangers fan despite the fact that my parents live in Dallas, TX. However, it’s hard not to appreciate the story of Josh Hamilton. He has weathered the ups and downs of drugs, alcohol, and celebrity. As recently as this past off-season, Hamilton has dealt with the demons of his past. This week, Hamilton hit four home runs in one game. I haven’t heard the interview yet, but I hear that he gave a pretty moving interview after this achievement in which he talked about his past and about his faith. Hamilton’s story is inspiring. He’s obviously not perfect, and I’m sure he will continue to struggle with life. What inspires me about his story is that there is still hope and redemption and salvation. This is a story we all need to cling to.
Thumbs Up Number 2:. Blogging Your Passion Podcast. I just stumbled across this podcast this week as I was loading new podcasts on my iPod in preparation for a long day on the road. So far, Blogging Your Passion has released two episodes in which the speakers share valuable tips on how to improve your blogging along with suggestions on how to increase traffic. I listened to both episodes on Tuesday, and I found them very informative. I’ll be back to listen to future episodes.
Thumbs Up Number 3: Executive Pastor Online by Kevin Stone. I’m not an executive and I’m not a pastor, but I find myself resonating and thinking through many of the things that Kevin throws up on his blog on a regular basis. Kevin came out of the corporate world to take on the challenges of running the business side of a church (my church). His thoughts on leadership and team development often fit in with what I’m wrestling with in my own job as an operations manager. If you’re interested in some new leadership ideas or if you are interested in reading thoughts from a guy who wants to help other churches, I’d recommend you check out Executive Pastor Online.
And those are my three thumbs up for this week!
What have you come across this week that deserves a thumbs up?