Stretching More Than My Legs – Guest Post by Denise Long

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

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. 

Psalm 68:35

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.

Proverbs 23:21

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.