Oct 29, 2013

Posted by in Featured, Good Living | 49 Comments

Frustrated in your health journey? Find your sweet spot!

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There are some posts where God works on my heart by just marinating a subject for a while. He gives me something–either by my own revelation, or a comment from someone–and then adds on top of it as the weeks pass. It’s a gradual process but by the end of it, I feel so strongly about it, that I can barely type fast enough to get it off my chest. This post is that and even THEN some. Unfortunately, I’ve wanted to write about it for a couple weeks now, but because of a million other things in life, “deep writing” gets pushed to the backburner.

I’ve found this really interesting problem and frustration with those who are trying to figure out this whole healthy life. It’s the problem of motivation in health–of keeping longevity and sustainability. I get a lot of questions from people asking me what my motivation is. How do I keep going day after day? Well friends, it’s a multi-faceted answer, but I think that I’ve found out the reason that you haven’t gotten to that point.

It’s because you are confused. It’s because you haven’t found YOUR health sweet spot.

Yes–you are confused. You are trying to fit a spot in your health journey that is not your place to be. You are trying to be like me, your sister, or your favorite instructor, when in reality, that’s not where your sweet spot is! Now don’t take this as gospel. I don’t necessarily think it’s always as clear cut as this, but as I was thinking (and talking!) through this example, I really believe it rings true for many. When you have confidence in WHY God has placed you in a spot, then it’s MUCH EASIER to stay motivated to stay in that spot. Still confused? Well, I am going to try to help it make sense.

Check out this triangle below. Let me explain:

Frustrated with your health journey? Find your sweet spot! | peak313.com

The bottom level is the biggest level and that’s the level of STEWARDSHIP. It’s the level where all of us should be. I don’t think that any of us can deny that the stewardship of our health is something that God has given us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Basic stewardship of the body will look different for everyone. Maybe it means a 3-day a week walk or having only 1 soda a day instead of 3. You may not love exercise and you despise vegetables. But it’s because you want to be obedient to God (and want to avoid unnecessary health problems!), you do what you do.

The middle level is DISCIPLINE, defined as, 

Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.

We are a very undisciplined society. I mean, can you argue with me here? That’s why for some of us, it’s good to have something to keep us in line. Discipline comes in when we are looking at areas where we COULD do something but choose not to (1 Corinthians 10:23) . It’s at that moment when we can choose good, but instead we choose better. Areas of discipline often separate those who are just along for the ride with those who are in the driver’s seat. This hits many areas of life–our finances, our faith, our mind, and yes, our health. For me, my health is a very natural spot for me to stay disciplined and to practice this “skill” in my life. This means I may make some choices that some may disagree with me, but because it’s good for me and my life, I will do it. Example: I CAN have more calories of “x” in a day, but I choose not to because it’s not necessary. I CAN get away with exercising 3 days a week, but enjoy the discipline that striving for 5 gives me. I hope it is starting to make sense.

The final tier is the PLEASURE tier. As you can see, this is the smallest tier but, let me tell you, it’s a very important one! For some of you, health is much more than stewardship and discipline. It’s your lifeline. It’s what makes you move and breathe. It gets you jazzed up and ready to go full speed in life. Maybe it’s a gift God’s given you (1 Corinthians 12).  Maybe it’s what keeps you creative and fully in-tune with your family each day. These people enjoy working out and find new ways to explore it. If we have a spare 30 to 60 minutes in a day…yes…we would be pumping some iron or out for a run. We are “those” weird people.Yes-we can see the pleasure and feel the pleasure of God in this area and are thanking Him through it (Colossians 3:17)!

♥♥♥

Now, I need to let you into some ground rules to the triangle.

1.) God can move you up and down this triangle as He pleases. Don’t be surprised if this happens and be open to the Spirit’s leading.

2.) There is no good, better, or best here. Those at the pleasure tier are no better than those at the stewardship tier. We are all just different.

3.) There are to be no judgements of those who are above you or below you on this triangle. IT IS NOT OUR CALL to decide who gets to do with the gifts, resources, time, and talents that God has given each of us. Please –can we stop with the wars in this area?

4.) OWN YOUR SPOT. Don’t apologize for where God has you. Once you prayerfully figured it out, own it until God moves in you!

5.) Chances are, you will have to let go of some physical goals you have in mind. What do I mean? Well, you (probably) can’t live at a stewardship level, hoping to having the physique, strength, and endurance as one at the pleasure level. And those of you at the pleasure level, as others are going for their 2nd piece of cake, will have to back off because it won’t get you to your goals.

Frustrated in your health journey? Find your sweet spot! | peak313.com

Picture taken by my fantastically talented friend, Christina of Grace Designs Photography

As usual, there is a personal story tied to each of my blog posts. I truly am just like you–living out my life-trying to figure it out one day at a time. God is gracious enough to give me a platform and a voice to share it, so I want to be obedient to Him when He calls.

To no surprise to you, I hit all 3 tiers! Health is stewardship for me. It’s a way to enact discipline, and yes, it’s also a very pleasurable thing for my life.  If you heard me on my Women Living Well webcast, you know that health has been a seed planted in my heart since a small age. I have to let you in on something that God has been working on with me though.

I have struggled with my intense desire with it.

I’ve often questioned myself as to why I love it so much. Why I feel I need it so much in my life? Am I less of a Christian because I do enjoy pumping iron and sprinting? But what about this intense passion that He’s created deep within me? What about the feeling I get when I’m in my sweet spot?

Shamefully, I’ve backed down on what God has shown me because I’ve worried about what others thought about me. I’ve allowed what God has revealed to me in the quiet to be drown out by the voices clammering around me in the light. I’ve made apologies for why I’ve been like this. I’ve tried to push it down, but I’m here to tell  you that I’m done with that. I KNOW beyond a doubt why God has wired me this way. I know what makes me tick. What makes me a better wife, mom, friend, and ministry leader. And because of that, I will protect that in everyway that I can.

Again, this doesn’t mean that I’m not open to God’s movement. Not at all. This doesn’t mean that I am on my game at all weeks in my life. Listen, there are a lot of moving parts to my day and I am constantly juggling priority with what is thrown to me in my lap. The difference is, I have a goal. I know what makes me tick and what makes me walk with God deeply, so I will do my best to keep at it.

♥♥♥

So for you today, I want you to breathe a sigh of relief. If you have prayerfully considered this triangle and found to be at the stewardship area, then OWN it! If God is telling you to use health as a discipline in your life, then find out in what ways He’s trying to do that and then go for it! And finally, if God has graciously given you this gift as a place of ministry, creativity, and pleasure, then friends, be ok with that. NO APOLOGIES NEEDED.

Finally, EVERYONE has a pleasure activity. EVERYONE has something that reenergizes them and makes them feel that all is right with the world. I encourage you–I plead with you–FIND that thing! I was in Bible study a few weeks ago, and a gal was sharing how she was gardening and that’s the place where God just speaks to her and she is at full peace. Well, friends, she needs to make sure some gardening is happening in her life! Maybe for you it’s painting, writing, cooking, or serving someone–I want you to find that spot. If it brings you closer to the Father by clearing your brain and making you go back to HIM for HIS GOOD THINGS, then done in balance, it needs to be something you try and incorporate in your life! I love this song by “The Afters” and this verse. It sums up what I want to leave with you today.

James 1:17 "Every Good and Perfect Gift" | peak313.com

(Click here if you can’t see the video)
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this long, long tangent!  What do you have to add? Does this help provide in clarity or help you breath a sigh of relief in this area? What pre-conceived ideas do you need to let go of? What do you need to chase after? Oh, I’m praying for you all as you read this and would love to know what God is saying to you!!

 

  1. I love this post. It really it home with me when you said that we try and be like everyone else so much that don’t find our own sweet spot. That is me in a nutshell. I have spent so much time trying to be like others I know and haven’t even asked God who HE wanted me to be.. I will do that tonight, finally take this to God and ask him to light my path to my sweet spot. Thank you Claire for all you do.. I will let you know how my journey goes. :0)

  2. Love this visual! I also love that you’re claiming your God-given gift here. Health is not superficial. You are a gift.

    By the way, I teeter between discipline and pleasure. ;)

    • Totally agree w/your comment Sarah. I also go back & forth between discipline & pleasure :)

      Awesome post Clare!! Thank you so much for all you do.

  3. Beautifully written, Clare! I love your passion and your confidence to know that it is God who has placed that passion in your heart. The witness is beautiful. Lifting weights and being fit is not just OK; it’s beautiful! And when lived in a spirit of modesty and discipline, it is holy and can bless all areas of our lives. I am reminded of a blog of yours when you asked the question, “Why do you work out?” You challenged us to dig deep into our “why?” to discern if it was to feel/look superior, impress others or really to live as good Christian stewards. For me, I have lived all of these and was truly convicted by that piece.

    Along the path of trying to attain the body I had so long desired, I was plagued with injuries – tore all of the muscles around my rotator cuff and have 2 very weak, fluid-plagued knees. With 3 of my 4 joints compromised, I could no longer run to my heart’s content or lift weights above my shoulders. What followed was a year of inactivity and Great Depression. Upon reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, I was in awe of his ability to overcome any obstacle that stood in his way. His attitude was that every “no” is placed in your life to help you discover how badly you want whatever it is being blocked.

    After praying for clear direction, I met a trainer who walked through nutrition and working out with me…step by step. After hours of explaining clean eating and maximizing my work outs, she helped me to discover a freedom that had gone untapped – clarity and confidence! Now I am working towards living a healthy life/fit body for the glory of God! thank you for your witness =)

  4. Dee Campbell says:

    I loved this, and I think that we change tiers at different times in our lives. I have been feeling very low because I can’t fit everything in that I feel I need becuase I am trying to live what others think. My hubby and I have raised our children and now we are raising our great neice and nephew and stepping into that roll is very important now but it has placed me where I am not at the top tier but I am teaching to little people, 8 and 10 year old the value of caring for their bodies by exercising and eating right. But right now I just can’t jump and leave to do things I have to plan everything.

  5. Coleen Austin says:

    Love this post! On the days Im scheduled to run my motivation comes from God. So my run starts out at stewardship. Half way through my run I push myself to finish because I want to improve, I want to better myself and my timing. At the end I get the pleasure. I accomplished sticking to my goal and I feel like I can take on my Mom/wife duties with life in me. I’ve been running for a month now, every other day for 30 minutes, and my husband and four boys have told me I’m different. I’m smiling more, cooking from scratch again, keeping the house clean, and they just love being around the new me. It has majorly decreased my anxiety as well. I’ve also started noticing my body is toning up, which I’m loving! ;-) lol

  6. Leslie Sperling says:

    Thank you! Like anything else, we are at different places in our lives. I’m post baby and 50 lbs over weight. But God has clearly said to me “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8 NLT) I want to make it apart of my life again and have the disciple I had before, but for now I am focused on Him. I will be sure not to think the new girl at work is crazy after reading your post…she runs on her lunch break. She obviously finds pleasure in it. I can respect that.

    • And as you focus on Him, He may or may not change how you feel in this area. Be open to God’s guiding here! So glad you are seeking Him!
      Clare

  7. I loved this! I listened to the webcast and this ties in with what you shared so well. We recently bought a treadmill and I have found pleasure in that time with God. It’s also fun to push myself and see weight coming off. I really was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get a handle on this area of my life but praise God for helping me to find balance! Thanks for sharing all of this!

  8. At a time in my life where I seriously need to refocus my energies on my health, this was a welcome breath of fresh air! Thank you for allowing the Lord to speak through you!

  9. Thank you for the encouragement. I, too, enjoyed your WLW talk from last week.
    My self-esteem has taken a major hit this past year with a surprising 10 +/- pound weight gain, after a lifetime of being effortlessly thin.
    So…44 1/2 years of not exercising regularly is a very hard habit to break. I liked what Coleen said. I hadn’t thought about how much my whole family would benefit. (I did do a walk video pretty faithfully, with some of my children, from Jan.-May, but I lost the momentum with vacation and the hot summer. I know: lame, lame.
    So, time to get back on the bandwagon with walking and learning weight training for the first time ever. I need to use it, so I don’t lose it!

  10. Thank you so much for your post and for your honesty. I did your 5 week challenge (first time I have consistently worked out in years) and I LOVED it. It was really something I looked forward to every day. Doing your challenge really changed my way of thinking about working out and being healthy, I loved the way we incorporated verses and I loved having a partner to pray with and for during this time. Before I always felt like it was me against the world trying to get thin but I now know that it is me and God together working towards being healthy both physically and spiritually. I have been struggling with many things and during the challenge I really felt God showing me that I don’t need to focus so much on the number of days that I do well (workout and eat healthy) but that I need to just take it one day at a time and give myself grace when needed. Also your talk on WLW was awesome! Thanks for all that you do Clare and how you are letting God use you for His kingdom.

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement! You are doing great–keep seeking God and running that race each day!
      Clare

    • “I now know that it is me and God together working towards being healthy both physically and spiritually.”

      I love that! What a great perspective to have…I think I’ll borrow it, if you don’t mind! ;)

  11. Deb Sanders says:

    Oh my, God knows what we need at just the right time! This was it for me! I have been struggling with my eating choices lately. Still been going to the gym, but my diet choices have been not so good! This helped me understand a little better & I hope now I will get back to where I know God wants me to be. Thank you so much for your obedience in God’s leading!

  12. What this post spoke to me was 2-fold:
    1. That I need to quit saying “hate” as in “I hate getting up early to exercise” ;) and say a more affirming, “I haven’t found my sweet spot yet!” Much better!
    2. And if we work hard in the discipline part (my biggest weakness, giving up too soon) that sweet spot is right around the corner and something I can look forward to.
    Thank you for this great revelation!

  13. Oh my goodness this blog post speaks volumes to me!! Thank you! Something that I certainly needed to read. You have given me some things to pray about.

  14. Thank you for sharing this. I have reached a motivational slump lately when it comes to getting in physical activity. I compare myself also to an ideal I think I should be. I have never thought of things this way and will be asking God to shed light on my health journey and where He thinks I should be.

  15. Thank you so much for this! I have struggled with my weight my whole life. About 5 years ago I finally got the courage and discipline to attack it and lose it! I have kept off about 75 pounds for those five years, and through 2 babies! PTL! I definitely go between discipline and pleasure. I think sometimes other ladies around me think I’m crazy and over the top for the amount of exercise I do but I absolutely love it! I love to encourage others in their health walk but struglle with feeling like I’m coming across as judgmental or condescending. I will definitely share this article! Thank you so much for your insight into the spiritual side of our health. I think it is really overlooked in our culture of excess! God Bless!

    • I know what you mean as I struggle with similar feelings. Honestly, I just try and live my life as authentically as possible and when the time is right, I find that those come to me for advice and I can then give it to them. My rule of thumb with friends and family is to not bring this up unless asked for. It’s a touchy subject for so many but don’t underestimate your gift. Let your light shine!
      Clare

      • Naomi, I feel the same or did, I have had a bit of a slump. Trying so hard to keep the weight off. Do you have a blog or website. I have a blog and Fb group to encourage ladies, but I am finding I need some more push!

  16. Wow Claire,thank you so much for this post. It brings such insight. Truely God is using you in calling His people to a higher level.

  17. This is exactly what I feel The Lord has been saying to me lately. Like, exactly. I’m still working on that email. BTW. got a bunch written and the draft got deleted. Ugh.

  18. Thank you for this post! Your words and insight inspire me to continue in my journey and to find that balance and sweet spot that is just right for me.

  19. Thank you for this post. I am fighting to get out of the trap of belittling myself because I’m not like the rest of the girls in they gym. I struggle to even go, and haven’t been for some time. I watch everyone around me just flow through things so easily, and here I am struggling to walk on a treadmill. As I read this my eyes were being opened to what I am doing, and all that I am missing out on in my relationship with God. I’m trying to mold myself into someone He never intended me to be. I just want to keep reading and re-reading this post.

    • I even struggle with that! There is always someone who is putting in more time, doing it better, or looking like you want…That race gets old, which is why I want you to just find your spot and run it! You can do it!
      Clare

  20. Thank You for this post. It really made me think. I love it :)

  21. This is perfect and timely. I have been struggling with “getting into shape” , and have made the mistake of comparing myself to others. That is never a good idea, especially when i remembered those others have done some things to improve their looks, that I can not and will not do. I am not against surgery to improve ones looks, if that’s what you want to do..I just needed reminded that I am special in GOD’S sight and that I am working and finding my sweet spot to achieve my goals…no short cuts for this gal, and no more comparisons…I am unique and am happy to be unique.

  22. I am so happy and relieved to read this post this morning! I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord planted a seed inside me 4 years ago ..a seed to run. Yes, physically run. Now you must understand that 4 years ago I could barely run from one light pole to the other light pole on our block with out gasping for air and feeling a “stitch” in my side. I loved the feeling I felt when I finished though. Like all the lies that say “You Cant, your a quitter, you never finish what you start”…just had to SHUTUP!
    I began training after about a year of running, building on my mileage and began entering 10Ks. I have done one every year since and also did a half-marathon last October. My desires have changed from running long distances(longest was 13.1) to now wanting to pick up my pace and become faster. Part of this decision is because I feel like I am a heavy runner, and slow with a 12 to 13 minute mile. I weigh 16o and have had a goal to weigh a healthy 135 to 140. I eat healthy and I know that you can never outrun a healthy diet . running makes me hungry though! SO I am increasing protein, veggies and little fruit in the morning. I used to feel like I was idolizing running. It gave me clarity, grounded me, made me feel alive, and I had such a desire to do it. From this post I know see that this is a gift to be used to glorify the Lord. He has place these desires in me and I am forever thankful!

  23. I LOVE the realization that you have made regarding NOT apologizing for your passion! So many times we allow fear to set in and take control. Fear of what others think about us hinders our ability to fully live out our calling from God. It is easy for us to tease fit and healthy people due to our own insecurity about our fitness journey. I am SO thankful that you are living out God’s calling as your words and actions have spoken to me and God’s light is being revealed through you! Thank you!

    • SO easy to let fear set in! All this just pushes me further along in my faith, which is how I know it’s OK to keep pursuing it! Glory to God! Thank you for your kind words!
      Clare

  24. I truly loved this post as it makes so much sense and truly points to God. :) Worship is where I find my sweet spot and I need to listen to Christian music when I work out. It truly motivates me. :) As far as why I exercise? I can honestly see all three areas but as you stated I move back and forth between them. May the Lord bless you as you continue to serve Him! :) You are a blessing! :)

  25. After reading this twice and talking to God about it, I have made some realizations. I have been wanting to be in the Pleasure tier, but the reality is that I am in the Discipline tier. I just completed your living and active challenge and am enjoying continuing the journey with slow but positive results.
    When I am exercising I feel great, I am motivated, I feel Pleasure. However, when push comes to shove and my daily routine presses me, the reality is that I want to be with my kids, serve others at church and elsewhere, etc.. Those become my priorities. So instead of being in the Pleasure tier, I fall back to the discipline tier. Boy was I really feeling guilty about this for a long time, striving to be somewhere I wasn’t. But you’ve made a very good point. I shouldn’t feel guilty. My gift of teaching and serving my family and my community win out. That’s why I am hear. And I shouldn’t feel guilty for doing God’s work OR for being in the middle tier. They are both great places to be!
    Thanks for the insight!Oh, and I’m that person who wants the second piece of cake. :)

    • Oh, I have the same tugs even though I am at the pleasure tier! I just have to create time and say no to other things so that I can fit in family, marriage, volunteering, cooking, ministry, and health! I don’t want to make it sound like any of us who are in the pleasure tier aren’t doing these other things–we just do it maybe in place of other things, like say, a spic -n-span clean house, or greatly organized office….not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. ha!
      Clare

  26. Thanks for the encouragement today! I find myself in the pleasure tier (most of the time :) but find myself having to be apologetic to others about it, or justifying why I love to workout so much. It is a frustrating thing when others around you who aren’t in that same spot, or haven’t found their “sweet spot” try to drag you down or make you feel guilty for making health and fitness a priority. I love how you said to own it! It’s easy to try to please others and not stick to the disciplines that allow me to feel my best and essentially be the best version of me. So, today I am going to work on owning it! And in that, hopefully lead by an example that would encourage others – but be ok with them saying I’m cray- cray haha :)

  27. I loved this post and it reenergizes me! I have definitely been unmotivated lately and allowed the enemy to creep in. I can now see through your awesome visual that I’m trying to be at the Discipline tier and allow guilt to invade when I eat a cookie, or don’t work out for an hour and maybe only 20 minutes. So thank you for helping me feel a little more at ease and own that I am soooo at the STEWARDSHIP tier and that’s okay. Like you mentioned in your WLW video I am an all or nothing girl so I assume that I should be working out like an Olympic athlete and to do so is less than acceptable and even think God is disappointed in me when I don’t. I lost 45 pounds this past year and I am learning losing it was the easy part. Finding the motivation to continue the journey to health (and not just for a supermodel body) is my challenge. Oh Claire how it’s so true that health is so much more than just exercise and what we eat and it truly is spiritual! This post was just the encouragement I needed. Thank you!

  28. AWESOME site. Feel so blessed to have come across it. God is so good to give you just what you need and this post is just that. THANKS!!

  29. How fun to find a passionate Christian who also loves to work out! I’ve been an athlete my whole life and have not found many Christians who are passionate about staying healthy. In fact, I recently received some judgement from a friend who thinks women shouldn’t look so strong!
    I’m firmly in the pleasure zone – I’d work out as much as my husband would hang out with our 3 little ones. And I’ve questioned in the same way…why do I love it so much? I’m trying to stop questioning the way God has wired me, and start using it as an opportunity to talk to nonbelievers at the gym. Maybe I can share the good news with them and be salt and light, even during INSANITY!

  30. Clare,

    I really appreciate your post! I have found my “sweet spot” with my exercise and then either life becomes too busy or I set goals out of my own desires instead of OWNing my spot where the Lord has placed me. I literally did let out a sigh of relief reading your words and feeling like that is what God has wanted me to hear! He’s been looking to me to chill and just be me rather than strive and miss the image of others I admire.

    Thanks again!

    Your sister in Christ,
    Katie

  31. Wow! Wow! Seriously, this just made so much sense to me! I feel like as I prayed and thought about it, I can see how God is guiding me to the discipline tier in exercising and stewardship tier in eating, but sometimes I think I need to hurry up and be more disciplined in eating (ie: cutting out all sugars cold turkey only to last two days and binge on some major crap) instead of receiving the grace that God has given me for today and walking in that grace.

    Gosh – I’m still just stunned – this just makes sooo much sense to me! And thank you for owning your gifting and ministry in this area of health and fitness. You just really clarified the difference between those things being your god, to those things bringing glory to God, and you inspired me not to shut off my gifts because everyone else may not be as enthusiastic about them.

    Clare, thank you so much for sharing this word that God gave you!! You just blessed my socks off!

  32. Yes, balance is so ImPortent and finding our niche for this time in our lives, finding what God wants for us. I love your blog and this post is right on! It’s exactly what we have been thinking.
    My husband and I began a Sports ministry two years ago in Gijon Spain” we have been trying to get it off thground, trying to use the talents he has given us, and block out the criticism. Unfortunately we are afraid of losing support and we are in great need. It is what God put on our hearts and we are going to keep on until He moves us.
    Now, on a different note, what happens when you had your sweet spot health wise and now your body is rebelling? I can’t seem to get back to that high metabolism fat burning I had a year ago. I am exercising 40 min a day 4-5 times a week three of those days with weights. I am eating a low carb diet with a free day. I have been maintaining for a few years now but it doesnt feel like a sweet spot anymore. I am struggling to keep the weight off. Even leAding challenges and fitness classes. I love what I do but feel like my body is stuck. Do you have any insight?

  33. Clare, thanks for sharing this post. Right now I’m looking for the pleasure. I’ve been in the other tiers and I know I need to find that sweet spot in the pleasure part of health and exercise. I know it’s good for me. I know that when I’m disciplined I’m better. I want to have fun though too! It’s been a drudgery…Thanks for the grace woven throughout your post!

    I guess the best “workout” is the one that you will do! I’ll keep looking for that. :) I found out that I really like (like I’m additcted to it, kind of like) riding a tandem bike with my husband. Now that the weather is getting cold I’m going to find something else….not really a hard core workout, but it is a way to stay healthy physically. :) Peace!

    • This is a great explanation! I love it! I want so badly to be in the pleasure level, but honestly, I struggle to stay in the stewardship one. And, I can see that God is using fitness to mold me into a more obedient believer. I have never been one to exercise or be active, but God has been working on me, showing me that this is a part of the Christian walk. We have started a ‘church fit’ group at my church, and it is a great tool for me to stay focused. Thank you so much for this and your blog/Facebook posts!! You are a great encourager!

  34. Thank you for this post and your whole blog! What you said makes a lot of sense and is very helpful. The comparison game and the guilt cycle is rough. Have you read or seen A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman? This, Claire, is your ART! God Bless!

  35. Denise Ross says:

    Wow! I’ve had the last few months thinking on what makes me tick, what gives me joy, joy that I can spread to others in my renewed attitude. I have a few different sweet spots actually. My painting while listening to praise music- max volume- lol, running – I’m training for a half marathon, God willing this coming July I’ll be running it. And cooking/baking for both my family, friends and work colleagues. I’ve actually just figured out that it’s ok to love all three, feel rejuvenated by all of them in their own way and be thankful that they each bring me Joh, peace and closer to our wonderful God. Is there anyone else out there who has more than one?

  36. Clare – I am so glad you shared this again on Facebook. How did I miss reading it before today? It’s just what I needed to read. God has wired me differently and your post echoes how I have been feeling lately. Thank you. I’m passionate about healthy living and I believe God has called me to encourage others.

    Cindy

  37. This is a great explanation! I love it! I want so badly to be in the pleasure level, but honestly, I struggle to stay in the stewardship one. And, I can see that God is using fitness to mold me into a more obedient believer. I have never been one to exercise or be active, but God has been working on me, showing me that this is a part of the Christian walk. We have started a ‘church fit’ group at my church, and it is a great tool for me to stay focused. Thank you so much for this and your blog/Facebook posts!! You are a great encourager!

  38. Thank you so much for this “long tangent!” It was exactly what I needed to read today. I purposely went to your page for encouragement in exercise. I am currently at the ‘stewardship’ level, and longing for the ‘discipline’ level. I managed to exercise for 30 min 3 times last week. My goal is to 1.Start each day with at least 15 min (though that seems not enough) of time alone with God and His Word. 2. Followed by, at least 30min each day of exercise. On weekends I would like to enjoy some physical activity with my family.
    I believe these are very doable goals – and with blog posts such as yours, I believe will inspire and encourage me to keep it up. The true motivation is to take care of the gift of health The Lord has given.
    Thanks again for being an encourager…and thanks for being so honest too.

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