Soreness in Your Soul

The gym for your soul

My alarm went off yesterday morning with a steady cadence of groan producing honks. Normally I’m already surfacing by the time it goes off, and my hand is quick to swing over and hit the snooze button before I rouse myself enough to shut the fool thing off properly. This time, I was still cradled snuggly in dream land when my alarm started. Those steady pulses of rakish noise coming from my bedside table sent my heart pumping at an alarming clip as I moved my arm to silence the sound.

The adrenaline coursing through my body from being jolted awake wasn’t strong enough to mask the stiffness I felt as I rolled over and poked my hand out from beneath the warm covers. I could feel every muscle tighten and resist all forms of unnecessary movement. My abs protested when I sat up, a knot in my lower back making its presence known. Up and down my body, muscles I didn’t even know I had ached.

After a week off, I must have been overly enthusiastic at Shake and Tone {my favorite class at the gym}. I was sore, but a good kind of sore. Even though my muscles ache for days, I can always feel my body getting stronger after a week of challenging workouts. I have a sense of accomplishment when I leave a class red faced, breathing hard, and an even more prominent sense of progress when I wake up with sore muscles.

Sore muscles mean I have stretched my limits. Sore muscles mean I have worked hard and long. Sore muscles mean I am growing in strength and endurance. Sore muscles mean that next time around those leg lifts and lateral raises won’t be so difficult.

I willingly put my body through such riggers multiple times a week. I walk into the gym knowing I will spend an hour huffing and puffing. I will dance {it IS called Shake and Tone…}, squat, lunge, lift, and crunch until I’m dripping sweat. I’m never sorry I did it.

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I’ve been feeling spiritually sluggish lately and I think I know why. I have neglected to give my spirit the same workout I so willingly give my body. Those sore muscles? I crave the same soreness for my soul.

I don’t want to languish in a convenient faith, making lame excuses for being a couch potato Christian. My faith should be dynamic, my heart pulled taught and straining with the love of Christ. My relationship with God should be growing, stretched until it breaks then rebuilt on a firmer foundation.

When Your Soul is Sore

The particulars of a spiritual workout are still developing in my heart and mind, but here are some of my initial ideas for getting my soul into shape. One thing is for sure – just like keeping in physical shape requires discipline, I know I’ll need a game plan.

  • Wrestle with God – Jacob did it and I want to as well. There is no better opponent to my doubts/fear/anxiety than God Almighty.
  • Lift others up in prayer – Interceding for others is often more healing that praying for yourself. I’m tired of my prayer life being so self-centered.
  • Record how God is working. When people ask, I want to have a ready example of God’s transformative power.
  • Memorize Scripture – What better defense is there then Truth imbedded in your heart. Added bonus: keeps your brain sharp, too!
  • Jump over any hurdles – I shudder to think, “what if I had said no?” for so many things in my life. I don’t want to let excuses get in the way of being used by God.
  • Challenge my limits – My personal best isn’t always the best I can do WITH God. He enables me to see, think, feel, and do things in a different way. It’s time to let God set the standard.

Above all, I know I need to practice. If these things are not put into action, I won’t see results. I’m a bit intimidated by this list, but there’s a spark of excitement too. I can see past the struggle and pain. I can see God molding and shaping a little lump of clay into a sturdy vessel.

I will sweat. I will cry. I will fail.

I will love. I will grow. I will stretch.

And you can bet that my soul will be sore.

GYM { I like via photopin cc } HOOP { Funky64 (www.lucarossato.com) via photopin cc }

Read Along The Road

There’s a box in our garage filled with journals in every shape and size, their content chronicling my life since junior high. Some are specifically devoted to a certain fellow I had a major crush on, others contain my travel adventures from a year studying abroad.

Needless to say, I am an avid journaler.

So also is Amanda Holland, who wrote an excellent post for Inspired To Action about journaling her spiritual journey.

How Journaling Has Impacted My Faith

Faith journaling has changed my life. My walk with God is growing so much deeper than ever before.

I can already look back and see how He has slowly revealed things to me, little by little, as I spend time with Him. He’s revealing big dreams – God-sized dreams – to me, and reawakening dreams that I let die long ago. Do I have this “listening to God” thing down? Good grief, no…but the closer I get to Him, the better I hear His voice. When He speaks to my heart, I record it in my journal.

Read the rest HERE.  Find more of Amanda at Grace In Our Moments.