Now I know you won’t believe this, but I was a bit of a geek at school! I really struggled with having good friends who would stand by me. My Mum used to say I was an old soul and I guess that is still true now. I know I am a bit eccentric with the things I like and do and sometimes I still find it hard to feel at peace about this. I went away with a group of girlfriends last weekend and felt on edge a lot of the time. They are not Christians and I felt that during the weekend. I laughed a lot, but old insecurities reared their ugly head and I have been praying about this this week then God reminded me that he is my best friend and I am so lucky as he is the only best friend I actually need. I can go to him with every problem and know he won’t turn me away and will always listen to me. Jesus will always be honest with me. Jesus will never abandon me, or leave feeling lonely or let me fight my battles on my own. He will encourage me, lift me up and help me through good and bad times. I know that He will accept me for who I am because that is exactly how he made me…completely unique and that isn’t something to worry about, but something to praise Him for. Jesus wants the best for me and to become the best version of myself. It is safe and awesome to be different. A friend can only communicate with us in a few ways but God is able to manifest his love of us through countless ways like the wonder of nature and what I call nods from God, little things that happen in my day that only God can do like this weekend there always being a car park space easy to get into when driving Jim’s massive van or when the sun shone in my face when I was doing something for God. I have started to keep a journal of these little things so I don’t overlook the wonder that is having God as a best friend.
God is our best friend and that we don’t need anyone else except Him. Hebrews 13:5 says “God will never leave us or forsake us”. We can pray for God to help us to remember that we feel insecure or afraid that we are unique but that is how you created us to be. Help us to know we are loved and feel safe in that love to be completely ourselves. We can learn more about God so that we may become better friends and more like Him.
I had a client this week who said that she doesn’t have any time for herself each week. Another client said that she doesn’t have fun anymore, she can’t think of anything she does that is fun in her life anymore. It has really stayed with me all week. I then read a facebook post that I loved. It said,
“Sometimes I just want it to stop. Talk of COVID, protests, brutality. I lose my way. I become convinced that this new normal is real life. Then I meet an 87-year-old- who lived through polio, diptheria, Vietnam protests and yet is still enchanted with life. He seems surprised when I say that 2020 must be especially challenging to him. “No”, he said slowly looking me straight in the eyes. “I learned a long time ago to not see the world through the printed headlines, I see the world through the people that surround me, I see the world with the realization that we love big. Therefore I choose to write my own headlines. “Husband loves wife today” “”old man makes a new friend”
His words collide with my worries, freeing them from the tether I had been holding tight. They float away. I am a left with a renewed spirit. My headline now reads “Woman overwhelmed by the spirit of kindness and the reminder that our capacity to love is never-ending.”
It echoes the bible verse “the thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly”. What are your headlines this week? You choose them. You choose your mindset. You choose how much joy is in your life? We choose whether to be a Mary or a Martha! We can be so busy doing things, even doing things for Jesus, that means you don’t spend time with Him. It made me think about the goal to do 10,000 steps a day that people seem to create as a goal but are those 10,000 steps for God, or for you. I want my headline to be “Jo takes every step with God” and “Jo feels joy in every step she takes”. Take a moment to decide what your headline will be for this week.
It has been half term so the kids have been off school for two weeks which means a very different routine. We went on holiday for a week and I have then been working and decorating two bedrooms in the second week of half term so have totally broken my usual routine. I realise that my routine helps me feel connected with God. Every morning I read my Bible and when I do the 15 minute drive from school and then back without the kids in the car I have my Christian podcast on. When I am at home alone I have my worship music on in the background and spend an afternoon a week preparing for Worshipcise but all those things have stopped whilst being in the holidays. I felt like I had failed but then God reminded me that I met him in new ways this over the last two weeks:
I ran by the sea and that always makes me feel connected to God
I ate a picnic watching seals sunbathe
I smiled and laughed as my kids ran into the sea in their pants and coats
I went to church and had the courage to go to the front and pray victory for someone who I know is struggling
I prayed for help to release the expectation I have of getting all the painting finished and had an amazing afternoon with the kids that I will never forget
I carved a pumpkin with a cross in it with the kids
The devil had made me believe I had lost my connection with God but actually I haven’t. There is a reason that God says to put on armour and that is because we are in a war. Without the armour we can feel very powerless and alone. Without spending time immersed in God and flooding our brains with truth we can easily stray from the right path in our minds and feel uneasy. Galations 5:17 says “for the flesh constantly has a strong desire to suppress the Spirit, and the Spirit constantly has a strong desire to suppress to flesh, and these are entrenched in an attitude of mutual opposition to one another”. Worshipcise is another opportunity to give strength to the spirit and mind. Our thoughts and words are so powerful when spoken with God’s truth so let us pray,
Lord God, we thank you for victory and thank you for the tools you have given us to proclaim that victory even when we haven’t seen it come to pass yet in our lives. Thank you for fighting for us even when we don’t even realise that you are. Help us to hear your truths tonight in this time of fellowship and take those truths out into the world this week to we may help others also, in Jesus name, Amen.
How have you connected with God this week?
I bet there are lots of things you could be doing right now instead of reading this blog. Maybe you feel tired, or hungry or busy with other activities so that fact you are reading this is a victory for the Lord. The devil is continually giving us distractions in our lives. My head is often filled with what I think I should be doing. The devil uses these distractions to clog our heads when our hearts should be filled with God. This can be done in ways you may not even be aware of. For example, when you look in your cupboards for a naughty snack when you are not actually hungry, what are you looking for? You are trying to fill a God shaped hole with a chocolate bar shape…it will never work! Maybe, you are distracted by friends who you know do not bring out the best in you. You may have heard the phrase “You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.” Proverbs 27:17 says “as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
The definition of doubt is distraction and it can be sneaky. It often isn’t recognised until we have already detoured like when you say you will spend time with God today and then you start cleaning out your kitchen cupboards. When we get distracted in all these ways, we lose our sense of purpose and identity in Christ so today let us be in the presence of God without distraction and let us be reminded of his promises to us. Read the bible, play a worship song, be still and reminded of God’s promises to you.
How have you come to this point today? Have you had an amazing week or have you had a week where you feel like in many situations you have failed God and failed to show Gods love to others. I have just finished reading a book called “A Woman’s Battle for Grace”. I never really understood what the term grace meant and often felt like I wasn’t a very good Christian. Even this morning I felt like I had failed when I shouted at the kids as I got them ready…my eldest son couldn’t seem to find any of the clothes he needed for PE and could only find one of his trainers. My middle son and youngest son still had their pyjamas on 10 minutes before we needed to be in the car and I ended up shouting at them, even though I had spent time with God that morning. I asked forgiveness and remembered a passage I had read in the book that said if we try to act like Jesus and try to live by the law of saying what would Jesus do, we will always fail. “Becoming like Jesus doesn’t happen by conscious effort, but rather by constant consideration of the grace of our Champion, Jesus Christ” (Broderson, 2018:129). God knows we will mess up, he chose the 12 disciples, knowing that they would fail countless times and he chooses us knowing we will need his grace to succeed. God loves me and you knowing that we mess up but our hearts are for Him. Just like in the story of the five loaves and two fish, “the grace of Jesus reaches the need and leaves leftovers of grace-more than enough grace for everyone to partake, be satisfied and take some home” (Broderson, 2018). One way to receive more grace is to remind ourselves in prayer and worship of his love for us and his promises. “the lord will take delight in prospering you” (Deuteronomy 30:9), “The Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Exodus 34:6). God want to bless us, he wants us to have a grace story. He wants us to be able to change because of his grace so that others want to know him too. His love is like Niagara Falls, we cant comprehend how it can continue to flow year on year but is does. It reminds me of the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where broken pots are repaired with gold. It becomes more beautiful because it has been broken and we are like that with God. We are broken, we will make mistakes time and time again but God repairs us, makes us more beautiful and able to be filled with his Spirit.
In essence the Lord is our ultimate champion, the One our hearts desperately long for. He is everything we need. We should be asking God to open our hearts, our ears and our eyes to Him. We must allow God to repair our broken parts with beauty and love
Let us spend some time bringing our focus back to God by being reminded of the joy of our bodies. Let’s take something as simple as the feet.
In Born to Run Leonardo de Vinci said the foot is a “masterpiece of human engineering.” Hartman, a physical therapist said “Blueprint your feet, and you’ll find a marvel that engineers have been trying to match for centuries. Your foot’s centrepiece is the arch, the greatest weight-bearing design ever created. The beauty of the arch s the way it gets stronger under stress; the harder you push down, the tighter its parts mesh…Buttressing the foot’s arch from all sides is a high-tensile web of 26 bones, 33 joints, 12 rubbery tendons, and 18 muscles, all stretching and flexing like an earthquake-resistant suspension bridge (McDougall, 2010: 176-177)
We are not like trees. We are not tethered in place by roots like plants. We don’t have to wait for the world to come to us but can go into the world using our feet as Jesus commissioned us to do,
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19-20
We overlook what a superpower movement is. Instead of the worldly view of always wanting more, lets just move being thankful for what we do have. I remember a sermon so vividly from when I was younger and the speaker said if you only have tomorrow what you thanked God for today what would you have? Let us be thankful for what we do have so we may never take it for granted. We should be thanking God for our perfectly designed bodies, created to tell other about God. It is easy to focus on our flaws but lets try and be thankful that we are fit enough to go out into the world and make disciples of men.
In the summer I was invited to go to Creationfest, a Christian festival in Cornwall. I have never been to a Christian festival before and went on my own which is another highly unusual event. I went to share Worshipcise with those who were there, but God was trying to teach me a lesson which had to go to great lengths to teach me as I clearly wasn’t listening. I stood in a field in the middle of Cornwall, six hours away from home and away from my husband and children for God to make it very clear that Worshipcise is about Him. If no one came, was I willing to stand in a field and worship Him anyway…wasn’t that what Worshipcise is all about. I have to say at first I felt shame, embarrassment and humiliation as I thought I would be there dancing alone while people looked at me thinking I was odd but that night I prayed and the Holy Spirit filled me with peace because I realised I am never alone, God is always with me and desperate for me to connect with him. So today, I ask why do you worship? Is it for you or for Him? Do you try to connect to God and give him the time He deserves. Would you be willing to worship Him even if you were alone? Let’s take this back to basics…”Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (Corinthians 10:31). We are here for Him, we are here to worship, we are here to listen to the what the Holy Spirit has to say to us. Today let us seek God first because nothing else matters. I want to be so full of the holy spirit that I am bold, courageous and willing to look foolish in order to honour Him. We are your warriors for God and are never alone as He is always with us
My name is Jo, I am a Mum of 3 boys, a wife and a personal trainer. I got baptised two years ago and God is taking me on a spiritual journey that I want to share with you about how I can use my skills, knowledge and passion to become fitter for God.
Read my blog if you want to get fitter in mind, body and spirit from someone who is also on this journey and who gets it wrong so much more than i get it right! My aim is to help people find a balance to life where God is at the heart of it. I cover topics like exercise, rest, food (one of my favourite things in life!), being a Mum, failing at being superwoman, our body image and all the lessons God is trying to teach me in my life as a Christian personal trainer.