Thursday, January 31, 2013

Where Do You Bow?

It's the last day of January!  We are 1/12th the way through 2013 already!  I hope the year has started off strong for you and that you can look back on January with some satisfaction.

As I finish up my January Quest and look forward to beginning my February Quest tomorrow, I have to say this Heart & Spirit Monthly Quest has helped me start the year off in a completely new way and I am pleased with what I have accomplished for the past month.  I hope you feel the same way. 

If not, the beauty of this 2013 Year Long Adventure is that you can jump in anytime.  Even if you didn't join me in January, no worries, you are welcome to join me in February.  Set a goal or two for yourself to do every day for the month.  It's that easy!

Now on to my Quests for today.

This morning I walked two miles on the treadmill and lifted my hand weights to finish out my Exercise Every Day Quest for January.   As I mentioned a couple days ago, I have decided to continue this Quest in February as well.  I feel good about the progress I made in adding planned exercise to my day every day and I feel like I have set a routine I can continue. 

While I walked on the treadmill, I watched a little news and read a couple blogs.  I finished off my exercise time watching Beth Moore teach on affliction.  I have enjoyed this series she has recently been doing during "Wednesdays with Beth" on Life Today. 

Something she said at the end got me to thinking...

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In the video I watched today of Beth Moore, this is what she said, "You're bowing anyway, choose where you'll bow."  This statement really caught my attention. 

As a Christian, my automatic response is, "Well of course, I bow to God."  But do I?  Honestly, not always.  Sometimes I bow to other gods...the TV, the computer, my ever present iPhone, people, stress, difficult situations, my's so easy to push God aside and focus on things of this earth. 

Other days I do better, I keep my mind, heart, and soul directed toward God and His will for me in this life.  Those are some good days. 

It's when I let my mind wander that things start to pile up and stress me out.  How many times have I claimed to have had a bad day, but then when I start listing all the things that went wrong, I realize they just aren't that big of a deal? 

When I think about that list of things gone's just really not worth declaring a day "bad".  I just don't have it that bad.  I can always think of worse things than whatever is going on in my life at the moment. 

It's then that I realize I have my focus on the wrong list.  In times like that, I'm bowing to the pressure, stress, and all the perceived things wrong in my life.  Instead I should be focusing on all the good in my life and the One who has given me all those blessings. 

When our boys were little there were times they wanted something and we had to say no to their request.  They would get upset with our answer and declare how bad life was.  Hubby and I would roll our eyes and even sometimes laugh over their dramatics.

Of course that would just upset them more, but we were teaching them that what they placed their value on at that moment wasn't that important.  Just because they didn't get what they wanted didn't mean their life was ruined.

As they grew older, they began to understand and to appreciate the life they get to live.  Believe's a pretty cush deal those two have going.  I mean when I was a kid....well, you get the idea.

This also makes me think of my sweet friend, Praise Girl.  I give her this name because honestly, you can just look at her and know she's praising God.  She just has that aura about her whenever anyone sees her. 

And trust me, this girl has not had an easy road.  She's been through some difficult times.  She's still going through difficult times.  As a matter of fact the last four years have been filled with very difficult times, and yet if you met her and didn't know all the stress going on behind the scenes, you would have no idea all that could be weighing her down. 

She doesn't hide her problems or pretend everything is wonderful.  No, she isn't that kind of person.  She's very authentic.  You just wouldn't know because even though she is going through a tough period in her life, she understands Who is in control of her life. 

She doesn't walk around hunched over from the burdens in her life.  She walks around with a loving gentle smile on her face.  Sure, there might be fatigue in her eyes, but it's a hopeful fatigue.  She won't allow herself to sink into despair.  She doesn't let go of the hope she has in her Heavenly Father to see her through. 

What I love about Praise Girl is that there are so many other things that she could bow to...the stress, disappointment, doubt, hurt, pain, worry...the list just goes on and on. But she doesn't. No matter what is thrown at her, she continues to bow to the God who gave her life and gave His life for her.

She reads the Word of God, she prays the Word, and she claims the Word for her family and herself.  I've seen her faith lived out up close and personal for the past seven years.  She is the real deal.  I know where she bows.

It all comes down to this.  You are going to make something the focus of your life.  You are going to find importance in something.  Where do you place your faith?  Where do you place your value?  In the end, will that be enough?  Or will your life be ruined?  What do you choose?  Where do you bow?

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