Lifting Weights

Weight.  We lose it, we gain it, we lift it, we shift it, we take pride in it, and we even hide in it.  Weight.

The people in my circle and I have all been going round and round with this weighty word lately.  We all have different weight goals and methods of getting there, but we all really want the same thing.  A change in our weights; a physical and an emotional change.

One friend is using her beautiful, wonderful change in weight to help others fight for their own change.  Another friend is building up her self-esteem higher and higher every day as she takes back control of her weight.  She is taking care of herself, loving herself, and you can see it all over her pretty face.  And another friend is choosing herself everyday.  I love this one.  She chooses to be herself instead of a number on a scale so that she has the strength to take care of herself and everyone else. And me, I’ve decided to be a lifter of weight.  I’ve lost weight, I’ve gained it, I’ve shifted it, taken pride in it, and certainly have done my fair share of hiding in it.  But now I really like lifting it.

Now I crave that soreness in my shoulders from pressing those weights above my head again and again.  I’m bent on that burn in my legs when I don’t think I can get back up from that last round of squats.  Hurts so good, doesn’t it?  Realizing the heaviness of those weights, but lifting them anyway just plain hurts.

But it’s a welcome hurt. I wake up the next day and  I can’t walk, I can’t sit down, and I cry a little bit as I lift the baby carrier into the car.  The third day it hurts a little more, but I feel a little bit stronger. There it is, that’s what I’m hurting for.  So I grab a heavier set of weights, and I do it all again.

The process of building muscle is painfully slow.  Especially slow for women, I was warned. (Test my patience, oh Lord, you know it needs it.) But when I think about the emotional weight that we all carry, the process makes sense.  We carry these heavy burdens on our shoulders.  We carry titles given to us and titles we give ourselves.  We carry regret, sadness, insecurity, and fear. With all the things bearing down on us, it takes courage, determination, and a whole lot of gritting of teeth to lift them up and off our breaking backs.  So we have to take a little weight at a time, raising the hurt up and down again until it doesn’t feel quite like the same hurt anymore.  The hurt is a little lighter, we are a little stronger, and we are able to add some fear to the bar and start again.

Lifting weights is teaching me a lot about myself.  I’ve been picking my weights up, one at a time.  It feels good to get them off of my chest.  Some days the weights feel a little heavier than the day before, and some days I can pile on more.  I lift and I lower and change a little every day.  I see new lines, have new definitions, and feel a heart beating stronger in my chest.

The process is slow, the weights are heavy, but the reward is strength. So take heart, my friend, for strength of mind, strength of heart, and strength of body awaits, all we have to do is keep lifting our weights.

Welcome to Fit, Grit, & Grace

This blog started as my mustard seed.  My tiny seed of faith that told me God had words for me to share with others.  I was so hesitant to put down these personal words and then press publish.  I really didn’t want anyone to read my words and then think differently of me.  But my mustard seed has taken root and is spreading throughout the rest of my life.  It’s taken over my fear of sharing and turned it into a fear of not sharing enough.  From my mustard seed, Fit, Grit, & Grace has sprouted and I can’t wait to watch it bloom.

Fit, Grit, & Grace is my hope for inspiration for myself and for others.  In this season of my life, I’m experiencing a roller coaster of emotions, anxieties, and joys.  As are many of you.  Through these three ideas of Fit, Grit, & Grace, I want to walk alongside you.  I want you to walk alongside me. I ask you to share as I share, learn as I learn, and grow as I grow.

Fit

Definition 1 – in good health, especially because of regular physical exercise

We don’t have the same bodies that we used to do we?  A little extra here and a little extra there.  Things are just not what (or where) they once were and we feel like we should be doing something about it.  But what?  To be fit does not mean we have to take a class we dread 3 days a week, run mile after torturous mile, measure this, weigh that, or throw out all our favorite junk foods (Keebler Fudge Cookies, I will not forsake you).  No, being fit means we are taking care of our bodies so we can do all the things.  There is another definition, and synonyms that make me love this word, Fit, even more.

Definition 2 – having the requisite qualities or skills to undertake something competently

synonyms of fitness –  good health, strengthrobustnessvigortoughness, able

This is the good stuff. We are able, we are strong, we are robust, we are tough, we are fit.  I want to share how we get there, how we get off track, and how we get right back on.

Grit

Definition 1- small, loose particles of stone or sand

We all have a little grit in our lives don’t we?  Grit we’ve swept under our rugs, grit hid high on shelves in our closets, grit we’ve tasted in our mouths, grit we’ve felt under our feet, grit that’s chilled our bones, and grit that’s molded and filled in the empty cracks in our lives. The grit is hard to talk about sometimes, but we need it don’t we? It’s in all of us.

Definition 2- courage and resolve; strength of character

Grit makes us who we are.  Grit pushes us forward, clenches our teeth and our fists, and puts up the fight for our lives. I want to show you the grit that makes me who I am, good and bad.  I want to see the dirty grit that is making you, good and bad.

Grace

Definition 1 – simple elegance or refinement of movement

When grace walks into a room we all stare don’t we.  Ears listen when she speaks, children run into her open arms, and hearts open up with a touch of her hand. We can all think of a Grace in our lives, she is different than all the rest. How do we get to be grace?

Definition 2- the free and unmerited favor of God

Wait, we already have grace? It was freely given to us? Yes and yes, but we constantly need to be reminded. We forget to give grace to others. And we forget to give grace to ourselves. Let’s remember grace together.

I hope you’ll come alongside me. Let yourself feel, heal, deal, and tell me the words you need to hear.

I’m looking forward to this new place.

Welcome to Fit, Grit, & Grace.

Move You

I want to move you. To move you to move from here to there.

I want to move you.To move you to places you’ve been afraid to dare.

I want to make you feel something. To start up your heart, make it beat faster.

You can’t live with a heart that feels nothing. You have to move or you’ll live in disaster.

I want to move you to the change you wish to feel.

To move you to that place in life when all your dreams become real.

I want to move you to live in front of your past. I want to move you to stop looking behind.

I want to move you so that you’re running so fast. Away from your mistakes and toward those mountain goals you’ve been trying to climb.

I want to inspire you.

To light and ignite you.

I want to start a fire in you.

So you can burn down the walls you want to break through.

I want to move you so you can move others. And give them the tools to do the same

I want to move people to move their sisters and brothers. And give them a hope for new starts, new hopes, and new names.

All Together

“Have you ever had a breakdown?” I was asked this question recently, and when I quickly answered, “Umm yeah, which time?” I was met with, “You just seem to have it all together.” Let’s all laugh together.

have it all together. verb phrase. To have one’s life, feelings, energies, etc, satisfactorily arranged; be free of emotional and behavioral dysfunctions

“To have one’s feelings satisfactorily arranged; be free of emotional and behavioral dysfunctions.”  STOP IT! Like all my feelings are packed just so in their

Color-Coded Corresponding Compartments.

Now, rage and anger, you stay in this corner. Fear, you get in there beside them. And happiness, you just stay right out here where everyone can see you.

Lord, bless my dear friend. Don’t bless her for trying to compliment me by the standards of the world. Bless her for showing me that

I AM NOT REAL.

People are seeing my happy smiling face, my cute red jumpsuit, and my running miles coming in higher and higher.  They are seeing the things that help me hold it all together, but they don’t see the things that I struggle with, the fears that keep me up at night, and the things that hurt my heart.

I do not have it all together. Actually, it’s all falling apart, landing every which way and I’ve been here hurriedly scooping pieces up before I forget where they all go.  But I’ve decided that I’m done trying to put those pieces back just like they were. If people can’t see me breaking then how will they know it’s ok to be broken?

Because it is ok to be broken. God takes the broken down things and if we will believe, “in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

We break and that’s what makes us grow.  Finding beauty in the breaking should be where we are most comfortable.  Let’s cuddle up to our insecurities, and stop being afraid to fall on our knees. Let us try embracing new places, running new races, and lifting up new faces in Jesus’ name instead of our own.

We cannot keep it all together because life is not meant to be lived contained by our standards.

All together is altogether ridiculous. So let’s stop making that our goal.