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What would happen if day in and day out you just never tried to do anything? By anything, I mean ANYTHING. You don’t pay attention to clocks and rise when you feel like it. You don’t go to work because you don’t feel like it. There is no showering, or grooming for you of any kind. You simply “step over” the trash in your home because you don’t want to take the time to throw it out and cleaning is just too much work. During the day you lay down some more, nap a little and watch TV, while of course sitting down on your trash ridden sofa. You eat whatever makes you happy for the moment and at night, or in the wee hours of the morning you retire to your disheveled, smelly bed to sleep until the next day begins…whenever you decide that is.
Some of you may be completely disgusted by the picture I just painted. But can I say that some who may be meticulous cleaners, organizers, and hard workers who never miss a day of employment sick or not, may also be living this kind of lazy-life existence? Sound funny? Well what if I told you that it is possible to suffer from emotional, spiritual, mental and even relational atrophy? It is. Proverbs 29:18 very clearly tells us that without a vision the people perish. So it is possible to neglect ourselves in the areas where most people don’t see. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it!”? It’s true. Just like our natural muscles suffer and degenerate with disuse so does our spiritual, emotional, and mental strength and acuity.
Atrophy does not only occur after disuse. It can also occur as the result of an injury. Have you kept yourself separated from others because you are “too busy” to make time for family or friends? Or is the real reason you avoid too much time with people because you have experienced hurt in past relationships and you fear opening your heart again to others. If you are nervous or anxious about building relationships here is a solution Paul gives us in Philippians 4:6 & 7. He says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” So in other words…Seek ye first… Matthew 6:33
Atrophy does NOT have to be permanent. Exercising the atrophied areas can build you up and make you strong where you were once weak. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be pain along the way. It happens, but we can grow through it and emerge stronger. When you work out for the first time in a LONG time you get sore. Even if you are normally a physical person you may have switched up your exercise regimen or done something that you normally don’t do. In the fitness world this is referred to as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). This pain can be alarming to a person who is new to exercise but someone who is used to exercising knows it and will be able to skillfully work through it because they know the soreness is part of a process that will lead to greater stamina and strength in that area.
Daily life makes it easy to neglect our health and growth in areas that we think are “unseen”. We are all busy but prioritizing is the key. For instance, how much time is spent watching television or trolling the social media sites? Could Facebook or Instagram stand a little less attention from you? Think about it. Could you replace ONE hour a week of social media time with actual human interaction? Could you attend a bible study or even sit down to read or pray by yourself in an effort to grow spiritually? These are the areas you can explore and only you (and God) know where you can give a little more.
Those who run marathons must train for this even if they are normally very physical. They must discipline themselves on a daily basis, watching what they eat, how much water they drink, and of course building their stamina for the race ahead of them. They push themselves to the limit and stretch the boundaries of their muscles and mental status keeping their eyes on the prize, the goal, the finish line. For some winning that race means crossing the finish line, no matter what number they are.
Others race against their own previous record. They want to push past what they were able to achieve before. For you and I…putting on those tennis shoes and making it to the starting line may be worthy of a gold medal.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
You can do it…Flex that muscle…It’s time to DO WORK!
Written by: Yvonne Galindo
I wanted to share my thoughts on intimacy in marriage. I am not talking about sex; that’s not all that makes a marriage. First let’s start with the definition of intimacy; togetherness, affinity, friendship, affection and warmth. That all sounds wonderful, right! It can be. Just know that the most important part of your relationship with your husband is communication. If you have communication than you have a friend in your husband and everything else will follow. I say this because friendship is a big part of an emotional bond and closeness that both can share. You should be able to share just about anything with your spouse in spite of your differences. Married now five years; I have come to a new prospective on marriage and relationships Am I an expert? Far from it. But I will say my husband and I are the best of friends. We have our differences and I can be very opinionated at times, ok all the time. I will say it makes for good conversation and I love it; the best part is we work through those differences. My stubbornness and opinions may have to do with my independence for many years. I know that’s no excuse! Anytime there is disagreement, he will always quote a poem by Howard Simon “Choose the (your) mountain” he is such a philosopher! Well I know a little about climbing so I decide not to choose any mountain because it takes too much time and sweat to climb. Meaning disagreeing all the time can become more of emotional burden. We have learned and have grown from those differences and sometimes accept those small imperfections.
I have heard people say you can agree to disagree; I don’t buy it. That just means nothing is ever resolved. Just my opinion! There is so much more I can write on marriage & romance etc. The photo on your left tells a story of choices, it shows a box of wedding rings from married couples that were not given a choice during the Holocaust. “Food for thought.” Let me just end with this: when I look in the mirror I see my flaws, but when my husband looks at me he sees God’s Grace. Now I wrote this to point out the one thing we do agree on is our faith in Jesus Christ. We have developed a deeper relationship & togetherness through prayer and knowing who we are in Christ. We never pray for one’s own agenda; we always pray for the solution never the problem. We laugh, we cry, and yes disagree. I think the key here is to accept the one you love and all their imperfections whatever they may be, and don’t try to change each other.
Note for the single ladies
During the years of my single life I had a lot of time to figure out who I am and most of all learn to love myself. That’s very important in a marriage; there are so many women who are not confident in who they are and become very insecure. If you can be confident in who you are then you can feel comfortable with the one you love.
For more from Yvonne Galindo, please visit her blog.
When we experience traumatic or difficult times we tend to believe that no one understands us or what we are going through. We keep our troubles and our struggles to our self and we believe that we are alone. Fortunately, we are not alone. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says that nothing is new under the sun. I think that means that no matter what I am going through, someone has had an identical or similar experience. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reminds us that two are better than one: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.
We were not designed to walk life out alone. The moment we believe we are alone is the very same moment that hope begins to fade, because we innately know that we are better together.
Look at Elijah the prophet in 1 Kings 18 and 19. He had just called down fire from heaven, converted an entire city into believing in God again, and his prayers ended a three year drought. But when Jezebel vowed to kill him he instantly believed that he was the last-standing prophet. Elijah was not the sole prophet and he was not the only prophet fearing for his life. He had recently met Obadiah and Obadiah told Elijah that he had hidden and fed 100 prophets to protect them from Jezebel. Yet in the midst of the trauma and fear Elijah convinced himself that he was alone. Twice he tells God “I, even I only, am left,” and he asks God to end his life. God reminded Elijah that there were 7,000 people that had not worshipped Baal. God reminded Elijah that he was not alone and instructed him to go anoint Elisha. Elisha remained with Elijah until the very end and Elisha faithfully assisted him even when Elijah tried to get rid of him. Elijah was never alone again.
When I start to feel that I am alone I get dramatic, self-pity sets in, and hope dissipates. Recently, I was freaking out and on the verge of a breakdown because I realized I was not good at maintaining relationships or expressing love. This little epiphany snowballed into: “how can I call myself a Christian if I can’t love? No wonder I’m not good at sales, I will never be a good minister because I’m clearly not a people person, I’m going to be horrible wife, I won’t be able to make a difference, no wonder no one understands me, why can’t I be like sister sunshine.” For two weeks straight these poisonous thoughts plagued me. Guess what? There was no one to encourage me because I refused to confide in anyone. I had convinced myself that I was the only person with this problem and that no one would understand. God could not encourage me because I was too busy trying to convince Him to choose someone else.
Then, by the grace of God, a friend of mine was vulnerable with me regarding her personal goals. Because she was transparent, when she asked how I was doing I decided not to give the standard “busy” or “good.” I told her that I was freaking out because I was horrible at maintaining relationships. To my surprise she shared that she and few friends had been talking about wanting to build stronger relationships. Then she offered to help me improve my relationship building skills. Suddenly the burden was lifted because I knew that I was not the only one struggling in this area and I had help. Immediately light rays of hope dispelled the darkness of doubt and loneliness.
As the young people say “the struggle is real.” But you can overcome the struggle faster with God, and with the people He has placed in your life. You are not alone.
Written by Remaliah Evans. If you would like to reach out to Remaliah, you can contact her here.