“I KNOW! YOU DON’T NEED TO RUB IT IN!  Why do you think I’m playing this stupid game anyways?”  I yelled at the little white, wiggling  “balance board”  icon touting my fatness all over the flat screen. (WHY do we have such a big screen anyways? To validate my shame?)

Watching the little scale weigh my tired, sore body and then pronounce the fact I already knew, infuriated me for some reason. It caused an immediate craving for chocolate, with a chips and salsa chaser.  (My perfect vortex of junk food..one bite tries to balance out the other.. spicey, hot and salty calls for a dousing of sweet creamy chocolate.. you just can’t STOP!)  For just a minute, I considered stepping off and retreating to my happy kitchen.  Or at least, to the comfy and rarely snarky; couch. 

Instead, I clicked through to “aerobics.”  I huffed and puffed through that first 3 minute run like a brownie overloaded, Thomas the Tank Engine working a steep hill.  I thought I might die.  I didn’t.

 I clicked to do it again.  I struggled to keep up with the little dog with an arrow over his head. I googled to see if there was a “leash cheat” that would attach that stupid dog to my Mii and pull me along.. there wasn’t. I got annoyed when the screen told me how un-steady my pace was.  Again, I considered running straight to the kitchen.  Again: I didn’t.

That was two weeks ago today.  That first day on the Wii Fit I struggled with 6 minutes of running. (Albeit in place) Yesterday? I managed 30 minutes, with much less angst. I barely fantasized about leashes, cheats or chocolate.  I’m starting to have more energy.  I even managed to work in some yoga.  (Which is apparently, hilarious to watch- according to my kids. So glad I can still make them laugh.. even if it’s at ME.  No worries, I’ll get them back.)

Theoretically, it takes 21-30 days to build a new habit… I think I just might make it. I’ll tell you this: exercise changes my attitude towars food.. instead of  “OHHH YUMMY”.. I say: “Ohh.. is that worth extra time in the tree-pose?”  Most of the time the answer is a resounding NO.

So far, I’d say- Wii Fit is a great fitness tool for moms.  There is flexibility to keep you from becoming bored.  There is minimal set up and it doesn’t take over your house the way a treadmillof other exercise equipment does. The cost isn’t exorbitant. (I got a deal through Amazon- a returned- open box  item for about $80- I only waited about a week fo it to come in stock and be shipped..)  And you don’t need childcare.  My youngest not only thinks it’s cool, but works out with me. Which is fun.  (Except when he tells me I look like a tree frog instead of a tree, and laughs at certain bouncy parts of me…that, I could do without.)

My goal is to get fit enough to be able to run outside. (Currently the extra weight I’m carrying makes my asthma worse outside- especially in the cold. Not to mention my vanity..about running in my fat girl sweats in public.. but I digress..) I’m also hoping to improve  my sanity, so that I eventually I won’t be arguing with the Wii.  Also: I want my haircut like my Mii.  Am I asking too much? 

Maybe.. But, I’m thinking the Wii Fit just might be able to deliver.

Interesting.. when I started this Lenten Journey I had no idea that taking better care of myself would be part of it.. I wonder where else it will lead?


Yoga looked so easy and relaxing,  until I tried it.

“Breathe, maintain your center of balance, lift one foot, using your hand and place it on your opposite thigh, knee turned out.  Bring hands together, front centered..” 

So begins the instructions for the Yoga practice known as the Tree pose.   It sounds simple enough and not the least bit dangerous or even painful.  IT LIES.

Yoga is about maintaining body centeredness, core stability and deep breathing.  This should be RELAXING.  Umm.. Hello.  IT IS NOT. (At least, not so far). 

Maybe it’s because I’m using the Wii Fit Yoga method…Maybe I’m doing it wrong. Maybe it’s because my yoga partner is a 6 year old who giggles while I wobble.  I’m not sure WHY, but I KNOW I do not look like the pics and videos I’ve been viewing. 

The yoga instructors look calm and relaxed- my face is scrunched up in a mix of: concentration and pain while sweat is dripping down my back .  The yoga instructor looks serene and stands elegantly motionless.  My ankles shake and I sway like a top heavy sapling in it’s first summer storm.

In the Yoga class of life I may be more tree-frog than tree pose, but I’m  making progress. During this lenten season- I’ve felt that I needed to add things into my life that would nourish and care for the life that God has given me.  An aspect of my life that has been long neglected is the physical aspect..

I’ve started 3 simple things:

1)  Eating food, not products.

2)  Feeding myself instead of starving myself until I’m ravenous and then stuffing myself.

3)  Exercising to strengthen my body for service.

I used to run. ALOT.  I miss the rhythm and the meditational quality of running, what I don’t miss is my former obsession with it.  I’d like to learn to run in moderation.  I’ve set a small goal: to run a 5 k race.   I’m starting slowly- and am adding other forms of exercise to balance out my exercise schedule.

 I may be a tree-frog now— but I’ll be a strong deeply rooted tree , eventually.  This is the scripture I’m meditating on while my ankles shake and I struggle to maintain the tree pose:

Psalm 1:3 (New International Version)

 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
       which yields its fruit in season
       and whose leaf does not wither.
       Whatever he does prospers.

Dear Lord- I want to care for all that you’ve given- mind body and spirit..please help me to honor you by being a stewart that cares well for your gifts, oh.. and Lord?  Could you hold me still duing the tree pose?  I’m having a little trouble with that!  amen

Fast- I get– I live my LIFE in the FAST mode, partly due to ADD and partly due to being the mom of 3 boys.  But this week- my lenten journey has led me to explore the biblical concept of fasting.  I thought I had that down pat. Let’s just say:  Not so much. 

To be honest- I found last weeks challenge of prayer and meditation much easier. This weeks challenges are really pushing my buttons and I’m just beginning to figure out why.

Sunday- Fast from avoiding God’s presense.

Monday- Fast from all negative expression- (attitude, conduct or speech)

Tuesday- Fast from all non work related media (ipod, internet, TV magazines email, radio, etc)

Wednesday- a fast from food to be broken together at the communion table.

Thursday- Fast from a negative habit.

Friday- Fast from all unnecessary spending.

Saturday- Self directed fast.

Sunday went fine- avoiding God’s presense is only something I do ocassionally, I even focused on Jesus.   Whom I sometimes tend to sidestep around because His grace is just too much sometimes..

Monday was much harder. I lasted 13.5 seconds when I became critical of the coffeepot for not BREWING FASTER.  I DID manage to be less VERBALLY negative— but inside?  My brain was in rare form. 

Tuesday- I managed to cut down on but not fast from. Today- I felt that my conviction that I needed to start feeding my body instead of stuffing and starving it needed to take precedence. I ate breakfast.

I’m considering my negative habit options for tomorrow- I have several- the hard part will be in CHOOSING just one.

Looking over the list- it isn’t really the THINGS I’ve been asked to give up that have been the problem. It’s that some person has “decided for me” what my sacrifices should be.  It riles up every bit my:  “You’re not the boss of me” attitude.

At first- I thought it was about the decision maker.  “Who do they think they are? ” But in truth- I’d have responded the same to anyone. I am convinced that this journey was supposed to be taken with little preparation on my own part. I was supposed to travel lightly and follow where it led, instead my stubbornness is getting in the way.  It comes down to submission.  Something I tend to AVOID as if it were fatal.  I suppose, in a way it is.  It’s dying to or of self.. something I tend to still after all these years, protect.

Today I’m praying in a new way- I’m praying that I would begin to see submission not as a punishment, challenge or torture-(that’s pretty much how it feels to me)- but as my personal SUB- MISSION.   (part of my mission)

I know I am called to live out my journey with God where ever it leads… I am deeply committed to a  mission to share that experience with others through relationships. What if I became equally committed to submission as my personal sub- mission? 

I wonder what would happen?

Well- for one thing- I wouldn’t have been on facebook yesterday!  Oops:)

Dear Lord- I am always disappointed when my strong will gets in the way of sumbission to you.. This week I’ve let my feelings about submitting to a human get inbetween you and I- I’m sorry Lord.  God help me to learn to submit- engrave it on my heart as my sub-mission- help me to be as passionate about that as I am abuot sharing my journey.  God, help me to submit first to you and then to those you place in authority over me.. I love you Lord- and am so glad you are patient.  BTW- Lord?  You ARE the boss of me.. and I love you.  Amen.

I am one of those people who needs to have an editor- I tend to ramble… too bad you can’t hire editors to speak for you– they only deal in written words!Today- Lent has lead me to “pray for a forgiving heart”  The scripture comes from Jesus’ warning to those who tend to “orate” in prayer and pray as if it were a theatrical production.. he has helped us to ‘edit” our prayers- not to limit us,, but to show us what really matters.

Matthew 6: 9-13

7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

 9“This, then, is how you should pray:
   ” ‘Our Father in heaven,
   hallowed be your name,
 10your kingdom come,
   your will be done
      on earth as it is in heaven.
 11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
      as we also have forgiven our debtors.

 13And lead us not into temptation,
   but deliver us from the evil one.[a]

14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.


The debts here- are not economic debts.  They are debts of the heart. Debts incurred through sin.  Sin is simply- missing the mark. Something we are each prone to do because of our own imperfection.  There is no bailout or stimulus package that can provide relief- only forgiveness.

The last part of this scripture holds a warning- we are forgiven.. and so we MUST forgive others. God’s only expectation is that we don’t hoarde forgiveness to ourselves.. but freely share it with those who sin against us. 

This is hard- people have hurt me… I don’t WANT to forgive them.. I want to punish them.  I doubt I’m the only one who struggles with those feelings.  Is Jesus telling me not to be angry?  Is Jesus telling me not to be hurt?  Is he telling me to forget what people have done? 

It doesn’t seem so.  I up looked Forgiveness.  It isn’t a directive on feelings- it’s a directive on actions.  The connotations mean “to set down one’s right to retaliate” .  There are lots of ways to retaliate when someone sins.. passive agressive ways.. agressive ways… no matter how subtle- they must be set aside.  I have to choose not to use them.

Why should I?  People aren’t fair.  People do things that are WRONG.  Why should I have to forgive?  The answer is simple:  Because I HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN. Jesus paid the ultimate price for my sin.. and in return, I am only requested to set down my right to retaliate.  I am asked to forgive.  Isn’t that the least I can do?  It may be the least- but it’s also: hard. I’ll need His help.

Today- I’m praying for a forgiving heart.  But first- I’m thanking Him for forgiving me- so very much.  Today- Into my Lenten Journey’s  bag goes the simple prayer that Jesus offered me… the “Our Father” of generations of followers before me.. that is my prayer.

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”  2 Chronicles 16:9

My Lenten journey leads me to “To pray for a willing heart” today.   To be honest- I’m more of a “willfully” hearted, kind of girl.  It would be safe to say, that once I get an idea into my head.. I’m GOING to find a way to make it happen, or die trying.  This isn’t ALWAYS a bad thing… but sometimes.. it causes trouble…

Like the time I got it into my head to wallpaper the the bathroom. Nothing drastic.. just a simple border at the ceiling… a tiny room, my husband hadn’t gotten around to it yet.. so I decided to do it MYSELF.  IMMEDIATELY.

I was fine standing on a kitchen chair, arms spread, holding a 6 foot length of border at the ceiling while smoothing it flat- I made it 3/4s of the way around without trauma.

That is, until I got to the part that went around the bathtub.   Have you ever placed a kitchen chair in a bathtub and then tried to PRESS a long strip of wallpaper border to the ceiling?  Well- the leaning forward and pressing with arms outstretched.. tends to SLIIIIIDE the chair backwards on the slippery surface of the tub.  You end up precariously perched on the edge of the chair, leaning as far forward as possible with all your weight holding up the border so that it doesn’t slide back down the wall in a slippery mess. You cannot get off the chair to move it forward again- or the border will fall down. Even if you do,  the chair will immediately slide backwards: AGAIN.

Hours later,  your husband will come home and he will find your strained and sore body still standing there- holding up the border.  He will laugh and offer to help. You will be tempted to cry, but instead will say “I can do it MYSELF.” Then, you will finish the job under the influence of ibuprophen and stubbornness.  That night you will sleep like a statue tossed under the covers- arms stiff and unable to bend, the covers will tent your shame, albeit ineffectively.

Looking back- I should have waited, at the very least, I should have accepted the help.  But my strong will had become engaged, I was on a mission- like a toddler trying to “do it myself”  I made a mess.  I was also making a point.  I was angry that what I’d wanted done, hadn’t been done. I played the martyr role- and ended up sacrificed on the altar of my own will- I paid a painful price, but fortunately it was just in soreness.  Other battles of my will haven’t been as casualty free.

In my journey with God- I get into similar scrapes.  Most often, the trouble happens when I get an idea and go into full on  mission mode, without so much as asking to see if that mission was part of the journey God has planned for me.  By the time I slow down long enough to consider it– I’m in knee deep and struggling.

The scripture reference reminds me that the Lord looks for those fully committed to Him.. to strengthen them…

What does being fully committed to something mean?


Committed  I get- the bathroom scene is just one picture in the scrapbook of my strong-willed life scrapbook. It shows my level of commitment to follow through with a plan.
The question is- am I committed to MY PLANS or God’s?  Better yet- am I committed to plans- or to HIM? Standing on that bathroom chair- sliding across the tub, it was pretty evident… I was committed to my own plan, and my plan wasn’t working.
Today, I’m praying to become more WILL-ING than WILL-FUL…. funny the difference that 3 tiny letters can make- isn’t it?
“Dear Lord- I ask you to take my offering of willfulness- and make it into a willingness- a willingness to do and be WHATEVER you plan.. I love you Lord- and will need your help– because I tend to get in my own way in this area! Amen”

“Blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God.”  Matthew 5:8

I blinked. I blinked again.  I squinted.  I strained to see, but what I could see looked more like an impressionist’s rendering of my bedroom than what I knew it to be. Everything was hazed and bleary.

I made my way downstairs, wondering if it was finally time to break down and get the bi-focals.  I sipped my coffee, continuing to squint while I watched the news.  Right about the time the caffeine kicked in, I took off my glasses to rub my eyes in a last ditch attempt to save my vanity from death by- bifocal… suddenly everything was clear.

I looked at my glasses… they were smeared and smudged from tiny fingers… apparently my 6 year old “helper” had brought them upstairs.  I took them to the kitchen and carefully cleaned the lenses.  I slipped them back on.  Everything became clear and sharp.  I could see.

I settled onto the couch to continue my Lenten journey- today’s direction was -simple.  “Pray for a pure heart. Read: Matthew 5:8”  But I wondered at it’s meaning.

Purity is a word our culture seems to save for marketing and sexual abstinence.  It isn’t  a word often used outside of those contexts.  What does purity meant in this context?  I took a few minutes to look it up.  The commentary mentions Psalm 73 for further study

Between the commentaries and the scripture here is what I’ve discovered:  

1) To be pure in heart gives one the ability to see God.

2) To be pure in heart means to rely on Him alone.

3) To be pure in heart means  to be without blemish or sin.

These are things I desire.. but things I can’t accomplish.  I walk through my days with eyes glazed by sin and distracted by things that I think I can rely on outside of God… they smear my sight like the fingerprints on my eye-glass lenses.  Even when I recognize them for what they are.. I can do little to clear them from my vision. I squint and blink, trying to see clearly,  it doesn’t work.

I try to clear them with what I have, my own dirty fingers.. I smear and haze them all the more. I can’t use something dirty to clear something.. I need something clean- pure.  I need God’s help.

Today- I’m praying for a pure heart.. one that can see God.. one that has embraced His power to cleanse and clear- the only power that can… and I’m praying to see God… how amazing would that be?

I’m taking time to finish a chemo cap for my mom’s friend today.. while I knit, I’ll be meditating on God’s purity and will be praying that God would cleanse and purify my heart..I wonder what I’ll see with clear vision?   I’ll also be praying that he would cleanse her body of sickness…

I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me tomorrow…