Walking Through the Pain

I’ve been walking through some significant pain this week – the kind of pain that just makes you want to up and quit altogether!  My legs ache with extra fluid, keeping me awake at night.

The pain started when I tried to push a little too hard with my workout routine.

Instead of my typical brisk walking, I thought I would jog in intervals, just for a few minutes at a time. I want to reach that goal-line so badly on this weight-loss journey, and picking up the pace seemed like a good idea at the time.

Even though my knees didn’t hurt at all while I was walk/jogging, the pain the next day made me unable to even walk up steps with my left knee at all.  Ever since, I’ve been walking through the pain but the injury has certainly slowed me down. Now I have to walk longer just to reach my Fitbit step goal, let alone get in extra mileage.

I’m fighting weight-loss discouragement.

I thought I was strong enough, but I became impatient and pushed a little too hard to reach my goals.

I ran ahead in the journey, so to speak.

Walking Through Pain 1, walking-through-pain-in-life, trials, discouragement, persevering, weight-loss journey

We often walk through pain in life, not just physical pain, but emotional and spiritual pain, also. In fact, the Word tells us to expect it!

 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you..” 1 Peter 4:12

Yes, that’s often how it feels at first, isn’t it – a strange thing? We’re walking down the path of life and suddenly an insurmountable obstacle stands in our way!

And because we dislike pain, we try to rush the process in order to escape the difficulty. We want a quick fix! Amen? :)

Or perhaps in our attempt to rush, we start pretending that there is no pain – there is no problem. We deny the truth of where we stand in our journey because we so desperately want to be further along in the process. We don’t want to keep persevering. Instead, we want to be able to say, “I have overcome!”

So we buy into the lie.

We hide our heads in the sand; we put on our rose colored glasses and call sin and self-reliance “okay.” We convince ourselves that we’re okay, they’re okay, it’s okay – whatever the situation might be.

Walking Through Pain, persevereing, weight-loss journey, trials in life, walking through a painful trial, suffering, keeping our eyes on Jesus in the midst of trial, waiting on the Lord

But often the fix isn’t quick. Often the lesson drags out and pain is prolonged.

Sometimes the best way forward is to take a step back, to slow down long enough to build some real spiritual muscle.

When we deceive ourselves into believing we are further ahead than we really are in our current trial, we step into dangerous territory. We open ourselves to injury or to trickery on behalf of the Enemy. The best way for him to ensnare us is to convince us that the way ahead is clear, is it not? To keep us from crying out to our Father for rescue?

The trick is not to be defeated by the pain, but to persevere in spite of it. Not to be deceived by sin nature nor the Enemy, but to humble ourselves before the Lord and allow Him to lift us up in the proper time.

“…but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” 1 Peter 4:13

We must slow down enough to build the muscle, but not enough to the point of quitting altogether.

We must be truthful about where we are at, so that we can look to our Savior for the grace and strength to get where we want to be. Wait for the Lord to signal “full steam ahead!”

We may not get “there” as quickly as we’d like to. We may take two steps forward and one back, but we will reach our destination eventually as long as we stay focused on the Sustainer of Life!

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

My sisters in Christ, let’s be content with the pace the Father sets for us. Let’s not rush ahead of the lesson. Let’s not grow weary in doing good nor grow discouraged by setbacks. Instead, let’s persevere in this journey.

Run that race.

Walk that race.

Whatever your pace may be,

Keep pressing on!

Jen :)

Sharing with: Grace and Truth, A Look at the Book

~ Grace and Truth Week 14

Hello, faithful readers! I’m so thankful to have made it through to Friday once again – anyone else? :) I’m also thankful for a bit of a slower pace this week, whew!

In last week’s link-up I came across an excellent resource to share with you all. As a mom of four and a pastor’s wife, I’m always on the hunt for free learning resources to use either at home, in Sunday School, or at AWANA.

Debbie from Bible Fun For Kids provides an abundance of Bible lesson printables for free on her blog! The post she shared last week was actually written by her daughter, who also creates Bible lessons. They share how to effectively use Bible task cards (I had never heard of these before!) in a Bible class. Visit Debbie’s blog and learn how to use these free resources in your own home, school, or church!

Thanks for sharing such a great learning resource with us, Debbie! I already have plans to use some both at home and at church.

Don’t forget to take time to read some encouraging words from others in the link-up and if you have time, leave them an encouraging comment.

See you in the link-up,

Jen :)

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Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

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The Relief of the Fitbit Buzz

Relief – a de-burdening of sorts. A happiness that follows difficulty or worry.

I know it sounds silly, but this weight loss journey has been no easy thing thus far. The bad thing about that is it makes me want to give up – yes, already I want to give up some days.  The good thing about wanting to give up and knowing that I cannot, I just cannot, is that it draws me nearer to the Lord.

It’s no small thing that His word for me this year is persevere. Because lately every single day when it’s time to go for a walk, I have to push through this mental block.

I just don’t want to go for a walk today. My knees hurt, so I should rest. I don’t feel like it because I’m so tired. Maybe I can skip today and just work harder tomorrow. 

The thing is, I know that if I make excuses for one too many days, I’ll have fallen off of the healthy wagon again. And I can’t fall off again, at least not for good. This is the year, friends, that I persevere, that I rely on the Lord and His power to carry me through, no. matter. what.

There is no giving up this time around. 

And on most days when I’m walking harder and longer not because I want to, but because I need to, I’m just waiting. I’m waiting for my Fitbit (read “really cool pedometer”) to buzz.
I’m waiting for that sweet relief that says I’ve made it. I met my step goal for the day. I persevered through those 2 miles or 3 miles, or whatever mileage it takes to get me to that point.

It’s a relief.

And even though it seems silly, it means something to me!

I’m ten pounds in now, with a long, long way to go. But I’m learning more and more that He’s with me each step of the way. He provides the strength. He provides the nudge to get up and move. He provides the encouragement. He provides the will to persevere.

Relief of the Fitbit Buzz, follow me, persevere, weight-loss journey

And I just follow. It’s what we were born to do, really.

For His glory!

Jen :)

I’m joining my Five Minute Friday friends again this week (albeit a day late!). We gather at Kate’s place and free-write for five minutes with no planning, no over-thinking, no editing – just words. Come join us if you like!

Also sharing with: Grace and Truth

Disclosure: this post makes use of affiliate links. For more information about my affiliate status, please visit the About page. Thanks! :)

 

Calm in the Chaos ~ Grace and Truth Week 13

It’s another week of busyness here with track meets to attend and school events to organize and workouts to complete and… and… and. I know you know what I’m talking about – ALL the busyness that can lead to us to a place of feeling a bit overwhelmed. :)

And I look ahead at my calendar and see commitments I made months ago backing up to each other….sigh.  It would be easy to say, “I can’t.” But I know that’s already true, isn’t it? I can’t; He can!

So maybe you’re feeling a little overwhelmed this week, too, my sisters in Christ?  If so, join with me. I’m remembering what I wrote a couple of weeks ago about finding rest in Jesus.  He keeps bringing those words to mind this week and provides calm in the chaos.

I don’t have a feature this week, so I hope you’ll find a favorite in the link-up below. Feel free to share with me in the comments if you find one that just really speaks to you!

In Christ,

Jen :)

 

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Satisfaction Through Christ
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Arabah Joy
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A Divine Encounter
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Being Confident of This
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2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

In order to be featured next week:

5.) Grab a button or link back to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

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On Good Friday ~ Grace and Truth Week 12

This week has been busy, busy, busy. I’m sure many of you can relate! Last Saturday we finally walked the 5K race I’ve been working toward. I’m so thankful for all of you who prayed for strong knees and good health. I did, in fact, get a cold from our children earlier in the week, but it wasn’t bad enough to affect me in any major ways.

Yes, the hill was just as big (BIGGER!) than I remembered, but I was thankful for my “training” because I knew I could do it. I had to keep reminding myself of that fact, and keep focusing my eyes on the few steps in front of me instead of the distant top. :)

We finished in decent time, considering the freezing temps and giant hill. I look forward to scheduling another 5K to keep us on track!

One thing that has been on my mind often since our break last week is Good Friday. I’ve been reminded over and over again of the suffering Jesus endured and the power for abundant life that resulted from His sacrifice.

So, I really enjoyed Heather’s post this week – a poem about Good Friday and our perfect sacrifice.  Be sure to stop by her blog, My Overflowing Cup, and check it out!

I hope you all experience Jesus in new ways this Easter Sunday!

Jen :)

 

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Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

Meet Your Hosts

Satisfaction Through Christ
BLOG
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Kaylene Yoder
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

The Brown Tribe
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Arabah Joy
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | G+

A Divine Encounter
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | G+ | STUMBLEUPON

Being Confident of This
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Busy Being Blessed
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Sharing Redemption’s Stories
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Grace&Truth-Rules2

1.) Follow your hosts via their blog and/or social media channels. This is not mandatory, but appreciated!

2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

In order to be featured next week:

5.) Grab a button or link back to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

6.) Each host will choose one link to feature and promote via their social media channels next week.

7.) By linking up you agree to allow the hosts to use your featured post image if you are chosen as a feature for next week.

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It Is Finished

“Yeah, tomorrow is Good Friday because you get a break from school,” our six-year-old daughter quips.

“No, sweetie, that’s not why we call it Good Friday. We call it Good Friday because that’s the day Jesus took our punishment by dying on the cross and paying for our sins,” I explain.

“Oh, that’s the day Jesus died?  That’s sad.” She grows solemn.

And we talk about it then, right there at the supper table, we talk about how He knew the suffering He would endure, yet He obeyed the Father anyways.

I think of them, His followers, the disciples, and how that day must have seemed anything but good to them. I think of the fear they must have experienced, the sorrow, the confusion. I wonder if they felt hopeless and helpless.

That’s what we humans do when the skies around us grow dark and suffering multiplies – we despair.

It’s our first response to most difficult situations. Like the disciples, we fail to look ahead, for we only see the present, the now.

Given the death and destruction of that day, some may wonder why we now call it Good Friday.  Certainly Jesus' followers wouldn't have called it a good day, yet today we call it Good Friday. Why? It Is Finished Thoughts on Good Friday

Yet on Good Friday we call the darkest day of their lives “good”  because we can see now what they could not then.

We have the broader perspective, the bigger picture. We understand that the pain, the suffering, the darkness and death that day brought were the beginnings of a bigger and brighter glory than any soul had ever known before!

But the death came first, before new life.

Isn’t it the same even now?

We must die to self in order to live for Him. And it’s scary and dark and painful, but it’s oh-so-necessary.

When we find ourselves on the other side, we can look back and call it “good.”

 

Given the death and destruction of that day, some may wonder why we now call it Good Friday.  Certainly Jesus' followers wouldn't have called it a good day, yet today we call it Good Friday. Why? It Is Finished Thoughts on Good Friday. Easter, Christianity, Faith, Christian Women, Christian posts, Christian encouragement, What's good about Good Friday?

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” Jn 10:9-11

On the other side of the cross painted red, we who believe can call that darkest, death-filled day Good Friday because…

with one fell swoop, one simple yet agonizing act of obedience, sin and death were defeated once and for all!

Given the death and destruction of that day, some may wonder why we now call it Good Friday.  Certainly Jesus' followers wouldn't have called it a good day, yet today we call it Good Friday. Why? It Is Finished Thoughts on Good Friday

So that we might know Him!

“It is Finished.”

Jen :)

I’m joining the Five Minute Friday crew this week!  We all gather at Kate Motaung’s place and free-write for five crazy minutes – no planning, no editing, no stressing. :)  Come join us if you like!

Also sharing with: Grace and Truth