“Mommy, I want to exercise with you” I hear from my daughter daily as I pull out my exercise equipment. If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know that I am a huge fitness advocate. On any given day you will find me lifting weights, riding a bike or even running a 5K. Fitness has become a huge passion of mine and the longer that I participate in those activities, the more the Lord teaches me about Himself and about life. In fact, I recently wrote an entire series about this called Running the Race if you want to check it out.
This month’s kit from Creative Retreat has us camped out in the familiar words of Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Each of us are called to run – with endurance – the race of life that is before us. With ENDURANCE. Have you ever looked up the definition of endurance? It means, the ability to endure a difficult situation without giving way. It is the ability of someone or something to remain active for a long period of time while gaining immunity to fatigue. Wow. So, the more that we run, the more immune we get to it. Our body adapts to it and what used to seem so difficult, isn’t so difficult anymore.
My kids always laugh at me when I’m exercising because I’m pretty vocal when my muscles start to burn. Of course, then my 7 year old will pipe up, “Don’t quit, mom. Persevere. (Thank you kindergarten curriculum for instilling this precious truth into my child that is now coming back to haunt me! Ha!) But the more that I exercise, the more that my body adapts to it and makes the activity seem easier. My heart, my lungs and my muscles are gaining endurance. And while that’s ok for a season, I have to continually make the exercise harder so that my strength and my endurance will grow. And while I am doing all this….my kids are watching me. They are learning indirectly about what it means to get stronger and healthier. My attitude towards exercise and eating right and the way that I approach it with my words is making a huge statement in my kids’ lives about what it means to be healthy and strong.
And guys, spiritually, it is the same way. Our kids (or friends’ kids or nieces and nephews, etc) are watching us. They are watching the way that we run our race. They are watching how we spend our time and how we treat other people. They are watching how we serve others and our attitude towards doing it. They are watching us during the most difficult times in our lives to see how we handle it. They are watching whether or not we live out what we say we believe and (wait for it…), they are listening to every word that we say. The best thing that we can do for the generation behind us, is to be a faithful, determined, steadfast follower of Christ who fully trusts Him in all situations. I wish I could sit here and tell you that it’s easy. But have you seen the world around us lately? Holding fast to the truth and honoring God with our words and our choices is becoming more difficult as the days go on. But when my days here are over, I want to know that I have left a legacy behind me that my children would be proud to follow. I want my kids to say of me more than anything else, yes, my mom loved Jesus and she was determined to honor Him and serve Him in all she did.
I’m going to leave you with this old song from Steve Green. Give it a listen and let it encourage you today.
I started this page by printing the Victorious faith-filled digitals onto both cardstock and clear sticker paper. Using various elements, I created a collage at the bottom of the page with the picture of my kids as the center. I then pieced the words together with the Alpha stickers from the kit and filled in a few of the blank spaces with the stars and swirlies (is that a word?!?) from the stamp. You can grab this kit, in the physical or digital form here.