All about Posture

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

image via Mandy Reid Instagram

Have you ever sat and thought about how amazing (and kind of weird) bodies are?  We have a skeleton of bones inside our body that literally holds us up.  It bears the weight of our muscles, it holds everything together, it keeps us from being giant piles of mush (that’s a weird mental image) and it allows us to move.  We have a bunch of organs that help us eat, breathe, pump blood through our bodies.  We have a maze of veins that transports blood throughout the entire body.  And we have a giant organ of flesh that keeps the package all together.  And that’s just scratching the surface.  The more and more I think about it, the more I’m in awe of my body and the Creator who made it from dust.

The truth about my body is that I have somewhat of a “special” skeleton  - I prefer to call it weird, but in thankfulness knowing that God gave me good bones, I will call it special.  Over the past 4 years I’ve been greeted by a few issues in relation to this special body – a painful clavicle, shooting spasms in my lower back, and my latest and greatest discovery, an entrapped ulna nerve causing issues in my pinky fingers.  None of these are life threatening, praise God, and so far each ailment is correctable with exercise and changes in how I operate.  But here’s the underlying issue that I’ve discovered – each one has to do with my posture. 

I never would’ve considered myself someone with bad posture.  I don’t slump over a ton.  I try to stand up straight.  And I work out regularly to try to support these bones.  But I've become incredibly aware that the secret to better wellness and a happy body is really good posture. Spending some time in our garden, or lack-there-of, and taking breaks to stretch from the crouched over position, I got to thinking about how extremely important the practice of good posture is both physically and spiritually.

Living with bad posture – I’ve basically been saying to my body, “I want to be lazy and slouch over, I want to be able to lock my knees, to scrunch my shoulders when I’m stressed - I don’t want to do the work of good posture.  But, can you please not hurt? Can you feel loose, and free, and flexible for me?  Why can’t you just be “normal” and work?” 

Thinking about it that way, I’ve realized that too often I have this same attitude towards the Lord.  It's as if I’m saying,  “God, I want to be lazy, to watch TV instead of reading my bible, to sleep in and go to church next week, to fill up every minute with busyness and all the social events on my calendar.  But, can you please bless me?  Can you help me figure out which job I should take?  Ugh, I am anxious, can you please bring me peace?”

Just like our bodies can’t be well without the diligence of practicing good posture, our hearts can’t be healthy without changing our posture towards the Lord. 

At the Influence Conference (which I can’t wait to tell you more about), multiple women talked about literally sitting in a way that encourages this attitude.  Sitting tall, placing our feet solid, rooting them into the ground, laying our hands on our knees with palms facing up, and closing our eyes, we created a body language, a physical representation of what our hearts we're saying – Lord we're here, we're listening.  This may sound a bit cooky, or too yoga-ish if you’re not a fan of yoga, but it’s a great way to remember that everything we do – even the way we position our bodies plays a role in our focus, in our ability to put Him first. 

As far as my physical body goes, I know what posture it needs to keep my muscles from straining in odd positions and allow my nerves the space they need to glide freely.  Standing tall, keeping my shoulders back, planting my feet evenly on the ground, and keeping my joints from hyperextending as they would prefer to do, are all requirements for my body if I want to feel better.  I’ve seen the incredible difference it makes, so I’m working really hard to position my body this way. 

Well it’s the same with our relationship with the Lord. If we want to experience God in the fullest way, then we have to put ourselves in a posture to do so.  Being in the word every day, taking time away from the social media craziness and just being quiet, spending time in prayer, going to church, studying the word with fellow Christ-followers, changing our focus to Him, is what we need to fully experience and glorify the Lord.

I really want to emanate Jesus.  I want to be so full of His joy that it’s evident in the way I conduct myself, how I speak, and how I influence others.  So I must work on my posture towards Him. 

Just like when I am bathing in the summer sun, and arranging my lounge chair so that I am directly facing the sun – I want to arrange myself in a way that I am directly facing Him so that I might reflect who He is. 

I love how God uses anything and everything to teach us more about Him – I am so thankful for my crazy body and what I learned about posture as a result. If you too are one who struggles with posture (physically and spiritually), I’m here for you!  Let’s work on this together, so that we might better glorify Him. 


P.S. The image above is from Mandy Reid's Instagram. I love her feed -she's a yoga instructor who loves Jesus.  So her posts are super encouraging and challenging and all things yoga, not to mention they are beautiful images!  Go check her out @mandyreidyoga


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Quiet is a weird thing.  Suddenly you can hear noises you wouldn't otherwise notice.  The hum of the refrigerator, the creak of the wall, the whir of the cars driving by, the ticking of your watch, the slap of your cat's tongue drinking water out of his bowl.  You discover that the quiet is quite noisy, yet peaceful.

That's how my house feels tonight.  Coming off of weeks of busyness I can honestly say this is the first time in far too long that I've even noticed the quiet.  With a husband out of town and nothing on the agenda I'm sitting on the couch watching my cat climb into the fort I made him just cause I thought it'd be fun (yeah I'm special, and maybe a cat lady... oh well) and I'm feeling the quiet.  Throughout these busy weeks full of social activities, household tasks, and a good chunk of writing I remember saying to my husband, oh man I feel like I need a break!  And tonight, as I am experiencing this break, I'm struggling between the joy of doing absolutely nothing and the odd complexity of the feeling of sadness as I sit here in an empty house.

Reading in a book called Kingdom Come by Allen Wakabayashi,  I ran across this quote about spiritual disciplines - "Spiritual disciplines are disciplines that provide places and times for the Holy Spirit to work in us and equip us for kingdom service.”  Thinking about this quote and my struggle with the quiet, I can't help but think how little emphasis I give this truth in my life.  I have been SO busy lately, working on so many things - things that in and of themselves are good and are for the goal of the proclaiming the name of Jesus and yet I've neglected to just sit, be quiet and provide time for my heart to be filled by Him.

Lately, I've been leaning into the Lord for me.  Continuing to struggle with this issue with my pinky fingers and just wanting them to work like a normal person, feeling like my eyes have been an issue with being at the computer so much (sometimes I really think I might be 90), and pouring my heart into a message I'm writing as I prepare to speak at a college ministry next week, I have been coming to the Lord saying, "Hey God, here is what I'm doing, here is what I'm struggling with, can you help me?"  While there's nothing wrong with this attitude as I am seeking Him, it's still less than I want to be doing.

I want to be pursuing Him wholeheartedly when I feel I need Him and when I don't.  It's sad how desperation can drive us to realize we are nothing without Him, but then when we feel semi-normal again we act as if we can do life all on our own.  I hate to admit that I operate like that.  But, I do.

I want to lean into the Lord in a desperate, soul-thirsty sort of way no matter what I'm going through, good or bad.  And I think an important piece of that is making room for the quiet.  Putting the cell phone away, stepping away from the social scene, and shutting out the rest of the world (even our loved ones), is such a valuable practice to allow the Holy Spirit the opportunity to feed our souls and encourage us to keep coming back for more.

This is something that I need to get better at.  It takes moments like these where by chance I'm here in the quiet, to make me realize how energizing and how necessary it is for my soul.  As I move forward into the rest of this evening, and into a crazy week ahead I really need to cling to this memory and reminder that while quiet may be difficult to prioritize, difficult to create, it is so so worth it.

As you're going about your weekend, whether in the crazy or in the quiet - I am praying that you recognize the Lord's presence with you and that you'd lean into Him, prioritizing Him wherever you may be.


Thanks for being patient with me as I've been MIA from lovemin for a little while.  I look forward to getting back into a rhythm as soon as time allows.  If you think of me, can you pray for me?  I have a big week ahead with speaking at a local College Ministry and heading off to the Influence Conference  (which I am praying will be so fulfilling and energizing).

Much love

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