F.I.T. for His Service

On Tuesday, I signed up for Camp Gladiator, a fitness program my super-fit niece attends. She’s been talking about it for months, and I’ve been watching her transformation with keen interest. My girl looks good, y’all. And she has a confidence in her eyes that’s new.

When I arrived in Louisiana in December, I was looking and feeling better than I have in years. I was just a pound or two away from dropping below 200 pounds. I was one size away from being out of the plus-size department. My weightloss came from three things: I quit drinking alcohol, I ate better, and I started exercising.

As I drove from Arizona to Louisiana, a friend who’d been a big encouragement in my fitness goals, texted me some powerful advice I vowed to live by.

Don’t let people love you into mediocrity. And don’t get comfortable.

While I started off strong, months and months of unemployment and an overwhelming desire to hide got the best of me. Long story short, I’ve put on 15 pounds since December. I feel cruddy from bad eating and very little exercise. (Still alcohol-free! I’ve got that going for me at least.)

Well, here’s the skinny—no pun indended. I’m not re-buying my fat clothes, and I’m not going to keep feeling cruddy.

Thus, I’m the new girl at Camp Gladiator. After my first workout on Tuesday, I woke up Wednesday so sore I couldn’t stand up without at least two minutes to work up the courage. And then there was sitting down. And bending down to get dressed. Have mercy! Put it this way, it’s a good thing I signed up for the program after the first workout. If I had waited ’til the next visit, there may not have been one.

Thursday morning, I woke up still sore but much more mobile. I made it to my second workout on-time and walking like a normal person. It felt good to see my coach grin when I walked through the door. He says it’s my job to show up and his job to help me reach my goals. I will show up, and I’ll do the work.

Because I am more successful with outside accountability and because I know God will teach me tons through this journey, I plan to post #fitnessfriday posts here on, wait for it, Fridays!

I don’t think God cares if we have washboard abs or bulging muscles. I don’t think He cares what size clothes we wear or how fast we can run. But I do know He cares about us being fit for His service. If I’m exhausted, sluggish and depressed, I can’t serve Him to the fullest. He deserves my fullest. And you know what? I deserve my fullest.

I know my own track record. If I think about it much, I’ll end up breaking my own record for quitting, so I’m going to replace those defeating thoughts with deliberate prayer. No better time to start than right now.


With sore muscles and a hopeful heart, I come to You to ask for some help. You know how broken-down I’ve been lately. You’ve heard my whines and woes. I know You want to help me, but first, you expect me to be obedient and wise in the way I live my life. I’ve been filling my body with junk and wasting away on the couch. I’ve taken too many backward steps in my life. My sore legs are a sign I’m back moving forward. Thank you for the strength to start. Help me continue, so I can be F.I.T. for Your service.

Fill me with strength to push myself.

Yes, my muscles are weak, but my mind is weaker. I need Your strength to tell myself “NO” when I want to let myself off the hook. I need Your strength to eat clean when my untrustworthy emotions try to convince me cheese enchiladas are the answer to my troubles. I need Your strength to love myself enough to take care of myself.

I can pray this in confidence because you promise to give “power to the weak, and to those who have no might [You increase] strength” (Isaiah 40:29 NKJV).

Infuse me with wisdom for a balanced life.

One thing I’ve learned in my topsy-turvy life: even good things can become idols. The last thing I need in my life is more things competing for my devotion. Only You, Lord. As I’m establishing new fitness and wellness habits, help me keep spiritual fitness my number one aim. I don’t want to spend more time on my grocery list than I do on my prayer list. I don’t want to spend more time reading fitness tips than I do reading Your Word. I don’t want to spend more time exercising my body than I do exercising my spirit. “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8 NIV). Give me wisdom on how to live a balanced life.

I can pray this in confidence because You promise,  “If [I lack] wisdom, [I] should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to [me]” (James 1:5 NIV).

Take me places I’ve never been before.

Lord, I feel like You have so much to show me and so many ways You want to use me for Your glory, but You can’t because I’m not ready. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be ready. Ready to learn all You want to teach me. Ready to go anywhere You want to send me. Ready to live out Your best for me rather than the limpy, lethargic life I’ve been living. Make me ready, Lord, for the adventure You’ve dreamed up for me.

I can pray this in confidence because You promise, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 GW). 

Thank you, Lord, for being everything I need. Thank you for filling me with strength, wisdom, and anticipation for the future You have for me as I become more fit for Your service.

In the name of Jesus, the One who died so my spirit could be free (and fit), AMEN

I hope you’ll join me here each Friday for my #fitnessfriday posts.  This journey will, no doubt, keep me praying without ceasing! If you haven’t subscribed to the blog yet, slip over to the right of the screen and enter your email address. 



Timing is Everything

A new friend just lost her husband a few weeks ago. On Mothers Day night, he died in his sleep leaving his wife and three daughters reeling. They were anticipating the youngest daughter’s graduation the following week. She graduated, but her daddy wasn’t there to hug her and beam with pride.

When I heard the news, compassion punched me in the gut, and a prayer tumbled from my lips. Oh, Lord, help them.

When tragedy strikes in someone’s life, it’s easy to remember to pray for them—at first. But with time, other concerns push what once felt urgent to the periphery of our minds. It sounds terrible, but I think it’s just the way we are.  It doesn’t mean we don’t care. We just get distracted by, well, life.

I don’t want to forget to pray for my friend, so I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to pray for her daily. Before I set the alarm, I thought carefully about what time to set it for. What time of day would a new widow need prayer the most?

I decided on 10:30 p.m. While I’ve never been a widow, I can imagine bedtime would be hard. Though my friend has to be strong and present for her daughters all day, when she closes her door at night, it’s just her and God and a half-empty bed.

I’m praying for her to feel God’s arms around her throughout the night. I’m praying for peace to be her pillow. I’m praying for those new-morning mercies to wake her up with hope each morning.

I won’t keep that alarm on my phone forever. One day, the Holy Spirit will prompt me to set an alarm for someone else. And that time, it might be set for 8:00 a.m. or straight-up noon or 3:30 p.m., depending on who it’s for.

Think about someone in your life who could use your daily prayers.

  • Maybe it’s a friend battling cancer, who feels weakest in the morning.
  • Maybe it’s your husband who has his most stressful meetings after lunch.
  • Maybe it’s your child who has his or her toughest class sixth hour.
  • Maybe it’s your mom who suffers from insomnia.
  • Maybe it’s a missionary who teaches a bible class every Wednesday at 3:00.

Set an alarm on your phone for that specific time your loved one needs God’s help and strength, and let the person know about it. I let my friend know of my prayer alarm, not to earn kudos from her but to assure her of my daily prayers. She didn’t object to the time I chose, so I think I hit the mark.

Don’t get me wrong. God hears our prayers no matter when we pray, and His provision is right on-time, always.

But think about the last time you were going through something terribly hard. How encouraged would you have been if you knew someone was praying for you at just the time you needed it? Prayer isn’t just about talking to God; it’s also about encouraging the people for whom we’re praying. There’s such comfort in knowing someone’s standing in the gap for us.

Prayer is a powerful way to show you care, and sometimes, timing is everything.

Lord, keep my heart sensitive to the needs of those around me. Show me who needs my daily, timely prayers. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN

Who needs you to set a prayer alarm just for them? Leave a comment, and give me the privilege of praying for them, too.