Monthly Archives

June 2017

Wellness

My snail’s pace run was a victory

I ran three miles the other day.

Big deal, you might say.

I shelved my running for more than six months while I cared for my “broken back.” My back still isn’t in tip-top shape. But I decided that I’ve let it sideline my passions long enough. I dare say, I hope to strengthen my core by incorporating more exercise, which will benefit my back, too. And the running is my heart’s cry. I missed it!

It took me 36 minutes to run those three miles. I encountered no fewer than two dozen runners and bikers on the bike trail. They were all moving significantly faster and more smoothly than I was.

The old me would have been terribly concerned with what they thought. The old me would have pushed herself to the point of injury just to “prove” she was even average at running. I would have felt unworthy on the trail. In fact, 10 years ago, I stopped running because I couldn’t get one mile under 10 minutes. Foolishness!

The new me doesn’t care. Nobody on that trail thought twice of me and my running. They didn’t really know how fast — or slow — I was going, because they were concentrating on their own workouts.

It’s true that we spend far too much time fretting over what others think of us. We all bring our own history, stories, injuries and victories to the bike trail or the gym or the fitness class. Any step to care for ourselves the way our body needs us to is a victory, worthy of celebration.

In my yoga teacher training, we are taught that a person who is chasing their breath or moving beyond their “edge” who goes into child’s pose is an “advanced practitioner.” Why? Because he or she is acknowledging what their body needs.

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It’s far wiser to give and do for your body what it’s screaming for, and many of us ignore its cues and signs. We look externally — at numbers like distance and time — to measure the worth of our “athletic” performances.

I’ll be me, and you’ll be you. It matters not how long my run took. I no longer care about the number, in the same way that I no longer care what the scale tells me or what my meal’s calorie count adds up to be.

Numbers can be a dangerous judge of how well we are caring for our bodies.

A far better gauge is how I felt — before, during and after my run. (It’s the same gauge for what we eat, by the way! But I’ll share more about that another day.) And it was an incredible morning to get back on that trail and pick up my feet after six months!

 

Faith

Yikes! I’m a missionary…now what?

I’m also the last to know, the last to accept, the last to believe.

Five years ago, I was led to start a ministry. That was my J-O-B, for lack of a better description. You’d think I would have considered myself a missionary then. But no. I’m a stubborn creature.

For five years, I’ve stumbled around — sometimes accepting God’s plan and other times, trying to force my own (that’s a whole novel I won’t write because it’s, well, dull) — but never accepting that I could be PAID for ministry work.

If I would have made my vision board on Jan. 1 this year, it would be all wrong. In mid-January, after a trip to Sierra Leone where I was blessed to share the gospel with women and girls at four rural churches, I came home and was broken. Physically, my back was a wreck. And all my plans for the year dissolved. I’m glad I hadn’t written them down yet.

God breathed new life into my broken body in February and called me into a new mission field on the yoga mat. I would never have conceived it in my wildest imagination. But I asked Him to be super loud and clear because it was so unusual. He was.

In obedience, I went. Wouldn’t you know it, Holy Yoga melds beautifully with the healing body and soul spas I have been doing in ministry for more than three years, the very ministry God rebirthed from Mighty Strong Girls into Mirror Image. Physical. Emotional. Mental. Spiritual. All components of our being, holistically wrapped together around the common theme of the gospel. A complete message to be shared with women and girls anywhere. Tangible gifts of healing that the Holy Spirit ordains. Movement and breath, paired with meditation on scripture that can be a perpetual tool to draw others into a relationship with Christ. A ministry to open up the eyes of women who have become self-loathing, swallowed up by anxiety or plagued by addiction so they can see the Father’s love for them. Right there in the midst of their hurting.

As my mentor wisely pointed out, it will be hard for me to take on this full-time ministry if I don’t take something off my plate. I’m not sure what it will be yet, but I have three small “paying jobs,” and I would need to replace the income of one or two of those so I can release them. I’m finally resolved that charging for special events and for Holy Yoga classes is more than OK. After all, pastors and missionaries have an income. If I’m called into full-time ministry work, and I have accepted that I am, then it’s acceptable for it to come with a salary.

Here’s where it gets hard for me. I’ve been doing this long enough to know the women and girls who need and want these messages and this ministry most cannot afford it. My heart desires to use this tool in shelters, prisons and for those in poverty. So while I can charge for some events, I’ll also need supporters who will send me to the places I believe Jesus most wants me to go! Among the upcoming projects are specialized training in Holy Yoga, including trauma sensitive, so I can work with women who are in very difficult situations, and a book/CD that will help women anywhere use the Mirror Image spa as a ministry tool in their church or community. I’m willing to go, and I’m even willing to do the hardest part and ask….can you give? Would you prayerfully consider supporting me so I can share hope and healing with God’s beloved?

These are photos of me, taken by my beautiful friend Ali, at our first “trial run” retreat in Springfield, Illinois in early June. I was clearly expressing the fullness of JOY this weekend, confident in who and whose I am, free to be and share in obedience. I am working with friends in other states to bring similar retreats to women in other areas. I’d be honored if you would consider Mirror Image/Holy Yoga for an event at your church or organization.

xoxoxo,

Amy

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