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Mom on Faith: When faith is like exercise

Posted September 14, 2010

I don't know about you but my faith is a roller coaster. Well, I should rephrase that. My faith is steadfast, but my journey is a roller coaster.

I'll explain.

There are times when I seek answers by reading and praying and I crave more and more insight. These are the times that I am looking to the Bible for answers and wisdom. Like a good workout, reading my Bible becomes a part of my day. And not just that, it becomes a part that I really look forward to because I know I will feel great afterward.

But there are seasons of dread. Seasons where I get all turned around. The Bible is still the same and the exercise hasn't changed. Yet there is something in me that just doesn't want to put forth the effort anymore, no matter how promising the outcome seems. Almost suddenly, the motivation has gone and all that's left is religion. And what I mean by that is that while I might stick with it for a few more days or weeks, my heart isn't in it. There is just a sense of "this is what I am supposed to do" so I do it.

And then I stop.

What is this self-sabotage and why does it seem to cycle in and out of my life? The common denominator here is me, so is it something that I am doing or saying that gets me out of balance?

I think a little bit of yes, and a little bit of no.

As a parent, there are many day-to-day pressures to deal with. And even if you don't have children, I am sure you can relate to the juggling that most adults do on a daily basis. It can be overwhelming to manage finances, friends, appointments, marriages, vehicles and children. And not only that, the demand to shift gears at lightning speed is high. We all deal with pressure. That isn't groundbreaking news. What I want to know is how some of us find this balance and seem to keep it, while others seem to struggle.

Faith and Exercise.

And that is where the so-called self sabotage comes in. For me, in those moments of quiet (if there are any) I can't seem to digest what I should do next and before I know it, I have squandered my chance to best use that time. In my life, I need a schedule. Transitioning from a full-time office career to full-time motherhood has been a challenge, but the reality is, my days shouldn't be that different. I still get up, get ready for the day and have a plan.

I feed on scripture and words of wisdom. And while I try to fit in bits and pieces throughout the day, I often struggle with that really good faith workout. It takes practice, and patience and determination. And just like exercise, the payoff is well worth the effort.

What are some ways you have incorporated your faith journey into your day? Do you struggle with it or have you found balance? I would love to hear your thoughts!

You might remember Andrea from her post on Go Ask Mom in June. She is a Raleigh mom who will begin this month writing monthly on faith and parenting. She can be found at her blog Lil-Kid-Things, on Facebook or on Twitter.


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  • lindenfeldlh Sep 18, 2010

    The Bible is the only guide book you need for life, marriage and child rearing. So it is important to stay in it everyday. I too have had those dry spells where I went through the motions but nothing really stuck. But I kept at it anyway and all of a sudden something would leap off the page to guide with what ever I was struggling with. It might be a few days or even weeks or months, but God will always have a message for you. I get up about 45 minutes before my kids do, take a shower, make coffee and cuddle in with God. Just like exercise, it takes determination to do it and what rewards you reap afterwards.

  • i feel froggy Sep 16, 2010

    I so struggle with this also! I actually thought it must just be me. I haven't found the right balance yet. And, I fall out of the loop of trying to read and plug in everyday. I too find when I actually get time, I've literally wasted it on something else (like tv -remote flipping. I work full-time, have a home that sometimes seems way too big (when it to comes to cleaning--otherwise it's really not!). I feel like I give every bit of me at work, and I have no energy left for my hubby, kids, family, and home. So just to offer, you are not alone. Any suggestions are appreciated :) !

  • luvbailey Sep 15, 2010

    You might try committing to an organized bible study group, like Bible Study Fellowship. There is also a great group of woment that meet on Tues morning at Providence Baptist Church, called LAMBS (Ladies AM Bible Study). I hear very good things about this group.

  • gemsmom Sep 15, 2010

    Self help is an oxymoron. If we could help ourselves, we wouldn't need those books or "gurus." Keep praying and studying your Word. The struggle is just a ploy of the enemy to get your focus off God. Kepp pressing, and watch God do the rest.

  • br549znc Sep 15, 2010

    Don't rely on self help books from people too much. The Bible is the best guidebook you'll ever read. It has the answers to everything you'll ever want or need to know.

  • k8ered Sep 15, 2010

    A word of advice for someone who's been there: keep reading your Bible. It WILL give you the guidance you need, and the peace about your decisions. Just remember, it's all in God's time, not ours. (and it will help you in raising your children than Dr. Spock ever could)

  • lwilhelm1 Sep 14, 2010

    Maybe you are simply starting to question your faith. It happens to many of us. Go with it. It's OK. What kind of answers and wisdom do you look for in the Bible?

    Try other places. You have found a great purpose in your life, raising your children. The Bible isn't going to help you there, but Dr Spock, Dale McGowan can. Your marriage, there are lots of excellent relationship books, counselors. Your vehicle--try listening to the Car Guys on Saturdays. Your finances, read the Work and Money section of the paper and consult a financial adviser. Your crazy schedule, be sure you have a good calendar and use it.
    I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.
    Life can be overwhelming but it's great fun. Enjoy more, worry less and love your kids.

  • lehrerin Sep 14, 2010

    I get up early to have my quiet time before my family gets up. I'm reading through the Bible in a year with Wendy Pope in the daily chronological format - She posts a vlog each night at midnight for the following day, and people all over the world are reading along and commenting about what they're reading. I read, watch the video and sign in to comment, and then the following comments pop up in my inbox throughout the day. As I pass my computer, it takes just a minute here and there to skim someone's comments, and then the scripture and thoughts are there in my head all throughout the day. Helps me keep my focus and my patience when things get crazy!