FitBit for the Soul

 

 

 

A few years ago my sister asked me if I had a FitBit. I told her I had no idea what one was. She told me it was the rage: her daughters had one as well as most teachers she worked with. She tried to explain it. I thought all it did was track your steps for the day. I figured I didn’t need one since I already incorporate some type of exercise into most of my days. I went out and bought a $10.00 step tracker at Aldi. I never used it. I’ve made it pretty well without any kind of step tracker, up until two weeks ago. I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth when I’m offered something free. So I wasn’t about to turn down a FitBit when it was gifted to me.

A FitBit is quite fascinating. I had no idea it could know so much about me. It knows:

  • The number of steps I take in a day
  • The distance I traverse
  • The calories I burn
  • The type of steps I take: a stroll, vigorous walk, or a run
  • The time I go to bed
  • The hours I sleep
  • The type of sleep I get: restful or restless

This FitBit is designed to make me a healthier “me”. Maybe it could make you a healthier you. However, we have to realize we can look quite good on the outside and be quite ragged looking on the inside. And, that ragged look on the inside matters to God and it should matter to us.

That makes me ponder these questions: Am I living the way God designed me? Am I doing the inward work that moves me more into the place of inward healthy living that brings wholeness?

I know I want to say yes to all of the questions. But, part of living out the yes is understanding there are places in me, and in all of us, that still need working on. It’s so easy to run and hide from these things. These things lurk in the shadows and keep us from living out the full beauty that is in each of us. God’s desire is that we live in the light of His son Jesus. But, to do that we must make sure our hands are open to God as we pray as David did in Psalm 139. He asked God to search his heart, and his thoughts, to show him his grievous ways, and then to lead him in the right path. It takes courage to pray this and really mean it.

The FitBit is not totally accurate on its tracking. That’s a given. But, God is accurate on all things about each of us. He knows those places in each of us that stump us up and keep us from going deeper with Him, deeper within ourselves with helpful self-knowledge, and deeper with family and friends. It takes humility to do this hard work. It’s a peeling off of things that are artificial. It’s a taking off of masks we wear. It is in this place, however, that there is true freedom to become the person God uniquely designed us to be. It’s a place that can make us feel more alive, more settled in our soul. We then can love deeper, care deeper, think deeper, live deeper, experience deeper, search deeper, and long deeper.

 

Most of us struggle saying yes to entering this kind of God work/soul work. It can be brutal but oh the joys! I love what David Benner says: “My identity as a Christian has more to do with becoming than with simply being. And what I have wanted to become has been fully alive and deeply human.” It’s rather risky to start living in this way but it’s a way of living the journey of becoming whole, alive, and deeply human.

11 practical strategies to restore your life

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In all our lives there are times when we become overwhelmed and stressed. We know we need to practice some good self-care, but we may find ourselves feeling guilty for desiring it and then even for doing it. A Christian may even believe it is wrong and selfish. However, I Corinthians 6:19 says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I believe there are times in our lives when we must step back and listen to what our body is saying – because it may be saying, “Take care of me.” Self-care also means caring for our mind, soul, and spirit. We need to do things that bring harmony and peace back into our lives instead of continuing in a place that is chaotic and exhausting.

So what are some things we can do that can help us find a place of restoration? These are some of the things I have learned to do when I’ve felt my life spinning out of control. I’ve had to remind myself in just the past few weeks that I need to work hard at being intentional in all of these things yet once again.

  • Find a way to get plenty of rest. It may mean going to bed an hour or two earlier. Some research suggests that the more hours of sleep we can get before midnight, the better.
  • Examine your commitments. See if some are draining too much energy and need to be discontinued. My husband and I did this a few years ago and found it very beneficial to our over-all well being. Much stress was alleviated.
  • Spend quality time with friends that encourage and nourish your soul. Avoid draining relationships. We all know people that “suck all the oxygen out of a room” – don’t give them your quality time.
  • Get a massage.
  • Get outside and enjoy nature.
  • Exercise 30 minutes, 4 or 5 times weekly.
  • Spend daily time reading the Bible, other good devotional books, and pray.
  • Keep a journal, recording any spiritual insights gleaned.
  • Keep a gratitude journal, recording at least three things daily you’re grateful for.
  • Invest time in enjoying hobbies.
  • Enjoy quality time with family.

These practices bring me back to that place of balance, clarity, and joy that my Creator God desires for me. They take effort, but the reward makes it well worth it.