Braids of Friendship

Today completes the first week in Peak313 Fitness’s Living & Active Challenge and I completed it in full! That includes 4 workouts of at least 25 minutes (running on Tuesday, gym on Thursday, 30 Day Shred on Saturday, and running/walking today) and memorizing Ecclesiastes 4:12:

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Yep, got that too 🙂

What was most fun about it was that I only did one workout by myself. The others were with friends (and dear Sisters), who motivated me much more than had I been on my own. We have good accountability going and I really want to keep this up for longer than the 5 weeks the challenge goes for.

And while it was great to have such support from some of my closest girlfriends in regards to health & fitness; even greater is the fellowship (koinonia, if you will) that we share in Christ. The verse was really a perfect fit and not just for establishing the accountability of this challenge, but also for realizing the blessing of it’s meaning.

It started on Monday (as many working weeks do). I read the challenge and devotional. I well knew that I am much stronger with help from the people God has blessed me with in this life. I was even having a “down day” and thought to myself, “Kellie, you’ve just read how much better it is to rely on others, to pull from their strength when you are weak by yourself. You are about to make a rather unhealthy choice (aka junk food for dinner). Perhaps you should call up a Sister, talk it through, and make a better choice.” Did I?

Nope.

We all have instances when we ignore the very good & solid advice given to us by the Holy Spirit. And then we have to suffer the consequences. Man did I feel horrible the following morning.

And that was something seemingly little. I do (and am happy to admit) reach out to others when things seem crazy & out of control. When I seem crazy & out of control. With a fellow believer in Christ, I am able to reason things out, talk things through, and really focus on how God would have me respond in certain situations. And that is exactly the point.

We were not made to live this life alone.

Did you get that?

We were not made to live this life alone.

Imagine if you had to navigate this life as a new believer with no mentor or fellow believer by your side. While it would not be impossible (for you would have the Living God inside you), it might get lonely. And let’s be honest, how often do you turn to a fellow believer who then guides you to God’s Word, instead of just going there in the first place? I’ve done it more times than I could count. And there’s something to be said for that human relationship. God gets that, because get this – He created us. Not only that but He spent 33 years living as one of us.

As we share parts of ourselves with fellow believers, and they with us, our lives become intertwined. This is where the koinonia comes in. That is the Greek word that is most often translated into the word fellowship in the Bible; being with those who are like-minded, sharing with them, being accountable to them, and loving them with the love of Christ.

When we do these things we form bonds that are not easily severed. With Christ as our center, the one thing we all have in common, the strands of our lives wrap around each other. One strand can be quickly broken, overpowered. Two strands might take a bit longer. Three or more stands and you have yourself the beginning of a rope that is strong when tugged upon and won’t fray quickly.

I experienced that a lot, but the verse this week really put it into perspective. Whether I am struggling with healthy choices of food, frustration at work, hopelessness in relationships (or lack thereof), or trying to figure out just exactly what God is doing (though we are never quite sure with that one), I know God has blessed me with numerous friends I can turn to. They never fail to share with me His wisdom, help me find what is says in His Word, or pray for me to be in His will for my life.

Could I do it without them? It sure would be hard. Would I want to? Most definitely not. I thank God for them often, though probably not as often as I should. I cannot count the times they have talked me down from ledges (figuratively, of course), helped pick me up out of pits, and walked beside me on this narrow road. Thank you to you all – I have no doubt you know who you are.

Do you have more than two friends who are believers? More than 10? Image how strong that rope is! Think of that the next time you feel stuck and don’t know where to turn. God has placed these people in your life to help you through the hard times so you will not be overpowered. A thick rope can bear so much more weight than a skinny one. And with it evenly distributed, not much weight is felt at all.

Here is to the blessing of friendships from God! May you be able to call upon them when you need them, and be there when one is in need. And, of course, Week 2 of the Living & Active Challenge!

Love & Blessings,

KJ

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Much Needed Motivation

As a lot of you know, I plan to do the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2016. I’m at the point now where I really need to start training right and see how my body reacts to the craziness that much running will put it through. I was excited when I saw this post from Peak 313 Fitness. Clare is hosting a 5 week “Living and Active” challenge that focuses on just that, living & being active 🙂 Starting next Monday, September 29, the challenge goals for each week are to work out 4 times (for at least 25 minutes) and memorize a key Bible verse. The community it offers is great for accountability, but I’m going to ask some friends to help me out on this one too. If you want to join, follow the link above and let me know! I plan to post something about it every week.

I go in late for work tomorrow, so I’m starting my prep week with a run – hoping to get at least 3 in to build up to the 4 the following week. I am ready and the time to do this is now!

I hope you’ll join me!

Love & Blessings,

KJ