Every Place Your Foot Treads Will Be Yours

I was reading this morning in Deuteronomy, and copied into my journal one of my favorite passages of encouragement from chapter 8:2-10.  It is a passage of remembrance of how God brought the Jews out of slavery, and then guided them in the wilderness.  I’ve started a daily challenge where I focus on one of the fruits of the Spirit each day, and today’s fruit was Patience.

When copying the Scripture into my journal, in light of the fruit of patience, it struck me again, just how hard this was for them to wait for 40 years for God’s promise to come to fruition, wandering around the desert, waiting for Him to act.  And indeed, God says that it was a time of testing, where He humbled them by letting them go hungry (vs 3).  A time where He gave them manna to eat so that they might learn that man cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord!

Then in another passage in chapter 11, God commands them to impress all these truths on their hearts and souls.  To teach these truths to their children in the morning, throughout the day, and before going to bed.  And then He promises them this –

“For if you carefully observe every one of these commands I am giving you to follow – to love the Lord your God, walk in all His ways, and remain faithful to Him – the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will drive out nations greater and stronger than you are.  Every place the sole of your foot treads will be yours.  Your territory will extend from the wilderness to Lebanon and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea.

No one will be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put fear and dread of you in all the land where you set foot, as He has promised you.” (vs. 22-25)

If you’re familiar with the devastating results of the Israelites’ endeavor to take on the people existing in the Promise Land, then it shouldn’t surprise you that they didn’t believe God when He told them this.  God blatantly assures them that, “Every place the sole of your foot treads will be yours,” and that “No one will be able to stand against you,” for He would “put fear and dread of you in all the land where you set foot.”   It left me wondering this morning, why did they not believe God, and go out with confidence to conquer their enemies?

Every place the sole of your foot treads will be yours….  It does sound improbable, how could they have such assurance that they would succeed?  And yet the God of the Universe was telling them this!  Some of their enemies they needed to go out to fight and conquer were descendants of giants – just seeing them when they scouted out the territory, terrified them into backing down.

From here

“The Devil knew this promise to the seed of Abraham and he set 31 hostile nations right in the middle of the Promised Land to stand in fierce opposition to Israel seizing their inheritance. Most of these nations were advanced in weaponry and warfare and were ferocious warriors against any enemies. The Bible calls many of the men, giants, champions of wickedness, which were physically beyond anything that mankind had ever seen. These giants roamed the Promised Land with the express purpose to keep Israel out so they would never experience the promise and the blessing that flowed from it.”

It made me think about how not only do we usually lack the patience to do the necessary waiting God calls us to in our own lives, but we also probably lack the degree of faith in God’s promise for us for our futures.

When the Israelites saw the giants they lost their faith in God’s assurance of protection –

The men of Israel cried in fear-“We are but grasshoppers compared to these giants and they are of great stature and they will eat us up.” They did not go into the Promised Land because of fear of these giants and they had no faith in their God to overcome them.

God cried out:

The LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?

Numbers 14:11

How did they fear the giants and evil nations in their land, when God promised them the assurance of protection and victory, it’s hard for me to comprehend?

“Every place the sole of your foot treads will be yours.”

If only they had believed God and had courage to face their enemies and to keep living in obedience to His Word.  If only they had believed His promises that He was with them, and would lead them to victory over their battles in life (both against enemies and in fighting against their own idolatrous ways in their hearts).

In Numbers, only Joshua and Caleb were confident enough in God’s faithfulness.  How much more so that we should also have confidence in God like Joshua and Caleb did, because we have the New Testament books giving us the knowledge of Christ’s Resurrection.

Advertisements

Post Pregnancy Body & Working Out

pregnancytracy

This woman is awesome.  Tracy Anderson is the tiny little workout-nazi that can turn your body into how God probably intended it to be when He gave us our design (the perfect muscle:fat ratio we all probably would’ve had if chocolate and McDonald’s never existed – AmiRight?!?!).  Anyway, now that I’ve been 8 weeks out postpartum, I’m starting to want to up my lackadaisical approach I’ve had to being serious about getting back into shape.  I don’t view it as some kind of vanity issue, although maybe it is to some degree, I actually view it as a “I’ve waited nearly 9 months to wear all my nice skinny jeans and dressy pants and tops again… I don’t have the $$$ to buy a whole new wardrobe so I’d better get my butt back into shape if I want more than 15 options of clothing items to wear.”  

That’s how I view getting my post pregnancy body back.  I want to fit in my clothes again.  It is like a major pet peeve not being able to.  I’ve always pretty much stayed the same weight/frame since high school, so I have clothes that date back to then that I still like to wear (I take care of my clothes OK?!).  LOL 😉  But really, I like my set of clothes, and it hurts to not have the regular options that I’m used to having all these years because of being limited by your body.

The first time I started doing Tracy’s Metamorphosis, within the first week I saw drastic results to my body.  My muscles started coming out in places I didn’t ever have definition, some of my shorts (that weren’t able to fit due to having my first son) were suddenly fitting – and they were actually getting loose!!!  The results were coming so fast that it made the workouts easier to some degree (and I hated Tracy less lol), because I understood that she was really right – her workout method was working.

Growing up, I was a dancer… from the time I was 4 until I was 18 I danced.  And from age 15-18, I danced in a competitive showgroup that was extremely intense with practices that were 3 hours long once a week, and included performing around our city at different events or in parades (dancing in a parade is the hardest kind of dancing I’ve ever done – talk about an amazing workout).

So I’ve virtually always been “in shape,” however, the way she works out (particularly her mat exercises) it is more intense than I’ve ever experienced (and I was also a Hurdler & in Cross Country – I understand bodily torture that comes from running miles and miles).  Her kind of workout is different.  It is much more painful (the mat exercises), however, you get results that are better than I ever had from running, or the lyrical/jazz/performing/tap kind of dance I used to do.

My husband is an Insanity lover 🙂 love that man.  I tried Insanity, it is hard in very different way.  Since I did grow up dancing, I actually prefer Tracy’s workouts because it IS dancing all the way through the cardio.  I’ve done it off and on periodically for 4 years now, so her workouts are like coming home for me – they’re actually comfortable at a psychological level.  Like being with an old friend.

Pregnancy is hard on your body – but after my first, even though I still had 20 something pounds to lose after the first two weeks postpartum, I had this immense feeling of pride in what my body was able to do – to go through a pregnancy, birth a child, and come back so strong and able.  It’s empowering to have a child… it fills you with a new self-esteem about your body that you’ve never had (at least, that’s my personal experience from pregnancy).

This time, I lost all the weight, however since I really wasn’t working out faithfully during the entire pregnancy, my body has become what I’d call “squishy.”  I’ve gained fat in places and lost lots of muscle tone.  So even though I’ve technically lost the baby weight, my body still does not fit into all my clothes, and when it does fit, it isn’t toned and feels different than it was.  I understand many women are totally fine with staying that way – this isn’t me trying to shame anyone for being comfortable with their post preggers body, however, for me, I’m just not comfortable leaving it that way.  I like my body to be stronger and firmer – it just feels better to live inside such a body… literally!  After I got my muscle tone back (after my first son), I was so much stronger, we’re extremely active in our family, and everything we did was easier.  My upper body finally had the strength I’ve never had… thanks to Tracy.  And my posture was corrected with having the muscles developed in the right places (like when I danced for hours a week).

She honestly turned me into a dancer/athlete’s body – and it felt so different in the best way.

Now for pictures:

pregnancytracya

The woman in the photo collage above ran a blog that I followed before buying Tracy’s Metamorphosis.  This woman entered her photo into a bikini contest (the photo in the pink bikini)… and won.  Her journey, since I followed it via her blog, was so inspiring. She had setbacks and issues with trying to get people to understand why she was dedicated to continuing it (the program she was doing was I think the 90 day program), but it was wonderful to see her victory in the end as she worked to overcome any obstacles.

This is Tracy herself (below), and the work and transformation she had to undergo in her developing her specific type of workout in order to truly sculpt a dancer’s body from virtually any body type (as far as I understand).

pregnancytracyc

Here are some photos of women’s before and after with Tracy (*from Google)

 

tracymakeoversa

 

tracymakeoversc

So if you’re reading this and wondering if you should go for it and get Tracy’s Metamorphosis (or virtually any of her products), I am all for it!  The workouts take immense discipline and dedication because they hurt a lot at first (especially if you’re not used to being active all the time or don’t have a history of working out).  That doesn’t mean you can’t do it – I believe you can!  Tracy believes you can.  She is the ultimate optimist ❤ and it really is a gift that she’s made these DVD’s so that regular women like us (instead of her normal celebrity clients) can have access to her personal training.

My before pic (below) was taken at 4 weeks postpartum, and I do believe (even though I wasn’t actively doing her workouts during the pregnancy) that my body owed a lot of its strength and resiliency to her training before pregnancy.  I might be squishy, but I’m excited to truly get down to it and do her workouts until Summer is here (it’s good to give your body a break).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So if you’re wondering if you can trust your body to Tracy?  My answer is undoubtedly… YES!!!!!

 

*Photos of the women who have posted online about their own experiences with TA’s Method are not my own photos obviously.  I own no rights to their photos and are only posting what is found freely on Google images.

Man’s Strength Gone Bad

Men are supposed to be the epitome of strength.  I’m not necessarily talking about physical strength – that is merely the outward appearance which can sometimes be opposite of what’s really going on inside – but more the inner strength that correlates with true courage and resilience.

Spirit.  Backbone.  A strong character. The hero that comes through for others, especially the women in their life.

Men were created to protect, to defend, to be more powerful physically than a woman.  Their strength, when used in it’s intended way, is to be offered to others (especially the women around them), but so often it gets distorted.  But men were created to bear the image of God in this way, just as women were in the most opposite form of radiant beauty.  Both sexes reveal aspects of God’s character, and a man is undeniably representative of God’s strength.

According to John Eldredge, acclaimed author & founder and director of Ransomed Heart Ministries in Colorado Springs, when a man’s strength goes bad it is either that they become violent or passive.

It’s interesting to me that the violence is most often not physical, it’s verbal.

When a man uses his powerful essence to say the most awful things to others, he does incredibly more harm than imagined; it is a great distortion of what he was intended to be.  Their strength was intended to be offered with tenderness, and any hint of violence, even verbally, completely derails whatever good they might have accomplished and replaces it with evil.

There are even pastors who seem kind and friendly (and godly), but who secretly send horrible emails to their staff or people that trust them.  Eldredge points out that this kind of violence is cowardice, all of it.

“I don’t know of a single fist-fighting bully but what he makes a cowardly soldier.

The violence, no matter what form (physical or verbal), is a cover-up for fear.”

Wild at Heart, John Eldredge

The passive man is just as deadly, he gives the people around him a sentence of death by starvation.  Instead of pursuing his children and wife, these men tend to retreat to the television or some other device – anything to keep them from the risk of having to offer their strength, their essence to those around them.  He holds back, or has issues with commitment – playing the hero just seems too dangerous.  What if it isn’t enough?

There is so much more to say on this topic, but it will have to be saved for some other post at another point in time.  But wow is it amazing to know and love a man who truly owns & offers his strength in a fierce yet somehow tender way.  It is the way God intended… and it is so beautiful.

“The world cries for men who are strong; strong in conviction, strong to lead, to stand, to suffer.”

“Stand true to your calling to be a man. Real women will always be relieved and grateful when men are willing to be men”

“A man must at times be hard as nails: willing to face up to the truth about himself, and about the woman he loves, refusing compromise when compromise is wrong. But he must also be tender. No weapon will breach the armor of a woman’s resentment like tenderness.”

(quotes from Elisabeth Elliot,     The Mark of a Man)