Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In the Morning when I Rise...

I am not a morning person. I actually have always hated mornings. I've always been more of a "night owl," if you will. I was always easily able to stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning to finish homework, no problem. On the other hand, if I went to bed with the intention of getting up early to finish my homework (no matter how reasonable my bedtime hour), it wasn't going to happen. I would inevitably wake up two hours later than planned and be late to class and homeworkless.

It's been a bit different for me recently. I've really "revised" who I am, in a way. Almost seven weeks ago, I made the commitment to get up at 7 every morning (about two hours earlier than I would ideally like to get up) in order to work out using the P90X workout routine that has recently become rather popular. (Please note that I hate physical exertion of any kind, and I hate working out with a particularly intense kind of loathing). But, nonetheless, I've been doing it. For seven weeks (minus the week I was in New Orleans [which I really don't think I should be penalized for, because we were getting up early and working hard there anyway]), I have been getting up between 7 and 7:30 am six out of seven days a week to work out.

The first two weeks sucked. I hurt in places where I didn't even know I had muscles. I hated my alarm clock more than I have probably ever hated anything before in my entire life (except, of course, physical exertion). And I hated the morning with a burning passion. And then, I changed into my workout clothes and very bitterly began working out. And I hated it. And I hated stupid Tony Horton (the "MC," if you will, of the work-out videos) and his pseudo-funny jokes.
But, after seven weeks, something funny happened. I discovered that I actually began to like getting up early and seeing the bright morning sun. I like feeling like I have accomplished quite a bit and actually been productive before going to work or school. And, beyond that, I like that muscles are forming where previously they had withered. I'm really proud of myself. I'm half-way done with the P90X routine, which I have tried to start several times before and always severely failed. But this time, I'm getting buff!

But my new buffness factor is not the point of this. The point is that, several days ago, I became very convicted. I realized how pathetic it was that I was willing, for seven weeks now, to make time to get up early and spend an hour working out (something I despise doing), and yet I have never made a distinct effort to get up every morning and have quiet time with my Lord and Savior (whom I love)! How backwards is that?!? So, seven days ago, I made a commitment to push my morning alarm clock a little earlier each morning and to give some of my time to God. I'm experiencing a bit more of my loathing for the mornings again, because there is a significant difference between waking up at 7 am and waking up at 6 or 6:30 am, but God is worth it, and I'm going to testify to that fact not only with my words, but also with my actions.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the whole "getting up at 7 to work out thing" has put a serious cramp in my "night owl" style. I can barely stay up past 10:30 pm nowadays. I'm getting old.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

For when you are feeling worthless...

My love language is "words of affirmation." Words mean a great deal to me. I will remember kind things that are said to me for years to come, as well as cruel things. Because words mean so much to me, music is a huge part of worship for me. I do not have the ability to express my faith and love for Christ as beautifully and elegantly as many songwriters, so I enjoy taking part in their hearts of worship. So, today, I just want to share some lyrics from a beautiful song and leave it out there for you to sit with, if you so choose. More lyrics to come.

"He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane
I am a tree
Bending beneath
The weight of His wind and mercy

When all of sudden
I am unaware
Of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are
And how great your affections are for me

Oh how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us
How He loves us so

Yeah, He loves us
Whoa, how He loves us
Whoa, how He loves

So we are His portion
And He is our prize
Drawn to redemption
By the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking

So heaven meets earth
like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart turns violently
Inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about
The way

That He loves us,
Whoa, how He loves us
Whoa, how He loves us
Whoa, how He loves

I thought about You
The day Stephen died
And You met me
Between my breaking
I know that I still love you, God
Despite the agony
'cause people, they want
To tell me you're cruel
But if Stephen were here
He'd say it's not true,

'cause, God,

You love us
Whoa, how He loves us
Whoa, how He loves us
Whoa, how He loves."

These are the lyrics for "How He Loves" by John Mark McMillan - a truly beautiful song. Just soak with these words, and, if you want to be shaken a bit, take a look at this youtube video, which has John Mark singing this song and telling the story behind it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajjKov2Q8Es

Note: Consequently, my love of words is probably why blogging is so difficult for me. It is frustrating when I cannot express myself as beautifully as I wish I could. And it is frustrating when people misuse language and/or grammar in their postings. Anyway, there's a bit of self-discovery for you to chew on.