So we are a few weeks into the school year. How are you doing? Are you surviving? I still feel like my head is spinning a little trying to remember who does what, when and how. Each day it gets a little easier and slowly we are falling into our new routine. Are you feeling the same way?
As I was thinking about this school year I started talking with the Lord about all the unknowns. In our conversation, felt like He was telling me that this year’s focus for school is going to be FLEXIBILITY. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship for this particular word. (Ok, maybe not much love.) It doesn’t matter which type of flexibility you are talking about, it’s not my favorite! As I am now in my 40’s I am definitely not as flexible as I used to be. I am sore quicker and stiff in muscles that have not given me trouble in the past. In another way, flexibility is not my normal rhythm of life. I like to plan ahead of time. I can be flexible in the beginning stages of planning but once the plan is set, I do not want it to be changed.
Shortly after God had given me this word, I got to practice it in a way I never would have expected. My daughter’s asymptomatic volleyball coach was exposed to COVID. She was not allowed to come to practice or games until she got a negative test completed. I was asked to cover a couple practices until she got her negative result. That wasn’t too big of a deal. I had to rearrange childcare for my boys and take a few hours out of my day to stay at practice. Not a big deal. Then came the lost test results and the inability to retest. Enter the mandatory 14 day exposure quarantine. Covering a few practices then became coaching 3 games. “Junior High Volleyball Coach” was NOT something I was planning to add to my resume! As I was processing this sudden change, the word flexibility came to the forefront of my mind. Was I willing to be flexible? Was I willing to step into this unexpected role so that the girls could keep practicing and playing?
So as the word ‘flexibility’ was rolling around in my head, I asked the Lord what that would look like in my life. I wanted to know how I could mentally thrive in this season of constant change and lack of control. He revealed to me that all I needed to do was flex.
F: Focus on God.
- My day needs to start with my eyes, mind, heart and soul focused on Him. I need to be in His Word, meditating on the truths found within. I needed to believe that He is faithful, just, loving and willing to guide.
L: Listen to God.
- As I lay out my fears, frustrations and desires I need to take the time to pause and listen. To hear His voice. What is He telling me about the week, the day or the moment I am in? What truth is He revealing to me? How is He gently and lovingly correcting me? What is His agenda for the day?
E: Examine my heart.
- Next I need to do a heart check. This is a tough step. I have to examine the condition of my heart. Is there bitterness and unforgiveness that I need to release? Am I fearful and needing to lay those fears down at His feet? Am I mad and needing to process through that emotion so that I can get healing and hope for the future? What steps do I need to take so that I can fill my heart with the fruits of the spirit and flourish in this season?
X: ‘X’ out the negative.
- Then God is asking us to guard our hearts. What do we need to eliminate to protect the emotional state of our heart? Do we need to stop listening to the news? Uninstall Social Media? Maybe we need to not engage in the conversations happening at church or at work. What if we didn’t allow the negativity and complaining into our lives? Maybe then we would feel much lighter and ready to take on the day.
As we all know getting our muscles in shape takes time. When we choose to F.L.E.X. the muscle of flexibility, it will also take time to make us strong. It’s a choice. Sometimes a daily choice, and sometimes a minute by minute choice. But this is something we can control; something we can change! Building muscles hurts before it gets easier. But the end result is something worth fighting for. Building muscles make us stronger and better equipped for the tasks at hand. Once you do start down the path, each step does get easier.
Have you ever tried to start an exercise routine and a few days in you are already calling it quits? I have been there, done that and have the abs to prove it! I do however find I am more successful when I have accountability. When I work out with a friend. Who do you have in your life that can join you in this way of life? Who can help you to focus on God and learn to listen to Him. What friend helps you to examine the motives of your heart and partners with you to X out the negative?
I believe that as we practice F.L.E.X we will see immediate benefits in our lives. As this gets easier and easier, we can transition to the benefits of becoming more flexible.
F: Focus on the good
We will be able to
L: Love others well
E: Enjoy life
X: eXperience God’s best for us.
This is an exercise routine I can get believe in!! Who’s with me? Do you want to join me and F.L.E.X. the muscle of flexibility in your own life?
How have you learned to be okay with change and to be flexible? What helps you keep your mind at rest? Share your thoughts in the Comments section. Let’s help each other become stronger in this ever changing world.
Oh and in case you were wondering I ended my coaching career 2-1. Not too bad for a rookie 🙂