“Gittin’ old ain’t fer sissies!”

The bumper sticker made me laugh out loud (or LOL, depending on your age). I had just celebrated by 56th birthday, and the aches and pains of mild arthritis, and a pinched nerve at C8, made me realize how true this statement is!

To combat the symptoms of aging, I’ve had to change my lifestyle, incorporating things that haven’t been regular habits.

Massage. For the overall aches, as well as arthritis, massage therapy has helped loosen my stiff and aching joints and muscles. I have loved incorporating this into my life! Love it! I can rationalize the expense, because it is a medical necessity!

Exercise. There. I said it. The “E” word. Did I mention I hate exercise? Especially in the heat of South Louisiana? I am currently using an app called “Couch to 5k”, that talks to me and tells me when to run and when to walk. It helps having “someone” prompt me. I have felt a difference in my energy level, and a lessening of the aches and pains. But did I mention I hate exercise? It’s HARD!

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Chiropractor. Indeed, the chiropractic adjustments have helped my pinched nerve. But when the doctor takes my head and cranks it all the way around my neck, I feel like a possessed woman in a horror film. Not to mention wanting to scream. In the long run, my pain is relieved. The adjustment is terrifying and uncomfortable, but well worth it.

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By incorporating these practices into my life, I am seeing a decrease in my pain and an increase in endurance and flexibility. There is an overall improvement in my health. And, I just plain feel better!

In the same way, I need to discipline my spiritual life.

1 Timothy 4:7 “…discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.”

One thing I’ve found, disciplining myself for godliness ain’t fer sissies either…

One practice I love is reading scripture, and digging into God’s word! I enjoy when I find a new nugget of truth, or when a verse jumps out at me like it never has before.

Unfortunately I have to get up at 5 a.m. to make time for this. I hate that. I’m not a morning person. It’s hard waking up so early during the week. It’s an exercise I endure for the peace it brings!

Then there’s the “chiropractic” of all spiritual disciplines: Fasting. I love food. All kinds. That’s why I fast a half day from time to time. Fasting is uncomfortable but it takes my mind off my food idol. Focusing on Christ puts my priorities in order. It reminds me of this: Jesus died on the cross for me. I need to ponder this, dwell on it. I need to hunger and thirst after Jesus.

Just as physical exercise strengthens my body, spiritual exercise strengthens my soul. I am more apt to run with endurance, rather than get tripped up by sin.

How’s your exercise program going? Will you discipline yourself for godliness? Or are you a sissie?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)

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