Friday, April 17, 2015

winnie the pooh is my spirit animal

First of all, I don't believe in spirit animals, if I did, Winnie the Pooh would be mine. 
Jane and I have been watching and quoting the many adventures of Winnie the Pooh ever since she was born. At any given moment we can break into a scene from that movie. We were quoting it recently, which led us to watching it again- which made me realize all over that me and pooh bear are pretty much the same guy. 

First of all, pooh is the definition of introvert. He likes being alone or with one friend at a time. He talks to himself- he enjoys long walks in nature- he hums happy songs to himself. He does his best thinking by himself in his thoughtful spot. and all of that describes me perfectly. 

Pooh and I both have a thing for eating sweets. More like an obsession. Pooh loves honey- and can't control himself when he is eating it. I'm more of a cookie person. And taffy. Just about any form of chocolate. and French fries. and ice cream.
Pooh's weight goes up and down- and exercise only makes him more hungry. One time his weight gain got him stuck in rabbit's foot and he had to wait for his weight to go back down. I've never gotten myself stuck in a door, but my weight has gone back and forth over the years. Right now people are asking me if I'm sick or not. There are quite a few photos of me that will never see the light of day.
Pooh is a little distracted during meetings. This clip reminds me of me during big meetings:

Pooh likes walking and holding hands- so do I. 


Pooh is a fan of the polo shirt. His are red- mine are usually black.
The narrator refers to Pooh as "a bear of very little brain." He doesn't think big thoughts, but he is thoughtful. Me and pooh- we like to keep things simple. We both enjoy the quiet and simple things in life: good food, a quiet walk, and the company of a good friend.

God is love.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

listen to you.

Over the last few years I have picked up a few injuries while running. The worst one was a tiny stress fracture in my pelvis. Because it was in my hip, I couldn't get a cast, and I never really knew when it was healed. I kept trying to run on it though. Some nights I could run 5 minutes, and on other nights, I would crumple after 30 seconds. I just wanted to keep on running so I wouldn't slow down or lose my endurance or gain weight. I asked a few trainers about knowing when to start running again, and they all said basically the same thing: listen to your body. Your body will tell you when it's ready. 

I've kept that advice to this day. Sometimes I don't feel like running but I do it anyway; other times, my body is clearly telling me that it is too tired or too sore or too injured to run. In those moments I need to listen to it and respect it; and I call it quits. Sometimes my body is feeling awesome and it wants to run faster and longer than I planned- and I listen then too. When I take the time to rest my body, it always performs better. It runs faster and farther- and it exercises with joy. 

We all need to listen to and respect our bodies- they know when they need rest; and they know when they want to run. Sometimes we need to push them- but if we push them at the wrong time, we may find ourselves with a long term injury. 

And we need to listen to our souls too.

Your soul knows when it needs to rest; and it will tell you. When it does, we need to respect that, and listen and act. We don't need a vacation that's full of sight seeing and suitcases, we need to do the things that replenish our souls. For some that's solitude- for others it's shopping- either way, we need to listen to our own hearts, and when they need a sabbath, we need to provide them one. If we don't, it's probably a lot like ignoring an injury and continuing to exercise- it doesn't help- it just makes things worse. But when we do listen to our souls and give them the rest they need, we become more effective- 
and better listeners- 
and more patient- 
with better focus. 
Just like a body that has been given a day off of exercise- a rested soul runs farther, and faster- and with joy. 

It is a discipline to rest your soul. Sometimes it's even work. We have to schedule time off, or find someone to fill in for us- sometimes we even lose money because we have to miss work- but it's worth it. I recently asked for some time off to replenish my heart- and I quickly discovered that my work will survive if I don't show up every once in awhile. 
They will get by without me.
 I wish that I had learned that lessons about 15 years ago. I would have been a lot easier to live with and work with. 

Is your soul exhausted? 
Give it the rest it needs.
 Do it soon.
 Ask for someone to cover you. They will.
 And you will be better for it. 

Jesus once asked the question: "what good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" Or put another way- is anything worth your soul? Nope.
God is love.