Good morning from my spin bike at 5:35am EST 🙂
I have grown to love my cardio time this prep. Sometimes Mitchell and I walk our neighborhood unplugged (no cell phones) & other times I ride our bike upstairs. Either way, it’s a great time to just reflect on my goals, set new ones & have some personal time. When we are together we talk about our days & things we want to achieve, etc. I’m so thankful that we are both so goal oriented. We definitely feed off of one another’s energy. I’d say he’s more driven in many areas that I’m not & vice versa so we get the best of both worlds, so to speak. Despite it taking us nearly 10 years to get to this level of intimacy within our relationship, I consider myself privileged to experience it. This has been something we’ve both voiced over the last several weeks doing lots of cardio together.

Today though, he’s not feeling well & unfortunately New England has graced us with its Fall chill that these Yankees seem to love, lol. So, it’s too cold to do my cardio outside & I’ve spent the last few mornings pedaling upstairs in my dark office. Initially, it was a bit less motivating…I had to find some extrinsic ways to get that ‘pep’ each morning: good music was pretty much all I could come up with, lol. The last few mornings though, I’ve started off with some stretching & prayer & coincidentally performed the majority of my cardio in silence!

It wasn’t necessarily intentional at first, but became something intentional….something I craved. This morning my devotional was about prayer & since I’ve been thinking/asking of creative ways to invite you guys on my journey I wanted to share it with you below.

Growing up in the south aka “Bible Belt” I had MANY misconceptions of “religion” & what it was supposed to look like. You could say that I came out of the womb hearing about God & his son, Jesus. I look back & consider myself privileged to have had the influence that I’ve had. BUT, I didn’t feel so privileged a few short years ago. I was mad. I was angry. I felt like I had no choice but to believe in God BC in the south, it’s like playing tennis (even though I never played tennis, I think you know what I mean, haha). That whole “come to Jesus” moment (several year journey) is for another day, but today I wanted to highlight this devotional BC it’s what “clicked” for me Sept 28th, 2011 (the day before my birthday). Prayer!
Who would’ve thought a southern girl growing up in church didn’t truly know how to pray or why she was doing it?!
Well, I didn’t. I did pray with my mouth, A LOT, lol, but I didn’t pray with my heart….

Check out this devo:
September 25, 2015
The Key to Everything
Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Today’s Truth

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them (Matthew 6:31-32, NIV).

Friend To Friend

Prayer is the key that unlocks all of the treasures of the Kingdom of God. It is a key that He has placed in your hand and invites you to use. Prayer is the conduit through which all the power and provision of God flows.

One of the questions people often have about prayer is: “If God knows what I need, why do I need to ask Him for it?” Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 that we do not need to worry about things because the Father knows everything we need (Matt. 6:31-32). He says in Matthew 6:8, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Yet, He teaches us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread” (Matt. 6:9). Don’t you find that interesting? Jesus assures us that God knows everything we need, yet tells us to ask Him for it. God has set things up so that prayer releases into our lives what He knows we need and wants to give us.

It’s simple for God to meet your needs. Everything in the universe is His. Everything is at His command. It would be easy for God to do for you and provide for you everything you need without waiting for you to ask. But that is not how He has structured it.

God loves you and desires to live in intimacy with you. Prayer is more than the words you say that come sandwiched between “Dear God” and “Amen.” Prayer is an openness to and awareness of His presence and His power in your life. He wants you to live in the experience of His love for you.

Imagine what it might be like if God met your needs without engaging you in the process. You would never recognize His provision. It would seem to you to be coincidence or “just the way things are.” But because you have the privilege of seeing Him meet your needs in response to prayer, you experience Him. You see how He provides for you even in the smallest details.

In asking, you are recognizing the Source of everything. “ Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:16-18). God tells you to ask for what you need because this interaction keeps you aware that no matter what avenue of supply He chooses to make use of, He is the source.

Sometimes God is waiting for you to ask because until you see your need, you will not recognize His supply. He waits until the need is real to you. He waits until you have come to the end of your own resources; until you have tried everything you know to try. He waits for you to turn to Him as the one and only Source.

Let’s Pray

Dear Father, Thank You for loving me and desiring such intimacy with me that You would include me in Your process. Teach me that You are my Source, no matter my need. Right now, I come to You with my every need—big and small—and look to You and You alone.

In Jesus’ name,

So, that’s how I “get my mind right” internally rather than externally. BC we all know that motivation has to come from within (see this post where I ramble about motivation).
Throughout this prep, I’ve really tried to keep a balanced perspective on life. There’s a time and a place for most things we want to accomplish. Balance is about prioritizing what’s important at the right times. Right now, my priorities look different, therefore so do my actions. (We don’t eat out, I’m up at 5am to do cardio, there is no snacking at friends houses, I’m sure to get 7-8hrs of sleep a night, I NEVER miss a training session). Many of those actions fall down the totem pole when I’m not in contest prep… They don’t go far BC I have long term goals, but they aren’t at the very top like they are right now.
Prayer though, has been something that’s remained a high priority since Sept 2011 BC it’s been a relationship I’ve wanted to nourish & develop. Waking up to do cardio initially put a damper on my time available to truly stop & spend some time with my main man, Jesus. So, I guess this is my public appreciation for early AM cardio time that turned into my daily kickstarter 🙂

Want to hear more thoughts like this or something new?! Share your thoughts with me in the comments!!

P.S. I’m in contest prep and I’m vlogging about it here. Would love for you to follow along!! =)