EXERCISE- you must EXPERIENCE if for YOURSELF for it to CHANGE YOU!!!

shirt This is the beginning of yet another summer vacation for me.  I have been an elementary school teacher for the past 18 years and I absolutely LOVE my job in the summertime!!!  ;)

I enter each new summer break with BIG plans and BIG goals.  Those goals are normally centered around my health.  I tend to spend lots of my time THINKING  about working out.  I come up with "game plans"......  I buy cute new exercise outfits..... and I search Google looking for the PERFECT exercise regime!!!  It is amazing, but somehow I FEEL healthier through all this PLANNING!!!! By watching the snippets of the exercise DVDs and READING about how OTHERS found  success USING these programs I momentarily FEEL like I have actually DONE something!!!!

What happens next probably won't surprise many of you.  After ALL of this, I normally DON'T actually EXPERIENCE the ACT of EXERCISING, and as a result I do not EXPERIENCE any CHANGE in my personal health!! Even though I FELT healthier momentarily by THINKING about getting active, I did not actually GET any healthier!!!!  I was still EXACTLY the SAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!

This summer WILL BE  the SUMMER!!!!  I WILL DO THIS!!!!!  As a first step, I ordered an exercise DVD from Amazon today.  I plan this week to get me a cute new exercise outfit..... GAME ON SUMMERTIME!!!!  This time I will finish VICTORIOUS!!!  ;)

As I ordered my DVD I had a realization.......

Just as we HAVE to PERSONALLY EXPERIENCE the act of EXERCISING for it to actually CHANGE us.

We  have to ALSO PERSONALLY EXPERIENCE God's LOVE and FORGIVENESS............for IT to CHANGE US!!!!!

Experiencing IT for OURSELVES is VITAL!!!!

Think about it for a moment:  I WAS NOT changed by WATCHING other people exercise on the DVD snippets,

in the same way we are not CHANGED by simply WATCHING others experience God's love.

We HAVE TO MAKE HIS LOVE OUR OWN.... let GOD  ENTER us PERSONALLY and CHANGE US!!!!!!

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I am going to CONNECT this with parenting.....

Recently I have heard many worried parents of teenagers and young adults discuss the fact that their children seem to be "drifting" from God.  This is scary for a parent.  We ALL want the best for our children!  We WANT them to have DEEP meaningful relationships with God!  We LOVE THEM!!!  We worry about them!  We don't want them to EVER hurt or stumble.

The more I reflect on this the more I realize that sometimes  they may need to stumble and hurt.........

My reason comes from this thought:

In order for THEIR faith to be GENUINE and BELONG to THEM, they may need to "test" it occasionally.  Their relationship with God cannot be based on THEIR PARENT'S faith or experiences with God, our children MUST EXPERIENCE God for themselves!  This PERSONAL EXPERIENCE is needed....just like we CAN'T get HEALTHIER just by WATCHING exercises DVDs, our children CAN'T grow STRONGER in faith just from drawing from OUR FAITH!

Think about YOUR personal relationship with God.  How did it DEVELOP? How did it GROW STRONGER?  If you are like me you may have had to LOOK in all the WRONG places before you REALIZED how much you PERSONALLY NEEDED GOD!

It took my various stumbles and pain for me to  REALIZE how desperately I NEEDED GOD....  for me to finally admit that I  NEEDED Him to CHANGE ME!   I had seen the faith of my mom, and I appreciated it.....  BUT, her faith did not CHANGE me!

I had to EXPERIENCE God's LOVE for me myself before I was genuinely CHANGED!!!

KEEP LOVING YOUR CHILD!  KEEP PRAYING!!!!  This season may be difficult, BUT it is just a SEASON!!!!

Our children may just leave this season STRONGER, HEALTHIER and EVEN CLOSER to God than they ever were before!!!

What are your thoughts?????

******  I am in NO means condoning bad decisions!  It is our job as parents to redirect our children when they go astray****