A Full Life

I’ve been going to physical therapy for a few weeks now. My therapist is starting to settle into an easy relationship with me. We talk about her education, her family.

Her Dad had just had his third shoulder surgery and was heading for rehab himself. She slowly shook her head, describing how her Dad went to work two days after surgery. I guess he’s a bit of a Type A.

Today she was frustrated.

One of her patients was coming in faithfully for his appointments. He never rescheduled. (Unlike me.) But it was becoming obvious that he wasn’t doing his ‘at home’ exercises.

“He came in and I told him to do his resistance exercise. He’s supposed to be doing it at home two times a day! He asked me to show him how to do it…again.” The complaint ended with an exaggerated eye roll.

She must have been thinking about it a while, because she came back to the subject later. “You know, I had one person tell me ‘You haven’t cured me yet.’ I was so surprised! I told him I’m not going to ‘cure you.’ You have to do more than just come to your appointment three times a week. You have to do your homework!”

I think I saw the Lord sitting in the chair right next to me. This time, he was the one slowly shaking his head. He’s got the same problem.

His children go to church. They come together as a family to praise and sing and pray. It’s beautiful and it’s necessary. How God loves that.

But then, it’s time for everyone to leave. It’s time to go out into the neighborhoods, job sites, grocery stores and homes. I am one of those worshippers.

I get distracted. I get busy doing all kinds of things.

What about the lessons I learned in church? Well, I start to forget. Problems with the family, overbearing bosses…it all adds up to…I don’t know. What’s the opposite of praise, song and prayer?

Pretty soon, just losing my favorite pen is cause for frustration. What’s going on here?

All that prayer and praise in church with my brothers and sisters is just the start. Like the exercises I learn in therapy, it’s good. I need the direction. But it can’t stop there.

For my shoulder pain to get better, I have to continue the stretching and strengthening routines outside the appointments. The ‘three times a week’ I see the PT in the office is just not enough.

I have to work at it three times a day. Every day.

In the same way, I can’t leave my prayer and praise at church. I have to continue it at home, on the job, in my life. Everyday. If I don’t, it reduces my relationship with the Lord to an appointment. I’d rather have a full life with the Lord.

I looked over at the chair.

This time he’s smiling, and nodding in agreement. He wants a full life with me too.

 

Linking today with: The Friday Five Fellowship

 

 

 

78 thoughts on “A Full Life

  1. Great post – great analogy. It seems that’s what God has been impressing on me, this need to do my homework, to develop good faith habits. And yet life is so busy that there’s this constant tension between focusing on doing just that….versus just getting by. I appreciate your encouragement – kind of like a virtual fellowship group!

    • Hi Diane! I like your word, ‘tension’, that’s it perfectly. The push and pull of life vs. the Spirit. And we need to pay attention to both, so it gets hard to figure out how to balance it all.

      I do think Christian are like a fellowship group. It’s so wonderful isn’t it? So often I get the confirmation or support I need through all the writing. God is so good to us, isn’t he?

      I am so thankful for you! Thank you for your visit today 🙂
      Ceil

  2. Your painful physical therapy is producing more than a strong body. Its benefits are expanding to include these golden nuggets of spiritual truth, dear Ceil. As always, I go away from here with something to ponder.

    Love to you …

    • Hi Linda! Oh I know…I promise this is the last PT themed post for a while! It’s fun though…even something as boring and painful and repetitive as therapy teaches its lessons. God is always singing, isn’t he?

      I’m glad you like it here Linda. I like you here too. We always learn from each other, don’t we?
      Happy Friday my friend,
      Ceil

    • Hi Mari! I guess I did, didn’t I? Its amazing to me how God continually uses everything in life to teach. I still struggle to stay ‘awake’ to the lessons, but the songs of the Lord are playing everywhere.

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend 🙂
      Ceil

  3. Great analogy…yes we must do our homework if we are to benefit from the grace God pours out on us. We are to be ready to give an answer for the hope that lives in us. Good post Ceil

    • Hi Betty! (I really like your gravitar!) That’s a really good point you bring up. Having the readiness to answer for faith. It’s kind of a big challenge if I consider I have to do it alone. But it’ll be ok because the Lord is always with me, with you, with everyone.

      ‘Don’t worry about what you will say..’ I like that passage!

      Have a grace-filled weekend 🙂
      Ceil

  4. I’m guessing this post will resonate with pretty much everyone who reads it. We all do it—make promises while in church and then get distracted and stray from His word as the week plays out. We forget God’s presence and instead of trusting Him to take care of things, we try to control the situations ourselves. Really good post, Ceil. It will get people thinking!

    • Hi Monica! Thank you for your encouragement my friend. Oh yes, I think if we are all honest, this happens all the time.

      It’s good to be reminded that we all struggle, and it’s good to remember that we can overcome a little bit more day by day with grace. God knows my heart and he’ll help me get closer to a united life. He is so good!

      Have a wonderful weekend 🙂
      Ceil

  5. Oh this convicts me rather often. I often catch myself and then look up and say, “Yeah, I know.” I do love the constant dialogue we have going. I do so love how you always give a message I can relate to. You are a delight, friend!

    • Hi Beth! What a great model of faith and connection you are! I hope that I will get better at that. Sometimes I think the Lord and I are humming along, but then there are times when I ‘look up’ as you say…and I realize I have been walking alone.

      Thank you for your kind words about the post. I appreciate your encouragement 🙂
      Have a wonderful weekend Beth,
      Ceil

  6. It’s so easy to lose sight of what is important in the busyness of life, isn’t it?! I have been guilty of this myself, from time to time. Every now and then, I have to become more intentional about setting time aside for devotionals and prayer. Yes, I keep a dialog going with God throughout the day, but that time away from the bustle of life is important, too. I even find that I am not fully productive without it!

    • Hi Anne! Oh my goodness, YES! I have to me more intentional too, I like that word. It fits really well for this post.

      Whatever each of us needs to do to be closer to the Lord is time well spent. We are all so different, I’m sure we’d get all kinds of different ideas if we took a poll. Actually that sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? That would really highlight how individually God loves us and knows hearts!

      You have a wonderful weekend my friend. I’ll be sad to see the Olympics go, back to normal around here 🙂
      Ceil

  7. Ceil: I started PT today. I will be going 2X a week. As I sat in the witing area. I sat down in a chair that was back to back with mine. A woman came and sat in the chair behind ,me. Her purse was on a small table to her right- my left and behind me. She went to get something out of her purse and bent her elbow right into my left shoulder blade. I wanted to scream and say some things.My pain rating went double. I can be walking Murphy’s Law.

    • Hi Cecelia! Oh brother, that must have really hurt! It just ‘zings’ doesn’t it? I had to smile at your reference to Murphy’s Law. As an Irishwoman, I can totally relate.

      I hope your PT went well. It was probably an evaluation today. I hope you get a really nice therapist who listens, and makes you feel like you are just an average case. I always like that!

      Hope your shoulder recovered fast from that bump. And that you have a wonderful weekend too 🙂
      Ceil

  8. Amen! Good word of encouragement, Ceil. It’s so easy to just be spoon-fed on Sunday and then skip our “spiritual” meals the rest of the week. It’s a recipe for malnutrition! Not a pretty sight. Lord help us to be faithful and accountable!
    God bless!!

    • Hi Natalie! Thank you for reading two posts, and commenting on both of them. Wow. You are such a generous blog-friend. I really appreciate that!

      Again, I love your phrases. “a recipe for malnutrition”. I may borrow that one! It’s not a pretty sight, that’s for sure. I need to keep up my relationship during the week, or I’ll lose the closeness I love.

      God bless you too my friend 🙂
      Ceil

  9. Brilliant analogy. How many of us just diminish God to a visit to church on Sunday. Yet, when things go wrong in our life, we’re too quick to run to Him for help; and get angry when He doesn’t respond quickly, or as we wish.

    God bless you Ceil.

    • Hi Victor! Good point about the flip side. I forget him during the week, until it suits me. Like in bad times as you said.

      God bless you too Victor. I hope you have a good weekend my friend,
      Ceil

  10. This sounds like me all around. I need to keep going over old ground. I’m sure the PT get frustrated with me. I’m sure my Father does too but thankfully he has so much mercy and grace.There but for the grace of God, go I.

    • Hi Joyful! I never thought of that. That the PT got frustrated, but God never would. Great thought, thank you!

      I am so thankful that our Lord never gives up on me. He always is ready to start again. What a wonderful God we have 🙂

      Have a good Friday!
      Ceil

  11. amen amen amen…I shake my head too for I see it A LOT as I try to encourage and inspire people in their walk with getting whole and healthy…..I can’t do it for them, they have to do it themselves…we all have part in our own ‘therapy’…we can’t rely on God to do all the work for us and we take no part in the ‘therapy’…

    • Hi Angela! You have an interesting take on the post. I was thinking more in the way of praising and having a relationship with the Lord on Sundays only.

      Your idea is that we contribute to our own ‘therapy’ and that is certainly true. We are all God has here, so he needs us to help him minister to his people. But also to apply the grace he gives us for our own healing. Great thoughts!

      So nice of you to visit Angela 🙂
      Ceil

    • Hi Elizabeth! No kidding. I get really caught up in daily stuff and sometimes forget to even lift my head and say ‘thank you’. But I’m working on it 🙂

      Thank you for your visit today!
      Ceil

    • Hi Billie Jo! I always smile when I see your name here. You have been placed here for a reason too my friend!

      You always encourage me Billie Jo. Thank you so much for making me feel like you enjoy reading what I write. That is a great gift, and I’m so grateful to you for it.

      Blessings to you and your family!
      Ceil

  12. Ceil…we see people in our office like this everyday…not being compliant with their homework, like you said. It’s so funny reading this…I was thinking, was Ceil hanging out at work with me? You are so right though, about putting what we know what we should do into practice. I like to think that I am grow-ING in this area…certainly not GROWN. I have so far to go. Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me! I am so glad our Lord is patient with His children 🙂

    • Hi Debby! Oh, there’s nothing wrong with you Debby, believe that. We are all human, and we just can’t remember, and we get distracted. Like you said, you are ‘growING’, and will be your whole life. Actually, that’s the exciting part I think.

      I agree that it’s wonderful that the Lord is so patient with us. Just like a good Father, he is ready to start again. Beautiful!

      Have a good weekend 🙂
      Ceil

  13. How true, we have to work at relationship with the Lord just as we have to work at relationship with family and friends. Spiritual homework – I like the phrase : ) Happy weekend Ceil! You are a blessing…

    • Hi Mindy! You are right about that. Any relationship needs attention and care. You can’t just drop someone and forget them. I like that thought. Thanks!

      I hope this weekend will be a restful one for you, my swimming friend. Thank you for being a blessing to me too 🙂
      Ceil

  14. Wonderful post and a fabulous analogy Ceil!

    This is where prayer comes in. It heightens our senses and awareness to God. I need to start the day EVERY single day with God. If I don’t, my day, my interactions, and my relationships suffer.

    I also think this is why weekly worship is so important. We reset for the week… and hopefully we continue those lessons throughout the week in our lives.

    You always have such wonderful words Ceil. Thank you.
    xoxo

    • Hi Jennifer! Starting the day with prayer is so important, isn’t it? Like you said, it just frames the day. Reminding myself why I am doing what I am doing, gives my day a purpose I may not see without it.

      Oh yes, community prayer is essential. Jesus calls us to meet as a group, his Apostles were his first ‘small group.’ How God loves to see us treat each other as brothers and sisters.

      Thank you for your kind words about the post today Jennifer. You always lift me up! May God bless you always.
      Ceil

  15. This is a frustraing topic with my husband. People don’t read their bible outside of church. They don’t take the time to build that relationship. How do they expect to grow if they don’t do what it takes to grow healthy! AMEN!

    • Hi Monica! I like the way you put that “expect to grow is they don’t do what it takes to grow healthy.” For a healthy life in the Spirit, we have to spend time with God, that’s for sure. I think sometimes we are all captive to our upbringing.

      Some people come from praying families, and some do not. It’s often difficult to show someone from a non-praying family that it’s better to pray. I know I have to leave it to God to turn hearts to him. And he will! AMEN.

      Thank you for your visit today. I hope you have a peaceful weekend!
      Ceil

  16. I agree with you! We have to do our homework! Yes, we should continue to go to church, Bible Study and any other activities we enjoy. But, we MUST continue our praise in every aspect of our lives. When I am at work or play, I call on the Lord to just “be” with me. I praise Him through song and and thought. I have inner conversations with Him. I just sit at His feet and exist. Now, some would say, “You really have your spiritual life together.” No! No! No! My spiritual life is a journey of hills and valleys. I get off-track and distracted, too. But, I know when I’m off-track and I go running into his arms, just like a toddler who falls, cries and runs into the arms of his mother or father. Yep!

    • Hi Cynthia! Thank you for your visit today Cynthia. It’s so nice to see you here!

      I think the idea of having a connection with the Lord all through the day is great. You do a good job of that! I like the ‘exist’ part too. I don’t always have to be chatty or verbal. Like a good friend, our presence is a present.

      And your vision of the Father being a true and wonderful father? I agree!! I think like that too. What a loving God we have.
      Blessings to you!
      Ceil

    • Hi Linda! I know, isn’t it amazing? God uses just every shred of my life to announce his presence and purpose. My challenge is to keep listening. I hope I can stay true to that.

      Have a restful weekend my friend!
      Ceil

  17. I can be so easily distracted and often wander off track to what God is trying to teach me…..the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak . It takes daily commitment just like your therapy. Very good insight:).

    • Hi Dee! Boy, join the club. But we’ll just keep trying, right? I know that God loves a person who won’t give up.

      It does take daily commitment, and I hope to be up for that daily. Starting the day with intention and prayer really helps.

      Thank you for your lovely comment about the insight. I really appreciate your support.
      Happy Weekend!
      Ceil

  18. Ceil.
    You are such a blessing and I truly mean that,
    You lifted me up today with this post.
    Thank you and many thanks for the kind words you left on my post, you also lifted me up with those words.

    Hugs and blessings to you

    Margie

    • Hi Margie! Oh, I’m so glad that I can be a help to you my friend. We are so blessed to be connected through our blogs, aren’t we?
      And I am uplifted by your lovely comments here. I appreciate the support!

      I hope you will have a restful weekend my friend,
      Ceil

  19. Nice posting. What a reminder that our relationship with God and our actions are on a daily basis; not on Sundays only. We must walk the walk and talk the talk at all times! Thank you & blessings.

    • Hi Lisi! How nice to see you here today!

      I think you have it right. We are not born just for Sundays. We are his every single day. I hope I can remember that, and keep those lines of connection open with prayer and praise.

      I hope you have a restful night 🙂
      Ceil

  20. What a great post, Ceil! I will be praying for you. In response to your question on my yesterday’s post, yes, 222 is a good bowling score. A perfect game is 300. Thank you so much for your encouragement.

    • Hi Linda! I appreciate your prayers, thank you!

      I figured that was a good score! I used to bowl, but badly. I was in a league (believe it or not) when I lived in Tucson. It was a fun way to meet some new people.

      Have a good weekend!
      Ceil

  21. What a perfect analogy Ceil. It’s easy to nod in agreement when sitting quietly in the pews. But putting in our “homework” on daily basis can take a back sit if I’m not careful. We like to get the results without but in all the extra effort required.

    • Hi Wanda! That’s a good point about the support piece. It’s fun to be in a group all doing the same things. Then you are by yourself, and it might not seem as rewarding.

      I have to make that extra effort! It’s a challenge, but in a good way. I hope to run the race well 🙂

      Thanks again for your blog-hop today 🙂
      Ceil

  22. Oh Ceil, you inched your way into my heart with this post. Your words hit home and they hit hard – definitely a lesson I NEEDED! Thank you, sweet friend, for your honesty and the wisdom of our Lord.

    May you have a beautiful weekend! Love and hugs to you!

    • Hi Stephanie! Thanks my friend! I hope the words didn’t hit you too hard, but that you were encouraged too.

      I hope you have a good weekend, with peaceful times with your family 🙂
      Ceil

  23. You got me on this one Ceil! I know very well that worship is not just on Sunday, and that every aspect of life is worship. I have to give (more!) and see the beauty and significance in it all, including the frustrating and commonplace things in life.

    Beautiful words sister!
    Love you; have a joyful weekend!!
    Denise

    • Hi Denise! That’s great! I think I know that too, but I’ll still forget at times. Sigh.

      I like the way you want to see God in the frustrating and commonplace. He is everywhere, so he is there too! It all weaves together into a beautiful quilt of his life story for me.

      Thank you for your kind words about the post. Have a restful day, and fun weekend yourself 🙂
      Ceil

  24. Hi Ceil, It really does boil down to that daily relationship with the Lord. We leave our worship and study in the church and let other things distract us from spending time with Him so that we can sing His praises all day long~and trust Him. I am so guilty of not doing my homework.
    I heard the Lord direct me that way tonight, but then I put other things before Him. Feeling the conviction doubly–but it is good!
    Your posts always contain such interesting stories and great Biblical analogies!
    Nice to see your refurbished home and new title. You’ll have to tell me all about it.
    Blessings,
    Janis

    • Hi Janis! Thank you for your kind words about the blog and the post. I do like it here. I’ve moved to WordPress in January, because several gadgets on my Blogger blog broke. It seemed like no one wanted to fix them, so I was forced to go.

      It’s been good. I think I have the hang of it now!

      We both have to work on our homework my friend. I can write about it because I know it. But there is always hope with the Lord.
      Have a great day my friend! Thanks for the visit 🙂
      Ceil

  25. So good Ceil! I can relate to the “physical therapy” and the “spiritual therapy”. Sadly with both I have failed many times. I have found that the Lord is much more forgiving than the therapist! Thank you for posting this as it is something I need to work on.

    By the way…thank you for praying for my Dad. He tells us he has not been having any more pains. Thank you Lord!

    Blessings…Chelle

    • Hi Chelle! I’m so glad your Dad is doing so much better! I know you must be so relieved for him. I hope he remains pain-free.

      I’m so glad that you can relate to this post. I have failed a lot too. But you’re right, Jesus is the most merciful and forgiving!

      So good to see you! And thank you for supporting me on Facebook too. It’s great to see you there 🙂
      Have a good Sunday,
      Ceil

    • Hi Ren! Thank you for visiting here, and making a comment too. I always like meeting new blog friends 🙂

      And I’m so glad that you can relate to the message. I love the way blogs can really support our spirit, and lift us up. Thank you for lifting me up today.

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  26. I don’t feel like the lone ranger now having had three shoulder surgeries and not staying in the house and driving the day after surgery! My PT starts tomorrow and I’ll be thinking of your words and analogy. So true and powerful! We only get out of everything what we put into it! This is a good and timely reminder. Thanks, Ceil.

    • Hi Floyd! Nope. You are not the only one who can’t stand to sit around and recoup the first few days. I hope you will take it easy though. Good luck at PT! I know you’ll do well because you are motivated. And you have a house full of nurses too 🙂

      I’m glad you liked the post, I guess it was really timely for you, wasn’t it?
      Enjoy the rest of your Sunday my friend,
      Ceil

  27. Love this post Ceil! It’s so true. It takes more than one hour of prayer, preaching and praise to actually live the full Christian life. I never realized that until a few years ago too. I love how you used your PT as an analogy to doing our own spiritual exercises too. I hope your shoulder continues to get better!

    • Hi Gretchen! Thank you for your supportive comments on the post, I really appreciate it. You learned early how important prayer and praise is outside of Sunday is, that’s so great!

      My shoulder is doing really well. My therapist says I may be discharged this week! All the prayers and work have really helped me. I am so grateful.

      Have a peaceful night, and thank you for your visit!
      Ceil

  28. I love how you compare life’s lessons to important spiritual ones! You always make me think. Thanks for sharing with us, for helping us stretch, and for being such a blessing! Have a great week!:)

    • Hi Karen! Thank you for your supportive comment, that’s so kind of you.

      I’m glad you liked the post today. I’m so happy that we are connected through our blogs. I’ve said it before, but it’s so true. We are truly blessed.

      I hope you had a restful weekend!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  29. Oh, Ceil, this is wonderful! I can just imagine how awful you felt when sharing the meaning of your name for the first time with your friends. And our gracious God led you to see what a precious gift your name truly is. Thank you for sharing this lovely story.

    • Hi Nancy! Well, it really stopped the meeting for a minute or two that’s for sure! No one was really sure how to interpret ‘blind.’

      But now I can, and it’s actually pretty great 🙂
      So glad you liked the story, I can look back and smile now. Then, I was not amused!

      Have a wonderful Wednesday,
      Ceil

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