Please don’t run.

We are in the midst of a series called “How do we thrive in this season of uncertainty?” If there is anything we can be certain of, it’s that we are in the midst of a season of uncertainty. We have spent the last couple weeks specifically talking about how we can thrive physically in this season. I started off this sub-series by talking about the importance of having a “why; without a compelling “why” we are a lot less likely to follow up with our wellness goals. Last week I shared 10 healthy eating tips because, yes, we truly are what we eat. This week I’m going to wrap up this sub-series by giving you 10 more tips on how to thrive physically in seasons of uncertainty. 

10 tips on how to thrive physically in seasons of uncertainty. 

  1. You need to prioritize sleep. Sleep is my top priority when it comes to my health. To be honest, it comes with sacrifices. I need 9 hours of sleep per night. I have tried so hard to survive on less, but I can’t. If I go more than 2-3 days with less than 9 hours of sleep, I am crabby. I can’t think straight. I am unable to make good decisions and my workouts suffer. Did you know that it is more important that you get a good night’s sleep than it is that you exercise? (Don’t believe me? Read this article: https://www.verywellfit.com/sleep-or-exercise-the-answer-will-improve-both-85902)

Let me share a few reasons why sleep is so important. 

  1. Researchers have found that people who sleep fewer hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. 
  2. Sleep is key to recovery. While we sleep, the body is hard at work repairing damage. 
  3. Lack of sleep is linked to depression and anxiety. 
  4. Sleep improves your immune function. 
  5. Sleep improves your athletic and physical performance.  
  6. Sleep gives us the energy to walk out God’s calling our life. 

But Lisa, I am so busy, how can I get more sleep? 

Do you watch TV? If you watch TV or use any electronics during the day, you have time for more sleep. If we have to choose between sleep and TV, we have to choose sleep whether we want to or not.  

2. Drink water all day long. If you google “How much water should I drink?” you will find a ton of different answers. My suggestion is to have water with you at all times and consistently drink it throughout the day. Don’t chug it, it will go right through you and it won’t serve its purpose. Don’t aim for totally clear pee either, it should be a yellow tint (someone had to say it). The benefits of drinking enough water are endless, just google it. 

3. Set realistic goals. DO NOT compare yourself to other people and what they are doing. Also, remember you aren’t a high school or college athlete anymore. When we compare ourselves to other people, we are comparing the entirety of our lives to a small piece of someone else’s life.  We also can’t compare our current selves to our younger selves.  One of the main reasons people stop exercising is because they do too much, too fast. They then either get injured or too discouraged to continue. Set realistic short term and long term goals. 

4. PLEASE. PLEASE. If you are just starting to exercise, please do not start off by running. I feel like people look at running as the gold standard of exercise. I am a runner and there is nothing like it. But if you have not exercised recently and start off with running, you are going to feel discouraged and give up – especially if one of your goals is to lose weight. Each time your foot hits the ground you are bearing 5x’s your body weight. Get into an exercise routine and lose some weight first, then start running. 

5. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy. Like I mentioned, people look at running as the gold standard for exercising. If you hate running, don’t run. Find some type of exercise you enjoy doing and do that. There are hundreds of different ways to get your body moving. If you hate doing something, you won’t keep doing it. 

6. Remember that there is a difference between being active and exercising. Don’t get me wrong, being active is super important – but exercising is a different thing. When I go on walks with people I will often ask, is this an exercise walk or just a walk? An exercise walk is a walk where you intend on getting your heart rate up, a walk just to walk is a leisure activity. Different goals = different outcomes. Just because you went on a leisure walk doesn’t mean you don’t have to exercise. 

7. Dress the part. Full disclosure, when I started working as a trainer I would snicker a little bit when people came into the gym for the first time with fancy new outfits. I would always think to myself “Well, they just spent a ton of money on clothes that they will use once.” I was wrong. I’ve learned over time that there is power in dressing the part. If you are dressed like you are going to exercise, there is a much higher chance that you will. 

8. Get the right shoes. I know this seems like a silly tip, but getting the right shoes is key. If you don’t have the right shoes you will experience more soreness and you will be more prone to injury. If you are going to run, you need to get running shoes. If you are going to use the elliptical or do a class, get a good pair of cross trainers. If possible, only wear your running shoes for running. They are designed specifically for running. 

9. Surround yourself with healthy people. We tend to become like the people we spend time with. Go out of your way to spend time with the people in your life that have healthy habits. Instead of meeting up for dinner or coffee, meet up for a walk or meet at the gym. 

10. Tell everyone you know when you are starting a new healthy living habit. Post it all over social media and tell everyone you see. Just knowing other people know will help hold you accountable.

My hope and prayer is you can take a few of the tips I have shared over the last couple weeks and try them. 

Friends, taking care of yourself physically is work. It comes with a cost of time, desire and comfort. You have to sacrifice time to sleep more. You have sacrifice comfort when you first start exercising, it can be messy and uncomfortable. You have die to your desires when you chose not to eat another cookie. But I promise the sacrifices are worth it. Trust me on this one. It may not feel worth it at first, but there is no better feeling than having the energy, stamina and strength to walk out the unique calling God has on your life.

Because there is more,

Lisa

I am the Suburban mom.

Yesterday, I read that a legislator demanded that the government apologize to the suburban moms who were afraid as a result of the riots last week. 

He was talking about me. I was the scared suburban mom. 

This past week many people have asked me how I felt about the events that have unfolded over the last few weeks. My response has been consistent – I have been very unimpressed with myself. 

If you are a student of the Enneagram, I am an 8. Eights thrive when they can advocate for the underdog. When I picture my best self I imagine myself standing up on a podium, megaphone in hand, inspiring a crowd to rally against injustice. 

But when the looting started and it started to get close to home, I didn’t grab my megaphone. Instead I took a nap. I felt scared and overwhelmed. I just wanted it to be all over. 

You see, as much as I am an advocate, I also have a high felt need for safety. I didn’t feel safe at all. 

I also felt angry. My 12 year old daughter struggles with anxiety. She is already struggling to navigate the challenges that have come with being in the middle of a pandemic. Now this? The first night our city had a curfew, she cried herself to sleep. She was sure that someone was going to come into our house, steal all of our stuff and shoot us. I tried my best to hide my feelings, but it was a struggle. Honestly, I wondered the same thing. 

“Why did we have to suffer at the hands of someone else’s bad decisions?”, I found myself saying out loud (Please keep reading, I’m not saying these feelings are okay). Not that I demanded an apology, but I did wonder more than once why the government had let things get so out of control. 

The morning after the curfew had been instituted we left to go out of town. The whole way up to Duluth I felt conflicted. Were we making a statement by leaving town? We had planned the trip earlier in the week before all of this happened, but all of a sudden taking a vacation felt like we were taking a stance. The whole time I felt like we should be pressing in, not running away. I struggled to stay focused throughout the weekend. My emotions felt confusing and conflicting.

Social media blew up with a slew of new experts on the issue of race. And for some reason I felt like each comment or suggestion was a direct attack on me. When I was trying to sit back and listen, I felt like assumptions were being made about me and my lack of engagement. I felt a deep need to explain myself. I wanted to prove to the world that I do care about racial reconciliation and I have for a long time. Yet I felt like I had nothing to add to the conversation. 

After we returned from Duluth things had died down a bit. My dominant emotion was no longer fear, but confusion. 

Where was my place in this fight? Do I have one? The battle had been won, but the war was not over. Crowds began to fill the streets to clean up the damage. While people hit the streets, I hid in my room and googled “What should I do?” I still felt paralyzed and I could not figure out why. 

I pressed in. I prayed. Then I started to see. 

I felt paralyzed because I had been waiting for my feelings to change. 

I am an incredibly passionate person. I’m getting a bit more level-headed as I get older, but still a lot of my decisions are made from a place of passion. 

So during the riots I kept waiting for the Clark Kent in me to become Superman. I was waiting for the advocate in me to emerge from underneath the rubble of anger and fear. I was waiting to feel that depth of passion that I rely on to propel me into action. I was waiting for my feelings to go from being conflicted to conviction and it wasn’t happening. 

And as I waited for my feelings to change I became paralyzed by them.  

You see by nature, I am a black and white thinker. I am either sad or happy. I believe that I have to be either convicted or complacent. I quickly conclude that I am either angry or accepting. And when I feel both happy and sad, convicted and complacent, or angry and accepting – I don’t know where to turn. I don’t do anything and I become paralyzed. 

Over this last year I have started to learn that I don’t have to be one or the other. I can be happy and sad. I can feel convicted and complacent. I can even be angry and accepting. And I don’t have to wait for those emotions to change to do something. 

I can still feel scared about the unknown, yet seek to understand.

I can feel angry about the world my kids are being forced to navigate, yet feel the same level of anger for injustice. 

I can feel confused and curious all at the same time.

But I don’t get to be paralyzed.

I don’t get to be paralyzed because when I chose to walk with Jesus, I chose to walk. I chose to walk with Him as He confronts injustice. I chose to walk with Him as He extends mercy and grace. I chose to walk with Him as He breaks down evil strongholds and brings freedom to the captives. 

I chose to walk with Him regardless of how I feel. 

So that’s what I’m trying to do. I still feel a bit scared, angry and a bit confused. But as I continue to walk with Jesus on this journey, those feelings are starting to become smaller and smaller. I’m starting to feel my passion arise. 

It’s time to bring out the mega phone.

Because there is more,

Lisa

He is better. Covid Questions.

There are several things I don’t like about being a Christian. A few things Jesus said rub me the wrong way. Some of his ways are difficult to follow. Some of his teachings are challenging to swallow. But there comes a point in our faith where we have to decide – what is better?

Is what Jesus has to offer better than what it costs to follow him? 

In the context of surrendering our ‘why’, the question may sound a bit more like this…

Is knowing the answer to your ‘why’ better than finding freedom in Christ and living out the fullness God has to offer? 

When I look at that question in print, it feels ridiculous to even write it. 

Of course we would choose Freedom in Christ…..

I didn’t. I didn’t for 16 years. 

Most people don’t either. 

Why is that? 

Because we don’t know what we are missing. Hindsight is 20/20. When I was obsessed with answering my ‘why’, I didn’t even realize it. At the time, I couldn’t articulate that my ‘why’ created a blind spot and it kept me from seeing who God truly is. I came to believe that is what faith looked liked. I subconsciously believed following Jesus was a hard, long journey I had been called to endure. I thought for some reason I had a target on my head for God to throw darts of hardship my way. 

Photo by Marc on Pexels.com

But I was wrong. 

Being on the other side of surrendering my “why’, I can’t tell you if I believe God causes hardship or just allows it because we live in a fallen world. I don’t know. But I am sure of one thing, God makes good out of bad. The whole time I thought God was bringing hardship my way to make me tougher and develop my character – he was actually just trying to reveal my blind spots. He was using the trials and stress to bring me closer and closer to a place of brokenness. He knew that only in a place of brokenness would I be able to finally see who he was and experience the fullness he had to offer. 

He knew what he had to offer was better than what I had settled for. 

I’m so glad he didn’t give up on me.

I’m glad he didn’t give up because now the freedom I have experienced after surrendering my ‘why’ makes the ‘why’ question seem irrelevant. 

Your journey to get to that place of surrender is going to be different than mine. You may not experience as many hardships along the way, but regardless of our path I believe we all must get to a place where, deep in our soul, we can honestly say – God you are better. We have to come to a place where we truly believe whatever God has on the other side of surrendering our ‘why’ is better than knowing all the answers. 

If I were you, I would be thinking, that’s a great idea Lisa – but how do you get to that place? 

I thought you would never ask. 

Pray. I recognize that on this side of the struggle, it’s easy to make the process sound easy and simple. My journey to surrendering my ‘why’ was anything but simple. It was painful and confusing. But like I mentioned, part of the reason it took me so long to surrender my ‘why’ is I didn’t realize my ‘why’ had become a blind spot. So let me spare you years of pain and hardship. Ask God “Am I allowing my ‘why’ to keep me from experiencing the fullness of who you are?” God has already shown us through the cross he will go to the greatest lengths to bridge the gap between him and his people. If you ask with a sincere heart, I PROMISE you God will reveal your blind spots to you. 

Find glimpses. Find people around you whom you think are walking in the freedom and fullness Christ has to offer. If you know don’t anyone like that, find some biographies to read of people who give up everything, yet gain everything. Being reminded of what you don’t have, but have access to, hopefully will motivate you to keep fighting for freedom.

Ask yourself hard questions.What answer could God give you that would satisfy your ‘why’ question? When I actually sat back and thought about it, I could not come up with an answer that would truly satisfy my ‘why’.  “Why does it feel so important to you to understand ‘why’? Take time to think through those questions. 

Start a better than list. Faith plays a huge piece in surrendering your ‘whys’, but there is also a bit of logic to consider. Is knowing ‘why’ better than freedom in Christ? Make a list of reasons why surrendering your ‘why’ is better. 

Look for the good. Over the last several years, I have found a lot of comfort in the simple truth that God makes good out of bad. Although I would love to avoid the pain altogether, it helps me to know that there is purpose in what I am going through.  

The reason I write is so that people can learn from my mistakes. So please take some time to pray. Ask God if there is a ‘why’ in your life that has created a blind spot keeping you from seeing who he really is. Find glimpses of what life has to offer on the other side of surrender. Ask yourself hard questions and be honest in your answers. Cling to the truth that God makes good out of bad. 

I believe if you commit to doing those things, in the not so distant future you will be able to say from the bottom of our soul – He is better.

Because there is more,

Lisa

Each day this week I will be providing daily journal prompts and thoughts based on this post. Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss anything!

I don’t know. Day 6.

If you missed yesterday’s post, read that first. Each post this week will build on one another.

Have you started a Covid-19 journal yet? If not, start there. Go and order a fancy journal on Amazon if that would motivate you. I usually just grab an old notebook. Staple some loose paper together if that’s all you have. After this is all over, you will be glad you kept a journal during this time.

I believe at the heart of surrender is brokenness.

This is the definition of brokenness we are working off of. “In the positive spiritual sense, brokenness is the condition of being completely subdued and humbled before the Lord, and as a result, completely yielded to and dependent upon Him also.” (deeptruths.com)

We took a closer look at what is means to be humble, subdued, yielded and dependentto surrender.

So after a taking a deeper look at surrender and brokenness this week I just have one question for you.

What does it mean to surrender your ‘why’?

Tomorrow I am going to share my next blog in my current series, Covid Questions. In the mean time, grab your journal and keep on writing.

Because there is more,

Lisa

I don’t know. Day 5.

If you missed yesterday’s post, read that first. Each post this week will build on one another.

Have you started a Covid-19 journal yet? If not, start there. Go and order a fancy journal on Amazon if that would motivate you. I usually just grab an old notebook. Staple some loose paper together if that’s all you have. After this is all over, you will be glad you kept a journal during this time.

I believe that at the heart of surrender is brokenness. We are taking a closer look at what that means.

Here is the definition that we are working off of. “In the positive spiritual sense, brokenness is the condition of being completely subdued and humbled before the Lord, and as a result, completely yielded to and dependent upon Him also.” (deeptruths.com)

Today we are going to look at the definitions of the words subdued, yielded and dependent.

Subdued speaks of bringing something or someone under control. In war it happens by force, but with God we always have choice. We choose whether or not we put our life under God’s control.

To Yield means “to surrender or submit, as to superior power.” (Dictonary.com)

Dependent: “relying on someone or something else for aid, support, etc.” (Dictonary.com)

Journal questions for the day.

What does subdued mean in the context of surrender?

What does it mean to be yielded to God?

How are you dependent on God?

How do these words different from each other? How are they similar?

More tomorrow,

Lisa

I don’t know. Day 4.

If you missed yesterday’s post, read that first. Each post this week will build on one another.

Have you started a Covid-19 journal yet? If not, start there. Go and order a fancy journal on Amazon if that would motivate you. I usually just grab an old notebook. Staple some loose paper together if that’s all you have. After this is all over, you will be glad you kept a journal during this time.

I believe at the heart of surrender is brokenness.

This is the definition of brokenness we are working off of. “In the positive spiritual sense, brokenness is the condition of being completely subdued and humbled before the Lord, and as a result, completely yielded to and dependent upon Him also.” (deeptruths.com)

Today I want us to take a closer look at the word humbled. I have really struggled with what humility means. I have seen a lot of examples of false humility, but what does true humility look like? Is it wrong to proud of something you worked really hard on? I went on a quest to find out. As a result of my search, I have started to see humility like this: We can do great things, but God can always do it better. Humility is knowing your place in relationship to God.

Journal questions for today.

1. How would you define humility?

2. How do you think humility and surrender are linked?

More tomorrow,

Lisa

I don’t know. Day 3.

If you missed yesterday’s post, read that first. Each post this week will build on one another.

Have you started a Covid-19 journal yet? If not, start there. Go and order a fancy journal on Amazon if that would motivate you. I usually just grab an old notebook. Staple some loose paper together if that’s all you have. After this is all over, you will be glad you kept a journal during this time.

Yesterday I mentioned that at the heart of surrender is brokenness. I asked you to process through three questions. 1. What words come to mind when you think of brokenness? 2. Have you ever felt this way? 3. Why do you think brokenness is at the heart of surrender?

I don’t believe that you can truly surrender until you come to a place of brokenness. For a lot of us (like me) we had to hit rock bottom in order to experience spiritual brokenness. I don’t believe that is always the case.

We are going dig a little deeper over the next few days about what I mean when I refer to brokenness. Here is the best definition of spiritual brokenness I have found. I found it on deeptruths.com

Definition: “In the positive spiritual sense, brokenness is the condition of being completely subdued and humbled before the Lord, and as a result, completely yielded to and dependent upon Him also.”

Journal questions for today:

What parts of this definition do you agree or disagree with?

What words stick out to you?

More tomorrow,

Lisa

I don’t know. Day 2.

If you missed yesterday’s post, read that first. Each post this week will build on one another.

Have you started a Covid-19 journal yet? If not, start there. Go and order a fancy journal on Amazon if that would motivate you. I usually just grab an old notebook. Staple some loose paper together if that’s all you have. After this is all over, you will be glad you kept a journal during this time.

Yesterday I asked what answers people have given you to the question, why do bad things happen to good people? I would love to hear your answers.

At the end of my blog post on Thursday I shared that I came to a place in my life where I surrendered my ‘why‘. To read more about that experience, check this post out.

If I was reading about someone else’s experience of surrender, before I experienced it myself, I would have been skeptical. I would have thought, that sounds great – but how to do you that? That is the question we are going to explore over the next few days. How do we surrender? What does it mean to surrender?

Keep in mind two things as we dig in.

1. As I write about my experience of surrender it can sound like it was quick and easy. That experience was 16 years in the making.

2. Also, keep in mind that surrender is not a one time experience, I have to surrender my ‘why’s’ to God daily.

First things first. Brokenness

I have found that at the heart of surrender is brokenness. I’ll share my definition with you tomorrow, but today I want you to come up with your own.

Journal questions for the day.

What words come to mind when you think of brokenness? Rock Bottom? Lost? Humbled? Devastated?

Have you ever felt that way?

What is your definition of brokenness?

Why do you think that brokenness is at the heart of surrender?

More tomorrow,

Lisa

I don’t know. Day 1.

If you missed yesterday’s post, start there. Each post this week will build on one another.

First, things first. Have you started a Covid-19 journal yet? If not, start there. Go and order a fancy journal on Amazon if that would motivate you. I usually just grab an old notebook. Staple some loose paper together if that’s all you have. After this is all over, you will be glad you kept a journal during this time.

In yesterday’s post I shared about answers people gave me to the question of ‘why’. People had a lot of thoughts about why bad things happen to good people.

What answers have people given you?

I want you to take some time and write them down. With each answer write about how you feel about that answer. Do you believe it? How does it make you feel? Do you feel defensive? Does it make you feel angry?

If you are struggling to know where to start, take a look at these. These are the common answers people gave me.

God allows bad things to happen so that people can see his power and glory. The story of Lazarus is the prime example. Lazarus’s sisters came to Jesus begging him to come and heal Lazarus. John 11:4 tells us that ““When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.’”

God allows bad things to happen to good people because God uses it to develop perseverance and character. I don’t know how many times I heard James 1:2-4 quoted to me. It states “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” 

God sees the big picture. Each human has an important role to play in the world. God sees the whole picture. Our actions and experiences have ripple effects. Our struggles could lead to someone else’s victory. 

I would love to hear your answers! If you feel comfortable, comment below. Or send me an email: Lisdschmidt@gmail.com.

More tomorrow,

Lisa

I don’t know. Covid Questions

As I mentioned in my last post, after my Liver transplant I became consumed with ‘why’? I felt like if I knew why God allowed this, then somehow I would be able to accept what happened. I was convinced that after I had the answer, I would have peace and I could move on with my life. 

I thought I was in the “right place” to find the answers I was looking for. I was at a bible college. I added the emphasis for sarcasm because it seemed people at bible colleges loved to analyze and give answers to the age old question of why do bad things happen to good people. 

[I want to take a pause here and acknowledge something. As I continue in this series, I want you to know that I’m not going to discuss whether or not I believe God caused this to happen. I’m not going to engage in the debate between free will and God’s sovereignty. In my search to understand ‘why’, it didn’t really matter which way I leaned on the issue, I still struggled. I believe that God is powerful enough that he could have stopped it. Knowing that was enough for me to continue to demand answers from God.]

Back to my story. As I mentioned, the people around me had a lot of answers for me. Here are a few common ones I heard . 

  1. God allows bad things to happen so that people can see his power and glory. The story of Lazarus is the prime example. Lazarus’s sisters came to Jesus begging him to come and heal Lazarus. John 11:4 tells us that ““When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.’”

For a while this answer worked for me. I identified closely with Lazarus. People went before God pleading (like Lazarus’s sisters) that he would save me. God waited until the last minute to provide me a Liver (if you read the whole story, God seemed to have waited even a little past the last minute with Lazarus). Because of how close a call it was, people were in awe of God’s power and ability to perform miracles (for both Lazarus and me). God was glorified. At first I reveled in being a miracle, I was a modern day Lazarus. I was super good at being a miracle. I would go to churches and people would stand up and clap for me. 

But it didn’t last. Have you noticed that no one ever talks about Lazarus afterward? I would love to talk to him. I have personally found being a miracle very hard. And as much as I was grateful and in awe of God’s miracle, people’s interest faded quickly. The pain I was experiencing didn’t feel worth the fading awe that people had toward God and me.  

  1. God allows bad things to happen to good people because God uses it to develop perseverance and character. I don’t know how many times I heard James 1:2-4 quoted to me. It states “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” 

I think we can all recognize that this is true. Most of the time we are stronger on the other side of the struggle. I don’t know about you, but when trials stack up long enough, joy isn’t my primary emotion.  

  1. God sees the big picture. Each human has an important role to play in the world, but we each only have one role. God sees the whole picture. Our actions and experiences have ripple effects. Our struggles could lead to someone else’s victory. 

I believe all these answers are true. For short seasons they would satisfy my deep longing to understand ‘why’. But none of them brought lasting rest to my search for answers.

Even in recent years, I’ve continued to cry out to God over this. Then one day I felt confronted in my spirit with some tough questions from God:

What answer can I give you that will satisfy your soul?” 

What if you don’t ever really know why?” 

Yikes. I felt like God was asking me, “Do you love me enough to follow and trust me even if you don’t understand it all?”

It took me a while, but after years of chasing after ‘why’, I surrendered. I surrendered my ‘why’ to God. And I’ve had to do it each day sense.

I came to a place where I started to accept that I would never really know ‘why’ certain things happened. But that was okay, because I could trust in the one who did.

Friends, it took me SO long to get to this place. This depth of surrender does not happen overnight nor is a one time event. I don’t want to make something sound simple that is not.  I would love to join you on your journey to get to this place. It might take awhile, but I’m in. Throughout this week, I am going to post daily follow up questions and practical tips of what it means to surrender your ‘why’? I won’t be posting these on social media, so make sure to subscribe to my blog at Lisadschmidt.com to get updates when I post.

Because there is more, 

Lisa