'Working Out' My Faith

woman reading bible

A while ago, my husband, Mike, suggested we undertake an intense home fitness program together. I wondered if his invitation was a veiled attempt at encouraging me to get rid of my "love handles."

I'm a sucker for a challenge! But where would I find the time? The program required an hour of exercise five to six days a week for three months.

Mike and I completed the first week or two together, and then he fell off the wagon. Although it had been Mike's idea to do the program, I just couldn't stop! I suppose this was the outgrowth of my type A personality — I finish what I start.

I motivated myself to complete the program, devoting an hour a day, five days a week. Because I work and have three young boys, I usually got my workout in by waking up around 5 a.m. Near the end of the three-month program, I felt wonderful.

One morning after my early workout, I sensed the Lord asking me, "That's great, Juli. But would you be willing to invest the same amount of dedication and time to spiritual discipline?"

That got me thinking. What would that look like? I noticed how my body had changed in 90 days — my arms were more defined, my stomach less flabby. How might my walk with the Lord change if I took spiritual discipline that seriously for 90 days? How might my faith and character be strengthened?

That was over a year ago, and I haven't looked back. The quiet voice of the Mighty God that beckoned me to carve out the best of my day for Him has changed my life. God used to seem distant; now I'm beginning to know Him as the One I love. His Word has new meaning, His Spirit new power.

I'm a woman who knows how to work hard, and I work hard to be a good wife and mother. But I'm learning that my most important work, really my only work, is to be a worshiper and lover of the almighty God.

When Mike first suggested this insane workout program, he thought he would just get a wife who was in better physical shape. Well, he got more than he bargained for — a wife committed to prayer and the pursuit of holiness. A wife in better spiritual shape.

Juli Slattery is the author of No More Headaches.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of Focus on the Family's Thriving Family magazine.
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Copyright © 2012 Focus on the Family.

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