My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for June, 2010

Work what works for you–Finding your fitness groove

Finding your fitness groove

"Saturday morning at-home exercise"

Class is over, we’re standing in the “Y’s” parking lot talking, 3 beautiful women, 3 different body types, all committed to our particular exercise routines and with different goals in mind. I’m the leanest of the 3, and lest you think I’m boasting, let me say that I’m a black West Indian who believes my heritage dictates that I should be packing at least a little bit of “junkiness in my chunkiness.” So several years ago when my doctor hinted at high cholesterol and I changed my eating habits and my hips disappeared I was not pleased. Years later, my healthy eating habits have remained, I’ve kicked up my exercise routine and I said good-bye to hips.

I’ve realized, though, it’s not only important to know the fitness level you want to achieve, but finding your personal fitness groove is paramount — that is, a routine that is fun, flexible, works and can grow into a life long habit.

I had committed myself to 2 nights at the “Y” (1 hour of yoga, 45 mins of cardio box and 1 hr of Zumba.) However, I wanted to exercise more often without having to give more time at the “Y”, so I needed to find something that I can do at home consistently. I have a range of dvds– pilates, yoga, dance, taebo and more but in the past I’ve lacked consistency. So now, every morning Monday to Friday I get up at 5am. I mix my chores with exercise and then I dedicate about 20 mins to jogging in place or dancing, a little yoga, planks, push ups, and I’m energized to face my day.

Does it work? Can 20 mins a day make a difference? My body says it can, consistency is key. So find your fitness groove and work what works for you.

A love that nurtures

How could something so simple bring such enjoyment and satisfaction I wondered as I bent over my plant. One of my friends had gifted it to me–a potted tomato plant with basil and cilantro. Now I had three baby tomatoes growing, and it had brought out the nurturer in me. I began checking the leaves for bugs and fungus, breaking off dead branches and pinching away suckers to ensure it was kept healthy and provided with the right conditions to flourish and grow.

I stayed for about 20 minutes enjoying the act of nurturing my plant and was deep in thought — how carefully God must watch over his children to love us and nurture us, to prune and remove those things that can hinder growth, deplete energy and threaten spiritual health. I challenged myself to rethink my views on discomfort and pain, for maybe the discomfort we sometimes experience is not the administering of punishment or discipline but is a result of being loved and nurtured.

The idea of being nurtured where I’m protected and cuddled, loved and pampered, feeling safe, appeal to me but the breaking off and stripping of things is the painful side of nurturing that is very real and absolutely necessary.

In order to mature we have to accept all that nurturing is. For the beauty of knowing we are loved, is, that we can rest in the arms of our nurturer and allow Him the freedom to administer what we need.

Daddy! Daddy? — When Dad’s not there

A poem to my father

A poem

No memories to hold on to, No daddy stories to share,
No photos in my album to show you were there.
No songs we sang together, No dance steps we shared,
No, “love you, see you later,” No sighs or happy tears.

No hugs in the mornings, No waiting for you at nights,
No, “I love you daddy, can I sleep here tonight?”
No camp trips, no tea time, No birthday gifts, no cards,
No calls to say “I miss you,” No claim on daddy’s heart.

No praise at graduations, No, “well done, great job!”
No help with my homework, No scoldings for my wrongs.
No presence to guide me, no instructions to help,
No shoulders to cry on; No, “Daddy, please help!”

No strength to run home to, No daddy’s hand to hold,
No, “Wait, let me ask daddy, he’ll tell me what to do.”
No advice for my first date, No model for my mate,
No father to look up to; “Dad, do you think it’s too late?”

Yes, there are tears as I write now, I’m hurting, you weren’t there,
I’ve heard there’s nothing like dads and daughters and the love they can share.
No, time can’t be recaptured; Yes, we can make amends,
Yes, we both can do much better, there can be a happy end.

Let’s both look to the future, a new start is what we need,
Forgiveness makes a difference, healing hearts that are grieved.
So I say with all sincerity, “Have a happy father’s day,”
You see, I’m your daughter, God designed it that way.

Experiencing the love of a gentle whisper

"Whispers of Love"

Some people have crushes and fall in love with movie stars, I fall in love with bible characters. I remember falling completely in love the first time I read King Solomon’s prayer at the temple dedication. I caught a glimpse of the king’s heart and I loved him.

Needless to say, I love the Old Testament stories, and at the moment my studies take me into the life of the prophet Elijah. I’ve just witnessed him on Mount Carmel as he gives his life transforming speech, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God follow him…? Then that “camp meeting” draws to a close as God manifests his presence with fire.

But now, I find Elijah sitting beneath a broom tree in the desert. Because right after his victory on Mount Carmel, Jezebel issued a death sentence on his life, he became afraid and ran away. This is where I get really excited because I get a chance to glimpse at the heart of another King.

Picture this, Elijah finds a little shelter in the desert — the broom tree,  sits down and prays that he might die, then goes to sleep. A representative (an angel) from the King (God) wakes up Elijah and points to a meal that had been prepared for him. Elijah eats and goes back to sleep. A second time he is awakened and again instructed to eat, but this time Elijah’s emotional state is addressed, “…for the journey is too much for you,” the angel says.  Elijah eats and is so strengthened that he travels 40 days and nights to Mount Horeb.

Elijah in this time of emotional despair most have sensed his need for companionship and communion with God, because Mount Horeb has great significance in Israel’s history as the place where some of the other “great’s” of the bible met with God. God does not disappoint Elijah, “What are you doing here?” God asks him. And because our vision becomes impaired, our faith weakened and our confidence shaken when we are operating in fear, Elijah basically answers that nothing is going right, your people aren’t doing right and I’m the only one left to handle this challenge.

Look at the King’s heart. In response the King says, “let me come spend some time with you.” The scripture tells us that there is a great display of power in the wind, an earthquake and fire, but when God shows up He comes in the power of a calming, stilling, gentle whisper.

Sometimes that’s all we need to dispel fear, calm our hearts and refocus our minds. Get away from the chatter, turn off that noise, and listen — there is that gentle whisper saying, “Let me come spend time with you, let me calm and love you.”

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Make every move count–physical, spiritual & emotional fitness

“It’s time to have church like never before…,” this rather bright and cheerful announcement at 5:00am comes from Pastor Donnie McClurkin as he starts his radio show. But that’s also my signal to throw back the covers, bounce out of bed and get moving. You see, I started this experiment to be very conscious of every move I made for the first hour of my day and make it beneficial to my health — i.e. taking my early morning tasks and blend in a workout routine so that whether I was putting away dishes or brushing my teeth I got a workout as well,

It may sound strange, but remember every little bit counts. This is how it works: as I move, I pay attention to my breathingdeep, abdominal breaths, I jog as I go from room to room, instead of standing in place I dance or do an in-place jog, bending to get something gives me a chance to work on flexibility, I develop balance when I’m throwing away garbage by standing on one leg and lifting the lid with the other and during this hour I pay attention to my core (tightening) and drink waterall this is done to the music that flows from “The Donnie McClurkin Show.”

As I move around the house jogging, dancing, bending, twisting, stretching I add dance moves I learned from my “Island Girl Cardio Hula” video that tones my legs and trims my waist. It’s actually fun as I try to see how creative I can get in accomplishing my tasks and increasing the intensity of my workout.

However, as I was enjoying my challenge this morning of making every move count I had this amazing reminder — do you know that God specializes in making sure that everything that happens in our lives count? He is always in the process of taking “ALL things” and shaping them so that they work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Do you feel as if you are being stretched, twisted, tugged and bent out of shape? Are you experiencing shortness of breath caused by stress, a life that is out of balance and the aches of inflexibility? Who knows, this may be an excellent opportunity to work on your spiritual and emotional fitness. Don’t waste this time, make every move count.

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