Lost and Found…Another Look at the Shepherd

This week, one of my goals was to get up early before the rest of the family to have my devotional time. It has been going really well. Sometimes I hear my daughter babbling in the monitor. No matter how light I try to keep my footsteps, it’s almost like she senses I am awake. Knowing that she’s happy to play in her crib for at least 30 minutes before she yells for mummy, I head down to the basement where it’s quiet and have been enjoying my time singing, praying, reading and writing.

I am finishing up the book by Phillip Keller on the real-life shepherd’s perspective of the “Good Shepherd” and I love the analogy of God as the doorway:”It is through him that we enjoy a magnificent inner security and through him that we go out to engage in an adventurous life of new-found freedom under his direction” [page 88-89].

This theme of the Good Shepherd reminds me of another story in the Bible of the shepherd who goes out to look for one missing sheep. I find it amazing that although this shepherd already has 99 sheep, he braves the elements and goes out to look for this one lost sheep. In the grand scheme of things, losing one sheep would probably not have made a big difference to his state of wealth or to the rest of the herd. Yet, this one sheep mattered to him enough to leave the rest of the herd and go look for it.

It reminds me of the magnitude of God’s love for me. I matter in his eyes and even in those moments when I feel like I am losing my way, he always finds me and brings me back to safety.

Image courtesy of Dr Joseph Valks at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Dr Joseph Valks at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Introduction To The 30-Day Challenge

As part of the 30-day challenge that my fellow blogger has put me up to, I will be blogging about my progress here so that others can be encouraged and motivated to join us. The aim of the challenge is to improve our spiritual and physical well-being by engaging in consistent exercise and time with God over the next 30 days.  I figure that by writing about it here and having accountability partners, I will have no choice but to stick to this challenge! Here’s my current status (and therefore what needs improving!):
Physical Status:
Several years ago I decided to go on a ‘mass-gain’ diet because I was underweight for my height and I literally had to eat 2200 calories daily. Over the course of one summer, I happily managed to gain 25 pounds. I finally gained the weight I wanted to and pretty much continued with the same type of diet in order to maintain my weight. The downside to being naturally skinny is that I am not always consistent or rigorous with exercise. In addition, a knee injury a few years ago has left me unable to do any high impact exercise despite physiotherapy and visits to two orthopedic surgeons. So my exercise usually ends up being something like this:
  • 35-40 minutes 3 times a week (15 minutes elliptical at home, 15-20 minutes mix of either abs, legs, arms or yoga).
  • Some days, instead of the 35 minutes of exercise at home, I take a brisk 30-40 minute walk outside while pushing my daughter’s stroller.
  • One day a week, 30 minutes of swimming (confession: I haven’t been to the pool in the last three weeks because I wanted to use those evenings to study for the MCAT. Will have to figure this one out though since swimming is great for uncooperative knees like mine.)

So the exercise situation is not terrible, but it could be better and I don’t feel that I exert myself enough (I definitely don’t get to the dripping in sweat stage) partly because of fear of weight-loss and partly because of trying to avoid re-injuring my knee.

To begin the 30-day challenge, I downloaded MyFitnessPal (a program that allows you to track calorie intake, exercise goals etc.) as recommended by my fellow blogger and I just put in my profile. Very revealing!! First and foremost, the program suggested a daily calorie intake of 1700 calories for me based on my height and weight but I think this is too low based on my having had to eat over 2000 calories in the past just to maintain my weight. When I input what I normally eat into MyFitnessPal, my calorie intake came to about 2150 calories. Interestingly, most of my calories seem to come from carbs and protein. I generally eat a healthy diet but have to confess my sweet-tooth and my recent partiality to chips (time to nip that in the bud!). I am a bit low on fat intake although I didn’t take into account cooking oil plus any dressings. I will have to look into some healthy fat options. Based on MyFitnessPal, it doesn’t look like I need any protein supplements. I seem to get enough protein from my diet.

Although weight-loss is not my goal, I do need to tone around the belly following my two pregnancies, and I think no matter how skinny you are, fat seems to just love collecting around the thighs. Time to get rid of that! As part of the 30-day challenge, I’ll be ramping up my exercise to more vigorous 30-minute workouts daily! If you’re looking for ideas on what type of workouts to do, check out this blog. Here’s to hoping that all this exercise will allow us to maintain healthy, happy bodies!
Spiritual Status:

I only just recently became fairly consistent with setting aside time in the morning to play piano, sing praise and worship, pray and read my bible. But this only happens Monday to Thursday. Come the weekend, things get very busy with family and social activities but I know that’s no excuse. I have to make God my first priority. I definitely see the impact on my mood and attitudes when I skip out on my devotional time. So as part of this challenge, my time with God happens daily.

Well, tomorrow is Day 1 of the challenge. Let’s keep each other accountable!
Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net