Part 2: The Original Plank Challenge

Part 2: The Original Plank Challenge

Humans are comprised of three parts: skin (earth suit and all of its physical components), Spirit (our eternal energy and life source) and soul (mind, will, imagination and intellect).  Often, especially in western culture, we focus on the physical realm only.  However, research shows the importance of nurturing all three parts of of our beings.

This blog is a continuation of The Original Plank Challenge (Please be sure to read it!).  I am journaling my effort to strengthen my physical and spiritual core strength through planking.  The physical plank is an exercise of body.  The spiritual plank is self-examination and removal of toxic thought or behavior patterns – as Jesus admonishes in Matthew 7:5 NIV “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  The Original Plank Challenge includes my first two days.  This entry will include, well, I’m not exactly sure.  The number of entries will be determined by how lengthy they are.  Ok?

10/30 00:25:??  I don’t remember the milliseconds, which I will address momentarily.  I could not believe I lost ten seconds on this!  I had been so happy to see growth between days one and two.  However, my lower abdominal muscles just “hung”.  I wasn’t certain the reason, and was determined it was a glitch, and that I’d improve by the next day.

Plank in my eye: Not taking care of myself as I know how to, consistently.

I walked home from church today with three of my kids.  We had had a family fall picnic, which I served through most of it, happily.  On the walk home, I became overheated – am still not sure how, because it was not that hot, at least not for south Louisiana.  I ended up napping for most of the afternoon in effort to shake a headache.  I finally remembered to use my peppermint essential oil, which gave enough relief to sleep.  I reflected later on the day, and realized I waited, once again, entirely too long to eat that morning, yet had coffee.  Caffeine + hypoglycemia + no food is a pretty reliable formula for a headache and nausea.  Add standing on my feet (which I enjoyed, not complaining) for three hours to serve hundreds of people.  Finally ate.  Then, served a little more, drank a little water, then walked a mile home in high 80s heat.  Not a rigorous day in itself, but throw in a crazy busy lifestyle, 18 years of overall sleep deprivation, with the last four years not granting a single solid night’s sleep — and the need to take care of myself and prevent episodes is self-evident. I missed out on a Sunday afternoon with my family because I failed to take care of myself properly.  That’s not loving myself or my family.  I can and will do better.

10/31  00:22:??  Again, I failed to properly record my time – perhaps at the shock and disappointment of losing another three seconds.  Again, I formed the plank in effort to catch the prematurely started stop watch, and my abdominal muscles were not in proper position. Boo.

Plank in my eye:  Pushing down frustrations and having lower tolerance for kids being kids. Ouch. This one hurt. I desire to always respond in love to my children — well, to everyone, but especially to my babies.  The past few months have been difficult with a particular child.  I endeavor not to react, but to respond — doesn’t always happen, but I try.  But, I realized on this day that I was being short fused with my other five children because I was frustrated that I saw no effective recourse with one particular child.  And, as I was in mid-sentence speaking gruffly to a child, I saw the situation clearly.  This was not the first time I deflected frustrations onto an innocent party.

A few weeks ago, God told me He wanted me to focus on His joy and our relationship.  I have.  I need to focus even more on it.  When I do, I am amazed at His peace surpassing any human reason or understanding of what could be a very stressful circumstance.  A friend asked me recently, “How are you not crying right now?” when she witnessed something.  Another friend witnessed something else and asked, “How are you just standing there not going off on ___?  If that had been my ____, I’d be going off.” All I can say is: the grace of God and His peace.  Going off on someone is not the answer.  The situation(s) need(s) to be addressed, yes, but not in a fit of rage.  However, in my endeavor to maintain peace throughout these situations, I must ensure I truly cast my cares to my Father and do not cast them indirectly on an innocent bystander.

11/01 00:00:00 – Decided to rest my body from the plank for a day.

Plank in my eye – Not taking the time to properly execute a task if it’s related to “me”… Oy.  If we do not love ourselves, we will not properly love others.

During the time I would have planked, I thought about what I had not done correctly the previous two nights.  I realized that rather than reset the stop watch, I rushed into the plank, trying to “set” my form after being in form.  To plank effectively and safely, I should tighten my muscles as I position my form.  I should not have rushed myself.  What would the big deal have been to reset the stop watch?  For reasons I will not discuss here, I have avoided spending too much time on myself.  No justification for it.  I understand why I have done it, and have decided I am worth pushing past the nuances of others’ attitudes and misconceptions of me.  I will not allow this to dictate my self-care any longer.  Jesus shed His blood for me, endured torment.  Surely, I can stand up for myself and truth — but more importantly, love myself enough to return to the discipline of exercise and health that I enjoyed the majority of my life.  I will schedule myself accordingly, and purpose time for my health.

11/02 01:01:23.  What?  What is that digit in the minutes section?  A one!  Yes!  I planked for a minute!  Happy, happy, happy dance.  Elation.

Plank in my eye –  Procrastination.  I have not recorded my blog entries for the past few days.  Must.Do.Better.  But, life happens at a fast pace, and the bed calls rather loudly at the end of full, fast days.

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