365: Body, Mind, Spirit | Week 3

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365: Body

This week was a bit harder than the first two. On Monday during my walk my back and hamstrings started to hurt. I walked 1.5 miles and then called it a day. I hung out on the front porch for a bit feeling really achy and tired. The only thing I can attribute the aches to was the weather. It was cold (for our area) and I wasn’t dressed properly. I spent much of my walk hunched over and shivering. Tuesday-Saturday weren’t painful, but I wasn’t feeling my strongest. I think I was tired from the Mister being out of town all week. The boys kept sneaking into my bed with their pillows and stuffed animals and many, many arms and legs. On Sunday I had a headache, but I still walked. I was hoping the fresh air would make me feel better, but it didn’t. I walked just short of 2 miles and it took me 40 minutes, but I walked.

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365: Mind

I write a lot about what I see on my walks. Lovely scenery, interesting plants, the weather. On Thursday I wrote about seeing Mikey’s Big Bunny on the couch and how it made me smile. I more often write about what makes me happy than for what I am grateful. I don’t know if I’m doing my gratitude journal correctly, but it feels right.

365: Spirit

The plan I am using has me reading the Old Testament, Psalms, and the New Testament every day. So far, the Old Testament is like a reality TV show. I’m trying to think of a way to put this where I won’t offend anyone. People were cray-cray! It’s no wonder priests, rabbis, and religious scholars study for years and years and years and never really finish. I could study the Bible for the rest of my life and only scratch the surface of what we I am supposed to take away.

This is especially true with the Old Testament. Genealogy abounds, hirsute brothers are giving away their birthright for a bowl of stew, and everyone is kissing their cousins–unless they’re too busy kissing their siblings.

Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelek king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.

3 But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”

4 Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”

6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will die.”

8 Early the next morning Abimelek summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelek called Abraham in and said, “What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.” 10 And Abimelek asked Abraham, “What was your reason for doing this?”

11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”

–Genesis 20: 1-13

So what you’re saying, Abraham, is that technically you weren’t lying. Uh huh. God wasn’t joking when he said Abraham’s descendents would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. I’ve met a bunch of Abrahams in my day. I dated a couple, too.

I ended up doing some research on the chapter because I wasn’t picking up what was laid down. This one helped, and motivated me to buy some sort of Old Testament for Dummies. If someone has a recommendation, please share.

The New Testament, on the other hand, is much easier to understand. I’m reading Matthew, and so far Jesus walks around the countryside, gives some good tips, and cures a leper or two. My favorite right now is the Sermon on the Mount. Kind of a newbie passage, but what can I say? That’s exactly what I am.

Comments
28 Responses to “365: Body, Mind, Spirit | Week 3”
  1. Sorry to hear you were achy after your walks! Have you been stretching before and after? It’s really important to spend a few minutes warming up & cooling down your muscles – and also drink plenty of water. Those dry Southern CA winters can really zap a girl out! Hope you feel better this week!

    • Jules says:

      I’m being so careful about how and where I walk, that I didn’t think it was necessary. I’ll have to start cool down stretches just to be sure. You are so right about the weather drying us out! I’ve been bad about drinking water, so I need to get on that.

  2. I know what you mean about the Old Testament bringing the cray-cray. However, if you want the New Testament to be mindblowingly less straightforward, you must add ‘The Prostitute In The Family Tree’ to your reading list. It’s a short book that revolutionised my attitude towards & understanding of the parables/New Testament, in a really good way.

    • Jules says:

      I have no illusions that the NT is easy…but compared to the OT I have at least a semblance of the message. My goodness! I’ll have to check out that book, thanks! It sounds right up my alley. :)

  3. sarah says:

    well, we had some pretty hot days over here in SC the last week and a half, in the 80’s. I barely made it through my run outside last weekend. The last few day have been more normal for our winter, really cold (50’s). That’s how we roll over here.

    Totally agree there are some wild storied and wild people in the Bible. It’s something. I think Sermon on the mount being a favorite is perfectly reasonable. And people who are reading this stuff with fresh, new eyes can see more than the people reading it for the umpteenth time. It can become so familiar when raised on it that you can get to where you don’t hear it anymore, if that makes sense.

    • Jules says:

      It totally makes sense. I remember studying the bible in school, but now as an adult everything has a sharper meaning. I’m excited to attack it with fresh eyes, like you said.

  4. I love that the bible is full of flawed people. It’s not an account of heroes of the faith- it’s just regular people with weaknesses (except Jesus, of course). So that’s like ammunition against us thinking that God can’t use us. He uses liars, murderers, and scoundrels. Why not me?

    • Jules says:

      This is such a great comment. Once I read that interpretation of Genesis, it made so much more sense! Here I was thinking that Abraham was a prophet, so surely he wasn’t in the wrong–but how is he not?! When I read that it is because Abraham has faults that we learn we are all flawed but still capable of goodness, and that we can learn as much about Christianity from a nonbeliever that it all made sense.

  5. Hope you can hang in there with the walking–but I know how you’ve been feeling. I think it’s pretty typical. Would add to Jade’s comment that my understanding of current thinking is actually not to stretch before exercise (flying in the face of every PE class/track practice of my youth), but to stretch at the end. I take classes at a gym, and we start with slow, easy movements to warm up–so maybe walk easily at first, and then pick up the pace? No matter what class I take, we always stretch at the end, though. (Like how I wrote “I take classes at a gym”? Yeah, haven’t been since January 7. Hoping to today.)

    • Jules says:

      Oh, I’ll hang in there. I’m a lot of things that aren’t so great, but a quitter isn’t one of them. It’s one of my strong suits. When I decide on something (after a kabillion years) I usually attack it like a dog with a bone.

    • Shaina says:

      I second this notion of not stretching before. The muscles need to be good and warmed up before they get stretched.

  6. Gabbie says:

    I took a 200 level religious studies class at a very progressive catholic university. It was fascinating! it honestly made the old testament come alive for me and the classroom discussion was great. Maybe u need a study buddy

    • Jules says:

      Theology classes were always my favorite. I have no idea why I didn’t take any in college, though I suspect it had a lot to do with my very secular school in California, which is pretty nonreligious.

  7. Jenn says:

    All walks were not created equal, but are all equally important in the 365 journey. Honestly, this last week, I’ve been un-imaginitively tired and sore, don’t know if it is this cold and damp weather or something else. It is good to keep up the walks, just wish they were all met with enthusiasm and peacefulness. Maybe it is time to start the mind project (as of February, 1 because 334 days is better than 0).
    Good luck over this next week. Don’t let the January blues get in the way of your walking, before you know it, February will be done, and we’ll be 60 days into the project!

  8. Amy says:

    The OT does tend toward the soapy. :)

    And you know, I grew up in church, attended a bible college right out of high school. I’ve read the Bible front to back multiple times. Still, I’ll read a passage and manage to be surprised–as if it’s something new. It never ceases to amaze . . .

    P.S. Love the pops of color found last week on your walks!

    • Jules says:

      I would have loved to attend a bible college. That would have been something.

      p.s. I searched high and low for each spot of color, so thanks for noticing! :)

  9. Vickie says:

    Be sure you’re getting adequate hydration and protein–important for muscle repair. Won’t help with figuring out all the strangeness in the OT though, trust me. Keep up the good work!

  10. Rochelle says:

    I’m following the same Bible reading program and actually was getting so into the Genesis stories that I read ahead several chapters!! I really like this program versus others I’ve tried. AND yesterday at my daughters Confirmation meeting, I was able to answer some questions the CCD teacher had about the Bible from the little reading I’ve done so far. It felt good to put the reading to practice.

  11. Cara says:

    LOL Jules…I totally just read that part!!! People tricking their fathers into impregnating them…they didn’t have too much faith huh? If God wanted them to multiply He probably had a plan (other than that one!) and all the lying about wives being sisters, etc!

    • Jules says:

      Oh, gosh, yes! When those sisters got their dad drunk so they could have sex with him and get pregnant? Good gravy. In a cave, no less. O_o

      • Ashley says:

        This is so funny that you mentioned this! I was reading this part last week and had to read it aloud to my husband! I kept saying, “How do I not remember this part?”

  12. Shaina says:

    In regards to the “Mind” portion – I think happiness and gratefulness tend to go hand in hand. Of course, it’s possible to be grateful for things and still not be happy. It’s also possible to be happy but not grateful for what’s brought the happiness. By writing down what makes you happy, I think it’s tying them together wonderfully :-)

  13. Rachel says:

    Forgotten Classics semi recently read Robert Alter’s Translation and commentary on Genesis. I found it interesting to have a different version of a familar book.
    First episode is
    http://hcforgottenclassics.blogspot.com/2010/09/episode-136-genesis-note-to-reader-1.html

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Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.