My 3 Favorite Places

I have been thinking a lot lately about where I enjoy being, not sure why that has been on my mind but it has. I thought about writing a short tweet just mentioning my top spots and then I realized that the places alone are meaningless, the background on them is what makes them special. So here we go...

1. The YMCA. I am no fitness buff or crazy training guru but I love to be active. I love to sweat and I love to release endorphins. I love that feeling right before I feel like I'm about to pass out. But most of all, I love the feeling after my workout, when I am done and feel great about my accomplishment. I was thinking about what I might write while I was doing my second ever cycling class and wondered why in the world I thought that this was one of my favorite spots. I was drenched in sweat, exhausted and every muscle in my body ached when our spunky instructor said these words, "you can't change anything if you don't push yourself." It was then that I realized why I love being at the Y...change. I go there to change, to be a better me, to push myself. I go there because I know that the people there that will not let me get away with staying the same. They smile and they bend over backwards to make it a great experience but then they say "just five more" or "turn up your resistance a full turn." I go to the YMCA because I need to be pushed and I love it.

2. My job. I am one of those lucky people that get to work at a place where life change happens. I work at a church as a groups pastor and I love it. I love building relationships and meeting new people. I love putting groups together and seeing friendships form. I love seeing spiritual growth happen right before my eyes. I love empowering people to do great things for God. But, unlike at the Y, I am the one doing the pushing. I am asking big things of people. I am asking them to take next steps in their faith. I am asking them to grow relationally so that they can grow spiritually. I am asking them to plug in and move forward. I'm not in the front of the room on a bicycle but I am saying what is said to me, "you can't change anything if you don't push yourself." I get no satisfaction from people being uncomfortable, I get satisfaction from seeing the amazing growth that comes from that uncomfortable zone. I do my job because I want to push people to be Jesus followers and I love it.

3. My home. I love to be pushed and I love to push others but I also love to not do either. I love to walk through the doors of my home and smell our 'smell' and see my dog and be surrounded by people I love more than anything. I feel safe in my home. I feel confident and comfortable and I long to be there after a tough day. I love sitting around the dinner table telling stories. I love all of us gathered around the TV watching our favorite crime show. I love when my dog is totally sacked out on my lap without a care in the world. I love when we laugh and joke and hug. I need my home and my family. I need a place to just be. I retreat to my home to be myself and I love it.

When I stepped back and reflected on these places that I love so much, I longed to share them with you, not because I wanted to brag about my amazing workout routine or pat myself on the back for all the work I do for God, or to make you think my family is perfect. No, I wanted to share these places so that you could think about the places that you love to be and so that you could ask yourself these questions, how am I pushing myself? who am I pushing? and do I have a safe place? If you can't answer these questions, I challenge, no, I push you to find the answers. Martin Luther King Jr said, "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." So today, make a decision to move forward...

#change #growth #groups #ymca #family #martinlutherkingjr #jesus #home #comfort #pushingyourself #inspiration

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© 2015 by Jennifer Coward.