I’ve just returned from a week at Mo Ranch, in the Hill Country of Texas, for a conference called CREDO, a program of the PCUSA Board of Pensions. If my clergy friends get an invitation for this, please accept it. It was a blessing of a week. Here’s their description:
A unique conference held in a retreat-like setting, Presbyterian CREDO gives teaching elders the opportunity to examine key areas of their personal and professional lives: spiritual, vocational, health, and financial. Through prayerful reflection and discussions guided by faculty, CREDO participants often find greater clarity and purpose in their lives and ministries.
I don’t need to go into all of what happened at CREDO for me (you’re welcome, internet), but I do want to share at least this one piece. Before I went to CREDO, I had to go in for my “yearly” physical, which it turns out had been more like my “quinquennial” (or every 5 yearly) physical.
And not all of the news was great. My cholesterol is high or low in all of the wrong ways. My triglycerides are poorly behaved. My weight is higher than it has a right to be. In other words, I have some tending I need to do for my physical health.
At one point in the week, during a worship service of healing and wholeness, I asked for prayers for my heart. During the prayer, the person who was praying for me said, “oh Lord, bless her heart”. As I heard him say those words in such loving kindness, I realized I almost never (I never) say that phrase in loving kindness. It’s a southern colloquialism that allows the speaker to insult someone and feel they got away with something.
“Bless his heart, if they put his brain on the head of a pin, it’d roll around like a BB on a six-lane highway.”
“Bless her heart, she’s so bucktoothed, she could eat an apple through a picket fence.”
(Those particular witticisms were found here.)
I was grateful for his prayer, blessing my heart, in all sincerity and faith.
And I’m home from CREDO with a plan to live differently so I can return to health, so I can bless my own heart. I won’t list all of the details here, but saying it “out loud” on the interwebs is both a way to hold myself accountable and to invite others to join in, blessing your own hearts.
This isn’t rocket science. I need to expend more calories in a day than I eat. I need to cut way down on processed foods (sugar and carbs) and eat more fruits, vegetables, and good protein. It won’t be quick either. It took me a few years to gain this weight. It will take a while to get rid of it.
The real bummer is I have to do this without the benefit of running. Maybe some day my arthritis won’t mind running, but it sure seems to now. Want a walking/biking partner? I would love to walk or bike with you as the daylight returns and weather warms up.
There are lots of other ways I’m seeking to bless my heart. How are you blessing your heart?