A Spirit of Power, Love, and Self-Discipline

Meditations in Motion

“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.”– 2 Timothy 1:7

There is a tendency, I think, to equate strength with courage. We sometimes look at the person with the biggest muscles, loudest mouth, or most aggressive personality as a hero, our savior.

I think the opposite is true. I believe vulnerability is our greatest asset. Let me explain.

When I was younger, I was a pretty good runner. I won some age group and masters awards at races, got some recognition for my running abilities, and even took home some cash prizes. Running made me feel good about myself, strong and powerful.

Then I was struck with an injury that would not go away, despite all of my many desperate attempts to find healing. My running times slowed, but, even worse, it hurt to run. What once brought me joy was now a source of pain and frustration.

Even so, I should have looked at the injury as a gift. The injury exposed my weakness, which ultimately caused me to search inside myself for a reserve of strength and authenticity I didn’t realize I possessed.

No longer feeling the pressure to run for the accolades of others or to live up to my own expectations freed me to open my heart. It forced me to acknowledge my vulnerability. Dependence on an external source of validation is a chancy proposition at best, as I found out.

Meditations in MotionIt is far better to cultivate inner strength (or Strength, if you prefer, and I do). The thought that I have within me, right here, right now, everything I need to handle life’s roller coaster is much more powerful than depending on race medals and fleeting finishing times.

You have that same strength inside of you right now. You don’t need to wait until a calamity forces you to find it, as I did. If you look into your heart, you will find a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. Our might is in our vulnerability.

*It is my plan to document the arrival of spring here in this corner of Southeastern Pennsylvania through the progression of blooming flowers. This is the fifth picture in the series. The flowers pictured above are Pansies (Viola tricolor). These were found in a planter outside a local brewpub I pass on regular walks with my hubby and dog.

I am linking with Cee’s FOTD Challenge, Welcome Heart for Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring with Him for Recharge Wednesday, Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Reflections From Me for A Blogging Good Time, It’s a Small Town Life for Thankful Thursday, Crystal Storms for Heart Encouragement, Rachel Marie Lee, Knit by God’s Hand for Thankful Thursdays, Jessica and Amy at Live Life Well, Raisie Bay for Word of the Week, Crystal Twaddell for Fresh Market Friday, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Embracing the Unexpected for Grace and Truth, Counting My Blessings for Faith ‘n Friends, Lyli Dunbar for Faith on Fire, and Worth Beyond Rubies.

Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.

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80 comments

  1. This was a great play to wake up and read this morning. I agree with you very much…Strength is vulnerability! Also, I look forward to seeing more pictures of spring. Over here in Indiana, we are expecting snow over the weekend 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great and inspiring message! sorry for you injury and glad it was an opportunity to seek inside and find the real strength….As you said we should always do and not wait for calamity to force us..
    Thank you again for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! It’s difficult to look at a setback as an opportunity for growth when we are in the midst of it, but upon further reflection, it’s easier to see the silver lining.

      Like

  3. I always relate with your posts! A life-long runner, I’ve walked through injuries too, including debilitating injuries that have forced me to stop running for long seasons and that ended a college career in running, but you’re absolutely right: What matters most is inner Strength. I’m so thankful to have an identity that isn’t based on my personal records or my own abilities!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Stacey! I always search out your posts on the link ups I follow. They are so well written, honest and insightful. I did not know that you are a runner. Internal validation and the love we receive from Christ will never fail to be there for us! 🙂

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  4. Yes, injuries can be such a gift. But of course we have to allow them to be. I see so many people curl up and give up. I am so glad you didn’t. Thank you for your words.

    Now if I could only learn the lessons without an injury.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Going through times of adversity make us stronger — but it can be hard when you’re deep in it to remember that. Usually we only recognize the blessing it was when we’re through it!

    There are still no flowers up here . . . barely buds on the trees . . . but there’s also no snow at the park & that made me really happy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the beautiful pansy photo, looking forward to more pics of spring in Southeastern Pennsylvania (as I am a former Camp Hill resident)
    I agree about focusing on inner strength, not outer accolades

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Simply beautiful, profound and so vulnerable!! 😄. I don’t want to pretend to be superwoman – no thanks. I am ever so human but at the same time, the all wise, all knowing, all powerful Divine resides within me and I gain all my strength and hope from that knowledge. When I am afraid, uncertain, in pain or sorrow, I know I can rely on a Power greater than myself. I used to be a bit cocky (the oldest of four girls and somewhat Type A, or shall I just flat out say it — bossy !! 😂) and I thought I could handle anything, but hurdle after hurdle forced me to my knees, including a hysterectomies, a torn meniscus in each knee, and the death of my Father. I had to ask for help and admit I couldn’t do it all. Vulnerability, humility: those are two traits I do not want to live without in my senior years.

    Well done! Well written. So truthful. So inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your very kind comments. I had to learn the importance of cultivating an attitude of humility and love too. Just one more life lesson that we learn as we get older! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I must go down an alternate way to Council Point Park … there is a guy and I one time asked him if he was in the landscaping business as his place is so beautifully landscaped – and he loves the cold-weather pansies … he usually has them out fairly early – I’ll get a picture if they are out. In the past he has done yellow and purple and they look stunning together.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I love the color combination of yellow and purple. I usually do that in the summer with marigolds and petunias. I have mixed feelings about planting pansies outside my house. They are so pretty and I appreciate them so much because they are hardy and can stand the cold temperatures of early spring, but by June they are done. I either have to pull them up and replant something else or deal with a flower bed with no flowers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This guy will do that too – I walked by one Sunday morning and he was ripping out what I thought were nice-looking pansies, and he had fresh ones lined up and down the driveway. I used to walk down that street for about 18 months as the City was putting in new sewers, a road and sidewalks on the usual route I take. I was sure this guy was a landscaper, but no, he is a computer programmer. He does some nice things at Christmas. One year he had two big vases/pots on his front porch. He filled them with boughs which were propped up to make them look taller in the vase/pot and put tiny blue lights twinkling through them. I was impressed!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t take my camera this morning as it was dreary and gray out. I’ll see if he’s got anything next week. I used to put a lot of time in the garden, especially with the annuals. I was a tad crazy as when the weatherman called for a lot of rain, I’d move the potted plants under the patio awning to keep them from getting “wet feet” … no more, now it is as simple as possible.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Such pretty pansies! One day I hope to visit Pennsylvania, especially around Lancaster country. Yes, when we let go, and know that our identity does not come from other’s approval but from Him, then we are so free and the pressure is off to perform (leading to performing even better I find!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is hard to view a setback as an opportunity, especially when we are right in the midst of it. I usually need to look back in order to see the positive aspects too!

      Like

  9. Reflection really is the silver lining in many things. If we could only see what setbacks are really gifting us with, we would appreciate them more….at the time. Thank you for linking up today, and always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Eileen. It’s sometimes hard to remember when you’re in the midst of a setback that I am growing stronger as a result, but it is true! Hope you have a good weekend too! 🙂

      Like

  10. I so agree with you about vulnerability being a strength. I’ve long advocated the benefits of exposing our vulnerability because it’s only when you see the whole picture of a person that you can truly understand them. This is a lovely post and I love the pansies. Thanks for linking up to word of the week x

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true. I think social media makes it appealing to only portray the good parts of our lives. Vulnerability and empathy are important parts too. Thanks for the chance to link up! 🙂

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  11. I love this, our vulnerability is our strength! It reminds me of one of my favorite verses, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (I Corinthians 12:9).

    Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!

    Blessings,

    Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautiful photo! Pansies are some of my favorite flowers. And yes, with the Holy Spirit living inside us we have all we need. His strength perfected through our weakness. Blessings to you, Laurie! I’m your neighbor at #Grace&Truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I agree that your strength is the greatest gift you can give yourself. I have found mine recently, by accepting what I can’t do, I’ve found what I can. That’s a beautiful flower, they are just starting here, in the UK

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I absolutely agree with you here, I used to see my vulnerably and my strong empathy as a weakness only to realise it is my strength. I thought I should live less with my heart and more with my head because of influences around me, but I have reconnected with my soul and now know that living through our heart will bring much more joy to my own self and to those around me. I really love this post! Thanks so much for sharing this post with us for #ABloggingGoodTime

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Challenges often bring out an inner strength that we didn’t know we possessed. It can be difficult sometimes to find the positives in the challenging times. I’m sorry that you’ve experience your injury but glad that you’ve managed to find some positivity and strength through it. #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

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