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Girl Meets God

    by Melissa Mathews

Pilates Pals
Date Posted: May 3, 2009

Our children have more right to expect that we shall be model parents than we have to require that they be model children.
Rev. John S.C. Abbot in The Mother At Home, 1833

My sister and I are trying to loose weight. We've been at it now for 20 some odd years. You think we would be better at it by now.

So, in our hit and miss effort, we decided one Labor Day weekend to start learning pilates (pu-lat-ees) with a video. (Pilates is a combination of ballet stretching and torture.) We moved the big, black trunk-turned-coffee-table from in front of the TV and lay down on the floor. That is a plus to pilates. Doing most of your exercises while you lie on the floor is so much more appealing than pounding your body on the pavement trying to jog. If you weren't in so much pain doing the pilates, you might even be able to catch a little shut eye.

We lay down on the floor and started the tape. I can't even remember now the first exercise because I'm the master of shutting out bad memories-- but before we could get through the first movement, we had two more exercisers on the floor with us. In about five minutes, all of our kids except the too-cool-ten-year-old, and the 6th-month-old baby had joined us on the tiny living room floor. Two moms plus seven kids equals 9 people in a very small spot. There were arms and legs moving everywhere. It was so funny that we couldn't bear to shoo them away.

And in all the giggling and squirming, I couldn't help but hear the apostle Paul say, "Follow me like I follow Christ." If we had told Max, Mark, Jack, Grant, Maribelle, Madeline, Mariah, Melissa, and Will to "go to the living room and do pilates. It will hurt, but it's good for you," they would have run the other way as fast as they could have. But since we were doing it, they wanted to do it too.

It was just like what God did for us. He didn't just say "You be nice to everyone."
"You serve people."
"You go on over there and take care of that sick person."
"Make sure you always do what's right."
Instead, God did it first.

"Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps." (1 Peter 2:21)

So if I want my kids to do something, I should do it first. Do I want them be kind when someone else has been mean? Do I want them to help someone without expecting anything in return? Do I want them to watch their words lest a little birdie go report what they've said. Then they should see me do all this first. I need to leave a good example, so they can follow in my steps.

"Word from Scotland" from Sandy Shaw

Jeremiah Is Courageous, Bold, and Faithful - What an Example!

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Biography Information:
I'm a preacher's kid, pastor's wife, and southern belle who married a Southern California boy. Can you say 'culture clash?' Scott and I have four boys - Max, Mark, Jackson, and Grant who keep us busy with homework and sports.

Scott and I have been married 22 years and currently live in Northern California where we are beginning year five as church planters. I also teach 12th grade English and love it.

I would love to hear from you. Email me anytime at
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