"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

31 August 2010

Tithing and Yoga

No, they're not related.

These are two things that have been on my mind lately and that I've been praying specifically about.

Almost everyone who knows me knows about my friend Kerry by now. If you missed the update, I'll include it at the bottom of this post so you can read it. Just so everyone knows, to date, fundraising efforts have brought in $20,000! Woohoo!

Anyway, Nich and I have been praying about how we can help, other than spreading the word and praying for Ben and Kerry. Obviously, during the summer while school's out, we live on one salary (Nich's) plus my little bit that comes in through part-time retail. We're also saving up for Baby G's needs/arrival, plus the other places where we already give. Yesterday, I was listening to some worship music, and it got me thinking about tithing. We tithe faithfully and it really is a joy for us to give, but I've been wondering for a while if, when God says to tithe to your church so that people can be cared for, He meant your specific local organization or the global body of Christ. We're going to be talking to our senior pastor about this sometime soon, but we're wondering if it's biblical to gather our tithe and give it to individuals.

Secondly, yoga. As I've entered my second trimester and regained some of my energy, I've been trying to be deliberate in exercising regularly for both our sakes. I've been very conscious of making good food choices ever since I found out I was pregnant, but I want to supplement that with good exercise, too. It has surprised me to no end since I've been pregnant to find out that a lot of women go about this whole thing very mindlessly with no change to their diet or exercise patterns, and the more I learn about obesity in this country and how early those bad habits are learned, the more determined I am to give my baby the healthiest start possible. (I've bitten my tongue a LOT in the past couple weeks as well-intentioned women say, "You're pregnant! Eat whatever you want!")

I've been on the fence about yoga ever since it became a craze several years ago here. At the root of it, yoga is very closely linked to ancient Indian spiritual meditation. I haven't done enough research to learn whether or not modern yoga (in its popular form) is spiritual or not, but until I know, I don't feel comfortable participating. However, the most common forms of exercise that are promoted during pregnancy are walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga. Walking's fine, but it gets old and mundane. I try to go out a few times a week, but I don't really feel like I'm getting any exercise that way. I'd LOVE to go swimming, but the Y is stinkin' expensive. So I've been wondering about yoga.

In other news, I've signed up for a fall ladies' Bible study focusing on Revelation. That should be interesting. And we're thinking of participating in an ASL class. Our church is kicking off it's annual church-wide Bible study in a couple weeks. This year, it's Emotionally Health Spirituality. Nich and I are deciding whether we're going to join a group for that or just follow along on our own. 

I always seem to get on the blog right before it's time for me to get ready for work, and so I run out of time to be thorough. Ah, well. Cheers!

My friend Kerry has lived with Cystic Fibrosis her entire life. Just within the past couple years, she has been in and out of the hospital frequently, due to her lungs only working at less than 25% capacity (because of mucus build-up from CF). She has to hook up to machines every day to get all her medications. Without them, she struggles to breathe.

Kerry is just 24 years old. When she was born in 1986, the life expectancy was only 12 years for children with CF. She has beaten the odds so far. She graduated high school, got married to a wonderful guy in December 2008, and made her way through nursing school, graduating just this past spring, despite her frequent hospitalizations. She's a fighter, and she wants so much to give back to her community by being a nurse.

Kerry has been approved to receive a double lung, liver, and pancreas transplant at Duke in North Carolina. She and her husband Ben will need to raise enough funds to support their living expenses as they relocate to Duke from Virginia. It is possible that they will need to live there for up to a year while they wait for Kerry's organs to come in.

There are various fundraisers going on in Virginia: yard sales, bike-a-thons, car washes, raffles. Obviously, Nich and I can't attend any of those, but we want to help. Please join us in prayer for Ben and Kerry, for all the fund-raisers occurring, and for Kerry's health.

Thank you!

If you would like to help financially, please see: http://www.transplants.org/donate/kerrybaumann


  1. tithing has truly been a blessing to us. and i pray that we bless others as we give.

    as for yoga. i just cant accept that it is "okay." there is just too much spiritually behind every aspect of it. but i can only say how i feel. it is unfortunate to me that so many people do things without considering what they are really doing. so good for you for questioning it.

  2. i was in the same situation as you regarding yoga, but i got a dvd to do at home so i can just learn how to do the stretches and that kind of thing and then i just turn it off for anything i think is unnecessary (i.e i don't need to sit in namaste position and "meditate"). i've never been to a yoga class so i don't know what they're like. i think they do make prenatal pilates videos as well, and i believe pilates is a lot less spiritual. the yoga stretches really help my back pain. i haven't been sleeping well at all b/c of the pain and i've definitely felt a difference.

    of course, that's just me. i'm not trying to convince you not to have convictions about yoga. i have lots of christian friends who are uncomfortable with it and choose not to participate and i have lots of christian friends who are all about yoga (pregnant or not), so i know that people have different convictions about it. i don't know what the right answer is, but it's true that remaining active during pregnancy is important for you and your baby boy, so it's good that you are looking for something to do!