I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything. On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul. – Psalm 138:2-3 (NRSV) 

I’ve started stretching in the mornings. 

Sort of.


If I’m not making a beeline for caffeine. 

Easy, manageable, yoga-ish positions without the mats and cute outfits. Just me in sweats, gazing down at the dirt in my living room rug and up at the cobwebs along the crown molding. Then an inelegant roll and now my bum’s against the couch, legs propped up against the arm rest, and I’m making pathetic grunts as my hamstrings stretch. 

On my better days, I try to pray through my stretches more than I groan. Most days I just groan.

But after my headrush clears from returning upright, I notice the miracle: Looseness. Deepened breathing. Shoulders dropped from my ears to their rightful resting place. Increased energy in the moment and throughout the day. 

Bowing is good for my body and spirit. Stretching to the ground is healthy for my cranky spine. Inhaling slowly is sweetness for my anxious mind. Each pull against my body’s stiffness is a reminder that I am wonderfully finite—I am not trying to compete with, not even striving to impress, the One who is exalted above everything. 

I am simply calling.  



Welcoming the Strength that I know comes when I am patient, when I bow low and stretch wide. 

Prayer: You are a miracle, O God, breathing strength into our limited bodies, stretching our stiff spirits until they increase in humility and love. Over and over again, I will gaze at the dirt in the carpet to experience that miracle. 

written for the Daily Devotional

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