Do you know what the all-time BEST ab exercise is?

In surveying women for a new course I'm planning to benefit Christians who struggle with body image (click here if you'd like to take the survey), one problem area kept coming up over, and over, and over again:  the stomach!  That's not too surprising, because we women carry children and, well, it's not always the easiest thing to flatten out what has been beautifully expanded! I mean, I've never had a child, but I am convinced that this is why my "problem area" is my mid-section:-) Flat stomachs are also totally glorified in the media (though most of the ones we see probably aren't actually real - thanks, Photoshop!). I myself have had moments where I've thought life might be a little better if I had a six-pack, or even a two-pack! I mean, wouldn't that show an amazing amount of discipline? And isn't discipline a Godly quality? Yes, a flat stomach would surely be an indicator of my worth as a Christian woman . . . (shaking my head here).

I've tried the following ab exercises in an effort to tighten that tummy:

  • Sit-ups
  • Hanging leg raises
  • Oblique crunches
  • Supine leg raises
  • Plank
  • Side Plank
  • Pilates classes
  • Exercises with a huge rubber ball that I couldn't possibly explain in writing
  • Similarly inexplicable exercises with a small rubber ball

And then, I FOUND IT!

THE BEST AB EXERCISE OF ALL TIME!!!! 

You ready????? It's {insert drum roll}

LAUGHTER!!!

Bikelaughing
Bikelaughing

That's right, laughter!  The kind that's so uncontrollable that your stomach aches afterward!

My sisters, this is the kind of abdominal work that we are made to do! Let me explain:-)

1.  Laughter is a form of praise.

Psalm 126:2-3 says, "Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.' The Lord has done great things for us; We are glad!" Our rejoicing, our laughter shows others that our God is a God who brings delight!  So often, God is portrayed as a harsh punisher.  While He DOES judge, he freely gives His grace to those who believe in His Son. This is cause for rejoicing indeed!

2. Laughter is a form of bravery.

Proverbs 31 describes the Godly woman in detail.  One thing she does? Laugh!  Proverbs 31:25-26 tells us that "She is clothed with strength and dignity. and she laughs without fear of the future.  When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."  As women of God, we do not have to fear what is to come. We can laugh! We can appreciate each moment that we have here on earth, knowing that our eternity is secure and that our God is bigger than ANY challenge!

3. Laughter is healing.

Proverbs 17:22 tells us that "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones."  This life is tough!  It wouldn't be too difficult to go through life completely broken-hearted.  Yet we have hope in Christ,who gives us a future and a reason to live that is beyond ourselves! We have a joyful heart because of His sacrifice, through which we have salvation. This is good medicine indeed! This is the cure for life-threatening illness! We laugh because we know the Great Healer.  He gives us our joy!

So, sweet sisters, let's laugh! And be joyful!  And make our stomachs ache in a good way! Flatter abs are just a side benefit of this BEST ab exercise:-)

In His love,

Sara Anna

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