Use It Or Lose It

My mom and several other ladies from her park in Florida walk every morning. At 7am, they convene at the gazebo and walk the asphalt figure eight, chatting and laughing, occasionally stopping to pet a dog or admire someone’s landscaping.
They walk in the cold. In the heat and in the humidity. (Wow, do they keep it moist in Florida!) This week, thanks to Daylight Savings Time, they walked in the dark, carrying flashlights and illuminating the steps of their bright white sneakers.
I walk along, but I can’t keep up. They go miles. I go mile. Then I have to turn off and watch a pack of 80 year old behinds disappear around the next curve.
It’s embarrassing!

Use it or lose it. 

I will never be an Olympian, but I can do a better job of maintaining the temple God has given me. Staying in shape at any age is important to our physical health. It’s not always convenient or easy, but it is necessary. Otherwise, you’ll be panting and exhausted, being lapped by women decades your senior like I was. It’s humbling.
We can get left behind in relationships if we’re not intentional, too. Indifference toward friends, taking spouses for granted, and ignoring our parents because we’re too busy or too self-absorbed is a surefire way to disintegrate relationships. When offenses go unresolved, apologies are withheld, and phone calls don’t get made, intimacy dissolves.
How can you be intentional to connect with someone who’s fallen off your radar? Maybe you could send a text, make a call, or drop a card in the mail. If the person lives with you, be purposeful to listen well, offer a meaningful touch, give a heartfelt compliment or invite them into an activity you both enjoy.

Are you ignoring God?

The people I love the most are the ones I often take for granted. I trust them for the grace to make up for my lack of connection (if and) when I get around to making time for them. This is especially true in my relationship with God.
There have been seasons of silence when I thought I could manage life on my own without consulting the Lord. Long stretches of prayerlessness when I’d made mistakes I did not want to admit or address. Times when my Bible collected dust because life was busy and I told myself I didn’t have time to read. Weeks and weeks of empty pages in my journaling devotional when I just didn’t feel like doing the entries.
Even though I’d wasted my time, passed on his guidance, and operated independently of his purposes, God has welcomed me back every time, just like the father in Luke 15 embraced his prodigal son.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

When I get sloppy in one area, I’m likely to get sloppy in others. You, too? Let’s resolve to do better with the time and talent God has given us. Hit the reset button and make a choice to intentionally take care of ourselves, intentionally invest in people we love and intentionally make time for the Lord.

Are you up for a use it or lose it challenge?

What is one thing you can start or restart to improve yourself, your relationships or your connection with God?

Verse for the day: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

Prayer: Oh God, I want to do better, but I get lazy and complacent and settle for much less than you have for me. Wake me up, shake me up, and lead me to become more like you in my thinking and doing. I ask this in the name of Jesus, amen. 


  1. Diane on March 20, 2022 at 10:35 am

    Prayer has been hard for me for a very long time. I try, get distracted, give up. I will be more intentional, more focused and determined to get through whatever roadblock this is.
    Thanks for this devo/encouragement

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 20, 2022 at 2:46 pm

      Hi Diane,
      I admire your honesty. I use a prayer list to help me keep on track. Perhaps that would help you?

  2. Sue Kendrick on March 20, 2022 at 11:35 am

    So looking forward to hearing you speak tomorrow at Word of Life. I so enjoy your emails they are always on target for what I need to hear.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 20, 2022 at 2:45 pm

      Hi Sue,
      I’m excited to be coming back. Be sure to come say hello!

  3. Cheryl on March 20, 2022 at 11:56 am

    I am working on improving my health. I will work more on my relationships. As an introvert, I tend to be a loner and Covid only made that easier. I will continue my bible studies to keep me connected to God.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 20, 2022 at 2:44 pm

      Hi Cheryl, Wonderful commitments to make to take care of you, those you love and protect your time with God. Pace yourself! ?

      Do what you can where you are with what you have – Teddy Roosevelt.

  4. Linda on March 20, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Robin this was absolutely what I needed to read this morning. The sloppy in one area extends to others is EXACTLY where I am and was sitting here with my journal trying to develop a plan to get back on track. I think I will start with a prayer. Thank you for your willingness to share.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 20, 2022 at 2:41 pm

      Always a great place to begin, Linda. Thanks for posting.

  5. Lynn West on March 20, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    Hello Robyn,

    My life is full of technology challenges. In this world we live in we must continuously reach and fix, learn new things. I must learn to persevere with a calm heart.

    Lynn West

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 20, 2022 at 2:41 pm

      Oh Lynn, I hear that. Remember when you used to flip a switch to turn on a light and had a list to take to the store? Sheesh. I join you in your effort to persevere with a calm heart.

      • Gina on March 20, 2022 at 7:04 pm

        Thank Robyn,

        My job gets overwhelming at times and this devo hit at a perfect time. I struggle to bring balance in caring for others and caring for self! My body as God’s temple is often left in ruins. Thank you for the reminder, to reset and take time to care for this temple through exercise, and unhurried time in God’s word!!!

        • Robyn Dykstra on March 21, 2022 at 12:32 am

          Hey Gina, Glad my weakness was a help to you. Bless you sis’.

        • Sandy Lee on March 21, 2022 at 1:14 pm

          Hi Robyn, thank you for always sharing your stories! I’m actually vacationing in Florida in The Villages staying with friends. Life is so different here around all these retired people. It’s so relaxing and also gives more time to reflect. I’ll be working for a couple of more years before I retire so I got a glimpse of what life could be like. It’s been wonderful seeing old friends and making new ones. We went to church yesterday and had the most lovely service. A choir, orchestra and even a woman playing the harp. She played “Blessed Assurance” on her harp. It brought tears to my eyes remembering all the times that my mom would sing that song in church. I miss her so much but I also know that she is in Heaven singing all her favorite songs with Jesus. Taking a break from work to enjoy what retirement will be like has truly been a blessing. Thank you for being a friend in Jesus and sending me stories that give me time to reflect. Sending hugs and love, Sandy Lee ??

          • Robyn Dykstra on March 22, 2022 at 1:10 am

            I was so touched by your comment, Sandy. So glad you sampled retirement in FL and found it rejuvenating.

  6. Shirley Carson on March 20, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    Always a good thing to begin…again! At the beginning of Spring! Loved the devotional. Thank you!

  7. Diane L Wiech on March 20, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    If I was a writer I think you wrote my thoughts especially a few months ago. I recently began a 30 day reset of self-care and refresh. I do lists..cant help it…. but my new list starts with 1. Jesus First with a prayer devotional that sometimes brings me to tears. I say no to those I felt were taking advantage. Started a stretch & balance class 2 days a week with a friend, taught by my daughter and the 3 of us have lunch. There’s more but you get the idea. I am so grateful for your emails. Thank you.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 21, 2022 at 12:31 am

      Whoohooo, I love this. Thanks for posting Diane. You’re an inspiration.

  8. Ryioko Peterson on March 21, 2022 at 3:09 am

    Our church is starting Daniel’s Fast on March 27th. To deepen our prayer life and relationship with our Lord Jesus. To pray for our country and community. A comment with great rewards.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 22, 2022 at 1:09 am

      That’s a big commitment, Ryioko! Well done.

  9. Sherri on March 31, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    Thank you for your devotional. As you can see, I’m a little behind on reading my daily devotionals and that is one thing I will commit to being more faithful with. I listen to Christian speakers every day on TV or radio and attend church faithfully but do not always pick up my Bible and read from it. Thank you for inspiring me to recommit to that. Your verse for the day Phil 4:8 seems to pop up everywhere I look lately so I know the Lord is trying to speak to me through it. I found a book, The 4:8 Principle, at a thrift store the other day and felt it too was meant for me to find. I’m anxious to start reading it. Thanks again for this devotional and verse that spoke to me.

    • Robyn Dykstra on April 2, 2022 at 3:09 pm

      Isn’t God so good?

Leave a Comment