Posted by: bellissimanh | September 29, 2009

Curves and Callouses

We were riding somewhere in the car the other day and I noticed callouses on my hands. They run along the pads where my fingers meet my palm (do you have the visual? Not that it matters, really). Anyway, I sat there rubbing my fingers over the rough spots and and wondering what the heck I had done to my hands.

You have to understand… I’m a girlie girl. I have well dyed hair and french-tipped fingernails. I much prefer typing on my computer at work to manual labor. So you understand why it was strange to me to find callouses on my girlie girl hands.

Then it hit me.

After realizing I had reached an all-time high with my weight, I rejoined Curves. I started a couple of weeks ago, and while I’m not convinced I’ve lost all that much weight, I do feel better… if not physically, then at least I feel better about myself for committing to DO something, and sticking with it. The callouses on my hands were a result of pumping the machines at the gym (how cool is THAT?) Instead of being put off my rough patches, I now viewed them as a symbol of the hard work I’ve been logging three times a week at Curves.

But there’s another kind of callous that I don’t want anything to do with.

“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: 
      ‘Today, if you will hear His voice,
       Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
      In the day of trial in the wilderness..'” (Heb. 3:7-8)

Merriam Webster online lists the following under the entry for “callous”:

Main Entry: 1cal·lous

 1 a : being hardened and thickened b : having calluses <callous hands>
2 a : feeling no emotion b : feeling or showing no sympathy for others : hard-hearted

How I want to have  a heart that is soft and sensitive. Sometimes circumstances beat me down and for a period of time, my emotions kind of go into “shut down” mode. It’s almost as if I barely have the energy to deal with my own stuff, much less take on anyone else’s. I suffer from compassion burnout and in my self pity, I use my own stresses as excuses for withdrawing from the people around me that I deem to be too “needy”.  I was just asking a sweet friend the other day to pray for me because my tolerance level is at an all-time low, and I’m so exhausted and emotionally drained that even making small talk can feel excruciating to me. Have you ever been there?


I find ways to justify my selfish behavior and walk away feeling badly, yet also feeling helpless to do anything about it. But that’s where I’m wrong.  The Lord has given me the prescription for a calloused heart.


“Therefore say: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’  “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols.  I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.   Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.   But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.”   Ezekiel 11:17-21 NIV 


Do you see what’s happened? I’ve set up for myself mini-idols. The idol of pride. The idol of selfishnes. The idol of self, period. I’ve put my own desires above the Lord and what He would have for me (serving Him and others). And only He can perform open heart surgery and fix me.  Once I’m willing to give it all up, and let go of the idols, He will tend to my heart. He will give me one that is undivided in devotion… one that is whole, and healthy… and HAPPY. Only He can do that.


So I’m laying it down today. I am stating unequivocally my desire for Him to not just be first in my life… but to BE my life. It will take discipline. It will take commitment. But the alternative is a calloused heart that has no place in my life.


Take it, Jesus. All of it. Tender me with tears and revive my heart. Bring softness where there was harshness….  peace where there was a war within…. love where there was bitterness… generosity where there was selfishness… flesh where there was stone.  Be glorified in me.

If you missed getting to hear the songs that I posted yesterday, please take the time. Phenomenal Encouragement. Truly.



  1. This was so good… I have struggled with this very area in my life recently. Thanks for speaking into this area!

  2. Oh sister, I have so been there. Full of idols and empty of Jesus. It is such an easy place to get to and it requires deliberate, intentional effort to walk away from it..turning your back on it and walking toward and with Jesus.

    Heather, I will be praying for you. Obviously you are no where near a hardened heart because you are aware of the pitfalls and potholes that take you to that place. God bless you as you strive to walk closely with Him.


  3. Oh yes – there are good callouses and there are bad ones. I don’t want them on my heart either!

  4. Great post! I remember having callouses when I was doing Curves as well. I always appreciate your posts, Heather!

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