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The Process Continues

November 20, 2011

As we enter into the holiday season, I am so thankful for everything in my life and I realize that another year is coming to an end.   This was the year that my daughter got married, I settled into a new season and I worked toward a healthier lifestyle. 

The journey of learning fitness and physical wellness continues to be a process.  Through this process I have learned much and have enjoyed some rewards for my effort.  I have lost twenty pounds.  

The short-term goal is just simply to maintain my weight loss through the holiday season with consistent exercise.   The long-term goal is to continue the process after the new year and step up the commitment.  Earlier this week I took a big step in that direction.   I signed up for a 90 day fitness challenge with Afterburn Fitness.   The challenge begins on January 16, 2012 and finishes on April 15, 2012.  Results are tracked with body composition measurements using a Bod Pod.  Points are awarded for fat lost, percentage of fat lost and muscle gained. 

This challenge comes at a great time in my life.  My children are grown, so I have the time.  I just received my blood panels back from my doctor showing that my thyroid is finally looking stable and I have laid a great foundation in fitness to build upon.  I am looking forward to the intense accountability this challenge will bring.  Earlier in the year I found a lot of support through an online community called Mamavation.  It is a wonderful group, but I found that with planning my daughter’s wedding I didn’t have the time to stay involved with the group.  I have done well to maintain my fitness alone, but I know I am going to need a lot of support to accomplish my final fitness goals. 

Another huge motivating factor in this challenge is a cash prise for the winner…. $10,000!

That’s right, I will be competing not only to realize my fitness goals once and for all, but for a cash prize as well.  I have a few pre-compitition meetings and measurements to do before the end of the year and then after the new year, it’s on!

The journey of fitness has been a much longer one than I had originally hoped for, but ….

I am confident of this,

that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 1:6

I know that God is faithful to do His part.  His strength will help me reach the final goal.  Staying committed to this long process of health and fitness is one of the ways I have learned to love myself. 

I really need all the support I can get.  Will you pray for me?

Content

November 7, 2011

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5

Is God really enough?  Yes!  We exclaim.  He is more than enough!  I mean, He’s God right?  Of course, He is all we need.

I believe this to be true from the bottom of my heart.  I daily depend on the promises of God.  His presence sustains me.  He is always with me, never leaves or forsakes me.  He is enough.  And the reality of this truth should bring continual contentment in my life.  I wouldn’t consider myself a lover of money and the majority of the time I am completely content.  But, I must confess that sometimes the desire for things creeps in.  

Recently, we started a little home project.  Our daughter got married earlier in the year, so we turned her old room into a study for me.  It is a luxury I have always wanted.  A place to read, study and write.  I have enjoyed every part of the decorating process, from choosing the paint color (Tiffany blue) to filling the shelves with books and photos, and carefully selecting each piece of furniture or decor.  Like most of us, we are on a budget so the process is slow.  Although the study is not yet complete and I am currently writing this post while sitting on a metal folding chair… I am enjoying my study everyday! 

I used to feel so guilty for desiring any thing that wasn’t a necessity.  There was a time in my life when finances were so difficult for us that even the necessities were hard to come by.  During those years, I learned to enjoy life and to be content without some of the basics.  I think it’s ok to hope for a few things, as long as our true hope and contentment isn’t found in those things.     

Enjoying the process in life is a huge part of contentment.  Enjoy, be at peace, delight, be content right where we are.  God is always with us.  He is enough.  He is all we truly need to find joy, peace and true contentment. 

 

The “P” Word aka: Patience

October 31, 2011

Patience.  Or as I affectionately call it, the “P” word.  

Most of the time, the “P” word and I don’t get along very well.  Although I understand the importance of it, I seem to struggle every time life presents me with the opportunity to have some. 

Patience.

  • A Gift from GodGalatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience…”

Choosing patience rarely feels like we are receiving a gift, but that’s exactly what it is.  Patience is a fruit of God’s spirit, one of the many gifts God has blessed us with.  I think true patience can only be found when we are willing to really trust God.  

Trust.  God.

I can wait with peace instead of anxiety because I trust God’s timing.  I can be still even when everything in me wants to rush forward because I trust God’s direction.  I can show patience with myself  instead of pressing for perfection because I trust God is faithful to complete the work He began in me.     

  • A Gift of Love to others: Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Patience is a form of love.  One of the most powerful ways we can love people is to be patient with them. 

I think this scripture says it perfectly, “clothe yourselves with… patience.”  Just like I go to my closet every morning and choose my clothes, I have to choose to put patience on.  Patience is a gift that God has given me not only to receive but to give away as well, but it’s a choice.  

Saying yes to patience means I have to say no to myself.  Patience over irritation.  Patience over being offended.  Patience over my way.  Patience over being in control.   When I look at it that way, I see that patience truly is a gift from God.  It’s certainly not from me.   

I surrender my will and trust you Lord that I might practice love through patience with myself and others. 

How well do you get along with the “P” word? 

 

Have you written a post about loving God, loving people or loving yourself, I would love to read it, please link it to Golden Rule Monday here…

 

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Prayer Partner

October 28, 2011

We prayed today.  Just as we have so many times before, side by side on our knees before God on behalf of our husbands and children. 

I don’t take for granted the special blessing of our friendship.  Partnering in prayer through the many changing seasons of motherhood, we have laughed and cried, celebrated and endured together

God’s presence joins us as we continue to seek His blessings for our families.  Our eyes have witnessed the power of God answering our prayers.  Requests humbly submitted, yet with the bold confidence of faith in the promises of God.  Through decades of situations and circumstances God meets us there and quiets the storms of the mother’s heart.  Strength is given in exchange for weariness.  Encouragement and hope replaces worry and concerns. 

Our children were so small and young when we began this journey.  Now, all are grown and two son-in-laws have been added.   The prayers continue to flow from the deepest part of our mother’s heart for our adult children.  I overflow with gratitude for the faithful blessings of our beautiful Lord.  He is our comforter, our hope, our joy and confidence. 

My heart is so thankful  for my sister in Christ, my prayer partner, my friend at all times.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor
Ecclesiastes 4:9

From the Source

October 24, 2011

Happy Monday!!

Living by the golden rule: (love God, love people and love yourself)  is a lot easier to do when we find our inspiration and motivation from the right source.

If I try to be the source, what happens when I am tired, stressed or grumpy?  Well, it’s certainly not love, I can tell you that!

Thankfully we are not limited by our own ability to love. 

“We love because He first loved us.” ~ 1 John 4:19

God not only loves us, He equips us to return that love to Him and then to extend love to others. 

When love, aka: kindness, patience, compassion isn’t flowing easily, I know it’s time to sit at His feet and let God lavish His unconditional, never-ending, unfailing love on me first. 

People don’t need manufactured, forced love.  We are all in desperate need however of genuine love that comes from the true source – God Himself. 

The more time I spend receiving His love, the more authentic and pure is the love I have to give others.

When God is our source, we find an endless supply of kindness, patience and compassion, not only for us but for everyone around us.

Let God love you today and then share the wealth with someone else!

If you have written a post about love or the golden rule, link up!

 

 

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Comfort

October 17, 2011
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It’s Golden Rule Monday… Love God.  Love People.  Love Yourself.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

God has comfort for any trouble we face.  Certainly, no one heals the heart like God.  As with all of God’s sweet gifts to us, comfort we receive is never only for us.  One of the best things of experiencing God’s comfort is to then pass it on to others. 

Comfort doesn’t necessarily change our situations, but the encouragement it brings makes things feel more bearable in the moment and can be a catalyst for healing during a difficult time.

Comfort comes in lots of ways. 

Timely, encouraging words bring comfort… words of truth and hope.

Sometimes no words and a listening ear is the best kind of comfort.

Other times comfort is found in understanding eyes or light-hearted smile.

Even a simple phone call, text or e-mail can comfort. 

I think extending comfort to others quite simply starts with having a heart of compassion, one that has just naturally developed through our own healed hurts.   My compassion for others grows every time I let God comfort my broken heart. 

Comfort leads to joy… Joy leads to strength… Strength carries us through. 

 

 

Forgiven

October 10, 2011

It’s Golden Rule Monday:  “Love God and Love your neighbor as you do yourself” 

Love God.  Love People. Love Yourself.

Today I’m thinking about forgiveness.  The beautiful experience of receiving a clean slate from God.  He washes away our sin and doesn’t see it again. 

It is one of the most powerful ways God has demonstrated His unfailing love to us.  Love extended to all of us from the Great I Am, shown through the mercy of His forgiveness. 

It’s like, a big present that God has given to all, to show His love for us, wrapped in the scarlet ribbon of the Son who gave His life that it would be delivered to us… Forgiveness.

Matthew 26:28 ~ This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Like any gift that is extended and offered to us, we must first receive the gift before we can enjoy it. 

Loving myself enough to open this amazing gift from God, receive His forgiveness and forgive myself. 

Today, I forgive me.  I accept God’s grace (gifts I don’t deserve) and I forgive me.  I release myself from any condemnation and I forgive me.  Sometimes I am so hard on me… more so than I am of others.  

Ephesians 1:7 ~ In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

I sometimes extend mercy and grace more easily to others than I do to me. 

Do you ever find it more difficult to forgive yourself  than to forgive others?