Friday, October 31, 2014

Fighting Against Discouragement

No Comparison

Today marks day 5 of our 24 day Challenge which means we are HALF way through our 10 day cleanse!  It's going great, by the way... I was a little nervous because I have never done a cleanse before and I have a sensitive stomach so I wasn't sure what to expect but it has been totally doable!

So, since we are half way through the cleanse, we wanted to check in on our results - so yesterday we stepped on the scales.  I lost 2 lbs and 1" in my waist which made me VERY excited; until John stepped on the scale....he is down 7lbs.  Don't get me wrong, I am extremely happy for him and I celebrate his losses with a grateful heart BUT I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a ton of discouragement at that point.

I started the comparison game.  

That was until I was reminded that this is NOT a competition between he and I but a competition with myself to be better than who I was!  Then, I was thought of this scripture:

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4:8

Here are my new thoughts - things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy- 

  • Men and women burn fat at different rates and I feel GOOD, it doesn't matter what the scales say.  
  • I have stuck with this wellness plan, and unlike a "diet", it is a lifestyle change.  In the past when I have tried to eat better and workout, I have failed miserably or I have cheated....these past five days - I have not cheated ONCE - that is HUGE for me.  
  • My husband is ROCKING this 24 day challenge and I really want to celebrate that with him. 
  • The time we are spending together working out - is the most precious time.  We have been getting up early and truly having one on one time together.  It's been like a date night every morning.
Discouragement can creep up on any one of us  - not just in fitness and weight loss, but in other areas of life.  So, just remember to think on those things that are TRUE, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy!!

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

3 Keys to Surviving Life's Storms - Key 3 - Stand

The past 2 days we have looked at keys to Surviving Life's Storms.   Key #1 - Prayer and Key #2 - Examine your heart.

Today we will take a look at Key #3....

3.  Stand

Sometimes after we've prayed and asked God to examine our hearts, there is nothing else we can do but S-T-A-N-D!  Wrap our arms tightly around the foundation of TRUTH and stand firm on the Promises of God.  We put our trust in Him and keep our focus on our own actions and just wait out the storm to pass.

May peace surround you, dear friend, as you weather the storms in your own life. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

3 Keys to Surviving Life's Storms - Key 2 - Your Heart

Storms in life can kill us or they can make us stronger.  Yesterday we looked at how prayer helps us to weather the storms and today we will continue with key #2....

2.  Your Heart –

Storms come in our lives for various reasons and sometimes they involve other people.  Fleshly nature can cause us to quickly judge the other person and give all of our focus and attention to what “they” did or are doing wrong.  

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 Can I just be honest and real with you for a minute?  I spent many days guilty of this!  Very guilty.  Those days I spent trying to get the speck out of the other person’s eye, left me full of bitterness, resentment and anger.  I don’t know about you – but I don’t remember THOSE being fruits of the Spirit. 

After several weeks of just living in pure sourness, my eyes were open and God began revealing TRUTH to me.  While some people could look at my situation and tell me that the circumstances surrounding my storm justified me to look at the other person’s actions as unjust and that THEY were the one that needed to change, the TRUTH is the only person in the situation I could control was ME….and boy, was I out of control!!  

The fact that I was so bitter, well, that was bad enough but God showed me that there were other lessons to be learned during this storm and they were lessons for ME!  I had to allow my heart to be moldable and open to God. 

Once I stopped trying to control the situation, surrendered myself to God and trusted Him with the outcome, everything in me changed.  Circumstances didn’t change but my outlook did.  I’m serious – God turned my mourning into dancing; I was able to face the storm with my umbrella in hand, jump in the puddles and even dance in the rain.

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Tomorrow we will finish up with the last key to weathering the storms of life......just STAND.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

3 Keys to Surviving Life's Storms

 Yesterday's revelation had me revisit something I wrote last year - it was a great reminder to me of just what God has brought me through and where I know He will lead me in the future.....

We all go through storms in life –  some long and rainy, some short with hurricane force winds, and some with just a drizzle of rain – but we all go through storms. 

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I’ve been walking through a dark stormy season in my life recently and while I am still holding onto the promises of the Lord, if I’m honest with you (and myself), it’s been a hard and long roller coaster of a road.  I am praising Jesus as I can see the sun shining in the horizon and I can honestly say that I am thankful for the lessons I’ve learned along this path.  Sometimes there is no better teacher than real life experiences, huh? 

Through this recent stormy season, I’ve learned 3 important keys that helped me survive on my darkest days.  Today I’ll be sharing the first key with you –

1.  PRAY –

I’d like to say my first response to my stormy days was to pray but sadly that would not be an honest statement.  Although there were many days I prayed during my storm, there were just some days it took everything in me just to make it out of bed and be sure the kids were taken care of.  Then, there were the days that I would start to pray but then just couldn’t find the words to say.   But in the midst of it all, there were some other ways prayer intertwined through my life…

My friends prayed…….I am blessed with some close friends that committed to praying WITH and for me (what a treasure) and let me tell you, I FELT their prayers!!  Don’t ever feel ashamed or guilty when you ask for prayer – that’s what friends are for, right?  I’m not one to tell my business to everyone I meet or post it all over social media but I think it is definitely beneficial to share with a few close {safe} friends so they can encourage and lift you up to our Father in Heaven. 

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I sang………Another awesome prayer tool for me was song.  Many afternoons on my drive home from work, a particular song would come on and the words would touch my heart so strongly.  It was like God was speaking back to me what I was feeling in my heart.  Before I knew it, I would be singing from deep within and tears would be flowing.  I remember one day vividly, singing out the words to “Lord, I need you” and just crying my heart out because I DID need Him more than ever!! (You can listen to the song here)

The Holy Spirit interceded for me……But the greatest thing about prayer – is that we have the Holy Spirit.  He intercedes for us and on those days that I tried to pray but couldn’t find the words to utter, he examined my heart and interceded for me.  How amazing is it that the KING of the universe knows my heart and prayed for me?  That is mind blowing….

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Standing on the Rock

storms, overwhelmed, hurricane

I'm not a huge fan of storms.  Ever since Hurricane Hugo, when the wind starts blowing hard or the rains come in with force, I get a little nervous.  I've also noticed that I can get a little nervous when the storms of life start to rush in.....does that ever happen to you??

This morning as I was praying about a certain situation, and I started having this feeling that everything was crumbling around me.  I cried out to the Lord with desperation because I felt like a hurricane was coming. 

God reminded me that I have a foundation built on Him and that even when the storms come (cause they will come) I just have to hang on to Him and stand on the foundation of Jesus. 

Then he brought to my remembrance this portion of scripture in Matthew:

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

What peace this brought me!  I felt like a storm was coming but I have peace in knowing that I have built my rock on Jesus and that the rains can come, the streams can rise, the winds can blow BUT I will not fall - Jesus is my rock and my foundation. 

Praise Jesus!!  I am ever so thankful for His peace and protection! 

Remember, friend, when the storms of life come your way - STAND firm on the rock of Jesus - He will see you through!!  

And if seeing it once in the Bible doesn't convince you - here it is again in Luke:

47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”