Feb 24 2016

Buckle up and enjoy the ride

I would describe myself as adventurous.  I like roller coaster rides, especially those that go in loops.  I used to be afraid of them until I was in middle school and a friend talked me into riding one.  I was hooked after that first ride.  I was terrified and then the feeling of the adrenaline hit and it was so much fun.  I immediately wanted to ride again.  thus began my love affair with amusement parks and roller coasters.

Now, as much as I love roller coasters, I do not like ups and downs of life.  Well, at least I didn’t when I thought that I had to be in control of every aspect of my life.  Let me be clear- I like a certain amount of control, but I have definitely learned that life is more fun if you just buckle up and embrace the ride. Life is more fun if you just buckle up and embrace the ride.

God is the ultimate adventurer.  In order for us to see His creativity, just look at the aardvark and the diversity of the fish in the sea.  I think that God wants us to enjoy life and have a great adventure.  Following God and living while listening for His voice and obeying is definitely an adventure.  Once you know that you hear His voice and then do what He is asking you to do is just as exhilarating as that first roller coaster ride- terrifying and exciting at the same time. Hearing God’s voice & obeying, is like a roller coaster ride- terrifying & exciting. He didn’t create us to live a mundane existence.

The ups are exactly like the best times of your life and then the downs are the parts when you throw your hands up and scream!  You’re screaming because you are terrified, but it releases all of your emotions and it brings that adrenaline that you need to get to the next climb.  If we look at those downs as a way to regain momentum to get back to the top, then that changes our perspectives.  So the next time you feel like you are barreling down hill, take a moment to ask God what He is preparing you for as you are re-charging for the next mountaintop.  It’s even ok to scream a little and throw your hands up 🙂

 

 


Feb 10 2016

A healthier me

I am reading a few books right now, 3 to be exact.  One of them is Beni Johnson’s newest book Healthy and Free: A Journey To Wellness For Your Body, Soul and Spirit.  It awakened something in me.  It made me realize that I can feel free in one area of my life, but not in others and that as I might have more confidence in one area, I might feel so inadequate in another.  It also helped me to realize that I am not getting any younger and I really want to be the healthiest version of me that I can.  Not just spiritually, but physically as well. I want to be healthy, not just spiritually, but physically as well. #fitforme

So, an amazing woman in my small group, Emily Attwood, asked me if I wanted to join a group of women in getting healthy and learning to make some lifestyle changes.  I am happy to say that I have found that I am stronger than I thought and that with a group people to share with, I have been able to begin and maintain a regular workout schedule for over one month!!!  This is huge for me, pun intended.  I never thought that I was strong enough to do this.  When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes more than 10 years ago, I thought that there were things that I would have to give up, that I was doomed for life and that I would forever be on a constant rollercoaster of meds, out of control emotions and neverending doctor appointments.  Yes, there have been so many times when I would just yell at God and say, ” Can I just feel normal for ONE day?!!!”  I would feel like King David in his bipolar expression of love for God and then immediate anger and large pity parties.  I would try really hard to remember that God told me that I would be healed and then I would forget just as quickly.

I’m sure this happens to all of us every once in a while and I feel like God is saying,”It’s ok.”  It’s ok to get angry, ok to have a pity party, even ok to yell at God, but the important thing is to not dwell there. It’s ok to get angry,have a pity party, even yell at God, but don’t dwell there. God knows how we feel, more importantly He knows our hearts and our desires.  I believe that His heart hurts to see us go through our rollercoasters and I love it when He goes out of His way to show us how much He loves us and is cheering us on.

I know that I can cry my eyes out to Him and He is there.  Even if I don’t feel Him, He’s there.  I also know that I He created me to be a warrior, strong and able to accomplish most anything I put my mind to. I know God created me to be a warrior, strong & able to accomplish most anything I want to. I know this because I can now hold a plank for an ENTIRE minute.  I never knew a minute could feel like such a long time, but it can.  I can complete a Plyo workout and walk the next day.  For the record, those of you who saw me after day 1 & 2 of the beginning of my new lifestyle change, you know how I could barely walk, well, I’ve added weights to those workouts 🙂

So, I am now finally stable in my workout routines, daily nutrition, and even my diabetes is “controlled”.  At this rate, I hope to be fully healed soon!  I have lost 13 pounds and almost 11 inches since I began this journey and I am so looking forward to getting my physical health up to speed with my spiritual and mental health!!! I say all of this to hopefully be an encouragement to someone out there who doesn’t feel strong enough or disciplined enough to make a change.  You can do it and God and I are both cheering you on!!!

 


Feb 5 2016

Living by the Spirit

Living from a spiritual perspective should be an everyday experience for any Christian believer but it’s sometimes difficult to practically apply this idea to our lives because we tend to naturally focus on the physical realm around us since it is so easy to interact with. But Galatians 5 tells us in a few different verses that we should live by the Spirit instead of by the flesh; so what does that look like from a practical perspective? I think living by the Spirit simply means viewing and engaging with our environment from the perspective of heaven. Jesus highlighted this in several different ways when he said things like on earth as it is in heaven or when he talked about believers being the light of the world. We are not simply physical beings having a spiritual experience. When we die, our physical body dies but our spirit lives on, so really, we are a spiritual being having a physical experience. So everything that we do should be from this perspective.

New Age spiritists get this concept very well and are completely open to spiritual experiences and connecting to the spiritual realm. Unfortunately for them, they are connecting to the wrong side. And I think in some cases the church has shied away from this idea because there are so many palm readers, fortune tellers, and other weird activities going on that no one wants to do anything that seems associated with that type of activity. But the activities of others should never negatively influence our relationship with God who, is a spirit (John 4:24), so we have to connect with him on a spiritual level which requires a spiritual lifestyle and perspective. And as we learn to live and walk by the Spirit we pretty quickly find out that there really is a lot more to God than we previously realized. Salvation is great, but it’s just the beginning. Start living from this new perspective and watch how quickly you begin to see your environment differently.

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Feb 3 2016

Sometimes life is more like a Picasso…

There are so many uncertainties in life.  We never know for sure what will happen, how it will happen or who it will happen to.  We like to try to plan things so that we can project or guess what the outcomes are and we set goals and hope to accomplish them.  I like to see the big picture.  I consider myself adventurous and most people that know me would say that I am too, but people don’t know that I actually like to see the whole picture more often than trying to guess what the picture looks like.

I love art and one of my favorite things to do in DC is to visit the different Smithsonians and art museums.  My taste varies from pop art like Peter Max to classics such as Monet or Matisse.  I love an Ansel Adams portrait as much as I love Klimdt.  I know it doesn’t make sense, but sometimes I feel like I ask God for the whole picture and I get an image that is more Dali-esque than Georgia O’Keefe!  I started to realize that God likes to show me things in pieces or in phases so that I will have to look closer at the images, or situations that I am in.  He shows me different sides of the place that I am in, forcing me to often look inward instead of outward. God shows me a different side of the situation, forcing me to look inward instead of outward.   This is not fun and it is a scary thing sometimes when you realize that you are the one that needs changing and that sometimes we are not as perfect as we think we are!

It is also a reminder of why we need God in our lives, because if we could do it all on our own, why would we need Him? When I ask God to change someone or something, I find that the person that needs changing is me and that my heart being shifted just a little can change my circumstance. When I ask God to change someone or something, I find that the person that needs changing is me.  God often tries to show us pieces of the picture so that we can see things more closely and not get overwhelmed by the entirety of it all.  I think that He is so gracious to make sure that we can handle the piece that we have before He gives us more.  It reminds me that I can be happy with my piece and look to others to see if their pieces fit mine to make a beautiful picture.