Sunday, December 31, 2017

Reflection of 2017~

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      My word for 2017 was endurance! I had no idea at the time when I chose it how I truly would have to endure this past year. But God knew just what I was  going to walk through.

Proverbs 16:9 “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps"

     God is a faithful God who will never leave us or forsake us, for those who remain in him. The road isn’t always easy but it is in the hardships that produces the most character.  At the beginning of 2017 God needed to prune me of things I no longer needed to be carrying around. The pruning is painful but it frees us of things we do not need to carry to move into deeper waters!!  God is a jealous God.. He desires a relationship and our priorities to be balanced. One of the many things God revealed to me this year was that I still placed my family and marriage as an idol. I didn’t realize it until they were removed temporarily from my life! It ceases to amaze me how easy we can make things an idol.  An idol can be anything or anyone we devote too or give more attention too than a relationship with Christ. My hearts desire is to reflect the LOVE of Christ and to obediently follow His plan for my life


 (ˈaɪd l) 

1. an image or other material object representing a deity and worshiped as such. 
2. (in the Bible) a deity other than God. 
3. a person or thing devotedly or excessively admired. 
4. a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance. 
5. a false notion; fallacy.

“Do not worship any other gods besides me.” Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! (Exodus 20:3-5 NLT)”
     Another major thing in 2017 was that I walked out a healing in my back. Not that the Lord needs our help to achieve His will for us;  but He was calling me to loose weight and start a journey towards health. I firmly believe He requires us to do our part! We are in a partnership with Him. Therefore we must do our part. Obedience is an action and in order to obediently follow out His will for us in our lives we must submit to His calling and be willing to do what He asks us to do. I felt like the Lord was calling me to a healthier lifestyle so that I can be used in my fullest potential for what's to come. I barely could walk at the beginning of 2017; I had a mountain to climb. A few things I have learned in regaining control of my health are as follows:

~I had to admit to truth that I wasn’t healthy 
~I needed to create smaller goals to attain
~I needed to make changes slowly
~I realized everyone’s  journey will look differently
~I had to rely on God to help me
~I had to incorporate more water & veggies into my diet
~I had to start moving
~I realized that a journey to health isn’t always in the number on the scale.. it’s also about the non scale victories such as inches lost, and being active, increasing water intake, sleeping well  etc etc. 

I began the year only walking for 5 minutes. I remember setting a goal to walk 30 minutes a day but I couldn’t do it! So I would would walk 10 minutes for three times. Gradually, I made my way up to 30 minutes at a time and that was a huge victory! As I began to walk and make changes I couldn’t believe how much of a mental game a journey to a healthier lifestyle was! Realization of how unbalanced my diet was became very overwhelming.  I remember starting My fitness Pal and thought after just a few days about quitting.. I would log in all my food and everything would be over the amount I was required to eat!! How in the world could I change all of this all at once!? Mike reminded me that it didn’t take overnight to get the way I was, surely it would take longer than overnight to learn balance!! So I set off only paying attention to one thing at a time; for example sugar. Once I understood what I could and couldn’t have I moved to carbs and then fats. Unfortunately, I don’t always get it right and when I am discouraged I remember where I was and where I am now! 
One area of my journey to health was my sleeping pattern! I struggle with this
greatly and will continue to work on this into the New Year!

I also jumped on the Fitbit bandwagon which was a great benefit to my weight loss journey.  I have had people ask me why it was so important to lose weight while walking out healing and my answer is this:

Only those who are close to me know the level of pain and difficulty I had to endure these five years of back pain. Not everyone wants to talk about that but Everyone desires at some point in their lives to try and better themselves and are always looking for support or encouragement. By losing weight others would ask what I was doing. By asking it gives me a platform to explain how I am walking out a healing and how God is still preforming miracles in His timing!!! I get a chance to bring Gods name glory and I have a second chance for my health!!! God has given me grace and mercy and protected me from major health issues! I want to be around for my FUTURE grand babies. I want to be actively involved with my adult children and not feel as If I am being held back, and I want to be physically capable of doing whatever God calls me to do!
     God showed me that no matter how hard things are he is right there in the middle. A few of the highlights from this past year was:

~Mike came off the road but had to take a major pay cut
~ this summer all three of our cars broke down
~our washer broke down
~the accident Mike had been in was deemed his fault which meant we had to pay for his hospital bills
~we owed our insurance penalty
~Lyvvie needed money for her volleyball and school
~the boys had moved out
~We had just finished working for Team Effort and needed to decide what to do to get out of this hole we were in.. Mike and I decided what was best was that he would go back on the road which added to the emotions.

But through all of this God:
~Allowed me the opportunity to go to Florida
~Paid for a plane ticket to St. Louis so I could attend the Joyce Meyers conference with dear friends
~Blessed us with a washer & dryer
~gave us an opportunity to go to Nebraska
~We also went on our very first cruise
~Mike & I celebrated our  21st anniversary
~Kirk turned 22
~Owen turned 20
~Lyvvie turned 17
~Both Mike and I turned 40!!!

As we were reflecting over the decade we just left, 10 years seems so long but really it went by in a blink of an eye. To think about what the next ten years could bring is both exciting & overwhelming!!
     I didn’t achieve all the goals I made for 2017 but I will keep trying! I know the word I choose for 2018 will bring its challenges. I am excited to see what 2018 has in store for us. I’m not certain how it will unfold but what I am certain about is that God will be there! During the summer I had this vision of the Lord actually climbing into my boat that was in the middle of a storm! I loved it because it gave me such peace! Sometimes when we call on the Lord He stops the storm, but other times He will climb into the boat and give peace as he wait out the storm in His timing! Either way, it is reassuring to know that no matter what we go through in life we can trust that God has us in the palm of his hands.

I am blessed to travel this journey, we call life, with my best friend! We have our moments but I couldn't imagine doing life with out him...  I am truly grateful for my three wonderful children. As we have entered uncharted waters once again in raising adult children the hardest challenge is trusting that God has a plan and a design for their lives as well. I struggle with the burden of worrying about them. Again, I am not perfect!!  Over the summer, my one son & I had a disagreement about what it looked like to "be on his own" It broke my heart, because somewhere along the line he got it in his head that just because he wanted to be on his own he believed he had to do life alone! I think we misconstrue intentions all the time which leads to hurt; left uncheck can turn to  bitterness and resentment. If we are doing life alone, that is a choice that is made only by the person who chooses to be alone. We are called to live life abundantly. One of Satan's arrows he throws is to get us to loose focus and off of His will for our lives.  Once I was able to explain to him my intentions we came to an understanding. The hardest part for me is that my identity was in being a wife and mother. I had to struggle with feeling like I had lost my identity. I have always been active in my kids life, and want to continue being active in their lives now that they are adults! As I was dealing with them pushing me away I had to place my trust in God.  Jesus was and is pushed away all the time. Mistakenly we, as his children, think we can do this life alone.  God desires a relationship with us; to walk with us in the good and the bad times, he desires our worship and desires to be active in our lives no matter what season of life we are going through!!

A few highlights of the 2017~