Friday, May 11, 2012

The Winds of Change

Yes, the winds of change are blowing through and I have the feeling a storm is brewing.

For a while now, maybe even a year, I've felt that God is leading and preparing me for a period of challenge and growth. Actually as I reflect, it goes back to 2010 and my 50th birthday. Not long after I turned 50 it was like my body fell apart. I had constant pain in one area or another. As time went on it got so bad I could barely walk or turn over in bed. I had difficulty getting out of bed and doing the things I loved. For a while it was my arms & shoulders, then my foot, and finally it hit my right wrist to the point I could barely use my hand.

Around the same time, I got my new Kindle. When exploring what it could do, I went to Amazon to look for books to buy. It had one suggestion - Made to Crave by Lysa Terkurst. Now I had never purchased anything on nor had I ever heard of this author. It was a book promoting a godly approach to weight loss. Well I knew I needed to lose weight and I also knew that it was God's way of telling me that book was for me.

Well I bought the book and sort of read it, it made sense to me but I never really made any attempt at serious weight loss. But what it did to was to point me to Proverbs 31, a Christian woman's web site. From there I joined an online prayer group for women 50+. God's answer to my prayer for feminine fellowship and prayer partners. I have been a part of that group for almost a year now.

While dealing with my ongoing health issues, I was pleading with God to understand what was going on. What was it that I was missing. Then the answer came. God showed me that he had made all these provisions and had provided blessings that I was rejecting. I have all kinds of medical insurance through work but rather than reach out for help, I was scorning God's blessings. So I started off going for massage therapy. That helped one are but the pain just moved somewhere else..

Derek suggested that I try seeing a chiropractor. I'd heard some horror stories and where would I even start. Through a series of events God directed me to a doctor and broke through my skepticism to make it clear that this was where he was guiding me. After about 6 months,, the damage in my neck has reversed itself, I am pain free in my shoulders, arms and pretty much pain free in my neck and lower back. My headaches have decreased dramatically. Then the pain moved to my hand. Okay Lord, where are you leading me now?

The next step on the journey was to a naturopath. Again he led me to the right one. And she found all kinds of issues. Somehow I think we've just touched on the surface. And all the solutions so far revolve around my diet. Great - one of my most challenging areas so far I haven't made much progress except to convince myself that this is what needs to change.

A month or so ago, Derek and I decided to start a bible study by James McDonald on Godly change. So that's where this finds me - almost half way through that study. God is calling me to address the following areas:
  • my lack of self-discipline
  • my lack of self-restraint
  • my tendency to self-indulgence
There are 3 areas he's made it clear I have to address - my laziness around the house, my spending habits and my lack of discipline and self-indulgence when it comes to food. Ouch. I know he's calling me to clean up my diet and get serious about  exercising more. I know that the only way I can change is if God changes me. He starts on the inside when I ask for help and I have to partner with him if I want the change to be permanent. This is what I've learned so far in the change bible study.

So I know what I have to work on but where do I start? I remember Lysa's book Made to Crave and figure that's a good start. The problem is her book is a support to whatever diet plan you choose to follow, but I don't have a diet plan. I know I need some sort of plan. Counting calories doesn't work; Weight Watchers doesn't work, so what should be my plan. I've prayed about it, I've asked Derek about it, but until today there was no answer except to point out what doesn't work.

Today, I get to work early to get a parking spot in the good lot, and have time to spare so I decide to start re-reading Lysa's book. I read the first chapter and decide to see if she has a podcast. She doesn't but itunes suggests this book called Never Say Diet by some woman who was 350 lbs and now runs marathons. Well it was pretty strange how this just suddenly came up and in my gut I knew it was God. But I don't weight that much and I certainly have no interest in running marathons. The other kicker was that the brief reviews I saw seemed to emphasize exercise. Yuck!! But in my heart I knew God had pointed me here. Okay, I'll investigate more. And then I found it - her approach is to change your brain, change from the inside and that will lead to the change in diet and fitness, and she is a Christian emphasizing the need to partner with God.  The winds are  howling...

Tonight after work I bought the book, stopped at Chapters on the way home and read the introduction and first chapter. In the first chapter, Chantel talks about how God told her "You're not being the best you can be". Well God told me that tonight too. I was in tears driving home because I know that I'm also not being the best I can be, and I want to be. I don't want to be anything less.

Mom is coming over tomorrow for Mother's Day weekend and the house is a mess. I know Derek has been stressed about it, plus the pool guys are coming to open the pool. I had promised him that I would help him clean Friday night. Normally I promise with the best intentions but if I'm honest cleaning is a big chore and generally I do only what I have to. Tonight I knew I had to do the best I could do. I realized that I owe it to Derek, I owe it to Jesus and I owe it to myself. I have to say I amazed myself and it is obvious God gave me the strength I needed. I cleaned the whole kitchen including the small appliances, I reorganized 2 of the cupboards, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, cleaned both bathrooms, all before 10 pm. Derek was pretty amazed and commented several times what a relief it was for him. He says he's feeling much less stressed about tomorrow. I feel great and have a true sense of accomplishment. My foot and lower back is sore, I'm tired and there were several times when I was really aware of my weight hindering my progress, but I really feel despite all that I actually consciously strived to be the best I could be at the tasks I set before myself.

Bring on tomorrow, I have a few errands and plan to pick up a sports bra because I know I'm about to start exercising and I have to commit to striving to give it my best.

If Christ was willing to die for me, I owe it to him to try to do the very best I can., I want to start aiming to be the best I can be.

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