Today's journey is about learning to love God with all your heart. Have you ever been in church and one of the songs you had to sing included a verse about surrendering all or giving God your all? If you're like me, there's a lot that goes on in my heart! How can I give God all of it?
Today's journey will begin with learning to love yourself so your positive spirit can spill over to those you come in touch with. You can than feel confident that you are living God's second greatest commandment to "love others as you love yourself."
How great would that be if we just learned to challenge ourselves to first love ourselves? Not in a selfish or prideful way, but loving what God has created, in the way He created it. It really isn't as difficult as it may sound. It takes a goal, focus, accountability and no room for excuses.
Almost a year ago I had a goal to start taking my weight gain seriously. As a child I grew up very overweight, and because of that, I have struggled with my weight my entire life. The last couple years I've gained 30 pounds some how and I had grown to have a very bad opinion and view of myself. With a vacation coming on the horizon I was determined! Not that I needed to have a models figure to feel good about myself, but I wanted to feel fit again and to have the energy level I used to have before these added 30 pounds.
Your body is a tremendous gift that God lends to you so that you can use it for his glory.
My journey shifted! I found a new workout at a great gym. It's a boxing and cardio gym called 9Round Fitness. Importantly, it was a great fit for me! The routine kept me interested, it was fast, intense, and I had great trainers. I became determined to make this change and put it at the top of my priority list. After several months of consistent, hard work, I began to see result. I soon started dropping inches and pounds until I hit the 20 pound mark!
It's funny how quickly you begin to rediscover a sense of confidence and energy that is some how lost when you put your health on the back burner. Today I'm feeling better about myself, and I'm engaging more with people around me. I feel re-energized on life and that energy and revitalized spirit flows onto others. This new view on life has become a light to others, even inspirational.
I'm not going to disillusion you that it was easy because it's not. I do have some advice to get you going:
You may not need to lose weight but I encourage you to do what you can to stay fit. Keep positive about your physical health! I realize how you feel physically is only a small piece of loving yourself but it can be a good start.
Start your new journey today to love yourself so you can love your neighbor!
Goal. Focus. Accountability.No Excuses.
Welcome to today’s strength journey!
As January comes to an end, I’m reminded that many people are struggling with depression and anxiety due to overwhelming financial problems. You won't be alone! Consumer counseling agencies see a 25 percent increase in the number of people seeking help in January and February, and most of that traffic is propelled to their doors by holiday bills that haunt consumers like the ghost of Christmas past. Gaining control of our spending and finances is a way to ensure you can remain focused and passionate during our strengthening journey.
A strong mind, body and soul comes from limiting the amount of stress we intake. Financial stress can be one of the most powerful and can keep us down and feeling helpless. Today my hope is to give you some simple ways to start gaining control of your finances.
1. INVENTORY: Take an inventory of debt and income
2. PLAN: Make a plan to allocate any extra income you have each month and pay it toward your debt. If you are short income, and can't pay all your expenses, brainstorm on ways to earn extra money or ways to cut expenses.
3. ACCOUNTABILITY: Find someone to hold you accountable. I would love to be your accountability partner. Email me at email@example.com.
5. FOCUS: Stay laser focused on the end goal!
One big piece of advice I can give is to take baby steps. Be very specific about your goals and work diligently at achieving your goals. Any small amount that you can pay extra toward your debt will help pay it down faster. Once you get your debt under control, make behavioral changes in your spending habits so you don't have to experience these feelings of anxiety. Start saving for next year!
Quick testimony... my husband and I saved two years to upgrade the siding and windows on our home. We got quotes to determine the price. We looked at our budget to determine how much we could save each month. We allocated any extra money that came in toward the project and cut out some expenses on things we didn't need. Because of the focus and agreement we both had to meet our goal, we were able to pay cash for this major project. It was an amazing experience and accomplishment!
Be encouraged, get organized and get your mind focused on the end goal. Let me be your accountability partner or find someone else you trust. Don't forget... you must be on the same page as your spouse or it will be very difficult to achieve financial goals.
If you want to learn more on how to manage your finances, you can purchase this simple budget book to help you: Whole Armor Restoration, Guide to Financial Wellness. If you would like me to come speak to your church body or offer assistance with your churches financial stewardship program, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
INVENTORY. PLAN. ACCOUNTABILITY. FOCUS
A lot happens in my car as I drive to and from work each day. Each day always seems to become a new battle. Some days I battle anxiety from past mistakes. Other mornings I find myself pondering over fears of what could come my way. At times I find myself holding back tears from the overwhelmed stress I feel or I replay in my head the long list of what needs to get done . It finally occurred to me one morning what I was doing with these precious moments of quiet time I had in my day. Why was I using this time to torture myself? Wan't there something more productive I could have my mind focus on? My life is so blessed and it’s time I start acting like it!
I had to make a determination to create calculated changes in my life or my mind was going to continue to control my life. I don’t know if you’re like me, but when my mind holds me captive, I find it hard to focus, hard to build relationships, to smile, to love myself and even my spouse. We must not be foolish to underestimate the power anxiety, fear, and cares of the world have over our minds and how easy it can be for them to create strongholds in our lives.
Things had to change! As I turned to Gods word for direction, I couldn’t get past studying the two greatest commandments.“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:36 -39. If I could grasp just those two commandments on how to live my life, I know I could experience a complete makeover of several areas that I struggle with.
Join me in a strengthening journey of your mind, your body, your soul and your relationships. I challenge you to strengthen each of these areas in your life over this next year and see how your approach to each day will transform into something pleasing, filled with passions and focus.
I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with you!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. and the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:36-39