My fitness journey goes back, waaaay back. Just over twenty years ago, I lost my first large amount of weight. I went from 180 pounds on a 5’5” frame, to 130 pounds – fifty pound loss in about nine months, not too shabby. I maintained this for a couple years, going up and down and then up again, settling in around 150 three years later. Then I went on a form of birth control that seemed to cause me to lose weight. I mean, I was working out and eating well, but it literally seemed to fall off, and I made my way down to 118, my lowest weight ever.
I have been thinking a lot about the opinions of others this morning. It is true, everyone has one and many are not afraid to give you theirs! My whole life I have heard them...
When I weighed 180 pounds as a teenager - you are are a big one, man you really like to eat, maybe you shouldn't have that, your stretch marks are disgusting, you may be fat but you sure are pretty, there's no way you will fit into that... The majority of these opinions coming from family.
When I weighed 120 pounds as a young adult - how skinny are you going to get? You need to eat more, a greasy chicken leg would do you some good, maybe you shouldn't work out so much, you're making me look bad, you just need to have a good healthy meal and get some meat on your bones... Again, family and friends the primary source.
Opinions didn't stop with my body size. I've been told I'm too strict with my kids and not strict enough by others. I've been too spiritual to some and too worldly. I've heard I needed to go to church more and that I needed to lighten up and live a little, more. You need to serve more, good grief do you ever leave that church? Why do you work so much, you really need to be here as much as you can. Your husband has stolen your soul (true story), you just need to love him just the way he is and meet all his desires. It goes on and on...
What I finally learned, was to not accept those opinions (because they're not mine) and certainly not allow them to hurt me - because they used to, really bad. They hurt so bad because they came from family and friends. I expected them to love me differently. I expected words of encouragement and support. I expected acceptance - no matter what. When they didn't, I looked to God, Who did just that.
I'm grateful for God's opinion of me, because His DOES matter. I'm grateful He showed me through the pain, how NOT to be with my children. How NOT to be towards others. I'm grateful He expects me to say things that are encouraging and helpful and loving. I'm also grateful He helps me understand why others haven't in the past, and why others may never.
He has me on a unique journey, one that is my own. I'm sure folks have opinions right now as well - and that's OK. The peace I have from being in God's will for my life, is unlikely to be rattled.
Week two is coming to an end, for the Oxygen Ultimate Challenge. While I can write it in the books as successful, both nutritionally and physically, it wasn’t without its challenges.
Right out of the gate my schedule, or plan, was changed up due to work. I learned a while ago to not expect things to be perfect, and I won’t grow as frustrated. It is always best to be adaptable. Both Wednesday and Thursday were modifications to what I had planned to do, but I got in the gym (at work and at home) and got it done! Friday rolled around and I was spent! I was ready for a nap, a glass of wine, a hot bath and tons of chocolate. But I didn’t give in. OK, I DID take a nap, but I got up, did my workout, drank my BCAA’s and went to the 4-H fair with my family.
Because I was SO tired Friday, I allowed my body to rest both Saturday and Sunday, which was good. I needed it. My family and I spent some time out of town listening to one of my favorite bands, then hit the fair and lake again on Sunday, after stocking up on groceries. Yesterday the week began strong with moving into Ephesians for devotions, meal prep, and a good conversation with my kiddos.
The thought occurred to me, I needed to check in with my daughters. In my mind I know and believe everything I do is for them to be better able to become who God needs them to be, and have me around as long as possible to continue to support and encourage them. The thought crossed my mind, “maybe they don’t view it the same. Maybe they view it as something that takes away from their time with me.” So we sat on the porch yesterday and had a wonderful heart-to-heart. They shared with me they know the most important things in my life are God, our family, being healthy and work.
They expressed their desire to attend church more regularly and return again to praying as a family. Both shared with me they felt the conviction during church camp to be more consistent about joining our church family on Sundays. They also shared they miss our nightly prayers together. With summer here, it has been a bit challenging to get up and go, as well as pray together every night, but they were able to identify why. My heart was happy when they expressed they wanted to have their own relationship with God, where they KNEW He was leading and guiding them, rather than feeling like they were depending on my relationship and faith to be enough for them. I love how deep they are! I love how God is moving in their hearts. I love how God is answering my prayers.
This conversation was so good for my heart. In the past I have wrestled with feeling like I needed to do more. Like I needed to be a missionary in some exotic country to really be doing something for Christ. Or that I needed to be saving children from horrible things I know they experience. Or that I need to be doing more in the house of God, for my life to count for anything. God helped me understand then, and confirmed for me again, this family, in this town, in this state – is right where He needs me to be. This is my mission. This is His ministry and testimony in my life. Perhaps my faithfulness in raising them as He needs me, will cause them to be missionaries, or advocates for children. Perhaps the impact they will have on the community and our world, is dependent on my faithfulness. All I know is after I sat with them and during my time with our community, I felt so much peace, contentment, and a happy heart. I felt the joy of the Lord. I felt like I was doing exactly what I was called to do, where I have been called to do it!
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