Almost two weeks since my last post! There has been a ton of good stuff going on. Well there was a hiccup in there with a virus, but even with that, all was good. My family and I had a great day at an amusement park a couple weeks back and I had a great evening with girlfriends, enjoying the weather and good music. I know school is in full throttle with homework, and running the kiddos to volleyball games and basketball practices. That, and the endless invites for sleepovers and get-togethers (because the kids simply do not get enough of one another as it is ;) ). I also had the opportunity to take my oldest to watch the Women’s National Team for U.S. Soccer, which was amazing and inspiring for her on so many levels. Yeah, you could say it has been quite the crunch for a couple of weeks - which is part of why I haven’t blogged recently.
The other part? God has had me prepping and planning for the LiveEatSweat45 challenge. I am so excited about this! Several gals have signed up to do the challenge, which involves growing stronger spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically, as we share in devotions, eating Whole30 foods, and workouts for forty-five days. The pre-planning God has been sharing with all of us has been empowering. We are being exhorted to pray for God’s direction leading up to the beginning of the challenge (and during of course). We are being encouraged to create SMARTER goals, or goals that are specific, meaningful, adjustable, responsive, timing of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit and rejuvenating; a spin on the corporate world’s SMART goals, which I love. Finally, we are identifying smaller, specific goals we have direct control over and aligned with God’s vision, are the goals to set in order to reach an overarching goal. There is SO MUCH MORE He has on my heart to share, and I’m looking forward to digging into all of it with the group.
As for my current challenge, I’m still chugging along and have just under three weeks left. Right after I finally had a pound and a half loss, the cold set in and I was out of the workout routine for over a week. My nutrition did the work last week, and I basically came off with a maintenance week, neither gaining nor losing, which is good. My husband asked if I am going to finish strong. Absolutely! I may not win the Ultimate Oxygen Challenge, but I have already won in my mind. So many things have begun to take shape, including my body and soul, I am extremely motivated to keep going well beyond the end of this challenge.
Here’s a quick and funny story about change in my life. In the past week I have had several people run into me and not recognize who I am. I have been taken a little of guard by it, because I don’t think I really look all that different, but apparently different enough for people who were a regular part of my life to not know who I am. As I was thinking about it on my way into work one morning this week, God spoke to me. The fact that I am unrecognizable is a good thing. It means that He has truly created a change in my life the past several years, which is what He desires. He desires to have people who knew the “old” me to acknowledge there is something peculiarly different about me. He desires they become so curious by the transformation in my life, they begin to wonder WHY. Hopefully, as a result of that curiosity, they will be led to the One Who has been transforming me from image to image and glory to glory, to better reflect Christ in my life. Wow! What an answer to prayer!
God is so good. It is never too late to change. If you trust God and not give up, before you know it you will become the more like the person you always knew God intended you to be (although still not perfect). Now I wish I would have posted this yesterday for Transformation Tuesday ;)
Have a great Wednesday!
It is difficult for me as a parent to ask them to do something I myself am not willing to do, or already doing. I lose credibility with them if I ask them to go to sleep at a decent hour so they wake up rested and ready to go, if I myself am staying up until midnight. They would look at me like I was kidding if I asked them to eat grilled chicken and a salad, rather than a bag full of donuts, if I myself was snarfing down something unhealthy. They would be reluctant to give a 110% in their workouts and training, if they did not witness me doing the same thing on a daily basis, showing I practice what I am teaching them.
When it comes to submitting themselves to a coach responsible for their training and development, I must live out a healthy example as well. They see every day I submit to my supervisor in my career. My husband and I submit to one another. I submit to the guidelines defined by my coach to work towards the goals I have. They see I have the same or similar challenges they do, and we are able to relate. They see it requires humility and laying down pride, in an effort to learn all that can be learned – and ultimately grow.
They also see I wrestle with circumstances in my relationships and I call on God to bring resolve. For the longest time they knew I desired a different path than I am currently on in life. They witnessed the difference of opinion on the matter between their father and I, and saw me go to prayer. They witnessed the wrestling it took to finally submit to Gods path, for the sake of my husband's heart. They have witnessed how God has brought resolve and peace to the situation in our lives, and have learned to apply in their own relationships.
As they get older, they are learning what they should and should not allow into their lives. As a parent, I feel led to let them figure things out on their own. After all, I want them to be persuaded by the Holy Spirit in their own life – rather than the Holy Spirit’s convictions in mine. This may seem radical to some, but time and again, God is faithful. Ultimately, I as a parent have to trust He is becoming more prominent in their lives, as they begin to embark on their own independent journey in life, and I have to sit back, observe, trust, pray, intercede and lead where He prompts me to.
I have never been the parent who told my children to do something “because I said so”. I don't recall having ever said to them “because I’m an adult, and you aren’t”. I have never said to them “you are a child, you have no rights”, or “when you’re eighteen you can do what you want”. Never. I do my best to not talk to them that way, because I feel it is controlling and does not foster a nourishing relationship where they feel loved, protected and free to grow.
I have always believed I need to live by example and when I hear my kiddos say to me they love having me as their mother, it makes my heart happy and lets me know God has me doing something right. When they ask me to join them on the porch so they can run a personal situation by me before they move forward, I feel honored. When they pray for others or help others out, who have hurt them, my heart swells. When they wait to make a decision and participate in difficult conversations, until they have talked with me, it makes me teary eyed, it gives me hope.
It gives me hope I will continue to be an important sounding board in their lives long after they have moved on. And that is what started this thought pattern today. My girls are growing up fast. Too fast. They are experiencing challenges I knew would come one day, but I wasn’t truly prepared for the roller coaster of emotions that would accompany them. I pray I am always right where God needs me to be for their sake, even if that means leading by an example that may or may not be what I had envisioned for myself.
the day. I loved it. I loved seeing the kids working together. I loved seeing them being challenged. I loved being a part of their day and sharing with other parents choosing to do the same. Yesterday was spent with my brothers and their children. It was filled with laughter and joy. Something we needed to do for some time now. This morning, our girls were up and ready, and we headed out for church.
By the end of the service, I was bawling. A gal shared her testimony, and how she came from horrific circumstances as a child, onto the military as a young woman, into practicing Wicca and finally surrendering her life to Christ – forever, 100% serving Him with her life. The service ended with fourteen (I believe) baptisms and my heart was elated. I love seeing Christ in the lives of others. I love seeing Him compelling little children to follow Him. I love seeing adults surrender to Him. I love to see His endless passion for His people – in action.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, I made my way to a homecoming event for a family in our community who has been through so much in the past several weeks. About seven weeks ago their family was in an accident on their way to family vacation, when their vehicle collided with another. Each member of the family survived. However, their daughter was paralyzed from the waist down. The weeks that followed have been filled with rehabilitation for both mother and daughter, and countless trips for father and son.
I don’t know the family personally, but I have met them. We first met Amy J several years ago when searching for the church home we were supposed to be in. She welcomed my daughters with open arms and always made them feel very welcome. I knew my daughters were in good hands. Even though we settled into a different church home within our community, I still felt like Amy J and I were friends, because of her articles in our county paper. I loved reading what she had to share and was so inspired about her open love for and relationship with the Lord. She was, and still is, a beautiful example for me as a woman, wife, mother, and member of our community.
She spoke boldly today, and I could identify with her as she expressed the big things become little and the little become big, following a life changing event. I couldn’t agree more. Through her body language I could see how she adores and honors her husband. Through her words I could see the love for her daughter and son. Through her testimony and the passion to which she shared with those who gathered to greet them this warm, holiday, Sunday afternoon – I knew her community means the world to her.
And it was obvious their family means the world to our community. It was almost surreal. I kept thinking it was like watching a Christian film that everyone WANTS to believe can be true, but because life has been so tough, it just isn’t realistic (maybe even naïve) to think it could be. But it is. I witnessed it. I witnessed many different people, from different backgrounds come together to support this family. My heart was full. The more time I spend in this small, Midwestern town, the more I feel blessed.
But, as I was reminded in this morning’s devotions, He already knows my weaknesses and He STILL DESIRES I COME TO HIS THRONEROOM TO BE BLESSED WITH GRACE AND MERCY. My only job is to go there and then to take it back out again to those around me, as He instructs. This is living a life Designed by the Master Engineer. Alissa, this is me beginning to take my stairs J
If moved to do so, please support the Jagger family here. I know they will appreciate it!
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