People cope with their hard times in all sorts of different ways. The way I deal with mine I’m sure looks a lot different than the way you deal with yours. There’s no one right way to deal with them. You just keep pushing and moving forward. I’ve never really been comfortable sharing my personal life but I feel like I have a story to tell. Let me start by telling you how hard life can be.
Hard is when your mom passes away from a tragic accident and you’re only 15.
Hard is seeing your family fall apart because of this loss.
Hard is moving forward in life when all you want is one more hug from her.
Hard is living without my mom.
Hard is receiving a special needs diagnosis when you thought everything was okay.
Hard is watching your husband cry because of the unknowns.
Hard is watching your baby be flown off to another hospital, hoping he will still be alive by the time you get there.
Hard is being taken back to the ICU and looking at your child’s chest with so many tubes and wires hooked to him and feeling so helpless.
Hard is wanting to have another baby but being hesitant because of the “what if’s”.
Hard is moving forward when all you want is a breather.
Through all of these hard times there has also been so much beauty. My grandparents are my saviors, they’ve been by my side through everything. My oldest sister graduated from graduate school this year and my middle sister runs her own successful boutique. I’ve recently rekindled a relationship with my brother. I have an incredible and supportive husband who always rescues me. My mother and father in-law love me like their own and my two babies are even better than I could have imagined.
Hard times don’t have to control you, instead they have the potential to shape you. I would be a completely different person and have a completely different life if I had let these hard times control me. I am so grateful for the people in my life that helped me move forward. I have hope in spite of the hard times. Like I said in the beginning – I didn’t stop pushing through and moving forward. You can too.
I’ll never forget the first night back at our new apartment after our honeymoon. We went to bed and as I laid my head down I felt something under my husband’s pillow. It was a picture of his dad. A picture that he had been sleeping with for years.
Now, I don’t mean to jump right into a deep conversation about tragedy but the ugly truth is life can be cruel. Sometimes we get hit so hard that our hearts feel like they will never recover.
I also want to preface this by saying that I have my husband’s full permission to write this today. He has read this blog and placed his stamp of approval on it. I would never share it otherwise.
My husband is my hero. He is a true general in the army of God, a walking testimony of a life that won’t give up.
But sometimes he hurts so desperately.
Sometimes he wants to quit and run and hide and not come out for a very long time and to be quite honest I don’t blame him. I have been there and I’m sure you have too.
So with all that said- let’s talk about the reality of life, the situations that we didn’t see coming and the path to healing that seems so far away.
I’ll start by telling you a piece of his story.
When my husband was just 15 years old he received a call that no one would ever want to receive. His biological father had just attempted suicide. My husband’s world spun out of control.
I don’t think there is anything worse than sitting by a hospital bed wondering why and searching for answers as you hold the hand of someone who is slipping away.
The answers will never come.
As my husband reeled from the loss, questioned his own worth, wondered if there was anything that he could have done, his little teenage heart filled with regret for not being enough to make his dad want to live.
As adults we know in our heads that it wasn’t about Ryan at all. We know that there were other things that plagued his dad, that he had lost hope and couldn’t see a road out of the troubles that overwhelmed him.
Our hearts don’t always get the memo from our heads though. Our hearts just plain break.
To be at such an integral age, barely a teen, no longer a child, definitely not an adult, but dealing with a situation beyond all imagination- Ryan began to withdraw inside.
He learned to cut off his emotions.
Trama often causes our bodies to go into a protective mode. He didn’t talk about what happened, he acted like he was fine, went along with his life like all was good in the world, but that picture remained hidden under his pillow. A desperate attempt at holding on to a life that was no longer.
The night that I discovered that picture under the pillow (I knew nothing about it before that). He tentatively took it from my hands and set it on the dresser. He told me that he guessed it could stay there for now. I tried to press for more information but it was clear that there would be no conversation to follow. In fact, it would be many years before any real conversation would occur.
Ryan turned away from God during that time. (understatement of the century)
He told me that he couldn’t believe that a God (any God) could exist in the midst of all the chaos and tragedy in the world because any real God would not allow all this.
Have you ever felt that way?
Before I married my husband I didn’t know any of this. I didn’t know about his dad, I didn’t know about his pain, I had no idea what was hidden behind all those closed doors because I didn’t know the doors existed.
I prayed. I didn’t know what else to do.
I want to tell you that God just healed every hurt, that he took all the pain away and that Ryan never has to feel all of that again but the truth is he still deals with that loss and will for the rest of his life. I’d be lying if I said otherwise and you would know it.
What I can tell you is this- God helped Ryan to recover. He came in and opened Ryan’s heart. He allowed the grieving and in the process he caused Ryan to have a compassion for others that I’ve never seen before. He showed Ryan how much he is truly loved, how it wasn’t his fault and how incredibly good Jesus is- even in the midst of the worst. He showed Ryan that a loving God does exist and although terrible things do happen, God has a plan for it all.
Ryan has a new perspective these days. He has come full circle.
So how do you deal with your deepest hurts? How did he?
One single second at a time and one simple prayer- “Jesus I don’t understand this, I can’t breath, I can’t do this, I need help, I need hope, I need something to hang on to, I think I need you.”
Ryan says that he has learned that God does not ever bring these things into our lives, instead he is the one that walks us through them. He tells me that God sees a big picture that we can’t even begin to comprehend and that God will not for even a second leave us or forsake us.
Talk about coming full circle.
As Ryan has walked through this life he has learned that what he goes through today someone may need to hear about tomorrow and that his own personal tragedies can be the very thing that saves someone else’s life.
None of us would ever choose to go through these situations but we don’t have to get stuck in them either. We can overcome. Jesus can heal, your life can have meaning, you can recover, you can be whole again, and your life most definitely has purpose.
Ryan has healed because of Jesus and in spite of the situation. If you are desperate for hope today, trust a very loving God who can help you through the very unloving world we live in. My husband is living proof that you can make it.
If you want to overcome the heartbreak and the pain there is only one place that you will find the healing you need. The Bible says to ask and you shall receive… so ask Jesus today. The road may be long but if he can walk my husband down that dusty old path of recovery then I believe with my whole heart that he can walk you down it too.
You don’t have to do anything by yourself. You have Jesus, you have us, and you can have hope- receive it today.
I got this little succulent at the start of all the chaos this year. Isn’t it just the cutest? I had no idea what it would become, what it was supposed to look like, or even how to take care of it.
When the weather started to change in the spring and it became warm enough to put the little guy outside I did. What happened next surprised me. That cute little plant took over. It grew and grew until I had to remove it from the pot it was in. Tiny new plants grew on it’s leaves and one good gust of wind sent them everywhere. I suddenly found myself pulling these tiny babies out of all my other plants.
I have since done some research. This succulent is nicknamed “The Mother of Many Daughters” & “The Mother of Thousands”. How cool is that? From a tiny adorable little plant to one that can’t be stopped and certainly one that makes an impression on anyone who gets close to it.
Every single time I bump the table it sits on, every time even a wisp of the wind blows, every time I look at that plant- it sends its tiny little ones on a journey to find new soil and new life grows. I have even found this plant growing in places it shouldn’t be able to.
I believe that’s what God sees in each of us.
He looks at us and he sees this minuscule person (my words not God’s) who has no idea what the right soil and a little “son” time will do. He sees how our lives can effect everything and everyone around us even when we are not consious of it. We may bump into people by chance, the wind may blow us to and fro and what we see as life’s crazy journey, God may be using to move us right where we are needed.
Today, trust that though you may feel tiny and insignificant, God can make you like this plant. Strong and mighty, powerful and effective, full of life that changes everything around you even when you aren’t aware of it.
Times have been crazy, the storms have been extreme and the soil may seem pretty rocky, but remember who is raising you up. Remember who loves you more than you can imagine. Remember Jesus today and what He did for you on that old rugged cross then remember that he didn’t stop there. He rose to raise you up too. He gave his life so you could thrive in yours. No matter what you are facing today, no matter what Covid has stolen, or what the political climate brings, remember who is walking you through it all. You can live today, you can grow, you can change, and you can make a difference.
Maybe, just maybe, you were created for such a time as this.
Oh, I have got to tell you guys- there have been so many ups and downs in this journey. I don’t even know where to start. It was about a year ago that we began taking our health more seriously and we really made so much progress.
I’m not going to pull any punches here, instead I’m going to state the obvious and say that this is hard. Like really hard.
Our lives got incredibly busy over the summer and I found that I was compromising probably more than I should have.
We also traveled more than we usually do, and, in the spring, we found ourselves in San Antonio Texas visiting our son. I don’t know about you but one of my favorite things to do while traveling is to eat. I absolutely love to try different restaurants and this short vacation was no different. Let me tell you- we had some of the very best Mexican food we have ever had on this trip.
Actually, we had it twice and in large quantities.
I rolled myself out of that place.
My mouth is salivating just thinking about it.
Then, as summer began, we went on a cruise to celebrate our 25th (closer to the 26th) anniversary. We had planned this trip with friends and were looking forward to just relaxing, celebrating, and eating… and eating… and eating.
Oh, that cruise food.
I tried to eat in moderation on that trip.
I really tried, but by the third day I had completely thrown moderation out the window and I was fully trying all the food.
And I do mean ALL.THE.FOOD.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- when this girl does something, she does it right. Good and bad.
We got back from that big old boat and felt like big old boats ourselves.
We did manage to get back on track when we disembarked but oh it was so much harder. My husband kept going to the kitchen and threatening bad reviews on yelp. (He is seriously funny and usually in trouble…)
Thankfully we quickly got back on track (for the most part) and continued to maintain our progress.
I got an opportunity to visit my son again- this time we would meet in Dallas TX.
Guys, there is only so much resolve that I have and mine was melting away by the minute.
Texas is known for its BBQ and we found ourselves experiencing not only mouth-watering barbecue, but great little unique restaurants, some of the most amazing food trucks and family’s home cooking that fit every single bill.
My pants however did not fit anymore. (Okay- so they still fit, but not comfortably)
I guess the best part of this journey is that it doesn’t end. When I make the best choices, (tonight for example while I am writing this- I’m craving sweets and junk food, but instead I ate some amazing mango chicken and veggies) I see progress in myself.
And when I make the not so good choices… well the truth is that doesn’t mean that I’ve failed or that I’m not going to make the goals I’ve set.
Our minds tell us all sorts of things and when I got on the scale recently, I realized that all those months of good healthy decisions were not lost. Some of the pounds may have come back, but many of them haven’t. That means that where I’m starting today is much farther along than when we began this journey many months ago.
And what has happened inside of me is so different than where I was in my yo yo diet, you are not good enough, you will never succeed years.
Now, the scale is an object, but I am not. The scale is just a number, my pants are just a size, and my heart is no longer tied to any of them.
Do I get discouraged? Yep, but I also get motivated and hopeful. I get to see where I’ve been and where I’m going.
I get to try and fail and try and win. I get to pick myself up and next year as I write an update to this- I’ll probably have a few more wins and a few more losses to report but all of it will be a story of this amazing life that I’ve been gifted with.
I have been so blessed to have been able to visit my son and celebrate our anniversary in such an amazing way this year. When I put all of that into perspective, I wouldn’t change a thing. All those memories were worth a few numbers on the scale.
Soooooo completely worth it.
You are worth it too.
Start writing your story today. Quit worrying about perfection and just appreciate the progress.
You will win some and you will lose some but, in the end, it really is the journey that matters most. Take the leap today and enjoy the trip.
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” (Margaret Thatcher) Isn’t that the truth? How many times have I decided that I was going to conquer the mountain before me only to be beat down by the first peak?
This is my year for…
I’m going to take that big leap into…
To be honest I think my internal GPS is on a permanent script of “recalculating”.
As I was sitting here today thinking about it all I realized that I have never accomplished any goal the way I thought I would.
I have taken backroads, off ramps, and shortcuts that always seemed to lead me the long way around.
I have taken the successes and failures of others to heart and compared my own life to theirs.
Through it all I have learned a few things and they’ve stuck with me:
No battle worth fighting is easy and in my experience once it is won (whatever the battle may be- health and nutrition, weight loss, addiction…)
We have to continue the fight to keep it in the winners bracket.
The minute I let my guard down is the minute I begin to slip back into my old ways. Now I don’t mean that the battle is always difficult, but it is always before me. Things I have thought I conquered years ago suddenly rear their ugly heads and I find myself having to make a conscious effort to put them back in their place.
I used to think that I was a failure because of those times. Now I realize that it’s just part of the process.
Do you want to win for good?
Then quit beating yourself up when you have to fight a battle over and over. It’s the battle that makes us strong, it gives us the ability to persevere, and ultimately be changed.
I love gold, but until you heat it up it contains all kinds of impurities. It’s the heat that allows those impurities to be removed and the beauty of the gold can then shine through.
You and I- we are like gold being refined. The fire that we hate, the battle that is long and tiresome- all of it is bringing us to a place where we can look back and see the beauty in it all.
The beauty in ourselves.
The kind of beauty that is so much deeper than what the mirror portrays.
We may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
We may have to fight for months or years, but in the end I’ve never regretted the fight. I’ve always been glad I took on the challenge. Win or lose each and every battle has brought something out of me that I didn’t know existed. I’ve learned, I’ve grown, I’ve lost and I’ve won, and looking back I’m glad for all of it.
I’m not excited for the battle today (are we ever really?) but I am ready to fight. There is so much more to be accomplished than just a single goal and I am surrendering the battle before me to God. With him all things are possible and I know that I don’t have to fight alone. It’s a win win. I make progress and he changes me. So, here I am welcoming so many battles I really don’t want to fight and I’m completely confident that it will be worth it.
How about joining me today? Pick your battle, lace up your gloves and let’s fight together. Gold takes time to be perfectly refined and so do you and I and ya know what? Both are beautifully worth it.
Last year I put a sign on my fridge at work that says- “Do something that scares you every day”. I needed the reminder to get out of the box I’d created for myself, to reach for new stars, and try new things.
The old saying that “if you want something new you have to stop doing something old” is such a solid truth. If we want something to change in our lives we have to change something in our lives.
It’s a simple concept that both my body and mind fight tooth and nail.
I love staying right inside the box. I like my warm house, my comfort food and my baggy jeans. I’m a fan of surrounding myself with people who build me up and tell me that I’m perfect just the way I am. I need those people in my life. They are like a soft blanket that makes me feel safe and secure.
But what if I surround myself with another layer of people too? What if I begin to surround myself with people who challenge me? Who don’t let me stay in the box or on the couch? My daughter -in -law is one of these people. She is all the kindness of the soft blanket but often manages to kick me in the fanny just when I need it. (She can remind me that this is a good thing someday) She will often ask- have you written “this” yet? Have you started that challenging project yet?
To be honest, I need the push. If given to my own devices I might choose the couch over the project. I might choose comfort over the uncertainty of a new goal.
My son and daughter -in -law are not afraid to take on a challenge. They are what I call “get out of the boat” kind of people. Where I often want to tiptoe in until the water feels nice, they jump straight out of the boat into the turbulence and they swim. Do they hit every goal the way they thought they would? Do they have to make changes and re-directions often? The answer to both is yes. BUT the point is they live their lives outside of their comfort zones and their lives tell a story that challenges me to rewrite mine.
I am a believer that we should never stop learning, never stop putting ourselves out there- even and especially if we are unsure of ourselves. I recently told my son Zach that when we go through hard times in our lives we should pray that God changes us the way he knows we need it. I told him that we never really change or grow when things are easy and good. I gave him the unsolicited advice that he should embrace the tough times and just trust the process.
I felt like mom of the year when I sent the message- until God pressed upon my own heart that I need to do this as well. Giving that advice was great, but am I living it?
So as this next decade begins my goal is to do just that. It’s time I turn up the heat, launch the boat, and dip my feet into the water. (notice that I did not say jump right in… I am still a work in progress here.)(I am thinking “outside the box” though so that’s good right?) I hope and pray that by the end of the decade I will have jumped right into that ocean of possibilities- but for now I’ve decided to just step out of my little box and look for new opportunities and challenges. I’m uncomfortable, I don’t like the uncertainty one bit, but there is something inside that is loving this.
I’m fully planning to surround myself with more people who will kick my fanny just when I need it and I can’t wait to write to you all in the next 10 years and see who God has made me to be at the end of it.Want to get out of the boat with me? Come on in the water is- freezing and scary and crazy and I don’t know exactly what it means… but this is going to be a ton of fun.
Isn’t this a great picture? Don’t we look like we are having a blast and just loving our time together? Well we are…sorta, BUT- there is a very different reality behind this picture. So right now I want to give you a behind the scenes tour of what was really going on here.
First of all, my husband woke up with a fever and felt horrible all day. Originally, our plans were to have a great dinner together and play games late into the evening. Our oldest son and his wife would spend the night and we’d have the whole family here with us. I looked so forward to this time together. It was our middle son’s last night with us and I was ready to cherish every last second.
Instead, my husband ended up sleeping all day, only got up for dinner, and we didn’t let him touch anything. While he slept I frantically cleaned and disinfected everything he has ever even looked at in this house. We debated on having dinner together but decided that since it was Zach’s last night we’d go ahead with that part. Ryan got up long enough to eat, take a quick happy family selfie while not breathing on or touching anyone and then head back to the recliner. No games were played, no overnight stays from our older kids and Ryan was in bed by 9.
We were all disappointed but this is life and we roll with it right?
The next morning I got up and decided that I’d have coffee ready, put some bacon on, and spend some time with Jesus. I was determined to have a good attitude regardless of the disappointments of the night before and the dread of our son leaving tonight.
I may have gotten a little distracted while reading and praying this morning. Doesn’t this bacon look delicious? I literally had to scrape it from the pan, who knew bacon could stick so well?
I want to tell you that I sat and had a great cup of coffee while my family slept but I made the coffee and around here that says it all.
I can tell you this though- I enjoyed that coffee and I laughed at that bacon. 2020 may not have started the way I planned, but it’s still just as sweet. Last night my younger 2 sons and I talked for a very long time. We talked about everything, good, bad, funny, you name it. Then I went to bed exhausted and sad for this time coming to an end but so very grateful for every minute.
I wonder if things had gone as planned would we have had the time to talk?
I need to remind myself that there is good in the regrouping. There is hope in the burned bacon and the change of plans. Sometimes the silver lining is hard to find, but if we look close enough it is still there.
Guys, I’m not sure what 2020 is going to bring, I’m praying hard for a little less crazy and a whole lot more peace. I’m praying that the pictures I post on social media will be a little more transparent and a lot less perfect in appearance.
Whatever comes our way, whatever this year has to bring I want you all to know that I love you, I’m so thankful to have you all with me on this journey through life and I will be praying for you too- every step of the way.
Sometimes looking back can really motivate you forward. It’s crazy how far we’ve come. The new thoughts that naturally run through my mind now before I grab something to snack on are amazing. Is it processed? Does it contain massive amounts of sugar? How am I going to feel tomorrow if I eat this today?
To be clear- I still make some bad choices mixed in with the good. Sometimes I make multiple poor choices in one single day. In fact just the other night I sat alone in the living room, I was bored, lazy and tired so I did what I knew I shouldn’t do.
I put a bag of potato chips on my lap and some good dip to go with them and I ate. I ate and ate and ate. The funniest part of the whole thing was that the only chips we had were from a fall picnic the day before and they were a flavor I didn’t even like. Every time I took a bite I was like- yuck I don’t even like these. So I put more dip on each chip to cover the flavor and pressed on.
Listen when I put my mind to something I do it right. Good
I laugh at this today because it shows me a few things. One, I have not arrived yet. This girl has a long way to go. Two, I have come so far. Less than a year ago when I began this journey to health, I would have let that moment be just another in my list of reasons to quit. I mean doesn’t it show that I can’t possibly win this battle?
The answer is a firm NO. What it actually shows is that I am just a normal girl who sometimes makes bad food choices. (let’s just focus on food today and not the whole rest of my choices… I may need another bag of chips and more dip if we go too far here.) But when I look at the big picture- when I really look back at all the days I did make good healthy choices, I’m pretty proud of my progress. My clothes are fitting great, I feel tons better, and I don’t stress the scale like I used to at all. In fact, sometimes I seriously forget to even get on it.
Most importantly- I’m thankful that I got started. I’m incredibly thankful that last January I decided to do this. What if I hadn’t? Instead of quitting because of a bag of chips and a couple days of eating everything in sight, what if I’d never even started? Those are the scary questions for me. I certainly have lived those years too and they are the ones I regret. I wish I had started sooner, but man am I glad I started at all.
Listen if you need to make a change today. Make it. Don’t wait till tomorrow and beat yourself down for what you did 3 days ago. Give yourself permission to try and never give up. I can’t wait to hear from you a year from now and see your progress and listen to the pride in your voice as you take steps to accomplish your goals.
Want to go to college?
Take a class. Want to lose a few pounds then start by making a small
permanent change today that will bring you closer to that goal. The point is-
START. You will never get closer to your dreams by sitting on them. Get up,
pick up those dreams and fly.
Life is worth living and a year from now I want
to look back again and this time see how far WE’VE come together!
As summer has come and gone life has gotten extremely busy. We started off this summer by going on a cruise. Oh what a wonderful trip it was. We relaxed, we played hard, we enjoyed time with friends, and we ate. If you have ever been on a cruise then you know how easy it is to go way overboard with meals… and snacks… and buffets.
I’m not going to lie. We loved every single minute of it and when we came back from the cruise we jumped right back into our healthy eating plan and all was going so well. I have to be honest, I was even a bit smug about it to myself. NOT GOOD.
Pride comes before the fall.
I admit I’m laughing while I type this because soon after my smug little attitude had me feeling like I had this whole healthy lifestyle thing in the bag, I took another trip. An amazing trip that was filled with family, food and tons of fun. Did I mention the food? I ate at some really great restaurants, experienced some of the most amazing food trucks, and really just ate myself to utter bliss.
Honestly I don’t think that my couple weeks of gluttony really were the problem. After both of my trips, I came home and got back to business and began to eat right again. BUT, and it’s a big BUT (pun slightly intended) when I came home from the second trip, I started slipping back into my old ways. I ate good, then not so good, then good again. The scale wasn’t moving a ton and I wasn’t very concerned about it. My husband was also slipping so we weren’t holding each other accountable like we had in the past either. (I guess this is all his fault then right?)
Finally we began talking about getting back on our plan. We talked a lot. We would tell each other that after this next picnic we would get serious about it again. I never realized how many next picnics there are in one single summer.
Do you know how fast the weeks fly when you’re making excuses?
Finally, we sat down and came up with a date and stuck to it and I’m so glad we did. Now I’m going to be completely honest with you- the thing that really made us realize how much we missed eating better was how we were beginning to feel. The weight loss was nice, but how we felt was so much better. By the end of a summer of bad food choices, all that extra energy was starting to diminish. I noticed that I was weighed down, tired, my stomach was off, I just wasn’t feeling like myself and neither was my husband.
We’ve been back on our healthy plan now for a couple weeks and I can’t believe the difference. Why did we ever go backwards in the first place? As for a quick update- when summer started both my husband and I had lost approximately 23 pounds. As fall quickly approaches we have both gained back around 7 pounds. What I realize is this- we didn’t ruin what we started. We just had a setback.
Can we have a vacation and let loose a bit? SURE. But there has to be accountability too. Our choices today really do affect our tomorrow and we need to not lose sight of that. I’m also very proud to say that those pounds didn’t upset me in the least. They are a reflection of some not so great choices but they are not any indication that our goals will not be met. In fact, they are motivation for me to get back on the wagon and start again. I’m making progress in this journey even if I take a wrong turn from time to time. You can do the same. Don’t give up, don’t give in, just keep going. Sometimes the journey is more important than the results at the end anyway.
One of the things I’ve learned on this journey to health is
that trying to do this alone is not very effective. To be honest I don’t like
to rely on people. I don’t like vulnerability or sharing my insecurities and I
don’t think I’m alone in those feelings. When I began writing this blog I
argued with God over every single post. I worried about being judged and
critiqued by those I care about because believe me, no one wants to take the skeletons
out of that neatly packaged closet.
Oh but when we do.
When we admit the truth to the journey; when we admit more
than the outcome and we share the struggles and the bruises along the way we
find healing for more than ourselves. Instead we share our healing with the
world around us.
One of the things I love most about reading the bible is
that when I do I find a group of people who the world would most certainly
consider failures. Yet in the very midst of their mess they become world changers
under the guidance, love, and forgiveness of our God. Imperfect people putting
their lives out there for Christ, that’s exactly who I want us to be. Those who
are scared, worried, stressed and even vulnerable- we all become powerful in
the hands of Christ. What I also noticed is that none of those people did it
alone. They needed Jesus and they most definitely needed each other and whether
we want to admit it or not we do too.
It’s not easy allowing others to see those damaged areas of
our lives or asking for help when we feel down or are struggling, but if we
just let people glimpse the pain then maybe we can all prevail together. Let’s all
be honest for a minute. If Jesus did not walk this world alone then how do we
expect to? He relied on God and spent time opening his heart to man. He talked
with people about their struggles, he prayed, he was let down, he forgave, and
he moved forward. Shouldn’t that be the blueprint of our life too? We spend so
much time protecting ourselves from the possible pain that opening up might
bring that we miss the joy that comes when we decide to finally come out of
Open up today. Talk to those around you, begin to trust
again. Let your life be a beacon of hope instead of a perfectly wrapped package
that feels empty inside. When we open up and let others into our situations we
fill that gift with all the best things. Hope, endurance, trust, overcoming,
friendship and so much more. Will we be let down at times? Sure, but is that a reason to isolate
ourselves? An excuse maybe but not a reason.
Never a reason.
There is power in our time spent with others. Matthew 18:19 says 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Deuteronomy 32:30 says 30 How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight,” … Isn’t it amazing how much stronger and more effective we are when we join together? Listen, life is hard enough, why not help each other carry the burdens rather than watch each other struggle through the heavy stuff. I think this verse in Ecclesiastes sums it all up perfectly.
4:9-12 (ESV)’Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
How many times have you needed lifting up? How many
times have you been desperate for someone to stand with you, but you haven’t
reached out? What I’m finding is this- When I try to be strong on my own I tend
to fall short, but when I rely on others and have people relying on me, I become
stronger than I ever imagined I could be on my own.
Find someone to stand with you today. Follow Jesus’s
example and surround yourself with people who will help you carry the burden
and not heap added weight onto your shoulders. It just may make all the
It’s time for a little update on our Journey- at this point we are almost 3 months in and I have more energy than I have had in a long time and so does my husband. In fact, Ryan has had a lot less pain in his legs and feet as well. We are still eating as clean as we can and are honestly not craving sugar and processed carbs like we used to. I’m finding new foods that we both love and right before my son left for boot camp he told me that he was loving our new meals. That’s a compliment in itself. Who said eating healthy had to be boring? As for the scale, it’s still coming down. Ryan has lost a total of 18 pounds and I have lost 16. Our clothes are fitting so much better, Ryan has had to move some holes on his belt and I am starting to look for some smaller sizes. And this morning while we were getting around Ryan looked at me and he said the best part is that we CAN keep this up. It’s something we can easily live and not just do for a time. I think finding something that is manageable long term has been one of the most important lessons for us. If you are on this journey today or even thinking about starting a journey for your health too then this is something to consider. Don’t look for a quick fix, don’t find a short term solution to a long term problem. The easy road never leads to lasting change. Instead, be realistic and start with some small changes that can be maintained over time. And don’t try to do everything alone because the truth is we need each other and the best results happen when we have someone beside us along the way.
(As a side note before you begin any plan consult your
doctor and be sure that it is the best fit for you.)