Year in Review

As we head into the holiday season, it is a time to reflect on the year past. Time to reflect on all that has happened, both good and bad and makes plans, goals and dreams for the future. I’m not particularly big on resolutions although I do think they have their place . But instead prefer to makes plans. tangible lifestyle changes to perhaps accomplish what would be considered a goal or resolution. i would like to now share these with you.

 

When I started this blog it was about fitness and my journey encouraging others to learn and grow ass I have but over recent months it has become something more and something I am proud of. The focus originally went physical well being, emotional well being spiritual well being. I pause d to reflect recently not only how my blog posts of chanegd but also how I’ve changed, and although I think physical and emotional well being are critical to our over all well being and confidence I now put it’s importance significantly behind the importance of spiritual well being. So next step. Lets re vamp this blog. I want to give tangible tips on how to improve every aspect of our lives but I want God to be the center and most important part of it all.

 

PLAN #1: SPIRITUAL WELL BEING

Previously I have been adamant that I should go to church and I should pray regularly which are great practices. I want to improve upon these things and take it one step further. My plan is to integrate my faith and prayers into my every day. My goal in this is to talk to God hourly. It will take a fair amount of discipline to implement but I feel it will improve my lifestyle and create a calmer more relaxed happy atmosphere for myself. To form this habit I will be leaving and setting reminders for myself throughout the day to stop and pray. Even if just for a few seconds. That constant refocus on God will not only help me to start listening for and hearing his voice and his will in my life but will also take me out of routine and cause me to look at every event every encounter as an opportunity to use him to help others and to use the gifts he has blessed me with to influence others.

Philipians 4: 6-9

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

I have always had this as my  favourite verse but now it will apply more than ever as I take each opportunity I can to thank God, release my worries and stresses to him and listen for his help and guidance. I pray that my obedience will result in a direct impact on the kingdom and that I might be able to touch even just one life around me.

 

I also know that this means challenges and adversity that I may tested or attacked spiritually. I ask that you who read this will pray for me for strength and help as I may make this lifestyle change.

 

PLAN #2: EMOTIONAL WELL BEING

Managing emotions especially as a hormonal female can be crazy difficult. For me this year it’s going to be about controlling and engaging the negative emotions in a way that’s positive and taking those positive emotions to a new level by being more open and engaging with those around me. I want to live a good life. Will I be perfect, no. But with Gods help I can make it through. My goal is to take my negative energy and channel it towards something good to allow myself to remain positive even through a hard situation. In my personal life I enjoy being physically fit so my negative emotions can be let out through kick boxing. My negative emotions at work may be harder to manage so my goal is to release those in my quiet times. not by venting and gossiping with other staff but by praying.

Philipians 4:10-14

10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ,[d] who gives me strength. 14 Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.

Again from Philippians is a verse that I draw strength on. Specifically verse 13. “For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” What a powerful and wonderful promise. No matter what I can do it because God will give me the strength. He will never give me more than I can handle. And although I may stumble or fall or although the road may be bumpy with this help I will make it through.

 

PLAN #3: PHYSICAL WELL BEING

The last year has been a blast as I improve my skills and my health all in one fell swoop with a number of new hobbies I have acquired. I feel these skills can be put to good use if done  in a kind sportsman like manner with God as the center getting all the glory. I wish to keep my body his temple healthy and fit to the best of my abilities. I also would like to be a great sport and a great competitor no matter what I try. My goal this year is to push my limits. I wish to compete in an entry level triathlon and possibly run a half marathon. If their is time I would also like to compete in the spartan races as they pass through town. On top of all that I will strive to improve my basketball skills. continue my bike riding both to and from work but also long distance and lastly keep up with kick boxing as an emotional and physical release. All of these activities can bring glory to God as I honor him with my attitude my gifts and my talents.

 

Matthew 25:14-30

Parable of the Three Servants

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together![b]

22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Although to some this parable can seem harsh it is to show that everything we are given no matter how big or small are gifts from God and can be used in their own way to bring him glory. I wish to do the same with my talents. Will I be the best, not by a long shot. But I will use the gifts and talents he has blessed me with to bring him honour.

So what will your new year. What plans will you make and what goals will you set to achieve these plans. For me these are more than just a passing whim these plans have been prayerfully considered and will be come a lifestyle routine. Their is no end goal because I will never be done serving and honoring my God with my words and actions

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Christmas Must Be Something More

Have you heard that Taylor Swift Christmas Song? It was released in 2007. At the end of this post I’ve included the lyrics for those who have not heard it. It basically talks about what Christmas would be without all the superficial things we humans have brought to this day. I think it’s a great reminder… not that their is anything wrong with traditions and decorations and enjoying the holiday season, as long as we remember what and who were celebrating.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot this season as I  decorate my house, shop for everyone and get life together for the holiday season. Am I too being superficial in what should be a day to celebrate the birth of the Saviour of the World. So I thought I’d take some time to reflect on what Christmas means to me and I discovered something. Yes I enjoy and embrace the superficiality that is Christmas but I think with the right heart and attitude behind it that this too can be a demonstration of God and his love for us

Here’s what it means for me. Christmas is first and foremost an opportunity to celebrate and spread the news about Jesus Christ. His birth, death and resurrection and the amazing gift we have been given. Secondly it’s about love and giving freely of what we have to a world in need. I am in awe how the small things around me suddenly that I take for granted all year long suddenly come into perspective on these days.

 

 

What if ribbons and bows didn’t mean a thing
Would the song still survive without five golden rings
Would you still wanna kiss without mistletoe
What would happen if God never let it snow
What would happen if Christmas carols told a lie
Tell me what would you find

You’d see that today holds something special
Something holy, not superficial
So here’s to the birthday boy who saved our lives
It’s something we all try to ignore
And put a wreath up on your door
So here’s something you should know that is for sure
Christmas must be something more

What if angels did not pay attention to
All the things that we wished they would always do
What if happiness came in a cardboard box
Then I think there is something we all forgot
What would happen if presents all went away
Tell me what would you find

We get so caught up in all of it
Business and relationships
Hundred mile an hour lives
And it’s this time of year
And everybody’s here
It seems the last thing on your mind

John 3:16 – 21

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned,but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God

The longest day

Have you ever had an exceptionally long day. One day that through the week off balance, a day that made Monday feel like Wednesday or Friday feel like Sunday. That was my day today. It was exceptionally long. Today was Kevin’s birthday. His 31st a day I pray he will remember and enjoy for years to come because I love him so.

Today was a hard day mostly because it was so long. Up early get ready for work, work hard till 1:30 go home work some more getting the house and yard ready for company. Then it’s time for food prep and then party time! I love hostessing making sure everyone is taken care of and that everything is looked after. My mom has always joked that I’m a Martha and my sister is a Mary.

Martha’s are the people like in the bible story who busy themselves looking after people running around doing things, but we rarely stop to listen to those we are serving and to hear about their lives. Mary’s are the people who socialize and soak in every word people say and truly care and wonder what’s going on in someone’s life. Both have a time and a purpose but in this particular bible story it’s the Martha who is reprimanded for not learning from Jesus.

I struggle to be a Mary. My Martha personality keeps me serving others but not listening. Tonight was my wake up call. I was made to no longer be the perfect hostess and to no longer be able to please and entertain my guests. As I stopped and reassessed my evening it occurred to me that life isn’t perfect life isn’t about how clean my house is or how much people have to eat. Life is about relationship. The most important one being my relationship with my Heavenly Father. So this evening after cleaning up I began to think and wonder if I’d truly been listening to God and what he has to say to me.

I’m not perfect and I’m not the most attentive listener but I’m listening now God, I pray you would speak both to me and through me. Allow my life to be an example of you. Keep my out look positive and my attitude joyful.

Psalms 4:8

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Winter Wonderland

Winter is officially upon us. What a beautiful and wonderful time of year. It opens up so much potential for fun things to do in the snow as well as cuddling up with a blanket and warm cup of hot chocolate. The down side is my schedule and routine have to completely change to adapt to the new weather conditions.

So how do I combat such a change. Well I’ve started by searching for activities I can do at and from home. The joy with biking is it just became part of my routine and I never had to drive somewhere or go somewhere to get my work out in, I never even really thought of it as a workout. Now without that regular everyday work out I need to find something new but my schedule hasn’t opened up enough to allow for time to drive to and from the gym every day so what to do. I have been researching the last few weeks and I think for me I will get into kick boxing this winter. I have a punching bag at home and it’s a great work out not only for your upper body but for your core and can help with lateral movement.

Am I good at kick boxing… no note really but I enjoy it and I think that is key. If you’re not enjoying your work out you won’t stick to it. If you’re not enjoying your diet it will become a fad and you’ll go back to your old habits after a while. I continue to look for healthy things I can implement into my day to day life that I enjoy and make life easier.

Emotionally the cold weather typically means a drop in mood because we aren’t getting the same vitamin D intake so what am I going to do I’m going to get outside more. no I don’t love the cold, but I love my dog and I love walking her. Spending time with her inside or outside makes me happy and the extra vitamin D should help keep my emotions light and happy this winter. I have also found little ways to reduce stress which is also improving my mood. Rather than stress about work I leave my office problems at the office. Rather than worry about how busy I am with home life and the things I have to get done I pick away at them a little at a time. If I have lots of time then I can really get a lot done because some of the work has been done as I am able to get to it.

Still the biggest one for me though is my spiritual well being. The greatest part about this is it doesn’t fluctuate based on the weather or how physically fit I am . It can be influenced by emotion but usually it’s a positive influence not negative. Having a great relationship with God and constantly being educated at church has been a huge help in my day to day life. It makes the physical and emotional stuff line up that much easier. My goal now as we head into the winter months is to pursue relationships with people that can be supported by a strong spiritual influence.

My new goal create an active health conscious emotionally uplifting group/environment with like minded Christians where we can meet and grow together and develop friendships that will support each other through every part of our lives.

If you’re interested in something like this or know someone who is let me know and lets connect and continue to grow together.

 

Matthew 18:19-20

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.20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Seeing Results

Finally starting to see results. the time and effort are paying off. My body hurts, I’m exhausted by the end of the day and I’m busy, but my soul is full my relationships are strong and my over all physical activity.

My goal at the beginning of all of this was just to have a way to vent and track my own personal success from a fitness perspective. But this has become so much more than that. It’s a way to open up to people, to relate to people and to build on some personal goals.

From a fitness perspective I have exceeded even my own expectation. I look and photos and see a change, I’ve accomplished so much and I am getting better and better at everything I strive towards every time I do them. I have gotten my bike to and from work down from 28 minutes when I started to 22  minutes. I am starting to see improvement in my shooting when playing basketball and I can feel myself getting stronger every time I try something new. I look forward to maintaining and improving as we move into the winters months so that I am able to accomplish even more and reach higher goals next year. My goal is to get onto a women’s basketball team and although that did not happen this year I have been put on a sub list and am already subbing. This summer I also want to attempt my first half marathon and my first Triathlon.

From an emotional perspective we are still working through some things but I am truly learning my body. I know what to avoid for food and that my body needs a certain amount of sleep. I am keeping myself in check and making sure I am aware of my moods. This has allowed me to grow deeper in a lot of my relationships and make me a calmer person with less anxiety and stress.

Lastly my spiritual journey. This has been an amazing one. Am I where I want and need to be no but I am striving and learning every day. I am being patient and listening for Gods word and advice. I find myself going to him and praying just naturally now instead of fretting and worrying. The sermons at my church pack so much more of a punch and have so much more meaning. I’m learning weekly if not daily. I feel more reliant and calm. I also know that with this will come more attacks as well but I am determined to strive and push through them to continue my growth and walk with God. I am done being a luke warm Christian and I will live for him.

Apostles Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Amen

Making Time

Phew! What a busy few weeks it has been. I appreciate everyone’s patience as I finally have found time to get back to my blog. I feel however that the business is also appropriate and the perfect avenue to look at this week.

In church we just covered this issue as well of time, time management and when to say “yes” or “no”. Life passes in an instant and our time on this earth is juts a brief moment in time but it is an opportunity to share a good news and to make a difference in the live around us. The following sermon puts it more eloquently than I ever could so if you have a moment please take a look.http://admin.mediafusionapp.com/mediaFusion/player.php?channel=30&playerId=c4d8366&seriesId=8240&lessonId=25921&mediaType=video&backToArchive=#.Wc1U-VtSyUk

How true does it sound that we try and cram so many things into a 24 hour period. There’s of course, sleeping and eating, your job, your family, and any social activities you may encounter. How do we utilize these to make a difference in our world without getting burnt out ourselves. But not only burnt out but allowing ourselves to have  a high quality of life. I am slowly learning to manage these different elements in my life and have discovered the value in saying both yes and no.

It has pained me to feel like I have to say no to different things in life but in order to have continued health and happiness but also to continue to develop my relationships with those around me and to be able to be an influence and a representative for God. I above all feel that if you are involved in things you are passionate about and also good at you can have an influence in peoples lives regardless of what your are. By managing my time better and saying no when necessary I’m hoping it will open up opportunities in other areas for me to say yes. I also hope and pray that it will afford me a more calm consistent lifestyle that is not constantly jammed full of the stuff of life.

Ephesians 5:15-16

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Running By Faith

It’s been a few weeks since but I did it. I biked 220 KM over the course of two days and in a time much faster than I ever imagined I could. I had the support of friends and family behind me pushing me through. But the big motivator was my faith. What was I doing this for? Why was I pushing my physical limits? I asked myself that after the first day and came to a conclusion, PRIDE. I was doing it for pride I wanted everyone who had supported me to be proud and even those who hadn’t. I wanted people to look at me and know I had accomplished something great for a great cause. I wanted it for pride in myself so I could feel good about me and my physical abilities.

When I sat down and realized this I felt guilty. There’s more to life than looks and how other people view me. But maybe I could turn this around maybe this didn’t have to be about me. All eyes were on me so why not take advantage. What happened next was amazing.

Day two arrived and it was super cold that morning and I was tired but I got on my bike at the front of the pack ready to go when they released us onto the course, and I prayed. I prayed for good weather, for strength to endure and for my fellow bikers. I had no way to communicate with many of them or tell them the good news of Jesus. I wasn’t advertising my faith with a cross or emblem on my shirt but I could pray and so I did. From start to finish I prayed, and I sang worship to myself and made it through. I saw results of my prayer in myself by being able to endure and bike even faster on day two than I had on day one. I saw prayer answered in my recovery time after the race and safety during the race. The result I did not see was my prayer for those around me. Were any of them moved by God in some way would anyone ever even know I prayed. I still don’t know the answer to this question but I have faith.

God provides always and many things we pray and ask for are answered in ways we can’t even imagine and ways we will never see. My prayers were definitely heard, and they were certainly answered, the result and reward are for God alone. I give him all the glory for the success on my ride and I continue to pray that he will push my ego and my pride out of the way to let him have the glory in all I do.

I want to make a difference, I want to share God’s love. I’m not loud and proud about my faith, and I’m certainly not perfect in my actions and attitudes but I’m learning. and I will continue to pray and give him the glory in everything.

At church we are working through a teaching series called “Running By Faith”  I got the title for this post based on that. It’s a reminder that we are all running a race whether literally of figuratively. Some of us try and run on our own strength and become angry and upset when we fail and others of us run by faith. God is my strength and he will always be there as a help and guide. He knows what’s best for me and I choose to follow the path he has for me and not the path I had chosen for myself.

I encourage all who are interested to check out the sermons on this matter as they are a powerful declaration of how we ought to be living and what it means to be faithful.

http://admin.mediafusionapp.com/mediaFusion/player.php?playerId=c4d8366&channel=30#.Waif8bKGOUk

What I love is it doesn’t mean I have to be perfect because I am far from it, but it means I have a Heavenly Father who loves me no matter what and wants what’s best for me and will guide me if I let him.

Hebrews 11:1-3

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Bundle of Nerves

My goals are going well. I can honestly say I have never felt more proud of myself than I do right now. I feel confident and at ease. My mind is clear and right, my body is strong and rested, my faith is powerful and firm. And with that I am still scared. T-minus two days until my big bike ride begins. I’m committed I’m trained now all their is left to do is ride. But I’m afraid…

Have you ever gotten stage fright. That feeling of your face going red the taste of bile in your mouth and your stomach is doing somersaults totally out of control. That’s how I’m feeling. The stage is set and all eyes are on me. Normally I’m not one to get stage fright but I’m also quite comfortable being on stage in front of people. This is way outside my normal comfort zone. I have never been an athlete to perform and here I am participating in a major event a huge challenge where not only will there be viewers around to watch and cheer me on but there has been a financial investment made in my success.

I appreciate to my very core the support and love I have felt over the past months as people have given so generously and as people cheer me on and support me in my goal. Who knew I had such a great group of people surrounding me who believe in me and want nothing more than for me to do my best and succeed.

The stage is set the bands warming up the curtains about to be pulled back and then it’ll be show time. I am trying to view this like other productions or shows I’ve put on. You do the work to practice your part and your lines to know where you need to be and when you need to be there and this is no different. I’ve prepared I’ve done the training and the fundraising I’ve prepped my body and noted my route and my timing. SO when the curtain is drawn back I can perform with confidence. I hope that once I get going the nerves will ease and my confidence will kick back in. I know I can do this and I know with the support, love and prayers from my family I can succeed.

Phillipians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

My Body is His Temple

Have you ever trained for something, not just general fitness but for a specific activity or event. I’m doing that right now. I’ve entered into a bike race where we have to bike a total of 228 Km over the course of two days!

I started training for this event at the end of May and have been going hard ever since. The motivation to train for an event is a great influence on me. It means even on the days I’m feeling lazy and like I wanna just relax it’s time to step it up another notch and get another ride in. It has helped my energy levels, my attitude, my confidence, and my over-all health. I’m curious to see where my motivation goes in a couple weeks once the race is over I hope due to the benefits I’ve noticed I will continue to maintain this level of fitness.

With that being said rest is also a good thing. Rest allows the body and the muscles to heal. It allows you to keep from getting overly emotional and moody and it helps you feel like there is more to your life and your days other than just training. My husband helped me see that and I’ve become more conscious of listening to my body and not over exerting myself. In doing this I’ve become, stronger and faster within the sport of biking but also in my other hobby Basketball. I have also noticed an  incredible increase in my endurance and things that once were difficult or left me out of breath seem easy.

God often refers to our body as a temple. This is meant both spiritually but also physically. Our bodies are used by God to complete his work and his purpose in our lives and it’s part of our job and our role here on earth to respect and take care of our bodies. God has set restrictions, limitations and rules for us, not to harm us or keep us from “the fun of the world” but to protect us and help us to live blessed, wonderful fulfilled lives in him. I only wish I had realized sooner. I intend to live each day to it’s fullest taking care of what God has given me and living each day expectantly for him.

 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Sick of Being Sick

Being sick is never fun. It affects everything. Well this week I got sick. Due to the wild fires in BC when my throat started burning I of course credited the wildfires. But as the week progressed I have not felt better. It’s amazing what one little summer cold can due to your routine. I have not worked out to the same degree as usual and my workouts have not been as intense. It has made my body ache and I’m perpetually sleepy.

What has this week taught me. REST! This can be just as important as your work outs. By taking time off from my routine by sleeping more I have managed to keep this at a mere sniffle instead of a full blown cold. Plus as a bonus more sleep means better attitude better out look and better interactions with people and who doesn’t want that.

 

Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”