Mid Week Motivator : Over All Health

What is over all health? To be it looks like a balance in different areas of life working together as one. It looks like this for myself.

Mental Health: taking time out for myself. Sometimes this takes the form of a quiet day away from people. Or going for a workout, especially when I don’t feel like it. Other times it means allowing myself to feel my emotions, face them head on.

Spiritual Health : When I am distant from God, not praying as often or seeking His word my soul feels it. I am darker, more pessimistic and prone to anger. I don’t want to engage with people. Not in a self care kind of way but in a selfish way.

Physical Health: By working out and eating well, I feel good. I feel energized and ready to take on the day or task. I sleep better when I am consistent. My disposition is better when the food I eat is healthy and nutritious.

I can only be healthy when all three of these elements work together. When I lack in one area, the others suffer. It is important to be aware of my needs, recognize when I need more of one in my life.

 

Prayer Is The First Action


Prayer is a powerful thing. I have seen its power in my own life and those around me. Amazing things have happened, blessings that come after trials.

But prayer is misunderstood. Either the belief that prayer fixes everything, instantly. That if we do not get what we ask for then it is all bollox.  When we view it as an all or nothing easy fix then we in turn limit the power of prayer. Boxing it in to specified parameters, not allowing for God to work.

A friend once said she never says Amen, because she saw praying as continual and never ceasing. I have adapted this same attitude in my prayer life.

Prayer has been the most transformative act of my life. By seeking God continually, I have been challenged to change and grow. I learned so much of who God intended for me to become. I cannot imagine my life without prayer.

It is not to say it is easy to always believe. When bad things happen to ones we love or long for good things for ourselves. Then there is another shooting, or bombing. A flood or storm sweeps a town away. Hashtag pray for _________ begin to surface throughout social media. Or some variation there of.

It seems to proliferate so much that it can become trite, no matter how heartfelt the message. What can it really matter to post it? Does #prayfor_________ lose it’s intention the more we post it?

The answer is that grey area in between. Between what we want and what God is doing. This is where the tension lies doesn’t it? We want things to be better, so we pray. We want things to be good or go well, so we pray. We plead why and get angry, so we pray.

Prayer doesn’t give us what we want but what we need.  This can be a hard pill to swallow. Getting what is needed as opposed to what ww want isn’t nearly as fun. It’s not about that instant result but instead one that comes from time.

I believe in the power of prayer. That miracles do happen and this life is less than when prayer is left out of it.

Prayer should be our first action but not our only reaction. If anything, prayer should push us into action.[Tweet “Prayer should be our first action but not our only reaction. If anything, prayer should push us into action.”]

Prayer is powerful. I have seen its power in my own life, working in the most unexpected ways. It can be hard as we see the same things happen again and again. As news becomes seemingly more grim, the idea of prayer without results we want is a hard one to understand. It is one of the mysteries of prayer, that at times there are no instant or easy answers. Pray can sometimes feel as if one is treading water, not going forward or going backwards. Other times prayer moves mountains, things change or move in ways that God’s hand is undeniable.

My Money Problem

Money is such a personal thing to speak about. So often, it can believed to be a defining of who we are, of our entire worth. It could be considered a tangible emotion. Meaning that it is at times through how we spend, can be an emotional barometer.

Money has always been hard for me to handle. It is an area where I often feel lacking. And if I am to truthful, ashamed. I have years of awful decisions left in my wake. These decisions continue to impact my life today.

In my obstance and immaturity I chose badly again and again. My  parents tried to teach me about money and budgeting. As a teen I was responsible for putting gas in my car and the insurance payment. But every paycheck I got, I spent it.

A trend that continued through most of my adulthood. I incurred debt, paid off smaller debts and incurred more. I didn’t plan ahead, not really.

Looking back,I think that I didn’t value money because I didn’t value myself. This can also tie into my relationship with food. I didn’t value the life I was given, so in turn I made choices that showed that. Seeking out the instant gratification.

I feared judgement from others, In not measuring up to others. My assumption was that everyone one else around me had it altogether. Which just shows how much a facade anyone can project. What’s more is these judgements came from myself.  It is easy to do so.

Money is not just a means to an end. It is more than just a tool. It represents my heart. What I long and hope for in this life.  And it’s not mine, as with anything in this world it belongs to God. 

How I handle it is a form of worship. This is something God has shown me again and again. In the struggle, God has shown me again and again that it is He that provides and those things are greater than money. It can be a struggle, one that I have gotten better with.

As with anything, this is a learning process. One step forward and a few steps back. A trip and a stumble here and there. But I keep going because living in debt is no way to live. One day I hope to be able to say, I’m debt free.

 

Ready For Camp

image

Core Camp 2014

This will be my third summer leading at camp. This will be a week of serving in our local community, growing deeper with Christ and each other. What I love about doing this each year is I learn something. Something about God, myself, leading and discipleship.

Its great to see these kids excited to come. Watching them bond as they serve throughout their city. Having them take ownership of this mission field. Getting to help guide them as they yearn for Christ more and themselves less.

Witnessing my church work together for this goal. From other adult leaders, to those who provide food during the week and the worship band coming out to serve each day.

It will be worth the time taken off from work. Worth getting sweaty and dirty. Worth the time away from my other responsibilities. This year I will not be sleeping over, I wanted another volunteer to experience. I am surely generous.

Follow me on IG @lindasconnelly for #corecamp2015 or #corecamppartdeaux to keep up with our shenanigans.

Mid Week Motivator: Challenge Yourself

It’s important to challenge yourself. To keep pushing on your workouts. Not doing so can lead to boredom and complacency. Which can eventually lead to stopping altogether.

Challenge yourself by trying something new. Maybe its trying yoga or entering a race. Face your fears in this.
To challenge myself I have entered a half marathon and done a 30 day cross fit at home challenge. Right now I’m in the middle of training with the C25K running app.

Each one has helped me to keep going. Not only that but to get excited about exercising. Challenging yourself is needed to avoid boredom and complacency.

Mid Week Motivator: Attitude is Important

image

Phonto

I am currently reading Jon Acuff’s new book Do Over (if you haven’t read it I suggest you do!). In it he talks about attitude, a lot. Attitude is so key in everything I do. When I have a crappy one, my effort in anything is minimal

I used to believe that by telling myself to have a better one it would happen. But what I didn’t realize was that having a better, positive attitude takes actual effort. Learning how to have a better attitude has helped me to do better.

When I go into a workout with a can do attitude I get more out of it. I push myself harder. But when I have a crappy attitude, it is usually a terrible workout. I have to work on my attitude, telling myself throughout the day that this workout will be amazing. This sort of pep talk is what helps me in having and maintaining a positive attitude. In all aspects of my life too.

Once I get into the practice of having a positive attitude it becomes easier. There is always effort but into it. The best things in life take effort after all.

At·ti·tude\a-te-tud;-tyud\n. 1: posture 2: a mental position or feeling with regard to a fact or state. 3: the position of something in relation to something else.

In The Garden

image

When I was a child Easter meant getting a basket full chocolates, jelly beans and other treats. It meant the entire family went to mass that day and a leg of lamb awaited us for dinner. The reason for Easter, celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus was an abstract idea for me. The treats in the basket were far more tangible.

My journey to understanding was a winding and varied journey. I found I was angry with God for many reasons. In the midst of my anger I still sought God but on my own terms.

I have read through the Gospels and the accounts of Jesus’ final days a few times. The moment in the garden, when he prays for this cup to be taken from him. That perhaps there could be another way, but alas there is not.

This moment is most relatable for me. The reality that he faces in this, of the inevitable to come and the desire for it to be otherwise is all too real. He seeks out God, wrestles with him even.

A reflection of my own journey to faith.

Cut to Easter Sunday almost nine years ago. I sat in service at my sister’s church. I had been attending with her for months, the word of God sinking into my heart. The pastor spoke about our need for Jesus, how the cross bridges the divide between hope and despair. When he invited us to pray to welcome Jesus into our hearts, I prayed. I prayed earnestly and submissively. Then I stood and came forward.

Again and again I back to Christ in the garden. His prayers pleading for there to be some other way. Then prayers for strength and of submission. How often have I pleaded with God, struggled to understand that it’s not my own strength but through His am I able to do anything? When I reflect on my ongoing journey, I see many moments in my garden with the Lord. I foresee many more as I go forward.

It is here in the garden where we see our Savior at his most vulnerable. His need for support from his friends, to seek comfort from his Father. It is here that Easter became tangible for me. In the garden, facing all that lie before him.

He faced it so that my sins were covered. He took on my punishment and died in order to rise again. Bringing with him the promise of eternal life. While I reflect on his prayer in the garden, I will also celebrate the Resurrection.