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

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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

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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

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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.

Birthdays, Memories & Perspective

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The Mechanical Man (2013)

Today is my 36th birthday. This means I am now officially on the other side of 35. That much closer to forty. This cannot be! But I surely am. A child of the eighties, teenager of the nineties and young adult of the 00’s. I can recall a time before the internet, playing outside until it got dark. A time when Mtv actually played music videos and when Nirvana first came onto the musical scene. Ah recalling all that makes me feel ancient.

The thing is I don’t feel like I’m 36. For most of my life I have drifted, starting but not finishing college. Going from one dead end job to another, with no real goals in mind. Simply just trying to get from one day to the next. Feeling relieved as I made it through another day.

All the while I was writing. Journals, starting short stories, attempts at novels. Ever since I learned to read, books became my constant companion. The makings of becoming who and what I was created to do, Write

The quote at the top of this post reverberates within me. I have always marvelled at people who seemed to know what they wanted in life and just went after it. As if they had some insider information on how to achieve their goals. I have encountered so many young adults who seem to have a better grasp on how to be an adult than I still do. Finding myself stuck on the how as much now as I have in the past.

The difference now is I don’t allow the fear to hold me back. I may pause, or take a moment to do what I need to do. But I do it. Perhaps not always well or as gracefully as others. These days I try, as opposed to not doing anything at all.

I have more hope these days than I ever did when I was in my twenties. I’ve embraced being a late bloomer, ceasing to compare my life to those around me. By doing so, I found myself freed from so much regret. My past is what has helped formed me to become the person I am becoming today.

I do not know what to expect for my thirty-sixth year. I am open to the opportunities and challenges it will surely hold. I still feel a bit lost from time to time. I have learned that being a bit lost means also eventually finding your way. That is part of the adventure of life isn’t it?

Three Year Check In

It has been three years since I began this health journey. Three years and counting actually. Losing weight is not an easy task and so much of it is mental. It forced me to face things about myself, confronting my quit early attitude. I have learned what this body is capable of doing in the course of this journey. I ran and finished my first half marathon last year.

I have learned what my limits are in regards to food. In how to eat well for this body. Learning how to love my body and in due course myself. I have learned to give myself grace and forgiveness when I stray from all that I have learned. When I prefer to walk instead of run.

I have learned to eat well despite my financial restrictions. That it is indeed possible to eat a healthy diet. It is all about making the best choices and at times avoiding certain aisles altogether.

Three years is a long time to maintain weight. But I have gained. First I gained muscle as the initial weight loss. Then, as time went on and my work out routine became less intense at the height of my weightloss. I gained and my body continued to change. I am older than I was when I began this journey and  that plays into this as well. Again I have learned to have grace towards myself in this way.

I also have to remind myself I am not that girl I let go of three years ago. I am a different person. I seek that urgency I once had and slowly find that I am regaining it. I have let go of the notion that losing weight equals a reward in the form of a relationship. I have grown so much in these three years.

To think it all began by simply showing up at a park, unsure of what to expect.

The Year of Boldness

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I chose the word BOLDNESS as my word for 2014. This was my third year choosing a word to define my year. My first year it was YES, the following year it was LOVE. Each year has been full of change, surprises, and growth.

This year has been no different. I was not sure what boldness would like for me. That I would be able to live up to it. I had a lot of goals for this year, some were forgotten or left half done. Others were pursued.

I have achieved some of my goals but not all of them. My website is currently being designed and should be live by the end of January. I began to work for a growing marketing company as their in house copy writer.

But there were some writing goals I did not continue to work on. My fiction work took a hit as I focused more on my blog and my work with the company. Plus my battle with laziness and fear also came into play.

I allowed fear to hold me back from pursuing more freelance writing gigs. One of the reasons I held back was that I did not have internet at home. While I could use wifi out in public it was a cause of immense stress for me. Now I have installed internet which will allow me to do the work without added pressure of time constraints.

Slowly, I am working on my fiction. A new story is coming together. I also plan to pick up my other novel, edit it and (after a deep breath) querying it.

This past February I ran my first half marathon. Seeing what my body, in this healthy state can do is the best gift. I hope to run another one this year or next.

I am still single and it has not always been easy I must admit. However, God has really grown me in this season. Trusting Him in the plans for me instead of my plans.

God has used me to minister to the young adults in my church. I pray to continue to be used in this way for as long as God wants.

My friend ships have grown deeper. From these women I am learning how to love well. To see Jesus in every relationship and aspect of this life.

Is that living boldly? I don’t know if that is bold enough. It was however, a growing, stretching year. I have not decided whether or not I will define 2015 with a word. Whether or not I choose one, my prayer for this coming year is to continue to grow and be stretched.

What are your hopes for 2015? How do you feel about 2014?