One morning about 5 years ago after I “retired” from triathlon coaching and racing, the Lord spoke to me and asked me to take down all my triathlon photos, medals, posters etc. It shocked me because the Lord had blessed me so abundantly during those years. Through the tears, I pulled everything down and put it in a backpack I’d received as schwag at a race. I then put the backpack into storage in a closet.
One morning, just 2 weeks ago, as I was praying about my Pilates career, the Lord told me to pull out all my triathlon stuff and put it up in the Pilates studio. Again, the instruction shocked me. I asked, “why Lord?”. Oh I love that the Lord speaks to His people! He said, that putting it up would be a reminder of all He had done for me during my triathlon racing and coaching years and it would bolster my faith, hope and confidence of all he planned to do for me in my Pilates practice and career!! What a difference 5 years can make.
About a day later, I pulled out that back pack and pulled out my memories. Yes, very emotional. I remembered so much and the Lords’ hand was in all of it – everywhere!
I picked out some of my favorite things and got a visual in my head of how I wanted to arrange this altar to the Lord on the wall in my Pilates studio. Today, with Robert’s help, it is up. After Robert got everything hung up for me, we stood back and looked at it. With tears in my eyes I hugged him and thanked him for making my vision a reality. He looked at me and said,” This wall has many stories to tell.” True! So not only is my triathlon wall a reminder to me, it can be a conversation starter and I’d be thrilled to tell of the Lord’s goodness!!
When I pulled it all down 5 years ago. I was broken hearted but obedient. Never did I imagine the Lord would tell me to put it up again!!
Remember all He has done. Tell of all He has done. Believe in all He will do.
This is a very short post!
The truth is that I have historically reacted too emotionally. I have let my emotions and what seems important or what I seem to need in the moment drive me. Needless to say this isn’t good! So, the Lord has been showing me over the years how to manage my emotions instead of letting my emotions manage me. Today, He gave me a great insight and lesson on this.
First, read how Esau sold his birthright to Jacob. Even if you’ve read this many times before…read it again. Genesis 25:29-34. These short 6 verses tell the story of how the current need being met can cost you in the long run so much.
So, what to do when emotions are high? Here is an acronym and a grid to stop and put your thoughts through to manage emotions. CALM
Clear – What is seeming urgent?
Alert- what does the Holy Spirit see?
Lessons – what lessons and wisdoms can I apply right now?
Manage – what do I need to do or manage in light of the BIG PICTURE?
I applied that to a situation I encountered just last night and it put the whole thing into proper perspective. Allowing me to be CALM and at peace focusing my responses, choices and decisions on the big picture.
I hope this helps you too!!
I’m going to just jump right in with this blog. Growth with God for me seems to come in spurts and after about 7-8 months of silence, the teaching and lessons and circumstances to practice the lessons are coming in fast. Here’s 3 things I’m learning that I hope will help you as you grow closer to Jesus each day.
- Prayer is a conversation. I’ve heard this for years and honestly prayer for me has been me talking to God. And after I’m done I say “Thank you Lord, Amen.” And then, I go on with life. Recently, I’ve was inspired to pray a different way. I went to have quiet time to pray over a specific circumstance that I needed direction on and an answer to – time was of the essence. So, I got on my knees and prayed something like this, “Lord, you know all things – you know both sides. I’m wiping all my thoughts and everything off the whiteboard of this circumstance. I am completely open. Help me to see it your way and direct me to the right decision that is in agreement with your way.” When I handed the Lord a “whiteboard” for this – He handed me a clear understanding and a clear directive to take action on. Since then, I’m all about being a whiteboard and letting the Sovereign Lord tell me. There is an immense clarity, confidence and peace that comes from this approach – not the least of which is listening instead of just talking. Sometimes we do need to be heard and to bear our soul but more often than not we need to just come humbly and say, “what do I do?” and then when He tells us do it.
- “With”ness – it’s a new word I created – withness. It’s not a typo. Too often, as Christ followers we are compelled to “serve”, to do for Christ to be His hands and feet. In fact, many of us simply wear ourselves out in busyness – “holy” busyness. But, it is through our withness that we will naturally become a witness. Jesus wants us to BE WITH HIM. To simply spend time apart from everything else and BE WITH HIM. When we are filled with withness, we can truly, naturally and easily be a witness.
- Through the eyes of the Lion – this concept is really a few blogs long and was inspired by the book of the same name written by Levi Lusko. Jesus is the Lion of Judah. The Lion has dominion (rule, power) in his territory. Jesus is also Emmanuel – God with us. In fact He is IN you. So, look out at everything and learn to see through the eyes of the lion. What does the Lion see? A lion is calm, confident, sure of his position and his power. Is this how you see through your eyes? Or is it through fear and doubt and emotion? Be confident of your lion within. Trust the lion. Don’t trust what you see, trust what He sees. Ask to see what he sees and ask him what to do. Let the lion lead. There’s more to this…and I’ll blog on it when it has marinated and percolated..but..think on it and of course, check out Levi’s book, Through the eyes of the Lion. It is a worthy read.
May God bless you and show you truth.
Since the fall 2012 of when I “retired” from being a triathlon coach, I have start a lot and finished litte.
During the spring of 2012 through spring of 2015, proved to be both a restful time and a restless time. It was a season of rest – coaching had taken a lot out of me. My tank was low. I was not working and felt strongly that I shouldn’t work – very weird. I have worked hard all my life. It was a restless time because I was searching for how God wanted me to serve him. During spring of 2013, God placed a book on my heart. The working title is The Believer’s Travel Guide. During spring of 2014, we spent 6 weeks in California. These 6 weeks for me were a time of reflecting, writing and prayer. During spring of 2015, I made the commitment to begin the rigorous process of becoming an internationally certified Pilates teacher. And now, on the verge of spring 2016 I am poised to launch a new business (more details to come, stay tuned.) In between all of that, I explored and traveled down the path of being a missionary, going to seminary and becoming a pastor. Oh and simultaneously we sold everything we owned and moved into a 42′ motorhome called Tsunami for 18 months!
Let me tell you, all that exploration was exhausting. Let me also tell you how much each of those journey’s changed me, grew me and gave me greater clarity on who I am and who God has called me to be. I am not a missionary, God hasn’t planned for me to go to seminary and I am definitely not a pastor. And living in a 42′ motorhome – well that will change you mightily in and of itself (that’s another blog post)!
Ecclesiastes 7:8 says that finishing is better than starting and patience is better than pride.
I started several things I did not finish. I will tell you that I concur with Solomon, finishing is better. The starting was fun from an exploration standpoint and exhausting from a decision making standpoint. But, what did I learn?
- Do your research – Ask a lot of questions. Listen and observe intently. Check your heart for motives. Watch the behavior of others more than listening to words. But, most of all, when exploring and seeking your choices and path – be with God. Spend quiet time in the Word. Journal lots and reflect lots. Observe and process in prayer and communion with Him. He will guide you. He will confirm his direction for you and the answers to your questions by a settling in your spirit confirmed by a specific scripture or scriptures.
- Counsel – We all need people to guide us that we can trust. Choose these people carefully. Ask God to confirm who they are. Then, listen to them. Compare what they say against what you hear God telling you. See, God guides us and he creates “echoes” around that guidance so we can KNOW.
- Be careful with options that are a sharp detour from your general yet unique path. Sometimes, God will throw in some big curve balls. But, generally speaking, you will find a thread or 2 that you can trace back for years. This thread is a guide, something to hang on to as you find your way. I can only speak from my experience and, now that things are settled and my path is direct and clear I can see the thread of writing, coaching/leading and health/fitness. Find your thread – let that thread evolve and perhaps change colors. Look for consistency.
- Start where you are you won’t stay there. This is perhaps one of my favorite phrases and it is a powerful one. I am learning all over with Pilates – it’s been a challenge. It’s been exciting. And Pilates amazing me with it’s effectiveness and results. In my new business endeavor, I will be starting all over. Yes, I am an entrepreneur through and through but each business is different and requires humility to begin again and learn. This is the patience part of Ecclesiates 7:8. I believe that too many people get stuck where they are – not where God wants them, not operating at their best because they have pride. Give up that pride. Start at the beginning, right where you are…learn, practice and keep failing forward. You won’t stay there.
As a triathlete, it seems that most of my races were extreme “adventures”. I remember one very early on where I quit halfway through the swim. I couldn’t go for a second loop around that swim course. The first one had done me in (that’s another story for another day). So, I quit and went home. Ugh. That felt horrible. But, I learned and I didn’t quit triathlon. I just quit that race. Sometimes we need to start and not finish so that we can learn, grow and come back to finish.
Starting is fun. Finishing is better. It’s ok to start and not finish until you find what’s worth finishing! Go with God!
Four words in two different orders with two different punctuation marks will produce two different results. These two different sentences sound like this when you fill them in.
Is this your year? Is this the year you will lose the weight? Is this the year you’ll get serious and get off the couch? Is this the year you’ll stop pushing through the training and racing and let those nagging injuries heal? Is this the year you’ll starting choosing healthy foods more often and break that sugar addiction? Is this the year you’ll start appreciating your body and treating it with love and respect?
This is the year I will _____________. (You fill in the blank.)
Are you asking a question or making a statement? I’m not talking “resolutions” here. I’m talking about real change. Life changing change. Lasting change. I love this graphic because it shows clearly what your chances of success are based on whether you are making a statement or asking a question!
If this IS your year….then, awesome! Now what? You need a plan. Yep, a plan. Good intentions and positive statements are powerful, but a plan is how you move the needle from a 50% chance to an 80% chance and then on to I DID and 100%.
A plan is simply breaking down your goal into small steps with measurable achievements. The power of having a plan is truly exponential. A plan brings consistency and focus over time and leads to achievement and change! See, real change takes time. There isn’t a quick fix. There is work to be done, over time. It’s easy to start, it’s hard to finish and that’s why you should consider investing in a Health and Fitness Coach. Partnering with a Health and Fitness Coach can make all the difference in achieving your goal because a coach will provide knowledge, advice, a plan, encouragement and accountability.
Whether you want to:
- Get off the couch and get exercising
- Recover from too much training for too long
- Lose weight
- Or any other goal you may have for your health and fitness
If you are making a statement this year and not just asking a question, I’d welcome the opportunity to be your Health and Fitness Coach. I’m looking for 2-3 clients willing to go the distance in 2016. Wherever you are, that’s where we’ll start; but, you won’t stay there. Step by step you’ll work your plan with your coach by your side, until you’ve achieved your goal. Together we can make sure that this IS your year. Contact me at email@example.com and let’s arrange a time to talk and see if we are a good match for each other. I can also explain how it works and what the costs would be. I promise my fees are reasonable.
Time IS on our side, when we invest our time wisely.
Newton’s third law says, “For everything there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Let me again, take a twist.
Time is NOT on our side. When we waste our time and squander our time we can not get that time back. It is gone, gone, gone.
I will bravely and boldly say that never in the history of humanity have we had more distractions and more opportunities to simply waste our time.
We often cry we wish we had more time. But, do we really need more time or do we just need to spend that time with greater intention and focus?
I don’t have time to_______.
You fill in the blank.
Here’s a sobering statistic.
According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV–watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.
And that is just TV. 28 hours per week. 28.
Let’s put more time ON our side. What about exchanging just 30 minutes/5 days per week from our various “screens” and putting that time towards something that we falsely don’t believe we have time for?
Yes, time IS on our side when we redirect it towards the important and don’t let it just slip through our proverbial hands.
Lord, bring me through. God is using the crucible (a place or situation that forces people to change or make difficult decisions) of our circumstances to strengthen us. To build our character and make us more like Jesus so that we can be who he made us to be and do what he has planned since before time began for us to do. He uses the crucible of our circumstances to deepen our need of him, our love for him and to show us his great power, love and fulfill his promises. He uses the crucible to transform us, strengthen us and prepare us. The crucible is painful, difficult and our natural human response is to want OUT.
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.a Because of the joyb awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;c then you won’t become weary and give up. 4After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
Wherever you are, pause and ask God to show you the reality in light of eternity. Then you can see you are in the crucible, cooperate with God who is with you and will not forsake you and He will bring you through. You will not be the same. The change brought about when you cooperate in the crucible is called spiritual transformation! You will be more like Jesus. You will not be the same- you will be better…so much better! Crucibles, like races don’t last forever. With God, you CAN do this!!
Paul’s says in Ephesians 3:20
Now all glory to God who is able through His might power at work within me to accomplish INFINTIELY more than I might ask or think.
Lord, bring me through!!