Building Up to Victory – #MadeToCrave


Here we are, nearly three full weeks into 2015 and I am reminded of how hard it can be to achieve victory in our goals, whether they be physical, social, emotional, educational, or personal. Sometimes we wonder if we will EVER get there, if we will ever achieve victory in our goals. And, this morning, the below passages were JUST the reminder that I needed

“Sometimes victory seems so far away because we measure it only by the end goal. And end goals can seem overwhelmingly huge, daunting, and just plain hard to reach. But if we start measuring our victories by the smaller choices we make each day, victory won’t seem so impossible.

Practice this not just with your food choices, but in other areas of life as well. The more we experience the blessings of self-control, the more disciplined we’ll become. We’ll start to develop discipline confidence and stop buying into the lie, “This is just the way I am.” ” – Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave Devotional, page 89, emphasis mine.

I have been going to the gym at least twice per week for the past four weeks. I have a goal of losing at least 10 lbs. (one dress size) and regaining the strength and tone that I once had. I have lost 2.2 lbs. so far. Honestly, this goal is starting to feel quite difficult to reach. Victory feels very far away.

Elizabeth is 2 years and one month old and I am trying to gauge whether or not she is ready to start potty training. I feel helpless to even know how to start such an important (and possibly frustrating) process. She shows only the barest interest in the toilet; she is far more interested in the sink. Victory seems like it could be a very long way away here.

So this reminder today was quite apropos for me today:  “Big things are built one brick at a time. Victories are achieved one choice at a time.”

When I choose to go to the gym, that is a victorious small success. When I choose to try a new machine or push myself to a higher level on the elliptical, that is a victorious small success.

When I choose to have my devotion/quiet time before anything else in the morning, to spend those few minutes with God and setting my soul for the day, that is a small victorious success.

When I choose not to snap at my daughter and, instead, respond tenderly and patiently, that is a victorious small success.

When I choose to listen to a heart-nudging and reach out to someone instead of locking myself away in my loneliness/fear, that is a small victorious success.

When I choose to give myself grace and not expect myself to be a perfect woman, wife, or mother, that is a small victorious success.

Step by step, brick by brick, choice by choice, victory gets closer. We need making every effort we can, every choice that can lead to a small success and, ultimately, victory.

“Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance.” – 2 Peter 1:5-6

 

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Walking Through Storms


Pressing forward through the storm

This morning has been a very interesting one spiritually. As I’m sitting here listening to my Nichole Nordeman station on Pandora and reading in the book of Proverbs, I’ve noticed that a good number of the songs that come up refer to going through storms and hard times and looking to God through it all.

 

When it’s dark and it’s cold 
And I can’t feel my soul
You are so good
When the world is gone gray 
And the rain’s here to stay
You are still good (Nichole Nordeman “You Are Good”)

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise (Laura Story “Blessings”)

Rather apropos, as there are indeed some storms in mine and my husband’s lives right now and I’m not just referring to my pregnancy. In all things, I’ve been very blessed with my daughter’s pregnancy thus far. Sure, I’m on bed rest right now but she is just fine, by all reports, and I couldn’t ask for more than that. I have some time to rest and my stress level has gone way down and for that I can only be thankful.

What is a storm for me is not being able to help when someone I love is suffering or going through a storm of their own. And when I say ‘help’, I mean actually do something to actually, physically affect the situation to make it better. I know that encouragement, understanding, love, and the like all help really but I am the type of person who wants to fix things, make them better, and, when I cannot, that makes me very sad. I know that my husband is going through some very, very difficult storms right now and it’s all I can do to hold onto him and let him know I’m there, the snow and rain feel so thick and pelt so hard that it hurts beyond words. I can’t see a way out of the storm but I can practically see his spirit and soul being trodden over and broken and I desperately want to stop it, to do something that will make it stop.

But I am not the one with the power over the storm. I am not the one who can command it to be still, or, if not, bring us through it still in tact, though perhaps not minus a few cuts and bruises. I am not the one who can give my darling husband the strength to keep walking, keep trudging, keep putting one foot in front of the other, even if he doesn’t know where it will lead. All I can do is hold tightly,  to his hand, give him all the warmth and love I can, and walk with him, trusting God to bring us through and show us the next step.

It’s all I can do. But if little penguins can make it through an antarctic blizzard and keep trudging forward, then surely God can help two young people hold onto each other and make it through one of life’s blizzard to whatever lies on the other side.

God,

I pray Your grace, strength, peace, and protection be over my husband today and every day, but especially in these moments amidst the storm. May he heart Your voice, feel Your touch, and know that he is not alone, not walking alone, even though things are very hard. Speak peace and reassurance to his heart today and may he feel You lifting the weight from his shoulders, even if just for a little while, Lord.

Thank You!

Amen