Sunday, May 25, 2014

Daring to Dream

I haven't been keeping up. I've been crazy running around like a lost sheep without a trail. I've been wandering in the dessert & I have been wanting for more.
But why more? More of what? More shoes, more food, more clothes, more money, more friends, more time... No... What I needed more of was Jesus.
I signed up for this and that, I went here & there... searching, wanting & not finding.
What's missing? My husband! My spiritual leader! I miss him!!!
I'm tired, I'm exhausted, It's been one thing after another. I wanted a break, I needed a break, but I wasn't getting one. Why? Was this a test? Did I have to keep going through it because I was failing & I couldn't get on to the next level until I passed?
Then something happened. One of my friends from bible study, who's been itching to start working out but couldn't due to pregnancy had her baby. Her husband is deployed & she has an older child. A mutual friend from bible study,  pretty much took over the parenting  responsibilities.
 This friend's husband was away for a 6wk training & she has a child of her own. While he was gone, she decided to start  her health & fitness challenge. She made a lifestyle change by doing Insanity. I saw the exhaustion in her eyes, but not once did she complain.
I watched said child for a night & it was a very interesting dynamic to have 4 children under 1 roof with no help, but it was refreshing.
 An act of selfless service ~ just a splash of joy to my thirsting soul.

I started to look around, I another friend of mine who has autistic twins is making changes to her lifestyle, she started out with P90X3 & then Les Mills Combat. She has lost 30lbs since the year started- her husband is also deployed. My neighbor has 5kids, the 4th has trisomi 18 & has surgeries coming up, she too is doing her fitness while her husband is deployed. A photography client of mine also has a special needs child with surgeries coming up. Her husband just recently deployed & I had the privilege to shoot some family pictures before his departure & she's been working hard on her fitness. Another client & now friend of mine with a deployed spouse & child, went back home to finish her high school credits to earn her diploma AND started working on her fitness. Where am I getting with this?
While I was feeling sorry for myself & my lack of joy & desire- these strong powerful women started flourishing  like flowers in spring around me. What did they all have in common? Fitness.
SO I looked into my own fitness, I was working out sporadically, enough to maintain but not enough to push forward. I was going through the motions. I'd burn off 300 calories to justify eating an extra serving of food. Not necessarily junk food, but out of my proportions. 
I know my weaknesses. I'm an emotional eater. When I feel bad, I eat, when I eat, I gain weight, when I gain weight, I feel bad & the cycle starts over. Missing my husband was making me sad but do I want my husband to come home to a fat, sad/angry wife? No. Do I want my kids to watch me put myself through that? No. So I said: Enough, something's gotta give. 
Then God winked at me. I had just finished my sewing orders when I got recommended & chosen out of a list of several to shoot a home school graduation. I've always had it in my heart to home school. But how? 

We barely get by on a single government subsidized income & my husband wants out. We've talked about him staying in long enough for all the kids to start school before separating from the military because lets face it, no way, no how a family of 5 can survive in this economy out in the civilian world off a single income. 

"Well why don't YOU work?" I often get asked. "Even if I did get a job, I'd end up paying more than my pay check to cover child care expenses, we'll need a second car, pay insurance on that, gas... it costs money to make money!"
So I met these kids & they were wonderful well rounded individuals. I looked at their parents and they were proud & fulfilled. I asked a set of moms "How do you like homeschooling?" ~ "It's well worth the sacrifice, but it has to be in your heart." 

I came home & I started VISUALIZING what it would be like, except my phone kept beeping with facebook notifications & I kept getting side tracked. 

Then God winked at me again. On a single income, we can't afford fancy phones, so my little android keeps running out of memory space. The biggest chunk of memory space was being occupied by facebook- what a coincidence, so was my day. So with all the pain in my heart, I did the unthinkable, I deleted the app. 
It freed up the memory on my phone & it freed up so much time for me too. 

So what did I do on facebook? I read people's status updates... hmmm reading... wait a minute, I HAVE a list of things I wanted to complete over deployment... where was it? Oh there it wass #1. Read 9 books, 1 per month of deployment. Holly molly we're on month 3, I'm 3 books behind!!!

Did you know that 58% of high school graduates wont read another book after leaving high school? Crazy right? Well if you know me, you know that I don't take kindly to being called a statistic, so I try my hardest to do the opposite.
So I started reading my Bible again, but for real this time, I've been reading for about a week straight & writing about it! Finding the Rhema, Promise, Command, Warning & Application out of my reading. 
Then I looked at my bookshelf & out of the approximately 20 new books that I have yet to read, the one that called out to me was: "The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life" By Jeff Olson

I invested in this book about 4yrs ago when I had joined a business opportunity I quit on... I have signed up for 8 different business opportunities in the past century & the one thing they all shared in common was: SELF DEVELOPMENT.
So I started to read. There's 168 pages in this book I'm on page 117- wow, what a game changer.
I was so filled with purpose & desire that I went out & purchased another 8 books! Now I have my 9 titles to read by deployment's end!

Self development is knowledge & knowledge is power. So this entire week I've been pushing myself harder in my work outs, I started walking/jogging, I started waking up earlier, I actually finally started practicing the 3 vital behaviors for success. 

2 nights ago I visited a church with a friend of mine & it was amazing. She too is working on her fitness. Sadly I became privy of a struggle she is going through. This is a very dear friend to me, so her struggle hurt deep in my heart, because I've been there. I immediately took the personal development CD's out of my stereo & handed them over. I hope she listened to them. All the drive home I prayed, when I got home I prayed before bed & yesterday morning when I woke up the burden was so heavy in my heart but I had run out of thoughts & words.

Romans 8:26-28 The Message (MSG)

26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

During the visit of that church I was reminded of who I serve, the great I AM, the all powerful, all knowing, all wonderful & all mighty God. There was an altar call, we should have gone up but she held back. God nudged me to nudge her, but she declined & I settled. We were in the 3rd row, closed in by 2 other people but the 2 rows in front of us were empty. Had I been bold enough I would have more than happily jumped over the seats to get to the front... but my feet were glued to the ground. In the church where I was saved, during encounter, they told us the holly spirit could not speak through us if we didn't open our mouths. I heard people speaking in tongues & it was frightening. I didn't open my mouth then, I was too afraid. Well not anymore, if not for anything else this week of self development brought me to the conclusion that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and God has plans to prosper me and not to harm me. What ever I ask for in the name of Jesus will be granted, but I must:

Matthew 7:7-11 The Voice (VOICE)

Just ask and it will be given to you; seek after it and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will be opened for you. All who ask receive. Those who seek, find what they seek. And he who knocks, will have the door opened.
Think of it this way: if your son asked you for bread, would you give him a stone? Of course not—you would give him a loaf of bread. 10 If your son asked for a fish, would you give him a snake? No, to be sure, you would give him a fish—the best fish you could find. 11 So if you, who are sinful, know how to give your children good gifts, how much more so does your Father in heaven, who is perfect, know how to give great gifts to His children!

So I opened my mouth, and he spoke, tears flowing down my face, arms lifted high & my face to the heavens. What an amazing feeling of overwhelming peace. Friend,if you're reading this, read Romans 8:28-39. Everything is going to be ok.

Whats the point to my story? Evey thing effects everything. The condition of your personal growth has an effect on your physical & spiritual fitness which affects your physical health, thus affecting your emotional health, your financial health, your relationships, your purpose,& how you spend your time.

I don't have time or the desire to be upset or have negative energy over things I can't control. I've got 3 kids I have to put a happy face on for. Be I; sick, sore, tired, lonely- I do what I have to do. I will struggle, but the thing that I thank God I learned early in life, it's that Life is 10% what happens & 90% how you deal with it. There is a very dark deep painful emotional loneliness & depression that can swallow me whole if I let it. But if I let it, what service am I doing my husband& my kids?

 I Love my husband, and I am proud of what he's doing. Yes, I've got my hands full with my munchkins but he's sacrificing his bed, his cuddle sessions, our quality time & affection- for what? to provide for US.
 The very least I can do for him, is to I get up, get dressed, show up AND get on with the day regardless of how I'm feeling.I have finally found my WHY POWER.
 I don't just think  that it would be nice if my husband came home to a fit wife. I desire with my inner most being to do my very best to make him proud of me. I want him to know that his sacrifices were not in vain. I want to shock & awe him when he gets home with what I've accomplished while he was away
I don't want him to come home to the me I was before he left, because although there's nothing wrong with that me, that me can be so much better. I am not yet to where I want to be, but I'm much better that where I used to be & he deserves every single improvement & upgrade. 

The thing about wanting things, is that you can either sit back thinking about what you want wishing that your dreams would come true, if you still allow yourself to dream. Or you can get up and do whatever it takes to go get them.The only way to build your dreams is to build them. Literally. So build your dreams or get hired to build someone elses dream. 

My plate is full, my hands are full, my day is not nearly long enough to accomplish the things I set out to do. But I try my best do them, because I want my husband to know that I love him & I want to honor him &God with everything I do. I choose to do something positive with my current situation, my unfortunate circumstance.

You CAN help others only IF help yourself FIRST, so do yourself a favor & pick up a self development book & read just 10 pages a day. For things to get better,YOU have to get better. Do that which will move you forward & onward. The week has 7 days and "Someday" is not one of them. Ultimately YOU decide what you do. The choice is yours. Ask. Seek. Knock. Dare to dream & dare to be loved.

I'm dreaming & I'm dreaming big. Fitness is definitely the industry to work in. In a world of instant gratification- fast food is on the rise. A new McDonald's just opened outside gate 4! 

I'm believing God for success. A Prophet told my husband he has an evangelical pastoral calling on his life & he has a missionary heart. We're supposed to tithe 10% of our earnings to God, I declare here & now that my goal is to make enough to where I can support our family with 10% of our income so we can give 90% back. Missionary trips, new churches, schools, shelters, wherever God needs us I want to go there. 
We can't go now because we cannot afford it, but if God has put it in my heart I know there is a reason. 
Yes I know, those are big dreams, but guess what? My God is BIGGER! There are no impossibles for him.