Thursday, January 8, 2015

Planning change

Oh boy. Hey friends.

I'm super excited this morning because upon my arrival to work I have already walked 3,207 steps of my 10,000 steps per day goal.  My husband bought me a Fitbit for Christmas and it has stirred up my competitive spirit, even if I am only competing with myself (that might be the best person to compete with.)

Two years ago at this time I was at the point of a 50 lb weight loss. Today I am almost 25 pounds UP from that point.  That's not a very happy place to be.  I am 13 lbs down from where I was this past November 1st, but 14 lbs up from where I was the November before.  Up and down, up and down.  But I've decided I don't want to focus on being skinny but being healthy.  And I feel like that is something I am moving towards- eating right for my body since the beginning of November (except for a horrible lost 10 days surrounding Christmas) and since the 28th of December upping my activity level considerably. (Since December 28th I have walked over 60 miles, and over 135,000 steps.)

So I have digressed because this post isn't actually about my successes, but about my plans for continuing to be successful, and wondering how that's going to happen since in just a couple weeks, I am going back to college after a (cough) 22 year absence... I find myself looking ahead and wondering what I was thinking signing up for this... and signing up for not one, not two, but THREE classes.  So this morning I find some encouragement in being able to up my step level in the mornings like I have for the last couple days because I think maybe just MAYBE I'll be able to continue to work in my 10,000 steps a day along with school work, homework, papers and whatever else may come.

So I am planning.  Without vision the people perish, right?  Isn't that what the Bible says?  Oh and on top of my physical goals and my school goals, did I mention I intend to read through my Bible in a year again this year, chronologically.  Because I need to be in the Word too.  Please note, this list of goals and intentions is not so far listed in priority. It's just all on the buffet and all what I would like to put on my plate, in addition to my full-time job and being a wife to Neal and mama to my three kids.  Plus I still have my Tuesday night Bible study group and Bunco once a month and other friends I want to stay actively connected to.  Because, relationship matters as well.

So like I said, I walked into work this morning pleased with my step count so far because it gave me hope, and in my mind I started to plan.... In the mornings I will go like I have the last two days.  I have three classes, one online, one that is a hybrid that requires an hour of lab on campus each week and one that has me in a classroom every Monday for 4 hours. Totally doable, right? I will do homework on this night at this time and I will cook these meals on these days...

As I was full of good planning and intention this morning with my 3,000+ step count by 9 am I heard a Bible passage in my brain.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil." James 4:13-16

Ouch. Here I am thinking and planning, I'll do homework here and I'll walk there, and I'll meet so and so for coffee then...  The reality is I have no clue how this is going to go.  I don't know what the reading load or the homework will be like, or how busy things will be at work or if and when my kids will get sick or need a ride or if the weather will trap me indoors and prevent my walks, I don't know anything.  And all this silly specific planning in my mind is futile.  I cannot begin to plan for the changes ahead because so many of the factors are completely unknown to me.

That's when another verse played in my head.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:31-34

Ok, deep breath.  I cannot plan for tomorrow because I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I do know Who holds tomorrow, and the rest of the weeks and months that lie ahead, with all the activities that are on my calendar or are soon coming.  I don't know, but God knows. So I am going to lay aside my plans for the specific changes on the horizon and focus on my general intentions, and those I will plan to do my best to follow through on. 

I will continue to put my Bible by the side of my bed so that I read God's Word first thing in the mornings.  Weather permitting I will try to have mornings like today to get many steps in before I get to work.  I will try to meal plan for my family, and I will try to schedule my homework so Bible study and Bunco night are not affected.  I will do my best to be healthy and make meal plans and make healthy choices spirit, mind and body. And I will know that I will not be able (probably) to do everything I want to do every day.  And I think I have decided not to measure my success in the number of steps, grades, gourmet meals cooked or pounds lost.  I'm going to try very hard to be successful in those things, but those things will not be my focus. 

I'm going to fix my eyes on the Who, and on His agenda, not mine.  I believe going back to school was a God idea and not just a good idea and I feel strongly that being healthy and fit to serve are part of his plan, and I know time with Him in prayer and His Word need to be a definite priority. My job has to be done properly and I have to be the wife and mama in this family. So even if my prayers are mostly the "God, please help me," and I occasionally fall a day or two behind in my reading along the way (think Leviticus and Deuteronomy), or I flub an assignment, I know God's grace is greater.  I know succeed or fail if I draw close to Him, He'll draw close to me.  And I know His power will be made perfect in my weakness. I know He has promised to work ALL things together for my good because I love Him, and I am called according to His purpose.  I may not have all this covered, but I know God does. 

So, as far as planning change ahead goes, I know change is coming, I can plan on it - but as for God, He is the same yesterday, today and forever and I can REALLY count on Him!  Feel free to pray for me if you're willing over the next few weeks and months.  I'm certain I'll need it.  And if you see me panicking a little, or becoming overwhelmed, remind me God's got this and to just get my focus back on him. 


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