As some of you may be aware I started last Aug (Aug/2014) to start getting healthier. It was spurred on by the desire for change in my life. I just knew that I was going to need the physical energy to go through the change process. I did not realize how bad it was until I started to really focus on the issue. Oh by the way – the issue was ME! So I set out with some easy attainable goals and started really small. I was surprised how my pride was so offended by these small goals, but I started out.
They say it takes 4 weeks for you to see your body change. 8 weeks for your friends and family to notice and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. I started with my diet by only changing what I eat not the amount or how often. I just started eliminating things that would prevent me from reaching my goals. After a few weeks I incorporated an exercise from home series that only required 25 minutes of my time. I followed the low impact person through the whole program but it still provided a great workout. When I arrived at the end of the year, I had lost 40 pounds.
So why did I start this blog with this story? Because for me and probably like many of you, you have to start with some area of your life to end the cycle of being Overwhelmed. For me it was my physical health. My physical health was affecting my schedule, my finances, my relationships, my marriage, and every other area. Right now, you may be feeling overwhelmed, depressed, numb, and disconnected. I am not saying just change your diet and go for a walk and everything will come together for you. That’s not it. However, for you, where can you start? What can you begin doing today? I really thinking by setting those easy small goals and offending my pride was the tipping point for me.
Since I have started working out and having a simple focus for my life, I have been able to have regular and often daily times with God. I can have a quality time of prayer and reading the Bible. I have more energy for other things that are important to me and enjoy doing. I stay focus throughout my day at work and willing to take on new challenges and confront larger task that need to get done. By making exercise and sleep a priority, I have brought a better rhythm to my marriage and relationship with others. Because I am not depleted or numb, I am not swayed to overspend or blow my budget to find some short-lived joy purchase.
So I want to close with this encouragement. I came across this athletic clothing site (I want in close the link because some of the shirts may offend you). However they have a motto I like and it is “Embrace the Pain”. Embrace that good soreness that comes from working out and making progress. So here is my encouragement. Once you figure out which area of your life that needs improvement or serious change to break the cycle of being overwhelmed and depleted, once you have it – then it is time to “Embrace the Pain.” Bill Hybels writes, “Untangling yourself from the overscheduled, overwhelming web of your current life is not for the faint of heart. It’s honest, rigorous work.” Change is possible but we have to embrace the pain and stop avoiding the trails. We have to hold on to HOPE that God is able to bring us through. Whether you are teetering on the edge of cluttered collapse or you are just starting to realize that some minor life adjustments are in order, you can simplify. You may well have to simplify to live the life God is inviting you to live.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us – Ephesians 3:20