40 Days Lighter – Day 39: A Beautiful Transformation

Metamorphosis:

  • change of physical form, structure, or substance especially by supernatural means 
  • a striking alteration in appearance, character, or circumstances

I couldn’t think of a more fitting word for what I have experienced over the last 39 days of this journey to being 40 Days Lighter. Now on the brink of the 40th day, the end of this leg of my race towards a better me, I am blown away by how much of my life has been transformed by this experience.

To say that this experience has changed me both inside and out would be an understatement. I am amazed at what God can do when you open your heart to His grace that restores us, refreshes us, and revives us.

I am completing this journey with a new outlook on what life can be like, when I commit to living free, fit, full of faith, and most definitely 40 days lighter.

 

40 Days Lighter – Day 25: Finding A God-Honoring Rhythm (Part 1)

 

Rest

If there were any two areas along this journey to becoming 40 days lighter with which I have genuinely struggled and truthfully feel like an utter failure, it would be in finding times of rest, and moments for self-care.

I am constantly on the go, if not in the care of our family, for work, if not for work, then for school, and the list goes on. Even when I attempt to build in moments of down time or quiet, I somehow find a way to fill the “gap” in my schedule with something else. It’s so easy to plan to just sit in silence so that I can find the words for my writing, yet as I’m passing the kitchen sink to put down my laptop, I have a “let me just do these dishes really quick” moment. And before I know it, I’m sweeping, then I’m cooking, and a host of other household tasks not related to my writing.

I have put the baby down for nap, saying this is a good moment to rest myself, or sit and read, and before I know it, I’ve grabbed my phone or laptop to take care of “one last thing”, which mysteriously transforms into 10 more things, and before I know it, the baby is up, blinking at me with those beautiful brown eyes. And I haven’t read a single page or slept a wink.

I have taught myself to see rest or downtime as “optional”, or a thing I do when I’ve taken care of everything else. 

And eventually I crash.

And I become irritable, unfocused, frustrated, overwhelmed, and overall, so tired it seeps into my bones. And I am forced to pause, because my body and mind refuse to go another step forward without recharging first.

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun says, “Lack of adequate rest can ruin our families, damage our souls, even kill us. When we burn the candle at both ends we:

  • lose sight of what we enjoy in our work
  • find even the things we enjoy doing become a chore
  • fail to give people the gift of our attention and presence
  • impair our ability to hear God’s voice and discern his movement in our lives
  • become obsessive about the to-do list
  • lose touch with the human limits that are meant to keep us in touch with God

This last point struck me to my core.

When I neglect my need for rest and forget about my limitations as a human being, I lose touch with God. Could it be that to reject rest, is to see ourselves as wiser than God – since even He has given us a model for work and rest by doing so Himself?

I will close with this, and invite you to join me in reflection – and repentance if you find yourself rejecting rest as well:

“God created us in his image. He is a God who works and then rests. When we rest, we honor the way God made us. Rest can be a spiritual act – a truly human act of submission to and dependence on God who watches over all things as we rest.”

~ Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us

 

40 Days Lighter – Day 24: Something’s Got to Intensify!

Push!

(In case you missed it, this is Part 2 to a thought I started to share yesterday.)

I’ve noticed that since starting to make these physical/health changes, as I get closer to my goals, the process has to intensify for me to continue to see results! Something has to intensify, whether it is the amount of weight that I lift or the length of the run that I take, or how often I’m working out.

When I first started going to the gym, I was asked to run for a full minute out of my 30 minutes on the treadmill, and I STRUGGLED. Yet a week came where I hit the one minute without feeling ready to collapse, and then the time increased to 3 minutes. And when I hit the 3 minutes, my goal was moved up to 5 minutes – with the end goal of running a 5k in a few months – a goal I would have said was impossible 6 months ago.

The closer I get to my goal – whether it’s the distance I want to run, the weight I want to be, the strength I want to have something has got to intensify! (Intentional poor English).

Why am I saying all of this?

Because sometimes we go through life, and get so hung up on, so discouraged, so disheartened by the fact that as we go to a new level in life, the trials seem to increase as well. We go from faith to faith and test to test simultaneously. The fire seems to be getting hotter in that furnace. The pressure is increasing. Those who are against you seem to be more than those that are for you. It feels like the harder we push forward is the harder our obstacles push back.

The reality is when you feel life intensifying, it means that you are closer to your goal than your natural eyes can see! Use the pressure to build momentum and push!

Keep pushing! Keep moving forward! You are about to give birth to your dream!