Sunday, August 4, 2013

Happiness Happens

Hey everyone!

I hope that you are all well and thriving in your healthy lifestyle. Did you know that August is "Happiness Happens" month? That's right.
This month, it is my personal goal to exercise faithfully and to eat a clean/healthy diet. August is going to be - and already is - my month of health and happiness. Although happiness is not directly equivalent with being healthy, nor something that comes only at certain times of the year, it is a fun excuse to vamp up the exercise and commit myself to a higher standard of living.

By the end of this month, I want to begin seeing the results of a healthy diet, and faithful exercise. It's a new season of life, and I am ready to be fit and healthy!
In the past I have gone through phases of "fitness," and always would be disappointed by the results - or the lack thereof. My problem has always been giving up too soon. I always quit before I reached my goal, and because of that I had this mentality that my dreams were unattainable and unrealistic. In my mind I would just accept the fact that I could never reach the level of health and fitness that I desired.

Through the Lord's great favor and mercy, I have gotten past that corrupted mindset, and I know now that - "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."

My desire for August, is to be happy, healthy, and fit.
I have been thin and lower than my goal weight, yet I was not necessarily healthy and "fit." I think that sometimes we convince ourselves that we just need to be thin or weigh less to be happy. That is no longer my desire. I used to believe that if I was at my goal weight, I would be happy. However, the Lord has revealed to me that He alone is our source of joy; the number on the scale, the size of my waist, and the distance I can run, will never give me the satisfaction and peace that He gives. I should be thankful for the body the Lord has given me, and I should treat my body as a gift from God. That means, because I love the Lord, and respect the gifts He has given me, I will care for my body appropriately. That doesn't mean starving myself, exercising obsessively, or ignoring my body's needs. It means that I will exercise, eat healthy clean food, and thank the Lord for blessing me with a healthy strong body. It means that I live a healthy, balanced life.

When you make God the reason why you eat clean, exercise, and live a healthy lifestyle, it drastically changes everything. With God as the center and core reason for living healthy, the focus is no longer on meeting a deadline, impressing a person - even yourself, or feeling some certain way. These things may be the result of living your life in a manner pleasing to God, but they are not the reason you exercise and eat well. If we base our desires on things, we are often disappointed. Those people you wanted to impress, may disappear from your life, or maybe never care; the thrill of being a certain weight, or wearing a certain size is only temporary.

I want to say that I exercise and eat clean because I love the Lord - not to impress anyone or  to feel some certain way. I want my body to be in awesome condition, so that I can serve the Lord in whatever way He sees fit. I want to show the Lord that I truly am grateful for the body He has given me; and I do that by respecting it. Neither stuffing myself nor starving myself is respectful to my body, or to the Lord.

Before the Lord changed my heart on matters of health, I used to obsess over fitness - and that was not healthy. Inviting the Lord into my fitness journey was one of the best and most crucial decisions I've ever made. No longer do I stress over what I am eating, or how much I am exercising. Life with the Lord is a journey of joy. Because God is with me and blessing me, I have confidence that He will bless me with a healthy strong body. In fact, He already has; I am just receiving it.

I have come to realize that happiness is not equivalent to a size or weight, but to my relationship with God. When I live each day walking with the Lord, I am happy and healthy! I know that I am the child of the Lord, and He cares for me. When I seek His guidance, He always leads me in the perfect way. When God is with you, there is no other option besides victory and success.

If you are struggling with your body image, health, or fitness, I encourage you to first of all, seek the Lord, and pray that He would heal your heart. May He give you the confidence, joy, and peace that you desire.

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." ~Psalm 37:4

Also, I recommend that you read the book "Made to Crave," by Lysa TerKeurst. This book has been very beneficial to me in my health journey. So much so, that I am actually reading it again. I want to take some notes this time around, and learn some of the verses that she references throughout.

The Christian singer, Mandisa, says that this book changed her life, and had a huge influence on her. For those of you who aren't familiar with Mandisa, she was a contestant on American Idol. I really respect Mandisa, and she is a great inspiration to me. She is such an incredible lady. She struggled with her weight for quite a while, but by the grace of God, she has lost over 100 pounds, and has truly embraced healthy living. I saw on her Facebook that she was recommending the book "Made to Crave," and that's actually what prompted me to read it again. If you haven't heard her story - or her songs - check her out! :)

If you happen to read this book, I hope that it will be a blessing to you. If you like it and found it helpful in anyway, I would love to hear about it. You could share your thoughts on the book in the comment section below, or send me an email. I hope that you found this post helpful, and that it inspires to invite the Lord into your fitness journey if you haven't already. It truly is the Lord who make happiness happen. That's what I pray this month is all about. Let August be the month that you get healthy and fit, with the Lord by your side. Happy August everybody! May you have a wonderful weekend full of the blessings of our Lord. YOU are His beloved child, and He has great things in store for you.

"[He] is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or think," ~Ephesians 3:20

My prayer for you this month, is that God would bless you in your fitness journey, and that He would prosper you in all your ways. Remember, with the Lord, every month is the month that happiness happens. :)

Love & Grace,

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