Ok, Ladies! It’s time to make a list of impossible goals with unrealistic deadlines so that when we fail miserably, we feel crummy about ourselves! Who’s all in?! Go team!
Crazy, right? You would not go into the brand new year hoping to become a horrible human being when the purpose for resolutions is to be a better person. However, with over 50% of resolutions dropped by the end of January, it is no surprise many of us become 'the standing defeated' and feeling worse than before as we stare on our abandoned, lifeless resolve, looming at our feet.
There is a better you on the other side of a better choice.
The challenge is not to fail, but to thrive. Abundant life is what Jesus offers us. A better choice. We as Sanctuary and ministry wives know this, all too well, when our hubby-pastor calls for an all-church fast and collective congregational groans ensue. These pew-warmers may choose to see fasting as a restriction from food instead of freedom to make a better choice--that choice being a thriving, deeper relationship with the Lord. It takes a renewing of the mind to see the better choice.
The other side of a better choice involves the goals best for you.
We seem to intentionally put ourselves in last place in our own race. Sure, the story of Mary and Martha and choosing better is what we teach, but is not what we live. There is a better choice for you. Quietly draw into a setting where you can invite the Lover of your soul to speak life-giving goals into your spirit. Ask Him questions:
What do I need to pursue?
What’s in the way?
What do I need to let go?
What will bring You glory?
Alignment of our goals for His glory is sure to be an awesome story! However, the process, at times, may leave us feeling weak …which is exactly where thriving with the Lord begins. He assures, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in your weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Let me give you a personal example. Desperation was the catalyst toward making better goals after my husband's heart attack. Small, daily goals were our focus to get active when we took our first step walking one mile, together. It was winter which meant bundling up our resolve to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Winter blossomed into spring when the cardiologist gave my hubby clearance to keep making better choices, because it was working!
Like many, I've tried those lose-weight-quick pills, shakes, and diets. Physical exercise binges would last only until muscle soreness and a long day at the office, added to ministry demands, stalled-out my desire for better nutritional choices. Now, paired with better eating habits and an intentional fitness plan, our bodies continue to get healthier, stronger and leaner.
Perhaps, you need more elaboration on setting better goals with better timing.
A typical goal at the start of a new year: Get healthy. Or 'start a fitness regime and lose 20 lbs in 20 days'.
The goal is sound. Getting healthy is a great choice! You feel better. You have more energy to love others and life. But, the timing is faulty. To lose that much weight in so little time would be harmful to your body. To make this goal better is to choose better timing. Will the timing of this goal bring me glory or Him glory?
Better goals involve a better plan.
Better goals involve a better plan. Simply put, a plan is timing of smaller goals.
Now, with a better plan, our goal looks like this:
Start a fitness regime (walking, join a fitness class, which meets twice each week, move for 30 minutes each day).
Make better nutritional choices (add more veggies, less sugar, substitute water for soda).
Take weight and body measurements, once each week.
The other side of a better choice involves our language.
Speak kindly to yourself. That negative dialogue between your ears is not of His design. Would you permit someone to address you or a loved one the way you address yourself?
"I’m a failure."
"I’m not smart."
Sister, you are a daughter of the Most High. His power enables you to accomplish His will.
Speak words of affirmation. We become what we hear.
"I am beautiful."
"I am loved."
"I am worthy."
"I am enough."
"I am pleasing and acceptable to God."
Once these words are used daily, you will believe them. When you believe them, you will speak them over others walking life beside you and exacting change in their life for His glory!
The other side of a better choice involves community.
We make goals to improve our selves and our situations. There are two thoughts to keep in mind: (1) There is accountability in community; and (2) Our choices always affect community.
There is something to be said about making goals known. Going public with your goals can be frightening. But by doing so, your resolve is fortified and good friends lend support to that resolve. Furthermore, when your community sees these goals coming to fruition, they feel empowered by your example to believe the Lord can help them live abundantly for Him. That’s when God gets the glory, again!
The other side of a better choice involves peace.
Prayer and meditation of the Word fosters a lifestyle of peace. Living out goals should not include worry and anxiety. Worry produces doubt. Your goals of better choices and planning were made with the invitation of the Lord through prayer. Your spirit is being strengthened by the power of the Word. Peace is not paralyzed with thoughts of failure.
God is speaking to you about bigger and better goals. You can go back to college to finish the degree. You were made to be a leader. You are equipped with talent and skills to write a book. You were called to walk with your husband as a power team!
The Lord has a plan for your life. He called you because He can trust you will depend on Him and lead others to His grace. When you begin to experience your goals becoming reality, celebrate by giving thanks from a grateful heart. You may have struggled in the past, but through the power of Christ, there is a better you on the other side of a better choice.
"A BETTER YOU: The Other Side of a Better Choice" is ENTRY ONE of Sanctuary's January blog series, A Better You. Join us next Monday for ENTRY TWO.
Samalee --"Sam" to friends-- and Terry Allen have been in ministry, together, since before than the day they said, "I do," in 1985. Still under the belief that student ministry is the best job ever, the Allens continue to help feed, educate and medically-assist students in India as mission representatives with Calcutta Mercy & Huldah Buntain. Their son, Dane, and daughter-in-love, Emily, serve on-staff at Life Assembly in Tennessee, where "Sam" & Terry lead a weekly Bible study life group when not traveling for the ministry. "Sam" blogs at centerofthepie.blogspot.com. To read more inspiration on Fitness and Ministry Wives here at Sanctuary, click here.