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Posts tagged ‘power’

Have you heard of P90X? It stands for Power 90 [day] Extreme. It is made by Beachbody, a company that is focused on fitness. Well, starting October 1, I’m going to do it.

One of my friends, John, is a Beachbody coach, so I bought the program through him. He’s doing a challenge with a group of people–5-10, he says–to go through the program for 90 days, then to do P90X2 for the next 90 days. I figure it will be good for me, and motivating.

My husband and I are going to work at it together.┬áHe’s already in decent shape–he’s been working out at the gym for a while. I, on the other hand, have a hard time motivating myself to do my workout, even when I get to the gym. I don’t enjoy challenging myself, and my workouts get boring after a while, and I plateau quickly. P90X will solve all of those issues.

I’m not really overweight, but I have some extra “baby fluff” around the middle that I would like to get rid of. Plus I have never been able to do a push-up–not even a girl push-up–ever in my life. And currently I need 80-90 pounds of assistance to do a chin-up. And I only weigh between 130 and 135. It’s what I got down to in my weight loss challenge last year, and I never have gotten lower. I am a bit more fit than I was at the beginning of the summer, thanks to my gym membership, but I have plateaued, and I need something to help get me over this hump.

I’d like to invite you, if you would like to join me in this fitness adventure, check out John’s blog post about the challenge. I’m not doing the shake part of it, for financial reasons, but I wish I could. But I figure there are some things I can do about nutrition anyhow, and I’m really more interested in the┬ácamaraderie and accountability. I’m not a Beachbody coach and would get nothing out of it if one or more of my readers wanted to join the challenge, except mutual moral support.

So what do you think? Care to join me?

I decided yesterday that I would fast today. And I did. I drank water, but ate nothing.

There were several reasons for this. First, fasting strengthens the will. Second, it clears the mind. I wanted to have some time to really focus on God’s Word, and besides, it’s a good idea to fast once in a while.

But just because I was fasting, I realized that I couldn’t get out of every responsibility I had that day. I served breakfast to my daughter (thankfully, it was leftover frozen pancakes and waffles, so I didn’t have to actually cook). I made beds, picked up things that were laying around, cleaned the hen house and collected the eggs, etc. I showered and minded the children for a while. When my husband came back from the gym around noon, he took the kids to the playground for an hour or so, and I prepared lunch for them. Then I left home, telling my husband I didn’t know when I would be back.

The first thing I did was to go to a nature park. It has a couple miles of trails with benches scattered along some of them. It is shady and cool with all the trees, so it was the perfect place to be alone in nature with God–the best I can find in this area, anyway.

I had brought my Bible, my iPod (for its Bible program), a devotional-like book that I’m reading, a notebook, and my prayer journal. I spent some time praying, reading, and in Bible study. I was probably there a couple of hours–I didn’t keep track of time. It was a real blessing–away from the computer, away from the demands of the home, alone with God.

When I finished, I went shopping. Yes, even though it was late afternoon and I hadn’t eaten anything all day, I went shopping. They say you should never shop on an empty stomach, but I did it anyway. And I realized that the practice of saying no to food throughout the day as I worked in the kitchen today had strengthened my will to the point that I was able to say no not only to buying something to eat right there, but to also not buy unnecessary items. I guess that the habit of only buying what’s on my list unless I know for sure that we will need it within the next week paid off. That, and having a budget. (If you don’t have a budget, you should!)

But there was a side benefit to this experience. I learned a little something about the power of the will. As I was walking through the bulk section, buying lentils and cashews and such, I noticed a bin of what I think were probably miniature chocolate chip cookies. I say probably, because I didn’t look at them long enough to be sure. I knew that if I studied them or debated about them, I would be tempted to buy them. So instead I turned away and focused on writing the bin number on the tag for the bag of lentils.

As I went through the store, each time I was tempted to buy some snack-like item to eat, I would turn away quickly and focus on what I needed to get for the family for the week. I had resolved to fast the entire day, and I didn’t want to have the regret of eating something near the end. This resolve helped me stay focused on my goal and the task at hand.

And at this moment, it is a little after 9:00 pm, and I still haven’t eaten anything. I have drunk plenty of water, and shortly I will go to bed. I have succeeded in my goal!

But the principle I learned today will be valuable in the future. To resist temptation, I must refuse to ponder on it. If I am tempted to spend time on the computer when I really should be folding laundry and fixing lunch, I need to resist the temptation and go start on the laundry.

So many times in the past, when I was tempted to do something that I shouldn’t do, I would think about it, dwell on how much I wanted to do it, and before I knew it, I was doing it. Now I know that if I resist the first temptation, the second one will be weaker and weaker until the devil will have to come up with another temptation altogether, because that one will have lost its appeal.

But through it all, I know that I cannot do this without God. Sure, there are times I can resist temptation on my own, to a point. But the Christian life isn’t about just not falling into sin. It’s not just about keeping the commandments. The rich young ruler did that. And he still had a nameless longing that he didn’t know how to fill. The Christian life is about putting God in first place in my life and developing a relationship with Him. As I do that, He will empower me to make the right choices. And I will be motivated to do the right things, not just because I have to or because they are the right things to do, but because I love God.

Oh Lord, You know how weak I am. Please take my will, refine and ennoble it, and give it back to me. Give me a tender heart, open to the voice of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to be so sensitive to Your voice that the lightest whisper of Jesus will move my soul. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Okay, so I promised a book review today. Well, I haven’t had time to write it yet. Watch for it in the next day or two.

In the mean time, I wanted to share something that happened to me yesterday. It is an experience that illustrates how we can have victory in everyday trials. You see, I have a tendency to frustration–as all moms do at some point! And I was very encouraged by the outcome, even if it didn’t seem so great at the time!

My son drinks a lot of hemp milk, so I buy it buy the case. He had just finished one case and it was time to open another one. Now, try to imagine how the box looked. It is one of those boxes that opens with pull-tabs on the sides. The two ends are open in the middle, so you can see inside. There is a tab that says “pull here” on each side of the opening. Underneath the cardboard is a plastic strip that allows one to pull from that tab all down the side of the box around to the other end. Doing this on each side will separate the top of the box from the bottom, making a convenient way to store the containers still in the open half of the cardboard, kind of like they would on display in a store. I hope you have the picture in your mind, because it is crucial to understanding what happened.

The box was on a low shelf in my pantry, about mid-shin level. I decided not to pull the whole (probably 30 pound) box out and put it on the counter; I would just twist the box a little and get the top off right there. So I knelt down and pulled on the right tab with my right hand. It broke off at the corner.

Now, on a bad day, I would get frustrated right there. But this day I had been communing with God, and I immediately sensed His call to my heart to let it go. The other end was still intact, so no big deal. So I just smiled and tried the tab on the left side (same end of the box). It broke at the corner. I smiled and turned the box around and proceeded to pull on a tab from the other end. It, too, broke at the corner.

Again I felt self trying to well up, but I said, “Lord, please help me not to get frustrated at this!” After all, the cardboard wasn’t very thick. I could tear it with my hands if I wanted to. But I hoped I could at least get one side open, so that I could access the containers of hemp milk. So I pulled the last tab.

It broke at the corner.

I laughed and thought, “I should have asked the Lord to not let the tab break!” I laughed because He had answered my prayer exactly, and had not done what I had not asked for. “Ye have not because ye ask not.” So I decided I would have to just tear the box. I dug my right thumb into the right side of the box and began to pull to the right to tear open the box.

Then my hand slipped.

Now, try to imagine the scene in your mind. I am at a pantry door, which is just like any bedroom or bathroom door. It is open to my right. When my hand slipped, it went straight for the corner of the door, and slammed into the corner at full momentum. Instantly I was in pain. I grabbed my hand and opened my mouth in a silent scream (I didn’t want to startle the children playing nearby). Gislaine noticed and asked what was wrong. I told her I had gotten an owie. She came over to see. When I looked, there was a blueish dent on the side of my hand about 3/8″ wide. Within seconds it began to swell around the dent, and it was painful to the touch. Manny, of course, wanted to touch it, saying “boo boo”.

Through it all, I was amazed that I had not become frustrated. As I poured Manny his milk, I pondered how Jesus had never given in to frustration. I’m sure He must have felt like doing it over and over–especially in the last few hours of His life. But He never did. And He is our Example. He has provided all the power we need to overcome even frustration when things don’t go our way.

I can’t say that I always have victories like this. But I had one yesterday. And I want to have more. I want this to become a pattern. I want to choose to control my thoughts and feelings. And as I make that choice, God will provide the grace.