Chasing Carrots

I’m in the midst of trying to lose some weight that I’ve put on over the course of the last year – blech. So of course I’ve been doing the exercise & more healthy eating thing & thankfully, I’m slowly making progress, which is rewarding 😉
But here’s something that I’ve been thinking about: we can put short term rewards in front of us for helpful motivation, but lets think in terms of something more long term. For example, it helps when I put on my pants, that it’s not quite the same wrestling match – but the long term goal is that I’m more consistent w my exercise & disciplined w my eating.
Lets consider letting the short term rewards position us for more long term benefits, and play lots of basketball in the meantime ,)

doing what we don’t like to do

My kids have a list of things they don’t like to do:  wash the dishes, pick up their room, fold the laundry, homework before playing, . . . .   So when we grow up, what happens to this list?  Hopefully, we get good at the tasks we didn’t like doing as kids so they’re not such an issue.  Or maybe we just suck it up & do these things anyways since we don’t like the negative results if we neglect to do the things we don’t like doing. 
I’ve been thinking about doing the things I don’t like to do – maybe as an attempt to avoid doing them ,)

But here are some things that are rolling around in my thoughts:

  • if I only do what I like to do, what talents & areas in my life would remain dormat from such neglect?
  • character development – I still think these words should be in the “four letter word” category, along with the other cuss words I avoid
  • love: a good “four letter word” that also includes doing things I don’t want to do (I love God, love my family, love my friends, . . . . )
  • Jesus endured the cross & decided to do what He didn’t want to do because of the joy on the other side of the cross.  Could there be more joy on the other side of the work than my dislike & procrastination?

These are just some ideas I’m considering when I think about doing things that I don’t like to do – like I’m now wrapping up this blog so I can go to the Dentist 😦 

What are your thoughts?  I’d be keen to hear your ideas, insights & observations 🙂

fasting – mistakes & suggestions

The picture below is my Ethiopian friend, Menelik, trying to teach me about Ethiopian culture & protocol before I met the Mayor of Gondar.  He did a GREAT job & I didn’t mess things up too much.  Because of Menelik’s help, I had a good experience w the Mayor & I am less intimidated because of this good experience. 

With fasting, all too often we may have a bad experience, or it didn’t go like we wanted it to, so its easy to quit & not fast again.  Ever had this experience?  Instead of quitting, could I suggest that you consider learning from the mistakes to grow & try again w God’s leading?  Also, I recently spoke in our church about fasting & thought you might find some practical advice below to be useful.  Pls be sure to leave a comment above to help others w things you’ve learned as well!  🙂

menelik_coachingMistakes & Suggestions:

Physical

Be mentally prepared for possible caffeine / sugar withdrawals

don’t neglect your appearance, Brush your teeth more often

Be mindful of your physical activity level while fasting

Consider pre-fasting:  get body ready for fasting (half decaf, cut back on soda)

Be ready to increase your fluid intake

Personal Mistakes: trying to workout, lift heavy, while fasting, trying to snowboard A LOT during a long fast, eating wrong food going into / coming out of a fast

 

Mental

Attitude check:  Is 58 says that fasting can be a bright time – even though its uncomfortable to your flesh

do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do,

Motive check:  why are you fasting?

        Various reasons:  to be noticed by people, to lose weight, to manipulate God

Don’t Try to fast more than what your body can handle

Relationships – schedule socializing around coffee / tea & not meals

Ask God to help you!

Plan – look at your calendar & work on a plan

Personal Mistakes:  Being sharp & impatient w my kids & husband, trying to fast for dual reasons – lose weight / slim down & sense God, trying to go longer than the grace God had given me, trying to fast when God hadn’t directed me to

 

Spiritual

It’s really helpful to increase your prayer & Word time during a fast

Keep a journal – questions, thoughts, the things God speaks to you

Personal Mistakes:  Not letting God direct me, Not asking God for help during a fast

 

Fasting Rewards:   your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you (Matt 6:18)

Greater clarity w God:  Hear Him more clearly, Greater sensitivity / awareness of God’s presence, Decreased self-reliance, Help in coming through tough situations