Looking for the Blessings of God's Goodness

Friday, August 30, 2013

What Makes You Feel Accomplished?

Do you even remember your New Years Resolutions, your goals for accomplishing great things?  For those of you who are on track, you're over coming around the back stretch...can you believe it?! Are you on track?
For those of you like me, who started with the greatest intentions and fizzled out as the days faded into weeks and then months, TAKE HEART!  As I read on Twitter today, "We learn to walk by stumbling."  So a lot of us have stumbled and missed out on the feelings of accomplishment that catapults us into creating new challenges to accomplish. Take heart and try a different approach. Maybe some baby steps are more your learning style right now.
Over the last six+ months my "stumblings" have transformed into accomplishments that have left me shaking my head and feeling a profound sense of "wow"ness and deep accomplishment.  Last year I bought a bike and decided I needed more fresh air and lots of sunshine (baby step #1).  Being a teacher, the summer afforded me the time to get out and bike to my hearts content.  Throughout the year, I discovered the @MapMyExercise apps that developed my curiosity in the stats behind my workouts (baby step #2).  I was amazed (or disappointed) by the numbers of when I either walked, ran or biked, and it seemed as I moved from workout to workout I was motivated to up my statistics.  I went from putting in 2-3 miles to easily 5-7, sometimes even more!
Then I discovered the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a biking adventure I'll never forget.  I had a blast, never once looked at my app, but remembered to start it as we left on our adventure.  When I got home and saw we had biked over 20 miles and burned 904 calories, I was hooked (Big Baby Step #3).  The numbers intrigued and enticed me and I developed a desire to push myself a little further each time I worked out.  Did I always feel this way?  No!  But over time I stretched my "normal" and saw myself going distances I never dreamed I could do.
Spring rolled around and I was poised and ready to challenge myself!  I felt like I had transformed from baby steps to giant leaps.  I had built a solid foundation of baby steps and now I was confident in making attainable monthly goals.  And boy did I make some serious and realistic goals that I'm still shaking my head and thinking, "I can't believe I accomplished that!"
April and May's accomplished goals all led to the making of my most challenging goals for June: 200 miles of exercise and burning 11,000 calories.  To anyone who has no experience in understanding these stats, I'm sure they seem crazy!  But on June 30, I moved beyond accomplishing beyond my goals and logged my highest stats ever: 208 exercise miles and 11,718 calories burned...WOW!!!  I felt an immense sense of accomplishment!  That is, until today, when I received my Mid-Year Fitness Report...I was in SHOCK!!!
I don't even think I would have ever set goals like this...I would have thought I was crazy!  I'm not a major biker or runner; I'm just the "down to earth, girl next door" whose trying to take care of her body through exercise.  How in the world did I accomplish exercising 645.2 miles and burn 37,508 calories? In looking back over the process, I am convinced of three things:
1. I allowed my "stumbling" failures to help me take realistic baby steps.
2. I found a way to merge my passion for technology with exercise. My fascination behind exercise statistics gave me a focus beyond the fact that I was exercising, and I didn't particularly want to.
3. Fascination + Passion + Motivation over time = Accomplishments Beyond What I Could Imagine!
So, where are you? Where can you start turning you "stumblings" into baby steps? A sense of pride and accomplishment is priceless and I wish for you the ability to attain these as you find what makes you feel accomplished!
"Little by little, inch by inch.  By the yard it's hard, by the inch, what a cinch!  Never stare up the stairs, just step up the steps.  Little by little, inch by inch, IT'S A CINCH!" -Ron Hamilton

From Blahs 2 Blessings!

It's so easy to catch the blahs allowing them to silently seep into your heart and mind. It happens so quickly you don't realize what transpired until later, when you scratch your head and ask, "Why do I feel so blah???"
I am guilty of this process far to many times, much more than I'd ever like to admit!
God constantly challenges me to focus on who He is which would instantly eliminate the blahs! But my flesh and limited perspectives wrestle in constant warfare to impede a higher perspective.
This morning's struggle and surrender of the blahs brought surprise and blessings that I am convinced would never had occurred if I hadn't taken one simple step...humble acknowledgement of my blahs before The Lord!  Something about surrender and asking the Lord for his Divine intervention always brings internal peace and an anticipation to see how He will work. Even if nothing seems to happen, you can't beat the internal peace that passes all understanding!
Maybe the blessings weren't exactly how I wanted them, but God cleared the foggy lenses of my heart allowing me to see the blessings He specifically designed for me today.
As the verse on a plaque from my friend @GinnyFoster35 says,
"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord ’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." (Lamentations 3:21-26 NIV)
My Blah: I have friends my age who have teenage children and are successful parents. Why has God not blessed me with a husband and children to celebrate Father's Day with? Still to this day I do not understand God's plan for my life, His purpose for withholding marriage and my own family, and how He is trying to use me as a single girl.  The older I get and despite the hurt and my continued lack of not understanding, I am confident of one thing, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!"  It is not necessary for me to understand in order to bless and praise the Lord.  My humble act of submission and obedience to Jesus Christ says, "I, Kitty Tripp will bless you even in the unknown!"
My Blessings:
1. Cathy of @SummitUpstate was purposeful in helping me feel welcome and a part of her church.  She is a true example of what our churches need.
2. Today's message in Psalm 103 softened my tough heart!  I am sadly delinquent in praising and blessing the Lord, and I am deeply grateful for His patience in my times of stubbornness and forgetfulness!
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits," (Psalms 103:1, 2 ESV)
Bless The Lord, praise The Lord! Make it a regular practice even when its hard, especially when it doesn't make sense!
3. Dad answered his cell phone (a TRUE miracle) and I was able to plan a get together for Fathers Day. We had easy going conversation over lunch and I'm excited to hear dad talking about wanting to bike (one of my passions).
4. My cat Pumpkin is the biggest blessing when he snuggles up close and purrs in my ear! He makes me feel loved and cherished!  Sounds silly to most I'm sure, but God designed Pumpkin just for me! I am firmly convinced that if Pumpkin could talk, his purrs would be just the right words I needed every time I was down or feeling blah :)
5. God gave me the inspiration to write this blog in hopes of encouraging someone else with my experiences!
What are the blahs in your life God wants to turn into a blessing either from your mouth or from His hand? Be encouraged and at peace as God does his redeeming and transforming work in your life!
Sing away the blahs with Matt Redman in his song 10,000 Reasons!