“Are your actions aligned with the person you want to be?”
I opened a book today, and this question jumped off the page at me. It seemed to stare back at me with that intense squint-eyed look of challenge.
If I am to be completely vulnerable and honest, I have to answer with a resounding, “NO!”
This seems to be the thing that is hounding me these days. I can wholeheartedly agree with Apostle Paul as he says in Romans 7:15, “ I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”
In this season, I am feeling challenged to truly pay attention to my health. I have been on a quest to discover what it means to “rest”. I have endeavored to listen to what is going on in my heart so I can hear what Holy Spirit is talking about – because don’t you know, He is always speaking?
And of course, we can’t ignore physical health!
Maybe because I hit a milestone birthday recently and this always brings to the forefront thoughts about life, longevity, and the passage of time leading to the future.
This is where I am discovering a little of that rebellion that seems to flavor Paul’s words. Why am I not taking care of myself the way I should?
Uh-oh. (Insert warning signal sound effect here.) Did I just say “Should”?!
If you have spent any time around me or read my book, The Gift, you know one of my hot-buttons is the “Valley of Should”. (I think it’s a hot-button for me because I spend way too much of my life camping out in this valley instead of getting on with the business of living in reality.)
This Valley of Should seems a tempting place to set up camp – often because the mild weather tricks you into believing that if you are self-talking about what you should be doing, you don’t really have to do it. It can lull you to sleep with its power to dismiss responsibility. As you hear yourself agree with the shoulds in your head (“Yeah, I really should start eating right”) you may find yourself leaning back in your chair, crossing your feet at the ankles, and putting off all the hard stuff till tomorrow. Somehow, that agreement feels like a pat on the back, “Good job. You’re facing the hard stuff. You’ll get right to it, soon! But first, relax. Put it on the list for later.” For Professional Procrastinators like me, the Valley of Should is actually the Valley of the Shadow of Death! “Yea, though I walk through the valley …”
Now, there’s the operative word: THROUGH it, not camping out there!
Walking through this valley actually requires action! Being determined to not be undermined by excuses, fear, or lethargy.
Why do I not want to face the things my heart is telling me are healthy habits? Is it dreading change, fear of losing my comfort zone, disbelief in my ability to truly embrace lasting change? Yes. Probably.
So…what action can I take that will align me with the person I want to be?
First, we must look at the end goal.
Do it with me:
What does the person I want to be…
Now, let’s take one step towards each one of these things, knowing that “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” Psalm 23:4 (NLT)
I think the thing that has me unpacking my tent and digging out my hammer to pound in the stakes is believing the lie that it is too big, the road too rough and steep, the way ahead too dark to see.
Let’s speak truth to that lie so we don’t set up camp, but rather continue through the valley, all the way to the summit of the mountain for which we were created.
Steadily now, one step towards physical health.
My sister sent me a great declaration, written by Wendy Backlund*, that speaks truth to the lies:
(If you are wanting to lose weight like I am, declare with me…)
- I eat for health
- I look to God for fulfillment
- The Lord always gives me a way of escape when I am tempted
- My body works with me to achieve my perfect weight
- My DNA is programmed for successful weight management
- I listen to my body to tell when I have had enough to eat
- I have strategies to counteract nervous or emotional eating
- I look to God’s truth about who I am and not my past failures
- God made me to be a success
- I can lose weight because I was created to be an overcomer
- I give myself permission to make mistakes
- Jesus has destroyed the curse, so I am not under any generational bondage
- All my past experience with weight loss has no influence on my success today
- I always return to my perfect weight
- The Holy Spirit guides me in my food choices
- I only eat when I am physically hungry
- My emotional hunger is satisfied by God’s lavish love
- I am achieving inner unity between my beliefs and the truth
- I am unreasonably optimistic about my ability to lose weight
Ladies, there is power in your tongue! It has been scientifically proven that when you speak, the cells in your body listen and do your bidding.
Let’s speak truth today!
May this be an action that is aligned with the person I (and you) want to be. Are ya with me?!
*You can discover more about Wendy Backlund and Igniting Hope Ministries here: www.ignitinghope.com