Will You Choose Me?

Have you ever had a question that you asked over and over again and the answer was never there? Yet, somehow you knew there is an answer so you keep asking the same question?

I have a lot of these types of questions, but one has been on my mind more often than the others.

With so many things in life, I have sought for a deeper, spiritual purpose and meaning. I feel that God is so intricately involved in our lives that everything has a lesson, blessing or growth attached. It is simply up to us to seek.

I also am acutely aware of the dual nature of life. That everything has its opposite. As much as I would love it all to be good influences and spiritual, I know it is not. I know that that there is an adversary whose main goal is destruction. So as much as I only want to know the beauty, I have to understand the dark too at some level.

There are mornings I wake up and I know there is something off. It has nothing to do with how I wake up and everything to do with that spiritual sense that lets me know it is going to be one of those adversarial days.

Today was one of those days.

I hate waking up and feeling this, and I appreciate it at the same time. Even if I don’t fully acknowledge it, at some point in the day I will realize what is happening.

Today it was the incessant voices whispering doubt, frustration, anger, impatience, and sadness. I wish they were quiet, but they aren’t. It seemed like whenever I was able to shut one down, 10 more came to whisper. After battling for a while I began to question my reactions, the purpose of it all, and if I am handling it in the right ways.

So there is the question I have had… When these days come, and I spend all day battling (and honestly losing some of those battles), I ask, “am I doing something wrong?”

At a lot of levels, I understand that this is part of the mortal journey. That those who are fighting the hardest to return to God have a lot of these days. That when there is something coming chaos reigns. Even knowing this I still ask if I am doing something wrong.

Tonight as I asked that question a quiet voice came into my mind and heart. It asked a question in return,

“Will you choose me?”

In that instant, I thought about the ways I have handled these situations. I thought about the prayers I have said, the moments reading His word in the scriptures and from His prophets, the workouts I have done, the moments I gave in, and many other reactions.

“I need to know if you will choose me, and this is one of the ways I can know.”

Do I choose Him or do I choose something else? Do I turn to Him in these moments or do I turn to my phone, social media, etc? Do I look to God and Jesus Christ for strength to battle or do I look to escape?

Some battles I have definitely chosen escape. Running away in my mind through mindless games, murmuring, isolation and idleness. As much as I want these things to take away the battle, they only leave me feeling empty and lost. There is usually a momentary relief, but it is very fleeting.

Then there are the days when I silently pray for strength (it comes), read His word for peace (it comes), get out and exercise for perspective (it comes), reach out to another to help (it comes) or write for cleansing (it comes).

As much as I would love any one thing to help me overcome, it is always the combination of many choices that chase these adversarial situations away.

Will I choose Him? That question is answered every moment of every day. Will He choose me? That question has already been answered. It is up to me to make the choices that will allow me to see His choice.

Faith Over Fear

Recently my husband and I started working out at a gym called Athletic Republic. It has been a FAT minute since I worked out in a gym with a trainer. Honestly, it has been a refreshing change to work out with someone who pushes me, rather than relying on myself.

The other day our trainer had us doing box jumps. I started off on level 2. It was fairly easy, so the next round I went up to level 3. He looked at me and said, “go up to the next one (level 4). You can do it.”

Ummmm…. I am not a spring chicken, nor have I ever considered myself a springy chicken. So, I half-heartedly attempted to jump, and then fear took over. Regrettably, I stepped away…hating that fear inside of myself the entire day.

These workouts have produced a lot of moments where I find I have trust issues. Whether it is running backwards on a treadmill and letting go of the bar, doing pull-ups, plyo pushups, or box jumps, I find I lack trust within myself to accomplish them.

And I hate it. I hate feeling fear.

I know God hears my heart. I know He understands how much I hate feeling fear. I also know He is not going to take it away from me. He is going to let me work through it, because on the other side is power, strength and courage.

One of the ways He knows He can reach me is through words. I had begun to read a book this past weekend called Think Like A Warrior by Darrin Donnelly. It talks about five inner beliefs that make one unstoppable. The last one is choosing faith over fear.

For so long I have justified my fears and allowed them to rule over me. It is easy to justify them, because it feels like they are protecting us from some inherent harm. When in all reality they are doing more harm by keeping us in the same place, not living.

The opposite of fear is faith. Faith in God. Faith in the abilities and gifts He has given us. Faith that life is full of opportunity and growth. Faith that, even if we get hurt, we will grow. Faith that we are more than we think we are. Faith that the next step is renewal. Faith that there is more than what we see right now.

Faith in God

“You see when we place our dependence on God, we no longer have to worry. This type of faith allows us to be bold, even recklessly bold, in the pursuit of our dreams. Faith in God takes confidence to a whole new level. It provides us with help along the way as well as sureness in our action. We can know with certainty that if we give our absolute best, God will take care of the rest.”

There is power in faith. Power over fear. Power over weakness. Power over the unknown. Power over anything holding us back. It is only accessible when we CHOOSE it.

Choosing faith is something that needs to be done all day, every day. It is a power that adds upon itself, giving us confidence in the next step. It is truly a gift from God.

I love that He is so aware of us. I love that He sends us the ability to be strong through faith. I love that He knows each of our fears and provides us a way through them. Knowing this helps me know I am His.

Today I choose faith over fear.

Living Intentionally

I have a list of things I need to do daily for my spiritual, mental, and physical health. In the grand scheme of life, they are pretty small, but to me, they are THE DIFFERENCE.

Earlier this week, my mom shared with me how she wanted to take the morning and study her scriptures, but so many little things kept popping into her head to get done. As she started to do all of these things, she stopped herself and sat down and began to read. She said, “I had to let everything else go and do what I set out to do.”

A couple of days later my husband and I were talking about exercising. He said, “I keep telling myself that I will find something, but I don’t. I just need to find it and start.”

As I have thought about these little moments with my husband and my mom, I remembered the book by John Maxwell called Intentional Living. It is a fantastic book that is worth the time. What he talks about in the book is anything we want to accomplish in life is possible if we are intentional about it.

What this means to me is I need to devote focus and energy to the areas in life that I want to improve and change. So many times we are led to believe that life will get better, just wait. Or you can change your weight and health by taking this magic pill. Or if I think it the universe will make it happen.

These are all passive solutions. They don’t work. I know, I have tried them.

What I have learned in my little journey is: LIFE IS NOT PASSIVE.

I have always struggled with goal setting. To me it has been a great idea, however, when I set down on a goal journey, I am often frustrated and disheartened. I have read books, listened to podcasts, attended seminars, etc. You name it, I have done it.

The end result?

I come away with so much energy, set my goals, and then LIFE HAPPENS. The goals get pushed to the back burner and there we are.

Except…

There are those that I have followed through on and they have changed my world a little bit at a time.

Years ago I made a promise to God that I would spend time in the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon daily. I knew that if I did this, I would have the spiritual strength and guidance I need. I have missed only one day.

Over 200 days ago I made a goal to study French daily. Back in my 20’s, I spent 16 months in France and Switzerland serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The time there and the language have been a huge blessing to me. So I decided to recapture it.

After a few bouts of sadness a long time ago, I learned that exercise was the best anti-depressant I could ever use. I made that decision to workout at least 4 times a week. That decision has taken me down some amazing paths of earning a black belt in karate, trail running through some beautiful terrain, and pushing myself physically to a point of new strength.

Everything I have devoted focus and energy to, I have been successful. But it takes making an INTENTIONAL DECISION to get it done. I have to set aside all of the little thoughts of “do this” or “you should just rest” or “take the day off” or anything else that wants to pull me down. And more days than not, it is a fight to get these things done.

But when I do… I feel so good.

I am grateful for the inspiration I had this week to look at and see the things that I have been able to accomplish. Finding purpose in life has been something that I have struggled with. Yet, the more focus and energy I give to the things I want to accomplish, the more purpose I find.

It is a beautiful part of our journey to discover and own who we are.

 

Because I Can

It is good for us to re-examine our ‘whys’ from time to time. Last week I took a recovery week. This is not something I would naturally do, however my body told me otherwise.072013165225

We have been training in karate for the belt we just received. It required of us to do 75 squats, 25 push-ups, 25 v-ups and 25 shoulder-bridge-reaches along with all of the katas, self-defense techniques, weapons forms, sparring, power karate and explosive kicks. It was 2 of the most intense hours I have spent. It was purely amazing!Continue reading “Because I Can”

Balance and Power

Working out is one of the most instructive times of my day. This morning was no different. I love the quiet moments when I am sweating up a storm figuring out how my body actually works. Well, sometimes it doesn’t do as well as others, but I do my best anyway.

file0001548078191Today I did a P90X2 Core workout. I love to strengthen my core, because it is the base for everything else I do. Without a strong core, karate would be nigh impossible, jumping would be useless and running would be a no go. So I tend to focus on my core a lot. Part of a good core strengthening is balance work. Tony Horton asks the question, “Why is this in here? Because it’s hard!” I love that, because it IS hard to find balance when the rest of your body is moving in all different directions. Doing hard things is what makes us better.

Balance this morning was not my forte at all. I was flopping everywhere looking as ungraceful as possible. It made me a little frustrated, okay a lot frustrated. I decided to do a system check to see if I could find the cause of this lack of grace. After a few moments, I locked on to a part of my body that has been giving me some issues for the past month. It is incredible to think that a minor hip rotation could cause so many issues throughout the entire system. Gah!Continue reading “Balance and Power”