This post was originally posted by Sarah Stoltzfus at her blog: balancinglifewboys.blogspot.com.
Chances are if you look at the areas in your life that you are not satisfied with it will take much more than a quick fix. I know this only because I just walked through it and I am still currently walking through it. Seven months ago I had one goal. Lose Weight. I could use this post to go into all the specifics of what my eating looks like, what I cut out and what I added. I can tell you how many days a week I workout and what they consist of. What I learned about building muscle and losing fat. What I did at the beginning and how I have progressed since. Let's be honest life will get in the way and circumstances will change. I've been down that road before. I have had seasons where I have been incredibly fit but I always found myself starting over again. I would always ask myself WHY do I let myself fall off and have to start over again? It's awful! This was a common thread in my life. There were countless times I had started something and rarely saw it all the way through and if I did, it wasn't with all my ability. It was the same with my commitment to my faith. I was saved in 2001 and baptized in my early 30's. I knew it was important and I tried to have quiet times, daily devotions, attend bible studies and conferences. I would have mountain top experience, then times of complete disconnect. Why? I would tell myself I'm in a busy season, one day I will have enough time to do all those things well.
Once this weight is off, how will I be able to sustain this lifestyle? All these changes I made in my eating and workout routine were effective in my success but I wanted THIS time to be different! I wanted to be different! I started a book/bible study at the gym with a few girls a couple of months into my journey. It was all I could commit to at that time. This book was EXACTLY what I needed at the EXACT time I needed it.
I started to reevaluate different areas in my life. I was not giving my best to my marriage, my kids, my friends and most importantly myself. The things I valued most in life were suffering and I felt like time was slipping away. I was fearful of going through life and looking back with regret. Having my oldest go away to college might have been one of the catalyst that lead me to this journey. There is nothing like hugging your child and driving back home without them to make you realize how incredibly quick time goes by (and how much older you are ;-)!
So I prayed.. and I prayed some more. I asked God to reveal to me what I needed to change within myself and practical choices I could make to start to rebuild MY life. Talk about a humbling experience! An experience that literally brings a huge lump to my throat as I type this. The distractions of having kids and a husband kept these areas hidden, buried for years were now coming to the surface.
The first thing HE showed me was I needed to re-evaluate HOW I spend my time, and WHO I am spending my time with. Were these things and these people encouraging me to grow as a mom, wife and as a person? I can not be everything to everyone, its just not possible. I needed to be content with that! As a people-pleaser this was something that was very hard for me. I don't think any of us like to feel like we are missing out on something or disappointing anyone. I had to remind myself (multiple times of day when insecurity would try to creep in) what my ultimate purpose in life is! It is to GLORIFY him! He showed me not to be overwhelmed with these decisions but it is literally ONE small choice at a time each day!
As the weight started to come off SLOWLY (insert patience) like as in not one pound in a month, I started to feel lighter emotionally! It was like the layers of burden, responsibility, pressure, stress, over committed began to shed too.. It wasn't until I completely laid everything down before the Lord was I able to start redefining myself! My identity was no longer in my kids, my husband, my friendships or anything else in this world. I began to say YES to things I use to say NO to out of fear.
I am so grateful the Lord revealed these things to me. I can say today I am in the BEST place I have ever been! I carry myself a little taller, I have more fun with my kids and I am proud of where I am at (I don't think I have ever used the word proud to describe myself before now). My life is definitely not PERFECT but every day I will strive to be a better person than I was the day before! I will continue to seek God in everything I do and give HIM all the praise!
More About Sarah
Sarah and her husband, Dan, and their five kids live in a small town north of Dallas. Sarah has a heart of gold. She is hospitable, an includer, and may be one of the most down to earth people I know. Sarah loves the Lord and approaches His plans for her and her family with a humble steadfastness. Sarah is on the REFRESH Dream Team and is all about running towards and serving the Lord with everything she's got!