I will be honest, I wasn’t sure how spiritual this journey would get but I did let God take the lead in choosing my word(s). Honestly, about six months into the year, I forgot about my words. 2014 was an interesting year to say the least, and I wasn’t exactly excited about choosing a new focus for 2015 until I talked to Dina. As she began to talk about her word, I talked about the word I was getting. However, I still needed to put thought into last year’s words. How did the year shape up? Did God use those words to grow me?
When I came up with the two words, originally, I laughed because they appeared to be counter-intuitive. Yet as I reflect on the year, they were the perfect combination. In 2013, I had a hard time with losing steam in everything I did whether it was changes in diet, exercise, or attitude. If there was a hardship I would just crumble and QUIT. I also had trouble with balancing life. I would find my focus and it was tunnel focus – I could not see or do anything else. To the world, I was a great multi-tasker, but inside I was a hot mess.
As always, my words would start in the exercise realm and move to all other areas. I had perseverance in a race but never kept up endurance in the training. I also never had balance between activity and resting, there were always major extremes. As the year started, I began my focus here and it would quickly morph into other areas. Lessons would abound and quickly, EVERYTHING in 2014 became about endurance and balance.
After a severe injury, I really had to learn to focus on strength training and rest. I had to listen to my body more than I have ever listened before. It was no longer something I just thought about; it was required or I was not going to heal. Not healing meant not racing. As my body began to heal, it revealed to me just how wonderful my body is. It may not be perfect but it is the one I was given and it is capable of amazing things. My desire to take care of it grew by leaps and bounds and my vanity desire lessened. I am very much a diva princess so vanity will never go away completely but it is not a priority anymore.
During my recovery, especially during my rebuilding phase, I was struck with major food issues. Some, I was aware of and others that I was not aware of. During this year, I began to fear food! It was an unhealthy fear, and just as I moved past it, I encountered almonds by accident. This took most of December to recover. Fear was rearing its head and it was pretty ugly. I had been afraid to eat for so long. Now, I was faced with the fact that I could have died. When you are going through this people give you a lot of advice and most of it is unwarranted and unnecessary. Some of it was very valuable and some of it was down-right mean. Yes, I know to stay away from almonds. Thank you for stating the obvious! Now, I know even if I am not having trouble breathing, I should go to the Emergency Room immediately. However, this allergy attack should have never been an attack of others on my faith. I had fear and I questioned God. I was told I need more faith that God will heal my allergy. Do I believe this? ABSOLUTELY! Did he? NO. Not eating almonds or eggs to test this theory is not from lack of faith. I am not trusting the doctors over God. For whatever reason, God is choosing to allow this allergy. I am being obedient by not eating them. It has nothing to do with my faith or lack thereof. It is hurtful for people (and there are more than one) to tell me otherwise. IF there is ever a day that he heals my allergies, I am sure we will find out somehow, but purposely putting something in my body that can kill me does make me have faith, it makes me lack obedience.
Throughout all of these hardships, and even during some others involving my children and extended family members, I found there is good in everything. Yes, the hard times are hard, but you might just find out how good you have it during these times. You might find out just how great your friends are. I also found that good times don’t mean there is never negative. This is hard to describe but I noticed bad attitudes of entitlement seem to follow long periods of good, especially with no hardships.
For years, I struggled with balance. I wanted the perfect balance between home, family, work and ministry. I wanted to have a chart where I knew what I needed to do. What I found this year is complete balance is NOT possible. There is always off-balance somewhere. It is more important to set proper priorities and change them accordingly. Some days, I needed to focus on work. Other days, it was ministry. Many days, it was family. Some days you can do it all because they are not completely separate things, they co-mingle. I learned to listen to God and those around and I have no trouble changing priorities as necessary. This has changed the dynamics of everything. By doing this I am able to give my all to everything I do and the people who matter know they are important. It will always be a constant struggle, but priorities work when God is FIRST!
In 2014, Combat Boot Divas was born. It has been a great joy in watching what God is doing. Working with Dina has been an absolute privilege and we have a unique relationship that only God could have woven together. We have laughed and cried more this year than any previous year of our friendship. I will admit I was hesitant to start a ministry because of my husband’s belief. Once again, trusting and listening to God makes the difference. I listened and went forward anyway. Guess what? My husband is one of our biggest supporters. YES, he helps! He pushes me to do what I do! He makes provisions and changes to our life if I need to do ministry work or if there is a military family in need. He loves me through it all. My mom and the girls proudly wear our shirts and have my card displayed for all to see. DJ doesn’t understand it all. Yet, at some point, every one of them have either helped me or showed up to an event in support. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. This is God’s way of showing me that Combat Boot Divas is HIS and we are doing his work!
For me, 2014 can be summed in a few short statements. Lessons I hope you will take to heart and learn from because they are lessons that changed my year and my life:
· In order to love your body, you must take care of it. If you are going to take care of your body, you must respect what God has given you.
· There is a difference in fearing food and choosing the right foods for your body. Knowing the difference does not negate your faith or show lack of faith in God’s ability to heal.
· Hardships in health, finances, and relationships allow you appreciate the great gifts that God has given you. Trusting these hardships to God does not mean they are not hard. It simply means you know it is a season and not forever.
· Don’t miss the good that is woven into your hardships. Life happens exactly as it should and if you are only focused on the bad, you may miss out on fun and new friendships!
· Complete balance is not always possible. It is more important to base your priorities on what God is directing you to do. He will show you when to shift gears.
· Your family should not suffer for the sake of YOUR path and, if it is a God-driven path, they will become a conduit to get there.
· Trust your Journey! Believe in the support of your family and friends.
· Trust God and you cannot go wrong!