Friday, January 30, 2015

Put the Brakes on Destructive Cycles

A frigid wind buffeted my car as I drove through the dark January night. Even though I'd been sick for a few days, I refused to miss our first writers' group meeting of the year.  After all, I felt 80% better and wasn't contagious anymore. 

The meeting energized me so much I stayed up all night writing.

And woke up later 100% sick. Unable to get out of bed sick.

photo courtesy marin @
My long-suffering (and irritated) husband has watched me pedal that same STUPID cycle for over 25 years.

                            Get sick.

                                         Get ALMOST well.

                                                         Push myself too hard and become REALLY sick.

Most of us struggle with habits that keep us circling around the same mountain like the Israelites on their forty year desert hike.

It's time to break the cycle, and I don't mean the Schwinn 10-speed.

Let's backpedal from the old routes that lead down destructive paths. 


1) Hit the brakes as soon as we realize we're cycling around the mountain. 
Each new minute equals a new start.

2) Hop off the bike and do something else. Hunching on the edge of the sofa nibbling our nails and insisting, "I won't do that. I won't do that," only makes us crave it more. 

Replace our negative nemesis with a positive action.


photo courtesy artur84 @
Old way:  "Rats. I've eaten most of the bag of potato chips. Oh well, I'll just finish them and start fresh tomorrow."

New way: "Evil junk food! You're chipping away at my health, and compounding cellulite on my thighs. I sentence you to the trashcan of destruction." 

(Disgusting but true: I actually have to smash the chips into crumbs, empty them in the trash, and cover them with garbage. Anyone else?)
Now we reward ourselves with a positive. (Put down that Hershey bar!)
Something energizing, like getting together with friends.
Something relaxing, like a scented bubble bath.
Something informative, like learning a new language.
Something helpful, like volunteering. 

Yes, it's still too hard to do it in our own strength, but the great news is:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil 4:13
When old habits overwhelm us we can call on the Lord. He loves us. He's our strength when we're weak.

Do you have a plan to break free from destructive habits? How will you reward yourself? I'd love to hear.
Please share on my Facebook page.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

3 Steps to Victory

It's the middle of January, and the corpses of New Year's resolution are piling up like plague victims in the Dark Ages.

Anyone else struggling with a habit that seem insurmountable? Or hiding the struggle?

Here's our opportunity to break the chains, pull out of our ruts and ACHIEVE VICTORY.

photo courtesy David Castillo Dominici

Sound impossible?
With God all things are possible. Matt 19:26

 Let's join together, right here, right now and defeat those things that seem overwhelming or unachievable.
In the past they may have given us a bigger smackdown than a folding chair on a WWE wrestler, but
each new minute equals a new start.

Here's a 3-Step roadmap to the great state of Victory.

1) Identify the issue. What's holding us back? 

2) Create an action plan with daily, weekly and/or monthly steps.

3) Share on my Facebook page. Post encouragements. Share strategies to get through moments of weakness.
Don't want to specify what the struggle is? No problem. Just call it the "Thing."

As in, "The Thing's kicking my tail tonight." And we'd respond with encouragements like, "Can you replace it with something else? Like take a walk or round up wild mustangs?"

photo courtesy khunaspix
In my last post I promised to admit what I'm struggling with. Here goes:

 3) Unhealthy weight gain. I feel like a Blimpo-matic 3000 Fast Food Processor. I binged on so much junk food that getting dressed is like stuffing 20 pounds of sausage into a 5 pound casing.

2) I've slacked off writing the entire month of December. Pretty hard to finish my novel when I'm reading other people's instead. (Dang you, authors Deeanne Gist and Angela Hunt!)

1) Worst, I let my relationship with God slide. He's my best friend, and I barely made time for him.

But no more!
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 15:57
arms outstretched in victory
photo courtesty Chaiwat @freedigitalphotos

To show I'm serious I posted my action plan on my Facebook page.

Let's link together and start fresh with God's help.
Take 10 seconds right now to go to the page and type "I'm in!" 

There'll be no folding chair smack-downs. I promise.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ode to Holiday Feasting

Christmas cake
photo courtesy of Apolonia

My pants are size four.
I'm not anymore.
I know a quick fix.
I'll buy a size six.

Christmas cookies
photo courtesy Mister GC
The sixes were great
'Til I over-ate;
And at this new weight
I now need size eight.


I did it again.
I'm up to size ten...
No-wait. That's not right!
My tens are all tight!

Christmas cake
photo courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography

Cookies, cakes and pies galore,
One bite always leads to more.
What can stop this upward roll?
Oh, that thing called self-control.

We're our own harshest critics. We beat ourselves up over perceived failures. But we can break free from the things that hold us back, and hold us captive.      
In my next post I'll confess what I'm struggling with.
And share my plan to finally overcome it.
What's in it for you? An opportunity to break free yourself.
What challenges do you face? Is there a habit you haven't been able to overcome?
In my next post I'll share a way we can link together to break the chains. 

Meanwhile, here's some encouraging news:
 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." Gal 5:22-23.

candy and tape measure
photo courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti

God's got our backs. We don't have to do it alone.
Please share this with your friends who are struggling, because I see victory in our futures. As for the niggling little voice that just told you, "Maybe for someone else, but not for me." Tell that liar to sit down, because YOUR victory is at hand.