A new year, new opportunities, new challenges, rocking on in our life journey, running our race, as the clock ticks on. Time is precious. Every day is a blessing. Have you taken a look at 2011? Did the year take you closer to where you want to be? And where is your journey taking you?
As we come to crossroads in our lives, we choose the roads we will travel. Sometimes the roads are smooth and level, sometimes they are rough and steep. Either way we must carry the proper tools with us for help along the way and we must rid ourselves of the negatives that hinder and divert us.
"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1, 2.
Are you running your race or is the world running you? Have you searched your heart for what truly makes you smile? Have you taken time with God to find the wonderful possibilities in your future and where your "amazing race" may take you? Can you envision your finish line? Are there obstacles on your track that you feel are insurmountable or when you hit a road block, are you determined to get up, dust yourself off and continue your race? Do you allow negativity from others to slow you down? As they leave the race for one reason or another, does it breed defeat in you? Are you focused, determined, disciplined, alert, and consistent?
In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul says we should run to win. Winning requires training, perseverance, and determination along with facing whatever obstacles arise, dealing with them, and continuing with confidence; thus empowering yourself with even more strength and determination. There will be opposition, you can plan on it. Face it head on. Wear your Jesus armor. Ephesians 6:10-17. Opposition will shrink before your eyes. Don't spend precious time dwelling on past mistakes, we've all made those. The past is past, leave it there. No dreading or procrastinating, what ifs, should haves, if only; they are total time wasters. Pray in faith for wisdom, (which is available for the asking; James 1:5), and a dose of strength and courage for the journey. Feed your faith! Then set your course, plan your strategies, and focus on the prize!
Remember David as he approached Goliath, he wasn't focused on how big Goliath was. He was focused on how big his God was. Do you think David was afraid? He was. "When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise. In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Psalm 56: 3,4. Fear will rear its ugly head along the way, but we can't let it divert us. We face it, overcome it, and continue the race relying and leaning on God every step of the way. David's faith and focus enabled him to overcome what most thought were impossibilities. Do we honestly accept the fact that the Creator of the universe, who can do immeasurably more than anything we can think or imagine, hears our pleas and answers them? Or do we allow our giants to steal our confidence, security, and joy?
Be careful what you focus on! If you are focused on your giant, fear will consume you. Will you feed your giant or your faith? Keep your eyes on the prize, not the problem. Your thoughts and conversations will fuel your destiny. Do not allow the voice of defeat and negativity to take up residence in your mind! Reject it, dismiss it! Glance at the problem, stare at Jesus, the Author and Perfector of your faith. Concentrate on the positives; the wonderful possibilities. See yourself as you want to be. Remember Paul said to think on the good things, things that are pure, things that are beautiful.
To run your best race and enjoy fully the gift of life as God intended, you must nurture yourself spiritually, emotionally, physically and nutritionally.
Please consider adopting these positive health habits to empower you as you run your life race!
* Get moving! Please get a minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 times a week. If 30 isn't possible, try 2-3, 10 minute segments.
* Do some strength training to keep your muscles strong and to protect your bones. Strength training aids in bone growth and density and increases your metabolic rate. It is never too late to become stronger.
* Drink your water! You must stay hydrated for your body to function properly. Please get 8 glasses a day. Green and black teas are great for you as well.
* Sleep is imperative to optimal health. Try to get 8 hours. Get in a habit of going to bed and rising at the same time every day. Your body will get into a rhythm.
* Breathe! Take a few minutes 3 times a day to do relaxation breathing. Inhale through your nose to a count of 7. Hold for a count of 7. Exhale for a count of 7. As you exhale, relax the muscles from head to toe. Limp out as if you are a rag doll. Repeat 5 times.
* Before going to sleep, stretch. Lying on your back, with feet up in the air, point and flex the feet 10 times, rotate the ankles 10 counterclockwise and clockwise. Pull your knees to your chest and give yourself a hug.
* Upon closing your eyes before sleep, visualize yourself healthy, happy, at peace and exactly how you want yourself to be. If you have an illness, see yourself whole and healthy. The body responds to the mind's eye. Pray God's blessing and favor on your vision.
* Be thankful! Every day think of at least 5 things you are thankful for. Keep a "Thankful Log."
* Be a friend! Social connections have a profound effect on good health and long life.
* Eat your greens, color up your diet with plenty of fruits and veggies. Choose fish and lean meats. Add nuts and legumes to your diet.
* Laugh, laugh, and laugh some more! Laughter truly is great medicine.
-- Jennifer Jarrell is a resident of Bedford County, a realtor, and a life coach and personal trainer. She inspires others through motivational speaking, nutritional, physical, and spiritual coaching, camps and group classes. You can reach her at (931)703-0667 or firstname.lastname@example.org.