New journeys of hope

Sunday, February 12, 2012

While on our life journey, we are met with many decisions about which paths we will follow. The signs along the way are enticing, yet scary. Fear of the unknown may keep us from traveling a path that is very intriguing to us.

We may have chosen the path of least resistance. Why? What are we afraid of, failure, the mumbling and grumbling of negative people? Fear will continue to raise its ugly head until we decide to depend on the Creator of the universe. His word states, "God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind."

So grab onto those words and don't loosen your grip! Imagine yourself on a road, as you walk along there are paths to the right and paths to the left. The paths depict decisions you have made that have affected your life journey. Some of which were smooth and silky, some of which were steep and rugged. At times, we allowed Jesus to walk with us. Other times, we refused His company. We are where we are due to the paths we have taken -- right or wrong.

Maybe we refused to listen to the sweet whispers of our Savior. Maybe we forgot to listen to our hearts along the way. Maybe another heart led us. There is no time for "what-ifs" or "should-haves." The past is just that, "past." So let it go, but we must learn from each lesson.

We all have our books of life lessons, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We must use these lessons to strengthen and empower us, not to destroy or weaken us. Imagine the Potter forming His masterpiece, through time and circumstance. You are such a masterpiece, formed by the sunshine, wind, and storms of life as you have traveled your paths and if you have allowed Him, formed by the Potter's hand.

Take the reigns, your journey from today forward is about you and your heart. Let the paths you take be led by the gracious, empowered, capable child of God you are created to be.

It is time to get back in touch with our deepest feelings. No sweeping them away, no dismissing our heart's desires, no silencing the wonderful child within. We have a "spirit of power" available to us -- draw from it, rely on it. Open your heart with new eyes, see the possibilities, and act on them.

Do not give the world control over your feelings. Don't be a puppet with the world holding your strings, pushing your buttons, or deciding how you feel about yourself. We will not measure our worth by the world's standards, we will not try to impress. Who deserves such an honor, only our Amazing Creator. Wondering how someone feels about you gives them control over your feelings. Spend your precious moments reflecting on who God says you are! Your thoughts are time and your time is precious.

Decide today to cut the strings! No longer allow the world to be your puppeteer. It is time to relinquish control. Feel the freedom of not trying to control someone else, not trying to please someone else. You are only in control of one person and that is you!

Have fun being in control of your feelings, desires, and decisions. Imagine, as you peel away the layers of worries, insults, negativity, anger, regrets, jealousy, and pain, all of which are self-destructive, the beautiful creature who lies in wait. An empowered you waiting for rebirth, to feel the sunshine on your face, to feel the wind at your back. It is like a cocoon opening, setting you free so you can fly like you were meant to.

Concentrate on pleasing the One who sustains us, who gave us life, who sees the big picture. Awaiting us there is a joy everlasting, a faith that moves mountains, and a peace that cannot be shaken.

Are you waking with a thankful attitude? Think of at least five entries a day for your thankful list.

Are you exercising your heart? Your quality of life depends on it. Please incorporate at least 20 minutes a day of cardiovascular exercise a day (preferably 30) five days a week; dance, brisk walk, jog, aerobics, biking, swim, etc.

Are you eating your greens, veggies, fish, fruits, nuts, and legumes? Remember if you are trying to lose weight, you must burn more calories then you are consuming. Cut portion size, don't skip meals, refuse high glycemic foods (pastries, breads, pastas, starches).

Are you getting ample vitamins in your diet? If not you may need to supplement. A good multiple vitamin is important. Extra vitamin C for the immune system. Vitamin D3 is thought to help with seasonal mood disorder. We get our D from the sun and unfortunately we don't always get enough sunlight. My doctor recommends 2000mg.

Garlic is great to help with good cholesterol levels. Remember your omega 3's for heart health: tuna, salmon, halibut and walnuts. Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise or supplement program.

Until next time-Live happy! Live strong! Live out loud!

-- Jennifer Jarrell lives and works in Bedford County. Along with working in the real estate business, Jarrell is an avid promoter of health and fitness, and hopes to help Times-Gazette readers with their emotional and spiritual well-being. She is a certified personal trainer (AFAA certified) and may be e-mailed at

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