If I ever wonder why I do what I do, it is answered by receiving E-mails like the one below from Kathlee Coleman, one of our First Place for Health Networking leaders. Last week I was in Toronto and was interviewed on two TV shows about the Give God A Year book. After reading Kathlee’s e-mail, I am once more reminded that this book writing is not about me at all, but God is doing a work in people’s lives through the writing that He empowers me to do. I have such a love for our First Place 4 Health members and leaders and I am humbled that God would allow me to serve you in whatever way I can.
I am praying that Kathlee’s heartfelt message will resonate in your heart today and that you too, will decide to give God a year and change your life forever.
I feel led to share with you what God is doing through you and your writing. I finished reading “Give God a Year” at the end of January. Even though I had heard you speak on it at the Leadership Summit and I had set some goals then, I allowed my own sinful attitude of disobedience to get in the way, so I did not follow through. I overwhelmed myself also because there was so much I wanted to accomplish! I always come away from the Summit inspired and ready to make big changes! Then mid August, reality hits when school starts again and I seem to fall into the same cycle…set big goals, work starts and everything goes by the wayside as I’m overwhelmed at work. Anyway, back to January, I finished reading “Give God a Year” and I posted this blog on my Sparkpeople site…
I’m currently reading “Give God a Year, Change Your Life Forever” by Carole Lewis, director of First Place for Health. So, I’m accepting the challenge. I’m ready for it now. I attempted to do this in the fall, but fell on my face by overwhelming myself with wanting to do too much. So this time, I’m following the suggestions.
PRAY and OBEY…this is what I need to do daily to meet my goals.
God’s Part – 5 things I want to accomplish this year – I can’t do these without God’s help!
1. Get out of credit card debt.
2. Lose all excess weight and keep it off. Goal weight = 140
3. Write my first book.
4. Speak at women’s conferences, FP4H events, etc. I enjoy public speaking and teaching and helping others to grow.
5. Be a respecter of my husband, no matter what.
My Part – What I’ll do daily to be the best I can for the Lord.
1. Exercise 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes.
2. Eat at home 6 times a week. If not possible, research restaurant ahead of time and plan what I’ll choose to eat.
3. Quiet time daily, including Bible reading, study, and prayer journaling.
4. Speak kindly to my husband, biting my tongue and praying before approaching him about any issues.
5. Pray each day for my family members.
So, the “My Part” in this is not earth shattering…things I need to be doing anyway. But I’m determined to do them, ready to give God my all to see what He’ll accomplish in my life.
These things were not earth shattering, but the things I know I need to do to be obedient. This thinking, however, has changed my life. Before, I would set so many lofty goals for myself that I could not accomplish them all. The “my part” is the “obey” part that I must do. And they are not things that are too difficult.
I have definitely not been perfect in all of this in the last few months. I’ve lost 15 lbs. Even through some rough waters, I’ve kept that off over the last month. My quiet times have been sporadic through this last month, but I’m determined to be faithful to that commitment. Exercise and eating right have been a challenge this month, but I’ve been able to maintain my weight through being sick and dealing with some major emotional issues, so praise God!
The most difficult thing I put on my list was being a better respecter of my husband. That is something I so struggle with! And it even made it on both lists, because this is definitely the most difficult things I’ve ever had to overcome! I’m a very strong willed woman and I’m married to a very easy going man (I think God knew I needed someone easy going with my personality!). Because he’s so easy going, I tend to treat him terribly sometimes. It saddens me to think of the things I’ve said and done to make him feel unloved and disrespected. And because I’ve made this a priority for the year, Satan has used several issues to really try to drive a wedge between my husband and myself. As I was praying yesterday, God showed me how I need to NOT let Satan use these issues to drive us apart, even though these are some pretty big things. I’ve not dealt with my husband in a very respectful way throughout the time that these issues have come to light. But I’m not giving up, and I’ve had to go to him more often than I care to admit and ask him to forgive me for my words and deeds. God keeps putting on my heart the need for this in my life. I have to STOP being disobedient in this area. I need to listen to the Holy Spirit more BEFORE I open my mouth! Praying about this daily keeps it at the forefront of my mind. Now the obeying needs to follow.
Before, I would have been so overwhelmed I would have quit trying on ALL fronts by now. But because you obeyed God and wrote the words He gave you, I now have hope that I can keep going, keep trying, and keep giving God this year to make these miraculous changes in me.
Thank you, Carole! Thank you for being willing to let God use you, thank you for being obedient!
When Carole attended the First Place orientation in March of 1981, she eagerly anticipated what God might want to do in her life. She had recently seen an old friend that looked great and who reminded her that they were soon approaching 40 years old. Carole determined she did not want to be “fat and 40.” She joined First Place and soon lost 20 pounds. Learning how to bring balance to her life, she became a First Place leader to motivate others to achieve this goal.
Carole is a popular speaker and author of the books, Choosing to Change, First Place 4 Health, Today Is the First Day, Living Well, Back on Track, A Thankful Heart, Stop it, The Divine Diet, and Mother/Daughter Legacy. Carole regularly leads Conferences, Wellness Weeks, Change Your Life Events and seminars across the country in the areas of personal balance, fitness, encouragement and temperament analysis. Her audiences know her as warm, honest and humorous.