A Simply Beautiful Word
We all want a Simply Beautiful Life, right? In my book 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success in Keeping It All Together, I share about my Word of the Year process that I have been doing since I was a college student, every. year – yes, 40+ years of selecting a Word of the Year to focus my walk with God.
Let me share what happened when I coupled First Place for Health with my Word of the Year: Strong: I always begin praying about my Word of the Year around Thanksgiving. Over a decade ago, I had started the new year making wise health choices, but like many, I began to cheat, (Thin Mints have the word THIN in them, right?) I also began to be lackadaisical and was “too busy” to track my food and calories, wear a pedometer (before the days of Fitbits), and too busy to walk my 10,000 steps a day or exercise much. In late November, I was speaking up in a high altitude area and I had an “episode.” My heart began to race then beat out of rhythm. I got dizzy, a splitting headache and was out of breath. The wheels were coming off my bus!
A few months later, in January, I attended a Wellness Week that I always attend through First Place for Health. There they do encouragement, equipping and inspiration for a healthier happier life—and they also ran bloodwork.
Right away, the nurse called me in a panic. “Did you know you are diabetic?”
“I was aware I have been borderline”
“You are well past any border. You need to get to a Doctor ASAP!”
Well, I was out in the lovely cattle land of Round Top, Texas, so I decided to phone a new doctor. He was a ministry friend, but I had not yet gone to him for medical treatment because my insurance didn’t cover him. But I thought, “If I am dead, I can’t spend that money—so I am investing in my wellness!”
That evening, I found some of my First Place friends and leaders. I began to complain about the lifestyle changes I thought were ahead; “I have to eat food that tastes like cardboard!” My friend, Vicki Heath (who now is the CEO of FP4H), tried to cheer me up, “Pam, you come to all the exercise classes. You are a hard-working athlete, there is a skinny girl inside you, she’s just bubble-wrapped right now!” That did make me smile with hope.
I then phoned my husband and asked him to pray. Before I shut my eyes, I prayed pretty raw and real. “Lord, I am so depressed. I wrote a book called 10 Secrets of Living Strong, Smart and Savvy and I did not feel like any of those things! I am such an imposter! I feel like giving up! I want to eat a quart of bon bon ice cream, but praise God there isn’t any here! I want to just go to heaven because I feel like an epic failure, but your word says: “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” (Ps 16:7) So, God speak to me Your encouragement—even as I sleep. Amen.
At 5 am my cell went off with a text message devotional that read:
Get up! God has set His alarm clock, and it is time to overcome every weight, every infirmity, every sickness, every bondage that has tried to strangle the physical, emotional, and spiritual life out of you. It doesn’t matter how long you have been bound, stop hitting the snooze button and GET UP! – Ron Parsley, World Harvest
So, guess what I did, I GOT UP!
I called my husband and said, “I am choosing Strong for my word of the year. And the verse is Joshua 1:9: “. .be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.”
Bill said, “Let’s team up and both have STRONG for our word of the Year!”
Then I called my new doctor. He told me to only eat lean meat, lots of green veggies and a little fruit and no processed grains until I could get into his office four weeks later due to my speaking schedule. I recommitted to the First Place for Health Live It Plan, tracking, 10,000 steps a day, other exercise, and plenty of water intake, and I joined a virtual FP4H group. I also took home a signed copy of Give God A Year by Carole Lewis. And I committed to give God my best effort all year!
I was given a “Stay Strong” tee by my First Place for Health friends, I added in “Stronger” theme song by Mandisa to my playlist, and Vitalize essential oil to my defuser and our clarifying question was “Will this make me, my marriage, my family, my ministry and my life STRONGER?
At the end of that year, I had lost 50 pounds (which I have kept off) and by the end of that year, all my medical numbers returned to healthy! In the following years, I have lost an additional 20 pounds (a total of a 70-pound loss) so I like to say, “Through First Place for Health I lost the equivalent of a third grader!” Yes, FP4H helped save my life.
Pam Farrel, and her husband, Bill run Love-Wise ministry, and they have a FP4H webinar on Teaming Up for Victory. You can also download Your Best Year Yet Word of the Year worksheets to kick start your life and wellness plan.