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Finished, Fini, Finito!

I am done!  This Christmas I did two challenges--the distance from Bethlehem to Nazareth 157 km and then the distance from Bethlehem to Egypt 420 km: for a total distance of 577 km.  Throughout the challenge I took time to study Luke 1-3, some of the chapters most relevant to the birth of Christ and I blogged about my thoughts on these verses and experiences.  I feel like I became stronger physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I learned more about consistency and the importance of setting goals during maintenance.  What a great way to finish the year by finishing this challenge!

 

Hoarding

I've been watching the show "Hoarders".  Apparently about 1% of the American population has this problem of compulsively acquiring and keeping items.  It reminded me of the passage that I read a few days ago about sharing what we have with those that have none--especially if we have two!  Honestly, I am very challenged by this passage--I'm not a hoarder but I know we have more than we truly need and I want to continue to work to change this.  This year I went through our stuff and gave lots of stuff away and threw away plenty to boot--it was such a purifying experience.  I will be doing it again soon this year.

What about our bodies--do we treat them like hoarders treat their homes?  Do we put tons of junk into them and then wonder why they suffer in appearance and quality?  Do we eat simply to eat--or do our choices make sense for the life we would like to have? Quality over quantity.

Don't shoot the messenger!

19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, 20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison. (Luke 3: 19-20)

People don't like to have their faults pointed out to them.  I know I am as guilty of this as anyone else.  Imagine if someone flat out told you were overweight and needed to lose weight---could you listen and respond to that challenge?  Herod heard that he was doing wrong and lashed out at the messenger--he put John the Baptist in jail.  Don't shoot the messenger, change your ways!

Challenge: choose one bad habit and work to correct it. 

Don't shoot the messenger!

19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, 20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison. (Luke 3: 19-20)

People don't like to have their faults pointed out to them.  I know I am as guilty of this as anyone else.  Imagine if someone flat out told you were overweight and needed to lose weight---could you listen and respond to that challenge?  Herod heard that he was doing wrong and lashed out at the messenger--he put John the Baptist in jail.  Don't shoot the messenger, change your ways!

Challenge: choose one bad habit and work to correct it. 

Before pics on the fridge

I did something the other day to remind myself of how far I have come--I put my before pictures up on the fridge.  

Before doing so, I showed them to my husband and asked him how could I have been so fat/ugly?  He simply replied that he thought I was beautiful, that I had always been beautiful.  I know some people think that their spouses just say that--but you could tell he really meant it and it made me smile.  My husband has been incredibly supportive of my weight loss not because it makes him happy/more satisfied but because it made me happier/healthier.  He's taken away the goodies when I asked and never questioned me if I wanted a treat.  He's taken care of the kids so I could go to the gym and even read my blog on occasion.  He splits meals with me so that I don't have to eat as much and has even dropped a few pounds himself from all the salads and healthier foods.

Anyway,  putting the picture on the fridge did something I didn't expect--it made me start to see the changes.  Weight loss is such a gradual process that I hardly see it from day to day.  My husband says that pics are deceptive to begin with because the camera puts on 10 pounds, but since I've lost about 40, I don't think that really matters LOL.  I can see that there is less pudge in my face/body and my skin looks clearer. I dress better--my clothes reflect the changes too (partly because half of them are new).  An added bonus to having the pics on the fridge is that it's a less than subtle reminder not to overindulge.

Eventually, I will take them down and make a scrapbook of my experience.

So close....I can taste it!

I did 15 km on the bike and I am so close to finishing this thing that I can taste it--should be able to finish by the end of the year since only 12 km remain!  My legs hurt, but my mind is resolved to finish it and I am excited for what the new year will bring.  I have a challenge in mind and I am looking forward to revealing it on the January 1st, 2011.

 

The Humility of John the Baptist

15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with[b] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them. (Luke 3: 15-18 www.biblegateway.com)

John the Baptist is the example of what we should be doing: pointing others to Jesus.  It must have been tempting to let the myths about him continue, to let himself bask in their adoration--but he doesn't.  Instead he shares the good news of Jesus Christ.  He acknowledges his lowly position and gives God the glory--he is an example of true humility.

Challenge: proclaim the good news and give glory to God. 

Tough Workout

I did my workout this morning and quite frankly it was tough, really tough.  My body was still recovering from a late night workout and my muscles were sore and tired.  I did 15km but it felt like forever.  I had to really focus and keep pushing myself forward.  Only a few more days left of this challenge and I am going to knock it out!!!

 

What should we do then?

10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

 11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

 13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

 14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

   He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.” (Luke 3:10-14 www.biblegateway.com)

 

Seems simple enough, eh?  If I've got a little extra, I should share it with someone who has nothing.  I should be content with what I have.  How often though are these principles overlooked in our daily lives?  How often do we find ourselves wishing we had more instead of sharing what we have?

 

Challenge of the day: share 

90 % complete

Getting so close to the end and getting excited.  I'm already planning my next challenge--so the next few days I am going to focus and finish strong.  It was hard to convince myself to do any today after a lovely date with my hubby, but the lure of finishing by the end of the year had me biking late into the night.

 

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