Monday, April 28, 2014

Weight Loss For Warriors Challenge

Ever since December I have felt unstable in my transformation journey.  I let the storms of life shake me...and at times allowed old habits to take over. 

I have not quit chasing it, but I have felt so much uncertainty.  Honestly, I  have let some of the challenges I have faced be excuses as well.  I have thrown myself a pity party or two....okay maybe more, but who's counting??

Yesterday, as I listened to the pastor at church I received some certainty....confirming the challenge I will be starting today...more on that in a few.

The pastor said something about adjustment, and I realized:

Sometimes our bodies need an adjustment, so we visit a chiropractor...but sometimes our spirits need an adjustment and we need to go to the cross.

That is how I felt this morning.  Jesus was adjusting me.  Although adjustments can be uncomfortable the after effects are worth it.  This morning Jesus used verses I have heard and read to tenderly adjust me on my journey.

The message at church came from Matthew 16:24-28.  In verse 24 is says "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

I know He has called me to be healthy.  Part of  following Him means taking care of the body He gives breath to.  To be healthy I must deny myself things to allow Him to transform me. I have to lay down certain foods.  I have to give myself boundaries.  When I clutter myself with food, I have a hard time hearing and seeing Jesus.  My comfort should be in Christ and not food. 

As we read verse 26 "...or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?", the questions asked were....what's the exchange?  What do I want to pursue?  I thought,  am I willing to exchange the transformation and journey Jesus has blessed me with thus far for the false comfort of answer is no.  No, I am not!  I want to be obedient.  I want to follow Him.

"What do I have to lay down to follow Christ?" the pastor asked. For me there are a few things I need to lay down, but as I chase this year, I have to lay down relying on food in the midst of a storm.  I am so much like Peter when Jesus called him out of the boat. (see Matthew 14:22-33)  I have glanced away from Jesus after stepping out of the boat and I have begun to sink.  But yesterday, Jesus grabbed my hand.  He has not brought me this far to let me drown!

I posted on my facebook page a while back "I don't want to become "skinny" to show what I can do. I want to be healthy to show how God can transform from the inside out!!!! Be courageous enough to let Him make me different. Over come fear of what I can't do and allow Him to show me what I can!!!"  - Shelly

This is still true.  I know Christ is in the business of transformation.  I know I can do all things through Him. I know Jesus is worth getting out of the boat for.  As I chase what matters this year, I know He is worth chasing.  I know He wants me to chase health. I know He wants me to take up my cross and follow Him.

So today, I am getting back on track and I am participating in  weight loss for warriors.  A challenge set up to help people in their quest for health, but also to help our nation's heroes and their families. 

Many of my family members and friends have served, some still are.  I appreciate the sacrifice they have made and are making. 

I am honored to be apart of signing up for a challenge that will help me on my journey, but that will help raise money for 31Heroes and The Travis Manion Foundation.

If you would like to help me reach my goal of $350 please donate here.  Thank you so much! 

What do you have to lay down to follow Christ? What are you going to chase in 2014?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

One Year Ago

Today marks one year ago that I attended a casting call for Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, now know as Extreme Weight Loss.

I was so nervous!!! I had just a few minutes to charm them and tell part of my story.  There were so many people with amazing stories...wanting and ready to change their lives.  I would never have wanted to pick who made it! If we were picked for a 2nd interview then we would receive a phone call later that day.  I never got the call and was a little disappointed. You can read more about this day here.
However, a few days later I ended up getting a call back....and had to drive to OK for a 2nd interview. My friends helped make it possible, taking care of my kids, and going with me.  Here is more on that story.

April 2013
December 2013
 After the adventure to OK, I had some homework to do.  I made videos, wrote a letter to Chris Powell, and other stuff.  It taught me a lot and gave me motivation!
I did not make it to the next round, but I was determined to do it at home.  I set a goal of a year, just like they do on the show. 
This past year has been an amazing journey. I have been blessed to work with some great trainers.  I have figured out I LOVE the challenge of crossfit. I have learned more about letting Jesus give me strength.....all things through Christ!!! I have learned that I am capable of more than I even realize.  I have learned to push myself!

I have also learned that obstacles are just part of the journey.  I have had my knee scoped, pneumonia, and major dental stuff since December.  These obstacles have set me back, but Jesus has used them to teach me to chase what matters and not to quit when there are storms.
Needless to say, I have not met my goal, and with the obstacles....I did gain a few pounds, but I am still down a total of 57lbs from my heaviest.  (I was down 66lbs).  But, I am still on the journey and its a good place to be!! 

Down 66lbs
This was 4-12-14
Down 57lbs

I am thankful that Jesus is in the business of transformation. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends. I am thankful for all of the people who have been apart of this journey...there are so many!!!  I am thankful that I am learning to chase what matters.

All things through Christ!!






Monday, April 7, 2014

Chase, Not Just A Childhood Game "-My Messy Beautiful"

What do you remember playing growing up?

The street I grew up on filled quickly with screaming kids after Saturday morning cartoons.  We pretended to be super friends, we played dolls, raced cars, jumped rope, and we played chase.  Running, tagging, yelling, laughing, and at times even fighting.

I grew up around a baseball field.  Many times those of us who were not playing ball, played chase.  We chased each other and we chased every ball hit out of the field....if we got the ball, we could turn it in for a free snow cone. We even played chased on skates at the rink on Friday nights.  

It seems we were always chasing something.  I don't think much has changed. Chase is not just a childhood game. It's been my life.  I have chased, diets, emotions, to-do lists, status, control, negative thoughts, a clean house, and sometimes being something I wasn't.

The game of chase has left me drained...physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

It's exhausting!!!

I am learning to play chase differently. 

My one word this year is chase.

I want to chase what matters.

I am learning to chase Jesus through love and through obedience. In the past I chased Him more out of my circumstance. I am learning to chase Jesus, because He matters.

I am learning to chase health and transformation. In the past it was about the quick fix and the next best diet plan. I am learning to chase health and transformation, because I matter.

I am learning to chase relationships. In the past it's been about a to-do list and my routine. I am learning to chase relationships, because people matter.

I have been changing how I chase Jesus and health for a while.  The journey He is taking me on is transforming me inside out. I am learning that I am capable of so much more. I am learning that I can't do His will if I am bound by fat and the struggles that brings. I  have learned that there is redemption in running. I have learned that I can survive crossfit. I am learning that I can share my stories. I am learning that as I write I find healing and lessons. I am learning to trust. Trust, when there is no weight loss. Trust, when the circumstances around me are hard. I am learning to never give up. I am learning all things through Christ. I am learning that bumps along the journey don't have to take me off the journey. I can still chase what matters.

But, its just been since about October that I have been figuring out how to change the game in relationships....especially with my kids.

I have been parenting by routine and a check list for 10 years. I have been parenting by volunteering for things that make me more busy. I thought it would be a good way to spend time together, but it appears to take me further away. I confess I have even been parenting behind my phone.

The conviction of needing to chase my kids differently has come through many ways. One way is words written at Hands Free Mama. Over and over again I would read her posts and wonder how she became a fly on the walls of my home.  She taught me these words, "Stop! Only love today."    

I was doing a bible study titled Chase by Jennie Allen on the last snow ice day (yep, where I live it's usually ice, not snow that shuts down our schools and roads) we had, I was convicted again.  I frequently chase a to-do list and not the people behind the list. On this cold day, I chose my kids instead of my list. That list was a mile long. My house was still is. I confess it was hard, but the blessings of time with my children was better than a clean floor.

I tell my kids no, more often than I tell them yes. On a typical day after school, I become almost robotic. Backpack cleaned out, chores done, homework finished, and repeatedly tell them to hurry....we keep checking off the list.....and I have to remind myself, its about the hearts of those I love and not completing the list. 

Have you been playing the game of chase? What are you chasing?  Are you tired of chasing it? 

Changing the way I's easier said than done. There are days when I feel like I am drowning....and on those days I want to swim with sugar instead of holding the hand of Jesus. I want to check off my to-do list, stay in the comfort of routine instead of saying yes to my child or something not on the list.

But, I promise we can be game changers. Like me, you can learn new ways to play. Whatever you have chased or you are currently chasing, the game is not over. You can do it differently. We can do it differently. 

Know you are worth chasing a different thing.  Know the hearts of those you love are worth putting aside the list.  Know that Jesus has a plan and purpose for you.  Know all things through Christ.

Tag, You're It!!!
You were meant to chase what matters.

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Beauty is in the eyes of God

Beauty is in the eyes of God.
Isn't she lovely, declares the Lord!
See the sparkle in her eyes.
Isn't she lovely, declares the Lord!
I have heard her cries and her laughter.

Beauty is in the eyes of God.
Isn't she lovely, declares the Lord!
Fearfully and wonderfully made.
Isn't she lovely, declares the Lord!
I know the number of hairs on her head.

Beauty is in the eyes of God.
Isn't she lovely, declares the Lord.
Beauty from ashes.
Isn't she lovely declares the Lord!
I will hold her in my righteous right hand.
                                                               ~Shelly W. Jones