When You Feel Like a Failure

Nothing is more beautiful than a strong, humble, God-fearing woman who knows who she is and Whose she is. ~Susie Larson

The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

Psalm 37: 23-24

It was a blue sky, sunshine morning but before my eyes confirmed this reality, I sensed a heaviness in my heart. It was as if the devil camped at the foot of my bed all night waiting to pounce on me before I stepped foot out of bed. Even as I tried to shake off the negative vibe, I felt like reminders of my lack peered back at me at every turn. The message in my mind was loud and clear, flashing repeatedly in neon, “Failure”.

Weakened, I repeatedly asked God to strengthen me, recognizing the wiles of the enemy, but not prepared for this particular early morning attack. As one who loves to rise early, and does so quite happily, the “surprise” attack should not really have surprised me, but honestly it did. I write this after the fact which gives evidence to the cunning ways of the Thief of our days.


5 Ways to to Fail at Fitness


I know you are thinking to yourself, what a post title. I don’t want to fail, I want to succeed at fitting fitness into my life. Well, then listen up. I have been around travelling the “fitness circuit” for over thirty years. You could say I have been on the exercise treadmill, a very long time. I have worked with athletes, moms, business owners, bodybuilders, seniors, children, pregnant women, peri and post menopausal women, men in tights, men in offices, men in too small bikinis and moms in the same. I have learned a thing or two about fitting fitness into daily routines. But let me tell you how I have seen people mess up their own attempts.

1. Not following a specific plan of action. Here is the deal, you scout around the magazines and find every single exercise that seems good for what you want to do. You watch the fitness channel. You collect all of the best info on the net. Yet, you do nothing. Have you heard the saying, “A little knowledge is dangerous.” ?  Well too much information unused is not only ineffective, it’s overwhelming. I could have put a hundred different exercises into this 31 day challenge. You know why I didn’t? Because if you can’t stick to the plan that is simply laid out before you now, all of those other exercises, ideas and good intentions won’t help you. We can all be fitness experts in our minds. But it’s more important we take our little mustard seed knowledge and apply it to our real lives, right?

2. Information Overload – The Endless Search for the Magic Bullet – When I trained clients in the gym, we as trainers would talk about how clients would continue to seek alternate information as well as seek information from other trainers. We never broke client confidentiality but just would acknowledge this as a detriment to the success of the client. The clients that were successful were the ones who steadily stuck to the PLAN laid out by their trainer (with adjustments on the journey) as opposed to those who kept seeking. It’s not wrong to have questions, and be educated. But, without a proper foundation physically, more complex exercises and combinations of movements will lead to injury or frustration. Without a good understanding of the psychological obstacles as well as the basic principles for program design and success, we see failure.

4. Quitting to Soon/Excuses are not Forever – Rome wasn’t built in a day. You are not a fitness failure. EVER. Not as long as you have breath in your lungs. You start, stop, stall, quit. The difference between success and failure is your ability to just try again. But, keep in mind, it has to be a realistic goal to fit fitness into your own daily life. That means if you are sedentary you don’t start with a Marathon. Let’s keep it real, peeps. I think there is way too much information that is saying, you have to train like a Rock Star for it to count. That is a discouraging LIE. Don’t buy it.

5. The Comparison Trap– You compare yourself to yourself when you were 20 years younger; you compare yourself to J-Lo; You compare yourself to your friend who lost 40 pounds and is on the road to better health without you; you compare yourself to the Exercise Instructor at the gym; You compare yourself to anyone you think is where you wish you could be. STOP. The comparison trap is a trap that keeps YOU stuck, mentally and physically. Set yourself free. Don’t play that game. Walk away from the magazines, TV, Pinterest, Instagram or whatever it is that causes you to stumble.

 Proper Perspective – Listen up, the best way to succeed at fitting fitness in is not to complicate the matter! Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. Or don’t start at the top because where can you go but down? Friends, the best way to NOT fail at Fitness is to stick to a simple plan to start and build from there. Stop seeking MORE and act on what you know and CAN do now. Stop making excuses and Get Started. Stop comparing yourself to others and start seeing the YOU who needs to be accepted today; seek support and thank God for the level of health you do have right now.

I also want to let you know that I will be implementing more following our current challenge. This month my time is limited but I am planning to take my Fitness Challenge Graduates to new levels of Health and Wellness. Will you stick with it? Will you start if you have not started yet? Will you jump in today to the Fitness Challenge and prepare to: record your journey, share your success or setbacks, even today?

This post is part of the series: 

God Sized Surprises And A Confident Heart

When I saw this posted on Facebook,
I felt a little …small

*sheep·ish  (shpsh)
1. Embarrassed, as by consciousness of a fault: a sheepish grin.
2. Meek or stupid.
See what I mean? 
Let’s start at the very beginning, friends. Without excuse I confess, sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. It’s like the cliche, “my eyes are bigger than my stomach”. 
Only let’s apply this with my appetite for God, truth, knowledge and wisdom.
This can be a good thing. And it can be bad.
How can it be bad? 
When I can’t or don’t  follow through on what I committed to initially. 
My grandmother had a saying about this which I have shared in previous posts.
About a road and good intentions and a place…you get the point.
There are so many wonderful opportunities to draw closer to Him, to know Him, to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him and fellowship with others who are seeking to follow Him, and they all look good. 
Really good.
So it’s true,
I am a God hog.
See, when I lived without Him, my desire was to live my life out loud. To seize every moment. To learn all I could about everything in this big, wide, world and experience every second of this life, as if it might be pulled away from me at any moment.
Because it could.
But, He has shown me a better way…and His way leads to peace, perspective and unhurried moments.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. 
He guides me along the right paths 
    for his name’s sake. 
Psalm 23:1-3

However, sometimes that inner crazy chick returns 
and tries to take over my current Christian life.
It always sets me up for failure. 

 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, 
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesian 2:10

Because. I. Can’t. Do. It. All.

 It is good to grasp the one
    and not let go of the other.
    Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
Ephesians 7:18

Nor does my God mean for me to…
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

All this to share how God, knowing my tendencies, and assuring me of His great love for me, still.
Enter my desire to do a Bible Study, which I shared on the blog and that I would be doing it, and invited others to join me. I was so excited because I even got the book free!
(Amazon/for Cloud Reader since my Kindle bit the dust) 

Confident Heart
Then between all of my other commitments, obligations and job searching, interviewing, volunteering blogging, life, I got behind. The first week. What a loser, I thought …maybe I can catch up. But then I got discouraged because (here is where I feel like a brat) I loved what I read but I could not stand reading on the computer after I was done all of the other computer stuff…So I put forth on Facebook a random request…and let the thought of catching up be for another day.
That was on about week three of he study. I think. 
May 14th…I waited…and then SURPRISE!
Enter an old church friend and Sister in Christ, who lives in North Carolina. She In-boxed me: “so, how much do you like Renee Swope’s work? I may be able to send you a book. What is your address?” 

She sparkles and shines for Him…can’t you just see it?
On Monday June 4th I get the notification on Facebook  from Kristy.  An envelope shows up at the door and in it is the book, I open it and peek, and ponder her kindness. I am thinking. That was so sweet. I read the inscription and lay down as I have a tiny headache. The book is on the bed beside me. I stare at the ceiling and decide to open it and re-read the inscription. I almost fall off the bed, I sit upright and read the name. Renee Swope. How had I missed it? I had read the words but was all heady about how thoughtful Kristy was, even signing a brand new book for me. I wondered why, would she do this kindness. Why? When I realize it is Renee’s handwriting I am giddy and silly as I cannot figure this out at all. One small request. An old friend. Suddenly it’s looking like an amazingly intricate plot to bless…me? Blushing. 
Why, Lord? Why, Kristy? 
Why me? 

I’m the Christian version of Mr. Magoo fumbling through this life, making messes – yet falling into the lap of grace, over and over again.

It’s utterly baffling to me. 
I baaaaaa like a sheep.
Then I popped onto Facebook to thank Kristy and she tags a photo of me as I sit there with the infamous “deer in the headlight gaze” and see for the first time the picture of Renee holding “mini me” via the cell phone and I am getting exhausted with surprise and blessing as the story unfolds. 
This great God Sized Surprise completely unknown to me…
and I feel so silly and unworthy but I just know God is smiling not because I am so wonderful but because He just loves to play with me…mess with his children. In lovely ways.
I’m stunned, and ask Kristy the meaning and she shares that she went to the Proverbs 31 Ministries Offices. 
Got the book, had it signed for me and the picture. 

Thank you so much for the book! I was very surprised to see it is signed to me BY Renee Swope! Now how on earth did that happen? I am so surprised, amazed and humbled. When I read the inscription the first time I thought you wrote the note and I was so blessed …but then after when I looked again and saw it was not your signature but Renee’s! Thank you but I am very curious about this! In His Grace, Dawn

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Honestly…I am still feeling overwhelmed by her sweet gesture and kindness. You need to know that she is one who was an encouragement to me in my early days of marriage as we attended the same church, bible studies and fellowship. She is one of those woman who truly just magnifies Jesus, in a fun, real way. Without fan-fare and with oodles and oodles of grace. Thank you Kristy. Thank you, Renee. Thank you, God.
I know you want to give each of your daughter’s unique surprises every day, as they watch for them!

Of course, being held in the palm of Renee’s hand is kind of cool too, in a fun, disturbing way. 

Have you had any God – Sized Surprises, lately?
Do you have your own story to share?
I would love to hear how God has messed with and blessed
you through a friend or circumstance. 

Oh and one special request. 
Run over to Renee’s place and beg her to start,
ask kindly when her next 
Confident Heart Online Study
 is starting, OK? 
This was the second time I have tried and failed to get it done-
 is the third time the charm? 
No excuses!

*Thanks to the Free Dictionary for always being there for me!

Beholding Glory

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