To often in the past I have tried to make big changes by jumping. There is nothing wrong with taking a leap every now and again. In my experience though when I take big leaps, especially when it comes to my health, I often stumble afterwards. This time around I feel a desire to start small. Have you ever made a new year’s resolution, which started out going great but after a few months you found the commitment you had made faded? In the past I would set a resolution, such as exercise an hour a day or go on a diet where I only juice for a week. Like I said, nothing wrong with taking a leap forward like this. Often when the step was to far forward, I often found resistance which will only pushed me backwards. So, since I no longer want to keep doing the same thing I did in the past, which never lasted. I am going to take one small step forward at a time.
I am going to commit to 1 hour a day for 70 days, which will equal 70 hours for 70 days. Hence, the title of my project 70 for 70. I figure this is an easy commitment, and it should have the least amount of resistance. I am hoping by the small steps I take, God will guide me through my maiden voyage. I desire for his breath to steer my sails. I will move forward slow and steady.
We have three areas of our being; spirit, soul, and body. I hope to commit 1 hour of each day over the next 70 days on all three aspects of myself. In order to devote time to the spirit, I will read one bible verse per day. For the soul, I will spend time reflecting on the verse. My reflection can take many forms whether it is listening to praise music, journaling, blogging, and/or praying. For my body, I will spend time exercising. I am out of shape, and know this about myself. Instead of jumping into a lot of exercise all at once, I am not going to set a time frame of how much I should exercise each day. Which is what I did in the past. Instead I am going to set a goal of endurance for the end of 70 days. Since 70 seems to be the magic number for this whole project, my goal of endurance will be 70 minutes of continual exercise without losing breath. I will allow myself to work up to this number. I will also allow myself moments of rest, and not become judgmental if I am exhausted from the day at work and just want to lay in my bed and watch a movie. I will be slow and steady, building my temple one stone at a time. I know this will lay a stronger foundation. I will also be more aware of my eating habits. I can ask myself, is this something which will build a strong temple. If the answer is “no”, then I will not eat the item.
I feel as though these guidelines are simple enough to get started. I am excited to see where this journey will take me. I am excited to see how God will use this project to radically transform my life forever. A transformation which will last for 70+ years, a lifetime of living a love filled life.
Over the past year God has been taking my life and transforming it. I had stood at #WMCONF (World Mandate Conference) in 2016, and heard his call for me to Go. By the end of the weekend I had wholeheartedly said yes to GO where God was leading me. I had spent most of my life believing in Jesus. I had even felt the presence of the lord numerous times throughout my lifetime. However, I had never been washed by the spirit, in a way were the only thing left for my life was radical transformation.
I had been spending my life on a journey, where I desired things to be different. I lived in a state where my life would be better when….. this or that happened. I was always looking for grass to be greener on the other side of whatever I imagined to be the reason why I wasn’t happy. Yet, I could never get to where I wanted to be, or where I imagined I should be. I had many goals and expectations about my life, and I studied different tools I could utilize to make changes. I claimed that I wanted to be healthier, but I continued to make unhealthy decisions. I made excuses for myself, and for others. I even went so far as to use my unhealthy habits as a crutch, for why I was not who I wanted to be.
I made radical changes here and there. I even ended up losing about 60 pounds of weight five years ago, only to revert to the old habits which I was so familiar with. I dropped down from a size 14 to a size 6, which is the smallest size I had ever been in my adult life. Then life happened, and the habits I had tried changing on my own had slowly creeped back into my daily routine. I regained the weight, and now five years later I am a size 14 again. Some radical changes have stuck around, and I wouldn’t say that I eat to unhealthy. I became a vegetarian some ten years ago, and five years ago I dove into being a better version of the vegetarian I had become. The one thing I learned is you can be a vegetarian , and still have a poor diet. A diet of pizza and other junk foods, can be vegetarian friendly. However , they are not healthy choices.
Over these past few months I have come to realize one of my biggest lessons; you can not continue to do the same thing over and over again and expect things to change. This is insanity. To do the same thing and expect different results. Instead of trying to change my way, I have decided to allow the Lord to blow me where he will. Allowing him to transform the deepest parts of my own identity. I now see this as the path to becoming who God has made me to be.
Since I moved back home six months ago, I have been exploring how God can further transform my life. After much prayer and thought on the subject I am embarking on my maiden voyage. A journey into living a love filled life. The idea of the 70 for 70 project came a few months back when I was spending time with God. I was waiting on him to give me some direction, and so I heard him tell me to wait 70 days for clarity. I waited, and on the 18th of December as I was flying to Texas to spend Christmas at my brother’s house I had a dream. I was in flight and I dreamt the Lord’s hand was under the plane as we flew. I woke to a sense of assurance, knowing the Lord was with me in every aspect of my journey. I realized because the lord was with me, I could continue to see radical transformation. Unlike the changes I had experienced before, this time would be different. Instead of trying to change my life on my own, I would now allow the Lord’s love and grace to change me from my roots up. I would begin with a foundation. I would build the foundation on the rock, like the wiseman.
Matthew 7;24- 27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
How will I begin to build my foundation, one day at a time. If you take 70 days, it can transform into 70 more days, or 70 weeks. Then 70 weeks can become 70 months, and 70 months become 70 years. 70 years becomes a lifetime of living a love filled life, one stone at a time.
I have spent a lot of time up to this point going through my shakedown, or period of testing before the first voyage. As I prepared to set sail into a transformed life, I started with the word “Yes”. I said yes to allowing God to lead me beyond the borders. I desire to wander farther than my feet can travel. I know when i am tired he will carry me. When storms approach, he will calm the waters. All I need is faith in his unending love. A love which moves mountains, it carves out canyons, and transforms a single drop of water into vast oceans. A love as Bob Goff puts it, love does.
My body is worthy of being his temple, washed in the holy spirit. For the first 70 days, I will begin to make healthy choices which reflect treating my body as hs temple. I will allow the word to transform the body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
Last night as I was laying down before bed to meditate I had a single thought, which involved the name of my ex. It had been a while since I thought about him. It has been a while since we ended our two-year relationship. As I laid in bed I started writing a letter to him in my mind. Well, that was it. I had to get the letter out onto paper. I turned the light back on and sat there in the middle of the night pouring out a letter to a person who was no,long part of my life. I didn’t quite understand the impulse. Like I said it had been a while since I had even thought about him. I don’t intend to send him the letter, but I think in some way it was the release of any bit of him which was still left. Did I mention that the guided meditation I was doing was about letting go? I figure this is what brought the whole thing about. I want to share with you what I wrote……
It may seem crazy to be writing this letter, especially after all this time has passed. I haven’t the least bit of expectation what may come of it. I have very little hope that you will even read this letter. Nor do I even anticipate any form of response. Yet, I write it not because of some need to even hear from you. I have discovered instead that words are powerful. Words can defy expectations, they can even bring understanding to your own past. I have been writing a lot lately, you see. I have been recalling memories and sharing them with others. It has brought me some happiness over the past weeks. It has shown me the other angles of the memories which I had not seen before.
I was in bed this evening when in my mind, I said your name. I had a thought of you. Not because I was wondering how you are getting on or what you have been up to. No, it was just a thought, and so I said your name. The simple thought brought forth a memory though. Do you remember a few summers ago, how you called me unexpected. You were in a drunken state, and dialed my number. You wanted to apologize for screwing everything up. You can’t begin to know how I had wanted to hear those words, even then. Alcohol is a funny thing sometimes. It lowers our inhibitions. I don’t think you would have called had it not been for the drunken state you were in. At first the apology did not mean that much to me. I only felt you were too late. A lot had been done and said between us, and in ways the apology seemed tarnished by what you said afterwards. Yet, one thing still sticks out. As you confessed in the uninhibited state you were in, your new relationship was so different from ours. You confessed how much you missed being able to talk to someone like you had with me. The great thing about our conversations were the honesty between us. This honesty was there from the first day we met. I had never let anyone in so close before. We had true intimacy. I had taken down all my walls for you. I will confess to have been afraid of letting people in for some time after you broke my heart. However, the brokenness did not maintain its hold over me. Tonight, I sit in the darkness remembering all of it.
Memories can be a silly thing. They can be like a ribbon dancing along in the wind. You are walking in an open field which is your mind. When a gust comes along whirling the memory in front of you. So, you stop to gaze at its wonder in admiration. Thinking about what was once my life. Yet, it is only a ribbon which can be blown further off into the distance. Landing in a tree somewhere for a short period, until it gets blown in front of you again. As I have been writing and remembering more often, I have begun to see things differently. I know we were happy for a while. Like memories happiness is fleeting. It often gets overshadowed. Happiness is never sustained. Instead we must find joy. Not the kind of joy that is really just happiness masquerading as joy. No, we must find the true joy. Joy filled with warmth, the kind of warmth which fills us completely. It consumes every fiber of our being. With joy, there is no room for anything else. Even in the sadness life brings we can still be grateful, because we know joy. You could also call joy love. Not any love but agape love. The love which only comes from God.
I am not sure what you have been doing over the last few years. I don’t even really need to know in honesty. I know what I have been doing. I have been searching. Searching for joy. I have been trying to discover who I want to be. Not only that, but also who I am, and most importantly who God has made me to be. What I have discovered has filled me with joy. It is overwhelming at times. I feel as if my heart will burst from the likes of it. I don’t feel it always, but like God it is always there. In all ways. I don’t have all the answers. And I know that they will be a lifetime in the discovering. The one thing which has brought me to the understanding I have known has been each step along my journey. I have admiration for the part you played in this journey. Without it I would not have understood what I do now.
I understand God has made me into a woman of hope. Even if others around me see it as foolish optimism, I know it is who God wants me to be. How do I become her is a continuation of what has already been. I have lived a life full of many seasons. Many seasons are still to come. You were only a small part in the middle of one of these great seasons. Just as I was a part of one of your seasons. You once told me you believed we were going in different directions. I did not want to believe this at the time. All I wanted was to be going in the same direction as you, but maybe one was ahead of the other. I know now you were right. I choice just to ignore it. We have different paths, and maybe one day we will cross our paths again. Even if it is just a wave hello. I , my dear, will continue to become who God has made me, all while being who I am. Who I am, who I have always been, is beloved by God.
When I put down the pen, and lay back down to sleep, I had a dream. I was standing in an open field and I saw a red ribbon. As I followed the ribbon float back behind me from the direction I had come. I saw him in the distance. He smiled and turn around, starting towards the forest behind me. He met a woman and they walked into the forest together. The one detail I remember about the forest they walked into was it must have been winter, because not a single leave was on a tree in the forest. It was also rather dark, and lacked anything happy. Then a butterfly flew up into the air catching my attention, then hundreds of butterflies were around me as I turned to the right. I ran up a small hill, chasing one of the butterflies. They all flew away as I looked out over the horizon. I began run down the hill towards sunshine and warmth. I started to notice friends of mine on either side of my path, they were smiling and waving as I passed them. Then as I looked upon eat face I noticed they were all the friends I have made over the past two years. All those who I have loved, who have helped me to rediscover God’s grace. I looked ahead and saw a different forest, this one was filled with light. Every tree had the greenest leaves on them. They were hundreds of oak trees to be exact. Stretching beyond what I could see. At this point I was no longer running on my path but rather floating. As I approached more faces, I noticed I could tell if they were male or female, but the face was blank. It was blank like an abstract painting you might find in a museum. Then there were three male faceless people, the first kissed me on the cheek, the second held my hand, and the third I walked up to a minister and married. All the time I was gazing into his face but could not see it. It was all blurred. The only details I remember was he was taller than I am. However, that is easy to do because I am only 5’2″. I smiled and woke up.
In the beginning of the dream I might just claim my subconscious working thoughts out, but now after reflecting upon it I think differently. I am reminded of the dreams of Daniel and Joseph in the bible. How it was a way for God to communicate with them. To show his plan to them. I feel as if this dream was a promise from God that I have so much good ahead of me. I will love again, and someday find someone to share my life with. He already knows, but if I saw their face it would ruin the mystery. I have so many more people to look forward to being friends with, all of them I know I will learn from. I imagine I even have a boyfriend or two who I will date before I find the one God intends for me to marry. Like the dreams of so many in the bible, it gives me hope for the future.