Sunday, July 5, 2015

Planting Your Flag

Memorial Day in May, Flag Day in June and Independence Day in July...three days when Americans get excited about our nation's heritage and take great pride in our flag.

This got me to thinking about the importance of planting your flag in life. What is it you stand for? What do you want your life to say about you? What matters most to you?  If you have not figured this out yet, is this an obstacle preventing you from attaining your fitness goals?

This blog is about fitness and I want to stay true to this. Depression and anxiety lead to poor nutritional habits and an overall unhealthy lifestyle.  Having a sense of purpose, a mission in life, helps to manage depression and anxiety. (That said, I know some very fit people who have not yet "planted their flag," so please give me some wiggle room here.)

Of all the people who have shaped my life, I credit my father most with who I am. He guided me to develop a strong value system, work ethic, faith in God and to be goal oriented. He taught me that whatever I wanted to achieve, to develop a plan and make it happen. He taught me to always put God and family first and to serve as a way to show the light of Christ in me to others.

Me and Dad before Father - Daughter Dance.

He taught me to plant my flag.

My family, my career and helping others are what matter most to me.  This is where I find the most sense of self worth.  (Even this blog was started as a way to inspire others on their journey towards fitness.)  I did get lost along the way, completely neglecting care of self as part of my routine, which lead to me being out of control.  With the support of others, I am learning to take care of me, so I can better take care of others.

Wherever you are on your journey, I encourage you to plant your flag. For most people it is their career, but sometimes your passions in life do not always put a roof over your head and bread on the table. If you have an artistic flair and go to college to major in art, you may find yourself with an expensive degree and no job. While there are jobs in the industry, they are hard to come by and do not always pay top dollar. I find my need to help others is fulfilled both in my career and in the activities I participate. (I was the Women's Ministry Coordinator, the NHS Advisor, VBS Director, and Cub Scout Den Leader.)

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Fulfillment from your passions can be found outside of your career. If you love photography, you might enjoy that as a hobby, where a career may not land you enough income to support yourself. Don't misunderstand me. I am all about pursuing your dreams, but I am somewhat practical.  Everyone needs to declare, "This is what matters to me. And because of this, I am going to live my life this way." You will find a sense of satisfaction and self worth that is indescribable when you live your life to fulfill your purpose.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.  Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Psalm 138:8

Remember these tips: 

1. Take care of yourself - mind, body and spirit.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
3 John 1:2 (ESV)

2.  Take care of your relationships - the people you love need you as much as you need them.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 (NASB)

3.  Always seek God for direction. (This really should be first.) Regardless of what you believe or your level of faith, a relationship with God will give you peace in your decisions and clarity about your direction.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.  
Proverbs 3:5-6

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