At the beginning of 2017, bloggers all over declared their “Word for the Year”. One word that they hope to define their year.
Words like…..Create. Build. Pursue. Grow. Lovely. Simplify.
I’ve never really joined up with them in that aspect, though I did set a few specific goals for the year 2017. Today, though, I’m joining them in my own way.
This word will not define my entire year. It might be part of my life for longer than a month, but I am simply committing that THIS MONTH I will focus on growing in this ONE way.
My word for October?
On the surface, this word will be well-reflected by the fact that I’ve joined a 12-week Kickstart Challenge Group. I and several other women are challenging ourselves in physical fitness–which includes both strength and cardio training as well as a focus on nutrition.
Below the surface, this word is one that I think I’ve needed for a long time.
I have never been what I consider a STRONG woman. I have always been both physcially weak, and emotionally easy to hurt. I feel pain quickly. Walking through my second miscarriage recently, I’ve found myself wanting to spend more time than is appropriate lying on my couch. I’ve had poor motivation for homemaking, fun, and all the other things that I used to have such a great passion for. I simply feel weak–not in the sense of “Honey, can you open this for me?”–but in the sense of feeling overtaken by all that is going on around me and the inability to handle even the most basic of things.
The simple routines of dishes, laundry, meal planning, and making beds all just seem too much to handle on most days. Physical fatigue follows my emotional weariness, and keeps me from chasing my boys in the back yard, or walking with them to the park, or even on some days cuddling them on the couch.
Last week I started TWO big things. First, my kickstart group began and I exercised more than I ever have in my entire LIFE! And second, I “attended” the Online Homemaking Conference by Jami Balmet’s Homemaking Ministries, and I just feel encouraged. I feel hope. I feel like I can be stronger than I was in July, August, or September. Or maybe even stronger than EVER before.
As I spent the last few days catching up on more Bible reading than normal, I know where my strength is found. My strength is found in the LORD. He IS my strength. Both physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
As I pursue STRENGTH this month in so many ways, I want to meditate on a few verses. Verses that I can feed myself when I feel weak or weary. Verses that build me into a stronger woman. Not as the world views a strong woman, but as the STRONG woman that God designed me to be. The woman who walks in the STRENGTH of the LORD.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.
Take-Away: Be careful about pride. In order to be strong, I must humble myself and turn from any sin in my life. Things that I might consider ‘no big deal’. God says that to depart from those things will be “health” and “strength” for me.
She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.
Take-Away: The virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31 is not a naturally-strong woman. She “girds herself with strength.” She works hard to become strong! We see elsewhere in the chapter that she does manual labor in the fields. She is not a weak woman, and WORKS to build physical strength in her arms.
My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.
-2 Corinthians 12:9b
Take-Away: God gives me GRACE when I am weak. My weakness is a perfect opportunity to let HIS STRENGTH shine as I submit to HIS leadership and walk by the Spirit rather than my flesh.
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
-I Peter 5:10
Take-Away: God doesn’t promise that my life will be pain free. He DOES promise, though, to strengthen me afterwards. I’m not doomed to a lifetime of weakness. He is still working on me!
So what about you?
Do you consider yourself to be a strong person? Do you struggle with physical weakness? Or perhaps you struggle with feeling emotionally or mentally weak?
Do you want to join me in pursuing STRENGTH this month?