Posted in Blog, Encouragement/Motivation, Health & Wellness

8 Daily Affirmations to Help You Ditch the Scale

Okay, okay, don’t freak out.  I won’t make you actually ditch the scale.  But hopefully by the end of this post, at the very least, you’ll have learned not to rely on it so much… and definitely not to let it completely alter the course of your day!

In my post, Toxic, I briefly touched on the fact that we can have a toxic relationship with our scale.  How many times have you stepped on that thing, only to have it leave you feeling frustrated, depressed, and downright angry?  It can ruin your whole day when it doesn’t read what you thought it would, and potentially, your whole meal plan for the rest of the week if that “why bother?” mentality creeps up on you.  I know this, because I’ve been there!

Shortly after writing my post, Getting Back on the Wagon, I had made up my mind that it was beneficial for me, at least in the beginning, to follow a meal plan.  This isn’t because I wanted to live by man-made rules, but following a plan that’s already laid out for me does help me to have structure.  Food freedom or not, following the meal plan that I had found to be so successful in the past was a good way for me to start getting my act together.  I decided I would still only eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m satisfied, and not eat after 7:00 pm, but my food choices, for now, would follow the meal plan with which I had previously found tremendous success.

In the past, I’ve been known to lose up to five pounds in just my first day with this carb-cycling meal plan, and after two days of nothing but protein and vegetables, I was excited to check that scale on Wednesday.  I am ashamed to admit that it’s even what got me out of bed that morning!  Imagine my shock and disappointment when I discovered I’d only lost two pounds!

I know that two pounds in two days is nothing to sneeze at, but for me, it was a lot less than I had been used to seeing since starting this program four years ago.  Never mind that the protein I chose for dinner Monday night was higher in sodium than my usual choices, and never mind that I haven’t been sleeping well lately, and never mind that I am now 47 years old and my body is changing!  When you’re in your forties, a four-year difference is a much bigger deal than when you’re in your twenties!

In a moment of desperation, I texted one of my dearest (and most health-conscious) friends who always tells me I can reach out to her at any time, but I never do because I know she’s always so busy.  I went as far as listing every single thing that went into my mouth over the previous two days like I had done in the days when I kept (shudder) food journals!  I told her I didn’t know what was wrong, and I begged for her words of wisdom that I knew would surely encourage and enlighten me.

She began saying things like, “What worked for you before may not work the same way now,” and, “Our bodies don’t need that much protein; that’s for younger women and body-builders,” and, “Dairy is not our friend.”  I immediately regretted eating three ounces of hard cheese with my lunch on Tuesday.

She went on to recommend a diet lifestyle book that catered to the hormonal changes of older women approaching (or in full swing of) menopause.  Because I value my friend’s wisdom and opinion so highly, I immediately purchased the book with no hesitation.  I was excited because there was a package deal going on, and I was able to get the cookbook with it.  I anxiously and hurriedly ripped open my package when it arrived two days later, and I began skimming through it immediately.  Then I saw words I’d never even heard of before like jicama and kohlrabi and kimchi.  If you all know what these things are, kudos to you!  But for me, I had a revelation that the numbers on the scale that day not only made me frustrated and depressed, but they made me impulsive, too.

I knew my dear hubby was not going to want to spend the money required to eat all organic and cage-free, and although I can certainly use most of the recipes in the cookbook, I had ultimately decided that making healthier choices and listening to my body’s hunger and fullness signals was still the best plan for me.  I had been praying for material to use for my next blog post, and God delivered!

I now want to share with you eight daily affirmations that will help you avoid the repercussions of a disagreeable scale, and focus more on how God, not the numbers, dictate your success on this journey.  Don’t worry!  I won’t make you look into a mirror and say, “I love you!”

Before I begin my list, I do want to briefly touch on the benefits of daily affirmations.  I was in a program once that taught you, through a series of inspiring video lessons, how to reprogram your mindset.  While most of us, myself included, believe the lies of the enemy, this program taught its audience how to dispel those lies and create new truths.  In a nutshell, if you looked in the mirror and called yourself a failure, you would always fail.  On the contrary, if you looked in the mirror and said you are a healthy eater, you will eat healthier.  One of my favorites is, “Healthy is who I am, not what I do.”  See how that works?  You must say it with conviction, though!  You have to believe what you are saying, or fake it until you make it!

The premise of the program was this: what you focus on, you believe, and what you believe, you become.  One of my life verses comes from Romans, and it reads, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV) I could spend the next several paragraphs picking apart this gem for you, but for the purpose of this particular post, let’s focus on the “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” part.

I’d like to share with you some of my favorite daily affirmations on which to focus, and when you do, you will (hopefully) no longer want to smash your scale with a sledgehammer!  Not only will you stop letting the scale control you, but my hope is that you will be able to start walking in renewed confidence and hope!

Here we go!

#1 “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  (Psalms 139:14) Okay, I know this is cliché, but it is one of the most well-known Scripture verses for good reason.  It’s true!!  Your body is a living, breathing miracle.  The design of our minds and bodies is so intricate, that only God could have created it.  Maybe you don’t like your flabby arms, but think of the love that oozes from them when you are embracing your spouse, children, friends, and family.  We have eyes to see, ears to hear, and honestly, even if someone is lacking in one of the five senses, God designed us so that our other four are heightened.  The female body can bring a new life into the world, and the mind is more sophisticated than a computer.  Regardless of your size or shape, remember that your body is a gift and a miracle!

#2 “I am a fighter, and I do not give up.”  This affirmation will do you some good no matter what battle you are facing from day to day.  We are warriors in God’s army!  I could list several verses of Scripture that tell us we are warriors, and we must persevere, etc.  But this is what I want to share with you in this moment: “For the LORD your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!” -Deuteronomy 20:4 (NLT) The Lord is with us in every battle.  Why would we ever give up when we know God is fighting with us and for us?  To stop fighting would imply we don’t think God is capable of doing what He says He can do.  Why surrender when God has already won the victory for us? And that brings me to the next affirmation…

#3 “I have overcome by the Blood of The Lamb.”  (Revelation 12:11) My Pastor is a big fan of saying, “I read the back of the book, and we win!”  I love that concept, because the truth is that we already have the victory through Jesus.  The enemy tries to make us doubt this all the time, because he wants to keep us under his thumb.  He wants to be in control, and he absolutely does not want to see us succeed- in anything!  But we need to remember God’s truth and walk in it!  If God says we’ve won, then we’ve won!  If God says we have victory in Jesus, we do!  The reason I love this affirmation is because it keeps me motivated and encouraged.  If I believe I have overcome, I will be an overcomer!  The key word here is “believe.”  Another one of my Pastor’s little nuggets is that if you believe some of the Bible, you have to believe all of it. Start believing you have overcome by the Blood of The Lamb, and you will- even if it’s just one step at a time!

#4 “I am healthy in body, mind, and spirit.”  Jeremiah 33:6 (NIV) reads, “’Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” Girls, this is God speaking!  He promises to bring healing to us, and not only healing, but abundant peace and security.  Abundant peace sure would make us healthy in mind and spirit!  If we can embrace this truth-stand on this promise-we can begin to heal from the inside out.  Belief is half the battle, my friends.  If we tell ourselves we are healthy, we will begin to believe we are healthy, and like I said in the beginning of this post, what we believe, we become.

#5 “This is between me and God, not between me and the scale.”  Can I get an Amen?  From the time I started this blog, I have made it known that this is just as much a spiritual battle for me as it is a physical one.  If you are anything like me, you have beaten yourself up for believing that you loved food more than you loved God, and for those of us who put our focus more on food than on the Creator, the scale becomes our God.  (FYI, that’s a form of idolatry!) We allow the scale to measure our physical success instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to measure our spiritual success.

I could get into a whole discussion about the logistics of weight fluctuation, but that’s not what this post is about.  Let me end this paragraph with this: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) For all intents and purposes, ladies, the scale is another tool the enemy will surely use against us, because he will not waste any opportunity to crush our spirits!

#6 “My body is a temple, and I honor God when I take care of it.”  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us this very thing.  It reads, “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.” (NIV) I don’t think it can be made any clearer to us.  But just in case you missed it, jump over to 1 Corinthians 10:31 where it reads, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (NIV) Friends, listen… I’m preaching to the choir here.  If I followed my own advice, I would be able to do this faithfully every day, if for no other reason than just because our Lord asks us to!  I get that some days are easier than others, but God’s grace is sufficient, and His forgiveness is unconditional and unending.  He also wants to be your strength when you are weak, so tell Him you need His help!

This doesn’t mean you can never have dessert again.  As I said in my Food Freedom post, all foods are a gift from our Creator.  If we ask God to bless that brownie and give Him glory for the marvelous creation that it is, that honors Him.  However, if we indulge in the whole pan of brownies, that does not honor Him, and it definitely isn’t taking care of our temples.  Does that make sense?

#7 “Every good decision is a victory.”  Although our victories may sometimes seem small in comparison to the big battle, each one counts.  (Even two pounds in two days!) Each time you make a healthy choice over an unhealthy one, that is a victory.  Each time you wait for hunger instead of obeying the clock, that is a victory.  Each time you pick yourself back up and start again instead of waiting for Monday, that is a victory!  I know I’ve used this verse in other posts, but it bears repeating.  “…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…” Hebrews 12:1b-2a (NIV) In addition, 2 Timothy 4:7 reads, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (NIV) Girls, I may not be a size two when I get to Heaven, but like Paul, I want to be able to say, “I have fought the good fight!”

#8 “The enemy has no power over me!” Forgive me, but I must take a moment to give a throwback to the 80’s cult classic movie The Labyrinth. Did you ever see this David Bowie film from back in the day?  If you are anything like me, you are covered in goose pimples at the end, when Sarah faces her enemy and finally rattles off the line that, until then, she had trouble remembering.  The most important thing to note here is that she remembered that crucial line at the time it mattered the most!  How often do we, like Sarah, forget that the enemy has no power over us?  He only has the power that we give him!

John 10:10 tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV) In case you didn’t already know this, the enemy of our souls shows no mercy.  He comes to steal our joy, kill our confidence, and destroy our hope… among other things.  And as sure as he shows no mercy, he will indeed kick you when you are down.  When the scale doesn’t give you the numbers you’re looking for, he will take that disappointment and frustration and proceed to rub salt in the wound.  He will start whispering those little lies into your ear.  He will push play on the negative tapes that repeat themselves in your head when you feel as though you failed yet again.  Don’t let him do this to you, Beloved!  It is only a scale, and they are only numbers that fuel his fire!

There is a lot to glean from The Labyrinth when you think about how Jareth and his goblin army stop at nothing to deter Sarah from reaching her end goal.  They confuse her, distract her, try to make her doubt herself… does this sound familiar? Tell yourself every day (and tell the devil and all his little minions) that he has no power over you, and then watch him disappear just like Jareth, The Goblin King, did!

Remember that while God does ask us to take care of our temples so we can fulfill our purpose in the way He designed, this human life is really just a blip on the radar.  It does not mean you have to reach your goal weight before you can start serving Him, and it doesn’t mean He is disappointed with you.  He loves us so unconditionally that our human minds can scarcely understand it.  He looks at the heart, Beloved, not the pants size!

If you have enjoyed these daily affirmations and think they would be a good asset for you on your journey, you will find a free printable on my Freebies page that you can print out and laminate at your leisure.  It’s postcard size for convenience, so you can keep them tucked into your bible and recite them every day when you sit down for devotions and prayer. Or, if you prefer, go ahead and tape them to your mirror.  Say them every morning while you’re gazing at your beautiful reflection!  Whatever works for you is how I want you to do it!

God bless, Warrior Princess!

Posted in Blog, Encouragement/Motivation

Change Your Resolve

Today is January 7th, and we are already one full week into the new year!  Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet?  (Come on, I know you have.)  As we say “good-bye” to 2019, we all have different resolutions we set for ourselves. Actually, as we said “good-bye” to 2018, we probably set the same resolutions. And the year before that, and the year before that, and so on and so on. But what if, this year, we did something different?

There are many different things that we resolve to do in the upcoming year, and if you ask around, we all probably share the same plans. Most of us resolve to do things like lose some weight, read our bibles every day, start adding to our savings accounts, etc. Unfortunately, most of us usually aren’t able to follow through with these plans- at least, not as much as we’d like. We start off pretty well; after all, it’s a new year and a clean slate, so we feel motivated and excited to accomplish the goals we have, so far, been unable to accomplish. But what if we look at our goals from a different perspective?

Too many times, we unwittingly set ourselves up for failure. We either set expectations that are too high, or we set too many goals that are unattainable. First of all, we have to set smaller goals. We can’t go into the new year telling ourselves we plan to lose fifty pounds by summer. That may work for a small percentage of us, but I’ll bet that more often than not, summer comes for those people and they are lucky if they were able to lose twenty. They end up feeling disappointed because they haven’t met their goal, and instead of celebrating the twenty pounds they lost, they see themselves as failures.

If this sounds like you, I have good news!  You are NOT a failure!  The truth is, you simply set a goal that was just out of your reach for one reason or another.  Goals, like anything else, should be set in baby steps.  But let’s go one step deeper, shall we? What if, instead of resolving to do something this year, we resolve, instead, to not do something?

Here’s what I mean:  What if, instead of resolving to read our bibles every day, we revolve to not go to bed until we’ve read our bibles?  When we wake up deciding that we have to make sure we read our bible at some point during our day, it leaves too many open windows for us to say, “I need to make sure I do that,” or, “I’ve got plenty of time yet.”  But before we know it, the day has gotten away from us, and by the time we climb into bed, we are too tired to concentrate on what we would be reading anyway.  Another day slips past, and we go to bed thinking, “I’ll start that tomorrow.”  Then, unfortunately, the same pattern just repeats.

But what if we change our resolve?  What if we resolve to not go to bed until we’ve read our Scriptures, and then we actually schedule it in our day?  You all know what time you like to get into bed, and you know how much time it takes you to do that.  So, if you shower in the evenings, shave, moisturize, or what have you, and you know it takes you one hour to do all of that, then start heading there at least half an hour earlier than you normally would.  Just like you know you must make time to moisturize before hitting the hay, you also must read your bible or do your devotions before turning in for the night.

On the flip-side, if mornings are your thing, maybe set your alarm for an earlier time.  This can be different for every individual.  For some, half an hour may be all you need.  For others who like to do a more in-depth study, maybe shoot for waking a full hour earlier.  Either way, make sure you incorporate enough time for prayer, too!

I’m talking to myself, too, by the way!  I’m not saying I have found the perfect answer, and I guarantee that each one of us probably does things differently, and that’s okay.  Find a routine that works for you, but put the resolve behind your plan.  Make the commitment.

Maybe you’ve resolved to lose some weight this year.  (I’m sure most of us are included in this one!)  What if, instead of resolving to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain deadline, we resolve to not eat after seven pm?  Or we resolve to not drink so many sugary beverages or designer coffees and start drinking more water in their place?  Do you see the pattern?

Have you resolved to start saving money this year?  Instead of trying to put money into a savings account each week, reconcile it in your mind that you aren’t going to stop at the coffee shop every day on your way to work.  If you tend to eat out on the weekends, resolve to skip the restaurant scene on the first and third weekends of every month.  At the end of the month, when you add up how much you’ve saved by making those few simple changes, you can then deposit that amount.  Making one large monthly deposit instead of four smaller, weekly deposits might help you put into perspective exactly how much extra you had been spending without even realizing it.

It’s easier to plan on not doing a few small things than it is to plan out this big achievement you hope to accomplish before the next year sneaks up on you again.  The wording somehow makes all the difference and will be what eventually affects your overall outcome.  Making easy, smaller changes is going to be the key to what makes this year different than all the others.  Taking those “baby steps” is ultimately what is going to bring you the success you’re seeking. Are you trying to write a book? Resolve to not let your day come to an end unless you’ve written at least ten paragraphs.

In my own personal experience this year, I’ve resolved to not just go about everyday life always letting my husband be the first one to say, “I love you.”  It had occurred to me out of the blue one day that, although Greg knows I love him by my words and actions, I was very rarely the one to say those three little words first.  He tells me on a daily basis that he loves me, and of course I assure him that I love him, too!  But it randomly occurred to me that he would truly love and appreciate it if I were the one to say it first once in a while!

Have you ever seen the movie Fireproof with Kirk Cameron?  (If not, you definitely should!)  To make a long story short, the protagonist’s daily acts of random kindness toward his wife ultimately made him fall in love with her again. He and his wife had grown apart and were on the verge of divorce. Had he set out to fall in love with her again, that would have been an unattainable goal. However, he vowed to do one nice thing for her each day for forty days, and in the end, his love for her was reborn through his smaller, everyday actions.

Well for me, it hasn’t been very long that I’ve been practicing this new behavior of saying ‘I love you’ first, but I can already see the changes it has brought about.  My husband holds his head a little higher, smiles a little more, and has a spring in his step!  His positive moods have indirectly affected me in a positive way, and now we are both going through our days almost giddy!

For all intents and purposes, I could have easily resolved to try to make my husband feel more special this year, and then racked my brain trying to figure out what to do differently to accomplish that goal.  But by committing to not let Greg always be the first one to say, “I love you,” I’ve accomplished the goal in an easier way with much less pressure.  Being the first one to say it is not only harmless, but it is enjoyable!

What are some other things you can resolve not to do this year?  How about you don’t make a disgusted face when you see your reflection in the mirror?  What if you stop saying things to yourself that you would never even dream of saying to anyone else?  Think about what you could accomplish if you resolved to stop saying, “I can’t!”

What New Year’s Resolutions can you make that will positively affect your family?  What would it look like if you were to stop screen-time by 7:30 pm and play a board game together before bed?  What would conversations sound like if you stopped asking yes or no questions and started asking open-ended questions instead?  Imagine what it would be like in your home if you put your foot down and said, “I resolve to NOT use my cell phone at family meal times anymore!”  (GASP!)

There are so many different directions you can take this new way of thinking when it comes to making strides towards the things you hope to achieve.  The most important thing I can tell you is to not get discouraged and give up too soon.  If you slip-up or miss a day, don’t beat yourself up about it!  Just start fresh the next day with a little more determination and a lot more grace.

Rachel Hollis, among others, is famous for her motivational podcasts, books, and other tools.  If it would help you to keep better track of your progress, definitely invest in a goal-setting journal or planner.  You will be able find the perfect fit for you by checking out thehollisco.com, passionplanner.com, or even Amazon.

If you don’t want to spend the extra money on anything fancy, just get a simple notebook from your local department store or grocery store, and make your own.  Create check lists, a space for gratitude, and even draw several circles or check boxes to keep track of water intake, for example.  Making your own goal-setting journal might be better for you anyway, because you can tailor it to your exact needs and desires.

Maybe you’re having trouble thinking of a New Year’s Resolution this year.  If this is you, check out my Time Management post and/or click on the Freebies tab to print out the Victories Chart.  Pick something off of that list to focus on implementing this year if it’s not something you’re already doing.

As I type this post, it is currently snowing where I live, and I am resolving to no longer be afraid of snowstorms!  Although driving in the snow is one of the things I dislike the most about Winter, I am choosing to not be fearful of it.  I have been driving for over twenty years, and I know I’ll be okay.  Besides that, I am in the palm of God’s hand!

God will get me safely to my next destination just like He gets me through anything else.  And you are in the palm of His hand, as well, which means He will get you through anything, too… even your New Year’s Resolutions!

If you’d like to share, I would love to hear some of your goals for 2020.  What are some ways you can accomplish those goals by resolving to not do something?  Comment below, and Happy New Year!

Posted in Blog, Encouragement/Motivation

You Are Enough

In the newest book by Rachel Hollis, Girl, Stop Apologizing, chapter four talks about the fourth excuse women use when they can’t or won’t even try to accomplish their goals. The excuses provided in her book before and after this one are equally important, but this excuse was one that is extremely relative to my story, and therefore, I am sharing it with you here: the excuse that tells you, “I’m not enough to succeed.”

I mentioned in my More About Me page that I had been mentally and verbally abused.  From the age of about eight or ten up until the time I moved out at 18, I was told by my step-father that I was a worthless, lazy glutton that would never amount to anything.  There were many variations of these words, but the message was always the same… and I grew to believe it.  (Before I go any further, I absolutely need to make sure all of my readers know that my dad was a completely different person when I was growing up.  He has since found the Lord, we have repaired our relationship, and we are closer than ever!)

As an adult, I found that I was caught in a never-ending cycle of perfectionism and dissatisfaction.  No matter what I accomplished, it wasn’t enough.  This makes sense because as I was growing up, if I earned a “B” on a test, I was told it should have been an “A” instead.  If I cleaned the bathroom top to bottom, he found the one hair I missed on the sink.  I’m sure I don’t need to give any more details for you to get the idea.

Unfortunately, if that was my dad’s way of “encouraging” me to reach for the stars, it severely backfired.  It turned me into an unfulfilled and unsatisfied perfectionist who couldn’t see the good in anything she did.

I constantly beat myself up for not going to college every time I didn’t get the job I wanted.  When I published my first book, I was convinced it “didn’t count,” because I self-published instead of finding an agent.  And when I did go back to college, I earned my Associate’s Degree with a 3.9 GPA but was devastated that it wasn’t a 4.0. In short, I had let the size of my paycheck (and the size of my body!) determine my value and worth instead of walking in my God-given identity.

Do you see why Excuse #4 in Rachel’s book totally resonated with me? I highly recommend this book, (as well as her first one, Girl, Wash Your Face).  But, until you get your own copy, I want to share with you a life-changing exercise that she encourages us to do when we are in doubt about our ability to achieve our dreams.

She tells us to write a letter to ourselves.  It should be from that part of us that never gave up.  It should be from our “persistence and tenacity,” and we are to focus on all the things we have done instead of all the things we haven’t done.  She even encourages us to update it as often as necessary. In her book, she candidly shares with us the very first letter she wrote to herself when this exercise was suggested to her, and now I am going to candidly share my letter with all of you.

Please know that I am not sharing this to be boastful, but to be transparent.  I want to be relatable to you, and if nothing else, I want to jog your memory about some things you have accomplished that you may not have thought of yourself!  Know that if you choose to do this exercise, your letter will be for your eyes only, unless you want to share it with someone else who needs to be encouraged!

Use your own voice.  This letter is to you, from you.  Be honest.  Tell it like it is, and don’t worry about grammar or spelling.  I intend to make a copy of mine for each of my girls, so I can leave a legacy of confidence, not cowardice. With that, here is my letter:

Dear Alicia,

Hello, woman!  Wake up and pay attention, because this is a very important letter that contains a lot of very important information.  Hi, this is your Persistence & Tenacity, now listen up!

First of all, straighten up that crown of yours and act like the princess you are!  Why?  Because it was no accident that you were adopted into the Royal Family.  Not only did God choose you from the very beginning, but you chose Him, too.  And you did it because you are a good mother!  When you had your first child, you wanted a different life for her than what you had.  You looked at that precious little baby and then made a life-changing decision for both of you.

Not only did you want God to be an important part of your lives, but you did something more… you stopped the cycle!  You stopped the cycle of partying; you stopped the cycle of divorce; and most importantly, you stopped the cycle of abuse.  You have overcome and risen above!  You chose to rise above your circumstances.  You wanted better for your life, so you endured more than ten years of scary and painful therapy.  You learned healthy ways to cope with trauma, stress, and fear.  You made yourself forgive, so you could step forward and step up.  Then….

You spoke to large crowds of people about it!  And here’s a newsflash for you… you are a great public speaker!  You may have been a hot mess on the inside, but you never showed it on the outside.

You pursued further education- twice.  You not only did your two-year Literature Course after graduation, but when you went back to school to get your Psychology degree, you were 38 years old, working part-time, raising three kids, and leading a Girl Scout Troop!  When you got that Associate’s Degree, you got it with a 3.9 GPA.  Let’s not forget… You wrote a novel!  You wrote it, then you learned how to self-publish it, and you were able to self-edit it, too.  Now you have a book on Amazon!  And you think you haven’t accomplished anything yet?  Come on, girl.  Don’t be ridiculous.

Okay, now let’s talk about the elephant in the room… your health and body.  Remember when I reminded you of all the family cycles you stopped?  Well how about the cycle of constant overeating and bad food choices?  When this health & wellness company came into your life, the Holy Spirit gave you the power to overcome, and now you are heading towards Food Freedom!

Last but not least, let’s talk about that dirty little four-letter “F” word…. FEAR!  Listen, girlfriend, if you were to have a check list of all the times you showed Fear who’s boss, it might look something like this…

You hate being the center of attention, but you became a public speaker because you wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.  You were always a shy introvert, but you faked it until you made it, and now you’re a people-person!

When your daughter was going through her medical trauma and had to have two brain surgeries and then a Bilateral Adrenalectomy, they were the scariest times of your entire life.  You not only had to be strong for her, but you learned how to give up control and trust God.

When your other daughter was away at college, which was scary enough by itself, your heart sank every time she called home because you never knew what was waiting for you on the other end of the line.  But, your daughter needed you, so you faced it every single time because you knew that burying your head in the sand would not help her overcome.

Despite being a nervous wreck, you’ve driven in busy cities by yourself, you’ve gracefully made it through over a dozen job interviews in your lifetime, and they don’t even make you nervous anymore, you’ve had three surgeries, you’ve survived losing a parent, you’ve gone through intensive training to do volunteer work at a crisis pregnancy center, you’ve gone through more intensive training to become a certified lay minister, you’ve taken steps to start your own ministry at church, you became an entrepreneur, and you’ve had to kill spiders all by yourself when no one else was around!

The list of ways in which you have conquered fear goes on and on, so why let fear hold you back now?  As your favorite friend, Winnie the Pooh says, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”  And you…are not…a quitter.

Be proud of all those hats you wear!  Wife, mother, author, online content writer, public speaker, entrepreneur, college graduate, spiritual leader, family secretary, prayer warrior, and one heck of a tenacious, goal digging, go-getter!

Before I go, let me remind you of the lyrics from one of your favorite songs…

“Fear, you don’t own me.  There ain’t no room in this story.  And I ain’t got time for you telling me what I’m not like you know me, well guess what?  I know who I am!  I am strong, brave, and I am free.  I’ve got my own identity!  So, Fear, you will never be welcome here!”

Another hat I wear is Encourager. Now I encourage you to grab a journal & a pen and your favorite feel-good beverage, and get writing. Here, I’ll start it for you: Dear (your-name-here), this is your Persistence & Tenacity, and I want to remind you that YOU ARE AWESOME! And do you know why?

Fill in the blanks.

Don’t be scared; it’s easier than you think once you get on a roll! For a little extra encouragement, maybe you first want to take a listen to the song I referenced in my letter. You can do so here. Download it, install it, save it, or whatever you do to get it on your favorite device, and listen to it every day!

*You don’t have to share your letter with me, but if you want to share any part of it, or if you want to share anything about how it made you feel, I would welcome those comments! Kick Fear to the curb, and happy writing!*