Sunday, March 15, 2009

Twelve Weeks

Back in November I participated in a weight loss contest. Well, I guess I can't really say I participated. I should just say I signed up and paid my entry fee! From then on, it was pretty much out of my life!

I had just stopped delivering papers on the last day of October, and felt like so many areas of my life had slipped away because of the time and energy commitment that the papers required. Looking back, I really see how that 3 1/2 years really took such a toll on pretty much every area of my life. Anyways...when I planned on spending 12 weeks concentrating on losing some weight, I also set out a few other goals for myself too.

First of all I wanted to lose weight. In addition to that, I wanted to spend some time trying to improve other areas of my life too. I wanted to do better about keeping my housework kept up. There were also several projects around the house that had needed to be done for a while. I had let fun play time and educational teaching time with the kids slip. I had gotten in the habit of not treating Jon the way I should. I had all but given up any sort of Bible or recreational reading because of just being plain exhausted from doing the paper route. I wanted to incorporate all of those things back into my life. Even more, I wanted to strengthen my prayer life through that time.

I agreed to co-teach a Sunday morning Bible class as a way to make myself meet my goal of spending more time in the Word. I spent time studying with the SH Girls' Bible Study. I also spent some time reading I also feel like I spent more time in prayer during those 12 weeks.

I tried to research books and plan out a way to read extracurricular books that would encourage growth several different facets of life--so I made a list and a strenuous goal of reading a book a week for those 12 weeks. I ended up not quite meeting that goal--but I did complete 6 books and read most or part of 3 others in 12 weeks.

I really felt like God was working through some of the selections I chose--It was so shocking to me how I would be in a Bible class and hear a comment that directly related to something I had just read. Or how I needed a new aspect on a scripture I was to teach in class and realized I had just read about that in another book that week. I read while I was riding the bike at the gym. I read before I went to sleep at night.

At the end of the 12 weeks, I feel like the weight loss is the only area of my life where I didn't experience some success in my goals. It was encouraging to me to spend some time working on things that I really felt needed some work. I am thinking about starting a new 12 week journey to set new goals for myself...If you have any ideas for books or resources, please feel free to suggest them!

The books I read my 1st 12 weeks...
**Body For Life--a book outlining a healthy eating and exercising plan. This book is encouraging to me...I struggled with this goal, though, because of a very painful knee injury.
**Calm My Anxious Heart--a great book that deals with being content in whatever situation God has you in right now. I was desperately needing this book!
**Transforming your Children into Spiritual Champions--I only read about half of this book but it had a lot of really good ideas. The idea behind it is that churches and families should put a huge effort into planting a strong faith seed in young children so that it can grow and mature with them as they do. The reason I couldn't get through the whole thing is because the author had done so much research then included all those statistics in the reading--I wish it hadn't been so numerical!!!
**Into Thin Air--This is the only book I read that wasn't of a Christian theme. It's Jon Krakauer's version of a Mount Everest expedition that he was on and the story of how tragedy hit and several climbers did not survive the trip. The thing that was amazing to me about this is the sheer determination and strength that mountain climbers have. A lesson that this did teach me, though, is that in spite of the best laid plans, we, as humans, never have full control of our physical situations.
**Captivating--I only read part of this, and I struggled through it. I had heard a lot of people rave about this book, so I picked it up off a sale rack one day. I guess the idea is that every girl/woman has always dreamed of a Prince Charming to come sweep her off her feet and how God wants to be our prince. I plan on reading it completely...someday...but for now, it just doesn't seem like it has very much substance at all.
**A Woman and Her God--I found this book in our church library, and I enjoyed it very much. It was a complilation of several Christian women's essays/writings about her own personal struggles/relationship with God. It was encouraging to me to see how some older women had met and come through struggles in life and faith.
**Quiet Strength--This is the story of Tony Dungy, the first black coach to win a Super Bowl. I am sure he is not a perfect man, but he is a Christian man, and his story is about how his role as a Christian has always affected the way he played football and coached his teams. It has also been a huge factor in the way he balances work and family. I was encouraged to see the story of this man--someone who the world sees as successful--be purposefully based on his faith in God.
**The Promise--This is a book I picked up at the public library, with absolutely no knowledge of what this book was about except for what the subtitle told me:How One Woman Made Good on Her Extraordinary Pact to send a Classroom of 1st Graders to College. While the reading was not amazing, the story was. This woman has done a lot to help her community in Oakland, CA. It was really neat to read about the investment of time and money that she made in each child's life. The one thing that made me sad, though, is that her commitment to this promise cost her her marriage, and it sounded to me like it was worth it to her. Sad.
**Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World--This is a classic that I've heard about forever, so I figured what better time to start reading this than during my 12 week goal? I didn't get all the way through it in time, but I have enjoyed what I've read!


Sunny said...

Stacy, I love this post. I can only imagine the ways that God has worked through you within these past 12 weeks. I loved looking over your list of books. I've read "Calm My Anxious Heart" and found that it was exactly what I needed. I recently read "Taking Care of the Me in Mommy" by Lisa Whelcel. It was such a good and easy read. She focuses on "your spirit, your body and your soul" and provides you with practical ideas to "take care of yourself".

Alisha said...

I too, enjoyed this post. It is so refreshing to read about your 12 weeks and how you have grown and met so many of your goals. I am always looking for a new good book to read so please keep sharing! : ) The book that I am going to read next is Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Corey absolutely loved it and says I have to read it. I think I need to set goals for over a short period of time like you did. Thanks for sharing!

The HoneaBees said...

I thought you were going to say you are 12 weeks pregnant!
I am way behind on reading...I need to get to the book store! I am trying to read the Bible in a year. I am on February 11 and today is March 18. Maybe I should try reading the Bible in a year and a half.

Jane said...

Stacy, I love all of the goals you set for yourself! You have encouraged me to take a look at some things in my life and see what needs improvement.

Reading, writing, and exercise are big favorites of mine, and when I have kids I hope I can continue to fit all of that in!

I don't read many non-fiction books, but I have a BOAT LOAD of good fiction ones, if you ever want to drift away into a good story. :)