I want to be like THAT pen!

  I read a quote today that really got me thinking.  Here it is:

I once owned a pen that I loved to use during my career as an airline captain. By simply turning the shaft, I could choose one of four colors. The pen did not complain when I wanted to use red ink instead of blue. It did not say to me, “I would rather not write after 10:00 p.m., in heavy fog, or at high altitudes.” The pen did not say, “Use me only for important documents, not for the daily mundane tasks.” With greatest reliability it performed every task I needed, no matter how important or insignificant. It was always ready to serve.

In a similar way we are tools in the hands of God. When our heart is in the right place, we do not complain that our assigned task is unworthy of our abilities. We gladly serve wherever we are asked. When we do this, the Lord can use us in ways beyond our understanding to accomplish His work. (Dieter F. Uchtdorf)

After reading this I started to ask myself.  Am I like that pen or do I tend to tell God how and when I will serve?

Unfortunately, I don't think that I am like that pen often enough. Many times I receive very clear inspiration… then I am either afraid of what others will think… or require so much perfection of myself that it hinders my progress… or I get caught up in the 'how' and 'when' it will all work out.  

I want to be more like that pen.  I want to do the things He asks of me, as soon as He asks me!  

Then there was a scripture I came across that brought me great comfort and hope.  It is in Corinthians 1:27

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;"

So guess what?  I am weak!!  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying this in a self-deprecating way… but more of an acknowledgement that I have weaknesses.   We all have weaknesses…. but doesn't this verse bring you great comfort?

The Lord chooses the weak to work miracles through them and then He makes them strong.  He chooses the weak and humble because they are teachable and will do the things He asks of them AND how much more does it glorify God when someone who is flawed works His miracles?  Think of Moses – do you think he confounded mighty people and things?  Of course!  He was very humble and was not gifted in speech yet he was provided for over and over – and miracles happened.  He freed his people, confounded the Egyptians, and parted the Red Sea!!  All this was done through a humble [and weak] servant of God.

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them" (Ether 12:27)

I have come to a new resolve.  I am grateful for my weaknesses and I am grateful that I am constantly being shown what they are.  Instead of fearing that people will find out what they are or trying to act like I don't have any… I think God wants me to move forward WITH my weaknesses and have faith that He will work His mighty miracles through me.

How fun is this going to be?!  I get to show all my flaws as I move forward on this path that I have been called to travel… and you get to watch it all?  🙂  WHOO HOO!  

But in all seriousness, I am absolutely thrilled that I can be an instrument in God's hands and I commit to being more like that pen… writing whatever I am called to write… in whatever color I am called to be.  

Taking a Real, Hard Look

I love the New Year.  It always brings in such a feeling of renewal and strength.  I usually think about each area of my life and set goals that can be reached that year – or at least they are my ideal goals… whether they be attainable or not.  🙂

 

This year felt different somehow.   As I started to do my usual routine, it seemed so shallow and insincere.  Almost like my insides were saying "Yeah right, Martina.  That's what you say you're going to do, but what are you REALLY going to do" I am standing on a threshold in my life.  All of the things I have been preparing for and 'talking' about doing are now staring me in the face.  I have a team around me cheering me on and it feels like I have a sports coach yelling inches away from my face

"JUMP NOW, Martina!!  It is TIME!!  Make that leap or you will lose what has been given you. You need to MOVE!!!!"

 

I feel an urgency.  I know there is a message within me that needs to be shared with the world.  I know I need to have faith and move forward with fearless courage.

 

This past week I saw a conversation on Facebook about having a centralized theme for the year.  I have noticed that most years have a theme… however, I have never considered picking one ahead of time.  But I liked the idea… a lot.  So here is my theme for 2011:

 

FEARLESS and FORWARD

 

Fearless because that is what it will take to do all of the many grand things that I have felt inspired to do and Forward because that is the direction I will need to continually push myself in.  I cannot doubt when I am about to run and jump over a giant ravine… or I would fall short in my attempt.  The same is true in my mission in life.  I must RUN forward with all my might and when it is time to jump, I do not falter ONE BIT.  It will take every ounce of determination and strength to make it to the other side.  And that is what I must do.

 

So how can I move forward fearlessly?

 

I feel I must take a REALLY HARD look at myself.  A real, honest, truthful look at every weakness and inconsistent thing in my life.  I must be completely honest with where I am at.  Then I will set goals and make those weaknesses my strengths.  When I am strong and prepared… I do not fear.

 

Today is January 4, 2011.  It has taken me me days to do this and I am now ready to make a declaration to the world.  I am ready to be honest about my shortcomings and seek ways to make them my strengths.  

 

Here they are:

1. My health and fitness

How I feel on the inside:  I am a totally healthy and buff girl.  I love exercise and I love how strong my body is.  I love eating raw, organic food that is free from all unnatural or artificial ingredients.  I make healthy meals for my family and meal plan ahead of time so we can eat healthy affordably.

The hard reality:  I hate to cook.  I feel cursed everyday when I think of preparing food for myself and family.  Exercise and taking time to take care of me often finds itself at the bottom of the priority list where it consistently gets neglected.  I feel resentful that so much emphasis is put on the body.  I feel like my success is determined by my weight.  I feel like I am on display because I am a "personal fitness trainer's wife and everyone will be judging me or my husband by my fitness level.  I have had difficult experiences in the past when I am thin… so I [subconsciously] fear that if I lose weight I will be vulnerable…. somehow I've believed that the excess weight keeps me safe.   Whenever I eat really well, I find myself frequently sabotaging my efforts.

What I am going to do about it:  Last night I went to a doTERRA's event that was launching its Slim & Sassy Weight Loss Program.  They are coming out with some new products and they are having a weight-loss contest to promote it, too.  As I was sitting there, I felt purpose in my weight… and I felt a new purpose in my weight loss.  I can use a product that I love and feel passionate about, while having a set goal in mind (with the contest) AND when I win the contest, it will give me exposure with my message.  It will give me a way to make my voice be heard.  My husband just opened a fitness gym and I also felt inspired to use his workout plans along with the new products to get ultimate results as well as promote my awesome husband's abilities.  

I am also learning how to make more raw food recipes.  I have been trying to eat natural foods for a while now, however, because I have not enjoyed cooking in the past I let it discourage me.  I have attending a raw foods cooking class and have been reading several books that can teach me how to do it well. 

 

2. Goals and Follow-through

How I feel on the inside:  I feel like I am a 'go-getter'.  I like to set goals and I love how it feels when I accomplish the things I say I am going to.  I am a woman of integrity… if I say I will do it, then I will.  I also pay all of my financial obligations in a timely manner. I am a person of integrity and enjoy accomplishing the things I say I am going to do.

The hard reality:  I can get overwhelmed and my brain goes into a 'freeze' mode where I don't know what to do next.    I often have grand ideas of all the many things I want to do but then I don't follow through and see the things through to the end.  There are other times that I feel overwhelmed or fearful about the outcome of a situation.

What I am going to do about it:  I am going to move forward FEARLESSLY!!  I am going to do so much more than that – I am not going to worry about being perfect before I act.  I am going to act on inspiration the moment I receive it.  I am going to take time to connect with God every day and visualize the outcome of what I want.  

 

2011 is going to be the BEST YEAR EVER!!  I feel GREAT acknowledging the areas of improvement – because I think it is the only way to truly change.  

 

You've got to look at where you are  – in order to get to where you want to be.  🙂

Am I a Good Nut?

I was cracking and eating some almonds today and realized that you can NOT judge how good the nut will be from the exterior.

Okay, okay, I know I am really pushing it this time but I had an interesting thought come to mind.
 
Aren't we all like the nuts?
 
Some of the almonds I ate had really broken-up shells but the nut inside was delicious! I was getting to the last of them and I finally found this PERFECT large shell… I was so excited thinking about the huge, tasty nut just waiting to be eaten. I cracked it open and much to my dismay I found a small, shriveled, and blackened almond.
 
I didn't see any evidence on the shell that something could be wrong on the inside so how could this happen?  So here is my question to you… how many people (aka nuts) do you see in this world that have perfect outer shells? How do you judge them? You may envy them… or try to be more like them. And how many people do you know that have scraggly, broken up shells (lives) and how do you judge them? Do you pity them or make judgments about their lives?
 
Honestly, we cannot judge anyone. We do not know what lies within another person. They could have a rough exterior and a heart of gold… or they may be the best church-going person and have dark secrets of abuse. You never know…
I am reminded of the Sadduces and Pharises in the Bible. Jesus knew the intent of their hearts and saw that they were shriveled and blackened within – even though the exterior of their lives were 'perfect'.
 
I started to think about judment day… when we stand in front of our Maker. It is at that time that our shells will be cracked open to reveal what lies within us. Even though I think of myself as having cracks, broken edges, and a little scratched up, I hope that when I stand with my Savior he will find me filled with His light and love and be pleased with the 'good nut' he found.  🙂