Don’t Set Up Camp

Written by: Angela Mercer

We were lying on the floor attempting some ab exercises and I was telling my friend that I was in a weight-loss rut. She asked what I had been doing and, of course, I went on to tell her about my past few weeks. I have been enjoying this particular class and another friend drags me along with her every time she goes. Ok, I admit, I actually don’t have to be dragged anymore, but we do always meet up to go because the accountability really helps. While she explained to me that my body has settled in quite nicely to my new routine and that I probably just need to switch it up a bit, I quickly found these words came out of my mouth:

But there’s so much comfort in that room. I know exactly what I am doing. I am confident in there. I don’t have to think about what to do.”

And with a smile she looked at me and said “but you know you aren’t going to get the results you want with comfort”.

We laughed. Hard. I have said those words many times myself to people in conversation about faith and other life issues. Ain’t that the truth? No good comes from comfort.

It is hard to begin something new. It’s difficult and requires a lot of planning. It sometimes requires that friend to ‘drag you along’ and keep you accountable. But after a few weeks you get your groove and it doesn’t seem so hard anymore. And then something strange happens. We get comfortable. It gets easier. It becomes habit and we don’t have to think so hard all the time. It becomes second nature. But then we can also become very complacent.

Ugh. I don’t like that word. Complacent. The Cambridge dictionary defines that word as “feeling so satisfied with your own abilities or situation that you feel you do not need to try any harder”.

Ew. I really don’t like that word. But that is exactly what I was. Complacent.

I was so proud of myself for my new routine and regular gym going and “healthier” eating that I was not thinking ahead anymore. I wasn’t thinking my next steps. I wasn’t thinking about the next 15 pounds.

I know it’s important to not get wrapped up in a number. But after struggling many years with health and fitness and weight— I have to. I also know it is so important to celebrate each milestone but we can’t set up camp and stay there either. I had set up camp!!

So, this week, I am setting a new goal and planning for the next leg of this journey. I am tearing down my camp site and packing it away for a while. I have work to do.

Here are some scriptures that have been an encouragement to me these past few months on this new health journey of mine. I hope they bring hope and encouragement to you too. This journey is sure harder then I thought, but I am really enjoying the way the way the Lord puts it all into perspective and I learn more and more what it means to persevere and not give up.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

Give careful thought to your ways. Haggai 1:28

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Phil 4:13
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Heb 12:1-3

With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matt 19:26

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness… 2 Peter 1:5-6

Boldly And Confidently

Written by: Angela Mercer

Thursday morning is one of my favourite times of the week. This is the day I facilitate our ladies bible study at church. One of my other favourite things is the mixing of generations. I love the conversation that happens each week. I love how the older ladies love on the young mom’s who need some support and encouragement and I love how the younger mom’s look up to and respect the older ones. I love hearing their stories about how God speaks to them or what He is showing them lately. I love hearing another woman’s perspective on life and faith.

One morning as we were cleaning up, our conversation landed on the topic of confidence. More specifically, growing in confidence as we age. A dear woman whom I greatly admire shared that she has always loved the colour purple but she didn’t really like standing out in a crowd. She would purposefully wear beige, grey and black until the day she realized she LOVES purple. So, she started wearing purple.

Don’t we just do that sometimes? Maybe you can relate? I know I can. I have always said “I just like to fly under the radar”. I have always loved fashion and following trends, but at times I prefer to just wear what everyone else is wearing so that I don’t stand out.

A few years ago when we bought a new house I was determined for the first time to make it mine. Which means, be brave enough to do what I really want to do. Flying under the radar as I usually do seeped into my home décor as well. I would use beige, wood, nothing too trendy, a little more traditional approach. So, when we moved in I painted one wall a dark teal. I love the colour teal and I thought it would look so great. I actually did it! I also love yellow so I spray painted a few things yellow and painted a little side table yellow too. I was having so much fun I started not thinking at all about what people might think and started to only think about what I liked. It was so liberating!

Do you ever wish you could tell your younger self something? Well, I would tell my younger self “do it anyway, there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like it. If you like it– that’s all that matters”!

Oh how I wish I had learned this when I was younger. God created me with certain talents, likes/dislikes, desires and passions and they are all unique to me. When we try to please everyone around us by “flying under the radar” we really just become very unhappy people.

If we are not careful we can take this same approach to other areas of our lives. It is very easy in our culture of social media and connectivity to concern ourselves with what the masses are doing and not enough about what we are doing. We ask why everyone else is fine with this or that. We start to wonder if anyone noticed something we did. If we aren’t careful, we will be so wrapped up in what everyone else thinks, far from who we are, and forget about what our Heavenly Father thinks.

Just as we need to be more confident in who we are and be ourselves, our focus needs to remain on God and doing what pleases Him. I think what truly pleases Him is being exactly who He created us to be. With all your flair and colour! After all, He is the only One that really matters.

“I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” Galatians 1:10