I have spent a good deal of this first week of my 40 day challenge reflecting.  As I have been looking over the list Joe made for me, I have decided that it can be neatly divided into three categories.  This is what I do with everything in my life{smirk}!  Plan. Plan. Plan. Organize.  Organize.  Organize. I get great excitement when I see the monthly family menu and food inventory hanging on my fridge.   One of the best Christmas gifts I ever received was a label machine. When I’m having ‘one of those days,’ I often console myself by finding something in my house that is cluttered and attacking it with a label, box, or file folder.  Ahhhh, just the thought brings peace to my soul!  Don’t even get me started on what my heart does when I walk through the Container store. 

       Back to the point…I’ve divided my list into three categories:  Spiritual, relational, and physical.  Before I did this, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Much like I feel when I look at the junk drawer in my kitchen.  But armed with a ‘plan of action’ and sheer determination even the impossible can become possible right?

            So, where do I begin?   For me, the answer to this question always begins in one place.  The Word of God.  Matthew 6:33 is a verse I think I memorized before I could even read.  It has been the umbrella under which I have strived to stay in all areas of my life.  I have often been tempted to let go of the umbrella and chase my own desires out into the adventurous storm of life, but that has never turned out good for me.  The greatest blessings in my life have been added when I have sought first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. 

            My physical appearance is something I have been working on for many months now.  Back in January I set some health goals for myself.  I typically try to avoid ‘new year’s resolutions’ because I HATE setting a goal and not reaching it.  Nonetheless, this year I found myself setting some goals.  Though some of those goals remain unfulfilled (booooo), I have had great success with the goals I have set for myself in the areas of health.  Perhaps the ten year anniversary was the driving force.  I am sure that has something to do with it.  However, I know there is so much more behind the reasons for my success. 

            So, why is it that I have been trying without success for 7 years to lose the 20 extra pounds I packed on during the shift to motherhood, and then finally this year the pounds started coming off?  There are some obvious things.  My diet has changed some.  But I have always eaten pretty healthy.  Exercise has become more consistent.  But I have always been rather disciplined in the area of exercise.  I believe the answer is something much deeper than the obvious external changes I have made.  Instead I believe success came when I fully recognized how intimately connected the physical is to the spiritual.   Success came when I finally wholeheartedly sought my Father’s kingdom first in the area of my weight loss. 

            I am so excited to report that this ponytail princess is walking around much lighter these days.  Yes I am wearing the size jeans I wore when I met Joe.  Yes, I am seeing glimpses of the shapely arms that once tagged me with the nickname Guns.  Yet the true change has come in my spirit.  No longer was I relying on some well-organized weight loss plan (remember I’m a sucker for organization!)  No longer was I chasing goals under my own strength.  No longer is it about what I look like in the mirror.  It goes much deeper than that.  I’ll save the details for my next post.  Until then, it is Monday.  Cleaning day at the Buxton house and nothing excites me like the thought of sitting down in a few hours sipping a cup of coffee and relishing in the glory that it a clean and decluttered house!   Better go find that ponytail holder there is much work to be done!