Life Update: September 27, 2016

Hi friends!

As you know, from time-to-time, I will post a quick blog about what I’ve been doing and/or projects that I’m planning. Usually when there is a short break in my posting schedule, that means I’m up to something.

And I’m definitely up to something!

I have wanted to get my online store ready for a while now. It has been a dream of mine for over a year, but I never took the time to sit down and make it happen. I thought the mood may eventually pass. Instead, my desire to create an online store has grown! I think it is finally time to make this happen.

I’m still writing blog posts. I have several on the horizon — some in the works with some great sponsors and some that are ready for publishing. But I am also taking some time to create art as well. I am building my inventory of hand-lettered cards and signs, typography/prints, and digital designs. I plan to launch my online store very soon (so please subscribe to my blog so that you’ll receive an email as soon as it’s open!) and sell at a few local craft fairs, too. Being an artist means so much to me, and I am looking forward to sharing my work with you soon.

In addition to my artwork, it’s running season again! (I’m an outdoor runner, and train very little during the hot and humid NC summers.) I begin mentoring on Monday with a new group of trainees who will be completing their first 5K in December. I will personally have my first 5K of the season at the end of October.

All that said, you can expect lots of blog topics heading your way. I will have some great fall recipes for you, running tips as we transition to cooler weather, blogs featuring NC Triad businesses, fall and winter fashions, and some holiday DIY projects. I’m on a mission to make this fall the healthiest and most creative yet. I hope you’ll join me!

 

Do You Fit In or Stand Out?

Eating healthy is tricky. A lot of people attempt it without having a good foundation or the right mindset. I like to offer suggestions to them on how a few minor changes to unhealthy food (that they think is healthy) can make living better. I am no food expert. But I have spent many years learning about nutrition, mostly in thanks to family medical problems and my own struggles with weight. I am constantly researching and learning about the best food to eat and the bad ones I should avoid.

I am often taken back by the number of people who think I’m not sincere. For the few who consider listening to my advice, I can still tell they walk away with hesitation and doubt. I am willing to share information that is FREE to them, although it has cost me copays to nutritionists and doctors, tuition to college, and a lot of years to learn. I have no intention of deceiving anyone. I simply want to gift everyone with the education, so they can reach their potential.

Then it hit me. My physical appearance doesn’t reflect my knowledge of nutrition. I seldom make time to workout. My muscles aren’t toned, my curves aren’t defined, and I even carry a little extra weight. I look like most of society. Even though we have been taught to “not judge a book by its cover” it’s human nature to do it. Think about it. If you wanted to hire a personal trainer, would you pick any regular person out of the crowd? Or would you pick someone who appears to actually do what they’re telling you to do? Although I can back my insight with facts printed in well-known medical articles and health magazines, it’s hard to convince anyone that it’s true when I don’t apply it to myself.

Likewise, it’s hard for Christians to share the gospel with nonbelievers if our lifestyles don’t reflect our knowledge. Have you ever been approached by someone who questions God’s word? Have you ever explained in detail the road to Salvation, only to feel like they have walked away with hesitation and doubt? It is difficult to convince others of the truth, even when the facts are written in the most prestigious book, The Bible, if we seem less than reputable.

Let me clarify that I am not talking about our sins. [Romans 3:23] And I’m not talking about our physical appearance. [Psalm 45:11] What I am talking about is our character… how we carry ourselves, how we react to situations, how we show God’s love. [1 Samuel 16:7]

I have heard many nonbelievers argue that Christians are hypocrites. And in many ways, we can unintentionally be. If we do not practice what we preach, or even practice (outside of church) what is being preached to us, it is difficult to convince nonbelievers of how changes to an unhealthy lifestyle (that they think isn’t so bad) can make living better. When we share our testimonies, we aren’t trying to deceive anyone. We just want to give advice on how to obtain the FREE gift of Salvation, although it cost our Lord and Savior pain, suffering, and His life.

A lot of believers attempt to be “Christians” without having a good foundation or the right mindset. When Christians look like most of society, no one wants to consider the information that we have to share. Like physically healthy people, we can become spiritually healthy with discipline. Spiritual workouts are important in toning our character. The Epistle of James is full of great reminders of how we, as Christians, should stand out in a crowd. For example, James 1:19 states My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. In order to look appealing to a nonbeliever who is searching for answers, it is important that we train ourselves to follow God’s word. We have to emphasize our best attributes instead of displaying the bad ones that must be avoided. If we exercise our appearance to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control at ALL times, we will be a visible example of the truth of God. Who could doubt that?

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. –3 John 1:11