Widmayer Wellness LLC

Encouragement in Your Wellness Journey

Category Archives: Thoughts

Change

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My husband always buys white tennis shoes.  In over forty years of marriage, he’s never bought another color—until this time.  This time, he bought gray tennis shoes.  I like them.  But every time I see them sitting by his chair or our bed, I’m confused.  For a split second, I wonder, “Whose shoes are those?”

We are creatures of habit, and change is hard.  Even when a change has no impact on what we do—like a new pair of shoes—it takes the brain a while to process.  If such an insignificant change can be so difficult to grasp, how can we ever change things in our lives that are of great significance?  How do we change bad habits into good ones?  How do we change prejudice into acceptance?  How do we change hate into love?

The short answer is, “We can’t.”  We often don’t have the strength, desire, or will power we need to make changes like that on our own.  No matter how much we determine we will power through, it takes very little to slip back into old, comfortable habits or mindsets.  That’s why I’m thankful for Jesus.  Jesus, Who came to earth and died for our sins, Who forgave us, and Who is the only One who can transform us into the image of God.  In Christ, all things are possible.  In Christ, changes can happen.  Thank God that in Him we “are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:18

Do you need to make a change in your life?  Ask God to help you.  The biggest change He ever makes is when He cleanses us from our sins when we ask Him for forgiveness and put our lives in His hands. From that point forward, He helps us make the other changes we need, whether it’s something big like transforming an attitude or prejudice, or something personal, like changing our lifestyles to healthier ones.

And speaking of healthier lifestyles, I believe I will go find my own tennis shoes and take a walk.

For Fathers (Proverbs 31)

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A Virtuous Husband

A strong, sensitive, and spiritual husband—who is she that can find him?

He is far more precious than solid bars of gold, and his value is far above the wealth of Wall Street.

The heart of his wife trusts implicitly in his priesthood of their home, confidently relying in his spiritual wisdom.

He comforts, cares for, supports, and partners her in all their endeavors, and supports her and their offspring as long as there is life within him.

He spends quality time with each child in his family, learning the child’s bent and seeking to develop his or her potential to its fullest.

He finds joy in the accomplishments of his family.

He rises while it is early to study and seek God’s will for his life and the life of his loved ones, and stays up late praying for the growth and safety of his children.

He works diligently to provide for his family.  He considers business decisions in Godly context and does all things with integrity, ensuring his family’s future and well-being to the best of his God-given abilities.

He does not worry over his children’s futures for he has provided a solid spiritual and economic foundation from which to launch them.

He looks well to the care of his home and property and gives excellent care to those material things which God has provided.

He manages the family finances, giving tithes to the Lord and contributing to the needs of the poor and lost.

He is a leader among men and an example to all who know him, and provides whatever help he can to his neighbor.

He opens his hand to his friends and neighbors and shares the fruits of God’s bounty wherever he can.

He speaks words of Godly wisdom and is a father and spiritual guide to all whom the Lord brings across his path.

His children honor him and respect his advice, and he is blessed with grandchildren in his latter years.

He knows the importance of rest and relationships and takes time to celebrate the Lord’s Day and family events.

He takes time to acknowledge his wife—his life partner—and is sensitive to her needs.  He is rewarded with a solid bond, lasting through golden years.

Many sons have done virtuously, but you exceed them all.

Brains and good looks are deceptive, and physical strength is vain, but a man who lives with God as Lord of his life shall be praised.

 

Resurrecting the Dead

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Today my devotions took me to John 11:17-27.  This is the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.  Interestingly, my mind went to business and other things in our lives.  I believe we can learn a spiritual lesson here that is about more than physical death.  Is there something in your life that feels dead?  Maybe it’s your business.  Maybe you were excited when you first started out but now it feels impossible, slow, or too much work because you haven’t seen things grow as quickly as you want them too.  Maybe it’s not your business but some other area of your life.  It doesn’t matter.  Jesus has the power to not only “bury” our sins when He forgives us but also the power to resurrect the good and positive things in our lives that might be dormant or dead.

When Lazarus died, Martha and Mary’s friends tried to console them. Dictionary.com defines console as to soothe or to comfort.  Friends tried to help Martha and Mary with their grief by offering words.  But words did not solve the problem.  Death was final. . . until Jesus!

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him.  She did something active while Mary sat at home.  Martha did the wise thing here.  Something in her life was dead, so she went to Jesus for answers.  Her faith demonstrated her belief that Jesus is the Author of Life. She said, “Even now whatever You ask from God, He will grant it to You.” What was Martha hoping for?  Whatever it was, she trusted Jesus.

Jesus can resurrect the dead things in our lives.  If there are areas of your life that need rekindling, whether it is a business, a relationship, a health concern, or something else, ask Jesus to resurrect it.  Go to meet Jesus.  Then, take some action like Martha did.  Have faith in Jesus and do whatever you can on your own.  And then watch as Jesus resurrects the good things.

I Found My “Why”

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Philippians 2:12 (AMP)

 12 So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ].

I’ve been looking for my “Why.”  Why?  It is what leaders tell you to do when you’re operating and growing a business.  It is really something everyone needs to do to live the life that God designed for them.  We need a bigger reason or motivation to get up in the morning.  We need something outside ourselves.  If the obvious answer to you is God, I agree.  But we need to flesh that out in our own unique ways.

Many people say their family is their “Why.” That makes sense.  We all want to help our families.  And if that means focusing on making an income to give things to our families, that’s okay.  God likes to give good gifts to His children; and as His children, we like to give good gifts to ours.  And young families especially feel this passion toward helping their children grow and become even more than they are themselves.

But for me, even feeling all those things, I still didn’t feel like I had the right answer to my “why.”  Perhaps it is because my children are grown, and I’m not living that day-to-day life of raising children anymore.  Of course, I want good things and opportunities for my grandchildren, but I get to add the perks in their lives.  Their parents are responsible for the basics.  And I still want things for my own children, but I can give too much if I want them to rely on God and their own gifts.  I am not their provider.

So, what’s my why?

I kept looking at my gifts trying to find my passion or my “what.”  And that led to another dilemma.  What are my gifts?  I don’t mean to say I don’t have any.  In fact, I feel God has blessed me with many gifts.  I love many things—maybe too many.  How do I narrow it down?

Well, that’s an exploration for another blog, but the short version is this.  After writing down all the things I love, narrowing it to those I can see myself doing daily, and eliminating those that are more hobby or rest oriented, I had these left:  writing, creating (graphics, plans, etc.), reading, teaching, talking.  My “aha” moment came when I realized these are all the same thing—communication.  You would think that would be obvious, right?  The problem is, I was trying to isolate one as my true “passion,” but constantly coming back to others.  They are all pieces of the same pie.

Once I had determined that my “what” or my passion is communication, I circled back to re-evaluate my “why.”  And I discovered much the same thing in my next “aha” moment. I had been praying and exploring this for several days when I came across an interview someone had with one of my former students.  He discovered his passion early in life.  His passion is helping others.  He actively seeks to help someone every day.  He also actively seeks to help others by taking on things that are bigger than he is.  In this way he draws in others to help.  And because he draws in others, he is able to accomplish things far beyond what he imagined.  That interview came to my mind when I was looking at my why. I realized all of my “why’s” fell into a broader category, just as all my “what’s” had fallen into a broader category.

My why is people, and like my former student, helping people.  When I talk to people and teach them about essential oils, I help them to consider and evaluate their own health and well-being. This frequently leads to conversations beyond essential oils to diet, exercise, and healthful lifestyles.  When I write my blog, I hope to help and encourage others by showing them that we are all on this journey to grow into who God designed us to be.  When I write fiction and work on revising my novel for publication, I hope to help and encourage young people to read and to discover God for themselves.  When I talk and listen to my family and friends, I help to meet their needs by doing whatever I can.  When I spend time with my grandchildren—talking and interacting with them—I help them learn and know about God and our family. And when I study, rest, meditate, and pray, I help myself to grow so I have more to offer others.

It may seem crazy to be trying to evaluate all these things at my age.  But when you transition out of a full-time career into a new area of business and a much freer schedule, you are constantly evaluating whether you are using your time effectively. You have to find or clarify your life purpose. You ask, “Is there balance in my life?  Could I or should I be doing more?”  I knew I needed to answer my “what” and my “why” before I could hope to evaluate or prioritize my schedule.

So, all the studying and writing and soul-searching I have done over the past month have paid off in some answers.  God is faithful.  I will take what I have learned and continue to walk it out by looking for new opportunities to help others with the gifts and passions God has given to me. Nothing has really changed but my focus.  I knew all of these things about myself before; but my soul-searching has shown me how all of the things I love to do can work together.  I don’t have to choose.  God means for me to do all of these things.  My “why” in this life is helping people.  My vehicle for doing that is communication.  God will guide me to the people He wants me to help, and I will communicate His love to them through my writing, creating, talking and listening, and teaching. And I’ll keep on reading and communicating with God to learn more and grow in Him.

#ONELITTLEWORD – 2016

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Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity… (NIV) Ephesians 5:15-16

Last year I was introduced to the concept of choosing “one little word” as an alternative to New Year’s Resolutions. I really like this idea, and my word last year was “Discover.” I found myself returning to that word throughout the year; and many times, it helped me refocus when I felt out of balance. Although I will never be finished “discovering,” it is a new year and time for a new word.

This year the word I have chosen is DISCIPLINE. I know—it’s a scary word. I’m a pretty free spirit, and I am not fond of schedules and routine. I like to be spontaneous, go with the mood. Since I no longer work in an office and I am my own boss, one of the things I have enjoyed the most is not having any set schedule. But not having a schedule has its drawbacks. Whether I am working, reading, writing, or resting, I get involved and the next thing I know, hours have passed. If I’ve accomplished something, that’s okay. But if I have other things to do, they go undone. Another drawback is finding yourself at the mercy of other people’s schedules. Since you’re “not doing anything” and you “don’t have a job,” it is hard to turn down requests from others. So, you rearrange your day to meet others’ needs and your to-do lists wait.

But mostly, I need discipline because it makes me accountable. I can set all the goals I want, but if I don’t discipline myself to accomplish them, I don’t succeed. And then, I feel bad.

I could probably improve discipline in all areas of my life, but the one I want to focus on the most is my schedule. Dictionary.com defines discipline as an “activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training.”
Regimen is defined as a regulated course to attain some result, a systematic plan.

Freedictionarydefinitions.com defines discipline as “training that … perfects the mental faculties …, control gained by enforcing … order, … [a] prescribed conduct or pattern of … self-control … or system … governing … activity.” (I have taken the parts of the definition that apply to order rather than behavior.)

To discipline myself to have order in my day, I need a schedule. Not a rigid schedule, but a routine, a daily or weekly plan of what needs to happen. I haven’t been doing that. I’ve been planning my days as they happen. I am determined to accomplish more by taking back time. For me, that may mean setting the alarm, avoiding work in pj mode, and setting some time frames for things that need to be done. Whether I decide to work every day or a few days a week, those days need to be structured so at the end of them, I can see the progress.

Working at home requires a different kind of routine than a regular job, but a routine is necessary or other things will distract you. I want to improve at this. I will still have the flexibility to be spontaneous, but that needs to be an occasional, not daily, occurrence.

I encourage you to focus all your goals and resolutions for the year into #onelittleword that will keep you on track. I’d love to hear the word you have chosen.

Join me, won’t you? Choose #onelittleword for 2016.

Heroes

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John 15:3 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Last night I watched Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly interview three young men who became heroes when they stopped a terrorist on a French passenger train.  The three friends, Airman First Class Spencer Stone, National Guard member Alek Skarlatos, and college senior Anthony Sadler, did not hesitate to take action when a man with a gun threatened the safety of passengers.

John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  And those young men were willing to do that.  But they, in their humility, don’t see it that way.  They believe they acted to save themselves, and, therefore, were not heroic.  But they knew they could die and faced the danger.  Their actions show they had others in mind.  After the terrorist was subdued, Alek took the gun and searched the rest of the train to make sure there were no more terrorists and the other passengers were safe.  Spencer saved the life of an injured man by clamping his artery to stop blood flow, even when he was suffering with his own injures.  Anthony followed his friends into action and supported them by doing what needed to be done—reassuring Spencer about his own injuries and manning the medical kit to help care for the injured passenger.  All their actions speak to concern for others, not just themselves.  There is no question that they are heroes.

People are quick to recognize heroic actions of those who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others, and yet they fail to recognize, or reject, the One who made the Ultimate Sacrifice for us—Jesus.

The world has been under attack since Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Satan rules over this world; and hence, we have terrorists.  But Satan’s power has already been defeated by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Through His death and resurrection, He conquered the enemy. Jesus’ power—the power that raised Him from the dead—has been given to His people.

Satan’s power is limited.  Satan’s terror can only flourish when people allow him access.  His rule over this world will be forever destroyed when Jesus returns to earth.  In the meantime, God’s power through Jesus rests with believers who exercise it.

And that’s what those three young men did on that train.  They had a Divine Appointment.  They used their God-given talents and abilities, and God supplied the rest.  As Alek said in the interview, there were six or seven things that, had they been different, would have changed the positive outcome.  The most significant of these things was that the terrorist’s Ak-47 didn’t go off when he pointed right at Spencer, the first young man to reach and subdue the terrorist.  Alek noticed later, when he picked up the rifle, that the pin hadn’t fired.  Coincidence?

Is it coincidence that these three friends were on that train? Is it coincidence that two had military training and one had medical training? Is it coincidence that the gunman’s weapon didn’t fire, which at close range would have undoubtedly killed Spencer? I don’t believe in coincidences.  This was a Divine Appointment.

God, who sent Jesus to earth to save mankind, daily intervenes in our lives.  Those of us who are Christians should be ready to be God’s vehicles of power when the need arises.  It may not come to subduing a terrorist, but there are opportunities every day to be God’s hands and feet in this world.  Until He returns to this earth physically, we are His instruments of power and action.

May we all be potential heroes.