Year of Greater

We’re a week into 2019 and I’ve finally gotten around to writing my 2018 review, if you will.

At the end of 2017, God revealed my “word” for the year, “greater”. I would like to say that I entered the year eager and encouraged, but it was just the opposite. I entered the year on a very low note, I had regressed in a lot of areas of my emotions.

Things I thought I had conquered, I though I had overcome, welled up inside me – all. at. once. I was angry and bitter, insecure and doubtful, and I thought to myself “Day 1 of my year of ‘greater’ and THIS is what it has for me?!”.

Needless to say I was frustrated, but I will never regret stopping in that moment and turning to face God. There may have been tears and whining, but He deposited so much into my spirit that day through my sobbing worship. I had tried to carry myself through the last several months of 2017 and allowed my circumstances to shake my knowing of His promises.

On that day, January 1, 2018, I audibly said to God, “I believe what you’ve told me and no matter what happens this year, I will continue to believe it.”

2018 was full of SO many fun and amazing things, accomplishments and celebrations, that I dare not let the uncomfortable parts of the growth process overshadow the victories won.

I finished grad school, I got my mindfulness nutrition mentor certification, I traveled, I made new friends, I hit big business goals, I tried new things, I had one of the healthiest years of my life, and so many other things to name.

My year of greater wasn’t about the external, however. In the process of pruning, the gardener has to remove the things that will harm the plant. Pruning, when it comes to our relationship with God, isn’t comfortable, but very necessary. He wants our lives to be full and abundant in Him. God’s abundance isn’t the same as the world’s definition of abundance. We may have access to everything, but that doesn’t mean everything is for us.

Say what?! Yep. There were things inside of me that I didn’t need, things I had attached myself to that I didn’t need, things that were bringing death to me (in various ways). We have an enemy, and he doesn’t always come as a clearly bad idea or decision. It can be disguised as good or favorable, which is why we have to be aware of God’s plan for us, what our goal should be.

Just the same, as God was changing me to bring LIFE to my situations, relations, and decisions, the enemy disguised the removal as loss instead of gain. God was doing what He said, making me GREATER in Him, but there were days when it looked differently. However, I can boldly say that His promises to me never left my mind. Am I human? Yes. So there were times when I had to remind myself over and over what promise I made – I would continue to believe what God said, no matter what.

God’s intention was never to bring hurt to my life. The things I had to change or get rid of were my doing, He didn’t put them there. But He brought me out. When I lean into Him, I learn Him. The deeper my relationship, the more I trust. I only thought I trusted Him in the year prior, but when trust in Him was all I could hold on to, I really knew.

I’m thankful that he’s remained faithful to me, even when I wasn’t the most likely candidate. I am greater in Him because of Him, therefore, I am a greater me.

The road to greatness doesn’t stop with the end of 2018. It is only getting better.

 

 

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More intentional, less microwaved

I will preface this by saying: after years of being on this journey, I have experienced first hand that not everything is for everyone. This post is only meant to report and shed light on what I have learned through my personal experience with my body and mind.

Over the past few years, my body and I have been through a lot of changes. By trial and error, I’ve learned how my body copes with various situations, how it reacts to different foods, and how my brain has formed opinions about the two.

The main thing I have learned is that it is very important for me to understand what is going on, feel the moment, and consciously change those unhealthy subconscious decisions that have been ingrained in my brain.

My goodness would it be SO much easier to do something different or to just ignore it all and stay the same. That would be easy for me.

However, in order for ME, Rachel Beach, to make a LASTING change in my life and in my body, I’ve got to actually change the MENTAL & resorting to (what I like to call) the “microwave choice” will not do that. You know, the choice to just quickly “fix” or suppress whatever is going on in my body and not having to change anything that I’m doing that probably caused the issue in the first place?

The method I use? I’m going to try all means possible to do something naturally and internally before I resort to something externally. Here’s example other than weight loss measures – if I begin to get a headache, I will rule out all possible causes – dehydration, lack of nutrients, etc. before I ever think about grabbing the Advil bottle. If I don’t have to take medicine, I’m not going to. And the same goes for my journey to a healthier life, healthier organs, and a side effect of that is weight loss. I will allow my body to do what it is designed to do, and use resources such as nutrients, water, etc. before I use other resources, and even surgery, to change the its current state.*****

Why? Because, like I said before, this is way more mental for me than it is physical. If you don’t have a mindset issue, then it may not make sense to you. But I have to train my brain to think differently when it comes to adverse situations. For SO long I resorted to using everything but what my body was created to do to change.

Trust me, sister, I’ve prayed about it, because feeeeelings haven’t always been my thing (conceal, don’t feel, can I get an ‘amen’, Elsa?). And every time God told me to do it this way & enjoy the process, live the journey, and not only that – document it.

Okay – that’s scary, because not only do I get to feel all these feelings and work though them, I need to tell other people about it and help them feel the feelings? Yeah, no. I think He got the wrong number…

Of course, I did what He said anyway. All went fantastic at first, people were really receptive and I thought to myself “ok this is super cool!” and it really was. People were inspired and I was so excited to see that others were learning from my errors and confidence was flying around like confetti with the women I got to talk to. I was convinced that I was doing exactly what God was telling me to.

As I stayed consistent and more people followed and reached out, the not-so-enjoyable messages began to arrive. The comments or suggestions of what I should or shouldn’t do. I get it – I get that people have opinions, and I get that I opened myself up to those opinions being shared. I’m not ignorant to that at all.

If you’re going to be a leader at anything, you have to know that standing in the front isn’t always as glamorous as it seems.

You also have to understand that peoples’ own insecurities often times will be thrown at you in the form of hate and doubt, but do not for one second allow that to change your thoughts about yourself or your assignment.

I’ve had questions like why I didn’t see if I was a candidate for surgery or why I didn’t do keto or why I didn’t count points and calories and etc., and when I gave my reasoning, some were upset because they automatically assumed that because chose to go a different route that I was judging them for their choices.

Absolutely not.

When I tell you that I eat lots of veggies, that I’ve become to understand what my body tolerates best and learned to visualize correct portions, that I make sure to get in all of my vitamins, that I drink half of my body weight in oz of water (most days), and that I make an intentional effort to exercise 5-6 days a week – that is not to shame you. That has nothing to do with you, because frankly, I didn’t make this decision because of you. I made it because it works for me.

And what works for me is being more intentional about my choices, and making less microwaved decisions.

*****I found it worth mentioning, that this is only for situations that are not life threatening. I’m not going to try drinking water if I fall down a hill and can visibly see my bones through my skin. I know that’s common sense, but….well there’s a reason I felt that it was worth mentioning. #trolls

Purpose on the Sidelines

When I came home from school and told my mom I wanted to play softball, I think she almost had a heart attack. But a few short weeks later, after tryouts, I remember the anticipation and excitement of finding out which team I had been selected to be on.

I didn’t really know what was in store – all I knew is that I was going to play softball and I was S T O K E D. I played, and I was pretty decent. I was selected for the All-Stars team for years and years in a row. I played throughout the summer with travel ball teams – I basically lived and breathed softball for 13 years of my life.

I loved the game. I loved the mental and physical parts. I loved the team aspect. I love, and still love softball. It was a huge part in my life, after all. But more than that – it revealed to me my purpose, and I didn’t even know it – until now.

Like I said before, I was pretty decent. I had numerous “clutch” moments in my playing career, I was consistent and in it for the long haul, and I put my all on the field. I don’t remember, however, ever being the “hot shot” or “star player” – but I was okay with that.

Not “okay” in a sense that I didn’t want to get better or strive to do my best with every play, but I never had that desire in me to outshine everyone else. Some people do, but not me.

My first high school season, however, ya girl had a perfect batting average. Yeah, you heard me – P E R F E C T. That’s because after the first tournament, I broke my ankle in practice. Yes practice. Insert eye roll. After hours in the ER and a trip to the orthopedic doctor the next morning, surgery was the verdict. Surgery on Friday morning. We had a tournament on Saturday.

I made it to the bus on Saturday morning- with the help of some pain relievers, but I made it. And I made it to every practice and game after that.

I don’t say this to brag – I say it to show you that when you are walking in purpose, your circumstances don’t stop you from continuing to walk in purpose. I wanted to be there – because, if nothing else, I could sit/lean and encourage my team to victory. I could speak life into their every play. I could lift them up (even if it was in a stern voice when they’re pouting) after a bad hit or missed ball.

During the rest of my high school career, especially on the varsity team, I wasn’t the one who always got a ton of playing time. Again – I never saw this as defeat. Of course, I wanted to be on the field playing as much as possible, but when I wasn’t I was on the fence. Encouraging. Uplifting. Speaking life into my teammates.

I had nothing to complain about – other than the umpires sad excuse for a strike zone. This is what I was made for. I loved playing ball more than anything – I still enjoy being active and competitive, but I found my groove – my purpose – on the sidelines.