Charlene Garrett, MBA 

Loading..
By clicking above you can donate to the team expenses for this trip. You can be a part of connecting Grace Center to the village of Chuiba.
Tuesday
Jun102014

Listening to me.

As an Admissions Counselor, Life Group leader, Big sister and friend I find myself in the situation fairly often where I help people process and give them advice.  Lately I have been giving a lot of the same advice, not because I have run out of things to say, but because it seems like the majority of people are asking the same questions. Mostly looking for direction and making decisions at a crossroads in life.

One thing I seem to say often (not that I came up with it... I can't remember where I heard it):

"Do the possible and watch God do the impossible"

As I said this to a prospective applicant for the School of Supernatural Life the other day... I heard my words come back at me. I am often talking about this in terms of finances for the school or in decision making when looking for a job or a house.

However, I realize that this works in EVERY situation in life. There are so many things that I don't have control over and of those things only some of them can I even really affect by my efforts.  However, when I look at a situation where I don't KNOW the answers to the questions or I don't know what to do next....

I have a choice. I can sucomb to fear and sit still WAITING for God to intervene in my life OR I can diaglogue with God about the questions and keep my focus on what I do know. I think talking to God and focusing instead of hiding is the better plan.

So you might ask me, what real life situations do you have to listen to yourself. One big question for me is:

When am I going to meet my mate and start that phase of my life?  

I think my life confuses people because despite the fact that I am single and childless, I am not sitting by and watching life pass me... I am living life. This somehow gives the impression that my preferred state of being is to be Single and Childless.  For anyone out there that has wondered but hasn't wanted to ask... I do want to get married and I honestly believe that it isn't just a desire, but it is a part of God's plan for me.  Do I always feel confident that it is His plan? No, but the key word there is FEEL.  While I don't always FEEL it... I have a deep sense of knowing that it is truth.  Why do I know? Prophetic Words, scriptures, and simply because it is a desire and I believe that my Father gave me that desire and He is a good Father.

The tricky thing is, I can't make it happen and really neither can God.  We all have free will and somehow I am waiting on my future spouse to not only find me , but to CHOOSE me.  He has to be ready and love himself enough to love me. So many factors really.

It feels like an impossibility some days.. and that this is truly going to be a miracle when my future husband pursues. So, I need to listen to me...

"Do the possible and watch God do the impossible"

What is the possible? For me right now the possible is me continuing to focus on me and God, it looks like online dating profiles, hanging out in groups, and making sure I am getting out in the world and ENJOYING life and new hobbies.... while smiling and being nice. :) It looks like me continuing to grow in areas that I need to grow in to be a good wife and mother ( as I sit here thinking about cleaning my house). It also looks like me maintaining hope and confessing truth no mater what disappointments or feelings come my way.

What is the impossible? All of the rest of it. Meeting him. Waiting on him to pursue me (hard for a mover). Resting in Communication. Basically, the whole enchilada.

So even as I recently faced disappointment in this area and even frustration with myself.

I am listening to me.

I am trusting Him and doing the impossible while I wait and watch for Him to do the impossible. I am loving and forgiving myself and purposing in my heart to enjoy everyday that the Lord has made.

 

What is the possible that you need to do?

and

What is the impossible that you are looking for God to do?

I would love to hear about it as a comment here or on Facebook!

 

Wednesday
May282014

I think I have found my inner athlete

A few days ago someone I had just met asked me if I have been an athlete. Just out of the blue.  It took me off guard and I asked why? She said it is just the way I carry myself.

It was then that I knew then that what I had been feeling was starting to be seen.

See, when I started watching the Biggest Loser earlier this year, I would hear Jillian and Bob tell people to "find their inner athlete" and I started thinking about finding my own. That was several months ago and then a few weeks ago I was working out and I felt like an athlete. I am not sure I can explain how I felt like one... I think it is because something in my mind shifted and I just knew that my body could do more than I thought it could.

Then last night I got my picture taken and when I looked at it, I didn't really recognize myself. My body is starting to look like I have seen it for years. One day at at time. One choice at a time, my life is changing.

So, I have a "baby" Tri-athlon coming up in 2.5 weeks and today I pushed my body further than I ever have. After warming up I swam 200 meters in less than 6 minutes. After changing I biked 6.6 miles in 30 minutes and then ran 1.3 miles (well, I ran .7 miles, walked .1 and then ran again).

So, I have found my inner athlete and she is getting stronger and coming out for everyone to see!

 

 

Sunday
May182014

Doing the same things and getting different results

I believe it was Albert Einstein who said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.", but this year I received a prophetic word that said, 

"This year I think you are going to do some of the same things you have done before but you will get different results".  

I am imagining that this was when I was about to start theWhole30 cleanse and I think that part of me was wondering what the difference would be and it was both encouraging and a little scary to hear this.

However, my journey to better health started before January and that cleanse though... it probably started a little in South Africa when I actually started cooking meals. No kidding, by the time I was 32 years old, I had probably cooked maybe 30 times in my life... not many really. I went from a pizza eating college student to a fast food eating, commuting business professional. While my palette did evolve to appreciate many diverse foods, I was mostly fueled by coffee and Diet Dr. Pepper.  Then I moved to a rural part of South Africa where I had to cook if I was going to eat... and thankfully packaged meals were scarce! I started to learn about all sorts of vegetables and spices and found that I am actually a pretty good cook.... and I like it. I also just had TIME to breath. I no longer commuted to work, I walked many places and I even took up running ( in mile high altitude). I did all of this but never really saw much change in my body though... but I did start feeling a bit better.

When I returned to America 4 years later, I was overwhelmed the first time I went into a grocery store by the variety... and the ORGANIC section of food. I am a natural skeptic and while I appreciate capitalism, I am also sure that people are trying to make money off of me and I just didn't trust it. The truth is... everything is ORGANIC where I lived in South Africa. Our cows weren't given hormones and were all grass fed, heck even all the veggies were somewhat local. So since that was the norm for me since I had started cooking, I was shocked when I came back home  and I had to read EVERYTHING to tell the difference.  However, I quickly learned that Nashville was one of the towns in the south leading the way in this organic, local, non toxic life style. 

That was 3 years ago. Slowly I started learning and implementing things one thing at a time.  Soon I gave up soda, started making kale shakes and replaced my milk with coconut or almond milk and my oil with coconut oil.

One change at a time.

One tiny change a time.

A year ago i also started going to Dr. Ronson at Mission Family Chiropractic as my primary doctor. He is not just any chiropractor, but one that I know is interested in my health. My whole body health and he works with me almost as hard as I do on it. He teaches me, he coaches me. I knew that this was real when he told me he thought I might be having problems with my thyroid and spleen and colon, I was sold, because I was just at the MD the day before and we were trying to figure out some of the same things.  I have wondered my whole life why I couldn't loose weight.. no matter how little I ate or how much I exercised. I have learned that some of it was what I was eating and how it was robbing me of nutrients or how my body is specifically effected by certain foods.

That prophetic word was right though,  this year something has been different. I see differently. I believe differently. I am experiencing each new change... differently.... and it started with one 30day HEALTH challenge. 

I didn’t loose a ton of weight on the Whole30... well..I did loose some weight, but it was more about what I GAINED while I was doing the Whole30 than what I lost.

I gained momentum. I gained confidence. I gained a desire to change my life and I know I can.

I took control of my health and stopped listening to everyone around me. I decided to make one change at a time.. tiny bite size pieces of change.

After food changes came more movement changes… I discovered Burst Fit and while I still don’t burst as much as I want to or as would probably get me to my results faster… it definitely is effecting my body.  I made a goal to do a Triathalon and kept finding creative ways to be ACTIVE.

I also started following people on Instagram that were inspiring… like Beni Johnson and discovered when I needed motivation an episode of Biggest Loser would help put things in perspective.

I am also not afraid to say that I talk to myself, look at my self in the mirror.. declare God’s goodness over my body and I speak to the dust to be made new. God spoke and it was… and He lives in me.. so I want to partner with Him in what is true for my body.

Has my weight stalled at times? yes

Have I gained weight from one day to the next? yes

Did I let these things discourage me? No. 

Not this time. This time my mind, my heart and my beliefs are in a different place. I can’t really tell you how to get here for you… I just know that I am having the time of my life discovering more about life. I am not being punished by eating healthy or passing on things that you are eating.

When someone complements me..I say thank you and then I say… I am getting stronger everyday…. and I am. I still have a long way to go to my final goal, but I have lost 25 pounds so far not on a diet, but by changing my life and I am excited to continue the journey.

Life change is:  the sum of dozens of tiny changes made one at a time that I choose to make over and over again. 


So… what is one change you would like to make today?

Just one tiny change?

Saturday
Mar292014

Push-Ups and other life lessons

This journey is not like any physical journey that I have had before.  I am so at peace and at rest in this journey of health, that it is almost scary. It is scary that I continue to slim down, loose weight, build strength and literally change my life... one decision and one day at a time.

About a week ago I decided to try and do a push-up.  

A REAL Push-Up!

On your toes not KNEES push-up. 

 

 

 

 

I have NEVER, not ONCE in my life, ever done a REAL PUSH-UP. 

I wasn't able to do one, but I was on my toes... and I was in position... a place I have never really tried to go before because ...I KNEW I WOULD FAIL.

This time I wasn't concerned with failing...I was Dreaming of Success.

So the other night...I tried again and I felt stronger... but no push-up. So I did several "girl" push-ups and called it a night. I find that when I am not feeling very fit, I can get in a plank position and hold everything still and all of a sudden I feel like super woman. So..I did that and felt better. (it is more than physical folks..it's emotional and that is a huge part of this journey of change).

Last night I tried AGAIN... and this time I was able to Go down HALF WAY! What? I can ALMOST DO A PUSH-UP???

Then right now as I was writing this, I went over and tried again... two times.. half way down. I am getting there.

So, what am I learning from this lesson.  

Life is about building strength to do the impossible.  

I am not kidding that to me, Push-Ups have represented an impossibility in my life. Something that only other people did, but as I build strength and focus on the sucess and not the perceived failure, I am getting there.

I remember Bill Johnson talking about praying for healing and praying for his dad (whom I have gathered was an amazing man) and that although his dad did not get healed from cancer... Bill did not waiver. His belief in the Goodness and Faithfulness of God and the TRUTH of healing got stronger because he was pushing on this immovable boulder praying for his father's healing.  The next time there was a smaller rock of cancer in the way... it moved when he pushed on it. Was that a coincidence? Is Bill Johsnson some spiritual giant with a special gift? No. While he is an amazing man... he simply has worked his muscles in the supernatural and therefore he has gotten stronger.

Can it be that simple?

Yes. I really believe it is.

Other areas of my life where this has played out are in my emotional and relational world. Things that once seemed far off... friendships and connections that didn't seem to be a reality for me because of my emotional nature (and attention to details.. lots of details)... are real and they are abundant for me.

I have gotten stronger in my identity, in my relationship with Jesus, in my understanding of myself and others and in my comunication skills.  Just tonight I was triggered by a text I received and instead of "giving my friend a piece of my mind", I made a powerful decision and extended grace and love... and didn't need to tell my friend how I was feeling.  It may seem small to you, but that is a victory, folks! 

I am not kidding when I say that I am living everyday to the fullest and I am happier now than I have ever been and I am expectant for MORE.

I am expectant that soon I will be doing full push-ups... all the way down and all the way up. And things will get so easy for me that I will need to do all those crazy modifications to keep up the challenge. I believe this.

What in your life is like a push-up?

Seems impossible, but just takes practice to build strength...

Just like me... I believe you can build the strength you need to over come.

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Sunday
Feb162014

My inner athlete...

When I was a little girl I was a little chubby and then that turned into slightly overweight and then just overweight. I don't remember life when my mom wasn't on some kind of diet and it just seemed like the norm of my family was just like that.  

I loved my parents, but they both worked hard and I am now realizing that we simply didn't know about nutrition... we bought into the box dinner lie. I grew up on Hamburger Helper, Chef Boyardee and Kraft Mac and Cheese. In fact, a good meal was steak and potatoes or going out to a mexican restaurant. My only vegtables came from a can and consisted of corn, green beans and peas and when we had salad it was ice berg (not so nutrious).  I also loved cookies, chips and fastfood and noone told me differently.  

We just kept going up to the next size in clothing and I just figured this was who I was. Inside, I felt strong and fast and atheletic, but on the outside I was just a chubby little girl who wasn't very fast. Add to this fact that I was smart and funny, then you have someone who didn't want to try things that she didn't know how to do too well... I am thankful that video games were a new thing to my generation and not all that good, so I still spent lots of time outside, running and playing with friends.

From an overweight kid... to an overweight teenager to an obease adult.... I just kept shopping at different stores and not really understanding why I would exercise but never lose weight.  I wasn't a binge eater nor a binge dieter. I have been on maybe 3 diets in my entire life... most of the time rejecting them and being frustrated that I couldn't just eat like my skinny friends and not care about food. As an adult, I worked too much and never really learned how to cook until I gave up everything and moved to Africa.

 My whole life I have waited to start learning what I have been learning in the last 5 years or so... while in South Africa, I had to learn to cook if I wanted to eat. It wasn't really a choice.  I found that I actually liked cooking and that I LOVE vegetables.  

Then when I moved to Nashville my friend told me about Kale.  Don't laugh, but I had never heard of Kale before. I started out slow... added it shakes. Then I would try to buy more veggies...use olive oil to start with. From that day more than 3 years ago to this day, I have learned SO MUCH about nutrition and my body.

I have learned more about organic foods and why grass fed beef is important. I have learned about the woes of diary and gluten...though it wasn't an easy lesson to learn because I fought it most of the way.

Then this year I tried something new...

I took a challenge with my friend... the WHOLE 30. It is a 30 day eating challenge where you cut out DAIRY, GRAINS, SUGAR and LEGUMES (and Alcohol).

When I finished my 30 days, I had lost 8 pounds and was feeling really good. So, I added in activity to my goal and now my daily goal is to eat well and MOVE everyday.  I learned while doing the Whole 30 how to plan and cook ahead of time and how to get creative. So I decided to keep eating the same way for the most part... and the pounds have been coming off quicker... well, I started moving alot so that helps!

I am finding my inner athlete because every day I am getting stronger and I can work a little harder. I hope to talk a little more here about the journey because I honestly am having FUN! I should mention that I bought a FitBit and am having fun competing with friends to keep up my activity everyday.

So... since I have found this inner athlete I have decided to try something I have never done....a Sprint Triathlon.... that is .25mi swim, 12 mi bike and a 5 mile run. So, I am "training" now and believing that I will be ready come July!

Have you found your inner athlete?