Forced R & R…

BedrestManThe past week and a half has definitely not gone the way that I had envisioned it would.   I hoped that I would be in the middle of a whirlwind of ministry, traveling to various schools training students and coaches to do FCA, and leading Bible studies.  However, that has not been the case and I have pretty much been confined to my house, the doctors office of the hospital.

For about two weeks I have been having a lot of pain that gradually got worse and worse.  Pain when I sat and pain when I moved.  Friday night a week ago I was in bad enough pain that went to urgent care.  Unfortunately they misdiagnosed and the meds they gave me did nothing to help me.  By Sunday, a week ago today, I was in such bad pain that I had my wife take me to the emergency room where I spent most of the day.  While the ER was not able to totally fix me up they were able to give me pain meds and make it a lot easier for me to deal.  Finally, on Tuesday I met with a surgeon who diagnosed my issue and set up surgery on Wednesday.  It turns out I had a problem called a fistula.  I’ll let you google that and find out what all that means, but I warn you not to look at the pictures.    So Wednesday, I had outpatient surgery which went well, but now I have to go back and meet with the surgeon again, set up a time for a colonoscopy, and make a plan for what comes next.

Since Wednesday evening, I have been at home on bedrest.  The good news is that I am slowly starting to feel a little better and move around some.  While there is still pain, I am in nowhere near the amount of pain that I was in before the surgery.  And hopefully this week I will be able to get out among the living and while not at 100% at least be able to do some things.

The good thing to come out of this is first of all that I have been forced to get some rest.  When you are stuck in bed and on pain meds that make you sleepy, you sleep.  So for the first time in awhile I feel refreshed as far as sleep goes.  The second good thing that has actually been the best thing is once again being forced to rely more on God.  This first came into play with just being in pain and having to pray and pray and pray to be delivered from the pain I was in.  Then more prayer for doctors, surgery, healing and everything going on in my body that I don’t fully understand right now.

I have also been forced to depend on God through all the worry, discouragement, and depression that Satan has been throwing at me.  Worries such as worry about how I am going to pay for all these medical bills and what am I going to do about our family’s financial support for ministry which is not at 100%.  Worries  about important meetings and Bible studies that I am missing while being stuck at home.  In times when I should be encouraged by the awesome friends that God has given me me that have called and texted to check on me, I’ve found Satan trying to discourage me with the fact that I am stuck inside and had no friends visit.  Depressed that I just haven’t been able to be up interacting and enjoying my family.  I don’t list these things to be whiney or to elicit sympathy, but to be honest about lots of the things going on in my mind right now.  And then to also let you know that my God is bigger than all these issues. neverleaveyou He will meet all my medical and financial needs.  He has given me great friends and will give me more.  God will take care of all my meetings and Bible studies.  Whether that being letting them go on without me or rescheduling them.  He will allow me to be a good Dad and Husband to my family.  Instead of letting the stillness and forced time of rest drive me nuts with discouragement from Satan, I have to remind myself that God says I need to be still and know He is is God.  Nothing is to big or small for Him.  He will never leave me nor forsake me.

So please pray for me that I will seek God deeper each day, even when this health issue is over.  Pray that I will get healthy soon and get back to just being able to do and enjoy life without pain.  Pray for the issues that Satan has thrown at me to worry about, that God would meet those needs and I would continue to trust He will do so.  And lastly that even though it’s hard I would enjoy being able to rest!

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starting off my year right…

I know, I know, I know that New Year’s resolutions are usually those things that we say we are going to to do and then we never keep up with them.  If we are good we keep them for a week and if we are lucky sometimes maybe a month.  And yet we still keep trying to do them.  That’s where I find myself this year, back at trying to keep resolutions.

in_the_store_giftThe first resolution that I wanted to do this year was to find a devotional that I could work through during my quiet time throughout the year.  Thankfully for Christmas I was given a copy of New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp.  It’s a year long devotional that has a new thought for you to read each morning, then expands on that thought, and then sends you to scripture to reflect on what God says.  This devotional has been a huge blessing in my walk with Christ and is something that I honestly can’t wait to jump into each morning.  If you are looking for a good devotional to work through this year I highly recommend this one.

As always, my second resolution is to start taking better care of myself physically.  Erin and I were blessed with a gift at Christmas that allowed us to join our local YMCA.  We have been trying to do things as a family there to be healthy like swimming, but I’m also trying to get up early enough to go workout and get myself to a healthier weight and state of mind.  So far things are going well, and I am committed to really taking the necessary steps.  For some reason going to the gym isn’t as daunting when you don’t work there all the time!

There are many days left in 2017, but I am committed to becoming both spiritually and physically fit in the days, weeks, and months ahead!

getting my steps in…

fitbitThis new year I am once again back at trying to get my weight down and become a healthier me.  For this journey into familiar and mostly disappointing territory, I have a new weapon in my war on weight.  My Christmas present this past year from my parents and my sister was a Fitbit Charge.  So far I am loving this gift.  I have been more diligent about making sure I am doing enough walking and exercise as I am constantly monitoring my daily steps.  I have also been using the app to make sure I am getting good sleep at night and drinking of water each day.  So far in just two weeks of keeping track of things with the Fitbit, watching what I eat and how much exercise and steps I get, I am already down 2 lbs.  That’s the good news, but the reality is I have a long way to go.  Hopefully I will be checking in with even more progress and steps this 2016!

back to my fitness pal…

Biggest Loser 01Over the years I’ve posted about trying to be better about taking care of myself and losing weight and getting in shape.  And to be honest it’s been a roller coaster struggle of up and down.  And before I get any further into this post, if you are one of my friends who sells some sort of product or program from a fitness or nutrition company, please do not think you have the answer and solicit me after reading this =).  Back to what I was saying it’s been a struggle.

I have been very happy with my time on Visalus and their various Body by Vi products.  However, it’s honestly just been a matter of finances.  When I joined the program I envisioned selling enough product to just pay for my own product.  I didn’t consider two important factors though.  First of all, I am just not pushy enough to bug people about trying my product.  Even though I believe in it and know it works when they tell me they aren’t interested I just am not the type of person who keeps pushing.  Secondly, I live in an area that just doesn’t care.  I would schedule parties and invite people to come out and try samples and no one would show up.  It was very frustrating and soon I found myself in a situation where I wasn’t having enough income from selling to take care of providing my own product.  I personally would love to get back on my Body by Vi program, but financially it’s jut not a possibility at the moment.  That being said, if you want to help me get back on the path to selling it, I would be more than happy to hook you up so that I can start back on a program I really do believe in!

sodaIn the mean time though, I have been very concerned about my own health and fitness after my father was diagnosed with Diabetes this past spring.  With a history of this disease in my family and now someone as close as my dad having it it’s really been a wake up call that I need to do a better job of taking care of myself.  While waiting to get to where I can better do things like my Body by Vi program, I knew I needed to do something now to help me with my biggest area of struggle diet.  That’s when I remembered my “My Fitness Pal” app on my phone.  With this app I have been really watching my intake of carbs and calories in an attempt to lose these extra pounds that are just not healthy to have on me.  I have also been avoiding drinking pop as much as possible.  Pop, soda, or whatever you call it is probably one of my greatest weaknesses.  So far I have gone 4 days without any pop and my goal is to go with out as much as possible, except for the occasional treat when eating out at a Restaurant.  The great thing about living where I do, is that I don’t have many restaurants to eat out at and have that temptation.

fitnesspalMy Fitness Pal has been great so far and has really kept me doing well on my diet.  I try to look at what the calories are in things before I eat them rather than eating them and then adding them into my daily diary.  That way if something is a big red flag that I shouldn’t be eating it, I don’t even bother.  Also, I am able to plan for meals where I am wanting to be a little more generous to myself, by being good before that meal.  In just a week of being back on the My Fitness Pal program I am already dropping weight as I have lost 2 lbs.

So, it’s time for me to get off this roller coaster.  It’s time for me to get a hold of my health once and for all. For the sake of my personal well being and for the sake of being the best healthy father and husband that I can be.  I appreciate all your prayers and encouragement as I dedicate myself to this journey!

90 Day Challenge – Final Update Spring 2014

blackvichallengeWell, another 90 Day Challenge has came and went.  There has been some good days and some bad days when it comes to diet and exercise over the last 90 days.  But the good news is despite the Roller Coaster I have lost a grand total of 15 lbs. since Christmas!  I had hoped to have dropped a lot more, but I will still gladly take the 15.  As summer approaches I plan on keeping up with my daily Vi-Shakes and am looking forward to warm weather when I can get back to walking outside and riding my bike!  If you are interested in giving Visalus and their many great health products, please check out aowens23.myvi.net and lets talk soon!

Week 9 Update – 90 Day Challenge

blackvichallengeI come to you the same as I left you in my weight loss journey.  A week away at a missions conference where I was constantly fed and surrounded by good food has been tough.  There were days I did excellently and other days where I was very weak.  So to be able to report back that I maintained my weight I am very happy.  Hopefully next week, the weight will start dropping again. In the mean time consider starting your own weight loss journey! Check out aowens23.myvi.net and see what all Visalus has to offer you!

Week 7 Update – 90 Day Challenge

2blackvichallengeYeah!!!!!! I finally lost another pound!  After a couple of weeks of plateauing (if that’s a word) it’s nice to be losing again.  My Vi-Shakes have been going well and mixing it up with different frozen berry combinations!  I am trying to very well this week as next week I have to be at a conference that feeds me very well!  So, much work remains to be done, won’t you join me!

http://www.aowens23.myvi.net