Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
Corrie ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

26233801981_77a975e6d9Photo Credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)

This Friday I’ll be joining two other speakers at a women’s retreat to deliver a message on strength. Some questions we’ll be addressing are:

What does strength really look like?

Where do I receive my strength?

Who sustains my strength?

When and why do I feel so weak?

No matter how strong you may feel at the moment it is guaranteed that there will be obstacles and setbacks that will zap your strength. What do you do in those moments? How do you bounce back from small energy busters (such as an argument or misunderstanding in a relationship), or a big strength steal-er (such as a lay-off at work or a major health crisis)?

Strength comes when we continually recover from unwanted detours by checking back, refocusing, and evaluating the needed resources which help fuel strength. Use the list below to give yourself a “strength check-up”. Place an asterix by each statement that is true for you today, and a check mark by each statement that is not. Give yourself permission to be honest with yourself. In times of evaluation we only hurt ourselves when we deny the areas where improvement is needed.

  1. I find time each day to connect in a personal way with my Creator (not mechanically, like marking off a checklist, but personally, like sitting with a trusted friend).
  2. I find time each week to share my struggles, weaknesses, temptations, and challenges with a friend, personal coach, or mentor.
  3. I find time each day to choose something that uniquely refuels my strength in an act of self-care (such as reading, walking, or yoga, for example).
  4. I find time to regularly check in with my personal agenda, asking important questions, such as: Does my agenda line up with God’s agenda? Does my agenda include others, or only serve myself? Does my agenda include myself, or am I only helping others? Does my agenda include activities that line up with my personal gifts and talents?
  5. I am not withholding bitterness or forgiveness toward another.
  6. My decisions line up with my values.
  7. I am honest with myself and others.
  8. I am moving closer to my ultimate goals.
  9. I am growing in spiritual maturity through the study of God’s word.
  10. I was able to bounce back from weakness to strength during the last obstacle I faced.
  11. I remain calm and focused during times of crisis.
  12. During moments of uncertainty and chaos, I am able to keep my anxiety in check.
  13. I am able to find humor in a variety of situations.
  14. When something doesn’t work I discover a different tactic that works better.
  15. I have found ways to apply lessons to past experiences when I felt weak instead of strong.
  16. I understand that true strength comes from God’s loving help, not my own effort.
  17. I have let go of things I cannot change.
  18. I have taken action in areas I can change.
  19. In weakness and in strength I understand that ultimately God works everything for my good.

 

Wednesday’s Action Assignment:

The above list is extensive. No one is able to asterix each item, so the first step is to quiet the voice of shame and doubt for the areas you placed a check mark. Those negative whispers never offer strength. Instead, recognize that you have faced obstacles before and are still here. You have chosen strength before and will choose strength again. Focus now on one item where you confidently placed an asterix. Quiet your mind and spirit, while thanking God for this area of current strength in your life. Do not rush this step.

When you are ready, next I’d like you to choose only two statements where you placed a check mark (no more than two). Select the two you most wish to be true for your life right now. Next, consider two action goals that will enable you to move those two items from a check mark to an asterix.

These Wednesday Action blogs are designed to offer virtual decision based coaching to help you. I prayerfully anticipate the future strength you will feel in the coming weeks by adding these two action steps to your life. Feel free to leave your comments about this blog. I’d love to hear from you! ~Kim