Thursday, July 31, 2014

Investment Opportunity, May Require Some Effort

It's taken a while, but I believe that I am finally growing up. Really, I mean it! You see, I have come to realise the importance of investing. Not just financially, but in so many different areas; health, knowledge, and especially in regards to keeping my house tidy!

Why is this a sign that I am perhaps reaching some semblance of maturity? Because for many years I have thought that things other than a wholehearted investment of my own time and/or money and/or prayer would see me achieve what God has in store for me. Actually, to see that written down makes me cringe; it's such an obvious concept, and not really a hard one to 'get.'  I believe that this lack of wisdom in my own understanding has contributed to many of my "half-begun" projects, (note, they are not even half-finished! Most have barely an introduction before I have thrown my hands up in resignation).

I have so many good ideas, but none that have really come to fruition. Oh believe me, I've got a plethora of people or things to blame for that! Sadly, not once did I seriously consider that I might be my own worst enemy when it came to success.

Now, I am attempting to take a few small areas of my life and become accountable for them.

Healthwise, I have recently been given a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. Rather than getting cross with God, or my hubby, or lamenting my horrible existence without chocolate . . . oh wait, scratch that last one . . . I jest, but in all honesty this has been a massive wake up call for me. It has made me want to take control of my health, to look at what I'm eating, and why. And above all it has forced me to acknowledge that, firstly I was not honouring God with my lifestyle choices, and secondly, that if I didn't invest in this area of me, then I could be taking something so very valuable away from my kids far too early. Excellent investment, Helen! Well done me! (As an aside, since learning of this I have lost about 13 kg and feel amazing, but that's another story).

As for my writing, I have really struggled in the past 6 months. I have blamed so many different things; emotional dealings, the kids, lack of inspiration, among others. But I was missing the key truth; the only thing stopping me from writing was my choice to play Candy Crush and not write! I know we all need some down time, but I was avoiding the very thing I loved because I couldn't see the benefit of the investment of my time. It's hard work pulling something together; I'm sure many reading this blog can relate to that. But the rewards are so amazing, seeing people's lives changed by something we have written is the best feeling. And this feedback provides the momentus for me to reinvest, again and again and again.

Yes, investing part of ourselves into something else can be somewhat painful, because the cost can be so high. Right now, for example, it's 1.54am and I'm just finishing my blog post which I forgot about (oh dear). It was so tempting to simply write an apology and provide a quick link to an older story or devotion I'd written; but I knew that that was a cheap way out, and that you are all worthy of a much higher investment than that, (and I really hope this has made sense; things are getting a little blurry now!).

Ultimately, I want to live my life in a way that pleases my Lord Jesus Christ, whose investment on the cross was so much more than I can ever repay. And I know that the best bit is that with every investment I make for him, he will bless my socks off at the same time! It just doesn't get any better than that!

I wonder, what do you invest yourself into? I'd love to hear your spiritual/physical/practical examples!

Blessings,

Helen




14 comments:

  1. Hi Helen - Thanks for a great post and for investing in us by staying up til the wee hours to do it. Really wasn't expecting that and you could have just let me know it would be a day late, but I really appreciate your comments.

    I started investing more in the health and exercise thing last year - I lost 12 kg (though I think I'm back to 10 - oops) and have been cycling most days. The investment has certainly paid off in terms of general health, fitness and immunity. I wonder why I didn't do it earlier. And investing the same way in writing certainly pays off. I've hidden games on my computer because I couldn't trust myself not to play 5 games of Spider in a row instead of writing. It's amazing what you can achieve even with small blocks of time. :)

    I pray God blesses you richly as you seek to invest in these different areas of your life and that He'll bless your socks off with writing success. Your blogs are always great. Take care xx

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    1. Hi Nola, oh Spider! That game has a bite that hooks me in every time!

      I have the same thoughts, why didn't I do this earlier?! But at least we're doing it now, and allowing God to keep on prompting and encouraging us, and changing us in all areas of our lives.

      Be blessed abundantly Nola, and I pray for strength to continue on the days that are tough.

      Helen

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  2. Thanks for that great post Helen. I love the word you use. Investing. Thank you. I will now look at things I do a bit differently as an investment into my life beyond my present life. One thing I love to invest in is my relationship with God. I have found that when I spend lots of quality time with Him - my life bears more fruit. So that has been a top priority this year. God blessed me by my losing my job. Yep! Blessed me. Because it meant I had guilt free time to spend with Him. Isn't that cool?

    Like you - my writing hasn't been all it should be this year. But I am trying hard to change it. I was so sorry to hear you were diagnosed with type II diabetes. You are too young to have that and I can well imagine how tough it would have been for you. Well done on losing so much weight. You are an inspiration!

    I too invest in my health and well being - by a daily walk for 15 years and trying hard to eat well.

    Thanks very much for the reminder of investing in things that matter. I shall take that call seriously! :)

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    1. Hi Anusha, Oh, our relationship with God is the most important area we can invest in! For out of that relationship all other areas flow; how we are with our family and friends, how we work, our inspiration - in fact, I'd say that all of each of us is affected by how much we invest in our God-relationship!

      I commend you on your daily walks; well done! That takes a great deal of commitment, (I'm working on it!). I pray that our Lord blesses you so amazingly when you are on your next walk, that the obvious would hold new suprises, and that the obscure would suddenly be so vivid it takes your breath away.

      Blessings, Helen

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  3. Thanks, Helen, for a lovely, honest blog. I sure admire you for investing yourself until the early hours of the morning to meet your blog deadline, as well as losing all that weight and feeling so much better as a result! Maybe you will inspire me???

    As for me, I invest many, many hours into writing and editing at the moment in my life--that's how I have written almost eight books since 2004 and have seven published. I also invest myself heavily in preparing talks for my various speaking engagements--I never want to short-change a group of people who have given me the honour of speaking to them. Apart from that ... well, grandkids are sure worth investing lots of time in, plus they're fun as well!

    And keep going with your writing, Helen. I think you have a great, easy-to-read style and love your sense of humour that shines through too. God bless!

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    1. Thank you Jo-Anne. I think you show exactly what I've written about to be spot on; lots of effort and investment = wonderful outcomes and opportunities. And I love that you put as much time and devotion into your speaking roles as your writing; it's such a blessing to be ministered to by someone who has wholeheartedly prepared their material, and their heart, too.

      Blessings, Helen

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  4. Gutsy post, Helen. Thank you for making yourself vulnerable by sharing your heart.

    Investing in anything new is hard work and we all struggle with it. Having a companion who encourages you and keeps you accountable can be a useful way of aiding the process.

    Keep plugging away. The old "muscle-building analogy" is always a good one. The more you do it, the stronger the muscle becomes.

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    1. Thanks Ian, I'm beginning to think I'm called to a ministry of vulnerability!

      I agree, new things are exciting but do require us to outlay something, be it money or time or physical hard work. Sometimes - maybe most times - we respond to this far better when there is another investing, too.

      Actually a good friend just asked me to join a gym with her, so that we can both be accountable. (I said yes, by the way).

      May you be blessed in all you do, Ian. I pray for wisdom for you, that you would know which investments should be made and in which projects.

      Blessings, Helen

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  5. Thanks for your thoughts, Helen.

    It's interesting when it comes to other things like learning a musical instrument, we recognize all the practice as an investment. But when it comes to writing we don't always see what we write as an investment unless it is being read. Nevertheless everything we write is practice and if we keep on doing it the investment will pay off.

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    1. Hi Susan,

      That's right! And part of my investment in my writing, which I am working on, is reading other people's works and learning from them. It can be easy to feel despondent after reading an amazing piece of work, or someone's blog that has 1000+ likes; my prayer is for a teachable, not a comparitive, spirit.

      Blessings, Helen

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  6. There is so much good in this blog. The blog was so good that it actually motivated me to go and do that workout I've been not wanting to do. I try to exercise at least every other day for 1 hour... running or weights... even though i really do not like it... but... as you say.. it is an investment that requires work. I also like how you talk about considering the things you eat. As you know, i have been very passionate about ethical food for a long time and have thought it strange that Christians don't lead the way in this.We are after all to honour God with our body.
    When you mentioned that you could have not completed your Blog and given an apology.. i thought.. yep..i failed in that one... LOL... so well done you. You are an inspiration to many people Helen. God bless you.

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    1. Hi Brian,

      Glad to hear that you were motivated to go and exercise, (I am doing the 'gunna' exercise program . . .!). You touch on a wonderful point Brian, passion! Passion is wonderful! It takes our investment and gives it power boosters! There are things that we love to do, and it's usually easy to pour our time into them. I think too often we Christians feel if we enjoy something, then it musn't be our 'calling' when I think God wants us to persue these areas that he might be glorified more.



      And of course, there is no real 'fail' just lessons for next time. :-)

      Be blessed Brian,

      Helen

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  7. Hi Helen,
    Thanks for the honest post, which we can all benefit from. I'm sorry to hear that you've been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, but your attitude sounds great. Sometimes it seems to take something like that to wake us up.
    In fact, it sounds as if you're going avoiding sweet things in both food and internet (the candy crush). Too much is too much, whatever the form.

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    1. Hello Paula,

      It's so great to be back on here again, thanks so much for your comments.

      I had been praying for God to intervene in the area of my health/eating, etc, for a long time, and the diabetes - whilst drastic - has been a massive answer to that prayer. I have days that are frustrating (yep, I'd devour a chocky donut right now), but mostly I'm finding a freedom like I've never known, with the strict boundaries of what I can/can't eat. I don't have to stress over the choice anymore; it's been made for me!

      And yes, too much is definitely too much most times. Whilst sweet at the time, there is often a feeling of guilt, or regret, afterwards. I have felt that especially after playing on the PC for a couple of hours, only to look up and see our boys doing the very same thing on another pc. What example am I setting them?!

      Yes, it's definitely time for change in my world this year. I pray that God blesses you abundantly, Paula, and that your current writing projects, and other things in your life, are supernaturally touched and carried on to good things, as a direct result of your sacrificial investmets into them.

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