Extraction: It’s Gotta GO!

I finally had my two upper wisdom teeth removed last week (after my dentist has been trying to separate them from me for at least four years).  They weren’t giving me trouble, but she found a cavity on one during my recent routine cleaning and told me that I just needed to get rid of them; they could cause me more trouble later.  So I sheepishly scheduled the appointment with the oral surgeon.  Isn’t that like so many other things in life?  We put off dealing with the inevitable, only to find out – too late – that a situation has exacerbated, festered, become infected, or just gotten downright outta control.  Then we wish we’d taken care of it when we first saw evidence of the issue.  And why was I holding onto a potential problem anyway???  No rational reason except for upholding the status quo…I’ve always had these teeth.

I don’t really look forward to pain (or even discomfort), so I decided not to think about what it would feel like to just do what I needed to do and get those teeth removed.  I truly had the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) before, during, and after the entire procedure; I know the prayers of the saints were at work on my behalf.  And because I opted for IV sedation, I don’t remember a thing…it was absolutely beautiful.  But I had to go through the process for those teeth to be removed.  Thankfully, my recovery was speedy – bleeding had stopped within 24 hours, and I was eating mashed potatoes within two days.  Armed with my new mindset and determined to eat healthier, chicken broth became a delicacy as I waited for my tender tissues to heal.

What has to “go” from your life for you to line up with God’s plan for you?  The Holy Spirit will strengthen you to let go of the things that are hindering you from growing, developing, and maturing into who God is calling you to be.  Granted, you will have to yield and change, but the results will be worth whatever sacrifices you make.  Just ask me as I appreciate how much my fresh gums have in common with my 7 year-old’s these days…I know I lost a few pounds last week! 🙂

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

(Mark 11:23)

© Copyright 2010 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Honest Accountability: Effective Leadership in Action

accountable – responsible, answerable, liable

dependable – trustworthy, reliable, conscientious, sensible, mature

Whether we like it or not, we all have to answer to somebody.  Though we don’t care to admit it, we need to be accountable to others – it keeps us honest.  Our Pastor has the right (and the responsibility) to hold us accountable to the standard of God’s Word, the Holy Bible.  As parents, we must hold our children accountable to being obedient to our instructions.  Our managers provide us with mid-year and annual performance reviews, and sometimes give more frequent feedback.  Many people have to clock-in for work on a daily basis, creating a documented track record that can be reviewed at any time.  Friends can be our accountability partners for fitness goals or lifestyle changes when we check in regularly to share our triumphs and challenges.  The baseline for all of these relationships?  Honesty.

What good is telling someone something if it isn’t true?  One thing I’m learning from Weight Watchers: the scale doesn’t lie!  I can choose not to track or write down a high-calorie item and kinda attempt to “fudge” my numbers (pun intended!); but in the end, the truth reigns.  So I may as well be honest with myself to begin with, then start making healthier choices.  In turn, it becomes easier to be honest and transparent in my relationships with others.  From my husband to my personal fitness trainer to my Sales Director in Mary Kay – accountability is built into systems all around me.  But I know it’s for my benefit.  Because left to my own devices, I deviate from the best path and meander into justifying behavior that’s undisciplined.  I have proof from previous experiences – and I can’t afford the consequences anymore!

Why do we hesitate to tell others the truth about what we’re really going through?  Because we don’t want to be corrected or instructed in righteousness; we wanna do what we wanna do (hint: that’s the FLESH)!  Before I was committed to changing my eating habits and beginning some semblance of exercising, I didn’t talk about my unhealthy habits to others because I didn’t want them telling me what to do!  The sad thing about that mindset:  it’s counterproductive and detrimental to me, but it also impacts others associated with me.  Most of all, it affects my witness for Christ.  In the Body of Christ, we are interconnected, so how can I think my actions are isolated?  They are not.

I know it’s been several weeks since I blogged, but I’ve been digging in to make some seriously positive changes in my life.  And I’m glad to be in the process of aligning my walk with my talk.  How about you?  Be honest…with yourself, and with others.  Allow God to lead you in the way that is right.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

(Psalm 119:105)

 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

(Galatians 5:16)

© Copyright 2010 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Resistance is Futile: Just Obey!

How many times do we hear God speaking to us, sense the Holy Spirit nudging us to go a certain way, and we do exactly the opposite?  I had an important reminder of the importance of obedience this week.  Actually, I’ve had a LOT of reminders recently (like blinking neon signs!), but I’m just writing about a couple today.  🙂

I decided to drop some bags off at my office early in the morning before hopping on the train so I wouldn’t have to lug them all over tarnation.  Reasonable enough, right?  Well, there was a red “No Parking” sign affixed to the meter in front of my building (that wasn’t there the LAST TIME I dashed in); during morning rush hour, no parking was permitted on this thoroughfare.  Hmmm, drag all these heavy bags for 3 blocks, or rush up to the 23rd floor to drop these off?  I slipped into the parallel parking spot way before 7:30 a.m. as I justified the validity of my risky choice.  I saw a police officer nearby and asked him if it would be okay for me to leave my car for 3 minutes to put the bags into my office; he was “hands-off,” saying he didn’t have anything to do with parking matters, and that I’d be rolling the dice.  (Like he was gonna say, “Go ahead, disobey the law.”) 

I thanked him politely, then darted with my cadre of bags and full-sized umbrella up the elevator shaft, asking the security guard at the front desk to watch my car as I raced by.  Heart rate elevated, I dropped my load and ran back to the elevator and headed for my car.  The security guard said, “You’d better hurry; you’re about to get towed.”  I got to my car just as the parking man (accompanied by the tow truck!) was taking my plate information.  The cherry on top was him saying, “You parked here and the police officer said he told you not to.”  I had no recourse at all.  I humbled myself and said yes sir, thank you, you’re right, I apologize, and got into my car shaking as I drove off.  How would I have explained the car getting towed to my hubby???  I shudder to think…God is truly gracious.

But it didn’t have to be that way.  Had I been obedient in the first place, I would’ve never encountered the parking law enforcer!  No need for an adrenaline rush when we obey – whether it’s God’s laws, or the law of the land.  It really is simple – we just have to obey.  We were created to.  Things work better when we do.

With that said, I am adding an extra layer of accountability as I announce to the blogosphere that I’ve gone from do-nothing to joining a gym AND joining Weight Watchers in less than a week.  Okay, I’ve been resisting the idea while knowing I need to lose weight and start exercising (again) for a very long time, but I finally decided to do something this week.  And it took messages (like blinking neon signs!) from soooo many people God placed in my path to help me get back on the right track.  Making a decision is powerful.  Taking action is even more empowering.  Now that I’m here, I welcome you to join me on my new journey.  I’ll have lots of new stuff to write about, that’s for sure.  I have my first Personal Training session next week.  Stay tuned…

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

(II Corinthians 10:4-6)

© Copyright 2010 by Kayren J. Cathcart