Saturday, August 12, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Daily Prayer Journal...avenues with weight loss and fitness...

#RitaHutchesonCobbs at the Decatur Public Library

During the my school years, elementary through high school, I never enjoyed reading. Looking back, I think it was because they were assigned reading materials. I never minding being told what to do, it might have been more productive for my progressive for me if I had been able to pick things I enjoyed reading. In college, I discovered reading because of an animated English 101 teachers. She was fantastic in teaching everything from writing a complete sentence to reading books. I couldn't read enough. In 2011, we had a severe tornado come through our area, hitting our house. It was time to tear down and rebuild. Books were everywhere, probably holding up the walls and three-thousand books found new homes from being donated to being given away. I repented of that...all the people that could be reading them after we had finished with them from homeschooling to pure enjoyment. 

Now, I have both an ereader and actual books, but other than a few classics, books I treasure, collections of cookbooks and Bibles (don't even ask), I pass on the books I finish with and hope they enjoy them as much as I did. I checkout books from two local libraries and use my ereader to checkout books as well. Both of the local libraries have what I call a re-sale store. Inside are books donated by the community and books the library has removed from their shelves. There are recordings, DVDs, tapes, magazines, plus other items related to reading or listening. I get items for $.25 to $1.00. I am selective, however, and then pass them on.

This particular day, I went to renew my library card which is required once a year. I went to the re-sale room and as I thumbed through the books, I found this prayer journal. It was the prefect size for my gratitude journal. I write one word to a sentence for things I am thankful for several times each day. Each one fits perfectly in my bag, purse or in places at home. I opened the book to July 6 and July 7. A few pages into the prayer journal the year was noted for 1982. I was encouraged to see the inspiration and encouragement this unknown owner left on each page. It was verses that inspired and people that was with them when it happened. 

Just as this person wrote down these words, it is the same for living a healthy lifestyle. When you write down every bite, lick and taste (BLT) that goes in your mouth, you have accountability to yourself and then to another person when you hit a wall in weight loss. Also, when you write down your fitness routine, you see the weight amount you have lifted or used on a particular machine, remember how many times you did one particular workout and then there is writing down how much water you have drank compared to other beverages. I have an account of all this plus my prayer requests, praises, and thanksgivings. I write out my prayers, journal and list various things.

I hear often, "I don't have time for all this!" Then I have to ask, "Do you have fifteen-minutes to give me?" Then when I see them, I have them do nothing more than write down everything thing they do on two days of the week, a weekday and a Sunday. After they finish this timeline, I show them where they can make time for a weight loss plan, fitness plan and even one-hour to journal in every way. It is amazing when we create just a BLT journal and a timeline journal for thirty-days, we see how much we waste in foods and time. We are not happy when people point out the realities and truths of our lives; however, this needs to happen so that we live not only a blameless life, but also one of example to all those around us, our children, our spouse, our neighbors and our co-workers. How do you live before your mirror, to yourself, much less to those you see first thing in the morning or the last person you see at night? God is watching.

With today's technology, you can make your life of accountability much easier and stronger so that you too can live a life that is fit, healthy, strong, positive and joyful. It's time to live real. I know what is like to take the door of the closet, remove the curtain from the windows, allowing myself as well as others see inside from the pain to the love, from the sadness to the joy. Through writing down just what we eat and drink, we see where our addictions and habitual eating and drinking are and the changes we need to make. After almost six-years, I still journal every BLT. I may take photographs of my plate, but I have accountability of what I eat and drink. That is why on my social media you will see food and drink photographs.

Consider what you can do to make this change in your life. You won't need anything fancy to write these things down. A subject notebooks would work just as well. If you want a beautiful journal, fine, or you can make your own (see video below). Whatever inspires you to write down or keep track of your daily life, then do it for nobody other than yourself. If you want to send me copies, I will be your accountability partner. Life is worth the small changes and it looks for the best in yourself and in others. You can be the encouragement that someone is looking for. What if, like this book I found, in years to come, someone reads your journals...will they find encouragement by the goals you are reaching for? I hope so.

Happy Birthday today to my son, #GarrettCobbs!


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