As I sit here at my desk, I've been reflecting on some pictures from Facebook that popped up in my On This Day part of my Wall. They went back to 2002. I was amazed and saddened at the same time. Many of the pictures were major milestones in life, rather bittersweet. I felt blessed overall. I also looked over the past few years while arranging pictures into file folders. I was amazed at what all has happened in my life. God has been good in all of it. If you looked over the past 10 years of your life, what would you see and how would you feel about that past? Would you complain about the life you've had or would you be able to say, "God is amazing!"?
Here are some thoughts as you look over 2016 and more:
Who inspires you?
How has God blessed you?
What would you keep and what would you change?
Feel free to share these thoughts with us in the comments section below or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I looked over Totally Fit 4 Life Ministries, since its beginning in 2013, as an effort to supplement my income as a widow trying to make it on my own, I have to say God's guiding hand has been there the entire time. Evidently, His plan for this website ministry was meant to touch lives, not supplement my income. He provided for my needs in other ways. I've watched the readership grow, seen needs met, and many, many comments about how something from this ministry has touched hearts and changed lives. I am certainly blessed as I ponder the past three years of Totally Fit 4 Life Ministries.
Some of the disappointments I've had were from reading stats on this website. Many of the readers feel desperate to look sexy, feel better about themselves superficially, and try to get that perfect gym body. It saddens me how our society teaches such shallowness.The stats show what people are searching for, but my prayer is they will find much more: they will find hope, value, and freedom.Too often people are enslaved to self, appearance, and sex. My prayer is people will discover their true value to God, that they are far more than just a body, and that having a healthy, fit body to serve God and others is what's important. From the new exerciser to the Boot Camp enthusiast: Christian health, fitness, and wellness is different than general health, fitness, and wellness. Jesus Christ is that difference.
I've personally had a rough year, but God is faithful. It took quite a while to figure out what what the health problem was and how to handle it. Most days were hard for me to encourage and challenge you when all I wanted to do was crawl back in bed. I have a better grasp of how to handle it now, so my health don't interfere as much as it did earlier in the year. Thank you for your prayers and patience!
The photo near the top of this page is my office space. It is shared with an elliptical, a bike on a trainer, and portable exercise equipment. I still start out at the breakfast table, but go to my desk after breakfast. I am blessed with a better space to do my work. Yay!
As I said before, we have grown! Instead of 100-200 readers per day, now 300-1,000 people visit us every day. There are slumps in the year, month, and week as seen with any other health, fitness, and wellness venue. Your readership is an encouragement that we are fulfilling the purpose God has for this ministry!
Ephesians 2:10 and our tag line is "Find Refreshment for Your Journey". These images make us more easily recognized when you see them.We have discovered a broader focus for this ministry than originally imagined. Over the past year, you probably noticed some changes. First, you will see platform branding. What that means is we now have three images that represent Totally Fit 4 Life Ministries: the fish cross, the water ripple, and the beach walk. The fish cross represents the total aspect of each person: physical, mental, social, and spiritual with the emphasis on Jesus Christ at the hub of the Christian's life. The water ripple represents refreshment that Jesus offers us in our relationship with Him. The beach walk is for Healthy Lifestyles representing our journey to Total Health. Our theme verse is
We are doing clean up for consistency across social media. That has been a very sticky part of doing ministry on a shoe string budget. We do what we can for free which means a lot more work on my part in the background. You've probably seen our memes on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. People are reading and responding to them better than plain text. Getting these posted timely has presented a challenge. Also posting our blog articles has presented its own set of challenges. We are looking for ways to streamline it to make postings timely.
We now have our Insiders subscription! It is exciting to reward those who visit regularly when they subscribe. Insiders receive discounts on services, Healthy Lifestyle groups, and products in our Totally Fit 4 Life portion of our store (Platform Purple and Amazon Affiliate Stores are not included), and special offers and events only for them. Sometimes I offer free "road testers" opportunities like taking Healthy Lifestyles for free in exchange for valuable input to improve the program. They also receive a special newsletter that gives them the behind the scenes view of what is happening here at Totally Fit 4 Life Ministries. This post gives them inside information like what you see here in this post. There are perks to subscribing! Click on this link "Insider" to subscribe.
Social media consistency is in the process, but takes time. I have to thank my younger daughter, a social media specialist and public relations manager. Since this is her arena, I ask her for help when I can't figure out how to work through a tough spot. The biggest hurdle is that we have to work with what we can for free.We hope to generate funds to pay for what we need to do through affiliate links, services, and our Store.
By the way I have a fantastic volunteer team on the journey with me. I forgot to tell you who helps me out behind our home page:
They are all such a blessing to me personally and to this ministry. Now you know why I say, "us" so often. I don't do this alone.
Healthy Lifestyles groups was added last year to help people reach their health, fitness, and wellness goals while turning our focus on Jesus Christ. Healthy Lifestyles is foundational to living a totally fit life. It is beginning to take off this year with 3 groups being offered: 2 live groups at locations near me and 1 online. Also, the church licensing program is in the works. It is on it's way! We hope to have it ready for testing this fall and do a full launch in January 2018. More info coming as developments happen.
We have added our Store to offer products to help you on your journey to total health. The money that comes in helps pay the expenses of doing ministry. The rest of the expenses come out of our own pockets. We are not non-profit at this time because we aren't ready yet. That is a goal for us in the future, but all in God's time.
We are testing out contests and new challenges. There are some rough spots to smooth out, but all in all, they are going well. We hope to have them streamlined over this next year and expand our offerings.
Where are we headed?
Good question! God shows me what I need when I need it, kind of like the motion-activated lights on steps in a theater. He gives me one step at a time to focus on. Here is where I see Him taking us, "Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes." Isaiah 54:2 NKJV. There seems to be a lot more He has in store for us. As He reveals more, you will see more.
In the meantime, you will see more of Healthy Lifestyles. The platform of our ministry will continue the fine-tuning process. Also, keep your eyes peeled on the Media and Events page. We hope to continue improving what the Lord has entrusted to us here at Totally Fit 4 Life Ministries.
If you have thoughts, questions, or prayer requests, feel free to share them with us. We want to meet the needs you have. You may email us or use the comment section below. All comments are posted unless you ask me to keep it confidential. They are moderated only by me. You are a blessing to us!
May you have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!