On the last day of 2015, my husband and I celebrated our fifth anniversary. His gift to me was a lovely pearl necklace and earring set.
He’s a good guy. I think I’ll keep him.
Sitting across from each other on our anniversary date, he looked at me and said, “So what did you accomplish in 2015?”
It’s a typical end of the year sort of reflection, perfect for both New Year’s Eve and anniversaries. Perhaps I am weird, but I actually like taking inventory of my year, asking myself what I accomplished and looking back over the year’s achievements. (Can you tell I’m a first-born child with strong Type-A tendencies?)
To my delighted surprise, when I started reviewing 2015, I realized many of my accomplishments over the past year were PCOS-related.
- I quit taking anxiety medications. (Are you aware anxiety and PCOS go hand-in-hand?)
- I established a grain-free lifestyle. (Many PCOS experts suggest a gluten-free diet. I just took it a step further.)
- I eat a sugar-free diet. (Eating a diet high in sugar is a common cause of inflammation, and women with PCOS typically have chronic inflammation throughout their bodies.)
- All of those things led to a 32-lb weight loss during the second half of the year.
Looking back, I’d have to say that 2015 was a very good year for me in regards to improving my health and seeing a reduction in PCOS symptoms.
Progress feels great!
Now 2016 is here.
Over the past few days, I’ve been asking myself what I want to see happen over the next 12 months. Some of my personal goals are also Health and/or PCOS-related goals.
- Continued weight loss (using the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan, and remaining grain-free/sugar-free)
- Adding in exercise 3-4 days a week
- Exploring the effects on my body by eliminating dairy
- Publishing a blog post here once a week
- Continued work on my PCOS book
Do you have PCOS goals for 2016?
Doesn’t it feel good to have a plan?
It certainly does for me.
But as much as I love to plan, I often find that I fall short. Why is that?
I don’t know about you, but part of the reason is I’m not always the best at following through with the plans I’ve made. However, having a goal in mind at least assures I know the direction I want to head, even if getting there might not happen on my own time-table or in the way I originally planned.
I think as we plan for 2016, especially in the area of PCOS and health, there are three important things to remember
1. Remember that God’s plans for our lives will trump our own personal plans.
The Bible tells us this:
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. ~Proverbs 19:21
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. ~Proverbs 16:9
This doesn’t mean that our plans will never succeed. However, it is important to note that if we aren’t careful, our personal goals might not line up with God’s purposes for our lives. A good prayer to pray before setting goals is straight out of the Psalms.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4
If I am truly delighting myself in the Lord, then my desires are much more likely to line up with what He wants for me.
2. Remember that God’s plans for us are good.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~Jeremiah 29:11
This is one of my husband’s favorite Bible verses. We have it on several wall hangings around our home, and it is quoted often as we encourage each other.
Isn’t it wonderful to embrace that God not only has plans for us, but that His plans are not plans to harm me, but rather to give me a hope and a future?
3. Any plans we make will have a better chance of success if we commit those plans to God.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. ~Proverbs 16:3
As a Christ-follower, I am devoted to God. I try to live my life in such a way so that others will know that I know Jesus. This includes my goals and plans as well.
So, in 2016, what my personal goals are don’t so much matter as much as who I’m doing those goals for. And knowing that I’m committed to being a healthier person for the Lord is a greater challenge than if I was just trying to be healthier for me.
Back to those beautiful pearls my husband gave me …
The medical world often describes the ovaries of women with PCOS as having an appearance like a “string of pearls.”
For several years now, I’ve told my husband that while most women would love to own a string of pearls, they certainly wouldn’t want the sort of “pearls” I own … the PCOS variety!
In the Bible, Jesus told a parable about a pearl of great price. The merchant goes searching for this pearl, and sells all he has in order to purchase it. It’s a beautiful picture of what God did for us … sending His perfect Son Jesus to die on the cross in order that we could have access to Him for eternity in spite of our sins which separate us from God’s holiness.
Do you realize that you are that pearl of great price?
Ponder that for a moment. Let it soak in, all the way to the deepest depths of your soul. It will take your breath away.
When my husband gave me pearls for our anniversary, he said, “I wish I could afford to buy you an entire string of pearls. Someday, God willing, I can. But for now, I hope you’ll enjoy wearing these … and whenever you do, that you’ll remember your worth to me and to the Lord.“
He’s a good guy. I think I’ll keep him.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. ~Matthew 13:45-46