As silly as this selfie looks…. here we go!
This my attempt to explain why I am now beardless. For those of you are thinking right now, “who cares???” or “why a reflection on something so trivial???”… I will be explaining. For the possible one or two of you that actually remember the point of this new face and why it is a big deal, you, my friends, are to be commended.
To explain, please see my Journal Reflection from October 30th, 2014: Talk to the Beard
If you couldn’t make it to read the entire post from 2014, here is the part that pertains to today:
“What I am saying is that I have had enough… It’s time to make changes in my life and for our marriage and family that will better sustain us over the long run of ministry and life. We just need to setup patterns in our lives, and my life specifically, that will provide a better balance of ministry and family/health. In addition to having such a strong focus on ministry, I need to balance things out better with taking care of myself and my family. Specifically, I need to focus on being a better husband and father, my health (eating, exercise, etc), spending more time dedicated to God, and having down time with my family and friends.
After Kim and I get through this busy time of transitioning to Ecuador and getting our project going, we are planning working together to put together a life plan to do just this. And I will be making a commitment to myself to do things different. All of these kinds of commitments will hopefully put us in a better place to be sustained over the long run of a life of ministry. We don’t want to get burnt out.. I was feeling like I wasn’t going to make it to the age of 40 there for a while!!! We want to be happy and content in ministry and not feel like it is a burden that God has called us to.
So, that is why I have the beard. I told myself that as a way of holding myself accountable to getting this plan in place of creating a new me, I would grow a beard in order to have a daily reminder that I need to do better. So, it’s Joel’s form of a goofy penance that I am forced to remind myself of each and every day when I look in the mirror.
Once I get myself in a more healthy state, I will shave my beard again. So, you can watch for pictures of a beardless Joel and rejoice with me when that day comes!”
So, yes, it has been FOUR AND A HALF YEARS!!! I’ll say that again…. IT’S BEEN FOUR AND A HALF YEARS!!! I.have.finally.shaved. It has taken this long but I have finally shaved. Now, this all probably would have happened much quicker if I wouldn’t have trimmed my beard along the way but I guess maybe I’ll take that tip with me for next time.
Things have been going well in this year of intentional holistic health improvement. I’m still keeping very busy BUT… I am exercising, eating healthy, going to bed on time, spending time daily with God, reading and being intentional in spending time with Kim and the kids. All of this has been a part of our healthy journey that we have been on during this year of Home Assignment. If you didn’t catch that blog, you can read that one here: Falling into Good Health.
We have been successful in implementing changes in our lives and creating new habits. Kim and I have both joined different nutrition/health programs in which I am counting my caloric intake and being accountable about the kinds of food I eat. Along with this, we have been exercising regularly. Kim does a lot of fitness classes. I had been going to the gym but I recently changed things up to where I am training for a 10k. These changes have been successful in producing results. I have lost 30 lbs! But the more important thing is that I keep it off, so that is why in addition to saying THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS!!!… I also want to say PLEASE KEEP PRAYING!!! We will be getting even busier as we return to our busy lives in Ecuador and we will be hitting the ground running as we will already have a mission team there when we arrive and we will have 3 more teams and some volunteers over the summer months. It will be a busy time and we want to rest on the habits and routines that we have learned to keep us grounded in good health. Please pray for us that we can make that happen.
I really don’t want to have to grow a beard again so let’s keep this going and stay on the right path of healthy goals and lifestyles!