Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Art of Self-Improvement

the improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts.

  For the past month or so, I have been joining together with my fellow Praying Pelican staff members in what we are calling the “PelicanFit” 40 day challenge. It’s a combination of Faith-building, Relationship-strengthening, and of course, Physical Action. We did it in an effort to promote the health and wellness (both physically and spiritually) of each other in an environment laden with team work and encouragement. It has been well-worth the effort. 
  But, more than that it has shown me how important it is to work hard in continually trying to be all that I can be. I have started focusing more on eating right, exercising my whole self, and focusing on God as the only person who will never leave me or disappoint me. I have used the idea of self-improvement to finally push myself to start playing guitar again and to finally (after months and months!) make the website for my mirrors that I have been wanting to sell. I have also begun to pursue the publishing of a children’s book that I have written. All of these things combined have brought me to the realization that when I improve myself and work to better myself for the sake of God and his kingdom, every effort will not come back void. 
  Many people look at today’s society and talk about everything that’s going on and how it should change or what should be done differently. They talk about how they will do this or that when they have time, when they aren’t as busy, etc. Friends, the time is now. And it starts with you. Once you begin the journey of self-improvement in yourself, opportunities begin to open for you to help others.
First off, I started to play guitar (again) partially because I wanted to think I was talented, but mostly in hopes of learning worship songs that I can play for my teams when they come down to serve. I know it will take hours of work, sore fingers, lots of memorization, large amounts of Discipline and most likely late nights but I know that God will honor it and that he will help me succeed. My learning guitar will not bring about some colossal change in the world at large but I believe that God will be right here beside me as I learn and he will help me make a change in someone’s life. I encourage you to pick up an old talent or to find a new interest and go for it! Regardless of what it is, it will change the world even if it’s only the world of one person.
  Secondly, aside from improving yourself through a new hobby or picking up an old hobby, another thing that I have greatly benefited from during our PelicanFit challenge is the physical component. I already work out on a consistent basis but joining this challenge gave me the final push to get up every morning and work out even more. To keep up with pilates and to buy that set of weights to improve muscle tone. I can’t tell you how much better I have been feeling and how nice it is to be able to wake up in the morning, not feeling tired but feeling good about myself. Changing the way I work out and eating healthier has definitely put me on the track to a better lifestyle. I have had more energy and I have had more concentration in many things. I just feel good and it’s great. 
  Lastly, the spiritual component has encouraged me in more ways than I can count. I’m not gonna lie, there are times when I struggle. Times when I don’t want to pray, I don’t want to read my Bible, I don’t want to do anything, I just want to be. I struggle with apathy. It is a struggle that Satan is well aware of and attempts to use on a consistent basis to destroy me. It takes consistent focus to staty on track. For those of you that know me, you will know that discipline is one of my strengths. Give me a list that needs to get done, a spreadsheet that needs worked out, anything and it’s going to happen. It will get done. Having a reading plan, like we do with PelicanFit, has worked wonders. I love having something that is there, planned and ready for me to read. It keeps me on track. There are times where I will go to the Bible, open it up and just read but my personality (and God knows this of course!) works best when I have something to follow. That makes the day to day reading schedule a blessing in disguise. I don’t end up feeling like I have to read, it does the opposite for me. I want to read the Bible and it excites me that it is all there and ready for me. 
   I guess you could say that PelicanFit has gotten me addicted to self-improvement and I love it. I love the exhilaration that comes from learning something new, the feeling you get after a work out and the happiness you feel in accomplishment. The world isn’t going to change in the blink of an eye but if we all band together and seek to better ourselves in an environment of love, encourage, and support…it will. I encourage you to find a group of friends, co-workers, strangers even! and start your own 40 day challenge. Let’s not wait anymore….let’s start changing the world one person at a time 🙂 You will be glad that you did.  

The Ultimate Mission Trip Style Guide: To Bling or Not to Bling

Check out the next to last entry written by Christy Bodnar!

“The Ultimate Mission Trip Style Guide.” – tips and tricks from Praying Pelican Missions lady missionaries on how to look good, feel good and take the pressure off of packing your suitcase for a new culture, climate and lifestyle. Our heart is to remove the anxiety and focus from timeless questions like: “What do I wear?” and give you a few tips that we’ve learned throughout the years. Ultimately, we pray that these posts would be a resource for you as you prepare for your trip. We want to provide you with a few tools that can help you remain focused on what God is teaching you and doing around you during your time abroad, instead of the length of your shorts, the style of your still-wet hair or how much make-up is appropriate. But of course, throughout it all, we must have fun in the process!”