3 confidence boosters

3 Confidence Boosters for Life

Live Well ☑️
Live Wisely ☑️
Live Humbly ☑️
🆗 “Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: 👉🏾🙏🏾 Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.
Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” James 3:3-18 Message
‭‭J

Live well: Attention, Live Wisely: Intention, Live humbly: Prevention  

Summer Goals

Initially I didn’t think this (type of) devotional was for me. Because honestly, I have felt like the word REST has become a buzz word. I have felt like we’ve all begun to learn really how to lay down the hustle (just another check mark on our to-do lists) and DO self care. It’s kinda felt counterproductive. Like we’re DOING rest.

But God knew He could get my attention by whispering the promises that were grace-filled. Promises of confidence, contentment and peace (Philippians 4:6-13) tucked away in the meaning of that word.

I’m a peacemaker. By default and defense from a broken childhood; but God has used what had become my defensive weapon and caused it to become my best offensive weapon. (Matthew 5)

But friends that strategy did not happen by my own well crafted, skilled ideas; that only happened after I got brave enough to be still (content & quiet) and learned to listen.

SIDE BAR: quiet and withdrawn was also my defense from a loud chaotic home filled with violent rage and anger. God revealed to me a few months ago that I in fact am not shy, that I had settled for that label because it was safe, but the real me was wildly free and contagiously full of joy! THAT MAKES ME SO GIDDY I CAN HARDLY SIT STILL!!!

So many things (too many things) are calling our names. And we are answering.

Bonnie Gray writes in the devotional Whispers Of Rest: 40 Days of God’s Love to Revitalize Your Soul “Samuel, who was living in the temple ran to Eli the priest thinking Eli was calling him. It happened three times. (1 Samuel 3:8-11) in the same way, we can easily run from one thing to another answering other voices that demand doing, work, fear and busyness. But the fourth time God called him, Samuel did something different. Samuel dared to listen.”

Friends can I ask you, how do you hear God talk to you?

Have you heard Him call you but assumed it was something else calling your name?

Can I challenge you? I believe that one of the things that calls our name and our bluff is the fear that we aren’t enough which leads us toward comparison and under appreciating our original design.

I’d like to invite you for the next 30 days to join me for  30 days of confidence: a body peace series.

Every June I host a faith based fitness challenge called the ‘swimsuit confidence‘ challenge… it’s an opportunity for us to not get trapped in the battle for our mind, body and spirit and instead brave ourselves with the victory that was already won for our freedom.

We get to live in that victory by making peace within our hearts and our reflections IN A SWIMSUIT…

I know.

I TOTALLY get it.

I gasped as well.

And that my friend is why I do it! (and if you’re local join me on Tuesdays for MOVE:RevFit at 9:30 am)

Your body is beautiful and whether you’ve decided to put on a suit and spend more time enjoying life’s precious moments or you’re still standing in the proverbial fitting room arguing with your reflection; I have one thing to tell you, and I need you to look in the mirror and repeat this YOU ARE FLAWESOME!!!

Not a single one of us is perfect, we all got some flaws and He STILL calls us awesome! (Psalm 139)

This year I’m using Whispers Of Rest as our weekly prompts of peace!

Could you use a bit of flawsome peace?

Thank you Bonnie Gray for writing what I’m calling the new personal trainers CPR (mind/body) manual!!!

Alright friends, I hope you’ll decide to join us, now I must go and resuscitate a few folks! 🙌🏾❤️

Oh and FYI: the today show announced the one piece as the suit of the season! WHOOOP WHOOOP!!! Shout out to all the women wearing the vintage swim dress!!!!

If you want to join us just simply subscribe to my blog for the weekly motivation! THERE’S NO FEE!

Spring blooms start with dirt

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Spring has officially sprung and because this month I always focus on doing some season cleaning and decluttering I thought I’d first say that somehow I totally forgot to post last month but a lot happened on other social channels and life so I’ll be unpacking some of that in the next few posts.

This month has already shown me proof that God is creating something beautiful and I get to witness the unveiling, blooming and keeping of His promises.

I’m madly, deeply in love with this months theme at Revelation Wellness. We’re unpacking the message of #gritandhope and y’all the waves of emotions that these two words trigger are nothing short of God-winks; all the God-breathed permission to go, be, do, dream, rise up, recognize where redemption has called me up and take my place.

This morning’s You Version devotional on faith gives me permission to breathe and process where the anxiety of *doing* normally could cause me to freeze and over analyze.

“Putting your faith into action is less about what you do and don’t do and more about what you do and don’t do. Confusing, isn’t it? With faith that surpasses all understanding, you begin to know when to do and when not to do. While it will be different for each of us, what I can say for everyone is: Do have faith in the things God has called you to and don’t have faith where He has not. ” from Faith: fig tree vs. mountain  

So let’s dig into this blooming of grit & hope.

ariel-lustre-232891

 

GRIT & HOPE: These two words cause so much to rise up in me!!!

He’s making diamonds – out of grit & hope!!!

And pearls – it’s the grit inside the oyster that creates the pearl!

READ: (1 Peter 2:5, Joshua 4:6-8, 2 Corinthians 4:8-12, Romans 8, Philippians 4, Philippians 3)

GRIT definition:

1. small, loose particles of stone or sand.
“she had a bit of grit in her eye”

synonyms: sand, dust, dirt;
2. courage and resolve; strength of character.
“he displayed the true grit of the navy pilot”

synonyms: courage, bravery, pluck, mettle, backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fiber, steel, nerve, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, resolution, determination, tenacity, perseverance, endurance;

Digging into all corners of GRIT & HOPE; feeling like this message was written for me; yesterday the word GROWTH sprouted from my meditation.

Both GRIT & HOPE are a mindset.

Friends we GET TO decide if we will live & be in either a fixed or growth mindset.

I’ve combed through a few verses that link to the definitions of both words but what keeps coming up is Romans 8.

Romans 8:22-28 New Living Translation

For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hopefor it.  But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

What is grit to you? What does hope look like?

What if we saw  grit & hope as the dirt God uses to plant seeds. What’s blooming from your grit & hope?

Being still & knowing

There’s no shame in lookin’ like a fool when I give you what I can’t keep to take a hold of you – United Pursuit #HeadToTheHeart

headphones

My sheep respond to my voice, and I know who they are.

They follow me, I give them eternal life, and they will never perish,

and no one will snatch them out of my hand. – John 10:27-28

 

 

Sometimes you know, other times you have no clue, yet you are absolutely certain. When you follow that voice, the rewards are limitless.

To Know (def)

  1. be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information:

 

We aren’t serving the Lord by putting up walls and being afraid. He is covering us and His peace gives us the permission to rest, be held, be protected, be sure and be still.

The verse I’ve been clinging to this week…

Philippians 4:6-8New Living Translation (NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Being Still & lookin’ like a fool

wrecked

 

So the Holy Spirit had to remind me of this song several times during & after Revelation Wellness retreat as Satan attempted to call me a fool and accused me of looking ridiculous & unqualified… I’m NOT SORRY FOR MY PASSION MY FREEDOM OR FOR BEING A FOOL FOR JESUS!!!!

I had a really crazy encounter with the Holy Spirit during the black out worship service.

As we sang I felt Him walk up behind me and tap my shoulder. I had one hand on my heart and the other was raised in worship. He walked around me held the hand that was raised and embraced me. It literally felt like He picked me up and placed my feet on top of His and began to dance with me like when you see a daddy place His daughters feet on top of his so that he can show her the steps. He whispered in my ear ‘it’s ok baby we can dance as long as you as you’d like’… And we danced.

Just then David Freeman started ministering the ‘it’s not your fault’ message that broke of years of sexual abuse chains I hadn’t realized I was carrying.

During the final celebration Alisa Keeton called an invitation to anyone that felt lead to praise dance & again the Holy Spirit gave me permission to dance only this time it was a victorious dance of release!!! Family when His glory falls it breaks every stronghold even the ones you didn’t know you had! It is for freedom that He has set us free! Those who don’t move don’t know they have chains!!! I dare you to move and become a fool for Jesus!!!

i am the one jesus lovesFriends, take a moment and listen to this song. Allow it to do something in your heart that you alone cannot do. This song has me in full shout to the Lord praise today!!!

Listen to Head to the Heart (Live) by United Pursuit

Cultivate patience – PODCAST from Revelation Wellness

cultivate patience podcast

Father,
I don’t need more internet. I need more you. The world is chipping away at my heart. I’ve lost my joy. I need more you. More intimacy means into-me-you-see. I want more of you, not because I have worked my way into your presence but because I have rested in the truth that you are my rampart and my shield. You save me from the fowlers snare. I’m returning to delight myself in you.- Amen

If this is your prayer, check out our most recent podcast “Be Still and Be Loved: Cultivate Patience” Take 15 minutes to reestablish your firm foundation.

Training a healthy heart: learning to run again

 

no playing small

 

 

Ok friends, this post is really just gonna be me dumping my brain & heart of some of the stuff that God has been sharing with me.

Sometimes I want to separate all the things into neatly organized categories with catchy labels so everyone will understand exactly what they’re getting.

Sometimes I think I should sort my thoughts the way the old HGTV shows would declutter houses: keep, toss, give away.

I want to make it receivable, bite sized, palatable and digestible. But what’s really happening is I’m trying to please people. I’m not being me.

Alright, Solidarity Confession: the real me doesn’t know organized. I didn’t grow up seeing the example. But she don’t like chaos either. I had more than my fair share thank you. She don’t appreciate clutter and confusion. But neither do I want something that’s so neatly set in place that without it we assume that life is disordered. Dear Jesus could you help me find something in the middle?

I’ve been coming into this space that maybe God wants to clutter and scatter some of the things I’ve tried to compartmentalize and at the same time He wants to untangle and separate the stuff we’ve assumed goes together. He is a God of order, not confusion. (1 Corinthians 14:33) So at the risk of seeming scattered, here’s my brain dump.

I’ve watched God in the past year somehow, at the same time; wreck & unravel me and just when I thought I was coming completely undone, He was already putting me back together.

I’ve discovered that the truest me isn’t shy. In fact the shyness was the result of a defense. I’m not well kept in tiny pink boxes with bows and flowers. (sidebar: I watch my daughter’s fashion sense of fancy dresses with converse and it’s like watching my personality playout in front of me.) I’m like a mad rush of Lenny Kravitz’s guitar riffs and banging drums with a few symbols and a Billy Joel style piano all played in tune.

Back to the loud music… Slightly crazy, I know, because each of the instruments are having their own rhythm session but somehow they’re giving permission to both the person who connects with one sound OR the one who’s vibin’ on all of them in a syncopated style. That’s the real me. I’m Dave Mathews Band and old school hip hop. I’m Doobie Brothers and Side Walk Prophets. I’m Cindy Lauper and David Crowder. I’m cheesy musical soundtracks and Beethovan.  Dare I say it, I’m Tupac AND MercyMe. And honestly that confuses people because they can’t peg me or label me and you know what; I kinda don’t care now because I spent most of my life trying to make sure I fit neatly into a category. I wanted them to knew who I was but I didn’t even know. But what I know now is that I’m over it. I don’t want to be labeled. If they decide to label me, let it be “LIKE JESUS”.

Instead I would rather be known
By the kindness and love that I show
To be known for patience and long suffering
A giver of life by the words that I speak

So with every breath You give to breathe
I pray it’s Your glory that they see
And of all the words this world could say
May they say I was full of grace

-Morgan Harper Nichols “A Prayer for Grace”

View More: http://riantphotography.pass.us/revretreatmay2016warpaint

#Wrecked & #Redeemed “War Paint” Photo credit: Riant Photography for Revelation Wellness

Knowing that I am created in the image of the Creator who is beyond limits and labels, maybe; just maybe He has decided that I don’t have a label nor do I need one.

Friends the only way we will ever live beyond the labels is to get after the roots of fear and recognize who we are IN Christ. The greatest opportunity we have to break through the tough, stony places of our hearts and experience God’s unchanging unconditional love is in the simple, yet somewhat difficult invitation to remain/ abide / stay connected in/to Him.

ABIDE– (verb) to wait for, be prepared for, to endure or sustain

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:2-5‬ ‭NASB‬‬

This is where redemption happens and can I tell you something?

You are more beautiful than you give yourself credit for.

This is the year that He will restore your beautiful, your joy, your praise and your righteousness. God’s methods of restoration and redemption are almost always nothing like ours and the process might seem pretty ridiculous. But one thing is always true, HE KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOING and He WILL finish what He began!

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬ • Let God restore ALL that He has done in you!!!

more beautiful

 

 

Our desire to be more, do more and even search for more out of this life, was placed in our hearts by God.

He didn’t design us for less; He designed us to be great, to love big and to be more. But again, without Him we can’t do any of this and the only way to find peace or have the ability to live in more is b faith, IN HIM.

Friends, our ONLY option of being our best self is to let go of the hustle & grind; trying so hard to prove them wrong, the desperate things we do trying to seek approval, the obligatory shifts of character trying to gain acceptance.

All of these nagging, tormenting, never-seeming-to-get-ahead mirages are satan’s plan of attack on our identity. If He can get us to think that we aren’t enough then He will cause us to rise up with ill intentions and hurt hearts and he is quick to stand there at our side to tell us that we’ve done; still isn’t it. And yet on the flip side of that coin he has a slick way of telling us to back down and shrink because we’re too loud, too much, too something. Both of these are his kill, steal, destroy plan.

Check your heart. If your heart has any place in it that leans on the side of anxiousness; every action that comes from it will breed temporary results.

Psalm 139: 23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

So much of my identity has been trapped deep in the seat of my heart, covered by scar tissue and God has been redeeming all of it. The healing is a process but He promises that He will give us a new heart if we’ll let Him. He’s calling us back to our original design.

Listen friends, He calls us up; there’s no need to be afraid of that. He never calls us out to shame us. He calls us by name and invites us to come out of hiding and He gently takes those things in our hearts that have bruised us and replaces them with His tender mercy, restoring us back to truth.

Friends my prayer for us today is to let the walls down. To stop playing small when He has called us to greater. To see ourselves in the next mirror we walk by and recognize true beauty and be proud of that reflection rather than see it and begin listing the things we wished were different. Or worse, see the reflection and begin flaunting something we’ve fabricated behind a mask of acceptance.

We’ve put up some heavy defenses because we’ve been hurt. I get it. So have I. Although, the level of protection we’ve justified isn’t for anyone to deem unnecessary and I’m not suggesting that we throw our cares to the wind and act like we don’t need to set boundaries; I am saying that we’ve never felt what real protection from the love of God feels like so we’ve fabricated it and tried to manufacture something.  What happens in turn is that this temporary support system is not strong enough to keep us from the attacks of a very real enemy that wants to destroy us.  Little things come across our path that trigger memories of those issues we’ve pressed down and decided we just weren’t going to ever bring them up again; and one day they resurface and it burns worse than the initial sting. Roots have a way of coming up.

In Matthew 17:21 Jesus told them  “You don’t have enough faith, I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible for you.”

What mountain do you need to move today? Every mountain has a root. Every mountain. That thing that you seem to keep going around and it never seems to go away? Yup. Roots.

Yesterday was a soaking, detoxing and mountain moving day for me. I had to let the Holy Spirit make my head listen to my heart and my heart listen to His love. It’s so easy for me to get trapped in only listening to one or the other and if it hasn’t been guarded by His grace it can be quite deceptive which is which!

I know that I CAN run. I just choose not to and He’s been calling me to run.

I’ve been ignoring it. In fact, I’ve been opting for other forms of movement as an alternative. But yall let’s just call that what it is, that’s disobedience. God don’t bless that. I was reading through the book Restless by Jennie Allen; she says “we were designed to run and He will keep calling us until we get up and move and it’ll be wonky and creaky at first – but in our weakness He is made strong. BUT WE MUST BE WILLING TO MOVE”.  1 Samuel 15:22 reminds us that obedience is greater than sacrifice and friends, if we could just follow the obedience we’d see that God has a perfect plan attached to it. And no He’s not going to reveal the plan because most of us would probably opt for our way because we think it’s going to be easier.  When I read that segment of the book I was both convicted and relieved because all of this restlessness I’d been feeling in my mind and body was found in  the fact that His love is a fierce pursuit of our identity.

Heart Health Resources:

  • Take a moment to listen this message I recorded on learning to run again.
  • Listen to the song Out of Hiding by Steffany Gretzinger
  • And then, take a few minutes to settle your heart with the “Healing The Roots” Holy Yoga stretching sequence.

 

MOVE IN FREEDOM – Healing the root places