Fear or freedom

What moves you?

Fear or freedom?

What stirs the motives of your heart, your words, your actions, your thoughts, your time, your habits, your movements ?

Is it fear or freedom? —————-

We get to decide if the life we live is one birthed out of the fear that God won’t or can’t do it for us so we might need to do it for Him; OR maybe that fear has whispered the opportunity to measure your life with the standard of someone else’s failures or successes; or maybe fear has tainted you with the mistakes, misuse and abuse of your past OR maybe, we get to decide that what He has planned for us is based on the promise that He made in His Word before we were ever born and that promise is being fulfilled (regardless of the interruptions & delays) in due time, so we have nothing to fear and are in fact not shackled to the lie that it’ll never happen.

 

Today’s passage from Galatians 4 talked about the ways we function (actually dysfunction) in self-sufficiency and find ourselves incomplete yearning for more.
Galatians 4 offers us the truth of the story of Abraham, Sarai and Hagar how they birthed one thing out of self-sufficiency and literally birthed generations of slavery and then birthed something from the root of The Promise and birthed generations of freedom.

Isn’t it so true that we are living out of a place of fear based self-sufficiency when our well intentioned goals are completely dependent on what we can perform, discipline ourselves and do for ourselves we find ourselves by ourselves and frustrated. BUT GOD.

This is where I am today. And honestly I’ve wrestled quite a bit with the lie of “you know better, you should look better” and had to come toe-toe with the enemy and dare him to answer me when I asked “KNOW BETTER THAN WHAT, LOOK BETTER THAN WHO”…but Y’all I couldn’t ask that question in my own strength because I would have had all sorts of lists of comparisons to measure myself.

I had to come face the enemy from the place of freedom not fear.

Today, I’m surrendering my body. From the Wellness Revelation detox I’ve learned that I haven’t fully done that. I was still comparing myself with myself (both the old self that knew how to go hard and even the new self that owned freedom) and God revealed that I was doing it trying to prove something. I know that He wants it all, the know how and the cluelessness.

So today I surrender all.

So what motivates you? Fear or freedom?

Back to Basics: Giving and receiving

Yesterday, this is where He spoke the truth to me. I hope it blesses you.

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. Luke 6:38

– Keep movin’ #getinneractive

A different kind of strength training

 

Can I invite you into a season to #restandrenew? Wherever you are, start there and see what might happen…

I mean authentic, committed, intentional, serious RESToration to RENEW your spirit soul and body ?

This past month we camped on Hosea 10:12 with our Summer book club bible study  as we dug into the book Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst and my mind has been blown by the way The Holy Spirit shows us who He is and that His promises never return void!

“I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts,

for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’”
‭‭Hosea‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I’ve been sharing on instagram a series called #redefineyourself and I’ll be *re-sharing more here; but if you want more purposeful, individual focus there’s a space at the table right here on my blog waiting with your name on it, I’m inviting you to join me, I just need to know you’ll be sitting there! (leave a comment below)

Next month we’re going back to the basics of finding freedom in our own skin. This will be a study in Galatians. But for now, let’s continue this conversation on redefining yourself.

Friends when we commit to intentional movement, deeper heart & soul work, body nourishing meals and a “this is so good for me” we won’t ever lose.

 

Isn’t it just like God to put us smack dab in the middle of the situation we only talked about but in the back of our minds wondered if it might *ever* happen to us?
Some of you know my story.
Short version, in 2013 I woke up one day in head to toe pain. I couldn’t move. It hurt like an electrical shock for my husband to even touch me, to help me try to move my legs that felt like dead weight. I managed to shuffle to church that morning and made my way to the altar. When I told my pastors wife what was going on and what that it felt like “fire in my bones” she immediately said OH NO, NAME OF JESUS GIRL YOU BETTER OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD. (Jeremiah 20:9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.) #WhatABeautifulNameItis
 
For 6 months I stayed under the care of doctors, and neurologists being poked prodded and filled with fire, unable to walk. I laid on the hospital bed with ultrasound needles in the muscles of my hip, thigh, calf, ankle and foot. As the doctor would give me prompts to move the ultrasound which also had brain activity pads attached to my head; registered the response time from the brain cognitive understanding to the translation of actual muscle movement. My brain was very aware of what was being asked of me but my body was delayed in the responsiveness. In the larger muscle the response time was quicker than the smaller muscles. The closer the commands got to my feet, the longer the delay. When it got to my feet, there was no response.
 
The Drs’ diagnosis.
Trauma.
Trauma that had finally surfaced and decided to be dealt with because the other signals that had been sent to my body were ignored. The body is uniquely designed by God to only allow so much “self-preservation” before it recognizes that it was never designed to carry these things (Hebrews 12).  (We’ll be digging more into this next month for our Back To Basics FOCUS be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss this!! )
 
Fast forward, including a lifting of the symptoms, restoration of strength, releasing bitterness, anger, rejection, resentment and years of childhood trauma; the symptoms have returned. At times I sit with God asking Him if He has allowed this as a thorn in my flesh. NEVERTHELESS (I guess I do talk that way) His grace reminds me that He hasn’t brought me into anything that I can’t handle in His power and strength.
 
That rejection you wear is hiding the beauty you carry.
That fear has crippled you and you can’t even see your limp.
That bitter, angry heart of yours has been calloused from feeling the tender mercy of an immeasurable love of the Father.
That abandonment has left you defensive and the walls you’ve built to protect you from being hurt has kept the Father far from reaching you.
You can come out from hiding.
His love covers every fear, all of your shame, every guilt, every wrong done to you, through you or by you.
He is making all things new.
He is making broken, beautiful.
“As you speak,  a hundred billion failures disappear, you lost your life so I could find it here.
If you left behind you, so will I…If you gladly chose surrender, so will I ” Hillsong United
I was talking with a sister-friend this morning about listening for the instructions from God, knowing whether or not we’ve heard Him clearly and how that relates to the way we take care of our bodies…
 
I got to thinking; what if we applied the verse in Galatians 5 (about the fruits of the spirit) to strength training.
 
There are certain muscles we love to train and show off, there are others that we work hard at but they seem to never give us the results we want to see, so we aren’t so quick to display them and then there are those that we all together avoid because they’re either seemingly useless or too difficult to train so we just ignore them.  Then there is the situation of knowing how (understanding what’s required – as in my physical issue) and yet for some reason we are unable to finish the task.
 
So I ask you, which {spiritual }muscles are you currently training, and which ones have you ignored. Which ones are really strong and which ones are weak? What does your current strength training regimen look like? Have you identified your weakness?
 
Just for the sake of jogging our memories; here are the “spiritual” muscles…
 
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Self-Control
 
Consider this as your initial assessment with your personal trainer. #getinneractive #redefineyourself
The Christian commitment is not an abstraction. It is a concrete, visible, courageous and formidable way of being in the word – forged by daily choices consistent with inner truth.
A commitment that is not visible in humble service, suffering discipleship and creative love is an illusion.
Jesus Christ is impatient with illusions, and the world has no interest in abstractions. “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand” (Matthew 7:26) If we bypass the words of the Great Rabbi, the spiritual life will be nothing more than fantasy. // Brennan Manning Abba’s Child
JOIN US IN AUGUST: OUR BACK TO BASICS GROUP

Crazy how you can make a bold/scary decision and almost immediately you’re faced with the opposition to retract and literally fight to maintain your choice. Yesterday with tear-filled eyes I confessed to one of my mentors that the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I was fighting (shrinking back & withdrawing) the gifts He had placed in me for fear of being seen as too much.

I’ve known what some of the gifts are, and I’ve seen them flourish, but I have also felt the sting of rejection in the midst of using them. And my flesh was crying out loud that I didn’t want that anymore. But y’all it felt like Paul’s thorn because all I kept hearing from the Holy Spirit was GRACE. Like Christ, humbly considering the cup to be removed but in His heart He knew that He was created specifically for the work; NEVERTHELESS, NOT MY WILL BUT YOURS FATHER.

See friends, we want the gifts, we want the sparkle and shine, we even want the fame but when we consider the cost and the potential pain that comes with it, are we willing to be so bold to surrender the words NOT MY WILL, BUT YOURS?

Beloved…
My gift is irrevocable, kindled by the HolySpirit, as a token of my pledge of love to you.

Share this gift, as a testimony of your new identity as my Beloved.

Don’t be ashamed. Let my love catch fire in you. There is no one like. Kindle afresh my gift in you. Fan it into the flame. Be bold. Sparkle bright. You are my Gift. // Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray
https://open.spotify.com/track/1ed3wNCecRIp6SugyR0w2J

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!