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

Cultivating and letting go is today’s decision

cracked-pots

Your scars, shine like dark stars, your wounds are where the light shines through – Switchfoot

 

The wound is where the light shines through.
 
2 Corinthians 4:6-10The Voice (VOICE)
 
The God who spoke light into existence, saying, “Let light shine from the darkness,”[a] is the very One who sets our hearts ablaze to shed light on the knowledge of God’s glory revealed in the face of Jesus, the Anointed One.
 
But this beautiful treasure is contained in us—cracked pots made of earth and clay—so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us.
 
We are cracked and chipped from our afflictions on all sides, but we are not crushed by them.
We are bewildered at times, but we do not give in to despair.
 
We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned.
We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
 
We always carry around in our bodies the reality of the brutal death and suffering of Jesus. As a result, His resurrection life rises and reveals its wondrous power in our bodies as well.
 
mayhem
If we aren’t mindful and intentional we can find ourselves living according to the mayhem that surrounds us, allowing it to shape our thoughts, our words and ultimately our actions. Before long they become habits which become our character. Friends we are IN this world but we don’t need to be OF IT. LOSE IT.
The cracks, the chips, the confusion, the persecution, being knocked down.
We are not crushed.
We are not in despair.
We are not abandoned.
We are not destroyed.
Friends these are the things we GET TO LOSE!
We have an option of letting go of those things that try to identify and label us.
We have an option of grabbing ahold of the truth that God’s word promises that even though we are standing smack dab in the middle of this chaos we find peace and purpose.
The light shines through the cracks.
Whole hearted Living Guidepost #2 Cultivating Self Compassion • Letting Go of Perfectionism
OCTOBER FOCUS: Lose IT..Whatever IT is that’s keeping you in bondage/captivity from living in your fullest freedom & original design.
Today we’re discussing Cultivating Self Compassion & Letting Go of Perfectionism.
“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.”
‭‭James‬ ‭3:13-16‬ ‭MSG‬‬
 cultivate-self-compassion
What does self-compassion look like for you?

{Cultivating} COMPASSION, noun

A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it. Extreme distress of an enemy even changes enmity into at least temporary affection.

He being full of compassion forgave their iniquity. Psalms 78:38.

His father had compassion and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luke 15:20.

{Letting Go}  Perfection

PERFEC’TION, noun [Latin perfectio.] The state of being perfect or complete, so that nothing requisite is wanting; as perfection in an art or science; perfection in a system of morals.

1. Physical perfection is when a natural object has all its powers, faculties or qualities entire and in full vigor, and all its parts in due proportion.

2. Metaphysical or transcendental perfection is the possession of all the essential attributes or all the parts necessary to the integrity of a substance. This is absolute, where all defect is precluded, such as the perfection of God; or according to its kind, as in created things.

3. Moral perfection is the complete possession of all moral excellence, as in the Supreme Being; or the possession of such moral qualities and virtues as a thing is capable of.

4. A quality, endowment or acquirement completely excellent, or of great worth.

PERFEC’TIONIST, noun One pretending to perfection; an enthusiast in religion.

(source: websters1828.com)

Psalm 139:13The Voice (VOICE)

For You shaped me, inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath.

spools-of-thread

 

After reading these definitions in comparison to knowing that God is the perfector of our faith, how does this help you live wholeheartedly?

Hope is the anthem of my soul.

https://open.spotify.com/track/6MmWnPf3ohI1iaTMEJdGZj
 

Schooling of the brave

For the heart that cried out today…I literally cried with you, ready to throw up my hands in defeat but while they were lifted, His Mercy fell on me and I wept like a child. My heart surrendered and He met me there…
PC: Riant Photography

Photo Credit: Riant Photography

I rise up victorious against fear and shame, inducted into the school of the brave, singing the school song: let the weak say I am strong!!! (2 Corinthians 12:10)
I surrender all… Lord have your way, in me.
Our last post, we discussed the 10 Guideposts of wholehearted living.  Let’s start breaking these out and digging into the why & how and what that honestly looks like in our daily living.
First things first; what is a guidepost? What is whole-hearted living?
Guidepost. noun A post at the forks of a road, for directing travelers the way.
(Jesus said in John 14:16 I am the way, the truth and the life)
Whole-hearted adj. showing or characterized by complete sincerity and commitment:
(Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength)
Cultivating Authenticity. Letting go of what people think.
Perhaps it’s the power of words that draws me closer to this list of wholehearted living characteristic traits more than the traits themselves. I noticed that each of the words are in the present tense verses the past tense or even potentially directive/shoulding tense (I made that up) of the words. See what happens subconsciously in our minds is that when we see a list of to do that is in the past tense or even in the connotation that I MUST, I NEED TO or I SHOULD DO we begin devising plans of either comparison to measure our qualfications and enoughness or on the reverse we kick into guilt driven defenses that declare “well I’ve already done that and nothing happened so clearly this is ridiculous”.
Lemme school you right quick.

notebooks

Pursuing reaps uncontainable grace.
Cultivating Authenticity means I will keep my heart pumpin and my spirit movin.

Cultivating Authenticity means I will be willing to make relationship investments. I will keep sowing the type of seeds that would reap the kind of fruit I’d appreciate EVEN IF I never become the one who harvests the fruit!

Cultivating Authenticity means I will stay humble & kind.

Cultivating Authenticity opens my hands to the opportunity of letting go of what others think.
I will recognize what God has called me to do, being mindful that comparison will try to creep in but I will trust that BECAUSE He made me, He knows what I am gifted with and capable of. He knows my weaknesses but He also knows my strengths. Where I am weak, I will allow Him to be my strength. I will DAILY remind myself to stay in my lane and run my race. I will keep my hand to the plow in the field where God has placed me to work, not looking back.
 I will Give Thanks with My Whole Heart
7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. 8The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
Opportunity to practice whole-hearted living

mats-and-mugs-flyer-2

Hey friends October is mental health awareness month, domestic violence awareness, breast dance awareness and so many others that we should take notice of.

In an effort to bring us to the central focus of our own well-being we must be willing to look toward God as the perfector, healer and comforter.
Join us for Mats & Mugs with Jesus for a spirit, soul & body strength, breathing, movement & meditation workshop!

• • • We know we’re waiting well when we truly experience peace in God’s pauses and plans. The peace is demonstrated in the resting of our thoughts and actions. Our real focus becomes a deep and abiding relationship with the Person of our faith, rather than manipulating our circumstances to receive the object of our wait. // Wait and See by Wendy Pope

• • • “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬ (PC: Riant Photography )
What does cultivating authenticity look like for you?