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

Holiday Body Commitment: 12 Days of Christmas – Day 8 Connecting to Your Purpose

8th-day

On the 8th day of Christmas my trainer gave to me an opportunity to unlock the desires of my heart, get unstuck and set some goals in spite of the fear that tries to declare my identity.

Let’s finish this year with a clear focus on the things that our heart truly cries out for. In this reflective message from our Weigh Less to Feed More class, we get a better understanding of the words of the promise in Psalm 73:26.  “My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

“We fear that we will fail ourselves once again, and with failure comes feelings of negative self worth. The other side of the coin is that we fear success. Fearing success happens when we are afraid of what it might cost us or of the expectations that we might place upon ourselves when we receive the desires of our hearts. There is fear of not getting what we want and fear of getting what we want. Now what?” – Alisa Keeton Weigh Less to Feed More

If we take a moment to recognize how far we’ve come and see that it’s because of His amazing grace (not our ability) that we can take a breath today; we wouldn’t be so quick to accept the invitation to dwell on what we don’t have.

Our scripture focus for week 4 of Weigh Less to Feed More is “My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

Here is your 12 Days of Christmas “gift” for TODAY:

Using this quote from WL2FM, this scripture and the lyrics to the song Broken Vessels, take a moment to reflect, journal, or share in the comments: what are 5 Heart Desires that fear of failure and/or success have misdirected you toward being stuck.

2017-heart-desires

Reconnect With Your Purpose:  It’s no surprise that Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) has been sought after since ancient times. The complex aroma of this oil can elevate many aspects of your life. Diffuse Young Living Frankincense oil to refine your sense of purpose or add it to your beauty routine for a luxurious experience.

Frankincense essential oil has an earthy, uplifting aroma that’s perfect for grounding and spiritual connectedness. Create a safe and comforting environment when you diffuse or inhale this empowering oil—a perfect opportunity to collect your thoughts. When you seek purpose or engage in prayer or meditation, use this oil to enhance your experience.

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frankincense-compliant-micro
7 minutes  – CORE STRENGTH AND HIP MOBILITY

 

 

 

6 minutes – SHOULDERS AND LOWER BODY


5 minutes of strong arms s-UPPER BODY STRENGTH

4 low impact dance moves with the GREATEST motivation to move! – STRESS AWAY

3 minutes of kickboxing – THE WILL TO FIGHT

2 drummers drumming – TENSION RELEASE

and an advent holy yoga for me – FOCUS & BALANCE

 

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Non-scale victories this time will be different

wEIGH LESS TO FEED MORE INVITE

 

“But, except for these special cases, I’m not going to walk around on eggshells worrying about what small-minded people might say; I’m going to stride free and easy, knowing what our large-minded Master has already said. If I eat what is served to me, grateful to God for what is on the table, how can I worry about what someone will say? I thanked God for it and he blessed it!

So eat your meals heartily, not worrying about what others say about you—you’re eating to God’s glory, after all, not to please them. As a matter of fact, do everything that way, heartily and freely to God’s glory. At the same time, don’t be callous in your exercise of freedom, thoughtlessly stepping on the toes of those who aren’t as free as you are. I try my best to be considerate of everyone’s feelings in all these matters; I hope you will be, too.”
1 Corinthians 10:29-33 MSG

Maybe you have struggled with your weight your entire life, riding a constant roller coaster of numbers that go up and down along with pant sizes. Or maybe you are finding yourself more stressed out and pressed upon by the world and all its demands. Perhaps you just don’t feel as well in your body as you do in your spirit. Weigh Less to Feed More is going to change the way you perceive yourself and the way that you live your life. This time the change will occur from the inside out. We are seeking a change with roots that go deeply, so that when life comes at you hard and fast, you will stand firm in the truth of who God is and who He intends you to be. {pulled directly from the materials you’ll receive as a participant in the Weigh Less to Feed More FOCUS group}

• • • WEIGH LESS TO FEED MORE® – fall session begins in August.

Visit OUR ONLINE TRAINING PAGE for registration information or comment below to be added to the email list.

Redefine what food is to you!

God’s desire is for us to be Holy and Whole.

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Let’s start here. (comment below)

List your top three physical health goals.

List your top three spiritual health goals.

Read Ephesians 3:20. What is God able to do?

What must be present in order for God to do more than we could ask?

What is your motivation for choosing to participate in Weigh Less to Feed More and why do you want to make a positive change in and for your health?

On a scale of 1-10 how motivated and willing are you to change?

Living out a fear or love – guest post Kasey Shuler

girl looking over a city

 

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18

“More, more!” Ellie’s smoothie cup is full, but the straw is turned the wrong way and none is coming out. I move over to take it out and flip it around for her and she shrinks back clutching her smoothie cup and shrieks, “No no!” She thinks I’m taking away her drink. She thinks I’m trying to take away something good, that maybe I am just a mean person who gives and takes away. I remind her I love her and I want to help her drink more. I explain to her that I’m taking away her cup to give her more, and show her the full pitcher of smoothie and gesture what I’m intending to do with her cup. She lets me take her cup.

Living Out Of Fear

I do this same thing with God. If I’m feeling a little sick or did not sleep well the night before either because of lingering insomnia or a two year old who still wakes up at night, waking up is not just a physical struggle but a mental struggle. And this is pretty much every day. Little E helps me out with the physical part of it—she will either cry louder and louder til I come get her or walk to my bed side and plead, “Get up, Mama, get up!” Then I need to struggle to have joy for the events of the day.

I fear I won’t have enough energy to do the things I need and want to do.

I fear I will be battling a constant headache from lack of sleep or the sore throat will turn into a more debilitating sickness.

I fear that the things that need to happen depend on me, and all I want to do is crawl back into bed.

1 John 4:18 from above says that perfect love casts out fear. Love pushes back fear, just as turning on a light in a dark room extinguishes the darkness. Fear has to do with punishment, like I still need to pay for my sins, like life still depends on me and I need to work to prove myself worthy.

Living Out Of Love

Whoever fears has not been perfected in love. What would my day look like if I woke up with a headache and all I want to do is crawl back into bed, but listened to God’s voice of love?

Love tells me it’s okay if I don’t have enough energy for my own to-do list. God gives me everything I need to live the life He set for me: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

Love tells me not to worry about a spiraling sickness but to set my hope on Jesus: “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:5 (NLT)

Love tells me God is in control. He is fully competent to take care of His creation, and He fully loves me and values me just because I am His: “Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7 (ESV)

There is a difference between living in fear and living out of love. All of the fear statements start with “I fear,” but all of the love statements start with “love tells me.” Fear depends on me. This is not only isolating, but it is paralyzing because it separates me from my God, the true source of my joy and strength.

When I listen to love, when I remember that love, who is God, actually died on my behalf and gave me His Spirit so that I would no longer fear death, nor anything else in this world. If I am living out of love, then I am living in Christ and out of the eternal Holy Spirit. There is no room for darkness in a room full of light. The dark fear simply goes away without a struggle and only light is left.

I remember Ellie and her smoothie cup and think, am I trusting my Father, that He is good? That He does all things out of love? Am I living in fear of Him or out of love? I may have to ask myself this question twenty times during the day, but every time I choose love, I choose to give my empty cup back to Him to refill.

Are you living out of love or fear?

How can you remind yourself you are loved?

Kasey recently published Love Beyond Looks, a 5 week body image bible study. We think it’s the perfect follow up to this post. You can purchase the Bible study here: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Beyond-Looks-5-Week-Bible/dp/1523396512/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465839984&sr=8-1&keywords=love+beyond+looks

Follow Kasey on her blog at www.kaseybshuler.com

Doing vs Being – Reflection of the Resurrection

   

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I might add to this brilliance,  that we must be (willing)  very intentional about not allowing our doing to become our being.

I wonder, if in our doing and our being what we’re reflecting.

I wonder…  are we a reflection of the resurrection.

A reflection of the mystery of the proof of a previously mention victory.

A reflection of the majesty of God’s ability to do far beyond we could ever imagine or think; because after all, His ways ARE higher!

A reflection of the mention of things seemingly random, often misunderstood, blurry, unlikely, impossible, too much and at the same time not enough.

A reflection of the greatness.

A reflection of the sacrifice.

A reflection of the true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, excellent and praise worthy.

A reflection of the courage from a heart that knows it is loved.

A reflection of the wounds.

A reflection of the broken.

A reflection of the made whole.

A reflection of the scars.

A reflection of the healing.

A reflection of the darkest valley.

A reflection of the laying down.

A reflection of the lacking nothing.

A reflection of the refreshing of the soul.

A reflection of the guidance on the right path.

A reflection of His name sake.

A reflection of no fear of evil.

A reflection of His presence, with us.

A reflection of His comfort.

A reflection of His story.

A reflection of His glory.

 

Reflection of the Resurrection: Doing what we’re becoming

Someone recently asked me how I got into the fitness industry. This came on the heels of a question in our Revelation Wellness training that asked “what truth have you believed that God revealed was actually a lie”… After I had my first child during college, I remember someone hinting that I would “end up just like my mother”… I’ve watched God bring this truth to the light of TRUTH from a space where Satan tried to use my “doing and being” against me and cause it to become the very thing He uses to reflect the resurrection!!!! (Romans 8)

The short story.

After suffering through an emotionally draining pregnancy & post partum depression (with my 3rd child) a woman named Kristine Bowman invited me to an aerobics class at a church. My 3 kids were just babies. (I had a chance to share the full testimony in an interview on the Faithful Wellness Podcast ) It’s been 13 years since that initial invitation to the aerobics class and my kids are now teenagers and one of them is a man-child… Y’all I’m still walking this road and I’m still doing & being who God is calling me to be!!! Glory be to God that He called me (qualified) in the middle of my (everyday) doing because He saw who He was calling me to be!

HE QUALIFIES THE CALLED

There’s a group of people that we are each designed to reach and we can either continue on that journey being our best selves; just a willing vessel;  serving and BEING fulfilled (not in our own strength but with whatever God fills us with) or we can hustle hard in hopes of DOING what’s ‘qualified’ and yet still not quite enough.

I think I’ll stick with being, and let God continue with the doing (in me)!

Some of you know I’m in the middle of a certification called Revelation Wellness; it’s a Christ centered faith THEN fitness counseling & wellness program that allows me to offer the fitness classes I’m already teaching in addition to a program called Weigh Less To Feed More.

The certification is a whole person approach to the dilemma many of the diets, programs and ’30 day whatever-the-quick-fix’ have created; the results on the outside are there but the person on the inside is still hurting and broken.

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The training so far has been a beautiful tapestry of humility & service.

My training will finish in May at a one week retreat in Arizona with nearly 40 other ‘platoon recruits’. I’ve met some beautiful souls who are all uncovering the Truth of our reflection of the resurrection; I love that they call us platoons, it’s a nod to being enlisted in an army; a sisterhood/brotherhood trained to fight the battle for our wholeness. Friends if you’re in or near Ohio, you can experience a taste of this beautiful faith THEN fitness mission at Jesus At The Core.

DOING: the reflecting

“Don’t mistake activity with achievement.”
John Wooden

I recently launched a class called F.I.T. (inspired by the AFAA fitness model of Frequency Intensity and Time) but we’ve taken a deeper core conditioning approach and allowed God access to the purpose of our movement and our 3 target goals are FOCUS, INTENTION and TIME.  In 1 hour we set our spirit, soul and body on a mission to get FIT!

  • FOCUS: STRENGTH – A river can cut through rock not because of its power but its persistence
  • INTENTION: DISCIPLINE – No discipline feels good at first
  • TIME: NOW – because…

 

 

To catch a glimpse of the FIT class check us out on facebook

 

BEING: distractions & moving with(IN) fluence

 

  

It’s really easy for distraction to sneak in. Seriously y’all it’s REALLY sneaky. It comes in when the “DOING BECOMES OUR BEING”. Let me explain this.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first took hold of me (Philippians 3:12)

Y’all, whether our doing is for our own self gratification, or our own subconscious checklist of the unspoken character of the “Good Christian” or it’s our ‘good thing’ that we do; when we become consumed with the getting-it-done it becomes who we are. It’s a slow fade. I’ve been meditating on Philippians 4:8 lately and realized that God could very well call us to a place of service and it’s where He needs us during that season but the service itself is not who we are, we are servants. God could call us to a place of humility & surrender and yet, still the surrendering is not who we are, we are still a servant, only now we are a humbled surrendered servant, standing and waiting for our instruction. In the doing and the waiting; our being is not defined by what we do; our being is our identity and to define ourselves by what we do would be to say that if the “doing” was to cease, then we would no longer be. Can I back track to that whisper someone dropped on me when I had my son, the one that hinted that I’d becoming just like my mom. That wasn’t a term of endearment, it was intended to imply that I was throwing away ‘my potential/future’ because I had gotten pregnant before marriage. I spent much of my college life and early adult hood trying to prove them wrong, and in my doing, I lost my being.

It wasn’t until I came to a place of surrender; admitting that I tried so hard to figure out who I was and failed miserably trying to un-do/hear/speak that which had been done/heard/spoken into my life that I began understanding that my being (Psalm 139) defines my doing (ability & potential) & the deceptive web became untangled.

It took me nearly 30 years to figure this out. Every year that my daughter has a birthday, I kinda celebrate my new found purpose. Friends God is calling us to the surrender. It’s in the surrender that we find ourselves FIT (focus, intention and time) for the calling (doing).

Friends He calls you His BELOVED. BE LOVED. This is where we find our being. This is where we find ourselves the reflection of the resurrection.

 

Wrapped in your calling

 

God can do more in our surrender than we could ever try to do in a lifetime of control  – Unknown

 

$5 Books at Family Christian

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