The gift of your story

The Truth of our unique personal encounters with the Spirit of God, will speak to the immediate hunger of a person’s spirit more effectively than the eloquent dissertations of doctrine.

When I was younger I wanted to be a social worker. I wanted to help rescue children out of devastating trauma and secure a healthy home & family life for them. Then I discovered that God had given me a gift of writing and a heart – deep ability to articulate emotions and situations. I began writing with a depth of imagery that drew the reader into the moment. I began crafting from a place of persuasion, colorful mystery & romanticism and {I later came to discover} manipulation. These two “gifts” became tainted by a very dark, dismally desperate desire to be rescued and redeemed from my own existence; with an unquenchable thirst to find something to belong to and someone to blame for my chaos.

Ironically, the quiet desperate search for significance pushed me into hiding; far away from the people who promised to “pray for me” as I saw their concern morph into piercing eyes of judgement as if I was the cause of my demise and their righteousness should be my goal.  Anytime Satan comes after our identity it always comes with shame and condemnation.  But when Christ comes calling us by name it’s to redeem us back to our original design.

Shame called my name for most of my life.

It still continues to challenge my existence but it’s rarely bold faced neon signs; it’s hidden under the familiarity of the voices of recognition, memories, and repeat offenses that I haven’t handed to God. See when someone repeats an offense that was either done to us or that we’ve been the instigator; shame has a way of labeling us with the scarlet letter. Do y’all remember that story form High School Literature class?

Hey… can I ask a quick question?

The other day, something really cool happened. I connected with a new sister-friend that I’ve never met or even exchanged Facebook conversations with before.
God brought this unique conversation together over an ‘issue’ that she and I were both seeking His wisdom. This led to a full out “hey can we talk, I can’t wait to get to actually know you” conversation.

The vulnerability of owning our story runs a risk of being found out and that risk could offer the possibility of stones being thrown at us, but what if your willingness to step up to the line offers redemption? (John 8:1-11)

Who in your  ‘circle’ do you not know? Maybe it’s someone you’ve connected with through social-media or work that it’s one of those God-sent relationships but it’s been too scary or risky to truly let them know you?

Are you willing to put down your stones and see that Jesus has actually invited YOU to claim your place as His son/daughter & step to the line?

Conversations with my kids this morning about the realities of this world and their understanding about where they would spend eternity if tomorrow never happened… Sobering to hear their truth and trust in God’s sovereignty. After reading the YouVersion verse of the day it compels me to #keepmovin because #freepeoplefreepeople #iamtheonejesusloves

Acts 20:28-35

So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood[h]—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.[i] 29 I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. 30 Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. 31 Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you—my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.
32 “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.
33 “I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes. 34 You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. 35 And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Where might God be asking you to share the gift of your story? Have you accepted the exchange of shame for redemption? If not, I’d love to chat with you and hear your story. Contact me or comment below

Further study:

Join us for the next Wellness Revelation small group. An opportunity to learn your story, unpack the truth of your identity and lose what weighs you down so you can love God, yourself and others. Click here to register

 

Non-scale victories this time will be different

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“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?

Are we feeding faith or fear: Overcoming Anxiety 

  

Have you ever dealt with anxiety? 

I have. FOR YEARS!!! And here’s where I found the solution! 

And I continue to use it whenever new issues, people, things, and problems try to overwhelm me! 

And yes, you’ll need to continue to ‘work it out’ on a regular basis just like one visit to the gym won’t make you fit, one prayer won’t keep you well! 

  

Surrender 

I started this devotional on the bible app and asked God to help me remove anything that’s a distraction from allowing Him access to my heart, (Psalm 139:23) my life and my mind. I’d love for you to join me. 

The 21 Day Plan – We start TODAY! 

I’m reading the @YouVersion plan ‘Living the Surrendered Life’. Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/51

No spirit of fear

Friends, Grace covers us and removes every fear, every anxious thought, every regret, every what if, every thought that tries to hold itself higher than the name of Christ, every doubt that says we can’t because we think we are either not enough or too much, every deception & lie that disguises itself as truth and tries to convince us that it’s too late or too soon. Grace is the qualifier. Grace IS the reflection of the cross & the Cross was enough! 

For you, me & her and all the rest of them! 

 
I’ve seen many searching for answers far & wide and I know we’re all searching for answers only you provide and you know just what we need before we say a word. 

➕ And you call me deeper still… (Good Good Father Chris Tomlin) 

““It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭65:24‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Listen to Search My Heart by Hillsong UNITED on @AppleMusic.

Nutrition Month: Relationships with food

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Today’s post is inspired by the book You’re Loved No Matter What by Holley Gerth. And since we’re on the topic of nutrition & food, I thought it would be a good time to have a little coffee chat regarding the way we feel about food.

I kinda cringe when I hear someone use the words “good foods or bad foods”.

Food for thought: The Food you choose to eat or not eat does not make you good or bad.

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Yes, I know there are foods that may have a zero/negative calorie affect on us or some foods might give us more energy than others. But what I’m talking about is when we begin to demonize foods or put foods in categories where we attach status or rank the foods giving the food negative association. This begins to shift our relationships with the food.

What happens then, we take the adopted “you are what you eat” mindset and it quickly creates a backfiring sabotage boomerang that can trap us in our own choices. Our efforts, even with the best intentions of trying to understand what, how, when, and why to eat can literally send us on a downward spiral of performance and approval. Assuming that if we eat a certain food or follow a certain lifestyle it’s “GOOD” or on the flip side, to allow certain foods might cause others to consider our way wrong. Many of the unhealthy relationships we have with food are connected to circumstances and events in our own lives where food became a temporary healer, the defender, the culprit or the controlled variable in a life of consistent chaos. 

If you’re thinking…wait it’s just food how can we possibly have a relationship with it.

“No matter how developed you are in any other area of your life, no matter what you say you believe, no matter how sophisticated or enlightened you think you are, how you eat tells all. To discover what you really believe, pay attention to the way you act — and to what you do when things don’t go the way you think they should. Pay attention to what you value. Pay attention to how and on what you spend your time. Your money. And pay attention to the way you eat.”
– Geneen Roth Women Food & God

I tease when I say me and Coke Zero have an agreement that for every cup of Coke Zero I enjoy, I will drink 2 full 16oz bottles of of water on top of my daily recommended intake. But all jokes aside, these are the conversations we have with our foods. Although, often times they aren’t as cordial. Since I’m not a clinical eating disorders counselor I tread lightly but I want to offer you a resource if this is an area where you struggle beyond just one or two choices concerning your food. Please take a moment and look into the programs at  FINDINGbalance.

 

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The prompt for today from Holley Gerth’s Coffee for your heart:

Part of getting free from the pressure to be perfect is knowing nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39)

If this book had a soundtrack I think I could list a couple handfuls of Dove Award winning Christian Artists who’s songs might explain the depth of this book and I’d still not cover the full truth and definition of the wisdom Holley Gerth has poured out.

In the chapter “The God Who Loves You More Than You Know” Holley asks the question: “Do you really believe God loves you-not just tolerates you?” She goes on to explain that somehow we’ve somehow gotten the idea that God simply ‘puts up with us’ because He has to.

Romans 8:38-39 (The Living Bible)

38 For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, 39 or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.

Nothing we could EVER do {in error or striving for perfection} could separate us from God’s love because of God’s love.

*The following excerpt gives you an insight into the light Holley Gerth sheds on breaking the mindset that we must be perfect in order for God to love us.

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“At the root of every human quest for perfection is a misunderstanding of God’s love for us. Our hearts are made for love, and if we don’t think we can freely receive it, then we’ll try to earn it. God doesn’t just love you; he IS love. God can’t be unloving. God’s love has not limits. God’s love has no expectations. God’s love has no requirements. God’s love is not dependent on us. God’s love has our ultimate good in mind. God’s love can’t be earned. It can only be received….In the Christian life, our focus is never to be on results. Instead it’s to be on remaining. (John 15:5-9) We remain in God’s love when we refuse to begin striving. We remain in God’s love when we stop trying to be perfect. We remain in God’s love when we simply receive it.”

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Holley Gerth offers a “new perspective that will change your life” not just on the topic of perfection but on the character of God, the issues of our hearts and why the two are inseparable. NOTHING. Not even the choices we make can separate us from God’s love.

Whether food choices, life, relationships, misjudgments concerning our career paths, no matter the decision or outcome God cannot and WILL NOT love us any less.

Heart Pumpin:

Your fitness goal today is 20/20/20 

  • 20 minutes of cardio training – any kind that makes you breath & work with a little more effort that you’re use to using
  • 20 minutes of strength training – you don’t need any fancy equipment. Start with basic squats. Include push ups on your knees or toes, plank holds,  and burpees are a great routine for a head to toe workout
  • 20 minutes of flexibility training – Stretching can help eliminate that nagging tingling down the back of your legs, help relieve lower back pain and headaches and even help you to breath easier. Start with a basic stretch reaching up over head with both arms extended reaching for the ceiling. Reach the right arm higher than the left slowly tipping toward the left side of the room allowing the stretch to move down through the side of the body and repeat on the other side.
  • MORE STRETCHING: Next sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor about hip width apart. Place your hands on the tops of your thighs. Take a big inhale through the nose, as you exhale slowly bend from the hips lowering your chest toward your lap – begin walking your fingers down the legs past the knees and if possible down to the ankles. INHALE through the nose tucking the chin toward the chest crawling the fingers up the legs unrolling your body one vertabra at a time returning back to the seated position.
  • MORE STRETCHING: Sitting up tall in the chair place the right hand on the outside of the left thigh and left hand on the left hip big breath in the nose, slowly allow your eyes to gaze over the left shoulder as you exhale sit up taller, hold the stretch breathing slow deep breaths 2-3 times slowly return to the center and repeat on the other side.

Spirit Movin:

1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 15:58 my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

 

TASTE & SEE: WEEK 4 – Orange & Yellow Foods

Orange foods: One of the most important sets of nutrients in these orange-colored fruits and vegetables are carotenoids. Among the 600 or more carotenoids in foods, beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein are well-known leaders in the fight to reduce the damage from free radicals. Foods high in carotenoids may be effective allies against prostate cancer (beta-carotene), cancers of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum (lycopene); and may help decrease your risk of macular degeneration (lutein). (SOURCE: Nutritiondata.com

My personal Orange favorites are Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and of course Pumpkins; as for yellow, well I could only think of a few that I honestly can say I enjoy on a regular basis those being lemons, bananas, pineapple and yellow squash.

 

One of the best ways to manage your weight is to fuel your body with water, healthy fruits, veggies, and lean proteins—that way you’ll have the oomph to work out, build muscle, and burn calories.

Eating better doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Many lower cost stores offer organics, healthy options and better brands at a lower price. One of my favorite hidden gems is ALDI! Aldi’s Better For You section of their website has a ton of delicious recipes and offers a grocery list of items in their store. Check out the weekly ads online and create a grocery list to print and take with you to the store.

 

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Recipe Round-up

From T25 – (Purchase your T25 home workout & Shakeology challenge pack here)

Tomato – Basil Salmon with Garbanzos (PROTEIN PACKED)

1/3 cup canned crushed tomatoes with basil, with juice

1 tsp. capers

1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 (5oz) raw wild salmon fillet

Non-stick cooking spray

1 pinch sea salt (optional)

Ground Black pepper (to taste; optional)

1/3 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

  • Combine tomatoes, capers, and garlic in a small bowl, set aside.
  • Season both sids of salmon fillet with salt and pepper if desired.
  • Heat medium skillet lightly coated with spray over medium – high heat.
  • Add salmon; cook for 2 minutes on one side. Turn.
  • Layer tomato mixture and chickpeas over salmon in skillet; cook, covered, for 5 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Nutrition information (per serving): Calories: 308  Fat: 10 g  Saturated fat: 2 g  Cholesterol: 78 mg   Sodium: 651 mg  Carbohydrate: 19g  Fiber: 1g  Sugar: 4 g  Protein: 33 g 

 

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1 serving of Chocolate Shakeology

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup skim milk or almond milk

Cals: 272  Protein: 26g  Carbs: 41g  Sat Fat: <1g  Calories from Fat: 10

Taste & See why my family swears by the superfood nutrition of Shakeology. Taste it for yourself, see the change in your energy, reduced cravings and why is good for your body! Order today in either a 30 day bag, 24 convenient individual packs or 6 pack sampler. ORDER HERE!

Guest Post: Emotional eating & fear of the scale

5 Ways Emotional Eating and Scale Dread Can Sabotage Weight Loss

by Linda Spangle RN MA

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If we viewed food as merely fuel for our bodies, most of us wouldn’t have weight challenges. The fact is that food gives us pleasure. It also gives us comfort. And certain foods trigger powerful memories from our youth.

Emotional eating is when we overeat or eat unconsciously because we’re angry, stressed out, tired, bored, or depressed, and it sometimes makes us feel better, at least temporarily.

We also have emotional associations with the scale. Perhaps we were overweight as a child, and now dread stepping on the scale. That scale number feels like a wagging, judgmental finger. It’s also common for people who struggle with weight management to feel self-conscious and ashamed to step on the scale at the doctor’s office.

Emotions are powerful saboteurs in the battle of the bulge. Fortunately, by understanding the role emotions play in eating and weight management behavior, we can change negative behaviors and attitudes.

Here are five behaviors that work against us when we’re trying to lose weight, and some strategies to change them.

Eating unconsciously.

You’re under the gun at work–too much pressure! So you start munching on chips while you work furiously to catch up. Or maybe you get into a fight with your spouse, and now you just want to eat a bag of cookies. When anger, stress, and frustration trigger a need to eat chewy or crunchy food, you have what I call “head hunger.” Instead of grabbing for the food, ask yourself, “What do I really need to chew on?” Look at those feelings, and deal with them. Sometimes vigorous activity, such a 25 jumping jacks, will relieve the need to chew and crunch.

Eating for comfort

“Heart hunger,” on the other hand, is caused by the emotions of lack or emptiness: sadness, loneliness, boredom, or restlessness. At times like these, we usually crave comforting foods to “fill the hole” that we feel–soft foods like ice cream or macaroni and cheese, or foods that trigger pleasant memories, such as mom’s noodle kugel or grandmother’s apple pie. The way to get through such moments without eating is to ask yourself, “What do I need?” Do something self-nurturing, such as calling a friend or taking a hot bath or a nap.

Eating out of obligation.

How often do we eat because we’re at someone’s house and they baked cookies just for us? Or we feel we have to finish everything on our plate so the food doesn’t go to waste? It’s okay to cut a wedge off a cookie to taste it, but tasting is very different from consuming a whole cookie, which you’ll feel bad about later. As for wasting food, all food becomes waste, one way or another! Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re “supposed” to eat when you’re not really hungry. Use food as nourishment and fuel, not as a way to relieve guilt.

Avoiding the scale.

When used as the helpful tool it was designed to be, your scale is a wonderful weight-loss ally. It helps you track your progress and keeps you “honest.” However, many people hate being weighed at their doctor’s so much that they avoid getting needed checkups. Don’t let the dreaded doctor’s scale get in the way of your health. Instead, you can tell the nurse you prefer not to be weighed. Or you can close your eyes and ask the nurse to record the number but not tell you. Or you can weigh yourself at home and then ask the doctor to record that number at the end of your consultation.

Hating the scale.

Many of us have negative emotions–such as shame, embarrassment, hopelessness, low self-esteem, or even self-hatred–that we associate with our innocent bathroom scale. Weighing yourself every day on the same scale at the same time can really help with weight loss. Be aware, though, that the number on the scale will go up and down for many reasons that have nothing to do with real weight gain. Some things that affect the reading are time of day, water intake, extreme temperatures, stress, and illness. However, if you’re following a healthy eating plan and getting regular exercise, your weight will go down. Don’t get mad at your scale because of past memories. Just stick with your program.

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Linda Spangle RN MA (www.weightlossjoy.com) is a weight-management specialist recognized nationally as a leading authority on emotional eating and other psychological issues of weight loss. She’s the owner of Weight Loss for Life, a healthy lifestyles coaching and training program located in Denver. Spangle’s newest book is Friends with the Scale: How to Turn Your Scale into a Powerful Weight Loss Tool (SunQuest Media, 2014).