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

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?

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.

FITness: Learning something new ReDiscover YOU

What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do but never have?

Why not?

What stopped you?

What if you discovered that there’s nothing standing in your way but you?

Living a healthy lifestyle (from the inside out) is a combination of understanding & unlearning your current lifestyle and a willingness to learn how to apply new ideas, thought patterns and habits.

Its less about bout getting it right And more about getting it done.

“Our physical bodies may wander. At times our souls may feel orphaned and lost. But deep within, through the layers of external identity, we can burrow down to the deepest part of who we are, the quiet center we know is in there, the grounded place we’ve felt but can’t see. This solid ground, this rock identity, this fixed point by which all other points are measured, this is our spiritual self, our alive-ness in Christ, our true home.” – Simply Tuesday

UNLEARNING

Why is it that we have such a strong desire to be a part of something or fear being left out that we pine for it even at the risk of neglecting what we already belong to?

It’s typically not the things we feel obligated to but the things that have become so ordinary to us that we stutter to notice the slightest significance within the relationship.

Going after the desires of our hearts and using our abilities often means going in the opposite direction of the crowd.

It sometimes means that there will not be a manual or an example to follow. Because maybe, JUST MAYBE YOU ARE BEING MADE AS THE EXAMPLE THEY’LL FOLLOW!!

You won’t get it right. But you’ll get it done. You’ll get it done by grace. When grace fills you with a creative ability and power that says ‘it fell apart as it came together’.

“Faith isn’t always a leap. Sometimes it’s just one little step after another, with lots of falling down and getting back up in between”- Unknown

CONFIDENCE IN THE DOING

Nothing fosters confidence like making it through something you’d thought you couldn’t. – Carla Birnberg

Continue Reading →

FOCUS: Which season is this?

Is it really winter? One day it was 85 degrees then all of a sudden it was 37 degrees. Then we all went shopping for winter coats only to be fooled by sunshine, blue skies, 70 degrees and bumble bees…in NOVEMBER and DECEMBER!

SERIOUSLY which season is this?

Has your life ever felt like that? Like you weren’t really sure where one season ends and another begins. Yet somehow they seem to mesh together tethering on the same thread of hope for a definitive change?

I was looking forward to the new season, even just a glimpse of the change that was familiar.

I caught it one day just as the sun came up. Behind a ground that was covered in frost and I was wearing a ‘cold weather coat’ but the forecast said there’s a chance of lots of sunshine today.

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I carried on with my day and by the time I came back outside it was 85 degrees and no hint of this beautiful fall change was even there. Well, the trees were clearly changin colors but it didn’t “feel” like the change was there.

That’s life right? Every opportunity we get to notice the change, it could very well shift but it’s up to us to notice it and even when the noticeable familiarity isn’t there, we can still hold onto the evidence of the change. People may look at you and not see the process of your change. They may even watch your actions, the way you speak and even consider how you ‘handled’ a situation. They’re watching the season you’re in. They’re taking pictures of the identifiable familiarity of that season. Then they wait. They watch for the sudden shifts, even if they don’t see them immediately they wonder “HOW DOES SHE DO IT“.

What’s season are you in? What has your FOCUS this season?

Season of FLEXIBILITY & ENDURANCE: creating an opportunity to move the way you were created to move without breaking down and losing strength.

Fair enough, easy enough. Slight challenge but not to the point that I might give up. Oh but you just wait…

We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us. We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭7-9‬ CEVUS06)

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(graphic inspired by Kristin at Darwainian Fail)

I came across this picture from a fitness friend Kristen where she poured out her heart concerning her season of grief and it filled my heart with hope right smack dab in the season I was in. Praise God for the honest friends who aren’t afraid to share their weaknesses but also share their hope.

Well, it’s a new season, and a bit of change and a fresh breath of crispness is in the air!!! Mornings are much cooler and nights are much darker. That’s how you know it’s a new season.

It’s crazy how you make a declaration and suddenly you’re faced with the opportunity to uphold that declaration or fold and change your mind.

Originally, my goals for the past FEW month were flexibility and endurance. I decided that everyday I’d be diligent to use my time to harvest those seeds! Well almost immediately there it was, the opportunity to be flexible. THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENDURE. And what goes hand in hand with flexibility and endurance? Movement & Change.

Change will challenge you and challenge always always brings change. The key to the change is whether or not you’re willing to adjust your focus. Movement can seem daunting. I like to tell my Zumba folks, don’t dance, just move. Even if you’re the only one doing the ‘MOVE you choose’ just consider it your 15 seconds of fame and rock your solo! Maybe that’s the season you’re in right now. ROCK YOUR SOLO!!!

when you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. 

it’s to enjoy each step along the way.  -Dr. Wayne Dyer 

SEASON OF MOVEMENT & AWARENESS

I think I’m in a season of movement awareness. A season of movement awareness fueled by HOPE; not just hope for the sake of hoping, not just aware to notice but consciously seeking what the promises of God have declared will be ours to hold and keep. Not just moving to get to a certain point but moving, fully aware and enjoying every step along the way.

As we finish out this year, I challenge you to take notice and begin asking yourself where you are. Ask yourself where is God in all of this. Ask yourself if you’re moving, aware and hoping. Ask yourself if you’re making the best yes.

TheBestYes
Ask yourself “Am I giving a conscious ‘heart anchored in wisdom’ BEST YES concerning EVERYTHING?”

Every response, every thought, every action, every *reaction*, every word…

  • Am I saying yes just be included?
  • Am I saying yes just to feel needed?
  • Am I saying yes just to feel chosen?
  • Am I saying yes just to feel valued?
  • Am I saying yes when in the very next breath I’m nauseated at the scrambling of my schedule and overwhelming sense of *how am I gonna do that*…

Or am I saying yes with the assurance that I’ve preserved this time and space for a God appointed assignment (even if it’s just to be a listening ear for a friend)?

As we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, we celebrate that He came to bring us a promise, but that’s not where we hope. We hope in the fact that He is risen; not just for us to say hallelujah but for us to walk in that victory. If death couldn’t hold Him down. The grave couldn’t keep Him out, knowing that same power and authority is in us who have received Him as our own. Our hope; no matter what the season; is to move forward fully award that NOTHING can separate us from Him and the purpose He has for our very own lives…

How much more would He do for you…

He won it all for you & me!

Life pretends to be urgent when we aren’t focused on Godly advise and wisdom. Text messages, email, meetings, you name it and they all command our RIGHT NOW attention and access.

In order to make #TheBestYes outcomes for tomorrow, we must be willing to heed the wisdom and instruction today.

Sometimes we need to make changes in our daily lives. Not big changes, little ones. But it’s the little ones that create a ripple effect of transformation.

SEASON OF STRENGTH

This season of awareness wouldn’t be so special to me without the hope we have for our niece Ayanna. She is currently fighting a battle with neuroblastoma. But she doesn’t stop moving. She is so aware of the breath in her lungs, the opportunity she has everyday to dance, and the joy that Jesus has given her that she tries to make every bit of it contagious. She is YanniStrong. 

I’d love to show her how much we support her fight and would love to have you join her as well.  Consider this season to show some love. Visit the YanniStrong campaign to donate, share a message with her or share with your friends and family to support her! 

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Ayanna was chosen to walk with LeBron James at the Big Stars Little Stars charity event in Cleveland Ohio

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Princess Ayanna