Back to Basics: Giving and receiving

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

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

– Keep movin’ #getinneractive

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 Challenge: The Rhythm of Christmas

You quote it, print it out and hang it on your wall, buy a Tshirt and claim it as your anthem but until you sit with with the Holy Spirit and give him direct access to your heart you will not see the truth of his word come alive in you.

This my friend is what it means for him to qualify the called. #deeperstill

The qualification happens when we decide that we are done with the hustle and we sit with Him inviting Him into the secret space; the trenches of our hearts. Some of the very things we are praying about because we feel disqualified or unqualified; God is waiting and wanting to desperately make available to us. Once we allow Him into the space, He begins to reveal the things He has set aside for us. If He calls us, He qualifies us. Stop the hustle. Give it to God. Open your hand and chill out. It’ll undo the stress, it’ll unlock the tension, drops the competition, kills the striving and strife and eases the burden.

Matthew 11:28-30The Message (MSG)

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Friends, take the rhythm and move. Keep your heart pumpin & spirit movin… #getinneractive

 

 

10th-day

 

On the 10th day of Christmas my trainer gave to me

The Rhythm of Grace and a dance party

 

 

9thday

 

9 days of Christmas distress flex and flow

 

12-days-promo

Go grab your gifts from days 1-8

Friends don’t forget to join us for our annual January Challenge. Less Hustle More Heart.  Can’t we make progress without the overwhelm of competition, with more strength and less striving, more faith and less fear, more prayer and less perfection. The abundant life is a balanced life, stronger – from the inside out. Get the details and sign up here!

What does faith require of us

enduring-patience

 

Faith requires our enduring patience and not our tendency to panic!

We need to resist the urge to take back control. It is difficult to fight against the desire to panic. During the process we will be tested by the reality we are experiencing. Our senses will tell us one thing and God’s Word will say another. Everything around us will be crying out for us to take back control. Don’t give in! Quote the word of God and remind yourself of His promises. (From the @youversion reading plan The Spiritual Fitness Manual)

Faith requires that we move when God says move

Oh friends a big GOD VISION has just come true!!! When The Holy Spirit whispered to me that He was equipping me to become like a shovel in His hands, that made absolutely no sense. But as He has carefully unpacked this revelation & brought me along side other women who answered the call; I’ve come to recognize that in His hands we could be used for things that looked odd, uncertain and flat out scary, but His strength would be the power behind the moving and the doing. With His hands He positions us to tear down walls, remove obstacles, and uncover the absolute brilliant light, fear busting Truth of who He is!!!

Friends this past Saturday we hosted a Mats and Mugs with Jesus event; this #matsandmugswithjesus is one of the treasures He has resurrected from under the lies of fear, rejection, and broken souls. THIS IS ONE OF HIS GEMS SHINING LIKE A LIGHTHOUSE! . . .

 

 

 

matsandmugsoct16_3

my #freepeoplefreepeople tribe

 

 

Faith requires our worship

the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.””
‭‭John‬ ‭4:23-24‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Listen friends, if ever there was a time I was hearing God shout this message  of free people free people it’s now.

I know with all that’s in me, we cannot share, what we do not have.

You’ve heard the saying; you can’t serve from an empty cup? Friends our faith that requires worship requires us to filled. But what are we filling ourselves with? God is calling us to be filled with the love, hope, grace and strength of Christ. Without Him, we will hustle hard and the pride of our accomplishments will fill us up as we search for the adoration and admonition of people and whoa, that fall is even harder.

For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 1 John 2:16

Whatever you are filling yourself with, (that’s worship by the way), this is what you begin to pour out. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.(Luke 6:45)

image

 

Ok friends, time to unpack our next Guidepost to Wholehearted Living

Faith requires cultivating and letting go

Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting go of the need for certainty

 

Mats & Mugs with Jesus – a worship & fellowship opportunity was a leap of faith, a cultivating of trust completely uncertain of what it would be and how God might use it, who would receive it and what it looked like. That morning God revealed that He’s more interested in what happens in us that with what we are doing. Read what Kasey Shuler shared after the event…  

matsandmugsoct16_2

Do you ever remain still during the day? While being fully awake? .
.
This is a hard thing for me to do, especially in the middle of a coffee shop at Mats and Mugs via @momentemfocus 😝 Impatience arises in me, and I go back and forth between trying to pray and listening hard for the voice of the yoga instructor. Maybe she forgot about me? Maybe everyone else is already in a different pose and laughing at me for staying still? Then at the last moment when I think everyone is gone, @3hdeefitness the instructor comes by and massages my neck. I wasn’t expecting that! And what a sweet therapy it was for my aching head! .
.
.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. – Psalm 23:1-3
.
.
Afterwards, we talked about how the Lord “makes” us lie down in green pastures. Being still is not easy. Abiding at the feet of the Lord requires discipline, but when He shows up, it’s all worth it! .
.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” – Psalm 46:10

Faith requires us to commitment.

Faith is taking God at His word and believing your prayer will be answered. It’s the step beyond hope. Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; faith is the courage to dance to it today!

Friends I’d like to invite you to join us for this holiday season (yeah I know who knew it would sneak up on us so quickly); join us for The Holiday Body Commitment (click here for details) and Weigh Less to Feed More (more info here). Beginning October 31 we will kick off a season of commitment, truth, patience and prayer. During this season we will also be hosting a few local opportunities for you to join us for a food drive/fundraiser…

Holiday Body Commitment:

  • Cost – FREE
  • Begins Oct 31 – December 24

Weigh Less to Feed More:

  • Cost – $60
  • Begins November 8 – December 27

YES YOU CAN DO BOTH! Faith requires us to do something!

 

 

Creating space for gratitude, faith and patience

CREATE

The average person wants direction.

The average person lacks focus.

The average person longs for purpose.

The average person is lured by comparison.

The average person identifies with being overwhelmed and overworked.

The average person admits they need authentic peace.

The wanting, the lacking, the luring, the identifying, the admitting; how easy it is for us to be caught in the snare of satan when we don’t know who we are and what freedom God is calling us to. (Hebrews 12)

Whether we’re proclaiming our accolades, checking off to-do lists or simply trying to catch our breath; we’re all just average people trying to find our way through this maze that life has claimed is the best route.

In Proverbs 14:12 we are reminded that ‘before every person lies a road that seems to be right, but the end of that road is death and destruction’. Proverbs 14:12 A road that SEEMS TO BE RIGHT.

Friends this is where we get the opportunity to LOOK UP!

For our next Guidepost to Whole-hearted Living I’m giving you a two for one because I believe they work hand in hand.

Cultivating gratitude and joy, Letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark

AND Cultivating intuition and trusting faith, Letting go of the need for certainty

Y’all we get to look up. THIS IS OUR GET TO!

Of course we have a choice. To keep treading ahead naval gazing and determined, staying on the path the world hands as us their blue prints of success, weight loss plans, parenting guides and 10 steps to this or that; but friends, God has already written a plan that’s created for our greatest good. (Jeremiah 29:11) And because without Him, we are just average; in Him we are all that He has created us to be. If we decide to just keep walking, staying out of the way as I’ve heard some describe it; the hustle becomes our blinded guide and before long we have slowly faded into the depths of this surge of doing and we’ve ceased to have an identity, disregarding who we are becoming let alone our own sense of being. WE GET TO CREATE SPACE for authentic, whole hearted gratitude, joy, intuition and trusting faith. Friends don’t miss that part about AUTHENTIC WHOLE HEARTED-ness… We can posture and pretend all day. But seriously, you don’t think God can see through that. The authenticity comes when we begin to create the space by letting go of what we were never created to be able to control. The desperate grasping of a scarcity mind set says I must hold on as if there can’t possibly be enough of this to go around and by all means let me save some of this gratitude and joy for later in the event that God doesn’t give me another reason to be thankful. Friends. Y’all. Can we just pause for a moment. Like for real and pull out a pen and paper and make a list of 5 things you can be thankful for right now. Seriously. Make the list. Don’t just think about it. WRITE IT DOWN.

Now. Make another list. Write down the things that bring you joy. Like real joy. Like you can’t contain the smile, the tears, the heart-flooded feelings of being overwhelmed by this goodness. What are those things. Write them down.

progress

When we let go of the stuff that’s weighing us down; the stuff that’s robbed us of our opportunity to be grateful; the stuff that’s stolen our peace; the stuff that has tried to take up residence in our hearts, minds and identity; THEN we will have the space that GRACE has fought hard for us. This space is sacred and satan wants nothing more than to claim that he owns it and us.

Create space.

Seek justice. Take back your gratitude.

Love mercy. Cultivate your faith.

Walk humbly. Let patience have it’s perfect work in you.

We have a beautiful opportunity to let go of the things that are weighing us down. No longer will we be held captive by the scarcity mindsets, the fear of the dark (unknown) or the need for certainty (control). Yes we can do this, with God.

“Our desires to be healthy and whole in the body of Christ cannot be flesh focused. Flesh focused goals are fleeting. God is not interested in the outer things changing as much as He is interested in an inner change.” – Alisa Keeton, Weigh Less to Feed More (WL2FM)

Join us for the next WL2FM beginning November 8. It’s 8-10 weeks of FOCUSED, INTENTIONAL, TRANSFORMING faith THEN food & fitness perspective. Registration information can be found on here.

This was my prayer today.  Take a moment and let it wash over you. Keep your hearts pumpin and spirit movin’, #getinneractive

endurance-prayer