Prioritizing life: sowing and reaping

 

Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12

 

Know your why

I don’t pretend to have all the answers to prioritizing life. In fact everyday I remind myself of just how much I can’t do on my own. I KNOW that without asking God to organize my day, my thoughts, my no and my yes, I would be a mash up of miscommunication and displaced frustrations.

This month God has been walking me through Micah 6:8. Each translation breaks down the verse using varying calls to action but the commandment and instruction from the Lord remains the same. See He’s also been showing me how my life has been set apart for {such a time as this} His plan and although He might change the how, who and where; the why and what never change; because He is always the WHY and He is always the WHAT.

Micah 6:8 The Message (MSG)

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.

Keep on sowing, keep on reaping

The greatest hindrance to prioritizing our lives is fear. Fear tells us it’s too late, it’s too soon, people will hate us, people will really really like us, it stirs us up and it shuts us down. The greatest defense to fear is truth. THE TRUTH. And the Truth of His word promises that whatever we sow, we reap.

 

 

When God gives you permission, don’t you dare measure it against what other people think

 

This message of sowing and reaping is beautifully broken down by thought provoker and business leader Jim Rohn. Take notes. This biblical wisdom can be applied to EVERY AREA OF YOUR LIFE.

What is God asking you to sow? What is He asking you to reap?

 

 

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

 

A different kind of strength training

 

Can I invite you into a season to #restandrenew? Wherever you are, start there and see what might happen…

I mean authentic, committed, intentional, serious RESToration to RENEW your spirit soul and body ?

This past month we camped on Hosea 10:12 with our Summer book club bible study  as we dug into the book Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst and my mind has been blown by the way The Holy Spirit shows us who He is and that His promises never return void!

“I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts,

for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’”
‭‭Hosea‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I’ve been sharing on instagram a series called #redefineyourself and I’ll be *re-sharing more here; but if you want more purposeful, individual focus there’s a space at the table right here on my blog waiting with your name on it, I’m inviting you to join me, I just need to know you’ll be sitting there! (leave a comment below)

Next month we’re going back to the basics of finding freedom in our own skin. This will be a study in Galatians. But for now, let’s continue this conversation on redefining yourself.

Friends when we commit to intentional movement, deeper heart & soul work, body nourishing meals and a “this is so good for me” we won’t ever lose.

 

Isn’t it just like God to put us smack dab in the middle of the situation we only talked about but in the back of our minds wondered if it might *ever* happen to us?
Some of you know my story.
Short version, in 2013 I woke up one day in head to toe pain. I couldn’t move. It hurt like an electrical shock for my husband to even touch me, to help me try to move my legs that felt like dead weight. I managed to shuffle to church that morning and made my way to the altar. When I told my pastors wife what was going on and what that it felt like “fire in my bones” she immediately said OH NO, NAME OF JESUS GIRL YOU BETTER OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD. (Jeremiah 20:9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.) #WhatABeautifulNameItis
 
For 6 months I stayed under the care of doctors, and neurologists being poked prodded and filled with fire, unable to walk. I laid on the hospital bed with ultrasound needles in the muscles of my hip, thigh, calf, ankle and foot. As the doctor would give me prompts to move the ultrasound which also had brain activity pads attached to my head; registered the response time from the brain cognitive understanding to the translation of actual muscle movement. My brain was very aware of what was being asked of me but my body was delayed in the responsiveness. In the larger muscle the response time was quicker than the smaller muscles. The closer the commands got to my feet, the longer the delay. When it got to my feet, there was no response.
 
The Drs’ diagnosis.
Trauma.
Trauma that had finally surfaced and decided to be dealt with because the other signals that had been sent to my body were ignored. The body is uniquely designed by God to only allow so much “self-preservation” before it recognizes that it was never designed to carry these things (Hebrews 12).  (We’ll be digging more into this next month for our Back To Basics FOCUS be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss this!! )
 
Fast forward, including a lifting of the symptoms, restoration of strength, releasing bitterness, anger, rejection, resentment and years of childhood trauma; the symptoms have returned. At times I sit with God asking Him if He has allowed this as a thorn in my flesh. NEVERTHELESS (I guess I do talk that way) His grace reminds me that He hasn’t brought me into anything that I can’t handle in His power and strength.
 
That rejection you wear is hiding the beauty you carry.
That fear has crippled you and you can’t even see your limp.
That bitter, angry heart of yours has been calloused from feeling the tender mercy of an immeasurable love of the Father.
That abandonment has left you defensive and the walls you’ve built to protect you from being hurt has kept the Father far from reaching you.
You can come out from hiding.
His love covers every fear, all of your shame, every guilt, every wrong done to you, through you or by you.
He is making all things new.
He is making broken, beautiful.
“As you speak,  a hundred billion failures disappear, you lost your life so I could find it here.
If you left behind you, so will I…If you gladly chose surrender, so will I ” Hillsong United
I was talking with a sister-friend this morning about listening for the instructions from God, knowing whether or not we’ve heard Him clearly and how that relates to the way we take care of our bodies…
 
I got to thinking; what if we applied the verse in Galatians 5 (about the fruits of the spirit) to strength training.
 
There are certain muscles we love to train and show off, there are others that we work hard at but they seem to never give us the results we want to see, so we aren’t so quick to display them and then there are those that we all together avoid because they’re either seemingly useless or too difficult to train so we just ignore them.  Then there is the situation of knowing how (understanding what’s required – as in my physical issue) and yet for some reason we are unable to finish the task.
 
So I ask you, which {spiritual }muscles are you currently training, and which ones have you ignored. Which ones are really strong and which ones are weak? What does your current strength training regimen look like? Have you identified your weakness?
 
Just for the sake of jogging our memories; here are the “spiritual” muscles…
 
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Self-Control
 
Consider this as your initial assessment with your personal trainer. #getinneractive #redefineyourself
The Christian commitment is not an abstraction. It is a concrete, visible, courageous and formidable way of being in the word – forged by daily choices consistent with inner truth.
A commitment that is not visible in humble service, suffering discipleship and creative love is an illusion.
Jesus Christ is impatient with illusions, and the world has no interest in abstractions. “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand” (Matthew 7:26) If we bypass the words of the Great Rabbi, the spiritual life will be nothing more than fantasy. // Brennan Manning Abba’s Child
JOIN US IN AUGUST: OUR BACK TO BASICS GROUP

Crazy how you can make a bold/scary decision and almost immediately you’re faced with the opposition to retract and literally fight to maintain your choice. Yesterday with tear-filled eyes I confessed to one of my mentors that the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I was fighting (shrinking back & withdrawing) the gifts He had placed in me for fear of being seen as too much.

I’ve known what some of the gifts are, and I’ve seen them flourish, but I have also felt the sting of rejection in the midst of using them. And my flesh was crying out loud that I didn’t want that anymore. But y’all it felt like Paul’s thorn because all I kept hearing from the Holy Spirit was GRACE. Like Christ, humbly considering the cup to be removed but in His heart He knew that He was created specifically for the work; NEVERTHELESS, NOT MY WILL BUT YOURS FATHER.

See friends, we want the gifts, we want the sparkle and shine, we even want the fame but when we consider the cost and the potential pain that comes with it, are we willing to be so bold to surrender the words NOT MY WILL, BUT YOURS?

Beloved…
My gift is irrevocable, kindled by the HolySpirit, as a token of my pledge of love to you.

Share this gift, as a testimony of your new identity as my Beloved.

Don’t be ashamed. Let my love catch fire in you. There is no one like. Kindle afresh my gift in you. Fan it into the flame. Be bold. Sparkle bright. You are my Gift. // Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray
https://open.spotify.com/track/1ed3wNCecRIp6SugyR0w2J

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?

When life is calling you to go beyond the sure

Anything kept in captivity can only growas much as its cage will allow. If we aren't walking out

 

 

I woke up this morning singing this line of the song …

“Further and further my heart moves away from the shore”…

Almost immediately it came to my mind the play on the word SHORE to SURE…

Further and further my heart moves away from the sure/certain/seen/stuff/right-now/head knowledge…
Because He’s calling us to go further, deeper; into the unknown where faith is our focus and trust is our anchor and His purpose is why and His breath is ours and His Holy Spirit (voice) is our compass • • •

Could we be willing to allow God to redefine who we are? Could we be willing to trust Him beyond the limits, parameters and cages we’ve lived in?

We all learn to live by the rules of our captivity. Our habits are comforting, even if they keep us from God’s best. We often self-soothe with the things that hold us in bondage. They are the things, habits or people we go to instead of relying solely on the Lord. – Hayley Morgan Wild and Free: A Hope-filled anthem for the woman who feels she is both too much and never enough.

This month our FOCUS is on redefining your life and living out the (capital T) Truth of who God says you are vs. the (little t) truth of circumstance, whispers, deception and labels we’ve either placed on ourselves or life has decided it wants us to live under and DEFINE us. 
First, let’s establish what it means to define something.

*Define

DEFINE, verb transitive [Latin To end, to limit, from finis, end.]

1. To determine or describe the end or limit; as, to define the extent of a kingdom or country.

2. To determine with precision; to ascertain; as, to define the limits of a kingdom.

3. To mark the limit; to circumscribe; to bound.

4. To determine or ascertain the extent of the meaning of a word; to ascertain the signification of a term; to explain what a word is understood to express; as, to define the words, virtue, courage, belief, or charity.

5. To describe; to ascertain or explain the distinctive properties or circumstances of a thing; as, to define a line or an angle.

DEFINE, verb intransitive To determine; to decide.

 

Now, let’s talk about that word SURE (further and further my heart moves away from the shore/sure)

 

*SURE, adjective shure. [Latin assevero, and to be connected with swear, and perhaps with Latin verus; s being the remains of a prefix.]

1. Certain; unfailing; infallible.

The testimony of the Lord is sure Psalms 19:7.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy. 2 Peter 1:10.

2. Certainly knowing, or having full confidence.

We are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth– Romans 2:2.

Now we are sure that thou knowest all things. John 16:30.

3. Certain; safe; firm; permanent.

Thy kingdom shall be sure to thee. Daniel 4:26.

4. Firm; stable; steady; not liable to failure, loss or change; as a sure covenant. 2 Samuel 23:5. Nehemiah 9:38. Isaiah 28:16.

The Lord will make my lord a sure house. 1 Samuel 25:28.

So we say, to stand sure to be sure of foot.

5. Certain of obtaining or of retaining; as, to be sure of game; to be sure of success; to be sure of life or health.

6. Strong; secure; not liable to be broken or disturbed.

Go your way, make it as sure as ye can. Math.27.

7. Certain; not liable to failure. The income is sure

To be sure or be sure certainly. Shall you go? be sure I shall.

*SOURCE: Websters1828.com

 

Either we are adrift in chaos or we are individuals, created, loved, upheld and placed purposefully, exactly where we are. Can you believe that? Can you trust God for that? – Elisabeth Elliot

 

Go Deeper.

Beyond the shore.

 

In Over My Head – Bethel Music featuring Jenn Johnson
Would you come and tear down the boxes that I have tried to put You in

Let love come teach me who You are again

Would you take me back to the place where my heart was only about You

And all I wanted was just to be with You

Come and do whatever You want to
And further and further my heart moves away from the shore

Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours

And further and further my heart moves away from the shore

Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours
Then You crash over me and I’ve lost control but I’m free

I’m going under, I’m in over my head

Then you crash over me, and that’s where You want me to be

I’m going under, I’m in over my head

Whether I sink, whether I swim

It makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head

Whether I sink, whether I swim

It makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head • • •

 

I just wanted to encourage you to keep being a threat to the enemy, he knows he can’t stop you but if he can discourage you by throwing arrows, trust that he’s gonna throw them.
The reason we train & discipline ourselves is so that we can both dodge the arrows and catch them; while never taking our eyes off the cross.

And with the strength & power we’ve been given, by and through the Holy Spirit; we will take off the head of every giant!

Suit up friends this ain’t a friendly game of duck duck goose!

A playlist to inspire going deeper.