How to keep your heart strong

 

Praying.

If you honestly want to condition your heart to be stronger, healthier, agile, it starts with prayer. 

One of the most vigilant threats to heart health is stress and one of the greatest defenses we have against stress is prayer. 

I know it sounds too simple to be an absolute but isn’t that half of our problem, we overcomplicate life…

Friends, if we could just stop trying so hard and being so hard on ourselves making the assumption that we MUST have it all figured out, or worse that we are required to dig ourselves out of the ditch we find ourselves in; we wouldn’t carry the excess weight we drag around. 

Honestly. Ask yourself what’s that one thing you seem to overwhelm yourself with on a daily basis? 

Marriage? 

Kids?

Money?

Your health?

Your career?

Your weight?

Your habits?

Your family?

Your friendships?

Your fears?

Your insecurities?

Your hurts?

Your heart?

I’ve just named a few of the burdens I’ve been trying to carry…what are yours?

What if we decided to make an exchange today and place that one thing in the hand of God and simply allow Him to hold our hand. 

I think that one touch from Him is all it would take. 

I think that one touch would lift those burdens. 

I think that that one touch would remove doubt.

I think that one touch would calm anxiety. 

I think that one touch would shine a bright light on all of darkness. 

I think that one touch would heal our brokenness. 

I think that one touch is the thing I’ll pray over myself, my husband, my children, my family & friends. 

Praying those prayers that sound desperate because sometimes they are. 

Praying those prayers that are persistent because I refuse to quit praying until God takes all that is wrong and makes it right. 

God honors those who defy protocol. God honors the radical prayers. God honors those who pray with audacity and tenacity! 
Diligence & persistence are rewarded! 

You must refuse to quit! 

Psalm 32:7 promises that God surrounds us with songs of deliverance… 

Would you be willing to exchange one thing & pray audacious, chain breaking, overwhelmed by immeasurable grace, prayers today? 

➕ 🎶 (@lauren_daigle O Lord) Though times it seems

Like I’m coming undone

This walk can often feel lonely

No matter what until this race is won

I will stand my ground where hope can be found

I will stand my ground where hope can be found
Oh, O’Lord O’Lord I know You hear my cry

Your love is lifting me above all the lies

No matter what I face this I know in time

You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right

You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right
Whoa… Your strength is found

At the end of my road

Your grace it reaches to the hurting

Still through the tears and the questioning why

I will stand my ground where hope can be found!

I will stand my ground where hope can be found!
Oh, O’Lord O’Lord I know You hear my cry

Your love is lifting me above all the lies

No matter what I face This I know in time

You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right

You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right 
 

Thank you Father for always taking what is wrong & making it right. May we be bold enough to exchange our junk for your grace. In Jesus name Amen. 

How can I pray for you? 

I have found my joy

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YOU DON’T HAVE TO HIDE ANYMORE

 

I’ll admit that initially I thought to myself, ‘I’m not hiding. Anything. Or anywhere…’

I remember a very vivid hiding incident; I recently shared this with my son, and honestly now I believe it was God preparing me for today; I was probably 3rd or 4th grade.

My dad had been out drinking the night before and didn’t come home until just before it was time for us to go to school. As he staggered in the door proclaiming he was home, he made a suggestion(demand) to my mom that he would be taking us to school that day. For fear of an outburst that could result in another cyclical domestic violence ‘misunderstanding’; she obliged him. I can still feel the cold that clinched my teeth, froze my blood and locked my eyes on my mom hoping she could read my mind screaming “please don’t”. Taking us to school was the least of my fears. The thought of leaving my mother alone with him rendered me motionless. I knew what the morning for her would be like once he came back home. He dropped us off at school. I can still smell the stench of alcohol oozing from his skin smothered by thick chain-smoking cigarettes and cold coffee as he smacked on my forehead with an oscar-performance-worthy ‘have a good day baby girl’ stale kiss. I asked my teacher, Mrs. Shoemaker, for permission to go to the restroom. After returning from the bathroom, I leaned toward the doorway to ‘peeked inside’ to see if she was preoccupied. Our classroom sat at the end of the hallway near the outside doors. I had an escape plan. I bust through those doors and made a mad run for it, like my life; or my mother’s; depended on it. We lived 4 blocks from the school and I never looked back. I found my way inside the house through an unlocked door, ran upstairs into my sisters room and hid inside her closet. I still don’t know how long I was there, hiding, only that I could hear my mother speaking with someone. I could hear her explaining that I was at school. I could hear her voice and the other voices; a male and female; getting closer to the room where I was hiding in. The closet door opened and I saw my mother’s Indian moccasin slippers and she peacefully assured “Mimi, you can come out now”.

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My childhood home. Canton Ohio

 

I believe God is peacefully suggesting to all of us, YOU CAN COME OUT NOW.

The God of Glory

Ephesians 1:3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

Y’all I love the way God loves us too much to leave us where we were, currently are or to our own wisdom & judgement of ourselves. (2 Corinthians 10:12; 1 Samuel 16:7)

As quick as I had the (self righteous) thought, immediately God leans in and whispers (when will you give me your whole heart)… (Jeremiah 29:11-13) The same heart that was in that little girl hiding in the closet?

My #JesusCalling devotional helped me unpack this heavy interference, revealing the truth that to fully embrace the opportunity to live in God’s presence consistently, I must expose and expel my rebellious tendencies.

REBELLIOUS TENDENCIES??

*what the what* (I’m guessing the girl who busted through those double doors was a tad bit rebellious)

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I don’t see any rebellion in that smile? Oh how well a smile can hide fears…

 

Y’all!!!! Who admits they’re rebellious?

Seriously I would have never considered myself in any such light or description until I realized rebellion is cousins to resentment, bitterness, suppressed feelings, approval addiction, dumbing down, anger, fear, comparison, guilt, shame, pride, rejection, self-preservation…

 

HEART CHECK!!!!!!

For as he thinks within himself, so he is (Proverbs 23:7)

In the garden of my heart, (Matthew 13) while I’ve seen the fruit of beautiful life-giving seeds that have been planted since that cheesy childhood smile, God is revealing the places where some sort of seed was planted that has produced thorns, thistles and weeds. Weeds that have choke the truth of our identity.

You do know that weeds can disguise themselves to look like flowers right? Especially if you’re unfamiliar with ‘gardening’. (Meditate right there for a minute)

You do know that weeds tend to grow wild and untamed right?

You do know that weeds are rebellious?!?!?!

Y’all These rebellious tendencies cause us to hide!

 

What causes us to hide? 

We could take this all the way back to the garden of Eden when Adam & Eve first realized they had done exactly what God asked them not to do. #rebelious

Satan imitates whatever God does, but with a different object. God uses the beautiful things He has made to draw you to Him. Satan uses the same things to lure you into his power, and draw you away from God. Since man has been in the world, he has had to work. And God has blessed work. But Satan takes work, and tries to make mischief with it. He tries to make you care for your work apart from God, and thus it is turned into dead, graceless, unprofitable work. As you go through life you will meet with all sorts of temptations. Temptations are Satan’s baits. Then, whatever you undertake, keep God before your eyes: keep God in your thoughts. Directly you begin to lose sight of God and to forget Him — then beware! Recover yourself as quickly as you can; you have somehow got hold of a bait which Satan is pulling towards him.

(The Baits of Satan S. Baring-Gould, M. A.)

apple on tree

Satan doesn’t have the ability to produce fruit. He doesn’t have the ability to create anything. All he does is dig up rotten apples. He puts them in front of us to see how we respond. When he sees that we’d rather run and hide, he knows this is an apple that didn’t fall far from that forbidden tree.

  • Hiding is a defense.
  • It’s a protection and a guard to keep us safe.
  • It’s a wall that is usually put up from a previous hurt or rejection or abandonment
  • It’s a wall that is built brick by brick and it becomes fortified the more we replay the scenarios.

Let’s bring these issues to the Light of Christ so that He can set us free.

FULLY FREE!

We don’t have to hide A N Y M O R E !!!!!

“Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Acts 10:15

God is taking down walls. This is the only way it can be done. If we do it in our own strength and ability, then it becomes a thing that we feel obligated and pressured (lured by satan with his lies) to prove ourselves, perform and seek approval.

sunset girl

 

 

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in the cellar or under a basket, but on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see its light.
Take care then, that the light in you is not darkness. If, therefore, your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be entirely illuminated, as when a lamp shines its light on you.” (Luke 11:34-36)

 

Types of hiding (a few of the apples that keep dangling in the garden of my heart)

(previously mentioned)…resentment, bitterness, suppressed feelings, approval addiction, dumbing down, anger, fear, comparison, guilt, shame, pride, rejection, self-preservation…

  • Comparison
  • Running to/from/for protection, approval or affirmation
  • Overcompensation & performance
  • Intimidation

 

You can come out now

 

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart (Psalm 91:4 NIV)

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going!

But if you ask for directions, God freely & generously provides wisdom without finding fault. (James 1:5)

A few days ago I spent much of my day fighting what Jenni Catron calls a “clout killer” – comparison.

That thing knows where it still holds the apple over your head.

“When I compare my life to others it’s actually the sin of covetousness. It lures us to deeply desire what another person has, including God-given influence, gifts, talents, experiences and opportunities all the while discrediting our own” Jenni Catron

I was studying scripture, researching, writing and preparing speaking points for a fitness leadership group & our upcoming Refresh Summit and Satan wanted nothing more than to prove to me that I wasn’t qualified to step up. It took most of my day but I finally quieted that doubt. I thank God for the wisdom filled words of #WarriorPrincessDancerPoet Morgan Day Cecil and the truth of Psalm 34:5! Exactly what I needed to hear to remind me that God has called me to a very specific place & purpose; to come out from hiding, to put faith into action & to give honor & praise to Him.

Those who look to the Lord are radiant, their faces will never be ashamed!! Psalm 34:5 #knowwhoyouare

When my father past away in 2014, the Lord began showing me that my healing (Spirit, soul and body: an undoing toward wholeness) was directly linked to my father’s death. I knew that healing was directly linked to forgiveness, I had begun that process almost ten years ago; but what I did’t connect was that as cancer began to take over my dad’s body he had come to a place of undoing in his own life. He was allowing God to undo who he had become. As I leaned in close, I was that little girl again, I started learning my daddy. It was intimidating at first. I could still smell stale alcohol and broken promises. But, God took me by the hand and guided me. I came to know the man behind the stale cold kisses. I learned the man who turned to alcohol to hide from his own fears and insecurities.  I learned that God was taking me deeper  into my childhood so that He could actually show me who I was created to be and He was removing the walls of fear, guilt, bitterness and insecurity.

While Satan would have me to believe that I am still that little girl afraid of her father, running and hiding; though I now walk through the shadow of death, I am not afraid (of my dad or myself) because God is with me. The process of my healing and becoming; appreciating my reflection, my body, my gifts, my talents, my confidence; guiding me out from under the case of false identity; leading me to where I am today, in His presence; is an opportunity to live truly free. (Ephesians 1)

He wants you to know that you don’t have to hide anymore. You are no longer captive. (Romans 8:15-17)

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭13-18‬ MSG)

 

Come out from your hiding.

YOU HAVE BEEN REDEEMED. 

WE ARE MADE NEW IN CHRIST AND THERE IS NOW NO CONDEMNATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FROM THE TIP OF MY TOES TO THE TOP OF MY HEAD I HAVE FOUND MY FREEDOM, I HAVE FOUND MY JOY!!!!!!

BE WILD ABOUT YOUR FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Further study scriptures from Fervent study – Identity)

“The enemy has been telling us for so long that we’re no good, washed up, un-derequipped, incompetent, insignificant, un-loveable, and not quite up to par. Our story isn’t even close to being over. We are already seated in heavenly places. We’re fully functional with weapons our enemy has no answer for.” – Priscilla Shirer FERVENT

Psalm 34:5

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 6

Ezekiel 16:10-13

2 Corinthians 4:6-7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 →

Freedom from portion control

 

You’ll know how free a person truly is by how free you feel when you’re around them” – Steve Brown  Scandalous Freedom

CONFESSION:

I’ve discovered I’m distorting my portions. I’m fueling/eating the purpose as if I’m doing the same thing

Last night I read, reread & reread and then read again the chapter in Fervent on praying for your passion.

Initially I had to reread it because I think my mind was all over the place and then I had to reread it because I was crying and couldn’t see the words through my tears and then I had to reread it to actually wrap my brain around it.

What I started to realize is that the attack on our passion isn’t a passion in terms of what we enjoy doing but it’s an attack the passion on the joy in what we’re doing.

Satan’s number one priority is to kill steal and destroy. ABSOLUTELY that includes your joy.

But listen he has no ability to physically take anything from you as a child of God you are protected from him taking anything what he does is he whispers in her ear and tries to convince us that we are not clean we are not redeemed that we have not been sacrificed & surrendered by the blood of Christ.

God’s mercy says NO SATAN you have no power or authority over her.

That mercy is renewed EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

To restore your passion recognize that Mercy is the fuel and there’s an abundance of mercy and no condemnation in taking the supply God set aside for you!

 

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Portion Control

Reconciled. Restored. Redeemed.

Surrendered & sacrificed because He thought I was ‘to die for’.

Beyond the muck & mess of our past He calls us clean without condemnation.

“Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean” – Acts 10:15

He leans in, no matter how low we are; Christ reaches out His hand, and breathes on us with a breath of new hope, new strength, new purpose.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (‭Lamentations‬ ‭3‬:‭21-25‬ ESV)

“Another version says I still dare to hope…His faithful love never ends, His mercies never cease…begin afresh each morning” (New Living Translation)

 

So take a long, deep look at yourself and answer this question: Have you lost your passion? Has your get-up-and-go simply gotten-up-and-gone? Passion is the fuel in the engine of your purpose. It’s your want-to. It’s what keeps you going when mundane tasks bore you or difficult one dissuade you. Passion is what keeps you moving in the direction your best intentions want to go. // #FERVENT 🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸

HOW FIT IS YOUR PASSION?

This month we’re breaking down what a common sense balanced approach to healthy living includes.

We’ve been WORKIN ON OUR FITNESS…

Spirit, soul and body; passion fuels our purpose.

What is passion?

Passion isn’t limited to the expressive, explosive animation and stage presence.

It’s who you are when the curtain closes.

It’s what compels you to move when fear says it’s impossible.

It’s your heart, soul, mind and strength rooted in the foundation that God has not created you with a purpose of perfection but a purpose of passionate progress.

Passion is the language of your heart.

The heart that knows anger & contentment; anxiety & peace, hurt & healing, addiction & grace, insecurity & identity…

A FIT PASSION is the result of teachability, discipline and application.

The formula for effective FITness is FIT: Frequency. Intention. Time. HOW FIT IS YOUR PASSION?

 

#deliberateFOCUS #prayertargets #personaltraining #soulonfire #faithandfitness

#RenewedStrength #ScandalousFreedom #restored #getinneractive

Mantras, meditation & music: motivation to move

By Faith – I woke up with these words on my heart.

By faith I will move.

By faith I will believe.

By faith I trust.

By faith Hebrews 11 reminds us of the countless lives that endured dark hours, brokenness, physical ailments and what looked like a defeat but God prevailed. And it’s no different with us.

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“Faith is not a matter of stirring up feelings or convincing ourselves of what we know to be false. Faith involves getting to know God and learning to trust His character. “- The Word In Life Study Bible: Nelson

Mantras

BY FAITH is my mantra, even if just for today…

Don’t be turned off by that word mantra, it’s merely something we believe in and repeat giving it the opportunity; like seed; to take root in our lives so that we can reap the harvest it produces.

PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU REPEATEDLY SAY!!!

We are over complicating simplicity and simplifying what we should be magnifying – Amia Freeman

Hebrews 11:6 without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarded of those who diligently seek Him.

BY FAITH – SPEAK LIFE TO THE DEADEST DARKEST DAYS – SPEAK LIFE WITH YOUR WORDS

Meditation

As a man thinks (in his heart) so is he

“Give your mind a break from its habitual judging. You form judgements about this situation, that situation, this person, that person, yourself even the weather – as if judging were your main function in life. But I created you first and foremost to know Me and to live in rich communication with Me.”(Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

Meditation is an intentional, deliberate, strategic focus that redirects your thoughts toward an ‘idea’ or truth with an effort to adjust your focus toward that truth and shut out the interference of outside influence.

EVERYTHING has the potential to get our undivided attention including negative influence which is why our intention to meditate or think about God’s plan for us must be deliberate and strategic.

Think on these things Philppians 4:8

As I mentioned in my periscope chat today, my friend/sister in Christ Kasey from Veva Health sent me 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 and immediately I was drawn to the passage not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed and this has been my meditation since she sent this to me on Sunday afternoon!

God CANNOT & WILL NOT forsake us!!!!!

Music

Music plays a huge role in my life both in and out of my teaching classes. It’s where I draw a lot of my inspiration for writing, motivation for my own workouts and for moving throughout the day. I keep the radio in my house tunes into a local Christian station just to set the atmosphere of my home, same as in my car. Now, I’ll be honest I don’t only listen to Christian artists there’s some old school music & classic hip hop that will forever be on my playlist because it flat out is golden!!

But all things considered music has an ability to speak both from and to our soul, to create a language we couldn’t find the words to say. It speaks for us when our own words get lost in translation. Keeping that in mind, what we permit access to our heart and soul also helps direct our thoughts and focus; so just like our own words have power, the words of others that we have given permission to speak into our lives; have that same power and purpose.

I’ve included the link to one of my FOCUS playlists and I hope it moves you the way it moves me!

What’s your mantra?

Do you meditate? Have you considered what has your attention/focus?

What music moves you?

Keep your heart pumpin, spirit movin and get inneractive!!

Motivation Playlist