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

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! . . .

 

 

 

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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! .
.
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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
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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! .
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“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!

 

 

Losing weight means resiliency over retraction

 

be-cool

 

Losing weight means resiliency over retraction. Retraction is shrinking back and withdrawing, detaching and disconnecting.

Losing anything that feels overwhelming means being willing to identify your weaknesses, so that you can become stronger, in Christ.

Losing any of the stuff that tries to convince you to give up means giving up the stuff and learning a new identity and way of life.

Losing the stuff means being willing to give up the stuff verse giving in to the stuff that makes you feel less than what you were born to be capable of.

Losing what you were born to be capable of is the enemy of powerlessness. Know your battle. Fight it with all vigilance and diligence.

Losing powerlessness means weighing less, recognizing your worth and cultivating a spirit that rises to the occasion called life.

Rise up friends.

This is wholehearted living.

3

Guidepost to Wholehearted Living Number 3 Cultivating a Resilient Spirit & Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness  

Friends I’d love for you to join me on a journey toward cultivating a resilient spirit and allowing Christ the opportunity to teach you the unforced rhythm of grace.

Not that I’ve figured it out.

To the contrary, I’m learning this everyday! Every day, I put one foot in front of the other becoming stronger with every step that I take. And honestly I don’t even want this to sound like some sort of intervention method. Absolutely not. Well, actually it’s more like CPR for life; spirit, soul and body. So I guess, if you wanted to, you could call it intervention. But that’s only if you’re feeling like you’ve tried all of your old ways and those you saw on some top 10 list of do this not that and none of those seem to work. Or you could call it that if you’ve been headed down a path that seemed right but you caught a glimpse of where this is headed and it doesn’t look good. So then, yeah call it intervention.

All I can tell you is that the way He’s been so patient with me; taken me by the hand and gently guided me; has helped me to realize that I don’t have to do any of this by myself.

He assured me that I don’t need to do it the way others have claimed to have done it.

He promised me that I don’t need to numb myself with accomplishments, people pleasing or applause.

He insisted that I don’t need to rise up nor do I need to shrink back in an effort to hide and not be seen.

He committed to me that if I would allow Him to show me, He would lead the way and it would be an escape from the nonsense that I thought was progress.

Whatever the cause, whatever the issue, Jesus really does have an answer y’all.

 

Weigh Less To Feed More

The journey I’d like you to take with me is called Weigh Less to Feed More.

WEIGH LESS…

  • Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
  • Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? – Matthew 6:34
  • Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you. – Psalm 55:22

to FEED MORE

  • Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.- Galatians 6:2
  • Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. – Matthew 6:38
  • For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. -2 Corinthians 9:12
  • Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.- Philippians 2:3

Good news! It’s not about your weight! Whether you obsess about or neglect your body, you will get to the root of your unhealthy living. Find out what is really weighing you down. (Watch this FB LIVE video from the founder of Weigh Less to Feed More, Alisa Keeton and when you’re ready, click here to register for the next session which begins November 8th!

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?