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

 

Are we feeding faith or fear: Overcoming Anxiety 

  

Have you ever dealt with anxiety? 

I have. FOR YEARS!!! And here’s where I found the solution! 

And I continue to use it whenever new issues, people, things, and problems try to overwhelm me! 

And yes, you’ll need to continue to ‘work it out’ on a regular basis just like one visit to the gym won’t make you fit, one prayer won’t keep you well! 

  

Surrender 

I started this devotional on the bible app and asked God to help me remove anything that’s a distraction from allowing Him access to my heart, (Psalm 139:23) my life and my mind. I’d love for you to join me. 

The 21 Day Plan – We start TODAY! 

I’m reading the @YouVersion plan ‘Living the Surrendered Life’. Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/51

No spirit of fear

Friends, Grace covers us and removes every fear, every anxious thought, every regret, every what if, every thought that tries to hold itself higher than the name of Christ, every doubt that says we can’t because we think we are either not enough or too much, every deception & lie that disguises itself as truth and tries to convince us that it’s too late or too soon. Grace is the qualifier. Grace IS the reflection of the cross & the Cross was enough! 

For you, me & her and all the rest of them! 

 
I’ve seen many searching for answers far & wide and I know we’re all searching for answers only you provide and you know just what we need before we say a word. 

➕ And you call me deeper still… (Good Good Father Chris Tomlin) 

““It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭65:24‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Listen to Search My Heart by Hillsong UNITED on @AppleMusic.

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? 

What should I get her for Christmas? Favorite things

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One of my Silver Sneakers participants!

 

Whether it’s a gift for a mom, a sister, a friend, a grandmother, or significant other; we know that buying gifts for women can be somewhat challenging ESPECIALLY if you have no idea what her favorite things are. So, we surveyed a group of moms and asked them what was at the top of their Christmas wish list. Keep in mind, these items are evergreen so if you run into the gifting crunch again, you can give to your hearts content and they’ll NEVER be out of season! One more thing, while some of these gifts can be bought and wrapped with a perfect bow, some of them are far more precious than anything you could ever put under a tree and worth all of the effort you put into ‘packaging’ them.

DISCLAIMER: If you’re still not sure what to get her after this list, then we HIGHLY suggest a giftcard to Target. LOL that seems to cover everything on the list right? Well, maybe not the babysitter, or peace, or the personal assistant…but you know, Target has pretty much everything else…

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM inneractive FITCLUB!

 

christmas blog header

 

Question for my mommy friends, What’s on your Christmas wish list? I know as moms we tend to say ‘nothing really I just want the kids to have what they want’ … considering that the kids are already taken care of for Christmas, we asked SO WHAT’S ON YOUR WISH LIST? The following is a running list (that continues to grow) from these women. They don’t want much!

(Personal THANK YOU to my facebook friends for sharing their wish lists)

 

Favorite Things To Look Good:

Purse

Skin care

DE_Logo_HighRes

A breakthrough anti-aging treatment system that delivers professional-grade, clinically proven results at home, without the expense, healing, downtime, or pain.

Make-up

Jewelry

Diamond Earrings

Boots

Pajamas

workout clothes

ReebokStartWhere You Are

Start. Here, now, wherever you are

New sneakers

Reebok ZQuickElectrify

Reebok ZQuick Electrify

 

Favorite Things To Feel Good:

A Girls’ Get-away

Refresh Summit: Faith, Fitness & Friends weekend retreat

Refresh Summit: Faith, Fitness & Friends weekend retreat

Peace

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Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray

 

Candles

Perfume

A babysitter

Massage/Spa Day  –Forget someone? Take 15% off orders of $200 or more! Use code JINGLE at checkout. 

A BOSU

BOSU

enhance mobility, strength, balance, and overall fitness levels

To stay home with the kids

A leisurely drive along the West Coast shore

Weekend getaway with a couples massage

 

Breakfast in bed

DIY Breakfast in bed tray

 

Essential Oils kit

Young-Living-Essential-Oils-Everyday-Oils-Kit

Young Living Essential Oils Kit

 

A home to rent

A trip to visit a friend/loved one

 

Favorite Things To Do Good:

Kitchen Aide mixer

kitchenaid

Mix-it-up in the kitchen with a Kitchenaid mixer!

 

New Food processor

Electric blanket

Shiatsu Massage chair pads

Homedics MCS-100 Shiatsu Massage Cushion

massage chair

 

Coffee! Because, well it’s coffee (make sure you know her favorite brand because NO they are not all the same)

Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black

A personal assistant –

She NEEDS a personal assistant & the inneractive FITCLUB TEAM MOMENT’em was created with HER in mind!

To literally assist her with the personal goals, desires and aspirations that she’s put on the back burner. To help her unlock her potential and get unstuck. Our 2015 FOCUS group will grab ahold of the “Make It Happen” anchor and get grounded and set some things into motion WITHOUT becoming overwhelmed.

photo 2

Join the January Anchored FOCUS group for goal setting, motivation, and accountability, fitness, nutrition and spiritual transformation!!

an iPad

Trip to NYC to see the lights! (OH MY GOSH YES)

 

BONUS “GIFTS”:  

**Can I Have It All? friend – A guide for every woman looking for answers on how to truly have (and do) it all! 

Can I Have And Do It All, Please?

 

**The Fitness Fanatic – FitFluential motivation & gift ideas for your active friends and family. 

 

**The hard-to-buy-for person –  Pinterest Gift Ideas   

 

 

FOR CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR…


Still need to shop for her? 

FOCUS: Surrender freedom, find whitespace & define yourself

“Hey soul! It may not feel like it but please believe it, you were made for this—Lean Hard Into Him–DO THE HARD THINGS!!” -Ann Voskamp

You’re my recovery, changing who I was, to who I’m meant to be, you set me free…(Unspoken:Recovery) 20140704-103441-38081931.jpg

Surrender

Be surrendered strong. Because your Savior is strong enough to do anything. Isaiah 40:29– He gives STRENGTH to the weary and increases the power of the weak!! God’s call, done ONLY by God’s Grace, will never run out of God’s strength!!! Praise YOU JESUS that you are so worthy to praise. That your mercy endures. That your grace is sufficient. That your LOVE covers me. That YOU have made ME STRONGER!!! A few weeks ago I found rest & healing in volunteering at a nursing home outreach with my church. I didn’t realize I hadn’t forgiven myself for not being able to visit my mom while she was in a nursing home before either of them passed. I didn’t realize how much I wish I still had time to spend with my mom and my dad. I didn’t realize that I still needed time. Time to laugh with them. Time to cry with them. Time to heal with them. Time to surrender love with them.

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Honoring ‘Papa’ 4.19.14

20140611-085554.jpg   I just needed time.   I needed time to hear words I was searching for and hadn’t heard from them. Specifically from my dad.   I needed to know they needed me. I needed to know that they hadn’t rejected me. I needed to know. But God knew.

He Knows My Name

(Francesca Battistelli) 

Spent today in a conversation
In the mirror face to face with
somebody less than perfect
I wouldn’t choose me first if
I was looking for a champion
In fact I’d understand if
You picked everyone before me
But that’s just not my story
True to who You are
You saw my heart
and made
Something out of nothing 


Stand Tall.

Years of unheard affirmations, a heart that desires to be healed.

A hand that desires to be held.

A daughter that just needed to know her parents are proud of her.

I just needed to know that those echoes whispering “you’re not enough” or “just be quiet” could be replaced.

I needed to know that I wasn’t just wishing to hear him say to me directly  “I love you” ; I needed to know it wasn’t just a hope but it was a certainty.

I needed to know.

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God knew what I needed. He ALWAYS knows what we need exactly when we need it.

I found some of my resolve, recovery & rest in a book I trust and believe God Himself breathed on.

Finding Whitespace

I was chosen to sit on a team of bloggers to review the new book “finding spiritual whitespace: awakening your soul to rest”.

Simply reading the back cover description: “move beyond surviving to a rejuvenating place of soul rest” gives you an idea of the thirst quenching refreshing it offers.

“Have you heard the words I don’t want you (or something similar) thrown at you? Have you felt them smack against your heart, leaving an echo of pain across your soul? Whether it be friendship, a job, good health, an opportunity, a community we tried to enter, a dream, a child we wanted, a man you loved, or parents — aren’t these the words we fear will fall into our ears? These are the words I felt doomed to hear if I didn’t become someone who deserved to be loved and cherished. Inaudible echoes whispering…” (Finding Spiritual Whitespace: whitespace is extravagance)

20140602-123207.jpg Author Bonnie Gray captured the heart of Christ in His desire to breathe new life into weary souls. She explains that we all need spiritual whitespace; in graphic design whitespace is a key element to the aesthetic quality of a composition. The more fine art a composition is, the more whitespace you’ll find. Whitespace is the pace left unmarked. Untouched. Whitespace makes art beautiful. It give the eye a place to rest. Just like beautiful art, our souls need balance and beauty. Finding Spiritual Whitespace

“I’ve carried this uneasy suspicion that I was nothing special and everyone would probably know it if I ever stopped doing and simply was plain old me. The whisper of nothings special sat next to me in my career. Those words whisper to me…as a mom…in friendships that end up as one-way relationships. They hiss at me loudly, because I don’t want to fail.” (finding spiritual whitespace: awakening your soul to rest)

About the Book: Finding Spiritual Whitespace is memoir-driven guidebook for anyone longing to create space in life to draw closer to God, to rest and discover who they can become when rest becomes their heart’s everyday home.

This book chronicles Bonnie’s heartbreaking journey through painful memories, how a childhood dream unexpectedly launched her into a debilitating journey through panic attacks, insomnia and anxiety — and how creating space to feed her soul led her to create a better story for her life, one filled with beauty and meaning.

The book explores how our lives are like God’s artwork, exploring ways to create space for beauty, rest and soul care. Just as beautiful art needs whitespace, we need whitespace. We need rest. Whitespace is not blank space. It breathes beauty.

Who This Book Is For:  

Take the journey to find rest. Uncover your stories.  Make room for you. For God. For Rest.

Using soulfuljournaling prompts for individual reflection or intimate group discussion at the end of each chapter, anyone longing for rest in today’s fast paced and stress-frayed schedules can take the journey to find rest, feed their souls, rejuvenate and make room for beauty, for God and rest.

He calls me chosen, free, forgiven, wanted, child of the King, His forever, held in treasure…

I am loved

My heart needed to know. To know these words. To find the whitespace that proclaims that I am free. That I am known.  This is the day that I’m starting over, on a narrow path, potentially alone, but trusting He is still with me reminding me that I am not alone. I’m asking God to give us courage to risk. To guide us. To give us intuition. To give us wisdom to find people we welcome in. It’s the whitespace of friendship. It doesn’t fix us. It frees us to rest.

Because He knows our name. He is our recovery!

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“You will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:7 (NLT)

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“Perfect peace from God isn’t found by forgetting. Peace is ours if we dare to remember our pain and our sorrow, and experience our fears fully with Jesus. Shalom peace from God is a putting back together. Shalom is the movement to recover pieces of a ourselves that have been abandoned, a putting back together of what we’ve left behind, to find Jesus with us in our memories. Shalom peace is now my new place of faith.” – (Bonnie Gray; Finding Spiritual Whitespace)   You keep him in perfect peace {Shalom} whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you – Isaiah 26:3 ESV

Stand Brave

I was feeling bloated and frustrated and I’d like to say I’m about two weeks behind schedule on a few goals I set for myself and probably a few pounds heavier. (I don’t ever get on the scale but my clothes are too tight so there ya go). But I truly believe that God needed to shift and sift a few things in my “TO DO” list, things that He saw would be my benefit and He would still get the glory. Is it just me? Am I the only one that feels heavy(er). Heavy with stuff. All kinda stuff. I feel stuffed.

So then let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, (Hebrews 12:1 CEB)

This week can be different even if nothing on the outside changes, if on the inside you let God strengthen you and take over your weaknesses. Move forward in the freedom God has already given you. You are not defined by your weaknesses. – Judah Smith FREEDOM 20140704-105757-39477978.jpg

Define yourself – Live Free

Whitespace signifies importance. In graphic design, whitespace draws the viewer to FOCUS on the images and text that are most important. Whitespace brings an intimacy and immediacy to the page – awakening the foreground and quieting the background.

I Pronounce a breakthrough of blessings over you. An inner strength of confidence to move forward in the direction of the things you’ve delayed out of fear. To boldly be & do what God has placed deep in your heart. Go. He’s given you authority to do great things. 20140704-105755-39475408.jpg   In Jesus name & power let freedom be your focus!

Write your story – a Whitespace Prompt

Find your creative whitespace: When you were little, what did you enjoy doing? What came naturally to you? Enjoy God in inspiring places. Where are places that inspire the artistic you? Outdoors near the beach or mountains? Indoors in front of an easel or a desk? Maybe it’s experiential, clicking behind a camera lens, walking through an art gallery, listening to live music, or observing life from a chair at a cafe? Is it through learning, taking a class you’ve always wanted to explore?   What’s your S.T.O.R.Y.  Join the July Challenge and (re)define yourself. 20140704-105756-39476041.jpg

 Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:6-7 ESV)