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.

Doing vs Being – Reflection of the Resurrection

   

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I might add to this brilliance,  that we must be (willing)  very intentional about not allowing our doing to become our being.

I wonder, if in our doing and our being what we’re reflecting.

I wonder…  are we a reflection of the resurrection.

A reflection of the mystery of the proof of a previously mention victory.

A reflection of the majesty of God’s ability to do far beyond we could ever imagine or think; because after all, His ways ARE higher!

A reflection of the mention of things seemingly random, often misunderstood, blurry, unlikely, impossible, too much and at the same time not enough.

A reflection of the greatness.

A reflection of the sacrifice.

A reflection of the true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, excellent and praise worthy.

A reflection of the courage from a heart that knows it is loved.

A reflection of the wounds.

A reflection of the broken.

A reflection of the made whole.

A reflection of the scars.

A reflection of the healing.

A reflection of the darkest valley.

A reflection of the laying down.

A reflection of the lacking nothing.

A reflection of the refreshing of the soul.

A reflection of the guidance on the right path.

A reflection of His name sake.

A reflection of no fear of evil.

A reflection of His presence, with us.

A reflection of His comfort.

A reflection of His story.

A reflection of His glory.

 

Reflection of the Resurrection: Doing what we’re becoming

Someone recently asked me how I got into the fitness industry. This came on the heels of a question in our Revelation Wellness training that asked “what truth have you believed that God revealed was actually a lie”… After I had my first child during college, I remember someone hinting that I would “end up just like my mother”… I’ve watched God bring this truth to the light of TRUTH from a space where Satan tried to use my “doing and being” against me and cause it to become the very thing He uses to reflect the resurrection!!!! (Romans 8)

The short story.

After suffering through an emotionally draining pregnancy & post partum depression (with my 3rd child) a woman named Kristine Bowman invited me to an aerobics class at a church. My 3 kids were just babies. (I had a chance to share the full testimony in an interview on the Faithful Wellness Podcast ) It’s been 13 years since that initial invitation to the aerobics class and my kids are now teenagers and one of them is a man-child… Y’all I’m still walking this road and I’m still doing & being who God is calling me to be!!! Glory be to God that He called me (qualified) in the middle of my (everyday) doing because He saw who He was calling me to be!

HE QUALIFIES THE CALLED

There’s a group of people that we are each designed to reach and we can either continue on that journey being our best selves; just a willing vessel;  serving and BEING fulfilled (not in our own strength but with whatever God fills us with) or we can hustle hard in hopes of DOING what’s ‘qualified’ and yet still not quite enough.

I think I’ll stick with being, and let God continue with the doing (in me)!

Some of you know I’m in the middle of a certification called Revelation Wellness; it’s a Christ centered faith THEN fitness counseling & wellness program that allows me to offer the fitness classes I’m already teaching in addition to a program called Weigh Less To Feed More.

The certification is a whole person approach to the dilemma many of the diets, programs and ’30 day whatever-the-quick-fix’ have created; the results on the outside are there but the person on the inside is still hurting and broken.

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The training so far has been a beautiful tapestry of humility & service.

My training will finish in May at a one week retreat in Arizona with nearly 40 other ‘platoon recruits’. I’ve met some beautiful souls who are all uncovering the Truth of our reflection of the resurrection; I love that they call us platoons, it’s a nod to being enlisted in an army; a sisterhood/brotherhood trained to fight the battle for our wholeness. Friends if you’re in or near Ohio, you can experience a taste of this beautiful faith THEN fitness mission at Jesus At The Core.

DOING: the reflecting

“Don’t mistake activity with achievement.”
John Wooden

I recently launched a class called F.I.T. (inspired by the AFAA fitness model of Frequency Intensity and Time) but we’ve taken a deeper core conditioning approach and allowed God access to the purpose of our movement and our 3 target goals are FOCUS, INTENTION and TIME.  In 1 hour we set our spirit, soul and body on a mission to get FIT!

  • FOCUS: STRENGTH – A river can cut through rock not because of its power but its persistence
  • INTENTION: DISCIPLINE – No discipline feels good at first
  • TIME: NOW – because…

 

 

To catch a glimpse of the FIT class check us out on facebook

 

BEING: distractions & moving with(IN) fluence

 

  

It’s really easy for distraction to sneak in. Seriously y’all it’s REALLY sneaky. It comes in when the “DOING BECOMES OUR BEING”. Let me explain this.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first took hold of me (Philippians 3:12)

Y’all, whether our doing is for our own self gratification, or our own subconscious checklist of the unspoken character of the “Good Christian” or it’s our ‘good thing’ that we do; when we become consumed with the getting-it-done it becomes who we are. It’s a slow fade. I’ve been meditating on Philippians 4:8 lately and realized that God could very well call us to a place of service and it’s where He needs us during that season but the service itself is not who we are, we are servants. God could call us to a place of humility & surrender and yet, still the surrendering is not who we are, we are still a servant, only now we are a humbled surrendered servant, standing and waiting for our instruction. In the doing and the waiting; our being is not defined by what we do; our being is our identity and to define ourselves by what we do would be to say that if the “doing” was to cease, then we would no longer be. Can I back track to that whisper someone dropped on me when I had my son, the one that hinted that I’d becoming just like my mom. That wasn’t a term of endearment, it was intended to imply that I was throwing away ‘my potential/future’ because I had gotten pregnant before marriage. I spent much of my college life and early adult hood trying to prove them wrong, and in my doing, I lost my being.

It wasn’t until I came to a place of surrender; admitting that I tried so hard to figure out who I was and failed miserably trying to un-do/hear/speak that which had been done/heard/spoken into my life that I began understanding that my being (Psalm 139) defines my doing (ability & potential) & the deceptive web became untangled.

It took me nearly 30 years to figure this out. Every year that my daughter has a birthday, I kinda celebrate my new found purpose. Friends God is calling us to the surrender. It’s in the surrender that we find ourselves FIT (focus, intention and time) for the calling (doing).

Friends He calls you His BELOVED. BE LOVED. This is where we find our being. This is where we find ourselves the reflection of the resurrection.

 

Wrapped in your calling

 

God can do more in our surrender than we could ever try to do in a lifetime of control  – Unknown

 

$5 Books at Family Christian

(Full disclosure: this post includes affiliate links I will receive a commission from purchases made through this link)

(re) Define Yourself: Trending wisdom

If there is anyone in this whole world worth forgiving because you love them so much, shouldn’t it be your own Self? @cedarandsoul

Our trend

 

  

Wisdom, Knowledge & Understanding. 

“Grace only sticks to our imperfections. Those who can’t accept their imperfections can’t accept grace either” – #ScaryClose  Um… Whoa!!! 

So if you haven’t grabbed the YouVersion Scary Close 7 Day devotional yet, you need to!!! 

Let’s get to the root of why we strive & figure out what seeds were planted deep in the inner core of our issues with perfection. 

The ONLY sustainable substantial remedy to this is grace. I never thought I struggled with perfectionism until I realized that I struggled with being imperfect. I didn’t ever want to nor do I ever consider it worth trying to be (or pretend to be) perfect. I’m not suggesting you focus on imperfections, but at the very least recognizing that we are flawed opens the door to receiving Gods perfect Grace. Where we admit our weakness (flaws) He is made strong.

Wisdoms Trend

Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you; collect my counsels and guard them with your life. Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom; set your heart on a life of Understanding. That’s right—if you make Insight your priority, and won’t take no for an answer, Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold, like an adventurer on a treasure hunt, Believe me, before you know it Fear-of- GOD will be yours; you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭2‬:‭1-5‬ MSG)

And here’s why: GOD gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding. He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well, a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere. He keeps his eye on all who live honestly, and pays special attention to his loyally committed ones. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭2‬:‭6-8‬ MSG) 

Redefine yourself by tending to trending

Thirsty hearts are those whose longings have been weakened by the touch of God within them. A.W. Tozer

What if we made the decision to change the trend. To create a ripple effect of strength, courage and wisdom? What if we tore off the mask and drop the chains of shame and believed we were called to a greater purpose? 

What if we recognized that the new normal looked nothing like what’s expected and our goal was to stand out as a light being used in this world not to expose but to spotlight God’s plan. What if when we took the stage we just said Hi I’m here to introduce the main speaker. What if we cultivated our purpose!! 

  

When your purpose is no greater than yourself it’s easy to rely on just yourself.

When your purpose is bigger than you it will set you apart from the crowd. 

 “Be yourself and remain true to God – when the temptation is to go with the crowd, when your integrity is put to the test, when the rest of the world begs you to become someone else. Be true to yourself and true to God, and He will be glorified.” – John Maxwell {Life and Leadership Lessons From The Bible} 

Leadership Lessons we can learn from Daniel

1. God chooses the purpose before the person!

2. When leaders follow Gods purpose they are given God’s power!

3. On-Purpose leaders do the right thing – not the easy thing! 

Daniel never lost his way because he never lost his why! 

• Do you believe everyone who follows God is set apart by Him, or do you think only certain people are? Explain.

• Scripture says God created us to do good works, which He prepared in advance for us to do. Do you have a sense of the kinds of things God created you to do? If so, what are they? 

MAY I…Do something new

And to get from where you are, there must first be a desire to leave – Beth Moore

Mother May I.

Do y’all remember that game?
Here’s the gist of it:

One person (it could be Mom) stands facing away from a line of kids.
She then chooses a child (at random, or in order), and announces a direction. These follow a pattern, such as, “Brian, you may take ‘ x’ giant/regular/baby steps forward/backward.”

The child responds with “Mother may I?”

Mom then states “Yes” or “No”, depending on her whim, and the child complies.

If the child forgets to ask “Mother may I?” he/she goes back to the starting line. First one to touch Mother wins.

As I was thinking of our May challenge, I thought of this game.

I thought about how we should ask God for the things we want to move forward on.

This year our Pastor charged us with this year being the year to Pursue, Recover and Restore. So as we were all setting out goals for the year, we were/are being challenged with whether or not we’ve asked the Lord “shall I pursue” (1 Samuel 30). How often have we made these huge goals but never consulted with Him to see if it’s even in His plan for us. And I don’t know about y’all but I don’t want to miss a thing He has for me.

But here’s the thing, when we ask God “Father May I” we need to be willing to listen for His response and whatever instructions or recommendations He gives us. And, He might say no. OR, His answer for us might be that we should pursue but requires further instructions that look nothing like what we thought.

Typically His ways are not ours (Isaiah 55:8-9); But the blessing in all of this is that His response is NEVER depending on His whim, but ALWAYS depending on what’s best for us.

So this year, I’ve done some asking. And what He gave me was “HELP THE ONES WHO WANT THE HELP”.

SO, This month I’m asking your permission to help you get better.

All I’m asking you to do is let me know what you need and together, we’ll ask God for His instruction.

Why am I asking?

Because I don’t ever want to force anything on you. And I can’t help someone that hasn’t asked me to help them. I don’t ever want to make you think you absolutely have to do what I’m suggesting.

 

I may have very well been where you were at some point. Maybe not exactly, but I can promise you this. I’ve been in the pit, the ditch, the dumps and in the darkness. And I’ve also see what it feels like to know freedom. I also know what it feels like to know you’re accepted. I also know what it feels like to look in the mirror and with confidence see your own reflection and not see your mistakes but see the beautiful, wonderfully made woman God created you to be!

What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we undergo sufferings for Christ, the more he will shower us with his comfort and encouragement. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

So, You’re here. And that could mean that you want what’s being offered. And all I can do is offer it. But if you give me permission. Ohhhh sister (or brother), that’s a whole new transformation waitin’ to happen.

Sound like a plan?

This month our focus is on that.

The transformation.

The metamorphosis if you will. Kinda like the metamorphosis of the butterfly.

The process of becoming something you had no idea you could be.

 

RESTORATION

This month. Let’s do a new thing. I’ll be sharing a new resource with you everyday!

Spirit, soul and body I want us to feel renewed. I want to see a glow in you that I’ve never seen. And if you’re on social media I want to see YOU!!! Take pictures, use the hashtag #GrowAndGlow Follow us on Instagram at @inneractivefit

Ok, today’s resource is Simple Green Smoothies.

Why? Well because Green makes me happy. Green says GO! Green says NEW, Growth and Life! Green reminds me that seasons change. Green says there’s hope. Green says that even when it looked like nothing was happening in that seed, God had a plan. Simple Green Smoothies is a free website loaded with fresh recipes for green smoothies. Everything your palate can imagine. So there ya go! GO GREEN!

And by the way…Here’s another new thing, the change you’ll experience won’t be finding a new you, it’ll be finding the you that was there the entire time but was hidden under all that stuff! Keep the wild in you friend! God needs that!!! Let’s take this adventure! Yes you are going to see me using this hashtag alot #KeepTheWildInyou because I’m silly giddy crazy excited about being chosen to join the team of Maidservant of Encouragement ambassadors at MOE Apparel & Yoga!!!!

Y’all God is ready to do a NEW THING are you ready for the change? God is asking permission, May I do something new? What’s your response?

-keep your heart pumpin, spirit movin and anchor your focus!