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

3 confidence boosters

3 Confidence Boosters for Life

Live Well ☑️
Live Wisely ☑️
Live Humbly ☑️
🆗 “Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: 👉🏾🙏🏾 Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.
Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” James 3:3-18 Message
‭‭J

Live well: Attention, Live Wisely: Intention, Live humbly: Prevention  

Summer Goals

Initially I didn’t think this (type of) devotional was for me. Because honestly, I have felt like the word REST has become a buzz word. I have felt like we’ve all begun to learn really how to lay down the hustle (just another check mark on our to-do lists) and DO self care. It’s kinda felt counterproductive. Like we’re DOING rest.

But God knew He could get my attention by whispering the promises that were grace-filled. Promises of confidence, contentment and peace (Philippians 4:6-13) tucked away in the meaning of that word.

I’m a peacemaker. By default and defense from a broken childhood; but God has used what had become my defensive weapon and caused it to become my best offensive weapon. (Matthew 5)

But friends that strategy did not happen by my own well crafted, skilled ideas; that only happened after I got brave enough to be still (content & quiet) and learned to listen.

SIDE BAR: quiet and withdrawn was also my defense from a loud chaotic home filled with violent rage and anger. God revealed to me a few months ago that I in fact am not shy, that I had settled for that label because it was safe, but the real me was wildly free and contagiously full of joy! THAT MAKES ME SO GIDDY I CAN HARDLY SIT STILL!!!

So many things (too many things) are calling our names. And we are answering.

Bonnie Gray writes in the devotional Whispers Of Rest: 40 Days of God’s Love to Revitalize Your Soul “Samuel, who was living in the temple ran to Eli the priest thinking Eli was calling him. It happened three times. (1 Samuel 3:8-11) in the same way, we can easily run from one thing to another answering other voices that demand doing, work, fear and busyness. But the fourth time God called him, Samuel did something different. Samuel dared to listen.”

Friends can I ask you, how do you hear God talk to you?

Have you heard Him call you but assumed it was something else calling your name?

Can I challenge you? I believe that one of the things that calls our name and our bluff is the fear that we aren’t enough which leads us toward comparison and under appreciating our original design.

I’d like to invite you for the next 30 days to join me for  30 days of confidence: a body peace series.

Every June I host a faith based fitness challenge called the ‘swimsuit confidence‘ challenge… it’s an opportunity for us to not get trapped in the battle for our mind, body and spirit and instead brave ourselves with the victory that was already won for our freedom.

We get to live in that victory by making peace within our hearts and our reflections IN A SWIMSUIT…

I know.

I TOTALLY get it.

I gasped as well.

And that my friend is why I do it! (and if you’re local join me on Tuesdays for MOVE:RevFit at 9:30 am)

Your body is beautiful and whether you’ve decided to put on a suit and spend more time enjoying life’s precious moments or you’re still standing in the proverbial fitting room arguing with your reflection; I have one thing to tell you, and I need you to look in the mirror and repeat this YOU ARE FLAWESOME!!!

Not a single one of us is perfect, we all got some flaws and He STILL calls us awesome! (Psalm 139)

This year I’m using Whispers Of Rest as our weekly prompts of peace!

Could you use a bit of flawsome peace?

Thank you Bonnie Gray for writing what I’m calling the new personal trainers CPR (mind/body) manual!!!

Alright friends, I hope you’ll decide to join us, now I must go and resuscitate a few folks! 🙌🏾❤️

Oh and FYI: the today show announced the one piece as the suit of the season! WHOOOP WHOOOP!!! Shout out to all the women wearing the vintage swim dress!!!!

If you want to join us just simply subscribe to my blog for the weekly motivation! THERE’S NO FEE!

Spring blooms start with dirt

brigitte-tohm-64990

Spring has officially sprung and because this month I always focus on doing some season cleaning and decluttering I thought I’d first say that somehow I totally forgot to post last month but a lot happened on other social channels and life so I’ll be unpacking some of that in the next few posts.

This month has already shown me proof that God is creating something beautiful and I get to witness the unveiling, blooming and keeping of His promises.

I’m madly, deeply in love with this months theme at Revelation Wellness. We’re unpacking the message of #gritandhope and y’all the waves of emotions that these two words trigger are nothing short of God-winks; all the God-breathed permission to go, be, do, dream, rise up, recognize where redemption has called me up and take my place.

This morning’s You Version devotional on faith gives me permission to breathe and process where the anxiety of *doing* normally could cause me to freeze and over analyze.

“Putting your faith into action is less about what you do and don’t do and more about what you do and don’t do. Confusing, isn’t it? With faith that surpasses all understanding, you begin to know when to do and when not to do. While it will be different for each of us, what I can say for everyone is: Do have faith in the things God has called you to and don’t have faith where He has not. ” from Faith: fig tree vs. mountain  

So let’s dig into this blooming of grit & hope.

ariel-lustre-232891

 

GRIT & HOPE: These two words cause so much to rise up in me!!!

He’s making diamonds – out of grit & hope!!!

And pearls – it’s the grit inside the oyster that creates the pearl!

READ: (1 Peter 2:5, Joshua 4:6-8, 2 Corinthians 4:8-12, Romans 8, Philippians 4, Philippians 3)

GRIT definition:

1. small, loose particles of stone or sand.
“she had a bit of grit in her eye”

synonyms: sand, dust, dirt;
2. courage and resolve; strength of character.
“he displayed the true grit of the navy pilot”

synonyms: courage, bravery, pluck, mettle, backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fiber, steel, nerve, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, resolution, determination, tenacity, perseverance, endurance;

Digging into all corners of GRIT & HOPE; feeling like this message was written for me; yesterday the word GROWTH sprouted from my meditation.

Both GRIT & HOPE are a mindset.

Friends we GET TO decide if we will live & be in either a fixed or growth mindset.

I’ve combed through a few verses that link to the definitions of both words but what keeps coming up is Romans 8.

Romans 8:22-28 New Living Translation

For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hopefor it.  But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

What is grit to you? What does hope look like?

What if we saw  grit & hope as the dirt God uses to plant seeds. What’s blooming from your grit & hope?

Being still & knowing

There’s no shame in lookin’ like a fool when I give you what I can’t keep to take a hold of you – United Pursuit #HeadToTheHeart

headphones

My sheep respond to my voice, and I know who they are.

They follow me, I give them eternal life, and they will never perish,

and no one will snatch them out of my hand. – John 10:27-28

 

 

Sometimes you know, other times you have no clue, yet you are absolutely certain. When you follow that voice, the rewards are limitless.

To Know (def)

  1. be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information:

 

We aren’t serving the Lord by putting up walls and being afraid. He is covering us and His peace gives us the permission to rest, be held, be protected, be sure and be still.

The verse I’ve been clinging to this week…

Philippians 4:6-8New Living Translation (NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then 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.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Being Still & lookin’ like a fool

wrecked

 

So the Holy Spirit had to remind me of this song several times during & after Revelation Wellness retreat as Satan attempted to call me a fool and accused me of looking ridiculous & unqualified… I’m NOT SORRY FOR MY PASSION MY FREEDOM OR FOR BEING A FOOL FOR JESUS!!!!

I had a really crazy encounter with the Holy Spirit during the black out worship service.

As we sang I felt Him walk up behind me and tap my shoulder. I had one hand on my heart and the other was raised in worship. He walked around me held the hand that was raised and embraced me. It literally felt like He picked me up and placed my feet on top of His and began to dance with me like when you see a daddy place His daughters feet on top of his so that he can show her the steps. He whispered in my ear ‘it’s ok baby we can dance as long as you as you’d like’… And we danced.

Just then David Freeman started ministering the ‘it’s not your fault’ message that broke of years of sexual abuse chains I hadn’t realized I was carrying.

During the final celebration Alisa Keeton called an invitation to anyone that felt lead to praise dance & again the Holy Spirit gave me permission to dance only this time it was a victorious dance of release!!! Family when His glory falls it breaks every stronghold even the ones you didn’t know you had! It is for freedom that He has set us free! Those who don’t move don’t know they have chains!!! I dare you to move and become a fool for Jesus!!!

i am the one jesus lovesFriends, take a moment and listen to this song. Allow it to do something in your heart that you alone cannot do. This song has me in full shout to the Lord praise today!!!

Listen to Head to the Heart (Live) by United Pursuit

Cultivate patience – PODCAST from Revelation Wellness

cultivate patience podcast

Father,
I don’t need more internet. I need more you. The world is chipping away at my heart. I’ve lost my joy. I need more you. More intimacy means into-me-you-see. I want more of you, not because I have worked my way into your presence but because I have rested in the truth that you are my rampart and my shield. You save me from the fowlers snare. I’m returning to delight myself in you.- Amen

If this is your prayer, check out our most recent podcast “Be Still and Be Loved: Cultivate Patience” Take 15 minutes to reestablish your firm foundation.