Category Archives: fasting

Revisit your goals, reset your focus.

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What’s keepin’ your heart pumpin’ & spirit movin’? January is over. How’d you fair on your new year, new you goals? Did you set expectations that were S.M.A.R.T. (we can discuss that further), did you make sure you kept your F.O.C.U.S.?

Hold on, let me pause for a second, I really want to show you this. Maybe you’ve seen this already, or maybe you could use a reminder…

You feel that heart beat in your chest…that means get up & do somethin’…

Wasn’t that AWESOME? Don’t be boring…anybody can be boring!

So, I committed to a 30 day challenge and I’m proud to say it’s now day 31!!!

I started the challenge originally in 2011 with a totally different mind set. Yeah, I was quite negative and condescending. Consequently I had only completed the first half of the challenge. With that in mind and a biblical truth-anchored (Matthew 6:33) mantra of “FIRST THINGS FIRST”; I put my life, hope, trust, goals, priorities and family in His hands. I fixated my thoughts on the decision that where He says go, I’ll go, when He closes a door I’ll trust that He’s got something better.

I’ve prayed some big prayers over the last 30 days, focused and anchored in the truth of Gods word! The greatest opportunity in all of this, knowing that God has plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11) and I have full access to those plans!

It feels like my life got a full detox, inside & out!!!

As a result of this challenge, one of the habits I’m working to develop is getting organized. I was gonna say more organized but that would be a lie, I’ve kinda got this system of piles going on.

I’m actually pulling together the February challenge so we’ll really sort through some things, we’re gonna learn what to keep, what to donate, and what to toss.

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I read a blog on simple space & money savers…things like arranging packages so expiration dates are visible & keeping an inventory so you know exactly what you have, laying boxes on their sides saved space, etc. I can’t wait to get the next challenge started!!!

I’m jazzed about the progress I’ve had so far so I decided I might use some of my new-found F.O.C.U.S. to I tackle the office closet, y’all I found priceless fitness material I had previously researched and never used …SCORE…ooh the things to come from that treasure find! Anyway, I found a box of over 9 years worth of journals. Some bible study notes, others heart reflections that literally had me in tears. So much proof that God was watching over me & answering prayers. It really got me to thinking, some of the stuff I found, under all those piles of clutter, I had been scratching my head and flipping my house upside down trying to find it. Other stuff I was literally like whoa I forgot I had this. So I wondered, what could I find that I already have that might be hidden under a cluttered thoughts, cluttered expectations, cluttered vision. What hidden priceless knowledge or talents could be uncovered if I just learned what to keep, donate or toss? Where there prayers that have already been answered but I just couldn’t ‘find them’ under the piles of organized chaos?

How do you know when God has answered your prayers?

Know that God has heard your prayers!

This 30 day PUSH challenge isn’t over. Honestly, not to sound cliché or cheesy but I feel like I just got started. I’m still nose deep in the self inventory of You’re Already Amazing and since I synced the chapters parallel to the calendar and this challenge I’ve cried so many tears of joy over the current chapter of “What Does God Want Me to Do with My Life”. Holley Gerth coaches us on how to uniquely craft a LIFE statement. She says…

In our culture, that’s often called a mission statement. And while I think those can be helpful, it feels like the title can be a bit misleading. As believers, we all ultimately have the same mission. God gave it to us in Galatians 5:6: (The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.) We’re here to express faith through love – for God, others, and ourselves.”

So instead of writing a mission statement, we’ve used the following prompt to create our L.I.F.E. statement. (Love Is Faith Expressed)

I am created and called to express my faith through love, especially by…

+ (WHAT) + ( WHO ) + ( HOW )

Holley’s example reads: I am created and called to express my faith through love, especially by bringing hope and encouragement to the hearts of women through word.

What would be your L.I.F.E. statement? I’m still working on mine, praying over it and letting this scripture guide me.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (MSG

We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise! So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:13-18 MSG)

You’re already amazing, be blessed in knowing this…

“God is love-whatever he directs you to do will be loving to others too.

Your house doesn’t have to be spotless.

Your work doesn’t have to be flawless.

You don’t have to please that finicky member of your family.

You don’t have to look like a page out of a magazine.

You’re already enough because Jesus is enough in you. ” -Holley Gerth

Keep movin-

 

 

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Habits: breaking, making & the stuff in between

21 Days of Fasting Jan 7-27, 2013
21 Days of Fasting Jan 7-27, 2013

St. Augustine
Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity.

I’m breaking some old habits. Period. And rather than make the list of everything I need to work on, I’ve decided I’ll use all that energy to devote to the new habits! And here’s the thing, that energy & focus isn’t on ‘the working on & planning’ but on the actual doing.

So often we talk about what we’re getting ready to do. Then before long we are finding ourselves wandering around the mountains of Mt. woulda, coulda & shoulda. At some point we can’t keep running around the same mountain, we gotta be willing to move up.

This year I’m committing every area of my life FIRST to God. I mean full out, no apology, no question First Things First, God. I know if there’s something I should be doing, having, owning, enjoying…He’ll make sure I have it. So I’m cool with that.

Habit #1 I will be established, grounded, ANCHORED!

One Word – “One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.”

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Habit #2 I will Eat Clean(er):

Can’t wait to try a few of these!!

Habit #3 I will move more!

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PUSH GOAL: Half Marathon March 2013!!!!!!!!

Habit #4

I will get organized!

Habit #5 I will spend quality time with friends/family

Hebrews 10:25
not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-26 (in Context)

What habits are you establishing for this new year? Need some help establishing your habits? Whatever habits you’ve had, whoever you’ve ‘always been’, you have the power to change, it’s all in your decisions.

 

I’m going somewhere

Your GPS (God Positioning System) is going to get you exactly where you need to go. And he promises to be with you every step of the way. -“You’re Already Amazing” by Holley Gerth (ch 5 pg. 79)

I was having a conversation with a few friends regarding fitness, spiritual balance and finding our own levels of accomplishments in the goals we’ve set over the past year and where we’re headed in the next year. Our conversation, I believe is the conversation most women are having either with trusted friends or among themselves for fear of being found vulnerable realizing we don’t yet have it together.  I’m sharing this raw, unedited conversation with you because all to often we get trapped in this belief that we are the only ones who need help, lack strength, experience or flat out don’t know what happened to our ‘perfect plan’ and sometimes we don’t know how to move on.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it’s the Lord’s purpose that prevails”

(Proverbs 19:21)

CHRISTIE:   have you or anyone you knew prayed verses or prayers through out the workout?

ME: yup  I have, still do. And I know several women who do it when they run/workout

That’s why I chose some of the music I choose because the lyrics are usually straight from scripture

CHRISTIE: yeah ok, my thought is if you stay focused on word rather than just doing it or to any other music it will be more… motivation and… be retraining your mind as well

renewal

ME: Everyone finds their own level of motivation. Sometimes I find myself just praising in the middle of my teaching. In the spirit I’m fighting battles, praising victories or just honoring God but I’m still talking to my class.

THAT is exactly what inneractive IS  Ephesians 3:16-22

CHRISTIE: awesome if that is not my focus, i won’t be able to continue

ME: see sometimes we get so super spiritual and we’re quoting scripture and we say we are spiritually “strong” yet on the outside we are all sorts of out of shape But here’s the thing the enemy does. He knows he can’t mess with you on the spiritual stuff. right…

So he keeps attacking you on the outside

CHRISTIE: yep i believe that was what happened to me

cause i was praising,praying,professing & believing & doing and bam!

but then again i did not heed the warning the lord gave me

ME: He puts you in front of the mirror, someone you’ve been trying to prove yourself to or you’ve been subconsciously measuring yourself against and he starts to whisper lies

Trust me. I know it well he tries to get me all the time. sometimes I fall for it

CHRISTIE:  we all do,i had to realize i am not you,you are far advanced than i even though it is a challenge & even though i received a set back,i am not a loser i just need to persistently keep movin

i was trying to prove i could with out paying attention to my body”s signs

ME: You aren’t me. You aren’t susie works-out-a-lot, you aren’t betty excuse-maker, you’re Christie!

God will only allow YOUR body to get in the shape IT needs to be in for the task YOU need to accomplish and YOU can only do what YOUR body will do

CHRISTIE: Learning to be a steward of my body,mind & spirit

it tells me what i need & what i need to focus on & adjust

ps 23: he is my shepherd/coach

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If you’ve just joined our book discussion, this week we’re reviewing chapters 5 & 6 of You’re Already Amazing, in chapter 5 “Where Am I Going?” Holley Gerth helps us navigate the path we’re currently on. For some that path is twisting and seems like a bunch of zigzagging. For others it’s a long country corn field road that seems to go on forever with no scenery worth taking in, just straight ahead. Been there? I certainly have. What about the lonely road? The one you’re driving on, you keep checking your GPS to make sure you haven’t lost the signal cuz you’re the only car on the road? Did you miss the detour, the BRIDGE OUT sign…

God has a journey for your life. It looks different than anyone else’s. the road he’s carved out for you is yours alone. It’s always the road less traveled because you’re the only one who is ever going to walk it. (p.79)

FRIEND #2

ME: Why do you say you’re tired. I don’t like those words “I’m just tired”

those words are more emotional/spiritual than physical

FRIEND: I don’t like saying them

ME: you’re not allowed to stop fighting

but you are allowed to stop TRYING

there’s a difference

You know the scripture that says “pick up my yoke, it’s easy”…

FRIEND: I have been struggling spiritually also. I know, I know. I am so UNBALANCED now. I feel lost.

ME:

when we TRY that pretty much means we’ve decided to carry everything on our own shoulders and back, with hardly enough endurance to keep movin’…we say that we are letting God do it for us, when in fact we’re just barely lifting up our eyes toward the sky to make sure the sky hasn’t fallen on us. LOL the weights we carry around become so heavy that it literally pushes our head down to the point that we can’t even lift it. All we can do is lift our eyes

FRIEND: It ends today. I can’t continue to feel this way. I want to blame it on Lupus, on my job- it ends today!

ME: BUT THE WORD SAYS…I will lift my eyes to the hills where my help comes from.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates (cutting between)/dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges (exposes) the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (innermost thoughts and desires). Hebrews 4:12 (NIV/NLT)

Most of us are rekindling “best of” memories from the year, hashing over the “how-on-earth-did-I-survive-that” mind blowing moments and doing our best to lay out realistic intentions/commitments/resolutions for the coming year. Whatever you find yourself doing in these few countdown days & hours, always remember that God will never leave you or forsake you.

“When we’re in the ‘middle’ of life, we can take comfort in knowing we’re right in the center of God’s hands too.” (Holley Gerth)

Holiday Body Challenge: YOU’RE ALREADY AMAZING

Has anyone ever come up to you out of no where & said this to you? Honestly I think I would wonder why they said it, in the most reflex response my mind would try to run down the list of possible reason but not to mention I’d have to fight off the defeating question of their potential hidden agenda.

But why do we do that? Why can’t we just accept when we are honored? Is it some sort of self proposed humbling gesture to swat down good feed back? Why? What’s worse, we graciously take one tiny negative comment or look and start building a wall with it.

Come on we can’t do this any longer. If we have any intentions of finishing this chapter of life stronger, we can’t do that. I’m speaking to myself here.

Can we commit to each other this month that this is where we draw the line in the sand?

This is where we look in the mirror and see exactly who God created!!! THIS is where we won’t find ” MOST PEOPLE”…

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This is where we get to find out… {beyond the faults & blames; beyond the quirks & ‘that’s just who I am’; beyond the rationalizations of ‘but last time I tried that’ } & we embrace who we REALLY are, where we start becoming all God created us to be!!!

Welcome to our first discussion of You’re ALREADY Amazing

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YOU WERE MADE TO FILL A PURPOSE THAT ONLY YOU CAN DO

Just a little encouragement…

December book study 2012

You’re Already Amazing: Embracing Who You are Becoming All God Created You To Be by Holley Gerth

(DESCRIPTION:Many women are tired. Tired of trying to do more, be more, and have more. With busy work, home and church lives, it’s easy to feel like our spiritual growth gets short-changed. But what if God is already pleased, more than pleased–totally head over heels crazy about us and our hearts regardless of our mistakes and crunched schedules? If it’s true, that big load we’ve been carrying feels lighter already. In You’re Already Amazing, Holley Gerth wants readers to know that they can lay down the burden of their own, and others expectations, and embrace who they are as beloved, talented women. Rediscover the gifts you’ve been given and the life of purpose that God has for you.)

You don’t have to do more, be more, have more…if you’re really ready to take hold of who you are and what you’re called to do, there will be no stopping you. That’s because there’s no stopping Him in YOU-and he’s got bigger plans for your life than you’ve even imagined! –Holly Gerth

So you ready? Let’s do this…

Week 1: read chapters 1 & 2

–>Which story at the beginning of Ch1 did you relate to the most (the friend at lunch, counseling client, or woman sending the email)?

–>The ‘it girl’ is thought of as a woman everyone wants to be like in our culture. Do you ever feel pressure to be like women in the media? Share one example

–>In contrast, through Scripture God says you’re an “is girl”. He looks at you and says “She is _______________.” Fill in the blank with a few of the words your heart most needs to hear today. (Example: she is loved)

Ch 2

Look back at the strengths you circled on the list in this chapter. Write your top 3 here.

–> We often think of weaknesses as a negative thing. But research shows that having weaknesses in certain areas actually helps us to be stronger in others. God also says that his “strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV). What’s a weakness you wish you didn’t have? In what ways could it actually help you be who God created you to be? (Example: being weak at details helps make you strong at seeing the big picture.)

1 John 5:14-15 NLT

And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

Lose IT: Livin’ life like it’s GOLDEN!

Even our own bit of ‘dirt’ can be used as good fertile soil for planting seeds that bring a wonderful harvest.

We must be willing to keep a lose grip on the futile things in life but keep a firm grasp on whatever could potentially be used to bring change. I am learning to pay attention to what’s in my hand, it might be seed that I am being instructed to sow (lose).

God has this unique way of taking us back to where we started to show us just how far we’ve come. I recently dcomplete the Zumba Gold training at a studio which is located inside the mall where I use to spend my lunch hour crying because I didn’t know where my life was headed. That was almost 12 years ago. I literally stood in that studio and cried PRAISE YOU LORD. I shared that testimony with the owner just to let her know that her studio has a specific purpose.

Talk about a reversal of destiny and the providence of God! Pay attention, He’s talking to you in every day occurrences! (Psalm 126:5)

What are you holding onto? If you have a tight grip on that thing you’ve been trying to get out of your mind, your life and your past, your hand won’t be available when God reaches out to grab it, let alone give you what He has to offer.

Everything about you can & will be used as a seed of change. Maybe you’re carrying some excess weight that’s unnecessary. Whatever you have to lose, it’s up to you to lose it. (John 12:24)

When light appears, darkness has no option but to cease
Studio owner Renee Burwell. I love to see God use people without them knowing they are being used.
PURE GOLD
The “Golden Girls” Zumba Gold instructors ready to change lives.
Livin’ life like it’s golden

Further Reading

What’s in your hand?

Changing seasons

Richly blessed, richly purposed