Thursday, March 15, 2018

How Am I Living? Faith or Fear?

Yes, once again, I come here, having been on the silent side of the blog for several months.  And, once again- a lot has happened that has changed the course of my days.  The biggest thing has been that I moved into an apartment. However, something bigger is hopefully going to happen soon.  I have to set the stage though.  As many of you who read this know, I got a group fitness certification through Revelation Wellness last fall.  I felt extremely disqualified compared to many I went through training with and said from Day 1 that even if it was something that just worked in my own life and heart then it was worth it.  BUT God, He doesn't let it stay that way and as I have continued going through my days and doing some exercising at home He has laid it on my heart that it's time to branch out.  I was originally going to start with some of my co-workers after school but after putting out feelers about that I started to get a different idea of where God was taking me.  These last few weeks, as I look out the windows of my apartment, as I drive through the streets of my small town, as I see the faces of women and children at church, I started to get another idea that maybe, I was to start here, where I live.  So, I am working on a proposal to give to my dad so he can share with the other two staff members and the leaders.  My plan is that the proposal will be given to him by Monday since he has staff meeting then.

Before I get ahead of myself though- I need to go back and talk about what led to this idea.  I have been living in fear.  Fear of being unqualified, fear of not being taken seriously, fear of my size and lack of abilities, fear of my lack of coordination at times, fear of failure, and fear of fear.  BUT God, He intervened with a livestream of an event called Rev on the Road in Arizona.  (side note- there's one coming up in Fishers, IN in April that I'll be heading to in person!!!) They start the evening with live worship and there were two songs- one was Oceans and one was a song called Reckless Love that we sang at retreat.  There's a lot of controversy about that song and the use of the word reckless but when I googled it and how they mean it- I can see where it makes sense (another side note).  Anyway, there were lines in each of those songs that hit me and convicted me in my moment of fear and uncertainty.  How many times have I sang the words to the song, Oceans, and they not mean anything?  And now- as I sing- am I really asking the Holy Spirit to lead me to a place where my trust is going to have to go deeper?  Am I really being asked to get out of the boat? 

So, I pushed the thought down and then came to this line in the next song- especially those last few lines- there's no lie he won't tear down to show how much He loves me.  I have lived in fear to a lie.  No, I may not look or act like a typical group fitness instructor but maybe, just maybe, that's what's needed in my little community.  Someone who is willing to lead people in a way that is going to tear down those lies that have been fed to us day in and day out. 

Well, that thought came and went and I continued through the livestream... UNTIL we worked out to the song from The Greatest Showman- This is Me.  There's a line that every time catches me.  It stops me in my tracks and I have to reprocess it all over again.  It's the part in the graphic below and that first part is a double meaning for me. 

I have to recognize that personally- I am worthy of love- of human love- even though it's not in my life right now.  But, even more so- that because of HIM- and HIM only- I am found worthy to be a recipient of His love and grace- and the conviction to share that- to tell women and girls and whoever shows up- that He makes us beautiful, that He makes us worthy of love, and that He does love us- for who we are and not for who we THINK we should be- that conviction became pressing on me the more the weekend went on.

THEN- I went to do my Leadership homework (someone blessed me with the chance to go through the Leadership program that Revelation Wellness has for after training) it was all about Risk Taking.  And, I laughed, because God has a sense of humor that I don't get at times.  Monday, I was at the car dealer having a tune up on my car when I was working on it and received a message from a Rev friend who asked me one question- are you leading classes yet? And I laughed again because it was one more step in confirmation that I am heading in the right direction.  I don't know what it's going to look like, I don't know if anyone will show up (I hope and pray they will), I don't know how it's all going to mesh together but I do know- just like with Rev training- if it's supposed to happen it will.  I went back and reread a blog post from August before I typed this which referenced a February post.  It still holds true right now: "And you know what- I have every faith in Him because I truly believe that this is of Him"

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Yes, I am here and yes, I am really writing this post.  It's been 3 1/2 months since my last post - that was not my plan but life certainly took over in many ways.  Since my last post I have started the school year and made it all the way to Thanksgiving break (yay for a week off) and I started and completed my Revelation Wellness Instructor Training.  We did 9 weeks of online training and study and then met up in Arizona for a week at a Young Life camp in Williams, AZ to do the intensive practical portion of  the training.  That week deserves several posts of its own so I will be working on that over this time off of school.  I have also had to deal with hitting a deer on the way to work one morning and then some medical tests done. 

Needless to say, the last 3 1/2 months have been a bit crazy and chaotic.  Some weeks I do well on taking care of myself and other weeks- not so much.  I'm looking to make some changes and I have decided to NOT say- well, I'll start the Monday after Thanksgiving.  No, I'll start now.  I'll make changes a little at a time and give myself grace for the times I don't do as well.  One misstep can go two ways- it can lead to more and more missteps or it can lead to change.

So- as I work on my posts this week I leave you with these graphics (all found on pinterest) and this song (which I actually learned a drumstick routine to while at the retreat!)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Mountains into Roads part 2

Here's the next part- I really wanted this mountain to have a post all of its own.  This was my most recent mountain and it is part of my current journey.

Back in January I posted this- Where I am going then in February Am I crazy

but then in February this happened: Quiet

Did you catch this at the end of that last post?  "Friday- I made the first payment for my training.  I have the extra money for the first few payments but from there- God is going to have to show up BIG time with that, the plane fare money in November, the purchase of the required reading and manuals, as well as the odds and ends that are part of the training.  And you know what- I have every faith in Him because I truly believe that this is of Him"

2 weeks ago I made the final payment.  I timed the payments with my paycheck.  Here's how it worked.  I did one fundraiser of shirts and that money paid for a total of about 75% + of one payment.  All other money- out of my paycheck.  I did change some spending habits and I had to dip into my savings twice but never for much.  It doesn't make sense- and yet, it does because of that last sentence in bold.  

My mountain was the money (and my own head) but money- whew- that's a big one. And, I know there are some going through training who are struggling finding the money to make the payments- it doesn't mean their faith is less than mine, it doesn't mean they aren't supposed to do it- it just means their journey is different than mine- their mountain turning into the road might take a bit longer or be a bit bumpier.  The only thing left to get is the air fare and I am just keeping an eye on prices and will hopefully bit that bullet in the next few weeks.  

But, guess what- I am in the midst of another mountain.  This one is a bit different.  This is the fact that school is starting and life starts getting crazy- and in 2 1/2 weeks I add in training and the work that goes with it.  This mountain consists of my head- the games and lies I have to fight through as He works to turn that mountain into the road.  The fact that I am not enough, not capable, I am not worthy of this calling, that I have issues with food and exercise to work through, that I give too many excuses, and so on.  I have been working on turning those lies into truth statements- I am not enough by myself but with Him- He is enough to take it.  I am capable and have the strength to push through because He gives me the strength. I am called because He has placed this on my heart. I do have issues with food and exercise but I believe this training is in my life to help me work through them.  

I mentioned in my previous post Part 1 about a chapter I read in Isaiah.  It's Isaiah 49 and so often we read verse 16 

and nothing else is mentioned much but this chapter is rich with truth and imagery. 

 I have been a bit "obsessed" with arrows on things- clothing, cards, rubber stamps, etc.  Which is a bit strange- I typically have never looked at them before but this summer I have started noticing them (and feathers) a bit more then I read this verse at the beginning of Isaiah 49 and my heart lifted.  

He has fashioned me into an arrow and placed me in His quiver.  And when the time is right He will load me up in the bow and shoot me out to share His love and light with others in this way He is leading me 

(that doesn't mean I don't share now- He's preparing me...)

So as God works to make my mountain of fear into a road I wait and I pray, I seek and I go, I train and I study, and I lift my eyes to the mountains because THAT is where my help comes from- He's there and He's working.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mountains into Roads

Have you ever been hit over the head by a verse?  Then you go and read the whole chapter and know that it's the place to sit and meditate on for a while?  This happened to me this week.  I was reading in my Streams in the Desert devotional and came across this one on Wednesday- I have parked in Isaiah 49 for the current time.

Stream in the Desert- August 2

This devotion has this verse at the top and as the focus and as I really began to read through it I began to really take the words to heart and think maybe it's time to tell my story- in one place.  The thing about a story that hasn't been finished is that it's constantly evolving and being added on to.  It's been a while since I have told my story so it's time- sit back, grab a cup of coffee/water/tea/etc and take a gander at where I have been and where I am going and those mountains that have been turned into roads.

Mountain #1- We have to start the story by wandering back to November of 2008- Thanksgiving week I ended up sick and had an allergic reaction to a medication.  A week later I ended up with some horrific pain where I could barely drive.  It went away after several hours but I still pondered that pain.  It was the first time I had ever experienced that level of pain.  A week after that I had a routine dr appt for bloodwork and all that jazz.  I mentioned it to her and she ran some tests.  They concerned her enough she got me an appt for a CT scan because she thought I had had a kidney stone.  I went for the CT scan and one week before Christmas she brought me in and told me she was referring me to a urologist because in both of my kidneys were lots of stones.  She told me that she didn't know what he would want to do but there was a chance that I could lose a kidney- I was in denial pretty much all of Christmas break and then in January 2009  I went to that urologist and found out that he's a specialist for a reason 😉.  I was diagnosed with Medullary Sponge Kidney which basically means that my body makes stones in the spongey part of my kidney- sometimes they pass, sometimes they stay where they are.  And, if they pass I may not always realize it because of size.  It's fairly rare and supposedly I was born with it (there's not a LOT of research on it and there's a lot of conflicting information but what I can tell you is that I have it "easy" compared to others with this disease). So knowing that he wanted me to cut back on several foods including nuts and chocolate (boo).  I did well with this and had 2 more painful stones pass in 2010- one in June and one in December.

Road #1- I saw my body respond well to the change in diet except for the two stones and things went along well for a while.

Mountain #2- 2011-2012- in 2011 I had a bulging disc all summer and into the fall and then in 2012 Stress levels were high- so high the district I was in had the school nurse checking my blood pressure every week because it flagged at a school wellness thing they did.  My doctor kept an eye on it as well and in June 2012 I had a variety of things happen all at once.  I went hiking with a friend and saw pictures of myself.  I was so discouraged by what I saw that I knew it was time to make some changes.  At the same time my doctor finally told me it was time to go on blood pressure medicine.  I was discouraged and so frustrated by the whole thing that I began a new journey.

Road #2- this bp issue then led me to begin running, spinning, and taking my health serious (this is important to the future story). I began running 5K's and fell in love with exercising.  I made my health a priority- even after school started. This is big because in 2011 I had that bulging disc and I was told I would NEVER run.

Mountain #3- In 2013 I wanted to take my love of healthy living further and found The Institute for Integrative Nutrition but the cost was a HUGE mountain.

Road #3- BUT God- He provided through a generous gift from someone anonymously and I began studying in May 2013.

Mountain #4- it's strange to say but my mountain then sort of came about because of IIN- while I was learning and taking away so many things I also lost sight of what worked and weight started slowly coming back on- then I had some physical issues that were challenging and eventually led to sinus surgery in 2014.  That mountain is the weight that I have put on.

Road #4- While I would love to say that the mountain has completely become the road- it would be a lie- it's still an uphill battle with my weight day in and day out.  I know what worked for me before and you would think well it should be a no-brainer BUT I became a slave to calories and while physically I was healthier- it messed with my head so I have to approach it a bit different.

Mountain #5- Professional stress which took its toll physically (there's not a lot to say here so...)

Road #5- I moved- got a new job- still have some professional stress but it's different.

AND- since this has gone on long enough- I'm going to stop here and address Mountain #6 in my next post (and I'll write it right now).

Monday, July 10, 2017

Music for a Monday

Just putting this here because this song...

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

War of the Heart

I know the post has an odd title but hang in there- and this will be a LONG post so hang in there for that too.

Sunday was one of those a-ha days.  I have been reading the book You are Free by Rebekah Lyons and have found myself nodding my head, underlining and agreeing with things throughout the book such as: 

"This means that even in our feeble weakness, if we claim Christ and his resurrection, somehow we are God's agents who carry freedom to the world." (p. 21)

"Calling is where our talents and burdens collide.  Our talents are our birthright gifts, the gifts that make our hearts sing, come alive.  Our burdens are found in our stories, in what breaks our hearts.  God was inviting me to use the gifts that made me come alive, to redeem the things that broke my heart." (p. 50)

"We aren't responsible for the healing (or whatever seemingly impossible thing we are asking for); we're only responsible for the asking." (p. 93)

and finally:

"Sometimes we ask for a healing we can see, and God offers instead a heart-healing we can't see." (p.97)

Then I came to chapters 7 and 8 and I wanted to throw the book down because as I read it became very evident that God was using these 2 chapters to make something clear to me.

See- 2 years ago I moved from Knoxville, TN (my home of 15 years plus 5 years of college) to Spencer, IN.  With that move I gave up a lot.  I gained things too, but the last two years I have focused on what I gave up.  I was living and working here with one eye looking back to TN.  After my recent vacation where I traveled to TN and GA it's been forefront in my mind again as to wondering why God brought me HERE!.  Then, as I read chapters 7 and 8 (specifically the quotes in the picture below) conviction began to set in.

What did I realize? I realized that while I was living with one eye looking back to TN I wasn't truly living FULLY here.  I wasn't fully letting go and now it's time.  

It's time to realize that for this season of life I am in right now- Spencer, IN is where I live; Fairview in Bloomington is where I teach, OVCF is where I worship, and TN is in my rearview mirror.  For right now, TN is a vacation spot- it's a state full of people and places I love, and while it will always feel like home- it's not my home.  My home is where God has placed me- my home is where He is with me.  It's time to live eyes forward, always searching for where He wants me serving- even if that might mean a step out of my comfort zone.  It's time to let go of what was and embrace what is and give my full focus to the people and places in front of me until He tells me it's time to move on.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


I have been participating in two different things this summer- the Bold in the Soul challenge through Revelation Wellness.  Here is their description of it: Rally yourself and your communities and share with us what makes YOU #boldinthesoul. This can be anything from a physical character trait about yourself, a soul trait that God has given you like integrity, generosity, optimism, OR you can simply share God’s truth. Be as creative as you like—get BOLD and let the world know what makes you, YOU!

 (Take a picture of yourself using your WARPAINT (a.k.a. sharpie marker, or whiteboard marker) to write, either on yourself or a piece of paper, your word(s) that share your #boldinthesoul statement for that day.)

and also I have just started an online study using Lysa Terkeurst's book Uninvited.  I have had the book for a while and had actually started it.  I was also reading another book so I put it down for a while and then this study came along.  

All that to say- since June 1 I have been putting on my warpaint on a daily basis- sometimes it's on my arm/hand and sometimes it's on a sheet of paper.  This morning as I was running I was thinking of words and then a song came on (at the end of post) and this phrase popped up- I'm all in.  And it hit me- that was my word for today- then I came home and started journaling and read Uninvited and also some scriptures about what that word meant to me. 

All In- Goes to the commandment to Love the Lord with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your mind, and ALL your strength.  Not a portion- but ALL!

ALL in exercise- I have always heard that you get out what you put in.  If I am putting in partial effort then I will get partial results.  If I go ALL in and put forth all of my effort then my results will show that.

ALL in relationships- If I am not fully invested in my relationships- whether family or friends- then I am not all in- and that can make or break that relationship.  It will either flourish and grow or it will die. 

ALL in Christ- To go along with my Uninvited study that talks about Living Loved- I can turn this into Always Living Loved in Christ.  This comes down to a simple truth.  Christ loves me- and I need to grasp the fullness of His love to truly grasp the fullness of God.  If am ALL in Christ then that will show in my words, my actions, my heart and my life.  

It's time to go ALL in!