Thursday, June 8, 2017

ALL In


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!










Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Whispers of Rest

**I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review and as part of Bonnie's book launch team.  All opinions are mine.

Before I get started- you can find the book and all of the information HERE!  And as you are participating in the daily challenges don't forget to take pictures and #whispersofrest There will also be a book club starting in June!  This gives you time to get your book!


A few years ago I had the opportunity to preview and write about Bonnie Gray's book Finding Spiritual Whitespace.  So, when the opportunity presented itself to do the same with her newest book- Whispers of Rest- 40 Days of Love to Revitalize Your Soul- I jumped on it.  And when I said yes, I had no way of knowing how timely each chapter/day would end up being.  This book is about slowing down, rest, and finding God in those places.  This book was released yesterday and was started right in the middle of my busy season- the last month of school.  At the time I write this I have two more days- we are finished with all of the "big" stuff- it's time for the small stuff to end the year.

Not only that- the book was timely in other areas as well.  I said Yes to God about a pretty big dream which I shared here.  Every once in a while I start to doubt myself.  I start to wonder if I can do this, or what am I thinking and then once again the day of whispers is so on target I have nothing to do but throw my hands up in surrender.  


This book is a 40 Day Journey through discovering (or rediscovering) God's love in order to revitalize and refresh your soul.  This book contains 6 parts and in each one Bonnie reminds the reader that they are the Beloved.  The 6 parts are: Being the Beloved, Choosing as the Beloved, Dreaming as the Beloved (this is the part I am in now), Healing as the Beloved, Daring as the Beloved and Shining as the Beloved.  Each day is not lengthy but it takes you through a personal anecdote, Reading God's Story (what He says in the Bible about a particular subject, God's Whispers from that Bible passage and going deeper, a Prayer for the day and then a chance for some personal reflection, praying and resting and ends with a challenge and a lot of those challenges are ones that allow you to slow down and take care of your physical, emotional, OR spiritual needs.  There's journaling, drinking more water, taking a bath, and so many more. 

The pictures you have seen throughout this post are ones that I have taken and incorporated them into the challenge.  I highly recommend this book- especially, if you are like me and needing to just slow down.

I leave you with this song- it's a few years old but I heard it the other day and felt it was appropriate.






Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May's Musings

Lots of random thoughts in this post- May is always busy with the end of school and I feel like I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off (one of these days I really want to see if that really does look the way I feel) but I keep telling myself the end is in sight.  As of today (Wednesday, May 10 when I am writing this) there are 12 more school days and that number keeps dwindling.  There's SO much to do in those 12 days that I am a bit overwhelmed with trying to figure out HOW in the world I am going to get it all done.


Thankfully, in this season of busyness, God brought a book into my life that is perfect. I get to be part of a book launch for Bonnie Gray's new book that comes out at the end of May.  It's called Whispers of Rest and it's a 40 Day journey to experiencing true rest that can only come from Him.  She is highlighting the first three chapters leading up to the release and this week is chapter 2.  The pictures below are from Chapter 1 (and hopefully early next week I can share Chapter 2's photos).


 

 



In some areas I have been struggling a bit- contentment is a big thing for me right now.  I don't know if I can even really call it a lack of contentment though.  Unsettled maybe?  Usually I am typically "okay" with my singleness and childlessness.  Even now I am still "okay" with my childlessness but the single part of my life- that seems to be where I am a bit unsettled.  I tend to get this way around the end of the school year.  May and June are (and have been in the past) pretty big months with Mother's Day, Memorial Day (the weekend of my sister's wedding anniversary), my birthday, etc. so I think that's a big trigger for me.  I had my music on shuffle and have all kinds of random songs in there and there's one that I heard at a friend's wedding and really liked it so I downloaded it.  I have listened to it before but it hasn't come up in the shuffle in a LONG time but today it did- it's Martina McBride's (and the guy from Train) song called Marry Me.  So I started thinking that maybe this is part of my trigger (even though I haven't heard it in MONTHS) and it ended and the very next song was Mercy Me's new song- Even If.  At that point I took a deep breath and just praised Jesus through that song because THAT is where I need to live and that is where I typically am living EXCEPT in that area.  I know it's something I have to keep letting go of and yet I don't- I give it up- feel like I am done with that and move on but then things start being planted in my mind and my heart about not being good enough, never going to find someone, and so much more and discontentment starts to take a hold before I realize it.  So- until I have no more breaths (or until Jesus comes) I will be daily lifting this particular struggle up.  And Even If....

I know You're able
And I know You can
Save through the fire
With Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Good thing
A little faith is all I have right now

But God when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Give me the strength
To be able to sing
It is well with my soul

I know the sorrow
I know the hurt
Would all go away
If You'd just say the word
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone

You've been faithful
You've been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
‘Cause I know You're able
I know You can

It is well with my soul



I think that's probably enough for tonight- I have more I want  need to say but will save that for another post.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

I Am book

**I purchased this book based on the recommendation of a friend.  I received no compensation for this review and all opinions are mine.


Recently I finished the book I Am by Michele Cushatt.  When I introduced this book here I had the intention to share my review of it.  I actually finished the book a week or so ago but I have been thinking through things I read AND things have been really busy so the review was put on the back burner.  However, it was just one of those things that would not go away.  This book was one that I looked forward to picking back up in the mornings to read what was next.  It says it's a 60 Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is.  However, I didn't read a new chapter every day- sometimes I would re-read the one from the previous day.  And, many times the words were just so timely.with my heart on that day.


So- about the book- it's divided up into 6 Parts: Creation, Exodus, Covenant, Presence, Rescue, and Revelation.  Each part contains 10 days of an I am in that section.  Some of them are- I am: created, treasured, fought for, heard, rescued, not alone, desired, forgiven, and enough.  Obviously there are so many more but I chose 1-2 from each section to highlight there.

I think the thing that really impacted me was her story- I don't want to say too much because I really encourage you to get the book (I don't even have an amazon affiliate here LOL).  She has had a crazy and hard fought bout with cancer and that journey really is what led to the writing of this book.

I am going to close with a few of my "underlinings" in the book- just because I want to give you a glimpse into the book, maybe whet your appetite to go and get the book and embark on that journey yourself

"It's said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  But too often, we choose the wrong beholder-ourselves and others, flawed beings who can't see clearly. Only God has perfect vision, seeing beyond the false exterior to the authentic heart."

"Strength isn't stamina. It's refusing to quit when you have none."

"We've been given stories- broken and beautiful stories- so a broken and beautiful world can see there is a God who's written a story for them too."

and from the back of the book: "I Am reminds us that our value isn't found in our talents, achievements, relationships, or appearance.  it is instead found in a God who chose us, sent us, and promised to be with us- forever."

See- gems!  As I said- I highly recommend this book- I usually buy books and let them stack up until summer before I read them but this one was different and I am so glad and thankful that my friend followed her heart in telling me about it.



LOVE this song!



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Ill-equipped or Equipped Well and just Unfinished?

Long title but it's been brewing in my mind this past week.  Actually- my original thought was just the Ill-equipped or Equipped Well but then I heard a song (which will be at the end of the post) and it needed added on (it was either that or a post all on it's own and with time I figured I better do it when I could- and all of my thoughts should go together).


As I said, I have been thinking about how I feel ill-equipped.  I have felt that way in the past- in my professional life (teaching) and my personal life but right now I feel even more so with this group fitness certification I am pursuing.  I look at myself and I hear all of the lies- and while they may have truth in them it has become the source of the words that I have to overcome. I know that I am not what you would consider the typical fitness person.  I know that I have a LONG way to go.  I know that I think part of this stems from the fact that just 4 years ago this past week I ran my first half and then things started unraveling in my life.  We are coming up on 3 years post sinus surgery and 2 years ago right around this time I came down with an unknown virus that knocked me out of commission for 2 1/2 weeks of school.  We are also coming up on the 2 year anniversary of my move.  So, in the last 4 years my life has been topsy turvy.

Anyway- ill equipped.  As I think about what that means- not having the necessary skills, tools, or means to do a job- it causes me to pause and question- WHAT in the world am I doing?  And you know what- as I look and search and seek after Him to find out the answer to that question, I realize that I am not ill-equipped.  By the world's standards?  Yes, but I don't hold to the world's standards.  By God's standards?  If I am seeking Him, if I am truly wanting to do this to be that #fitnessteachergospelpreacher (it rhymes 😀) then great.  But you know what-if nothing comes of this except for MY relationship with Him deepening or MY perspective toward food and exercise changing then it's worth every penny that I am paying.  Do I think that's where it will stop?  I actually don't- I see a HUGE need in our little community where I hope that some day I can make a difference in this way.  But, if that's in the year or two down the road future then I am good with that.

When I started thinking that way I realized I was not ill-equipped but instead I was working on equipping myself well with the those skills, tools, and the means to do a ministry.


As I continued to flesh out the question- What in the world am I doing? I realized my question was changing to- What in the world is God doing?  As I set goals, as I prepare my heart and mind for instructor training- and as I looked at those areas I felt an unsettledness- a realization that God isn't finished- that as I walk through these next several months- I feel like - no, I KNOW- God is going to continue to do some work on me.  Part of that realization came in the Week 5 of the Weigh Less 2 Feed More study I am doing (teaching this is actually part of my certification and part of where I think the starting point will be for me).  Then I heard this new song by Mandisa and felt like she was telling the story of my last 4 years.  So this- all of this...







Monday, April 3, 2017

Addition and Subtraction

It kind of consumes my life these days- teaching kindergartners how to add and subtract and make sure they understand what it all means is sometimes a daunting task BUT that is not what this post is about- this is kind of a honest look at how things have been going...


So, my word for the year has been Balance and I truly have been working to get there and stay there.  It's the staying that's the hardest and I wasn't quite sure why or how to fix it until this past week.  I was working my way through a Bible Study (Weigh Less 2 Feed More) and came across the question about Jesus being the key element to a balanced life.  And then it asked what do I think Jesus wants to take away and add for balance.  One word- OUCH...  That stepped on the toes a bit- gets a little personal (I actually wanted to skip that question) 😉.  I actually was able to write down my add right away- more consistent time with Him and more consistent exercise (and understanding that by doing that I am honoring Him).  The take away was harder and actually took me a couple of extra days.  Then came the day I came home and did my RevWellTV workout and after it was over-  I knew.



You see, one of my "whines" (aka excuses) has been time- that I get up too early as it is and come and work later. But when I really looked at it- I was not working.  I would sit down with the intention of working but then I would get sucked into my email, Facebook, poking around the internet, etc.  When- in reality- if I came home and worked out first- I would still have time to "work".


So, with that in mind I knew it was time to answer the question- the thing that needs to be taken away is my time on electronic devices- mainly my computer.  I need to read more (I have a stack of books that I keep adding to); I need to exercise more; etc. With that in mind I had to make an evening schedule so I can be intentional.

My workout schedule will follow RevWellTV's calendar as closely as possible (my rest days and some of the workouts may need adjusted) and I may switch some things around but it's what I need to do.  Work nights will tentatively (based on the week's schedule) be Tuesday and Thursday.  Other than that I will be setting a timer to better control the amount of time spent on the computer.


There are more takeaways to address but this was the biggest- the others have to do with setting goals which is a post in progress...





Thursday, March 16, 2017

Saying Yes


This is a hard post to write- I have written and deleted several times.  I even had a whole paragraph written but didn't like how it was worded and deleted the whole thing.  There's nothing wrong with the post itself.  I have nothing bad or earth shattering to share- just a vulnerability that is hard for me.  So- here goes...

I have a fear- that fear is failure.  It's mainly in my job but sometimes trickles into other areas as well.  It stems from some less than stellar years of teaching and expectations placed on me (and co-workers) that were unreasonable, weight bearing, and would be hard for even that level 5 teacher to achieve on a day in and day out/year in and year out basis.  When I felt like I was making gains or progress something would happen or would be said that would knock the wind out of my sails.  I have been teaching since 1998- there were very few years that I felt like I was making a difference (I look back and know now there was a difference in how I felt and what actually happened but I didn't feel it at the time).  Because of that, because of my singleness and no family, because of my fear of failure- I buried myself in my work- I put it above God A LOT- more than I care to admit.  I made my job my idol- an idol is anything that takes away from my relationship with God- that's where I was.

Fast forward to today- I had to answer a question today in my bible study about my fear and when I put it on my paper it was as if I was smacked in the face.  It's been on my mind all day.  I think that's why Revelation Wellness calls to me- it's a way to tune my heart back to Him as I exercise- as I seek Him- as I worship the Creator instead of creation.  It's no accident that today's workout was with my friend Heather (who I will meet in November!) and was called Your Yes! Because part of my fear of failure is also the failing in this.  Not being strong enough, not being able to lead it efficiently, etc.  Then Heather reminded me of several things- that I am My Yes and that I am living out God's dream for me!  That saying Yes to God means that I am giving up something of myself- I am surrendering- for something so much bigger than me.

My Post it notes say: I am... living out God's Dream for me.
and I am My Yes! 

The next two pictures are the two shirts I have designed for fundraising.  I will be buying one of each myself soon and even if it says that it's almost over it resets every 3 days.