Monday, January 30, 2017

A Beautiful Life

I really do have a good life- I have a job (that I enjoy), I have family and friends spread around the globe, I have a "home", I have a great church family here in Indiana (and one in TN that I miss like crazy) but until today (Monday) I don't know that I would have called it a beautiful life- because that's not what I saw.  However, in the reading of the book I Am by Michele Cushatt I ran across this chapter called "I Am Beautiful" and it really made me stop and pause- especially when I read these words:

"It is 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.  And when He looks at you, He sees an unmatched creation, someone He loves enough to die for."

Ouch- right?  Michele goes on to list things that God sees as beautiful and not a single one of them focus on the exterior.

See part of this balance thing for me- part of this working out and exercising isn't just for the external- and while that's part of it- what it's really all about is getting to the heart of the matter.  MY heart.  The heart that's laid dormant, the heart that's been through a winter, the heart that two years ago this week made a decision that would take a broken, bitter (not by a relationship) heart to a place where healing has finally started.  The heart that almost gave up if it were not for the love of friends and family- and a God that never gave up on me.  This balance thing- it's done a number on my heart- it's shown me that I can be a good teacher while still taking care of myself.  It's shown me that I may have to work a little harder but a small treat every once in a while doesn't have to derail me.  It's shown me that if I take the step down the wrong path I have the light that will get me back in the right direction.

So- what does Michele say are things that God sees as beautiful? (just a few because I highly recommend you get this book yourself) Giving your life for another, comforting those who hurt, finding joy in the ordinary of each day, believing God is with us, even when we feel alone and my favorite- "Beautiful is knowing you're beautiful, believing your beautiful, because the one who sees the real you better than anyone else says so."

When reading this chapter and journaling after- I hit on something I want to try for the month of February- I am working on putting it all together in my head and on paper but it's coming.  So- hopefully I can get that post together and flesh it all out by Wednesday!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Just Breathe

This past week I have been running 100 miles per hour- with zumba at the gym, hundredth day of school activities, running club, chiropractor, going to watch a basketball game for a young man from church, working out at the gym, hosting a LuLaRoe pop up and various other odds and ends (like weird weather) I was running on empty by the end of the week.  I heard this song on the radio a few weeks ago and forgot about it until today when I was browsing on youtube and it showed up on one of the sidebars.

found here

I took another listen and keep going back to Matthew 11:28-30 and how in the midst of chaos, in the midst of "busyness" I am called to just breathe- breathe in Him- day in and day out.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Where I am Going...

Honestly, I have NO idea LOL but I have decided that it's time to hop on for the ride.  Several years ago when I was going through my studies at IIN I had a dream that I would then go on to get my personal training and group training certifications and then tie them all together- especially in a faith-based setting (and to be honest- that's the first time I have put this out there).  Well, after IIN and gaining weight and feeling like I had no business doing any of that I put that dream to the side.  With the most recent involvements- my participation in a couple of online studies through Revelation Wellness and the challenge at the Y and getting back into exercising on a more regular basis- the dream has started to be stirred again but I still go through the doubts- the questioning if this is really where God is leading me, that this is crazy and I am not qualified.

**ETA- I started this post on Sunday night and then on Monday one of my friends posted this:

found here

Wednesday I worked on this assignment for The Little Way 30 Day Challenge and wrote this- the top part of this was to be written in our non-dominant hand as a way of taking us out of our comfort zone but then I added the bottom part on my own.

One of my friends saw my post and sent me a link to a pre-order book by Michele Cushatt.
I ordered and got some bonus gifts for preordering.  One of those were lock screens for the phone- I looked and chose this one.

Then Sunday comes along and my dad starts to preach (more on that in a bit) and then he brings up Jeremiah 1:18-19 which caused me to do a double-take because of how in line it was with the above.

"And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.”

  Hmmm... this was about the point where the 2x4 hit me over the head!

Back to the sermon- My dad was talking about what it means to be a fool and followed it up with these people (I am not going to name all of them- just the ones that were specific in my thought process):
Abraham- "Obedience is easy when it fits into our plan or scheme.  Abraham was willing to obey even though it was crazy."

Naaman- "Sometimes we are asked to take steps of wild obedience where we have no clue where it will end.  Stop too soon and we miss out on God's phenomenal blessings."

Gideon- "It doesn't matter the size of the army or the enemy coming against you when God is fighting the battle for you."

Hosea- "Though we fail; we are not failures.  Though we are unfaithful; God is faithful."

So- in the midst of this crazy (some would say foolish) dream that I am dreaming is it possible that dream  could come true?  I don't know yet if this is where it is going to unfold.  What I do know is that I am going to live my life to the fullest, trusting that with each step I am being led by God.

To end this post- this song- it was played in the video for the torchbearers for our county.  It's not a "Christian" song or even by a Christian group but I LOVED the song and think it fits (although there are several others that fit also)

(and after watching this official version- how can I NOT go for my dreams- I have been given this one wild and crazy life for a reason- to share Jesus with others-the question is how?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Where I Have Been...

This is not one of those posts that say all I have been up to (even though that's what the title may allude to).  It's actually a post that will take a look back at some of my journey.  Last fall I started participating in a study called Weigh Less 2 Feed More.  It's put on by RevWell (Revelation Wellness).  They are the same people who did a clean hearting challenge in August.  Anyway, I began the study but for whatever reason I didn't finish it.  I got hung up on a specific chapter with some things that I struggle with and just kind of got stuck there.  My plan is to begin again after the 30 day challenge/study that I am doing now is over.  I think I am ready.  Anyway, all that to say- in the first week of videos- Alisa (the founder of RevWell) said these words.  I wrote them down and they have stuck with me since.  So- with adding The Little Way challenge and the Y challenge that I am part of- I decided it was time to take a look back.  Look at the good and the bad, the smooth paths and the obstacles, the mountains and the valleys.

So- here goes- my trip back in time. I have seen times of joy and heartache with my job, my personal life and my spiritual life.  And guess what- to get to the mountain peak you have to start out in the valley.  You have to climb those mountains and on the way you are skirting many obstacles- rocks, boulders, holes, critters.  When you get to the mountain top you look out and it's beauty as far as the eye can see.  I think of Gatlinburg- even in the ashes you find beauty.  Even when the fire has burned a scar so deep that you think it can never be healed- you can and do find healing and beauty.  But, guess what- to get to the next mountain you have to go back down into the valley and fight your way up again and the cycle continues until you reach the destination.  

I have experienced loss- just like everyone- but a loss that I never knew I wanted until I didn't have it anymore.  And through that loss, I found joy- a joy that I thought I already had but then realized that with the heartache and the surrender of what once was- I had an even deeper joy.  

I have been sick- emotionally but even more so- physically.  My body has fought on many occasions and through it I came out weaker, yet stronger.  It gave me a renewed desire to bring my body back to health.  It gave me insights into what others felt.  It gave me a glimpse into where I was heading physically if I didn't take control- or rather give Him control- of it.

You can see I didn't have to give any specifics- because each of us walk this journey- each of us have our own path, our own trip back in time.  There's a saying that says to only look back to see how far you have come.  I totally agree with this- we can't live in the past, we can't have a "should have" life.  It's okay to look and see what you have learned but it's not okay to park there and dwell on it- it's time to take a peek in the rearview mirror and then turn our eyes to the road in front of us because it's not where have been- it's where we are going.  And that... is a subject for my next post :)