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Your Best Yes

Imagine the toughest mental and physical exercise you’ve ever endured…

 

Think about 6 or 7 people carry a log that weighs nearly 200lbs. They carry this log together for nearly two hours while performing a variety of feats including carrying it overhead, sit-ups, running through sand and water and they do all these activities non-stop. This test of physical and mental endurance is part of the Navy Seal’s Hell Week training. Said to be the toughest training out of all of the U.S. Military, on average only a quarter of the candidates make it through the week. For those that make it through, the training is something they can look back on and have the confidence and push to go the distance in combat.

 

Yesterday at church, Psalmist Stephen Hurd and the choir sang,

 

“You are holy

Lord you’re holy

Hands uplifted we say yes

As we worship you in spirit

And in truth Lord we say yes.”

 

Do we FULLY say yes though? We eagerly say yes that we want His favor. We eagerly say yes to receive His blessings. We say yes to prosperity. But do we say yes when acquiring His favor, blessings and prosperity comes with the price of Navy Seal like training of taking up the rugged cross daily and following Him?

 

Do we say yes when He asks us to be more disciplined in our spending?

 

Do we say yes when He gently reminds us to choose well and honor the temple with our eating?

 

Do we say yes when He asks us to have restraint with our words when speaking to someone?
Do we say yes when He asks us to seek Him early and we hit the snooze button?

 

 

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Luke 9:23

 

 

To become a Navy Seal requires intense training. Likewise being a disciple of Christ is intense on the job training. While Seal train is just 5 ½ days, God is training you minute by minute. And to properly condition you the weather the disciple’s journey of life, all He needs from you is your complete YES. Give Him your best Yes. When He has your yes, you are duly equipped us to take up your rugged, heavy log, the cross, daily and follow Him.

 

The Lord needs but one answer from you…YES. He needs your yes to FULLY surrender ALL to Him.

 

~A blind man said Yes to Jesus and could see.

 

~A woman with an issue of blood said yes to Jesus and was made whole.

 

~A chief tax collector said yes to Jesus and was saved.

 

~A man said yes to Jesus and was forgiven.

 

~A parent said yes to Jesus and his child was healed.

 

~I said yes to Jesus and was set free.

 

There’s a popular song that says, “When Jesus Say Yes Nobody Can Say No”. What about when you say yes? What modern day miracle waits on the other side of your yes? He’s looking for those whose hearts are fully surrendered.

 

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a

 

Yesterday I heard Bishop Bobby Perry of The Kingdom Church say, “The best praise you can give God is a surrendered life.”

 

What little something(s) have you been holding back from God? Will you surrender ALL and say yes to Him today?

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Photo Credit

Happy to connect with friends at Purposeful Faith Equipping Godly Women Dance With Jesus

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Pre-Workout Pick Me Up

I was exercising one day and I was just dragging.  I felt like I couldn’t get my wind.  I never got pumped.  Argh, I barely made it through my workout.  And why was that?  I hadn’t properly fueled my tank before the workout.  To ensure that doesn’t happen again, here is something I can make ahead of time and take to ensure I am running on high octane fuel. Let’s burn baby!

 

Rich in natural Nitrates, Betaine, Vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese, Beta-Carotene, Vitamins A & B, Iron, Calcium and more, this juice has been proven to increase your ability to exercise longer. In studies (click here for study details), beetroot juice enhanced athletes’ endurance. So drink up and get ready to go the distance!

 

Pre-Workout Pick Me Up

Beet Carrot Apple Ginger

 ½ beet scrubbed

3 large carrots scrubbed

1 green apple

½ in nob of ginger scrubbed

(If using organic produce here no need to peel anything)

 

Juice the vegetable by placing in your juicer. Drink 30 minutes to an hour before your workout.

 

pre-workout pick me up

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Stronger: What Doesn’t Kill You

Stronger: What Doesn’t Kill You

 

“Get into that muscle.” “Get there! Get there”, admonishes Nevie, personal trainer and owner of FLMD Fitness Studio.

 

Indeed, what doesn’t kill you…makes you stronger, so they say. While I’m still trying to figure out exactly who ‘they’ are, and my muscles still feel the effects of that workout, I do know that I feel stronger both mentally and physically.

 

Mental Strength

 

Wellness is not isolated to the mind or to the body. We are created mind, body and spirit and the three are inextricably linked. What we do to one area impacts the others. If we neglect one area, we neglect the others as well.

 

“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.”  

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

 

And research is catching up with what the scriptures have already shown. We know that as a man thinketh, so is he. There is research suggesting that even thinking about exercise will make you stronger. We’ve heard the old adage, mind over matter. Well, your mind directly affects matter. To read more on that click here.

 

Right now I’m visualizing myself doing crunches. Yes, summer abs here I come (insert smile).

 

Physical Strength

 

A few years ago I got P90X. It was a very popular exercise routine of many DVD’s including: yoga, cardio, kempo, plyometrics and more. When I first started doing those DVD’s they were a killer. I couldn’t get through most of them without stopping. Fast forward several years. This week I put on one of the DVD’s. I was doing this thing for 30 minutes and thought to myself, “Did I just waste 30 minutes here?” My heart rate wasn’t up. That workout didn’t even scratch the surface on the warm up that I do in my exercise class. And in between going to workout classes I exercise at home doing H.I.I.T. or Tabata workouts that challenge me but those DVD’s…well.

 

This type of conditioning is definitely making my body stronger. I have pushed myself beyond what I ever imagined I’m capable of doing. When the trainer says “Get There”, she’s pushing us to GO BEYOND what we think in our heads we are capable of. It is then that we are digging into the muscles and affecting change. Now in my mind, that’s the point at which I truly want to give up. But if I give up then, I’d be cutting myself short of reaching my full potential. That is not isolated to exercise alone.

 

Have you cut yourself off from achieving the next level of performance when you were standing right at the brink of your breakthrough?

 

Spiritual Strength

 

…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1

 

In order for us to be able to ‘set aside weight’ we have to be strong enough to do so. In order to run with endurance we have to be conditioned to go the distance. We gain spiritual strength, stamina and endurance by exercising spiritual muscle.   And just how do we strengthen spiritually?

 

~Word Workout

Feast daily on the Word. And it doesn’t have to be lengthy passages of scripture. Sometimes when I’m reading the Word, a single word can stand out and that will be my meditation throughout the day. I have to hide the word in my heart because something is certain to arise and I will need to have a ready word.

 

~Faith

Faith is a muscle. What happens when our muscles aren’t used? We can get atrophy. While the working of our faith doesn’t always feel good, I urge you like the trainer urged me, “Get There”. Your faith may be worked, stretched, and torn. This is how muscle it built. Feel the burn baby and praise Him!

 

Continue to go the distance. Right when you think you can’t do another rep, handle another setback, deal with another issue, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling and get there! Stronger…Yes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

 

If you live in the DMV and need some encouragement in helping you get there, check out Certified Personal Trainer Nevina Gray owner of FLMD Fitness.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Lean In

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook is the author of a book entitled Lean In. Lean In has become a movement designed to help women pursue and achieve their ambitions. It’s mission is focused on what women CAN do versus what they can’t.

 

With all my strength and might I’ve pursued what I can do.

~Be Super Mommy

~Submitted Wife

~Obedient Disciple

~Attentive, Available Friend

~Serving, Honorable Daughter

 

I’ve come to grips with the reality that without Jesus at the center, I can’t do a thing. In all my getting and doing, I’d be at wits end when operating in my own strength. But praise to el-Roi, the God who sees; who sees our hearts, our efforts, and our attempts then gently leads or redirects saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit’.

 

In the last week and a half, I have had so much on my mind. After a series of rejections coupled with spiritual, mental and emotional healing (you can read more of that by clicking here and here), I was left drained and overwhelmed. I was literally feeling hard pressed on every side. I cried out to God singing:

 

When my heart is overwhelmed

I pray Lord lead me to the rock

Lead me to the rock that’s higher than I

O Lord

Yes when my heart is overwhelmed

I’m asking lead to the rock

Lead me to the rock that’s higher than I

O Lord

 

When the weight of this whole world

Tries to slay me

A strong tower from the enemy

You will be for me

 

So I need to find this place

Yes the special secret place

I’m assured of Your embrace

The place I call my sanctuary

There You are

 

Lead me to the rock

Lead me to the rock

 

You are my firm foundation

My salvation my solid rock

Lead Me To The Rock

Stephen Hurd

 

While feeling boxed in, my simple meditation of “lead me to the rock” was enough. He heard me and responded saying, “Come to me. I am the Strong Tower.” And because I was so weary, once I got to the strong tower, all I could do was Lean In.

 

When you are in a tight space, uncomfortable space, unfamiliar space, seek Him. With your whole heart, cry out to Him.

 

In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears. Psalm 18:6

 

He will surely answer.

 

And call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. Psalm 50:15

 

He will be very gracious to you at the voice of your cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer you. Isaiah 30:19

 

So as I stood, leaning into My God, My Strong Tower, He spoke to my heart. I was going to rush to get to a meeting on time but He said, go outside and sit a while. I obeyed and sat out in the sun and breathed deeply, and was awash in His peace. I felt the warm sun on my skin, listened to several species of birds chirping and just marveled at the great and mighty power of Elohim. The day after that I was expecting company and was going to do some serious cleaning (mind you the house was already clean) before the guests arrived. Again, He urged me to come outside and sit a while to which I obeyed. And again His peace flooded me as I meditated on what was true, lovely and of good report.

 

I can now relate to these lyrics in a very personal way.

 

“Leaning on the Lord, trusting in His holy word He’s never failed me yet. Oh ooh ooh can’t turn around now. He’s never failed me yet.”

 

In her book, Sandberg says, “I have never met a woman, or man, who stated emphatically, “Yes, I have it all.'” Because no matter what any of us has—and how grateful we are for what we have—no one has it all.”

 

I don’t know what “ALL” she’s referring to but I’ll take ALL the Jesus I can get.

 

I’m leaning in…way in to Jesus today.

 

When you are feeling hard pressed on every side, what do you do?

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Happy to connect with friends at Purposeful Faith Equipping Godly Women  Dance With Jesus

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Are You Being Real?

Authentic. Unmasked. Genuine. Transparent. REAL.

 

Naked and unashamed.

 

Exposed. Letting it all hang out to be REAL.

 

I’ve always been very good at “Putting on Tyra”. I can turn on the smile, lilt the cadence of my voice, and be engaging and dynamic when the environment necessitates. While I am naturally an energetic, social, loving extrovert, but there are times I long to retreat into “my world” of being raise an only child with the comfort and solitude of me alone in the back of my mother’s closet reading a book.

 

The Lord first bought to my attention that I was play-acting and not always being real. I truly believed I was an authentic honest person but I came to see the real was not always so.

 

It was 9:00pm and a member of my ministry leadership team (of which I am the Director) called. Well, I hit the wall between 7-8pm. From before sunrise until 6pm I coast at 50,000 but after six I start to make the descent and between 7-8 I’ve landed and am officially DONE! You hear me, done. I have told my children, the bible says His mercies are new every morning because at some point in the night they run out and mine for tonight is done (smile). So at the time of this call, I was done but briefly considered “putting on Tyra” to receive the call. I contemplated not answering because I was just not in the mood to be chipper and bubbly. Frankly, I was exhausted and was counting the minutes to get in the bed.

 

In that moment, I was convicted. The Holy Spirit gently whispered to me, it is ok to JUST BE. He was telling me it is ok for people to experience the full range of you: the energetic you along with the reserved quiet you. Somehow I had come to believe that people only wanted to interaction with the on-stage Tyra. Well, we all have off-stage lives. He was encouraging me to be real. I’m happy to say I did answer the phone and accepting that call was a major step in beginning to be ok with being the real me.

 

That was over three years ago. And in the time that has passed, He has continued to peel back the layers encasing the fearfully wonderfully made creation His fashioned. I marvel at how I am transforming. In so many ways I thought I was the real deal in my interactions with others. But He’s shown me otherwise in letting me see:

~I share my struggles but only to a select few

~I share my testimony but the edited, clean version

 

If I’m going to worship Him, I must do so in spirit and in truth. And that demands that I am real, real with God, real with others and real with myself.

 

And a work He is doing! Last week was a tough one for me. I got another rejection letter about schooling for my son, my daughter was falsely accused of something at school, my household dynamic shifted with hubby starting a new job and I’ve been excavating deeply buried guilt, shame and regret. Needlessly to say, the issues of life will bring you face to face with the real. And I let all the REAL show as I surrendered “putting on Tyra” and had an emotional public breakthrough in my Saturday morning workout class, replete with tears and snot.

 

Are you being real?

 

Friends, give yourself permission to be open, available and receptive to experience your real. It may be a little scary, but you are bold and courageous. Relationships are hanging in the balance. Free yourself to be open to the possibilities of experiencing your real self.

 

Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed.

 

Free to be Authentic. Unmasked. Genuine. Transparent. REAL.

 

As always it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Connecting with friends at Five Minute Friday

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The Battle Of The Bulge

One leg in, next leg in. Pull up. Bring the two sides together east to west to button my pants…and…this can’t be?!

 

I can hardly button my pants!

 

Oh no. How did this happen?

 

When did this happen?

 

I was crushed. I guess I hadn’t noticed it before because I was wearing pants with a little give or a poly/cotton blends. But these slacks had no give so it was an accurate assessment. Either my pants have gotten smaller or I have gotten bigger and I’m sure it’s not the former.

The entire day I was beside myself. I couldn’t shake it. Even now it’s difficult to write but I’m sharing with you so that you might be encouraged if you have ever fought the battle of the bulge.

 

ME & Weight

The ladies on my mother’s side of the family are THICK. As a child, I was average size. As a teen, I was shapely, still pretty much average size. Then during my freshman year of college I gained double the freshman 15. Poor eating habits coupled with the grief of losing my mother found me at the bottom of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Wavy Gravy often. And I carried that weight around until my mid-twenties. You can ready more about managing weight here.

 

For the last 12 years I’ve been pregnant every other year. Actually last year finally broke that record of not adding a new baby to our home. So for the first time in forever, without the influx of pregnancy I have to manage my weight over a long stretch. Because I have been heavy before (the mid-twenties me) I am fearful of getting big again. I try to focus my attention on eating right and exercising and less on weight. But now with the whole pants debacle…

 

Size

I rarely get on a scale. Only when I go to my primary care doctor and they insist. I just use how my clothes fit as the gauge of my size. Well that encounter with that pair of jeans last week has revealed the size is shifting.

 

So I asked myself, how did this happen?

 

I am so committed to eating clean, honoring my temple and being disciplined. I usually do some type of workout every other day (though I don’t always push myself as far as I know I could). But really, gaining weight? Come on Lord help me out here. What more can I do? I actually had an attitude with the Lord because I feel like I’m trying to do everything right as related to my health and this is my reward?

 

Then the Lord answered. You see, He has a tailor made diet for each of us but we have to be OBEDIENT to His voice. I was disobedient. I lacked self-control.

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

 

Oh dear, when it comes to my favorite food, I have to admit I have no self-control. With food I am an otherwise disciplined, self-controlled person, but put a bowl of popcorn in front of me and I will demolish the whole thing. Yup, you read it right; popcorn is my all time favorite food. Not my favorite snack, but my favorite food. And I am disciplined enough to measure out just a single serving. But then I’ll come back for another and another.

 

The Lord was gently whispering to me, “Moderation”. But the popcorn was so good I lacked moderation. Now I love popcorn any way you serve it and I make a mean batch at home popped in coconut oil with my special blend of spices. But I found this organic white cheddar popped in coconut oil at Costco and from then on my friends it was a wrap. For a month straight I ate this popcorn nearly every day and now I’m paying for it. I knew it had gotten bad when I went to Costco JUST to buy a single bag of popcorn.

 

Just an aside, on Monday I talked about uncovering guilt, shame and regret so that we can be healed, you can click here to read more of that but I’m so happy right now to disclose this issue of the popcorn with you because revealing it is part of my healing. I am moving forward and will not harbor guilt for my gluttony.

 

While my issue is just with popcorn, my lack of self-control with it is major. One of the three pillars of my mission is to honor the temple. What an embarrassment for me to have fallen in this area when I am supposed to be encouraging you and setting an example. But I can give full disclosure because we are in this race together and I want you to keep pressing toward the mark for the prize.  There may be days when we stumble but I want you to get back up and try again because this isn’t just about food, it’s about our walk with God.

 

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

 

I do not wish to disqualify myself from the call God has given based on my lack of self-control so I bring my body under the subjection of Christ and will heed His voice.

 

He’s also whispering to me about my daily cup of coffee. One thing at a time Lord, baby steps please.

 

If you’ve ever been in the battle of the bulge, you know this is not an easy fight. You must remain committed and stay the course. Your future and the future of your family are hinging on it. YOU are worth it.

 

P.S. I went to Costco yesterday and in shopping my routine aisles, there it was staring at me, my beloved popcorn. Glory to God for self-control because I left there without purchasing any.

 

“The one quality which sets one man apart from another-

the key which lifts one to every aspiration

while others are caught up in the mire of mediocrity-

is not talent, formal education, nor intellectual brightness –

it is self-discipline. With self-discipline all things are possible. 

Without it, even the simplest goal can seem like the impossible dream. “

-Theodore Roosevelt 

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Photo Credit

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Are You Willing To Uncover?

Cover up

 

Hide

 

Mask

 

The shame.

 

The regret.

 

I had layered the shame beneath rock, sand, clay and topsoil then topped all that off with a bed of leaves. And can one ever really cover up? Trying to put a fig leaf on to cover shame actually makes one stand out all the more. In fact some of the decisions that I’ve regretted have been buried so deep, I had actually forgotten about them. While my conscious mind had forgotten about them, the harboring still lingers in the subconscious thus affects the mind, body and spirit.

 

Shame can be described as feelings of guilt, regret or sadness because you feel you’ve done something wrong. On occasion I tell myself you’re a failure for:

 

~Not doing better in college. Academically I’ve always had the ability to excel but there were times I didn’t live up to my potential. When I look at my college transcript I am so grieved by it. It’s got a load of A’s…then it’s also got D’s. Even after being out of college for many years, looking at it grieves me.

 

~Not living up to expectations. “The next Little Oprah” “Most Promising New Comer To The Field of Public Relations” Oh the promise…But what’s been the outcome?

 

~Entertaining mindless relationships with guys while in college. My father taught me better. Why didn’t I listen?

 

~Wasting time chastising my children when I know the days are short and I ought to embrace the now moment.

 

Then turning this shame over in my head leads to regret and causes unfruitful self-talk.

 

~If you had done better in college you would have gotten a better job, making more money and your family would be better off today.

 

~You’re a failure. You could have become someone great, someone with influence, making an impact in the world but you’re not.

 

~As a parent, are you ever gonna get it right?

 

STOP!

 

Put on the mind of Christ.

 

I am currently on The Surrender Fast (click here for details) and last week I was challenged to surrender regret so that I can move forward. I was given specific suggestions for how to uncover hidden regret. So I commenced to mining the field of my heart.

 

Let me tell you, when you go digging, you are bound to find something. But in the digging and turning over of hardened ground, the process is not easy. Your shovel may hit hardened earth, boulders and more. But I resolved to keep digging, keep mining. Layer by layer I began to EXPOSE the regrets, EXPOSE the shame.

 

Light permeates the dark.

 

After the shame and regret were unearthed, they were washed in the light of His word. I am a blood washed child of God and have been cleansed and healed.

 

Bless the Lord, O my soul;

And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits:

Who forgives all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases,

Who redeems your life from destruction,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

Who satisfies your mouth with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 103:1-5

 

No need for regret because I am not ashamed.

 

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,

And delivered me from all my fears.

They looked to Him and were radiant,

And their faces were not ashamed. Psalm 34:4-5

 

It’s not like God couldn’t see my shame and regret all the while, He was just waiting for me to acknowledge it then uncover it so He could heal me.

 

Part of the uncovering required me to confess to another person. My most immediate thought was, okay I can do that. But when I began to actually consider what I would say and how much I’d have to disclose and began thinking what the other person would think about me, I nearly talked myself out of it. But God has a way of giving confirmation.

 

I was sitting in a meeting next to someone and the very issue I wanted to confess was one she spoke about quite passionately that night. Each word she uttered was a nudge for me to uncover. In the same week 3 different bloggers I follow were ALL talking about shame. And one of them was so transparent in disclosing her shame that her courage emboldened me to do the same.

 

It was a painful week fraught with many emotions but glory be to God in the highest. After I uncovered, the spirit of God shone brightly on those dark recesses of my heart. My mind, body and spirit were renewed and I’m dancing and singing:

 

“Freedom, Freedom, Freedom, Freedom

No more shackles,

No more chains,

No more bondage,

I’m free….YEAH!

Hallelujah!”

 

I have been washed. I have been cleansed. The blood of Jesus presents me without spot or wrinkle. I feel lighter to continuing pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling.

 

What do you need to dig up and uncover so that you can move forward uninhibited?

Do you play the tape in your head of what you could have, would have or should have done?

Are you willing to uncover?

 

Feel free to share in this sacred space so that I can join you in prayer. God is compassionate and will subdue your iniquities. Walk in your healing and freedom today.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Photo Credit

Happy to connect with friends @ Purposeful Faith Titus 2sDay Dance With Jesus Equipping Godly Women

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I’ll Add You To My Plan

“Be an active member of a church by 1/4/04”

 

So says the 1st line item one the 1st page of the Goal Planning section in my Franklin Planner.

 

Franklin Covey goal planning sheet

Here’s what follows on that same page. I have kept this page as a testament and reminder to myself that…

 

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

 

On the Goal Planning sheet in my planner I listed the following:

 

Visit churches
Join a church
Regularly attend bible study
Attend new members classes (if available)
Research ministries
Select a ministry
Join the ministry

 

As a linear, A type, Covey-ite, I put EVERYTHING in my planner. I had a plan for how to achieve excellence on the job, a plan for how to obtain guardianship of my sister, a plan for purchasing a home, and plans and plans and more plans!

 

So putting my relationship with God in the plan was a no brainer. God, I’ll add you to my plan. My thought process was “there is a strategic way to be a Christian and I will just follow the steps.” You see, this plan was written just after I had given my life to Christ. As a babe in Christ, not growing up in church, not knowing the ways of church, not knowing that God desired a relationship with me, I just fell into what I knew and that was sequential thinking. Not only did God wire me to be an orderly sequential person, because of a childhood devoid of control, I became uuber controlling to ensure that my life would have structure and order, God included. Thus, building my faith was dictated by a plan. Not only a plan but MY plan. Again that babe in Christ had no clue about how God really works.

 

I didn’t know:

~His ways were not my way and His thoughts not my thoughts

 

~My heart was in His hands and He would turn it

 

~The steps of a good woman were ordered by the Lord

 

~To lean not to my own understanding but in all my ways to acknowledge Him and He would direct my path

 

I simply didn’t know. But glory be to God that just a few months after writing this plan, I was baptized 4/20/04. After my baptism I surrendered to Him, including my plans.

 

Next month I celebrate 11 years of salvation. I celebrate surrendering MY PLANS over to Him. I rejoice that His ordered steps are leading me in paths of righteousness for His namesake.

 

My prayer when I gave my life to Christ was to free me from being controlling. I had come to learn that my need for control was a protective mechanism but with my security now in Christ, that was no longer needed. Surrendering my will for His will, my plans for His plans was a part of the release of control.

 

I praise Him that His plans for me are for good and not evil to give me a future and a hope; now that’s a sure fire plan that I can bank on.

 

He assures us that when we obey and follow His plan, we will prosper and have good success.

 

Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Joshua 1:7-8

 

follow the

What plan(s) do you need to surrender to Him today?

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Happy to be connecting with friends today at Dance With Jesus and Five Minute Friday

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The Battlefield of The Mind

“Do you really think you’ll EVER be able to do that?”

 

“Do you really think that will be successful?”

 

“You ALWAYS keep messing up!”

 

“You’re not qualified.”

 

“Hmm, maybe you should scale that idea back. It won’t work anyway.”

 

The battlefield of the mind

 

It’s Wellness Wednesday here at Inspired Life and most Wednesdays I share something related to physical wellness, but my friends today it is heavy on my heart to talk about the war we wage in the MIND. Total wellness requires nurturing the spirit, body and the mind. We cannot achieve optimal wellness without embracing mental wellness. To neglect one area is to neglect the others so let’s put on our armor and commence to wage war.

 

The battlefield is indeed in the mind.

 

I tend to think of myself as someone who does what the scripture says:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Phil 4:8

 

But somewhere, somehow, the enemy wormed his way into my mind with some of the lies stated above. I realize when feel hard pressed on every side, I’ve prone to believe these lies and accept them as truth. And that fool has been kind of slick with it too, he knows he cannot attack me with ridiculous, outlandish lies so he’s planted these little ones which I’ve come to accept.

 

 

As a young child, week after week I expected my father to rescue me from a home and community filled with drug abuse, violence, and poverty but that didn’t happen. Elementary school and middle school I expected my mother to show up at my graduations but that didn’t happen. These and many other disappointments caused me to “expect nothing”. That was really a defense mechanism to shield myself from further hurt. I came to see that I was projecting that same small thinking on God, “expect little to nothing so you won’t be hurt or disappointed”.

 

But God says:

I am able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you can ask or think.

My plans are to give you a future and a hope.

You will not be put to shame.

 

When God has wired you to be a cautious person then couple that with uncontrollable life circumstances thrust on you during childhood, one can become overly cautious as a means of self-preservation. And that has continued but the enemy uses it against me and distorts it. And I’ve come to accept his lie that I have to tread cautiously, calculate every move, wear a life vest, diving suit, and scuba gear for a swim on the shore.

 

But God says:

Blessed is the man that trusts in me.

Trust in the name of the Lord.

I will never leave nor forsake you.

Be strong and of good courage for I am with you where ever you go.

Believe in me.

Come to me.

 

Again in my small expectation thinking, I’m afraid to ask for much. And the much I’m talking about is NOT, “God give me a fly ride and new clothes”. I’m talking about basic needs like food and shelter and an opportunity to grow in ministry for His namesake. But that part of me that’s afraid of disappointment, of the potential of it NOT happening is afraid to ask because if what I ask for doesn’t come to pass, then what will I believe about MY GOD?

 

 

But God says:

I am able to make all grace abound toward you so that you have all sufficiency for every good work.

Your expectation is from Me not from people.

If you obey and heed my commands you will prosper and have good success.

Give and it will be given to you pressed down, shaken together, running over.

 

I had accepted these lies, but no more! I do not desire to be double minded for the doubled minded person is unstable. I find stability in Christ. He is the stable, strong rock and fortress around which I erect my thoughts. And I urge you friends to take your thoughts captive to obey Christ. By the power of the Spirit at work in you, take back your mind.

 

It is so critical to manage our thought life because what we think is what we become.

 

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7

 

So how do we nourish a healthy thought life? How do we renew our minds?

 

Helmet

Put on the mind of Christ. Put on the helmet of salvation; deflecting any blows to the confidence we have in Christ.

 

Confession

Confess the truth of what God says about you, your family, or any situation you may encounter. Meditate on the things mentioned in Philippians 4:8

 

Give Thanks

God’s grace abounds towards me and towards you. Every second we are presented with an abundance of gifts from Him. He is constantly showing me how much He loves me and for that I give thanks. From the beauty of the sunrise to the squinty-eyed grin of my two year old, I am presented with gift after gift. The onus is on me to recognize the gift, accept the gift, be grateful for the gift and treasure the gift.

 

Embrace the Now Moment

Continuously redirect your attention to all that is real and truthful in THIS MOMENT. Take your eyes off what could have, should have, might have happened and focus on what is. At present my lungs expand and contract as I breathe in the breath of life, my children are safely nestled in their beds, my belly is full, I have the peace of God, His love fills my heart, I am safe, I am warm.

 

This quote has been attributed to several different people. I’m not sure who truly ought to get the credit, but it’s a good one,

 

“Sow a thought, and you reap an act;

Sow an act, and you reap a habit;

Sow a habit, and you reap a character;

Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”

 

Your destiny hinges on the every thought you are thinking right now. Surrender your thought life to Him. Give room for His thoughts to become your thoughts. By the power of the spirit at work in you, you are more than a conqueror. You are the victor on the battlefield of the mind.

 

You have the mind of Christ!

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Photo Credit

Happy to connect with friends at Purposeful Faith Dance With Jesus Equipping Godly Women Life Giving Linkup

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Break Forth

I felt something stirring within me.

An unsettling. A churning.

A tightness that was hard to put into words.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Until…

I was outside in the snow. Here in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. it usually begins warming up this time of year. But winter has managed to hold on.

 

snow covered tree1

 

Snow. Ice. Then snow again.

 

snow covered tree

 

But even in the midst of the snow and ice, the buds on the trees that have been dormant all winter are stirring. They are unsettled. They are churning. They are getting ready to stretch forth. They are getting ready to Break Forth. In fact, the buds on the trees have been there all winter. They began growing at the end of last summer. The buds then, were just waiting for their appointed time.

 

snow on branches

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

 

 

The buds are layered with scales that are actually modified leaves protecting the bud against harsh elements. Inside the buds are tiny leaves ready to grow. When given the right conditions, longer days (more light) and a rise in temperature, the buds will begin to bloom.

 

buds ready to bloom2

 

Break Forth

The same can be said for you and I. Are you feeling the churning? Perhaps you can’t quite articulate it, but you know something is stirring. Have you been in the right conditions that stimulate growth?

 

Light

The Lord makes His face shine upon you. He lifts His countenance upon you. God makes His love shine in our hearts and we see that glory when we look upon Jesus. Are you face to face with Him? Can you feel the heat and the light emanating from Him?

 

Temperature

Has the temperature been turned up in your personal, work or ministry life? Have you been faced with various trials? Welcome to the club, my friends. The bible assures us that trials will come. We are encouraged though to count it JOY. Some days I can so relate to the scripture that says we are hard pressed on every side.   I can literally feel the squeezing. It is a very uncomfortable space and I just want to break out! I feel like God is squeezing, pressing, and turning up the temperature.

 

Israel Houghton and New Breed sing, “Stretch forth, break forth, release me. Enlarge my territory.” And it is with the LIGHT and the TEMPERATURE that conditions will be ideal to break forth. The light of His countenance shining on your face coupled with the intense heat of your trails has triggered your bud to break forth.

 

buds ready to bloom1

 

No my friend, you are not broken down but are breaking forth to enlarge your territory.

 

For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11

 

tree buds close up

Break Forth

God is calling you forward. Just as God called and appointed Aaron to lead His people, He is calling you. Your name has been recorded on the rod. Your rod is about to bloom. And not only did Aaron’s rod bloom with leaves, it had blossoms and fruit.

 

Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. Numbers 17:8

 

Again Israel Houghton says it this way,

“It’s a new season, it’s a new day. Fresh anointing is flowing way. It’s a season of power and prosperity. It’s a new season and it’s coming to me.”

All this…

snow covered lake

Will eventually give way to this…

ducks

What this new season holds, I do not know. But I eagerly anticipate it. I open myself to the possibility of all that abounds in this new season. I will insulate myself with the Word during this delicate time so that I’m not damaged by a late frost.

 

And the promise that awaits is this…

 

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,

Your healing shall spring forth speedily,

And your righteousness shall go before you;

The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Isaiah 58:8

 

 

Friends, I want to join you in prayer. So tell me:

~What is the Lord stirring up in you?

~What is about to break forth in your life?

~What type of healing are you in need of?

~What types of emotions are conjured up when faced with a new season?

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Happy to connect with these friends:

What Joy Is Mine Purposeful Faith