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One then done!

Maybe two then I’m through!

 

Those were my plans as related to having children. I’ve always liked kids but when I envisioned family life it revolved around my husband and me, our careers and perhaps a child or two. That was until I heard Him say, “Your womb belongs to me.”

 

The birth of my first child was a carefully calculated event. Like everything else in my life at the time, having a baby was placed into a little box of my own making. I was used to meticulously planning every facet of my life. Throw in my professional training of facilitating time management courses and it made for a well-plotted life.

 

That was until baby number two came outside of the plan. You see, my plans were written in ink and not pencil. As a new believer, I hadn’t learned Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” My veneer of planning and control had been cracked and out oozed fragility and vulnerability. As I came undone, I clung fiercely to my new faith, praying for answers.

 

And the answers came. God showed me that He loved me just as I was. He taught me that my works wouldn’t get me into heaven. He modeled for me how to love and accept others. And He was very clear that discipleship was a high calling. I understood very early in my Christian walk that He seeks for believers to be wholly committed and that’s what I intended to do. Yes, that’s what I intended to do, until He called me to do something that made no sense at all.

 

Join me over on Katie M. Reid’s blog as I share what God revealed to me, as part of the Listen Close, Listen Well series…

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What Season Are You In?

With a God vision and a God plan I had carefully mapped out my 2015-2016. My 2014 ended with working on my vision book for 2015. Yes Lord! Let’s steamroll right ahead into the New Year and into my next level of success.

 

And for once, I was giving myself permission to dream big. Yes, big God-sized dreams. A few months into 2015 and I was working the plan. One of my goals was to be in the best physical condition to date. As a result I bought in 2015 with a 3-day green smoothie cleanse followed by 7 days of eating only raw foods. My exercise regime was great and I was dedicated and focused working out at least 5 days a week. And as always I continued to research new recipes, foods and findings that would support my efforts to maintain a nourishing kitchen.

 

Spiritually I was right where I wanted to be. Then in March I attended a retreat and had several supernatural encounters with God that absolutely blew my mind. Essentially He elevated me, calling me to a higher station and level of responsibility in the Kingdom. I was thanking Him, praising Him and experiencing worship in fresh new ways.

 

I researched pre-schools for my 2 year old with plans to enroll him in school 2 days a week in the fall. I would use those 2 days as office hours, continuing to establish the Inspired Life brand and enlarge my speaking platform. My 4 year old was slated to start kindergarten too, thus creating time and space to work my business.

 

After years of mastering smoothies in my kitchen, I finally decided to write a 30-day smoothie book. Even though I was making a different smoothie almost everyday, I never wrote any of the recipes down. But repeated promptings from friends and one conversation in particular, it finally hit me, yes you must do this project. That first day I sat down to write the recipes the Lord gave me 17 complete recipes in one sitting. Then a few months later, the Lord prompted a photographer to offer to bless me by doing the photo shoot as a deposit into my ministry. First book nearly there. Indeed it was a time to rejoice.

 

Yup, I had it all lined up only to find that the Lord was preparing me for something else entirely.

 

There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens

Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

My husband started a new job and was inundated in getting acclimated to that new environment rendering him unavailable to assist in several ways he normally would. That additional work was to be physically and mentally absorbed by me.

 

The seat that I thought my kindergartener would secure at the same school as his 3 school-aged siblings wasn’t secured after all. In fact, quite the opposite happened. He was denied by the school, denied by the appeals office then subsequently denied by the school board itself. As it stood, he’d be separated from his siblings, forced to attend our boundary school.

 

My brother in law became ill and the fight for his life ensued. My sweet husband spent countless hours by his beside. My father was having a major crisis hundreds of miles away. After hearing the agony in his voice for months on end, I packed up the children to take an emergency intervention trip to visit him.

 

Nonetheless with all the added pressure, I was hopeful that the many God sized dreams in my vision book would come to pass as a few of them were already underway; my spiritual growth and my physical health, yes Lord thank you for faithfully bringing the vision to pass.

 

Then I began a 40 days fast completely surrendering all. Easy to say, but much harder to live out real time. Nonetheless, I surrendered control and my prayer for the 40 days was YOUR WILL YOUR WAY. Yes Lord, together let’s keep the vision moving forward. Little did I know He’d give ample opportunity for me to practice this declaration.

 

The school year began and my son still did not have a seat in the school with his siblings. While I continue to fight and pray, he was enrolled for home school. My pre-schooler was sign up and ready to begin his 2 days a week. My brother in law succumbed to his battle for life.

 

And in his departure, I conceived. In fact, in my brother in law’s passing, I specifically told the Lord, “A baby cannot replace him so don’t get an ideas.”

 

But since God has known each of us from the beginning of time, he knew exactly when this baby would be conceived. And conceiving a baby was ONE thing that absolutely was NOT in my vision book for 2015. Trade my four-pack for a fat pack? Umm…no thank you. I’ve been working diligently for you Lord to honor this temple and this is how you repay me? All day, everyday sickness and a swollen belly?

 

Really God?!

 

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

 

New life. What a blessing and a joy.

 

Extra time with my kindergartener before he had to leave for school.

 

Extra time with my husband to comfort him as he grieved.

 

Indeed He does make everything beautiful in its time. But in order to embrace that, we have to SEE through eyes of faith. We have to be able to see “In Time”. Seeing in time is begin able to embrace the now moment, not living in the past nor pining for the future but being “in time” for IN TIME is where God is.

 

But I wasn’t in time with God. I was on the sidelines of my life, having a temper tantrum. I pouted and whined as I saw the death of my vision book. I threw myself on the floor replete with kicking and flailing as I mourned the death of my God vision.

 

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

Habakkuk 2:3

 

But God is faithful. He sheds light, speaks truth, heals broken hearts and hugs you even mid tantrum. I thank Him that He’s not like me because I probably would have left me there kicking and screaming to flounder on my own. But he picked me up, wiped my tears and reassured me of His truth.

 

He whispered:

~Your prayer was MY WILL, MY WAY. I heard your prayer and I answered.

~This delay is not a denial.

~This is not the death of your vision but a pause for character development

~The appointed time for all I am working on will come to pass better than you can imagine or think

~I love you so much I made an in person visitation to touch your womb

 

For a moment my vision was blurry (read more on that HERE). I thought what I put in that book had died. But the truth is, He is working overtime on my behalf, behind the scenes to align the hearts (mine included), the people and the resources to bring the vision to fruition. The vision WILL manifest at its appointed time.

 

And in the interim, I will embrace the process. Oftentimes we want to circumvent the process and take shortcuts but in this there are no shortcuts, just the sure true steps of following paths of righteousness for his namesake.

 

Circumvent the PROCESS and you circumvent your BLESSING. Click To Tweet

 

What season are you in?

 

How do you behave when a season change catches you off guard?

 

Do you react with tantrums, rebellion or fear?

 

Or do you respond with a yes in your spirit and a yes on your lips?

 

It is my prayer that you delightfully obey Him and embrace the now moment as you have not seen, nor have you heard nor has it entered your heart the things the Lord has prepared for you. His thinking is SO vast, deep and wide that we cannot comprehend it. But we do know that His plans are to give us a future and a hope. Be hopeful and find delight in whatever season you find yourself.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with these friends  sharing the Good News LifeGivingLinkup, Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith

The Dirty Little Word

We hear the word and we cringe.

 

It evokes feelings of loss of control, being weak, giving up or giving in.

 

Poor thing, it has a bad rep.

 

But truth be told, it’s the road to redemption, the pathway to freedom, the lane to liberty.

 

SUBMISSION

 

Truth be told, it’s the road to redemption, the pathway to freedom, the lane to liberty:… Click To Tweet

 

We dove into this topic with Part I of this series The Way Of The Master. You can read that by CLICKING HERE. So here I’m picking up where I left off with the HOW. I am a person that is open to learning. But I need to know HOW to do what you’re suggesting. So here’s my take on how we can submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ.

 

Humble Crucifixion

 In order to submit, we have to acknowledge that our way isn’t the only way. We have to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers. Our minds tend to think we know a lot and pretty much have it together.

 

The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God;

it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:7-8

 

But true humility knows and recognizes that we have nothing and are nothing apart from God. And as a Believer, my life is not my own anyway because I was bought at a price so I ought to just take up cross and follow Him. When we humble ourselves, He exalts us in due time. When we submit to one another, we demonstrate the love of Christ and He is glorified.

 

True humility knows and recognizes that we have nothing and are nothing apart from God. Click To Tweet

 

Consider The Source

Recognize the authority, HIS authority in your life. When you respect a person and consider them credible, you listen to them and take their advice. My former co-worker, Mrs. Delia, patiently, lovingly spoke into my life. I considered her credible as an authority on parenting as she had successfully raised several children. I knew her to be a credible source of information on marriage as she had navigated the highs and lows of married after having been wed to her beau for nearly 50 years. And I also listened as she shared the gospel of Jesus Christ. Her love for the Lord was evident in her love, patience and compassion for others, including myself. She truly modeled Christ’s love and when I was ready to taste and see, it was she who walked Roman’s Road with me. She indeed was a credible source to whom I listened and acted on her advice.

 

Consider your standing with Jesus and His track record. A ruler divine from the beginning of time. All knowing, all-powerful and everywhere all at the same time. He kept you from disease when you were promiscuous. He kept you from hurting yourself or others when you thought you could take no more. He kept you alive when you were driving in unsafe conditions. He answered your prayers for salvation, healing, provision and protection.

 

I would say He’s more than credible.

 

Have Ears To Hear

Since we’ve already established that we don’t know everything, we don’t have all the answer and there is ONE who is credible that does, let us hear what He has to say. Hearing from God requires us to be still, minimizing internal and external distractions.

 

Be Quick To Obey

I tell my children, “Delayed obedience is disobedience. Slow Obey = No Obey.” Then the Lord gently reminded me that I had to take my own words to heart. As a journalism student I was taught to always gather the 5 W’s & the H. And I try to execute that same strategy with God…It doesn’t work that way friends.

We are not only to be hearers but doers of the Word. And that doesn’t mean DO only after you have all the answers. Besides, you’ll never have all the info upfront so get to moving. When you plan a vacation a year or more in advance, do you have every bit of information upfront? Do you know the exact weather forecast for the second day of your trip? Do you know exactly what you’ll eat on the 4th day? Do you know who will fly your airplane? NO! But you book your flight, your hotel, and your ground transportation and may even buy new clothes not knowing exactly what’s to come. So why do we demand so many answers from our Heavenly Father who knows all, sees all and loves us with an ALL-consuming love? Mmm…

Let’s learn to trust and obey friends. Here’s a little nugget on obedience.

 

 

If you’ve turned over the reins and Christ is guiding your steps, kudos friend. I’m praying for your continued obedience to take Him at His word. For those on the fence, what’s standing in the way of your total submission to Christ? Let me know so I can pray for you.

 

Submission is not actually the dirty little word after all but a means of experiencing Christ in a deep, meaningful, transformative way.

 

Take a knee and submit today.

 

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

 

Photo Credit

Happy to connect with friends spreading the Good News #DanceWithJesus, Grace & Truth

The Way Of The Master

A lone man methodically hanging laundry.

 

Unassuming yet powerful.

 

Those around him know there is something more beneath that quiet demeanor, something special, something deeper. After a personal attack, his true identity becomes known. A legend turns real. He is a master, the master. A young man falls at his feet in total surrender asking to be his pupil. He says to the teacher, “If you desire master, be my teacher.”

 

The scene is one from a movie called Ip Man II about the trials of a martial arts instructor. How striking it was to observe this student readily fall at the feet of this respected teacher in total submission. To come under this master’s authority, the pupil would receive guidance, training and instruction and the pupil had absolute faith that the master would deliver skills needed for survival.

 

It would behoove us to take a lesson from the student in this movie. Oh that we would be quick to fall at the feet of Jesus in total submission. Friends, that we would be QUICK to obey the Lord. As we fall, let us surrender our will and prepare our hearts to receive instruction from him. When the young man fell at the Sensei’s feet, he wanted a piece of the master. He wanted to learn how to be disciplined like him, how to fight like him, how to be like him. And as Christ followers, we to ought to want to look like, walk like and talk like Jesus.

 

A disciple is not above his teacher,

but everyone who is fully trained

will be like his teacher.

Luke 6:40

 

Likewise we must bring ourselves under the subjection of our Master. As I was working on last week’s post on discipline, it got me thinking about people we view as disciplined and martial artists came to mind. You can read that post by CLICKING HERE. In addition to being disciplined we view martial artists as obedient. The master is held in great esteem for his knowledge, skill and ability. The master is often seen as having quiet courage, gentle fierceness and absolute discipline and self-control.

 

Doesn’t our own Master possess all these qualities and then some?

 

Is Jesus not all knowing, all-powerful and everywhere all at the same time?

 

Is HE not the bravest of the brave?

 

Is HE not the sacrificial Lamb and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah?

 

Is HE not one who always does the right thing at the right time?

 

Submit to God and be at peace with him;

in this way prosperity will come to you.

Accept instruction from his mouth

and lay up his words in your heart.

Job 22:21-22

 

We obey our bosses, law enforcement officers, coaches, and doctors. We would do well to have at least that same level of obedience to Christ, submitting to Him wholly, without reservation. How many of you have received a prescription from a doctor, taken it to the pharmacy, paid your hard earned money and taken the pill all without asking the doctor any questions, without seeking alternative treatments, without researching the medicine or even reading the literature that comes with the medicine?

 

Yet our flesh screams in opposition to fully submitting and obeying Christ. Even now you might be mad at me and ready to close this post. Our flesh, the carnal man, the SELF that needs to be tamed is always at enmity with God, but praise Him that greater is He that is within YOU! The spirit at work in you enables you to submit to Christ’s authority in your life. If you are a kingdom citizen you come under the subjection of your ruler, Christ and you are expected to adhere to His commands. And Jesus himself showed you that even He submitted, doing the will of Him who sent Him. When you gave your life to Christ, you surrendered your rights.

 

I have been crucified with Christ;

it is no longer I who live,

but Christ lives in me;

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me

and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

 

Many see submission as:

Bondage

Prison

Suffocating

 

Submission IS:

Freeing

Liberating

Security

Protection

 

And submitting to Him, as scary, daunting and crazy as it may seem, is a sure way to be led in paths of righteousness for His namesake. It is a surefire way to have goodness and mercy following you all the days of your life. Submitting to Him is a mark of a true disciple.

 

Stick with me on this journey because I have a feeling we’ll need to dig deeper in this topic as we fall in total submission, following the way of the Master.

 

I know…this can be a tough one. Let us pray.

 

Lord you be high and lifted up above all the earth. Father I thank you. You are good and your mercy endures forever. You are faithful and communicate your love to us time and time again. Without you God we are nothing so I thank you for your promise to never leave nor forsake us. Only You can create in us a clean heart and a right spirit and that is what we need in order to fully submit to your Lordship. Without your guidance and leadership we are as sheep without a shepherd. But praise be that you are the Good Shepherd. Let us be obedient sheep that know, hear and follow your voice as you lead is in THE WAY everlasting.

 

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

 

Photo Credit

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith

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How To Get Rest

Intel’s fastest PC processing chip does about 3.5 GHz. Perhaps my brain was clocking 8 GHz. Thoughts about managing people, projects, homework, housework, spiritual warfare, tenants, ministry events, oh not to mention my own health, appointments, helping others and the list goes on and on.

 

Then He gently whispered, “I will lead you beside still waters.”

 

This is something I’ve heard Him say before. In fact, He leads me beside still waters almost daily but then one of those sweet little people of mine find some way to encroach on my STILLNESS.

 

Then He whispered again, “I will lead you beside still waters.”

 

DSC_0533

So the day commences with a flurry of activity, make breakfast for 7 people, pack lunches for 5, drop one off extra early in the a.m. for music, drop 2 others, go somewhere else drop off one more. From there I’d normally rush back to get in some exercise but I told myself, “Break from the routine. Go to the park.” The park it is. There I exercised and had fun with my littlest guy. We were about to rush back to begin the next series of errands but God drew my attention to the pond. Just a stone’s throw to my left, the still waters.

 

“Come, sit with me a while,” he beckoned.

 

And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

 

DSC_0534

 

So disregarding the voice in my head that wanted to rush out of the park to “Get things done” I heeded the voice of the Lord.

 

I squarely placed myself in the middle of the bench. My little guy climbed up beside me and rested his head on my lap. As I gaze out at the water, love, joy and peace overcame me.

 

geese

Truly my soul finds rest in God;

my salvation comes from him.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Psalm 62:1-2

 

Newton’s 1st law of motion says:

 

An object that is in motion will stay in motion with the same speed and direction unless an external force acts upon it. An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it. The unbalanced force changes the state of motion. This law of generally called the law of inertia.

 

From this we can deduce that we will keep doing what we usually do unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Glory be to God that it is HE who wants to tilt me in His direction. He provides the imbalance so that I can recalibrate and find my balance in Him and in Him alone. When I REST in Him, I am refreshed and renewed. My peace is like a river and my joy is full. He said in His presence there is fullness of joy.

 

When He beckons you to be still, to come sit a while, don’t disregard His prompting. Heed the voice of God. In Him is how to get rest.

pond2

Caring for the temple requires proper nourishment, exercise and REST. Be intentional about getting rest today. Perhaps you could:

 

~Have quiet time

~Take a nap

~Get adequate sleep

~Embrace the now moment

 

What will you do today to purposefully get rest?

2015-04-05 12.09.31

 

It is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

  1. Happy to connect with friends at Fellowship Friday’s & Dance With Jesus 
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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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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!

 

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I Surrender

“Yes”

 

“My Heart Says Yes”

 

“Yes To Your Will”

 

“I Surrender”

 

“I Surrender All”

 

“I Give Myself Away”

 

“Withholding Nothing”

 

These are the titles to songs I’ve sung time and time again. But as is the case with many songs we sing, we enjoy the melody, but do we allow the TRUTH of the lyrics to resonate in our hearts?

 

Do we ‘live out’ the words we sing?

 

In my heart and mind I’ve truly purposed to surrender ALL to God, withholding nothing. In my heart and in my mind I delightfully obey God. Yet I find myself in situations from time to time where my surrender has been usurped by MY wishes, MY desires, and MY selfishness.

 

I invite you all into my VERY private space for a moment. Please don’t judge your girl, just pray for me as I illustrate how I can vacillate with this issue of surrender. I am currently the mother of 5 children ages 11 and under. When I got married I planned to have one or two children, my husband and my career. After the birth of my second child, the Lord gave me CLEAR revelation that my body is not my own and was bought at a price therefore I ought to glorify Him in my body and that included my womb. So surrender my womb to Him. That means that I do not have control over my fertility, reproduction, etc. He does. When people ask, “Are you planning to have more {children}?” my answer is, “I don’t know. His will be done”.

 

While I’ve surrendered my womb to Him, there are days when I literally tell the Lord, “Dude, 5 is good. You hear me? Five is good”. Those moments when I can’t even pee in peace without the two year old barging into the bathroom, while I hear the 4 year old climbing the shelves of the pantry and the 9 & 11 year olds are arguing all the while a pot is burning on the stove. All I want to do is pee in peace. Lord help me, 5 is good.

 

Yet I look affectionately at the cute pregnant lady walking past me in the grocery store and I feel the emptiness of my womb and wonder, “Will there be another?” My children declare almost daily their longing for a baby sister. They’ve already named her and have a bed ready for her. Each month that I get my cycle is fraught with emotions of relief mixed with a twinge of disappointment. Then if the cycle is a day or two late, I may get anxious with thoughts of how it could really work. How would I manage? Do we have enough money for another baby? I’d need a new car. What about this business I am trying to grow? And on and on.

 

So you see, even after placing my womb on the altar many years ago, I’m prone every now and again to want to try to run back to the altar and pick it up and run as fast and far as I can in the opposite direction. Even if I don’t pick it up, I may stare longingly, devising plans on how to retrieve it, or trying to negotiate with God on partial surrender (which by the way isn’t surrender). As I said, pray for your girl.

 

How then do we ‘train’ ourselves to obey? How do we surrender?

 

We hold fast to the TRUTH.

We meditate on the truth.

And what is the truth?

 

Jesus is the WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE

His WORD is TRUTH

 

When the feelings of “5 is good” come up I tell myself the truth saying:

~If I keep my mind on You, You will keep me in perfect peace

~Every good and perfect gift comes from You

~Children are a blessing and the fruit of the womb is a reward

~I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor His seed begging bread

~You will supply ALL my needs according to your riches in glory

 

Then Jesus gently whispers,

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15

 

He also reminds me that when I do what He says, He will make my way prosperous and I will have good success. In this, He knows I may be weak, fearful and uncertain so He reassures me not to be afraid but to be strong and courageous.

 

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. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9

 

 

So I cry out to Him in prayer:

 

You Lord are the Grand Weaver. You see all the strands and intricately weave them together to fashion my story. You pull the tapestry taut as you skillfully make me a new creation. You shed, pick and beat-up as you let off and take up so that I shine without spot or wrinkle. I am weak God. The current of life pulls me in and out. But you Oh God are my anchor. I surrender what I am, to become who you created me to be. I thank you for never leaving nor forsaking me. I thank you that you will be with me until the end of the age. Lord I’m feeling squeezed on every side but I turn my pressure into praise. I thank you for ministering grace and for moving your truth from my head to my heart. Now Lord grant me your peace as I walk out the path you’ve set before me.

 

To be who He created me to be requires a daily dying to myself. As a disciple, I take up my cross daily and follow Him. And in my everyday life that translates to delightfully obeying Him with a heart of surrender. I surrender. As in the above example, while the thought of a new baby is all at once thrilling and scary, I redirect my attention back to His word.

 

A few years ago, the Lord impressed upon my heart, “True disciplesOBEY”.

 

If you are a disciple, a close follower of Christ, do what He tells you to do. Though it may be difficult, He duly equips you. He doesn’t just say, “Follow Me” then runs off and leaves you. NO. He says “Follow Me” then He leads you in paths of righteousness, His rod and staff comfort you, He teaches you along the way, He orders your steps, He knows your uprising and your going down. When you purpose in your heart, Lord YOUR WILL be done, He sends ministering angels to strengthen you.

 

He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. Luke 22:41-43

 

For me it’s an undisclosed number of children. For you it may be your job, your marriage, your mind, your ministry, your health, your children.

 

In what area(s) is He calling you to surrender?
In what area(s) is He calling you to obey?

 

I want to join you in prayer so write your thing in the comment section below. Once you admit it, then surrender it, you can move forward in delightfully obeying Him.

 

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

 
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Happy to be connecting with friends at:

Mama Moments Mondays Mom 2 Mom Purposeful Faith Front Porch Inspired Equipping Godly Women Dance With Jesus

 

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Being Strong In Spirit

Sunday at church I joined the congregation in high praise singing:

 

Be glorified in the Heavens

Be glorified in the earth

Be glorified in this temple

 

Jesus, Jesus, be thou glorified

Jesus, Jesus, be thou glorified

 

Worship the Lord in the earth

Worship the Lord in this temple

 

Jesus, Jesus, be thou glorified

Jesus, Jesus, be thou glorified

 

And as I sung, “Be glorified in this temple”, I knew the Lord was talking about my physical temple, my body as opposed to the physical church building.

 

My temple, this body of mine…presented as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God.

 

The spirit of the living God takes up residence in this temple and whatsoever I do to my physical body, because my spirit, body and soul are one, impacts another part. To neglect my body, is to neglect my spirit, is to neglect my mind because after all they are one…three yet one.

 

The veil was torn. Jesus gave himself up. He was faithful to send the Advocate who now resides in you. You are the sanctuary that houses the spirit of God living in you.

 

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

 

After service, as I looked out at the sea of the congregants, I thought to myself “Are we as a body glorifying Him in our temples?”

 

And my answer to myself was no. It was and is so grievous to me that the body of Christ isn’t radiating as the salt and light of the earth when it comes to our health. I am nearly in tears as I type this. God has given me a tremendous burden to encourage his people to OBEY Him. I was speaking with Dr. Celeste Owens, Author, Certified Natural Health Professional and friend about the mandate God has given me to call his people to obey. I want to shout from the rooftop “OBEY YE THE WORD OF THE LORD!” And my friend, the good Dr. Celeste said to me, “Tyra in what area are we (the body of Christ) most disobedient? In our health and no one is really confronting it head on.”

 

Oh saints, we’ve got to do better. Oh how I weep for the body of Christ right now. I trust that the Lord has been whispering, nudging, prodding you to honor your temple. I implore you to harden not your heart and obey his voice.

 

Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you. Deuteronomy 6:3

 

Those who love him, obey him. For those who have begun making incremental changes, I rejoice with you for each victory and I cheer you on as making the decision to choose well when it comes to consuming whole, nourishing foods is not easy. But by the power of the spirit that resides and works in you, you are more than a conqueror so stay the course.

 

So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.  But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16

 

We will purpose to eat well. We will eat in moderation. We will enjoy tasty, nourishing foods yet we will be mindful that the Bread of Life is our unfailing source of nourishment.

 

Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. Proverbs 23:20-21

 

Even if you feel like you “eat right” the mental hold that food has over us can be great. Our fixation to have certain foods at certain times can also be a stronghold. I love, love, love Lindt’s Lindor Truffles, small round decadent individually wrapped balls of chocolate. I’d only eat one a night. Because I exercised moderation in eating just one I thought I was doing good until this one night. I was preparing to go to bed and I needed, just had to have that one Lindor ball. So as I proceeded to make that long walk downstairs to my kitchen, the Lord whispered, “You don’t need that.” To which I replied, ”Um, but I really want it.” He whispered, “Not tonight.” To which I replied, “It’s just one.” To which he responded, “Do you want the candy more than you want me? Find comfort and solace in me.”

 

OUCH! That one nightly piece of candy had become a source of comfort, joy and peace that I treasured and my attachment to it became unhealthy. Not too damaging to my body but interfering with my spirit. Needless to say, I haven’t had my beloved Lindor Truffles in over a year.

 

Our physical appetites warrant as much self-control as our appetites for lust, anger, and greed. We hear preaching from the pulpit on those topics but very little about our relationship with food.

 

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41

 

And food is so deeply rooted in church culture. Even the word fellowship has been watered down and has become synonymous with food. Sunday afternoons across America can find congregants gathering over hams, fried chicken, meat slathered in gravy, biscuits and baked goods galore.

 

Let us embracing being strong in spirit by being strong in body through consuming foods that honor the temple. For assistance in choosing well, check out these posts:

 

In order for us to have optimal wellness, our minds, bodies and spirits must be nurtured and tended; any one area left unkempt tips the scales. Can we truly embrace being strong in spirit yet neglect the body? I venture to say no. So what are we to do?

 

Consume foods that add to not detract from our health

 

Eat appropriate portions

 

Obey the Spirit’s guidance as to what an optimal diet is for you. As my friend Dr. Celeste says, God has a tailor made diet for each individual.

 

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

Honored to be connecting today with my friends at Missional Women

Principles for Daily Living Pt 1

Sometimes resolutions are made and forgotten. Sometimes they’re discarded altogether after a few days. A few years ago, after years of unsuccessfully executing my resolutions I decided to give them up. I have purposed in my heart to live a life based on principles and to steer me along I adopt one word that frames my year. You can read more about that by clicking here. And it’s not so much that I adopt the one word as the word chooses me and I accept.

 

The one word is lived out through my principles. My principles are my fundamental truths that influence my actions. And living out these principles has seen its share of evolution. I am grateful today that the TRUTH has settled in my heart and I no longer view my principles as items to be ticked off a checklist. Yeah, I used to be like the Pharisee. There was a time I actually thought to be a ‘good’ Christian woman I had to literally ‘be’ the Proverbs 31 Woman. I actually made a list of the things I could do to ‘accomplish’ each of the attributes she possessed. Yup, I actually did that. I thought that was what was expected of me until I came into the truth and oh how liberating it was.

 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

 

Let’s keep this in proper perspective. My relationship is with God and not with the principles. By living a life surrendered to Him, He leads me in the way and His power at work in me enables me to live out the principles. So here are a few of my foundational principles for daily living as it relates to my relationship with the Father.

 

Obey

As the hymnal goes “There’s no other way than to trust and obey”. I believe if we love God, we are compelled to obey what He tells us to do. Is obedience easy? NO. Do I always want to obey? NO. But I know that He knows what’s best. And out of my love for God, I want to obey. My obedience is a form of worship.

 

Follow

When we obey God is it a natural progression that we would then follow him. Time and again Jesus admonished his hearers “Follow Me”. We want to blaze our own trail. We want to create our own path. God said he would make a road in the wilderness. I think it would be easier to take the route already mapped out for me. Do you agree?

 

Faith

This is a work in progress for me. God has been so faithful to me. Yet doubt can sometimes creep up when I am faced with the unknown. Do I have faith that He will protect my children from danger? Do I have faith that He will heal me: mind, body, spirit? Do I have faith?

 

Prayer

I just have to talk to God. If I didn’t, I would really lose my mind. Prayer enables me to clear my head and to hear from the Lord. I’ve learned over the years that prayer is not a monologue but a dialogue with God. He’s waiting. Won’t you chat with Him today? Nothing fancy, no need for flowery language or rote repetition but sincere two-way dialogue.

 

 

The Word

His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. God speaks to me most often through His word then He sandwiches the revelation through a confirming word from a person and/or an act of nature. Man I just love how the Father speaks to me. The Word gives me guidance, clarity, perspective, encouragement, chastening, and more.

 

These are just a few of the principles I live by that influence my relationship with God. These principles help keep me anchored so that I’m not left to my own devices making decisions based on how I feel at the moment.

 

What principles influence your relationship with God?

 

Tomorrow I’ll share what principles influence my relationship with self.

 

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