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Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror,

What do I see?

I see a fat girl

Looking at me.

 

“You are fat!”

“Oh my gawd, you are so fat!”

“Do you see those rolls? They are just SO fat!”

 

So went my dialogue with myself.

 

EV-ER-Y SINGLE TIME I walked pass a mirror, these were my thoughts.

 

A torrent of hot lava flowing over my spirit leaving the ash of a charred self image in its wake.

 

Remember her?

 

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Gone was my athletic body, replaced now with my post-pregnancy body replete with bumps, lumps and rolls.

 

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Pre-pregnancy I was in the best physical shape in my life. I was working out 5-6 days a week. After having been pregnant or nursing for the last 13 years, this was the longest stretch I had gone between pregnancies and I felt like I finally had my body back. I fought kicking and screaming to surrender to my pregnant body. Mid-way through my pregnancy I came to love and accept my pregnant body. But post-baby was another story.

 

“Oohhh girl, you are SO fat!”

 

There I went again. But this time the Holy Spirit stopped me dead in my tracks. As I looked at myself, held in position at the mirror a moment longer, the Holy Spirit said, “Toxic thoughts. You speak life and encouragement to everyone else and you are speak death to yourself.”

 

Grateful that he got my attention, I knew I had to o something about it. I had to excavate the skills I’d acquired from

The 21 Day Brain Detox. I had to take those toxic thoughts captive and replace them with the TRUTH.

 

I was speaking with a friend the other day and she says she asks herself “Is it true?”

 

For truth says:

 

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

PSALM 139:13-15

 

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

Song of Solomon 4:7

 

I am created in His image. You are created in His image. You are His workmanship. You are a work of art, skillfully wrought at the hands of a Master artisan. Click To Tweet You are beautiful, capable, and more than enough just the way you are.

 

THIS IS THE TRUTH.

 

And what was this preoccupation with body image anyway? I thought this was something I had resolved and put to rest. Having been heavier before, I learned to listen to the Holy Spirit as to how to honor my temple. And even though I know this is baby weight and it will most likely all disappear, I’m still nervous. And even though I have gone back down to my former size after every baby (five times I’ve bounced back), there is still this looming doubt, “What if I don’t lose the weight this time?” I just can’t bear the thought of walking around indefinitely feeling like The Stay Puft Marshmallow (ok so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but if you’ve ever been concerned about weight you get what I’m saying). Of course it doesn’t help when all my old clothes are still hanging in my closet but I can’t fit any of them. And there are but a handful of pieces I can fit so it can be overwhelming just to get dressed. Then don’t let me stumble upon old pics in my phone because that can hurl me smack dab into a pit of self-loathing.

 

What lies are trying to tap dance their way across you’re your mind?

 

Shatter the darkness and ditch the lies. Allow the light of truth to permeate every crack, corner and recess of your mind. Allow His light and love to course through your veins. Meditate on that which is true, lovely and praiseworthy.

 

The other day, I saw a glimpse of myself, smiled and thought, “Yes girl, you are working it!”

 

No pride. No vanity. Just a girl, loved by an awesome Father.

 

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 31:30

 

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

 

Happy to partner with these friends sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith, Mommy Moments, Grace & Truth

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It’s All In Your Mind

Thoughts running rampant,

Thoughts running free,

Headed for disaster,

Can’t catch me.

 

Thought

 

This is what my ego scream when it tosses toxic thoughts in the air of my mind. The thoughts catch wind and drift, sail, free fall and course freely through my stream of consciousness.

 

But God.

 

He calms the wind. He calms the seas. When our minds are staid on Him, He keeps us in perfect peace.

 

He teaches me to ARREST the thoughts on the spot. He reminds me that those imaginations must bow down to the Truth. He reminds me I have the power to take every thought captive and make it obey Him.

 

Minute by minute I must renew my mind. As the ego seeks to feed and preserve its selfish longings, I must continue to flex my spiritual muscle, strengthening the inner man. This is metanoia.

 

Metanoia μετάνοια, ας, ἡ

To change one’s heart and life by the renewing of the mind.   When used most frequently in the bible, it is translated as the word repentance. But its connotation runs much deeper. Not only does it mean to have sorrow and turn away from, even more so it means a conversion, a changing of the inner man.

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

 

Because I am a Believer, the mind that is in me is the mind of Christ (Phil 2:5).

 

Like the leaves that are now changing color here in the Northeast, the pigments of yellow, red, and orange have been there the whole time. But it takes changes in the environment to ignite changes in the leaves. The same can be said for the transformation of the mind. As a Believer who has the mind of Christ, His thoughts, His pure, true, lovely, praiseworthy thoughts are in my mind. But I must call them forward. And I do that by continuing to strengthen my inner man. I do that by reading and hearing the Word. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

 

So when my mind screams:

~You coach countless parents but your own children are acting up

~You’re doing all this working out. And for what? You’ve still got that roll on your back.

~Everyone around you is prospering and growing. What’s wrong with you?

~You can’t speak on that topic with authority because you don’t have the credentials.

~You’ve tried before in business and failed. This time won’t be any different.

~God why are you doing this to me right now? I can’t take another thing!

 

I must effect change like the leaves turning their vibrant hues and reply with:

~My children honor their parents for it is the first commandment with a promise.

~My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I will glorify God in my body which is His.

~I rejoice with those that rejoice. I do not covet. His promises are Yes and Amen for what He has already reserve with my name on it.

~The Holy Spirit has come upon me and I have received power. Now I can go and be your witness in the sphere of influence You’ve given me.

~When I obey You shall make my way prosperous and I shall be a good success.

~Lord I thank you for equipping me for every good work.  Through it all you’ve never left nor forsaken me.

 

Like Jesus responding to temptation in the wilderness, I must stand on the Word. Click To Tweet

 

I see myself having been raised with Christ. I set my mind on things above and am not consumed by temporal things that soon fade away. I see the beauty of the kingdom of heaven here at hand. I put to death my selfish ambitions and seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

 

So join me in the sacred space of metanoia where the inner man is transformed by the renewing of the mind. It’s All In Your Mind. There is definitely a war being waged friends, and you know where that battle is taking place: The Battlefield of the Mind. But we are fully equipped in our armor and will stand steadfast on the Solid Rock.

 

I am victorious!

 

You are victorious!

 

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

 

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

Stinking Thinking

“Get rid of your stinking thinking”, is a popular saying from by Pastor John K. Jenkins, the Senior Pastor at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden.

 

What a true and necessary statement. It’s #WellnessWednesday here at Inspired Life and most Wednesdays we talk about honoring the temple through proper nourishment, rest and exercise. A well-nourished person has a well-nourished mind. And depending your thought life you could be well nourished or have mental anorexia or mental bulimia.   Just as anorexia and bulimia are toxic to the physical body, stinking thinking is just as hazardous if not more for our mental health. The bible says as a man thinks so is he.

 

Stinking thinking is contrary to God’s Word.

 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true,

whatever is noble, whatever is right,

whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,

whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent

or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

 

But thoughts have a way of taking root and taking over. Like weeds, they put down strong roots and choke out those things we are trying to grow. But today we take a stand against stinking thinking and will not allow the weeds to take root. We will pluck them out as soon as they make an appearance. Properly tending the garden of our minds will yield a thought life that blooms with vibrant flowers and good fruit.

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Stinking thinking is sly and slick and can sneak up on you. Last week it crept stealthily upon me and dropped two little negative babies in my brain and they started to whine and cry. Take a glimpse in my mind:

 

~As I was about to fall asleep the Lord showed me a book cover. I saw the title of the book, an illustration and down below was my name. I saw my book! But after my name there was no comma, no initials, no credentials certifying me to be an authority on health and wellness. Then negative baby was born in my brain and came out shrieking, “You are not credentialed so you can’t write that book”.

 

~As I was watching one of the biggest Pastor in the world advertising for an upcoming national event he mentioned some of the sessions that were being offered, one of which was health and wellness. God spoke “I can place you on that platform”. Immediately came another negative baby screeching in my brain, “You can’t do that”. You’re not qualified”.

 

I could not feed these negative babies and allow them to grow into adult screamers taking over my head. NO! They had to go.

 

How do we abolish stinking thinking?

 

Heed The Word

When negative thought come up, arrest them on the spot. Capture those thoughts and cast them out. Negative thought are toxic thoughts that are contrary to God’s word.

 

We demolish arguments and every pretension

that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,

and we take captive every thought to make it

obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

 

Meditate On Truth

Once you capture the toxic thought, replace it with the Truth. So while I may not have letters behind my name making me an authority on health and wellness, I have been diligent and have studied to show myself approved. For 12 years I have been studying, reading, researching, and practicing wellness. The Most High has divinely guided me on the journey. He has been my teacher. And one day He will permit me to obtain some credentials but for now my certifications come from Him. He will not release me to pursue certification until it’s the right time for the right reasons. He’s clearly stated to me, your approval comes from me not from man. I know your heart.

 

Limit Outside Influence

The world’s cares can choke out God’s truth. The things we allow in our ear gates and eye gates influence who we are, what we do and what we believe. Images in the media can tell us that we ought to maintain a certain status: Have, Do, Be ALL THIS! Well meaning friends and family can suggest what we ought to Have, Do and Be. My caution is to quiet those voices so you can hear THE VOICE. He will lead you in paths of righteousness for His namesake. He will lead you in the way everlasting. Listen to Him, Trust Him and Follow Him.

 

For in depth support on managing your thought life, check out Dr. Caroline Leaf’s 21 Day Brain Detox. In this program Dr. Leaf gives a systematic approach for eliminating toxic thoughts.

 

The mind is truly a battlefield and we have to know the weapons of our warfare. I pray that you will meditate on that which is true and allow your mind to flourish.

 

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As always it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with friends at Purposeful Faith, Grace & Truth, Dance With Jesus

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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!

 

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

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Get Your Mind Right

In preparation for moving forward in your destiny, you’ve got to GET YOUR MIND RIGHT. Not just you, me too. I’m on my way to my destiny, my victory; I’m on my way. I will not allow anything to hinder my forward progress, including my own stinking thinking. In order for me to run, not walk the race that’s been set before me, I have to cultivate a thought life that is consistently in alignment with the truth.

 

So before we go setting resolutions, making plans, and strategizing our 2015, let’s purpose in our hearts to weed then cultivate the landscape of our minds because what you think is what will become of your life.

 

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

Psalm 23:7

 

In order for us to fulfill the call of God on our lives, we must have right thinking. Getting our minds right and focusing on truth brings us into alignment with His perfect will for our lives. Getting our minds right means that we cast down untruths that attempt to usurp the truth of God’s word concerning us.

 

Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

 

We will put on the mind of Christ, weed out the lies and speak truth over our families, our communities, and ourselves.

 

How do you get your mind right?

 

You put on the mind of Christ and get your mind right by declaring what God says. The mind is prone to thinking toxic, unhealthy thoughts. We may spend much of our thought life rehashing what happened in the past, who did us wrong, what mistakes we made, who we may or may not have offended and on and on. Or we may spend much of our thought life projecting into the future speculating about what could possibly happen if…We can curb some of that thinking by focusing instead on embracing what we do have which is this present moment. For more on embracing the now moment, click here.

 

We renew the mind by taking our focus off what has happened, could happen or our own beliefs on the matter and instead focus on what God says about the matter.

 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2

 

We renew the mind by meditating on truth.

 

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. Philippians 4:8

 

There have been times where my thinking has not been in alignment with the truth of God’s word. I’ve had instances when I’ve been driving that I’ve visualized myself getting into a car accident. I can play the whole story out in my head, replete with screams, broken glass, injuries and more. But putting on the mind of Christ, I am training myself to meditate on the truth. So I picture myself reeling in that toxic thought and I then commence to replace it with the truth that says, “He has given His angels charge over me to keep me in all my ways.” With time and practice I’ve been able to completely eradicate some of my old toxic thoughts.

 

Like a garden, the mind is fertile ground. How thoughts are fed and what they are fed directly contributes to their growth or demise.

 

On my daily drives up and down my street, I admire one of my neighbor’s landscaping. His grass is meticulously cut, hedges precisely trimmed and plants and other greenery strategically appointed with not a weed in sight. I watch him as he hauls out several mowers, a wheel barrel, trimmers and more to artfully and carefully sculpt and maintain his well tended landscaping. He is out there often, seems like several days a week seeing to his well-crafted handiwork.

landscaping 1

 

“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind. James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

 

Bonsai tree 1

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Bonsai tree 2

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And the same level of care and attention needs to be paid to the thoughts running free in our heads. Get your mind right. Like my neighbor, we need to tend our minds, carefully weeding out, cutting toxic negative thoughts and strategically planting the truth of God’s word so that our minds are precisely arranged with truth. When we do not sow truth, the toxic environment (the weeds) will grow and can eventually try to choke out the truth, robbing truth of essential nutrients. That can then lead to other physical, mental and behavioral issues.   Neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf suggests 75-98% of physical, mental and behavioral illness comes from one’s thought life.

 

So my friend, GET YOUR MIND RIGHT by putting on the helmet of salvation, girding ourselves with truth, lacing up our feet with the gospel of peace and running the race that’s been set before us.

 

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