I Surrender All

Christianity, the only place where dying feels amazing. SAY WHAT!? Yes! With each piece of me that dies, He grows bigger. He consumes that part that is no longer there. Like a dam that is broken, his spirit floods an area once dry and fruitless, now surging with living water. I surrender, He breathes more life.

Is this concept not in direct opposition to what we are taught? Self, self, and more self. Fulfill yourself, have pride in yourself, protect yourself, indulge yourself. Yet once we have done that we are empty as quickly as we were full. Its like a gas tank with a leak-It’s never really full, impossible to maintain.

We work so hard to meet all our own needs that we forget there is someone who wants to do that for us. Someone who knows our needs better than we do. He is the one that we seek whether we recognize it or not. He is the relationship we think we need. He is the bigger home we want. He is newer car we are convinced will make us happier. He is that thing! What ever thing you are fixated on right now. What ever rabbit you are chasing. When you catch that rabbit, do you then need to catch a fox, then a wolf, then a bear? Does it ever end? Aren’t you tired?

I know I’ve been tired. Very tired. I can exhaust myself quite quickly doing  “everything right!” I’m giving, I’m loving, I’m helping, I’m praying. Wait! But am I surrendering? Am I relinquishing control? Am I letting God be God? Hmmmm….The answer is no.

Today I made a familiar request: Dear Lord, slay my flesh and may your spirit take complete control. You tell your story through me, you prepare my way, move my feet where you want them to move, and say the words you want me to say. I want to be less me, and more you.

This is not a prayer you make once. This is a prayer you have to make, over and over again in your walk. Ask yourself, AM I SURRENDERING??

I LOVE the fulfillment that comes through surrender. I love God’s faithfulness. He is the only thing that can fill my cup!!!

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

As long as we are on this earth our flesh will pull us back to a need to control. Even while we are immersed in church and doing the right things we can get swept away by the natural tendency to fix a situation, figure something out on our own, or fight a battle we are not meant to fight–And we may be doing all those things with pure intentions and in the name of The Lord. YET, we have not fully surrender.

So are you doing “all the right things” but you find yourself weary and tired? Maybe its time to ask yourself: Have I surrendered this to God–Fully Surrendered?

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I surrender all, I surrender all. All  To YOU my blessed Savior, I surrender all.images-10

 

He is faithful to remind us…

{This is just a little something I posted on the facebook page! I really want you all to read the blog I posted below :)}

Incredibly vulnerable moment: Recently one of my friends was going on and on about the physical beauty of a former friend of mine. The more she spoke the smaller I felt, all while each of my flaws felt larger. “No one talks about me like that,” I thought. The enemy had found his opening, and he has been punching me in the gut with it ever since. Whispers, “all your fiends think your ugly. That’s why they tell you how nice you are all the time.” Punch, punch!
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
He prefers to push the same old buttons that have always worked, and even when God has strengthen you, he will test them for old times sake. This time it worked.
The mind of a recovered anorexic is no different then the mind of a recovered alcoholic. The bottle speaks to you each day, just like physical inadequacy can speak to me! We choose to hear a different voice instead! We press toward His voice everyday! He reminds you who you are.
This weekend I have been stalking the IF:Gathering, wishing I could have been there live and in person! Then I read this article and know for certain why God was drawing me there. He loves me and wanted to remind me once again of who I am. I am beautiful because I am His and that is all that matters and that is all that is eternal. I’m blessed to belong to a patient Heavenly Father, willing to constantly remind me of what He already knows. He will never stop working on uprooting the lies of my past, and I simply cannot thank Him enough for his comfort. I share this with you because I have a feeling other women need to be reminded too~perhaps for different reasons than my own! Please read this blog! You will be blessed and reminded of your unique beauty too!
{I do this because fitness is so much more than physical, and reaching a weight loss goal matters little if your mind is plagued with doubt. For the mirror can hold a very skewed imagine through ill eyes. And my eyes have been ill for most of my life! Only recently have I been able to see my beauty. I want to redefine health and wellness so it includes the mental and spiritual because it’s absolutely imperative for obtaining true health!}

Please check out Ann Voskamps most recent post:: Here is the link:

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2014/02/why-you-really-matter-an-anthem-for-women/

You Were Planned!

Do you ever feel without purpose, meaningless in the grand scheme of things? Often times it is that feeling that convinces us we are not worthy of self care or love, and that tends to manifest itself first in our health.

Believing that we are some how part of the “unworthy class” or the “useless sector”, is a common lie that holds us captive. It is a seed the enemy plants and can easily walk away from, knowing that we will do just fine to water it and grow it all on our own. Our culture even fuels this way of thinking.  Society paints a very narrow definition of success and if we don’t feel like our body or our bank account fit the part, its very easy to live in the lie that we are without purpose.

Here is the two part defense to that lie (courtesy of Paul):

1.”(8) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- (9) not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Do you see what Paul is saying here? Your worth, your very precious life is not special because you have accumulated more “points” than your neighbor and it’s not worthless if you have accumulated less. Societal norms almost never line up with God’s view. Your value is from God; it’s His gift to you. He designed it that way and specifically made it not about “works” so that “no one can boast.” Why do you think that is? Look at how we judge each other–By works, by appearances! He knew that, and wanted to free us from that bondage. That part of the verse is absolutely vital! Which leads to the second half…

2.”(10) For you are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

You are God’s handiwork! This verse talks about a plan that was made in advance which specifically includes you. Your role is vital. You are not some accident, that has forced God to whip up some way to fit you in. Imagine a massive puzzle, one that covers the entire universe. Imagine that nearly all the pieces are put together, but one piece is missing. Is it complete? No! And if you have ever made a puzzle, you know you are not satisfied until all the pieces are there. Just as the body of Christ is not complete without you. Don’t remove yourself from the masterpiece. Remember, You are God’s Handiwork!!!!

Notice the word “works” is used again, but it’s not just “works” by itself, it is “good works”.  This is no longer the worldly definition of “works”, this is the Godly definition of works. “Good works” are the works He created you to fulfill. They come with out pressure or the bondage of comparison thinking. These works come from faith, that you are loved and set apart by a God that planned you according to his eternal purpose. You cannot tally them up and cash them in–that’s the worldly definition. No, instead these flow from you, because they were created in you before you were even born. They were Gifted to you by your Father and no one else can fulfill what He wants to do through you, but YOU!

*Let God define your life and what true success is!

*Know you are worthy of good health and happiness!

*Have faith in His plan and submit to His timing (its better than the worlds)!

No matter how long you have been told you are unworthy, worthless, fat, stupid, or an embarrassment, its simply NOT true! There is a very real enemy that knows God wants to glorify himself in you, and he has put people and situations in your life to keep you in that defeated mindset. But you can stand up to him and that way of thinking with the POWERFUL, LIVING WORD OF GOD! Please comment below that you will commit to putting Ephesians 2:8-10 to memory and anytime you think you are worthless you will combat those thoughts with His Word! As someone who has been there, I promise your life will change!

I love you! And His Kingdom needs you! Your smile, your hug, your encouragement! You bring His light to the darkness! 

Take Care of Yourself!!!!

HI FROM ME AND MY BABY!!!!

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Seasonal Affective Disorder: Bending Without Breaking

During the winter it is normal for all of us to feel less energized and perhaps a greater need to rest. This comes from shorter days and an increased release of melatonin. In nature this seasonal shift causes many animals to hibernate, but us humans keep plugging along. We have an incredible ability to override the natural physiological responses to seasonal change, in order to adapt to a lifestyle that does not afford for hibernation. However, in some of us, that override is not there. For those of us with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), we are overcome by a sense of hopelessness and worthlessness, we may not sleep at night and feel tired all day. We feel antisocial and less interested in the activities we typically enjoy. There is no switch we can flip and that can be incredibly overwhelming and discouraging.

There is a single tree right in front of my kitchen window. It is surrounded by rose bushes. In the the spring, summer, and fall, the tree is covered in pretty leaves, with pretty red roses adorning its trunk. Then suddenly the cold will come, and in what feels like less than a weeks time, all the leaves are gone, and the beautiful rose bush is just a wicked cluster of thistles. The other day while walking back from the mail box, I stopped to stair closely at the tree. It looked painful to be honest. Its been cold here, and the bark seemed to be shrink in distress. I also noticed a thistly vine had grown all the way up the tree from the rose bush. The thorns were piercing it’s dark gray body. Ouch. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that tree and how it so accurately symbolizes how I feel. How can I feel so happy and radiant all year long, literally surrounded by roses, then rapidly, yet predictably, sink into such raw despair? SAD feels exactly like that tree looks. Completely stripped, totally raw, and utterly defenseless. The thorny vine that digs into its branches may have been there all year, but now it is exposed for everyone to see. There are no pretty leaves to conceal it. 

Yet, at the end of the day, this is nature right? This is God’s glorious design. With every season, turn, turn, turn….So if we can see this truth in nature and we can accept that this is a real physical struggle we must face, then how can we allow it to refine us and enlighten us in the midst of the pain? Hopefully I can help you with that….

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I have suffered from SAD my whole life, but only fully recognized its existence when I was diagnosed in 2010. Since then, I have discovered ways to make this time of year more bearable, and through that I have significantly shortened the peak period of my symptoms.

Here are my tips:

1. If you think you have it, get diagnosed and accept it. Prior to accepting it, I would fight it! I would spend months churning over this constant “what’s wrong with me?” question. It made me sick, and never allowed me to move on. Now that I know I have it, I can feel it coming on. I slow down and step into what’s to come with more acceptance and understanding.

2. Surround yourself with comfort~Cozy blankets, inspirational books, pretty paintings and pictures, redecorate a corner (it’s ok if it takes you a week to do it~your not your normal self remember)~Don’t feel bad for shutting some doors on messes; If your SAD is really bad you may only have the energy to keep one space tidy~Make that your sanctuary. Buy a few new baggy sweaters, wear them everyday. Light smell good candles and massage yourself daily with essential oils.

3. Light therapy. If you can afford a light therapy lamp, get one. If not, try to sit in an open window with the sunlight directly on your face for at least 20 minutes. If you can get outside, even better. Try to force a walk, but don’t kill yourself with guilt if you can’t! Let go of guilt!

4. Be ok with who you are now, and let go of who you are the rest of the year (He/She will be back and better than before). I am usually very outgoing and love being social. However, when SAD hits, if you aren’t in my enter circle…Hhssss get away! I literally do not have the energy to “put it on” for anyone. I’m the stripped down tree remember? And you know what? Thats ok! We have somehow convinced ourselves that we have to be perfect all the time, we don’t. We aren’t! I mean if nature has to follow this law, don’t you think its ok if we do too? This is your time to say NO. No, I can’t do lunch. No, I can’t have your kids over for a sleep over. But on the flip side, do say YES to dinner with your best friend or a cozy night over at your parents house. You need to be social but be social with people who you can be 100% YOU with.

5. Create your “new routine”. This kind of goes along with number 4. If you are a yes person like me, its time to incorporate a little No. Slow down! Shorten your exercise routine, focus on stretching, yoga, prayer, and balance. Don’t be afraid to cut out some clutter, and don’t feel bad about it. Put just a few “to-dos” on your list; One item for your health, one item for your home, and one item for your family. {don’t neglect your health, this will pass far more quickly with even 10 minutes of exercise a day~trust me}

6. Look inside and get quite. Nothing is without meaning. This is the most important item that helps me to embrace this time, and through this I grow. I always come out the other side with greater knowledge and understanding. There is a reason that tree in my yard is stripped down, and there is a reason I feel a connection to that tree right now.What does God do for us when we are stripped down? What can he reveal? More than when we are concealed right?

7. This too shall pass. Do not become overwhelmed. Soon you will feel alive again. Your hope will return and your energy will spring anew. Don’t be hard on yourself, now is the time to love yourself the most!

Think of the tree. Every year it grows, every year it perseveres. It doesn’t care about what everyone else is doing and what everyone else thinks about it. It has no clue that its my muse for this blog right now! Nope, all it does is follow the rhythm that our Creator set before it. It soaks up the sun and drinks the water. It will bear fruit again, and so will you and I. Be still and know!

Finally, I will leave you with this quote to think on:

“Be Still With God- To be idle sometimes is the part of wisdom. It is the needful rest and relaxation that Christ invited his disciples to share with Him when they were overstrained and worn out with labour. The best way to enjoy it is to get away from the crowd into some quiet place where the heart can be still with God in the open air. It is most sweet when it is shared by friends. Such idleness may be fruitful. It reaps ‘The harvest of a quite eye, that broods and sleeps on His own heart.’”~unknown

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2013

“As a tree is fertilized by its own broken branches and fallen leaves, and grown out of its own decay, so men and nations are bettered and improved by trial, and refined out of broken hopes and blighted expectations.” ~F.W. Roberston

I adore that quote, and if it rings true at all, my soil for the 2014 harvest is as rich as they get.

There are so many details about our 2013 that aren’t mine to share, but I can say I was stretched in every meaning of the word. I was stretched physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

In November I ran a half marathon that I had no business running. I recently had surgery that wouldn’t allow for any physical exercise, which left me weak and out of condition, then I went into the race suffering from an excruciating case of bronchitis. Not to mention, the temps in Tennessee were in the 30s and my pipes were Florida conditioned. I know this doesn’t seem like some huge feat, and honestly I didn’t make that big of a deal out of it. However, what I experienced out there was a big deal. That race was a 2 hour and 30-something minute synopsis of my year. I couldn’t breathe at times, my joints ached, I cried, I prayed, I KEPT GOING. I never stopped. At times I moved so slow that if my body didn’t appear to be running, you might have called it standing still. But I never stopped. Why? Because of God. I’m not kidding, it was all HIM! I should have collapsed somewhere around the guy who was smoking on the sidewalk (lol). But, I just kept asking Him, “Please Lord just carry me to the finish. Just push me. Keep pushing me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He was faithful, I finished.

Being completely weak and incapable, yet finishing the race solely by the strength of God was my 2013. 

I’m not the type of person to say “my life is horrible” just because my circumstances might be hard. In fact, I see a lot of beauty in the hard times. Not because of anything great about me, but because of God. He is always faithful in eventually revealing His purpose. Seeing that faithfulness comes from years of walking with Him. There is nothing He has sent me through, that was not intended to strengthen me and draw me closer to Him. In fact, in my pain, I am thankful. Thankful that he believes in me enough to challenge and refine me. When you ask God to give you wisdom, discernment, and greater responsibility within His kingdom, He doesn’t hand it all over like a winning lotto ticket. Instead, He puts you through bootcamp.

This year was about silence and prayer. I fought hard for one thing, Stephen’s health. Everything else felt stripped away from me, and I was asked to be silent. Any time I felt the need to defend myself, or try too hard, or fix something, I heard, “why aren’t I enough for you?”….”shhhh”

He demanded my attention. He revealed to me my pride. He showed me a mirror. He asked me to choose Him every day. He allowed me to walk through so many things all alone, so I would know that I am never alone. He asked me to release people and situations over to Him. There were days, in the midst of my most difficult storm, when I couldn’t eat, shower, or even change out of my robe. I just sat holding a picture of His face in one hand and His Word in the other. I had never been so incapable of basic functions, and He met me there. He showed me such beauty and love. Once again, asking me to be still, be quite. He wanted to be my sole provider and, for once, I allowed it.

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If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands! CLAP! CLAP! I am so blessed. Why? Because God spent 2013 improving my sight. There are no guarantees in life. As a child you look ahead and see school, career, love, marriage, babies, family, a beautiful home, health, security. But those things aren’t guaranteed, and they aren’t promised to satisfy regardless. Sometimes you get sick, sometimes you can’t find a job. sometimes you can’t have kids, sometimes you feel alone, sometimes___________. But you always have a choice! You have a choice to trust in the God who created The Heavens and The Earth. You have a choice to relinquish control and KNOW all things belong to Him (your children, your spouse, your job- THEY ARE HIS! Not yours!). You have a choice to be infinitely grateful for every breath you breathe and every bite you take. You have a choice to Stop putting God in a box–assuming he can only do certain things or only involves himself in certain areas of your life–and Start seeing Him as the infinite, ever-flowing, never-ending source of love and power that He is. He knows everything about you, He lights every step you take, He protects you, He keeps you, He has great plans for you! Erase everything you know about “how the world works” and focus on that!

~Finally, brothers, 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 NIV)
So here are my choices:
1. I chose to love my husband every day. Knowing that he is not perfect and I never expect him to be. He is the son of The Most High King. He is adored by God, and God is taking him on an extraordinary journey. One that I am so very fortunate to be apart of. I will not bring him down, rather I will always lift him up in prayer and with words of encouragement. I will do my very best to love him like Christ loves me, unconditionally.
2. I will not compare myself to others, yet believe wholeheartedly that God made me and set me apart for a specific, and divine purpose. He loves me and wants me to be ME!
3. I will believe that others love me too. I will not live in a state where I assume negativity, yet reside in positivity, knowing he is working all things for my good.
4. I will soak up every one of my german shepherd’s 10,000 a day kisses, even though I don’t need a bath. I will happily share the bed with my 100lb Rottweiler, who kicks and snores all night. I will sit for hours scratching my cockatiel’s head because he absolutely adores it. And I will thank God every minute for the gifts that they are. They are my family. They are the children he has chosen for me, for the moment that I am in, and I am unbelievably blessed by their lives.
5. I will be an artist. I will not be afraid to create all the crazy creations HE pours into my head.
6. I will love deeper
7. I will choose to trust Him in all things
8. I will live here and now, not then and there.
What are YOUR choices?
I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from the year :)
All of our babies~We welcomed a new feathery addition this year and the whole family has embraced him. Even my Dad got him a “welcome to the family gift”! When you were raised with pet ducks, pigs, and cows that sleep in the house, you don’t know where animal ends and people begin! LOL!
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My Faves~From Cold To Hot :)

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My Florida Family~When God takes you away from home, You find family on the road. Im thankful for all of them:

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And finally a shot from my mom’s visit for Christmas:

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HAPPY NEW YEAR YA’LL!!!! Choose Him because He Chose YOU!

What’s My Excuse?

{I am writing this blog post  very loosely in response to the “What’s Your Excuse?” controversy, regarding a mother’s Facebook photo, in which she revealed her sculpted body while surrounded by her three kids, with a caption saying “What’s Your Excuse?” I am doing so because this a very important area of the fitness industry that needs to be examined, not because I want to take part in any personal attacks-You will not find that here- My intention is only to love, inspire, and educate.}

Before I get started let me be clear, this is not a judgement about this woman. In fact, you will see as you read, this has very little to do with her but more to do with an issue. I believe her intentions were earnest. I simply want to take the time to offer my thoughts on what I believe to be the heart of this matter, and that is ‘Motivation’. 

While I was working on my Bachelors in Health Administration, I spent a lot of time researching obesity and how it impacts our society. I have also spent a great deal of time studying anorexia and fitness/restrictive eating addictions. I have lived the latter, and understand it well. Further more, I am a student of The Bible which holds a wealth of knowledge in regards to true self worth. And through my experience, I have come to realize, that regardless of the condition, it is spawned from the same ‘disease’. I believe our culture fuels this disease in many ways, but I am only going to go into one for this particular blog.

Detrimental Motivation- We simple do not benefit from physically revealing images aimed to ‘motivate‘ us. It is detrimental in the long run, for us as individuals and society as a whole. I don’t care who you are, when you see revealing pictures, that depict something you are not, you feel shame and inadequacy. For some its a fleeting moment, for others it could hurt all day. In many cases pictures like that may ‘motivate’ us to go workout or cut some carbs, but is that healthy? Is that how we should feel about ourselves in order to workout? Like we are a problem needing to be fixed? No! This is called negative motivation, and it has quickly grown into our standard of motivation, but in reality its a massive monster eating away at something that should be beautiful and positive. We are suffering for this, beyond what we care to recognize!

Positive Motivation- The body is designed to be exercised so that it can grow strong and maintain that strength. Strength is necessary for avoiding injury, reducing health related risks, and thriving longer. The act of exercise, reduces stress which in turn reduces the likelihood of acquiring several stress related illnesses (which are vast). Additionally, people that exercise are just happier. A healthy diet can almost eliminate the chances of acquiring a plethora of avoidable, yet deadly diseases. Additionally, people who eat healthy are more energetic during the day and sleep better at night.

^^^This is where God‘s heart lies on the matter of health. This is how we should be motivated. We need to be surrounded with positive benefits, that eliminate body shaming and reduce the risk of making physically detrimental decisions in order to achieve some idea of perfection. 

I like to imagine a health/fitness industry completely void of nearly naked women and shirtless men, and replace them with inspiring stories. Stories about a woman with cancer who walks 5Ks while in the midst of chemo treatments, or a Dad who breaks the cycle of obesity in his family by education himself on healthy eating, or the handicapped boy who has a wall full of medals from his special olympic competitions, or the grandma who ran her first half marathon, or the blind war hero who competed in a full marathon, or the woman who reversed her diabetes by eating healthy and picking up zumba, Or the mom of three who works out and eats right because she wants to show her children how to be healthy. These are the stories that motivate me. These are the stories, that make me think “WHAT’S My Excuse?”

I can only imagine all the people, who are intimidated by gyms, or who don’t try because they think “I could never look like that”, who would finally get healthy because it would JUST be about health! Or the women and men, who kill themselves competing for a prize that never seems to fulfill, that would finally be set free to just be healthy for the health of it! What sweet liberation! Can you see it?

Please be apart of spreading positive motivation!! We can make a difference in health and fitness, and we can start reestablishing stronger self-esteems! 

If you are struggling with your health, please allow God to be apart of that. Ask Him to help you find the strength and loving motivation to care for that beautiful gift he created for you! He wants you to thrive :)

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Love y’all!

“Fat Days”

I hate the word fat, but it is a word that cannot be avoided. Used as it should, it simply defines a substance (or nutrient) that can be used and stored in the body for many useful purposes. But we rarely use it in that context. We typically use it to describe a physical condition that is “unattractive”, “lowly”. And now because we use that word as a way to slash and attack others, it is often hard to hear it any other way. Obesity is ramped, but it is next to impossible to address this health concern without creating a major offense. Then there is the anorexia epidemic, this one is getting harder and harder to spot as the enemy has instilled such a great lust for its physical manifestations. It too is birthed from the word “fat”.

So, what are we left with? It either rules our lives us a very unhealthy coat of armor, or as the one thing we will sacrifice our health, happiness, and in some cases our lives, to escape from. While the rest of us, float somewhere in the middle raging war against the word, on the battlefield of our mind. So who is untouched by “fat”? I have yet to meet that person.

This has no doubt been the thorn in my side. Nothing even comes close. If I were Paul, the author of 2 Corinthians, I would be naked in a mirror somewhere while writing this:

“…I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”  (2 Corinthians 12: 7-9)

I have been on both sides of the coin. I have suffered from anorexia and I have been overweight. However, regardless of where I sat, the voice in my head was the same. It was the voice of the enemy, the thorn.

“Oh my gosh, you are so gross. Please don’t eat in front of people, it will make others sick.”

“Everyone is looking at you thinking you are the ugliest person here.”

“Why would anyone want to be friends with you, you’re fat?”

“You really should try not to eat anything this week.”

{{Interesting. Same voice, same phrases…when I was under 100 lbs with bones popping out of my flesh, and when I was 30 lbs over weight, exhausted and depressed. Can you relate?}}

That voice came back to me this past week. I told myself I was just having a “fat day” (how easily do we toss that term around?). But then that “fat day” turned into a “fat week” and I began to feel my weakness set in. Where was my victory over this? I searched in all my old places, the mirror, the mind….weaker still. God was saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Paul repeats himself a lot in his letters to the church. In Philippians he says, “It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you” (Philippians 3:1). Paul, the man with the thorn in his side is a man who knows the importance of “reminders” and “safeguards”! I wonder how many times God had to tell him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”? I know I need reminding!

{{This thorn in my side will be removed in heaven, however, while I am here God will use it to display His power and His glory. He is using it right now as a teaching moment for me, maybe for you too. He gives us tools to cope with these thorns. These tools also keep us closer to Him. These tools are found in His Word.}}

So how can we make God a part of our health? Whether it be a battle with obesity, a secret struggle with anorexia, an obsession with perfection (that includes fitness addictions), or the negative voices that flood our minds and keep us from our purpose? It ALL comes from the same place. Once again, Paul has the answer:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18).

****The struggle you and I face with vanity and with our health has very little to do with our bodies at all. It is a spiritual struggle that needs to be met with a spiritual answer. When met with the word “Fat” look up this verse! Ephesians 6:10-18 is an ACTION verse! Put that action in place, do not leave the health of your body and spirit to chance.**** You are a beautiful creation of God, everything about you was designed by Him. He wants you to be healthy and Happy, full of life, and clarity! Love you!

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