Monthly Archives

September 2016

Faith

Stepping out is part of His plan

Not long ago, I did a little exercise in this Bible study. I had to write out what I believe is God’s plan for my life.

Have you ever really thought about that?

I mean, based on some of our social media posts alone, many Christians must surely feel God is out to get us, because life is just full of reasons for complaining and whining. OK, I confess while I usually restrain from Facebook, I’ve had my fair share of feeling this way.

Beat down.

Depressed.

Hopeless.

Defeated.

Burdened.

Deflated.

Exhausted.

But when I was asked to write out words that describe God’s plan for my life, I came up with:

Free.

Purposeful.

Intentional.

Loving.

Meaningful.

Joyful.

Easy going.

Close to Him.

Using my unique gifts.

Incredible.

Fulfilling.

Where would I come up with such crazy ideas? Well, I thought about what His word says. I could think of nothing in the Bible to support the first list. Those are all lies. God does NOT want my life to reflect a bunch of negative, worn-out adjectives.

Because He says He has plans for me. He was thinking of me in my mother’s womb. He’s written my name on his hand.I’m created to do great things. He is the vine and I am the branch. His yoke is easy and light.

I reflected on the time in my life when I really believed the lies. I EXPECTED Him to intervene and make all the things on the second list my reality. I didn’t exactly think I needed to do anything to receive His plan.

Hmph. Like a child. An insolent child who wants the reward without having followed the rules.

Today, I saw this book advertised on my Instagram feed. It looks great, doesn’t it? I love Joyce Meyer. I want to read this book!

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The truth is, faith requires action. Sometimes it’s big, but sometimes it’s only a step — much smaller than a leap. Just. One. Little. Step.

Can God’s purpose happen without it? I imagine it can, but He might go elsewhere to accomplish His plans, use someone else who’s willing to take the step and circumventing the blessing that comes from faith.

But if we expect it to happen without a step, our faith becomes stagnant. I believe God has intentions for us, but sometimes it looks less like fruit and more like pruning. That scares us! And in either case, we will never get to the goodness that’s wrapped up in His plan without taking that first step.

I took mine about two years ago. And I’ve been asked to take another. And another. It’s not easy. But it’s not exactly like the life I was living before was easy. It’s just more rewarding now. It’s filled with MORE of His goodness than I could have imagined when I was stuck with my feet unmoved.

I challenge you…write out what you think God’s plan is for your life. How does it change your perspective?

Have you taken the first step? Will knowing His plan help free you from the fear and apprehension that has you stuck?

Faith, Mirror, Wellness

I hate to love my body

I used to love hating on my body. I think it’s a 97 percent of the female population thing.

Until I had a revelation in the midst of years of battling inflammation that was causing many, many health conditions and causing me to pack on a lot of pounds. The most, in fact. I was my heaviest, busting out of size 10 pants and heading into size 12.

I had a moment in the mirror in which God reminded me of His unconditional love for me, along with my husband’s. And in a heartbeat, I got a brand-new attitude about my body. Seriously. I suddenly loved it.

The neatest thing about that was that once I made the decision, I found a tool to address the inflammation. As the inflammation and symptoms I had began to fade, toxic fat melted off my body. I saw who I really was under the mess, and an even better sense of wholeness and confidence emerged.

In sum: I loved the outer me (finally), and God helped me take care of the inner me. Once the inner me was doing well, the outer me could really shine. Transformation had taken place.

But real life is hardly that simple. I had a super miraculous, super amazing unexpected pregnancy. And I struggled with the ups and downs of a postpartum, nursing body. Both how it looked and how it felt. Amen?!?

This is super hard for me to share, but I’ve felt for some time that I am supposed to be more vulnerable so I can help more women and girls. Still…..GULP.

Here I am a few days ago:

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It’s really easy for me to look at this and feel disappointed. After all, I worked hard for my transformation a couple years ago. This does not reflect that work. I am a health writer and coach, helping other people get their body in the best possible condition.

But here are some truths:

  1. I just had a baby and nursed her for 13 months. My body did some absolutely insanely miraculous things. At the age of 40+. Not every woman is this blessed. I am blessed. Beyond measure. I am so grateful for this body that God used for not one, but three of these miracles. And while they might have been hard on my body, who knows if they haven’t actually been the reason I stay focused on a healthy lifestyle. Nobody will ever know how I’d look or feel if I’d never had children. Babies — and ALL they encompass — are blessings. That means my body is a blessing. Even here. Even now. Always.
  2. I eat clean about 95 percent of my diet. I eat little sugar and mostly organic. None of that has changed.
  3. I need more help to deal with the toxicities in my body than simply diet. I happen to recommend a perfect tool to people daily in nutritional cleansing, which aids the body in detoxing through intermittent fasting. Now that I’m done nursing, I can use it again. It will help me once again with a transformation. That’s a total blessing!
  4. As long as I’m still breathing, I get another chance to transform my body — not because it’s hideous (though a tan on that tummy might be nice! My husband joked that it looks like I’m wearing panty hose….hahahaha!!!) but because it can be healthier from the inside out.
  5. Jesus is more gentle on me than I am on myself, even on the days when I don’t treat my body like the temple that it is and even when I don’t deserve His grace. His love is truly unconditional, and He doesn’t stand in judgement but is my biggest cheerleader when I take care of myself. Because me taking good care of me allows me to stand more securely in the truth of my identity as a mom and wife and missionary. My cup is full when I feel great, and it can overflow and spill into all areas and relationships in my life effortlessly!

So I find myself in an oddly familiar place. Standing in front of the mirror, reflecting on this full-body shot my husband just took for a 16-week health transformation challenge.

I get a choice.

Hate this body OR

totally embrace it with the same unconditional love my Father has for me.

I’m choosing the latter, because I know He cares less (or perhaps not at all) about the way my body looks and much more about how I use it physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually…to be free, to share His love.

Man looks at how someone appears on the outside. But I look at what is in the heart.
– 1 Samuel 16:7b