Summer Before Kindergarten…

So tomorrow this baby…

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will be a Kindergartner.  Sniff, Sniff….

I can’t believe it.  I still feel like he should be a baby not a 5 1/2 year old boy.

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This summer will be the last summer before he starts school.

[Insert more sniffing….]

And I want to do some things that will make this summer special for him.

So I would love to hear from you….

What are some things you did the summer before your child started Kindergarten?

Was there something you wish you had done?

I would LOVE to hear your ideas!

I really don’t want this summer just to fly by and wonder what we did.  I would like to make it a special one.

What I am doing in May

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Can you believe the year is almost half way over?  I can’t believe May is half way over!!

Man, it just seems like the years just go by faster and faster!

Here are a few things I am working on this month:

POWER SHEETS

I am working on living with more intention.  Not just letting the days, months, and years go by and not have anything to show for my life.

One of the things I have been using are PowerSheets.  It is a system that Lara Casey has developed to help people focus on living for what matters.  Living your life on purpose.  I have really been loving using these.  I have not been totally faithful in using them but I am making imperfect progress with them.

So this month I plan on being more faithful in using them.  I am getting better.

INSANITY MAX 30 JOURNEY

I just finished with my Insanity Max 30 journey (5/15). This was a big accomplishment for me!

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It has been a tough workout.  I used the modifications through most of the workout.  But this workout was not about having another workout completion under my belt.  It was about pushing myself, getting out of my comfort zone, fighting for myself and seeing how far I could go.  It was about pushing through the mental blocks I get and becoming more of the person God made me to be.

Truth be told, when I heard about this workout before it debut in December, I had no intention of doing it.  I had no interest in it.  It wasn’t until I was listening to some of Shaun T’s podcasts and hearing his heart behind this program that I was inspired to do it.

This program is not about beating yourself up with a workout.  It is about pushing yourself to become the best you can be.   Every workout you hear the passion and care in Shaun T’s voice and he is pushing you and motivating you through this workout.  He really does care and that is evidenced in this workout.

WHAT I AM READING

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Currently I am reading “A Million Little Ways” by Emily Freeman.  This book opens your eyes about the art of your life.  That God is making art in and through your life.  I am not finished with this yet but it is one of my goals this month to finish it.  I try to read a little each day.  Some days I miss that goal but I don’t let that stop me.  I do what I can and keep moving.

A MORE POSITIVE MINDSET

Another goal I have for this month is to write down the good things I have done each day.

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Boy, I have not been good with this so far.  I started off the first few days of the month well but then I just would forget about it at the end of the day.

But I am set on making imperfect progress – so I will continue to strive to do this every day.  I will let you know how that goes.

SUMMER BIBLE STUDY

I am preparing this month to teach Restless by Jennie Allen at my church this summer.

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I am real excited to go through this Bible Study with the women at my church.  This study will help point us in the direction to run after God’s purposes for our lives instead of letting fear hinder His purposes for us.

So those are a few things I am doing this month.  I need to figure out my workout schedule now that I have finished Max 30.  I think I am going to do a mixture of workouts for a while.

What are you working on this month?

A Lovely Mess…

I am a mess.

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I fail every day. I have a house that looks like a tornado has gone through it. (I need to fire my maid! Opps that is me…) I get overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. I get easily distracted. I rather stay in bed. I love to sleep and be lazy. I am so not type A. I get tired of going to the grocery store every week. I love food so my nutrition is a daily battle. I have PCOS which makes life interesting. (Not really – just frustrating). I like having a schedule but I don’t want to schedule every minute of my day. I hate to shop for clothes. I wish someone would do that for me. I always feel like a fashion mess. (BTW – I have tried Stitch Fix but so far it has been a fail for me). I am a social introvert. Sometimes I want to be around people, sometimes I don’t. I don’t think quick on the fly. I need time to process.

I could go on and on……

But in the midst of my messes – I have a God who loves me. I have a God who nevers gives up on me. I have a God who helps me and does not leave me to fend for myself.

You see – God loves messy people. If He didn’t we would all be in a world of hurt.

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I love how the Bible is not a book of a bunch of perfect people. It is a book with a bunch of messy people that God uses and nevers gives up on.

God uses people in the midst of their messy.

You don’t have to get your act together for God to use you. It would never happen if that were the case.

You just have to be an open, willing vessel for Him to use. It doesn’t matter that your vessel has cracks in it. We are all broken vessels. The key is to give our broken pieces to Jesus and allow Him to put them back together and make us a beautiful, messy vessel for His glory.

Don’t you want to have your messy bring glory to Him? Don’t you want to see that your messy has a divine purpose?

Friends – that gives me hope. That gives me purpose. That fuels my perserverance.

The Comparison Trap

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One of the things I have been doing in my quiet times is studying the book of Titus.

Not too long ago, I was writing out Chapter 2 and a phrase in verse 5 stood out to me.

In this verse, Paul is instructing Titus what the older women in the church should be instructing the younger women.

And there is this little phrase that made me pause – the phrase where Paul says for the younger women to be “workers at home”.

It made me think – what does this really mean?

So I sought the Lord. I asked Him what does this mean for me?

And what come to my mind was the comparison trap that I struggle with so frequently. That I need to stop comparing myself to others and work where God has me.

We have all heard the phrase – “The grass is greener where you water it.”

I have to work and water the plot of grass that God has given me and not look at what others are doing around me.

It is so hard though. Especially in this age of social media. I see friends doing things that I want to be doing. And then I feel like a loser. Like it is too late. I’ve missed the boat. God has left me behind.

But you know who is telling me that? Hint – It is NOT the Lord!

It is Satan. And it is a lie from the pit of hell!

He is doing whatever he can to discourage me and keep me from what God has for me right now. He wants to keep me from the great plans God has for me.

The truth is God has great plans for me. Plans to prosper me, to give me a hope and a future (Jer 29:11).

The truth is God is for me, not against me. (Romans 8:31)

The truth is God ways are not my ways and He will work out everything in His timing. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

There is purpose in EVERYTHING God has called me to do today. Even in doing the dishes that are stacked up in my sink today.

What happens when we don’t take care of our lawns? If we don’t do the work at home?

The lawn gets overgrown. Weeds take over. The good grass dies. It gets trash. Bugs over take it. It looks really bad. It is an eye sore.

What happens when you take care of your lawn?

You get rid of the weeds when they pop up. You regularly mow it. You fertilize it so it is green and pretty. There is no trash. Everything is well taken care of.

So what do I have to do to water my lawn and not get stuck in the trap of comparison?

I think we have to ask some questions of ourselves before the Lord:

Where does God have me right now?
How does He want me to be faithful right now?
What are the things I need to be praying for right now?
What is one small step I can take today to water and fertilize “my lawn”

Take some time today and read Romans 8. Write out the chapter. Pray through the Scriptures that stand out to you. There are some really good truths to help us water our own lawn and see the great love God has for us.

Do you struggle with the comparison trap like me? What is the one step God is revealing to you that you need to do today?

Hang in there friend and don’t give up!

Where Do I Store My Treasure?

We all are in the business of storing treasure.

The question is:  Are you storing your treasures in the right place?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend my church’s Women’s Stay Treat.  [A Stay Treat is where we have a retreat at our church rather than go out of town]

The speaker was my college friend, Lori Joiner and the topic was Laying Up Treasure.

Lori did a fantastic job helping us really think about where we are laying up our treasures, how to lay up treasures in heaven, and thinking about what kind of legacy we want to leave behind.

The fact is we are all storing up treasure either in heaven or on earth.  It is one or the other.  There is no in-between.

So where are you storing your treasure?

I loved Lori’s definition of what is a treasure in heaven:

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Isn’t that good! That means it is not just the big things that we do for God that are treasures for His Kingdom.  It is also the little things He calls us to do every day.  Changing diapers, respecting our husband, being the manager of our home, being a faithful employee, etc.  Every act of obedience matters.

So I want to share with you Lori’s 5 Treasure Tips to help us on this journey of laying up treasure in heaven:

1.  Read God’s Word

2.  Listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit

3.  Have faith that what God says is true.

4.  Don’t compare yourself to others

5.  Make every day count.

I want to emphasize we all fail at laying up treasure in heaven at one point or another.  All of us will have some wood, hay, and straw on the day we stand before the Lord.  The only person who would not have any wood, hay, or straw would be Jesus.

So don’t beat yourself up about what you have or haven’t done.  Just start today and do what He has called you to do.  And if you fail, go before Him and tell Him.  He loves you and does not condemn you.  He wants to you to keep going and not give up.  So let’s keep pressing on and lay up treasure in Heaven for God and His glory!

My Kick In The Pants…..

Have you ever wanted to see how far you could push yourself?  To see how far you could go?

I don’t know about you, but I need a good kick in the pants!  I have struggled this year to be consistent with my workouts and it is time for a change.

So I am going to do a workout that I had no plans on doing.

What is that workout – Shaun T’s New Insanity Max 30!

Check it out here

Am I crazy?  Probably

But it is time to do something different.  It is time to challenge myself and see what I can do.

I didn’t want to do this program.  I had NO plans on doing it!

But listening to Shaut T’s podcast and hearing his heart behind this program has changed my mind.

I am still scared as all get out to do this program but real change comes when you stop feeding your fears.

If you have ever listened to Shaun T, you no doubt hear his heart to help people become their best.  And that is what motivates me.

So here I am.  I am going to buy the program this week and start it on March 16th.

If you are ready for a change. If you want to see what you can accomplish.  I invite you to take on this challenge with me.

I can’t do this by myself and I would love to have you join me.

I will post a video with more details later.

But until then, think about it and most importantly pray about it.  See if the Lord would have you take on this challenge.  And if so, then let’s get started!!

My Weight Stuggles

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I have struggled with my weight ever since high school. I thought I was fat. I was made to think I was fat. I did not think I was good enough.

My senior year I was on the drill team. But I barely made it on because of my weight. But you see if you looked at my pictures, you would not have thought I was fat. But I thought I was huge because I did not meet the weight requirements. I had to be weighed every week and it was posted every week for everyone to see. And every week I could not perform because I did not make my requirement. The only football game I got to perform was the Homecoming game because it was the one game everyone got to perform.

I was ashamed and embarrassed. One week I was 3 pounds from their requirement and the officers wrote on the sheet for everyone to see how close I was to making the requirement. I don’t know if it was their way to embarrass me or encourage me. If it was meant to encourage, it had the opposite effect. I was embarrassed. So the next week I fell further from the goal.

So I went into college thinking I was fat. But the truth was, I was at a healthy weight for my body.

So I struggled. And I struggled. And I gained weight. I felt defeated and worthless.

Then in my junior year, I took an awful aerobics class for one of my PE credits. One of the things we had to do at the beginning of the semester was we had to weigh and everyone saw it. I saw the number that as I the scale and I was in disbelief. I did not believe what the scale said. I could not believe my weight was so high. Cue embarrassment again.

All through college I struggled. Especially when it came to dating. I thought if I lost a certain amount of weight then so and so would ask me out. But that was just a dumb roller coaster I was on.

If my weight was keeping someone from asking me out, that said more about him and not about me. Boy how I wish I knew then what I know now. But that is another story for another day.

I have struggled and struggled with that dumb number on the scale. I have let it determine my worth for so long. So back in 2013, I had enough and I threw my scale in the trash. You can read about that here.

I wish I could say that was the end of my struggle. It was freeing but not the end. The fact is I still struggle. It is definitely a thorn in my flesh. But I am learning more and more that it is not a battle of my will. It is a spiritual battle for my heart, mind, and soul.

Last weekend I was praying about this and I searched for verses with the word struggle in them. And this verse was the first one that came up:

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“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.”

Exactly what I needed from the Lord. With this journey, you are made to think you just have to will yourself to do the workouts and eat the right way. To suck it up and do it. But in reality, if it works, it will only last for so long. I believe is a big reason why so many people gain the weight they have lost and then some.

We have to change the way we think about this battle. It is a battle. It is not easy. It is super hard. But God does not leave us to fend for ourselves. He is right in the midst of it – He is here to help us and guide us every step of the way.

I certainly DO NOT have this nailed down. But I am learning to rely on Him more and more. I want to share my failures along with my success. And I hope to encourage others along the way. I also want to hear about your victories and how I can pray for you. So please comment below or if you want to send me a private message, you can go to my FB page and send it to me there. I would love to hear from you.

Let’s fight this battle together in power and strength of our Lord!

My Break from Social Media

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So if you ready my post from last week, you saw that I decided I needed to take a break from Social Media for a few days.

I took my break from Friday through Monday.  I did not get into any social media until Tuesday.

It was great!  It felt so freeing.

Here are a few things I learned during this break:

  • I was more focused.  I got some stuff done that I would normally just put off.
  • I was able to be more intentional with my family.  My son and I went to the park and the only time I broke out my phone was to take some pictures of him.
  • I felt less stress and anxiety.  It is amazing how just scrolling around on a newsfeed can make you stressed and anxious.

So what am I going to do now?

I have not put Facebook back on my phone.  I did put Instagram back on since I can’t post there from my computer and I put my Facebook Pages app back on.  This app is not a stumbling block for me and it provides a way for me to post on my Facebook page without going on Facebook.

One thing I am going to do is set firm times for social media.  I think what I am going to do is stay off of it in the evenings and during the weekend.  I will try that for a while and see if I need to make adjustments.  If I do make adjustments, I will definitely have a time set for it and that is it.

So what about you?  Do you set social media times for yourself?  Please tell me below!  I would love to hear what you do.  :)

I need a break

So far a while now I have been feeling like I have been pulled in so many directions and have been so distracted that I can’t focus.

It is wearing me out and it is starting to show up in my workouts.  Ever since December, I have been struggling to be consistent in my workouts.

One week I will exercise 5 times.  Then the next week I am exhausted and I am lucky to get two workouts done that week.

I know it is not the workouts that are tiring me out.  In fact, when I workout, I feel GREAT!  It is the rest of my day that is wearing me out.

This is taking a toll on me and how I take care of myself.

God has been bringing this message to me a lot lately:

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I mean it has been coming to me a lot!

So I have come to the conclusion I need a break!

It is time for me to take a break from social media starting today.

I am not going to be on facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. for the next four days.

I am going to unplug from social media so I can plug into what God has for me.

I have deleted those apps off my phone and it has been so freeing.

You may see this post on social media but that is just because I told Word Press to post it there but I will not have been on it.

I will tell you how it goes next week.

Have you ever taken a social media break?  What insights did you gain from it?  I would love to hear!

What bothers me about the fitness industry….

You may know that I am a Beachbody coach.  I have been a coach for almost 3 years.  And through these years I have seen some things that I really don’t like about the fitness industry.

As a preface, I love fitness.  I love working out, even though it can be a struggle to get up in the mornings.  I love the way my body feels during and after a workout.  It gives me self-confidence.  I feel good about taking care of my body that the Lord has given me.  I love that I am able to do things without aches, pains, or groaning because of working out.

My problem lies in the condemnation, the shaming, the judgement, etc. that I see every day.  And if this was just from the world’s point of view, I would be frustrated but understand that the world’s ways are not God’s ways.  Just like I can’t expect a non-Christian to live out Christian values, I can’t expect the world to live according to God’s ways.  I want to but I can’t.  The problem is I see this from fellow Christians and it breaks my heart.

Taking pictures of a stranger’s food, posting it on Facebook and other social media platforms and then condemning them.  Saying how you want to take everything out of a person’s grocery cart that is not healthy and tell them what to get instead.  I could go on and on.

The condemning and judging really gets to me.  This is why so many are afraid to get help.  They are afraid that you will judge them for what they have done or if they slip up.  If I saw a person in the health and fitness industry condemn someone they know or a stranger on their social media platforms or anywhere else, I certainly would not want to get help from them.  I want love and support not judgement and condemnation.

Condemnation and judgment are not the answers.  The love of Christ is the answer.  Christ is THE ONLY ONE that can truly change us from the inside out.  We need to love others the way Christ loved us.

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How would you feel if Christ condemned you in the same way?

The love of Christ compels us not condemnation.  The love of Christ motivates us.  The love of Christ encourages us and strengthens us.  The love of Christ changes us.

I want to love others and serve them not condemn.  I am not perfect but I want to serve out of love.  I want women to see their great value in Christ and not in what they eat, if they workout, or how “fit” their body looks.

I want women to believe this:

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So the next time you see a judgmental/condemning post, throw it out with the garbage because that is what it is – GARBAGE!  Block the post, stop following that person – whatever it takes to get that trash out of your mind.  Replace it with this truth from Psalm 134:14 and move forward in this truth!  Friend, remember you have GREAT value.  Christ died for you so you could be free.  He wants you to be with Him forever.  So if the Son of God wants to be with you, that means you have great value.  You are a daughter of the King!  Listen to Him and not the world.