Saturday, March 28, 2015

What is YOUR gift?

For the longest time I have felt called to women's ministry.  I don't know if I will ever be in ministry in the church but for now I know I am called to minster anywhere God has me planted.  In this season in my life that is to my kids, my husband, our neighborhood, our business and the group fitness classes I teach.

Recently God has been speaking to me about using my gifts and talents to minister.  One thing I love to do and does not feel like work is teaching group fitness classes and exercising.  Something comes alive on the inside of me when I put that mic on and get to encourage and inspire others to be strong, dig deep and find something within them they didn't know existed.  

I don't think it is a coicidence that I have my Bachelors in Health & Exercise Science as well as certifications in many group fitness formats(AFAA, GRIT, Insanity, Piyo and more).  Which is why I have told God He can have this gift of mine and use it however he sees fit.  I have started using my blog Facebook page as a way to share health and fitness tips as well as the word of God.  Here are a few of my recent fun and easy workouts I have posted:

Have toddler roll the dice(I got these fun big ones at Mardels for around $8). Do that number of reps of exercise while having toddler help you count(I listed a few sample exercises here).  Keep going for a least 20 minutes for a total body, fun workout!

Want to take your walk up a notch?  Simply add in a few simple moves to turn it into a total body fat blaster!  You can run if you want to make those intervals more intense.  If there isn't a bench on your route you can do all these moves on the ground.  Full workout in the upper left hand picture of the collage.  Don't you just love my littler helpers?! :)  

How adorable is this postcard(front is pic on left and back is pic on right) my sister over at Life{Sweet}Life designed for me?!  I absolutely love coaching women in the area of health and fitness.  Please contact me if you would like me to coach you!  You can shop my fitness programs here.  

My prayer for myself and anyone I coach is that we would be as eager to exercise as we are to dive into God's word, for it is our true source of life and health to our body!  

So I want to know...what is YOUR gift?  And how can God use it to minister to others?  Don't try to be anyone but YOU, our world needs what YOU have to offer!  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

10 Reasons Why Most People Don't Blog

I've been blogging for an entire year now so I'm not exactly a veteran blogger but I have observed some things about the blogging world in the last year.  I've especially noticed common themes I hear among people who don't blog.  It became interesting to me so I started writing some of them down then I took it a step further and did a Facebook poll asking why people don't blog(because Facebook is so official).  Though I'm sure there are more reasons then I will list today these were the ones that stood out most to me.

1. They don't think people will read it.
2. TIME...this one was a huge reason.
3. Can't figure out how to do it.
4. Can't stand the thought of more social media to promote it.
5. If no one comments or reads it they know they will quit doing it.
6. Not a good writer....another big one.
7. Can't commit to posting regularly.
8. Scared of what people will think.
9. Feel like what they would blog about has already been done.
10. No clear vision of what they would want it to look like.

I can honestly relate to every one of these reasons because up until a year ago I felt the same way.  I loathed writing.  I never did well in English or any time I had to write essays so I just put myself in the box of "writing is not my gift so don't do it".  If you've read my blog for long you probably have picked up on the fact that my grammar is not the best.  I also felt like I just simply didn't have the time.  But when I attended a class called WILD(Women in Leadership Development) at my church it completely changed my views on writing and blogging.  

Here are the 4 reasons I think everyone should seriously consider blogging:

1. You have a story.
Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that YOU are the only one who can tell your story, ideas, encouragement, talents, etc?  This is where it's temping to get into the comparison game and say "but that is already being done".  While it may be true there a lot of people writing about a certain subject or towards a particular audience, only YOU can write your view point and personal stories/testimonies.  

On top of having a unique story that may help others, consider the fact that your family will have something to read that YOU have written after you have passed away.  What an awesome legacy for years to come.  I don't know about you, but I would LOVE to read blog posts or journal entries from my great grandparents(who I never got to meet)!  And, yes, blogging is very different than Facebook because while you can share very short stories and pictures there, it will not all be saved in a format that could be read later on.  

Think about the Bible, it is full of stories that now teach, train and inspire others.  Do you think the people who wrote each chapter of the Bible knew the impact it would leave on generations to come?  

2. To improve your writing skills.

The idea of "not being a writer" is the biggest lie that holds most people back from sharing their story and talents.  I understand some people are born with a natural gift of writing and it just comes easy for them but I do believe writing is a skill that can be improved upon.  When I took my class on writing the author asked us this question "Do you ever want to be in leadership of any kind?".  Of course we all said yes to which she responded "then start writing because one day you will be asked to write something, maybe just a journal article, but you will need to write".  

You may not have dreams of writing a book but if you want to be in leadership at your job or church writing is a skill that must be developed.  The only way to improve upon it is to do it over and over again.

3. To release & reveal the God given dreams and talents lying within you.

I've never been good at keeping up with a journal but when I did write I always had really profound moments.  Writing is a way to "release" the things God has put within your heart and to discover things you may not have even know about yourself.  

And if you don't know can create a very basic blog for free, with no bells and whistles, write your little heart out and never even publish them but instead save them!  Do you have an area of your life that you need healing from?  I would highly recommend blogging about it and if you don't want to share them simply don't publish them!  But now you've used that outlet to bring healing into your own life and as your story unfolds, who knows, maybe one day you will look back on those posts and see the healing that has taken place and want to reveal all of it to the world and helps others who may be walking through something similar.  

4. Doors of opportunity.
I have to admit that it is hard when I write a blog post and all I can hear are crickets are the other end.  In other words, no one comments and to my knowledge no one read it or cared at all about what I was sharing.  God has used those "cricket" moments to teach me many things.  The first thing is my "why" in starting this blog.  My why has never been to be the next top blogger who makes millions(not that there is anything wrong with that and maybe one day God will take me that direction) but instead it's been to encourage and inspire others as well as work on my writing.  As I have submitted by insecurities to Him and found my source of worth in Him(and not comments) He has opened doors for me that only He could open.  He has connected me to life long friendships(shout out to my friend Kathy from New Zealand over at A Fish Out of Water) as well as opened doors of being a guest blogger on other sites.  

I truly believe if we lay down our pride and dreams of making ourselves known but instead strive to make Christ known, then God will open doors only He could have opened in our lives.  But you will never know about those doors until you take the first step of faith.

But what about time?

In answer to the time issue of blogging, I have found that if you keep your "why" at the center than the time is no longer an issue.  I break all rules of blogging when it comes to growing your readers.  You "should" post regularly but I make it a goal to post once a week which often turns into once every 2 weeks(if I'm lucky). And yes I do have a Facebook page for my blog but, again, I am lucky to post one thing a day.  I have decided that it is better to write something then to wait for the perfect moment in my life when I can commit to posting all the time because as all know those moments do not come to us, we have to actively seek them.  

Have you been thinking about blogging?  I pray this post inspires someone out there to start writing.  Lay those feelings of pride, jealousy, comparison and fear to the side and have faith that if God birthed it in your heart He will see it through to completion. Even if you don't share it with anyone, just start.  I promise it will be a decision you won't regret.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Are you THIN?

 A few nights ago I was eating a bowl of Cheerios at 10:30pm(not the norm for me) and stumbled upon a documentary called  "Thin".  I couldn't help but watch it as it was a show following women with eating disorders through their time at a rehab facility for their eating disorder.  I was so moved that I began to write down quotes from some of them when they were in group counseling:

  • A 25 year old admits she attempted suicide after eating 2 slices of pizza
  • A 15 year old admits she started dieting at the age of 12 because she cared so much about what people thought of her(she now has hair loss, liver failure and constant trembling)
  • A girl admitted "this is the one thing I have ever be thin. Even if it means dying to get there". 
  • Another girl admits "it's a control thing. It's like the one thing I can control...what goes into my body".
  • Another girls says "I don't even know how to show love to other people, how can I show love to myself?"
These were just a few of the many things they said but one of things I noticed was that these girls would literally cry and tremble as they ate something small.  They were terrified of gaining weight because to them being thin was all they had.  The saddest part was that these girls each finally got up to around 100 lbs at their stay at the facility but in the follow-up all had lost that weight again and one had passed away at the age of 33.  They used all kind of methods to lose weight: anorexia, bulimia, diet pills and over exercising.  They literally were willing to risk their own life for the sake of being thin.  But as you may have guessed, in their minds they were not thin.  In fact, many of them still viewed themselves as fat.

My heart is still hurting for these girls because, like many women, they did not know real love from their heavenly Father which is what lead them to go to such extremes for attention from others.  

As I sat and ate my bowl of Cheerios and watched this documentary I couldn't help but see the freedom the Lord has brought into my life.  If you are anything like me, you too can relate to the feelings of terror those girls felt about gaining weight.  The crazy thoughts of being willing to do whatever it takes to be "thin".  

I have been wanting to write an article on simple tips to lose weight but, to be honest, our society does not need another article written on how to lose weight.  Don't get me wrong, as a group fitness instructor and chiropractor's wife I am all for taking care of our bodies, eating healthy and exercising. But you don't have to go searching for those articles, they simply come to you via Facebook, Google and standing in the check-out line.  Weight loss is everywhere.  So instead I am choosing to go somewhere very few are willing to go and share my own personal testimony of delivery from eating disorders and self-esteem issues(gulp).

I could write a book on my "life story of yoyo dieting" so in efforts to make this article a little shorter I want to simply highlight those moments:

  • I grew up a chubby no one noticed me
  • I lost a bunch of weight in high lots of people noticed me and I liked it
  • Went to college and dealt with starvation, binging, diet pills and over exercising.
  • Got married & pregnant and realized "hmm I have a problem" when I would cry at weight gain
  • I rediscovered food and fitness in GOD's light 
  • I am healthier now than I have ever been and weigh less than I did before having 3 babies
Did you notice how the cycle ended for me?  I LET GOD IN.  I began to receive love from my Father God. If you remember one of the girls in the documentary said she doesn't know how to love others so how could she love herself?  She brings up the heart of the matter of eating disorders....if you have never known the love of your heavenly Father you will believe the lie that you must earn love from people. I believe that the enemy begins attacking us women at a very young age in the area of self image.  He knows if he can get us to believe some root lies(like our worth is only in our appearance) than we will be forever in bondage.  You see, bondage in this area of overeating, undereating, binging, purging and self hate does not end on the scale in your bathroom.  It flows over into every area of your life.  

The only way you can lose weight and keep it off is by letting Jesus into this area of your life.  I am not talking salvation but I am talking about allowing God to show you lies you have believed.  Allowing God to help you see food as health and wellness to your body rather than a bunch of calories that may make you gain weight.  

Many people who know me now, and who did not know me when I was self-hating and abusing my body, think I am a health nut.  What they don't realize is that I did not make myself that way but God did.  I did not flip the magic switch and all of the sudden crave vegetables and other healthy foods.  I did not flip a switch that keeps me from binging on Oreos and donuts.  No, that miracle was all God.  

I've learned that the more time I spend with God the less I crave junk food.  Can I be honest and tell you I still have struggles today.  In fact, that bowl of Cheerios I mentioned at the beginning of this post?  They were an emotional eating thing after a long week of sickness in our family.  Do you know that if I don't allow God into this area of my life daily that I too find myself dreaming of a box of donuts along with the crazy solution that will burn those calories off the next day?  It is a daily decision to allow God into this area of our lives.  

Will you let Him in?  Will you ask Him these hard questions:

  • Are there any lies I have believed about my body and my worth?
  • Do I crave food more than you?
  • Do I have more faith in the latest diet than I do you?
  • Have I ever truly received your love?
The weight loss secret is simple....allow God into this area.  As He downloads His love and truth into your life you will see changes in yourself that you could have never done in your own power.  Trust Him, he cares about all areas of your life and He wants to see you healthy and whole in your mind, soul, body and spirit.  

I feel like someone needs to hear this are loved right where you are and you are ENOUGH(no matter your shape or size)!!