my heart is wholly yours

This week is all about love.  I love love.  It’s the absolute most amazing feeling.  It can take you so high.  There is no greater feeling than that of being in love.

I was watching The Bachelor the other night (don’t judge) and I heard a girl say that she needed a man to want her in order to feel beautiful again.  My heart goes out to her because I know exactly what that feels like.  It is so hard to love yourself and see yourself as worthy when “your” man has not come along yet.  You think no one wants you, and why would they?   You think you are not deserving.  Not pretty enough, not young enough, not skinny enough, not tall enough, not cool enough. .

But, this morning at church we sang “Wholly Yours” by David Crowder and I realized that I am wholly His.  God, He is the Great Pursuer.  No man will ever pursue you the way God does.  He will chase you down when you are running the opposite way from Him.  He will pick you up all dirty and tattered and carry you back home in his arms.  He will reclaim you as His own when you think you have messed up too badly to ever come back.

No man will ever pursue you the way God

We look to men to fill that void, to make us feel “complete”.  We feel lonely and feel that having a boyfriend or husband would change that forever but the truth is.  Men mess up.  Men are not perfect.  Men are not God.  You can’t hold them to that kind of a standard or you will never ever be satisfied.  That’s okay.  The same goes for women.  We are not perfect and do our fair share of messing up.  I’m not just picking on men here.  I promise.

All I can do is share what works for me.  I am at my happiest when I am loving God and moving my body.  This has brought me so close in my relationship with Him.  I wanted to share a little bit with you and dedicate this week leading up to Valentine’s Day to the unconditional, steadfast love of our amazing God.  The Perfect Lover.

Join me and two of my favorite ladies, Joy and Kristen, in celebrating this love as we host the #HeartWhollyYours challenge on Instagram.  Each day we will be meditating on a verse while getting our hearts pumping with a cardio move and ending with a heart opening yoga pose.

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it’s that time again

INSPIRATION

The dreaded V-Day.  It is upon us, my friends.  Unless you have been living under a rock, you have seen all of the pink and red taking over your friendly grocery stores.

I cannot remember ever being happy seeing this month roll around.  It was a reminder that I am single (in case I had forgotten).  Even when I had a boyfriend it was the worst.  He could never live up to the hype (not that he tried or anything.)

But God, He is better than that.

This is the first year that I am not dreading this “holiday”, because, finally, I am relentlessly in love with Him.  I am so captivated by Jesus and all that He is and all that He sees in me.  He will never let me down.  He sees me at my worst, and He loves me just the same.  I cannot tell you how happy I am to be able to grasp that.

Have you ever seen or heard that saying, “Be so in love with God, a man has to seek Him to get to your heart”?  I’m paraphrasing here because I can’t find the exact quote.  I feel like I finally get that.  I am at a point where Jesus is the center of my life and any man that wants to get to me will have to go through Him.  I’m not interested in roses or candy that comes in a red heart.  I’m interested in the love that is everlasting and unconditional.  That kind of love doesn’t require gifts.  It is a gift.  It never wilts and dies.  It doesn’t get digested in my belly.  It just is and always will be.

identity

Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I have always had something to find my identity in, but I think that is true of most people.

When I was a young girl in school, I was smart.

When I got into high school and college I was a cheerleader. I told everyone that.

My last semester in college I started dating this guy so I was his girlfriend for 4 1/2 years.

After we broke up, I started running. Then, I was a runner. I found myself telling people so and it was a fact most people knew about me for my adult life.

Then, the unexpected happened. I was injured training for a marathon and never really healed. I didn’t know who I was. I couldn’t hang out with those friends anymore because they were doing something that I could no longer do -> run.

I struggled in trying to find my place in this world. I suddenly didn’t know where I belonged anymore.

I had been back in church for a year or two at this point so I was slowly but surely starting to recognize the gospel. So in the past 2-3 years I have found my true identity.

And, that brings me to yesterday I was sitting in church listening to the message when I had to write my ideas down.

I don’t ever have to wonder who I am or where I belong anymore, because I know that I am His and He is mine.

identity

That is where my identity lies from now till forever, in the love of Christ. I don’t ever have to wander this world alone again. I am saved by grace through faith.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.  {Ephesians 2:8}

What about you?  Where do you find your identity?

unanswered prayers

unanswered prayers

I thank God every day that my ex-boyfriend and I never got married.  That was 5 years ago and I can’t imagine where I’d be if we did.  I can only think lonely, depressed, and unhealthy.

So, sometimes He says, in His infinite wisdom, “No.”  We may be hurt and cry and pout but, in the end, we thank Him, because like an earthly father he is acting in our best interest, even when we think He’s being unfair.

I’m sure you’ve seen or heard the saying – God has 3 answers for our prayers: Yes, Not Yet, or I have something better for you.  It’s so true, right?

I love this illustration of how we want to hold on to something so badly we don’t see what He has for us is so. much. better.

Just-trust-Me

We only need to trust.  Are you trusting today?  What is God asking you to let go of?

what’s on the horizon

Do you enjoy every sunrise and sunset as I do?  Do you look at it and know the beauty of our Creator?  Most days it brings tears to my eyes to see the horizon, to know that His mercies are new every day.  Not some days when He feels like it.  Not only on weekends.  Not only when I am doing my best to be His child here on Earth. Every. Single. Day.

That brings me to this.  I have felt a nudging in my heart.  That nudging has brought me to the conclusion that this is something God keeps putting in front of me for a reason.  He is in this, as He is in all things.  I try to not make huge life decisions without Him.  I say “try” because sometimes I fail and my selfishness takes over.

holy yoga

So, this thing that I’m going to do, or think I’m going to do, is Holy Yoga.  I am going to be an instructor.  It is my passion to lead other women in loving themselves and their bodies exactly where they are in a Spirit-filled atmosphere.

I have no formal yoga training.  I only practice at home. I am humble in all aspects of yoga (and ministering – this is scary to me).  But, I am willing to trust and I am willing to learn.  If there is one thing I can say positive about myself it’s that I am coach-able.

Therefore, I am taking up this journey.  I am going where the Spirit leads me, even if it is into deep, unknown waters.  I am trusting.  I am trusting in His timing.  I am trusting in His provision.  I am trusting in His sovereignty.

Have you ever practiced Holy Yoga? Where do you feel the Spirit leading you this year?  What are your new scary endeavors?

Core of Christmas

If you follow me on Instagram, you have more than likely noticed my latest posts.  In December, I decided to start the #CoreOfChristmas challenge.  I absolutely love everything about Christmas, from the music to the lights on the tree to the excuses to get together with more people I love.  With so many people running around trying to “get things done” and buy gifts, I really wanted to just focus on Jesus for this season.  After all,  that’s what it’s all about, so in comes the “core” of Christmas.

I decided to combine my love for Jesus with my love of fitness.  We will be doing a different core exercise every day and meditating on a verse to keep us in the present.

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I have teamed up with my lifelong friend, Courtney, as well as friends I met through faith and fitness in social media, Tiffany and Bobbi.  I’m hoping you will join us!  Did I mention there are PRIZES??  Oh, yes, we will be drawing names on the 12th and 24th of December.

Here is a look at the past few days!

Day 1: elbow plank & Proverbs 31:17

plank plank2

Day 2: bicycle crunches & Psalm 139:14

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Day 3: superman & John 16:33

superman

Day 4….check us out on Instagram!  Can’t wait to see you join in on the Community we are forming.

 

and if not…

Perhaps that is why, in His bewildering mercy, God sometimes shatters our fondest dreams, or at least allows them to be shattered.  (Whether He is the cause or merely allows it to happen, the result is the same.  And in the midst of the pain, the distinction doesn’t always seem important)

In His sovereignly run universe, the unthinkable sometimes happens–the nightmare we thought we’d never have to face.  And no relief comes, sometimes not for years.  More frequently than untested Christians expect, God removes the one source of joy and meaning that we were counting on to make our lives worth living, and replaces it with nothing.

These are the words from Larry Crabb’s “Creating a True Spiritual Community” that I was reading as my phone rang a few weeks ago.  I received news that my grandmother was being taken to the hospital in an ambulance.  No one could tell me what had happened or what they were doing.

I’m a thinker and sometimes I think that I think too much.  What’s going to happen?  What am I going to do?  What can I do?  But the truth is – God has already thought it through.  He already knows where it’s leading and where it came from.  He knows.  We always hope that the outcome will be good, that we will like His plan, but that’s not always the case.  We have to remember those wise words of Ann Voskamp:

And if not, He is still good.