Who are you competing with?

Just the other day, I was listening to a podcast while getting ready and I felt overcome with anxiety.  I couldn’t quite pinpoint the source of my worry.  I was listening to totally inspirational stuff.  The woman’s voice coming from my phone was glowing with excitement at the adversity she had overcome only to lead her to the absolute top position in her company…also my company. Then, boom.  It hit me.  I felt like I was in competition with her.  This feeling has plagued me since I joined.  I was always wondering why other coaches had too many messages to answer, while I was fighting to get people just to respond back to me.  Once again, that feeling of I’m just not good enough had crept back in.  The enemy.  He hates us.  He knows full well what gets to each one of us and he feeds into it. I stopped, looked in the mirror, and thought, “I have never been good at competing with others, but I am great at competing with myself.”  I have always been an athlete, but one who fights to better herself every day.  Any time it came to racing another person to a goal, I froze and failed. I was competitive cheerleader through high school and college.  Long-distance, 2-time marathon, runner in my mid-20s.  To a short-lived Cross-fit stint between my two marathons. Oh yeah.  I can compete with myself.  That’s what I have always done.  And you know what?  I can beat myself, every single time.  I know that truth in my heart.  I learned new stunts and routines.  I beat my fastest running times.  I lifted more weight and more reps.  I. Can. Beat. Myself.  And I am the only one standing in the way of myself.

God has not give me a spirit of timidity but one of power and love and self-discipline.

I will not let the enemy keep me from my dreams, because that’s what he does my friends.  Did you know that?  If you are feeling not ready, apprehensive, nervous, that’s because something BIG is about to happen.  You just have to decide, are you ready to fight for it?

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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?

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.

keep my eyes above the waves

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

Grace.  fear.  failure.  These words so often go hand in hand for me.  I know that what I can do is nothing.  What Grace can do is everything.  If it wasn’t for Grace, who knows where I’d be now or what I’d be doing.  But, God, He takes care of me but yet sometimes I still doubt, I still fear, I still wonder.

Crazy things happen every day.  Nothing ever completely out of hand happens to me.  Sometimes I fear that I’m living a life of too much comfort.  That I can’t be that dependent on God because I don’t need him.  I hear the words to this song and I know that I just need to take that leap.  I’m ready to free fall with Him into this life that I would love to live but is such a “risk”.  Can I really do this?  Is it a calling or is it a selfish endeavor?  How do I know?  Well, I know because this is something that I could never ever do on my own.  This is beyond me.  Out of my hands.  Out of my control.  Spirit lead me…

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Take a moment and worship.  You’ll be better for it.