Monday, December 29, 2014

our dreams are not bigger than God

inspiration: visioning/dreaming about my Beachbody business

So, I became a Beachbody coach at the beginning of September. Eventually, I"ll blog about it, but right now, I have such a strong sense of the Holy Spirit that I NEED to put fingers-to-keys and type it all out.

So Lindsay (one of the most awesome Beachbody coaches EVER) posted this in our coach leadership group:

It's ok if your life vision starts out purely monetary and seemingly selfish. I have found having any vision is better than having no vision at all. 
As time goes by, your vision will become clearer, grow deeper, involve others and truly drive you out of bed each morning to do something great with your life. 
Just create a vision today. Write it out. Don't be embarrassed. You can have the deep desires of your heart.

And I couldn't agree more! Having a vision is direly important in every situation: be it work, finances, our families, our fitness, EVERYTHING! Have you ever just started doing something (maybe because someone told you to, or it was super spontaneous) and you didn't have an end goal or vision? It can quickly become chaotic and frustrating (I have some very personal testimonies about that, bug again...another blog).

While most of us may not admit it, for many of us, money drives us. And that is NOT a bad thing. In response to Lindsay's post, many of us shared our passions, our hearts, and our vision for what we want our business will accomplish. Most of us are looking for financial freedom! It comes in many different forms (being able to be at home more often with our children/families, being able to travel, being out of debt). And one of my fellow coaches actually posted a very personal confessional about feeling convicted about wanting to have nice things (lake house, land, cars, boats). But he almost felt guilty about it. And I immediately started commenting, encouraging my brother-in-Christ and new-friend. I made a very long response (which completely came from the Holy Spirit - Nikki was NOT in that conversation at all), but I felt the need to share what God put on my heart via blog, too, so here goes:

1. Every good and perfect thing comes from God:
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." -James 1:17
I believe everything is a gift from the Lord - cars, land, boats. Nothing is inherently evil, in itself. Money is the same way. It's not evil, it's not harmful. But when our hearts are postured toward the pursuit of money (and fame and fortune and THINGS) above our devotion to the Lord, THEN it becomes a sin and becomes destructive and evil.

2. We must posture ourselves to be in alignment with God's good and perfect will:

How do we prevent from putting "things" before our relationship with the Lord? We put our relationship with God FIRST!

Am I an expert in this? Not at all. Still a work in progress with the Lord!
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 1:6 (AKA: I'm not perfect yet!)
But I think there are several ways we can cultivate a strong relationship with God:

  1. Reading Scripture daily
  2. Praying daily
  3. Worshiping with other believers
  4. Being in community with other believers

When we spend time with the Lord, we are going to be more in tune with the Holy Spirit. Just like working out, the more you do it, the stronger you get! Making time for God is just as important as making time for working out (that last line was mostly for me, y'all ;))
"Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart"-Psalm 37:4
Notice the ORDER in which Scripture guides us: Delight in the Lord comes FIRST! Upon studying the Bible in various small groups and at church, I've learned that ORDER is critically important in the Bible. God has ordained things to occur in a specific order for a specific purpose. Am I saying that if you aren't 100% on par in your walk with the Lord, He won't bless you? Not at all. God is God and can do whatever He chooses in our lives. But I do believe that when we are in stride with Him, we will find more joy, fulfillment, blessings, and favor.

3. Our dreams are not bigger than God:

Lastly, and one that may be the most important.
Our dreams are not bigger than God.

Right now, my biggest dream is for Holden and me to be debt free. What does that look like for us? I'll just say lots and lots of Benjamins. And while Holden and I are incredibly blessed by our jobs, our George Washington's just aren't cutting it....

Regardless, God has wired us for different things! We all have different dreams and visions and goals and desires. They were planted within our hearts BY GOD! They all matter to Him! I believe this 1 billion percent!

My dream to be debt-free and have the ability to live in financial freedom was planted within my by God! It matters to God! The bigger the obstacle we see, the more glory God will receive when He has brought us past it.

And as we walk with the Lord in pursuit of our dreams; let us be focused on Him and not be side-tracked by the evils of the world:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

You're Already Amazing

It's been almost one year since I wrote a blog.
I haven't felt the desire to blog in a long time, but tonight, I just had words that needed to be shared. They're not all my words, but I will give credit where credit is due.

About a week or so ago, I started reading Holley Gerth's You're Made for a God-Sized Dream and in it, her other book You're Already Amazing was referenced, so I switched gears to it. I haven't been 100% for the last couple days due to sinus congestion, so tonight I took a bubble bath and started reading You're Already Amazing and I came across this passage and The Lord immediately put it on my heart to share with others.
Our culture is obsessed with the "it girl". She's defined as a woman who has it all together - whatever "it" is at the moment. We want to be like her and do what she does. We can't imagine anyone feeling the same way about us. Life becomes a competition to see who can be the prettiest, trendiest, and most stylish. In the corporate world, it's who can climb highest, fastest, farthest. In the church (don't think we're exempt) it's who can be the sweetest, godliest, most servant-hearted. Depending on the day or the year, who that woman is changes. It's an endless game of "tag-you're it" that exhausts us all and makes us competitors rather than sisters.
But when we look at the kingdom of God, it's a different story. There aren't "it girls" (or guys). There are only "is girls". God looks at you and says, 'She is loved, accepted, and valued. She is created just the way I wanted her to be.'
I'm not going to lie: I'm a striver when it comes to trying to be an "it" girl. I have high standards for myself, I won't lie. When I set my mind to it, I'm going after it. I'm all in for it. I often fall into the comparison game and, secretly, I wonder "When will it be my turn?" My turn for the limelight, for success, for recognition? When will it be my turn to make a difference, to change the world?

But God has a purpose for me. And if you've made it this far in reading this, He has a purpose for you too. You don't need to be anybody else but you! God created you that way for this very moment. For the very purpose He has for you.

Don't lose faith and don't lose sight of who you are in the pursuit of trying to be someone else. The Enemy wants nothing more than to distract us from our purpose and the plan God has for us.

When in doubt, always remember...

We are all fearfully and wonderfully made - Psalm 139:14
We all have a plan and purpose - Jeremiah 29:11
We are loved - John 3:16
In Him, we our weaknesses are made perfect - 2 Corinthians 12:9

You're already amazing!
God don't make junk and He made you!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

celebrating on a hard day

inspiration: mom's 55th birthday.

i was looking at my mom's facebook page last night and came across this picture. it's almost two years old, but was probably one of the last pictures anyone took of my mom. today she would've been 55.

my mom is in the blue shirt, sitting on the couch next to my grandmother (my dad's mother). my dad is on the right and my aunt (dad's sister) is in the front.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

for better or worse, in sickness and in health: the pre-wedding perspective

inspiration: what i'm learning from my parents

My parents were married in 1979. I wish I had access to a picture/scanner so I could scan a picture from their wedding. June First will be their 35 year wedding anniversary. In all my (almost) twenty-five years of life, I've never seen the vows "For better or for worse, in sickness and in health" lived out more clearly than in my parents' marriage.

As I prepare for marriage, I read posts, talk to, and observe couples who are married to try and glean wisdom about what married life will be like. But something that i've learned over the last two months and especially over the last week or so is that love is a choice, but to choose to love is always the right choice.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

reflections of the year.

inspiration: goodbye 2013, hello 2014. hello opportunities. hello new adventures.

I love to be able to give each year a "theme". but in looking back, i have no idea what 2013 was for me.
it was a year of a lot of things.


it started off with the Daniel Fast where i prayed and fasted through some work goals.
ran my fastest half marathon right before my 24th birthday.
i went on a mission trip to Kenya - amazing.
i got engaged!

but when i think about where i want to be in 2014, there are a lot of areas where i feel like i want and need to improve.