I hate scales. I really do. Ever since I was a teenager the scale has had this power over my life. If you’re a woman then you can relate to this!
It has the power to build up your hopes and fill you with dread just at the mere sight of it. Step on it and you have just given it the power to affect your mood. If the number is down you step off with a smile, a spring in your skinny step and motivation to keep on going.
But….don’t let that number have inched up! Your world comes crashing down! You feel fat, weak and hopeless. No matter how hard you have worked out, how little you have eaten, that scale tells the truth. Or does it?
I started taking fitness and clean eating seriously again a few weeks ago after an injury- induced season in the “desert”.
I came out of the gates motivated and focused. No lackadaisical approach here! Six days of workouts and clean foods all the way. So when I stepped on that scale and I had GAINED weight I was crushed. All day I felt fat, like a failure, ready to give up.
Repeat same scene for two more weeks.
Then I had an epiphany! I was giving this little electronic brainless thing way too much power. I allowed it to affect my mood, my emotions and gave it power to shape my identity,how I saw myself.
I had to remind myself that a number on the scale doesn’t really tell the whole story. It doesn’t record the fact that every day, even on those tough and tired days, I choose to walk into that gym, choose to pick up those weights. No credit given by the scale for all the good food choices I made. None!
I had to do some soul searching. What was my real motivation to work out and eat right? I’m a girl, so of course I want to look good, because all the ladies will agree that when we look good, we feel good.
Well, guess what? I realized that I had it backwards! Feeling good about myself makes me look good. I walk with confidence, smile , am content. A scale can’t give me this confidence. A changed focus can! Instead of only looking at a number I have chosen to focus on how my body feels. I’m stronger. There are muscles where there were none before. My clothes fit better. I sleep better, breathe easier. I have more energy. I know my quality of life is improving.
And here comes the biggest benefit : I have developed tenacity! I am learning to make choices that are good for me! My inner strength is growing. I have power to say no to things that aren’t beneficial to me and yes to all the goodness I so deserve and want! This goes so much deeper than an image in the mirror! I am building muscle in my heart and spirit!
So I’ve decided to take my treacherous friend and place it in the deep recesses of my garage to only see the light once a month. No more daily emotional roller coasters every time I step on it! I’m done!
How about you?
Celebrate your accomplishments, those little victories only you know about!

I have a confession to make. I don’t have it all together!
I can fool myself and others for a little while. But life, and God, have a way of bringing me back to reality.
Now, , you ask yourself, what is the big deal about that? Nobody has it all together.
You’re absolutely right. So why do we spend so much of our energy and time pretending that we do?
Let me tell you what brought on this deep revelation ( sarcasm!).
A week ago my back started hurting. Now, I have a history of back problems, surgeries included. I was even told by a well earning but ignorant doctor that I’d be in a wheelchair by now. So when my back started hurting my mind went places that weren’t pretty . As the days progressed without relief of the pain my mind began to wander into the land of worry, fear and hopelessness. Now I need to let you know that I used to live in that land. I was a certified , passport holding citizen of it. It took a long journey for me to leave and take up residence in the land of hope, trust and faith. So when I found myself back in my old stomping grounds it threw me for a loop. How could it be that I had so quickly reverted to these old mindsets?
Well, I had begun to become relaxed, dropped my guard and thought the old country had miraculously disappeared. I became lax in my time with God, my devotional time became superficial and prayer…. well, let’s just say that because life was calm and good I neglected my conversation time with God.
You know, there’s nothing like pain to bring you right back to your knees. It amazed me that when I literally got on my knees and face before God my back started to feel better. My muscles stretched out and the pain eased.
What’s so sad is that when life is good we don’t see the need to spend time with the One who cares and loves us . We become spiritual slackers. Look, I’m not pointing fingers! This simple revelation hit my heart deeply!
So I choose to pack my bags and headed back home to hope, peace, trust and faith. I realized in order to remain there I had to get my mind right, to choose every morning, every moment to focus on the Truth, to find out what that truth was and hold on to it with all I’ve got. No more trips down the highway of doubt and negativity.
Im choosing to set up camp in His courts, focus on Him in good times and tough times.

Part of my workout routine is yoga and I have to admit its my least favorite. I used to think yoga was calm, relaxing and a ” break” from all that cardio and weightlifting , but boy, was I wrong! Yoga will leave you shaking, sweating and with pain in muscles you didn’t know you had!
Now, dear reader, I think you know me well enough by now to know that I don’t ever take anything at face value. So let’s jump into this ocean and dive! I promise it will be worth your time!
The first thing I realized when I began to do yoga was how tight and inflexible I really was. I would look at the instructor and think to myself:”how on earth can you get into that pose and hold it for that long”?
If you let it,life will place you in positions and situations that will stretch you beyond your abilities. Just talk to parents of young children!By looking back and reflecting I realized that a lot of circumstances in my life stretched me and I had to learn to let go of my rigid ways and bend a little. Can you say “ compromise”? Other instances taught me what was really inside me, that I had abilities way beyond what I had believed I could do. God seems to place people in my life who see the potential and will not relent to place me in positions that stretch me into who I really am!
As in yoga, stretching is at best uncomfortable, and at worst highly painful but if you don’t back down and persevere you will learn to loosen up and gain strength in places you didn’t know you possessed strength! Your choice is to either fight it or persevere!

The next lesson i learned from yoga was in order to hold a pose you had to engage your core and focus ! It’s all about balance . I grew up dancing ballet and in order to perform a dance beautifully and gracefully you had to be able to focus! It was beat into us to always keep our eyes on a focal point. The minute we would loose that focus we would stumble and fall. Isn’t life the same? There are so many distractions around us to cause us to take our focus off God and place it on circumstances, events and especially those lovely distractions that promise joy and pleasure but ultimately lead us off our God-given path and cause us to waste our time and energy on something that will never fully satisfy our hearts!
Focus brings balance and balance is needed to keep dancing this beautiful dance of purpose and destiny!

That leads me to our core. I’ve had several back surgeries and in order to be able to fully function I’ve had to learn to strengthen my core through ab and back workouts. Can you say sit-ups? In yoga you can only achieve perfect balance by strengthening your core. Those muscles will keep you standing straight and strong! So what is our core? It’s our spirit! It is who we are and our connection to God and His Spirit. Yes, I know this might sound super spiritual but it really isn’t. I picture my spirit to be in the center of my body, right by the stomach. Whatever I feed my stomach will affect the rest of my body and either strengthen or weaken it. It’s the same with our spirit. If we feed it encouragement, kindness, peace and joy it will strengthen us. However if we choose to feed it negativity, unforgiveness, bitterness and self- pity it will poison and weaken us. I’ve learned and am still learning to feed my spirit through God’s word, gratefulness, thankfulness, hope and through friends who release life into my core. As with yoga you’ll have to exercise repeatedly to strengthen your core. Just like one ab workout a week will do nothing to build your muscles, neither will one session of bible reading or Sunday morning service build up your spirit. It will require a choice every day to “eat” healthy thoughts, words and say no to the junk food of criticism and negativity.
So, let’s allow ourselves to get stretched out, gain focus in what is really important and build up our core to carry us tall and straight through life!

Dance this dance of life with focused grace and gentle strength! That’s where your beauty shines!

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“So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn. “(John 21:11 NLT)

We know the story. Jesus has resurrected and is , for a small period of time walking among His people again. Peter has gone back to his old profession of fishing, without much success, one might add. Jesus shows up and the nets fill up , again.
There is something in this story that seems out of place . Beside the stunning fact that Jesus has resurrected and is again performing miracles, there is wedged in that little detail of the 153 fish. Now those of you much more spiritual than I am could probably explain the meaning of the number, but personally I’m just baffled by the fact this number has been included here.
There must be a reason this is recorded in this story.

Let’s think about it – in order for the writer to include this number somebody must have counted the fish, right? I can just picture this fisherman sitting on the beach counting them ,” one,two, three,….”.
What these fish represented was income, food, provision. So in short, one of God’s blessings and a sign of His favor.
It made me think – how often do we take the time to count all the blessings and gifts we receive from God in our mundane, daily life? We are so focused on the big “stuff” , like healing, new jobs, promotions that we tend to skip right over the everyday signs of His love and affection for us. Now, please don’t get me wrong ! I love the “big” stuff- it’s what shows off our God’s power and builds and strengthens our faith.
But I believe those little gifts we so often pass over and don’t even see are God’s love notes to us on a daily basis.
Ann Voskamp has written this amazing book called “ 1,000 gifts”. In it she journals about those very everyday gifts and challenges her readers to keep a journal to record and count them.
How about us? Could we not, like the fisherman who took the time to count the fish, slow down and count those “little” gifts we receive from God every single day?
I believe it would enlarge our hearts and increase our awareness of how deep His love for us really is!
Dear reader, slow down and live every moment aware and alive! There are little love notes hidden in every day and every moment! Let’s not miss them!

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Rehab addict.

I have a confession to make! I’m addicted to HGTV. I love House Hunters, Love it or List it and Property Brothers. Yet there is one show that grabs me like no other. It’s Rehab Addict. In is show this lady takes a ruined , neglected and damaged house and turns it into a masterpiece. What fascinates me is her ability to see and envision how the house will look. She sees the potential and beauty in it where all I see is damage and lots of work to be done .
There has been something stirring in my heart these past weeks and now that the New Year is here it’s become my focus. It’s restoration.
One of the definitions of restoration is the act or process of returning something to its original condition by repairing it, cleaning it, etc. It is also the act of bringing something back that existed before and the act of returning something that was stolen or taken.
I believe , if we choose to allow God to do this, He will restore our lives, our hearts and soul, our bodies, relationships, jobs, houses and so much more this year!
Often we tend to look at situations like we look at a damaged, neglected house and think its beyond repair. We have give up hope that there will be restoration in our heart, that relationships are beyond repair. We have given up on promotions that are due us, love that has eluded us , healing that hasn’t manifested.
Dear reader , let me encourage you! I have experienced Gods restoring power over and over again! My life
was in ruins more than once but when I choose to look to God, believe His Word and trust Him , He restored, returned and redeemed the very thing I thought was beyond hope.
I believe that in order to move forward into everything this new year holds for us we have to have God restore some areas in us. He sees your potential, the beauty of who you are and He hasn’t forgotten His original blueprint for your life! So gather up your hope, take courage and ask God to restore you! It’s His heart to do so!

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I'm empty!.