Sunday, November 27, 2011

Don't Hide it, Divide it!!

     Have you ever hidden something and then could not find it later? I have done this many times. Sometimes it is a good surprise... like finding the $100 bill that I hid for emergencies. Sometimes it is not so when my daughter "hid" a raw egg in her closet and I "found" it while cleaning. I almost just gagged writing about it! My point is, what good is something while it is hidden? Even though I was supremely happy to discover the money, it did not multiply while it was hidden. Certainly no one benefited from the hidden egg in ANY way. When we play childhood hiding games such as Hide and Seek the joy is in finding the person, not in them staying hidden. When children hunt Easter eggs, they don't leave them behind, they pick them up and keep them.

     I think the same principle can apply to our abilities and our talents that have been given to us by God. Guess what? EVERYONE has a talent, yes...even you...and me. Even some things that I think I am not very good at can be God-given. Take for example, public speaking. CAN I speak in front of a group? Yes. Do I WANT to speak in front of a group? Negative, ghostrider. However, if HE is calling YOU, there is no better person for the job. Why do we hide? The answer is simple for me....FEAR. I let myself doubt. I don't want to mess up...or look stupid. But am I doubting my abilities or His? If I truly feel that He is telling me to do something, be it a small or large task, isn't my doubt really a lack of faith in Him? 

     There have been times that I have stepped out in faith and gone where HE was leading. These times were glorious and I felt really close to Him. Why do I let my flesh get in the way of what I need to do? One of my big issues was (and sometimes still is) praying out loud. I am no stranger to praying.  I pray daily. I used to talk (silently, in my head) to God non-stop. Now I have added listening as well. I think part of it stemmed from the denomination I grew up in. Only men prayed. Even at mealtime, unless a cute young child insisted on doing the blessing, it was given by a man. There was a time in my life that I would do almost anything to escape praying in front of people. Faint, fake a seizure, whatever it took. Then a friend asked me for prayer. For ME to pray. How can you refuse someone that you love and respect that is asking for prayer? So I did it, feeling inadequate the whole time. Guess what? The world did not end, I did not spontaneously combust and the person thanked me for praying for them. I then realized that although you will not find me raising my hand when someone asks for a volunteer to pray (yet), I am okay with where I am now. I will pray when led. I will pray when asked for prayer. I will not keep the gift of prayer that He gave me buried or keep it for myself. 

    So, what are you  hiding? What has He given you that you aren't using to further His Kingdom? He blesses us so that we can bless others. We are to give it away...freely. After all, it isn't ours to keep here on this Earth. I pray that we can all be faithful with what we have been given...whether it is an obvious ability like singing, or a hidden talent that even you didn't know was there. 
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up". If you see someone stepping out in faith and using their talents or abilities, pray for them, lift them up and give them the support that He would have us give. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fitness Friday

     Guess what? It's the very first "Fitness Friday" ever! I promised I was going to "put my stuff out there" as one of my dear friends called it, so that others could have an example. I didn't tell you in my last post how I was going to score myself, but here it is...I am going to use a scale from 0-10 (0 being "the worst week ever" and 10 being "I rocked it this week"). Using the H.E.A.R.T. formula, the top score attainable is a 50.

     H is for "Him":  I read my Bible two days this week. I am also reading a book called "Radical" by David Platt and it does have scripture in it (not the same, but I thought I would throw it out there). I did have a chance this week to talk to a more mature Christian about some goals/plans that I have. I have scripture verses posted on my bathroom mirror that I read every morning and I was able to have quality prayer time 3 days this week. I'm going to give myself a 5 here.

     E is for exercise/eating healthy:  This is the hardest category for me by far. I did exercise 3 days this week and I am run/walking my first 5K tomorrow. However, I skipped boot camp all 3 days this week. I don't even want to talk about my eating this past week. I start out good, but by the end of the day I seem to let myself get sabotaged either by myself, my husband or some event (Breaking Dawn Premiere) that I can blame it on. I read a quote that said "You can't out exercise a bad diet". Hmmm...gonna give myself a 3 this week.

     A is for all in the family: I definitely feel like this one was where I "rocked it" this week. I was able to take my kids to their after school activities and actually watch them! I was able to read 4 out of 5 nights to the girls. I had some time to spend with Cooper just talking and joking. I even was able to meet a friend for breakfast and talk for 2 hours! I would say this category is lacking in the "quality time most nights with husband" category. We had been making it a priority to set aside time each night and just check in and talk (without kids). Lately, we have been getting slack in this area and I miss it and want to bring it back. Overall, I'm giving myself a 7 here.

     R is for reaching out to others: I would love to say that this category was a 10 each week, but sometimes it is hard for me to see where I actually helped someone or made a difference in my day to day walk. I do put a smile on my face and speak to others where ever I happen to be. At work, I try and let my patients know through words and touch that I care for them and want to help them. Can I count the blog? :) I think my friends would say that I am a person who reaches out to others, but what would my enemies say? Loving my enemies is part of reaching out too. Gonna improve this one. Score...6.

     T is for truthfulness and transparency: There was a time in my past when I felt like I had 2 separate lives. I had to be the fun, joking, crazy Kelly for some people, and the daughter of the most high God Kelly for other people. I no longer feel that way, and let me tell you, it is a relief! These 2 Kellys are not mutually exclusive...Jesus Girl Kelly is fun, loves to joke and yes, even act a little crazy at times. I've come a long way in letting people see the "real" me. Now what you see is really what you get. Score...8 (always room for improvement).

     I added my scores up and ended up with 29/50 or a 58%. In school I would have been devastated by this grade, but in life it is all about progress...not perfection. It was better than 50%...just sayin'! The journey is just beginning.
Peace and Blessings...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Check This Out!!

     I am trying to have more consistency in my blog posts. We only have one computer in our house and it seems like the only time I want to get on it, someone else is already there. I have an Iphone, but I just started being able to send emails from it. I cannot imagine writing a whole blog on something that small. I really think that Santa wants me to have an Ipad for blogging and other such activities, but Santa might be financially stretched this year. He will probably be happy that I have quit asking him for a taser every year.

      I am relatively new to the blogging world, but I wanted to start a "weekly feature" blog. I have seen people do "Wordless Wednesday" or "Weigh In Wednesday" on their own blogs and it gave me an idea. I am going to do a weekly blog called "Fitness Friday". Now, I am not going to tell you everything I did or didn't eat during the week or tell you how much weight I've lost, although that will play a small part. When I think about "fitness" as it applies to my whole life and person, there is more to it than working out and not eating fast food. I want fitness to extend to physical, mental and spiritual health. Fitness is defined as the quality of being suitable to fill a particular role or task. What are my roles? 1.Daughter of the Most High God, 2.Wife, 3. Mother, 4. Friend....each one of these roles has other roles inside of it. I came up with an acronym that I feel helps me gauge how I have been doing on my weekly journey to fulfill these roles and become a more disciplined person.

     I am going to do what I will be calling a "H.E.A.R.T. check". H stands for "Him"...did I spend time each day praying, reading my Bible, worshiping or listening to Him? E stands for "exercise and eating healthy"...this one is pretty self explanatory. A stands for "all in the family"....did I spend quality time with my husband, children and close friends? R stands for "reaching out to others"....did I do anything this week to help out someone in need? How did I represent Christ to the world?  T stands for "truthfulness and transparency"...was I genuinely myself and let others see the real me? These things will be subjectively graded by me of course. I will try to be as objective as possible, lol. I do know that we grade ourselves more harshly that we do anyone else. I've said things in my mind to myself that I wouldn't dream saying to another person. I'm not doing this to say "look at me I am a fabulous person" or if I have a bad week to have people build me up with compliments. This is just for me to have an extra measure of accountability that I can look back at from week to week and see how far I have come in my journey. I would love to have others come along with me. I picked specific things that I need to work on, but they can be tweaked or adjusted to fit anyone's specific needs. There is strength in numbers, and as women I think this is especially true. That's why we don't go to the bathroom never know when you might need a friend!

     The Bible also tells us that it is important to never be alone. We know that God is always with us, but having believers disciple us and encourage us along the way is important as well. I would love to hear the blog world's thoughts about "Fitness Friday"!
Acts 2:42 says..."They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
Come along and fellowship, pray and break bread with me on this journey.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What are YOU waiting for?

     Have you ever felt deep down that you should do something, but didn't want to? I have thought of many blog topics over the past few weeks that I wanted to write, but something kept me from writing them. I've had the opportunity (when the kids are in school) and the material (went on an awesome Christian weekend recently), but I literally couldn't write those things. Finally, I was sitting in church and it hit me. My pastor was talking about how he woke up in the wee hours of the morning and was prompted to pray...for revival. But the prompting wasn't just for any was for revival to start with him. It was personal. Ouch. That's just how I felt when I was listening. Duh...He wants me to write about what is weighing me down or what is keeping me from personally being revived. 

     I have done so much backsliding lately that it's not even funny. I've been eating exactly what I want and not feeling guilty. There was one week I skipped boot camp....bad idea. I have gained a few pebbles (please refer back to the "Let's Get Stoned" blog post). My car is cluttered. My house is cluttered. And daily Bible reading...fuhgedaboutit! This blog was supposed to be an extra measure of accountability for me. But I haven't felt like writing the truth lately. You know why? The truth hurts! 

     This is what the Bible says about our bodies..."Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, who you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (1 Cor. 6:19-20)  My body is a temple that was bought at a price. The highest price imaginable, with the blood of Jesus. Not only that...guess who lives there?? The Holy Spirit. My point is, I am not honoring God with my body. I don't just mean food either, though that is a big part of it. I go out to eat when I shouldn't be spending the money. I buy things I don't really need. I skip exercising, scripture reading, cleaning. I don't get enough sleep. I have let my pride get in the way of witnessing to people or helping people. I have been jealous of people, things and relationships. I have held on to small bits of resentment that I have let fester. As doubt crept into my mind, it has shown itself on my outer body. Now, I know He's got my back no matter what...but shouldn't I have His? Listen to this verse from 1Timothy 4:7b "Exercise daily in God- no spiritual flabbiness, please!" I think I am going to post this on my bathroom mirror so I can see it every morning. 

     I also realized that I haven't been trusting God like I should. I say that I trust Him. I know that I trust Him up to a certain extent. But He wants ALL of me...all of my trust. After we worked out at boot camp Monday, we had a devotion. It was about not only trusting Him, but obeying Him. Remember the old hymn, "Trust and Obey"? They go together, like peas and carrots, or brownies and milk. If I say that I trust Him, I will obey Him. It's that simple. What isn't that simple is putting aside my human fears and insecurities. But I can...with His help. I want to be "all in" for Jesus. Sold out. I want to believe that I can walk on the water too. 

When you take that first step into the unknown, you know that he won't let you go. So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose? Your insecurities try to alter you. You know you're made for more, so don't be afraid to move. Your faith is all it takes and you can walk on the water too. 
--Britt Nicole