What a Stand-Up Paddle Board Taught Me About Trusting God

Hello!!! Guess what, I'm alive. Been behind the scenes and happily off Facebook for a bit. It has been so nice. One of the things I've done is write a few summer blogs for you until the Podcast is up. So I hope this one gives you a little inspiration. 

How many of you have ridden a Stand Up paddle board? Well, I just started riding the one I got a few weeks ago at the lake and loved it. Loved it in the sense that I grew to love it. I knew it was going to be hard to get up and balance, especially on the unpredictable waves of Lake Michigan. I was up to the challenge, but I had to step out and step away from the shore.

It's kinda like the time I've had off Facebook. It's become so normal to just post on Facebook and scroll the news feed for all of us. It feels funky to be off it, like you aren't with the "in" crows. But it's freeing. It's almost like we've become numb to the effects of it on our life that we forget who we are without it. Let me tell you, I haven't now! (Another blog - gonna be good).

Anyway, so this SUP (Stand up Paddle) board experience. I am not the queen of balance, (kinda like life). Who is anyway? So the first day I go out and get up. I fall within a minute. I get up again and fall within 2. Then 3. Then 4. I had to have the board turned just so - so that I wouldn't moved across the harbor with the waves. Let's just say it was frustrating. Thankfully my husband was out there hanging out with me on the kayak, watching me get up and fall down, get up and fall down. Sometimes I'd fall forward and the board would fly behind me. The board would move so fast, he'd paddle across the water pretty far to grab it and bring it back cause I couldn't get to it fast enough. One time I fell backwards and got a lovely bruise in the middle of my back. Totally worth it. Another time? Lost my favorite white sunglasses. Tried to go back and find them, never did. 

But I went out again the next day and didn't give up. I was stronger, able to balance better. I think barre played a huge part in keeping me up there. (Thank you Tammy Weisweaver) This day the water was rougher than I thought. I could not get up and stay on the board at all. So we went out on the kayak instead (another story.) The next day I was stronger, cruising along for a few minutes at a time. I felt like a rock star. lol 

A few days later we were heading back home and I wished I had gotten out on the water again but the weather kept me from it. So we're driving down Grand Traverse Bay and it is just beautiful out. I made a decision to turn around and stay another day, and it was the best decision I could have made. It wasn't just because I had another day on the water and got some writing done. But because I woke up that next day to see the lake more still than I'd seen it in two weeks.

I remarked to my mother-in-law, "I have GOT to get out on that lake." So I went to the basement, hauled that board down to the water and got on that puppy. Let me tell you - nailed it. 

I got up on that board and never once fell. I got up with reasonable grace. I stayed up on that thing for over an hour. I laid down on it just looking out at the Manitous.

A view of my time on the water from land.

A view of my time on the water from land.

I did an Upward Dog. I did a Downward Dog. Didn't quite make Warrior, but next time. I was moving on that lake feeling totally connected to God through nature in front of me and below me. It felt like the living demonstration of being still and knowing God. It took complete trust to stay up that long, over every wave knowing that even if I fell God would be there when I got back up.

So I found myself singing the song, "Oceans" by Hillsong. If you don't know it, HERE it is

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find you in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am yours and You are mine....

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

I was literally singing this this to myself as I glided along. It was so very cool. It reminded me of how much I want to trust God, how much I want to trust Him to take me deeper than I could ever be on the shore.

Then I realized that He was using this board to teach me something. He was reminding me that because of Him I don't ever have to get up. God is the one who gives me the courage to keep getting back up, no matter how many times I fall. It reminded me of all those times in life that I've been challenged, God gave me the strength to get back up. It was this God confidence that I could never get on my own.

You know what else I learned? That life IS all about balance. But it doesn't always mean perfect balance. Some days we feel pretty balanced because things are going pretty smooth. Other times we're trying desperately to hold on as the waves come. It's a miracle we don't fall off. Then there are the times where pretty quickly we are completely thrown off. But we come up from the water, and we give it another shot. Or we say, today's not the day. But tomorrow I'll get up and give it another shot. You just never give up. Why? Because every time you get up, you get stronger. So the more you trust, the more you step out, the more courage you'll have to keep stepping out of that comfort zone.

So what if we fall off? So what if we look goofy trying to get back up? We're doing it. That's what matters most.  We get up. We fall down. We fall down again. But we keep getting back up. 

I think that time on the lake is what gave me the inspiration to step away from Facebook a bit and see how it affects me, affects us - to maybe help all of us realize we may just be giving it a little too much power over our life. That time on that SUP showed me how much more I want to fix me eyes on Jesus than a news feed. It showed me how much more I want to do God's will, than what everyone else is doing on their news feed. I know I won't be able to completely avoid it, because I do believe that there is a need for good content on there. I will just be working to fix me eyes on Jesus a lot more. Anything I can do to know Him more. God wants my time more than anyone else, and I want to be obedient. 

So, I'm going to remember this time on Lake Michigan with this SUP where I learned that I can go deeper - "where my trust is without borders, where my faith can be made stronger." I can leave the rest up to God because no matter how much my mind fights me, or the water gets rough, or the storms come - God is with me. He is with you too. 

Today's Bible verse was from Deuteronomy 31. It spoke of when Moses was handing over the leadership reigns. Moses said to all of Israel in verses 6-8 NIV

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

 

What's your Stand UP Paddle Board story? How are you going to step out and trust that He's got you?

One more thing, you know what that gave me the courage to do? Step out in faith in another area of my life. Tomorrow at the crack of dawn I'll be heading to Charlotte, North Carolina for the "She Speaks" Christian Writers Conference, and I cannot WAIT. I'm trusting that God's got this call and all I have to do? Is step out in faith. 

All you've got to do - is step out in faith.

"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties." Eric Fromm

You Can Have Victory Over Envy

I just noticed that last week's message was on comparison and this week is envy. Must be that time of year! I hope you enjoy today's message and it helps you in some way! Shout out to my friend Tammy Weisweaver (pictured here at the conference yesterday), and here's her barre studio if you want to check it out! (For all you out of towners - she's got online classes too!) B Present.

If you haven't checked it out, go to a class at her studio and see how she shines. Walk through your envy and defeat the lie of the enemy!

Here are a few resources that I mentioned plus 2 songs

"True Confidence has no room for jealousy and envy. When you know you are great, you have no reason to hate." - Unknown

"With envy out of the way you'll have more rom for your own greatness." - Danielle LaPorte #truthbomb

Your verses are:

James 3:16 AMP

"For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition) there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices."

Hebrews 10:19-25 AMP

A Call to Persevere in Faith

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

For some reason this is the song that kept playing in my head when Tammy talked about how we're made to fly and the second one is one I've never heard. What AN AWESOME SONG!!

 

 

Comparison 2.0: To Moms, Young People & 2016 Graduates

The One Key to Overcoming Comparison

It doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in friends - college student, 20 something, 30 something, working mom, stay at home mom, single mom, grandmother - it doesn’t matter. We are all confronted with this comparison thing. The difference is in what we do with it. Are you going to sit in it and have a pity party? Or are you going to recognize it's the enemy playing a trick on you, trying to divert you from your focus?

Will you choose to focus on God's plan for someone else that has nothing to do with His plan for you? Or will you focus on Him and let Him show you His beautiful plan for your life...that one that's already unfolding?

Here's the deeper part from the message I heard at church on Sunday: The roots of comparison we have go back to when we were kids. Whatever we thought was our disadvantage, is the barometer we used to compare our walk to someone else's. I know I had two, and every time I get insecure today somehow it relates back to how I felt with these two - struggle with weight and being a child of divorce. I am NO longer a victim of either of those, no matter what the circumstance. But let me tell you, my insecurity about them kept me lost and addicted for a long time. As Pastor Bob said, he kept that comparison and resentment in his heart for over 20 years. I get that. I was brought not only back to childhood but back to my first day at Notre Dame when the only thing that repeated in my head was "I'm the only one overweight." "I'm the only one with divorced parents." Wrong. It's no wonder I dove into the drink believing that.

Believe who GOD says you are. This is especially for you graduates. There will be many opportunities to compare yourself to others in many areas I won't even get into. If it shakes you, don't let it break you. Get away and figure out who God says you are by getting in the Word or downloading the Bible App. He will show you who you are to Him. You will get all the advice in the world to follow your dreams and create a perfect life. It is good to have dreams. But it is better to have something to fall back on when they don't work out. Oh and it's not a bad thing if they don't because failures are what make you a success. Failures, contrary to popular belief, are the greatest lessons. You know the road will get tough so just remember when you are comparing. Wait a minute and remember this: I can seek the only one who truly knows me. The sooner you get that the world will always give you reasons to compare and tell you that you aren't enough - the sooner you can find the one who will always tell you the opposite. Just know that NO one has it all figured out. No one is beating you in the race of life. God's got you EXACTLY where you are supposed to be and he is walking with you if you let yourself notice Him. So as soon as you say, "Well I don't have that," think of all the things you DO have. Think of the fact that God designed you JUST as you are for a specific purpose and no one can take that away from you. 

This image is courtesy of Elephant Adventure and my friend Margaret Sheyka Stough who posted it on my page.

This image is courtesy of Elephant Adventure and my friend Margaret Sheyka Stough who posted it on my page.

Here are the resources I mentioned below that can help you work through this a little bit more.....

2) A great article called "Find Contentment by Killing Comparisons", by Anne Peterson from Christianity Today speaks to that comparison game we play on Facebook.

3) Another great article called, "The Life and Death of the Proverbs 31 Woman" by John Greco from In Touch Ministries.

4) Verses

Romans 12:2 says it best. I like the NLT,

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of the world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

John 16:33 NIV

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Hebrews 12:2 NIV

"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

And a song that may not help you now but maybe one day. Heard it last week and it was just perfect.

 Bonus song:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Willingness to Let Go of Our Weakness

Here is your message via audio this week! 

Additional Resources Mentioned...

Here's where you can go to find Steven Furtick's book and watch some of his messages. The Book is called "Unqualified."

Here is Joyce Meyer's message, "No Weapon Formed Against You Shall Prosper." It's actually the second part of 2 and I highly recommend watching the other one as well. 

Verse of the Day from the Bible App:

"When I said, "My foot is slipping, your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. - Psalm 94:18-19

Other verses from the message:

Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Philippians 3:12-14 NIV

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

And one more thing - 2 bonus songs. The first is speaking to me this week with this message and the second is a website that plays a song a friend sent to me and said, "How Healthy Voice is this?!" So take a watch or listen.

The second is an artist named Eric Peters. His song is called "Farthest Shore" and you can listen to it, learn more about him on his website.

He's got a beautiful voice and I love what it says right on the front of his website, "Eric has a soft spot for folks who, like him, struggle with anxiety, depression and are in recovery." 

Okay that should be enough to keep you busy!! Have a good week all!

 

 

 

 

Why You Don't Belong in a Box. You Belong to God.

Earlier this week I posted something on Facebook about boxes, what they are in our life and how it's okay if we don't fit into one. That's what I'm talking about in today's video. What I want to connect it to is honesty. 

I have been hearing messages all week about being honest. I try to live my life as open and honest as I can. But I'm human, so of course I'll find stuff that I'm not being honest about and call myself out on it - whether it's holding onto old pain I'm scared to share, or it's something small in my everyday life today. Either way, being honest and facing our stuff - big or small, is not easy. I think it's difficult because it cuts right to our deepest gut level pain - I mean the stuff that goes way deep, or way back. We keep much of it inside because we're afraid of rejection if we ARE honest in the crazy, tough world. And forget it if we do share and we get rejected, then we just want to craw in a hole - or a box, and hide. But, it's so much better to get it out, which is what I hope today's message and my honesty will help you get to.

This week in her videos, Joyce Meyer talks about the sexual abuse she suffered as a kid. It's ugly stuff. It's almost tough to watch. But it's necessary. It's necessary for her to heal and for God to work THROUGH her so others can heal from their pain too. It is very powerful stuff. It's not for everyone, and not for every venue, but it is - for those who are willing to be honest with themselves. (If you are willing, you can watch the series from this week here on her website. I have her app which is great too. "One Life: Part 1 and 2" are the ones you want to watch.

If you think right now about those things you may not be honest about, maybe there are obvious. Maybe they are so deep, you haven't faced them in years. But you've got to get them out because they make us hide our light thinking we're protecting ourselves from the darkness when we're actually keeping ourselves in the darkness (of our box.) 

If you keep it inside you, self-defeat is waiting in the wings. But you don't have to do that. #1  We have a God who loves us and wants to heal us. #2 He wants us to help each other. Read the verse below. 

Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
— James 5:16 AMP

We have created boxes in our lives. Somehow others seem to have the prettier ones, the ones that fit better in this world (or so we think) and we wonder why ours don't match. But the truth is we were never meant to fit into their boxes or into our own box we've created for ourselves.

We don't belong in a box. We belong to God. Drop your box. Drop your idea of the boxes everyone else has, or thinking you have to fit into what someone else thinks is right for your life and just be you. Let God make you who he wants you to be. 

Here's an image you can download to remind you.

Also, reflect on this music video. Love this artist and song, but heard it at about 8am coming out of a workout class yesterday morning and it just got me. Maybe it will help you process where you are at.

 

 

 

How to See Music and Nature as Gifts from God

Here's your message for today!

Your Value Does Not Lie in Your Weight: Your Weekly HV Message

Hey guys! Posted this video yesterday and the image is late but I think some of you might have missed it if you subscribe to my blog. Enjoy and share!!