I LAUGH IN THE FACE OF DOUBT

Good Morning Beautiful!

Do you have what it takes to laugh in the face of doubt today?

Doubt likes to grab a hold of your dreams, gifts, and calling to stop you from moving forward.

Have you ever become paralyzed by the feeling? Let me tell you what doubt is…it’s dwelling on your weaknesses when you are on the cusp of splashing into a refreshing pool called, your calling. Doubt makes you feel cemented and chained to your environment, social-expectations and standards. Doubt traps you in a box.

Today my lovelies, we are going to start dipping our toes into that pool of faith, the pool of your calling. Much to our surprise, our calling may not just be one title we get to call ourselves in our lifetime…you know, one day we’ll get “there”. No, but perhaps we are called to many along our path…Teacher. Doer. Initiator. Dreamer. Doctor. Counselor. Server. Cashier. Coach. Volunteer. Lover. Mother. Daughter…The list might go on! Take a “look” at what you hold in your heart: your skills, personality, passions, and abilities. As well as your identity; you know, child and truly loved friend of the Creator of this universe. God has called you and it’s mighty because HE made the call, not you. He has already gone before you in this thing you call your life. Don’t be afraid. Other’s need what you possess, and you need what they are gifted in as well. Take a deep breath and let yourself flourish with great purpose, one brave step at a time. Otherwise, what is our life? Just another human being, grappled by doubt and fear. Release! Flourish! Be free! The world needs you and your gifts, no matter how small you think they might be.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Romans 12:6

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” 1 Peter 4:10

“I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints” Ephesians 1:18

Until next time,

Bri

Question I’m asking the Lord today, “Show me how to use my strengths and gifts to better raise my kids. Show me how to be faithful with the “small” things”

Faith>Fear

       There are a lot of mind-blowing moments in Biblical History; God-breathed words portray endless accounts of healing and miracles, supernatural grace, forgiveness and unconditional love. 

But why? I’ve asked myself this question countless times: Why is the Bible packed with all these amazing things, yet for some reason I don’t see much of that happening around me now?

I’ve muddled through different answers in my head: Maybe there are too many distractions, maybe we’ve lost touch with God, maybe it’s the change in culture. Nothing really made sense, seeing as how God promises that He’s the same as He was “yesterday, today and forever”. He promises that He’s our healer. He promises that we would do “even greater things”. 

There is an account of healing in the Bible, where two followers of Jesus (Peter and John) heal a paralytic. Not through bandaids and physical therapy. They didn’t cast a magical spell with fairy dust either.

“And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” -Acts 3

By FAITH in Jesus, they were able to bring complete healing to the man who had been “lame since birth”, in an instant! Part of me reads the story and thinks, “Oh, what a neat story of the power of Christ working in someones life!” and the other part of me says, “I want to do crazy stuff like this! I’m a follower of Jesus, what am I missing that these two guys had?!”

Faith man, it’s faith.

What does it mean?

It’s such a short little word for how powerful it is.

I’ve always struggled with the word, more or less the meaning of it.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11

I’ve turned this verse upside down-right side up and inside out to better understand what faith is and how it applies to me.

According to the verse, Faith is:

  1. Substance of hope
  2. Evidence of the unseen

As I have been stretched and grown through trials, God has grown me out of my unbelief into a woman of faith. Recently, I was caught in the middle of a challenge that could have easily made me over-stressed and anxious, as I’ve been so quick to do in the past. I remembered a verse that I had recently read:

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” -1 John 5:14-15

In the midst of fear, I had a CHOICE. As do we all. I could get caught up in the endless worries of, what’s going to happen? what do I do? #freakout.

OR

I could choose to pray in FAITH. What is the difference you ask?

OH MAMA, it’s huge.

Take the verse above and apply it to your prayer life–in doing so, you gain a whole different type of strength. I promise. FAITH equips you to heavily rely so much on God, that you let your fears escape your mind and replace them with anticipation of God’s faithful response.

Fear is so ugly. It’s a life-ruiner, home-wrecker and a perspective obliterator. It’s Satan’s biggest tactic when it comes to destroying and distracting us from God’s goodness and His perfect will!

24 hrs after praying in faith (BELIEVING and knowing that He heard me and would faithfully answer), an answer came through a friend. It was incredible-I need to pray like this more often!

Two things I’ve learned about myself: I’m quick to fear, but I’m also a quick learner. One who is quick to fear, is less prone to reap the fruit of a deep-seeded faith in God. Faith in EVERY instance.

Together, let’s be a community of Jesus followers who destroy fears with Faith. Each step of faithful living and prayer, opens up a new spout for God’s goodness to pour through.

#Faithoverfear.

Try it today:

  1. Set apart time to be alone-distraction free.
  2. Be still, and thank God for a few things.
  3. Pray with confidence-not thinking “this is too big of a request” or “oh this may or may not happen”or “God may hear me right now, but maybe He’s too busy”. Stop. Pray in FAITH (with confidence) knowing and believing that He is there with you and will answer.
  4. Try catching yourself-the moment a fear ridden thought enters your head. Acknowledge them, try to not judge yourself for feeling them. Practice kindness to yourself and allow yourself to feel but not stay afraid.
  5. Pray and trust that your LOVING Father will take care of you and that HIS PLAN is the best plan.

“Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty?” -Job 11:7

“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” -Job 42:2

 God has given us His Holy Spirit as a helper. The instant you start to feel fear creep into your mind, ask Him to fill you a fresh and proclaim His authority over you, and watch fear diminish.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” -John 14:26

If you have trouble trusting God, remember all that He’s done and hold onto His promises.

He will never leave you or forsake you.

He is always with you.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

He will supply all your needs.

He’s healer of broken bodies and broken hearts.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” -John 14:27

“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence. O my God, my soul is in despair within me; Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.” -Psalm 42:5-6

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Guys, we don’t have time to let fear control us. Everyone experiences some level of it. Though the difference between what Christians do with fear, and what the rest of the world does with it is exponential (or at least it should be). God gives us a whole different kind of peace that the world can never give us. The kind of steady mind and heart that is able to remain steady in EVERY moment- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Everyone’s going to experience fear; it’s your response that will set you apart. Look around you, this world isn’t thriving. People are hurting, lost, addicted, abused, dying-you name it. There’s a deep calling for urgent rescue. It is our job to carry this eternal faith into the hearts of the people around us, so that we can all thrive no matter what our circumstance may be.

“But you are a chosen group of people. You are the King’s religious leaders. You are a holy nation. You belong to God. He has done this for you so you can tell others how God has called you out of darkness into His great light.” -1 Peter 2:9

Don’t look back. Go forward today in newness of life. This is your choice: choose to step into the plummeting-spiral of fear or the miraculous freedom-ride of faith.

“He said to her, “Daughter, your FAITH has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” -Mark 5:34

Wake up, church! Revelation 3:2

Bri

Well begun is half done

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GROWING UP, WE CALLED MY MOM THE “FIDDLER”. IT SEEMED THAT WHENEVER WE TRIED TO SIT DOWN TO WATCH A MOVIE OR EAT DINNER, SHE FIDDLED WITH THE DISHES, THE LAUNDRY, HER HAIR. AFTER WAITING 20 MINUTES, SHE WOULD SAY, “JUST GO AHEAD…START WITHOUT ME”. WHICH WOULD FOLLOW WITH IMPATIENT REMARKS FROM HER LOVELY CHILDREN. 🙂

This afternoon, I found myself in a place that I’ve been countless times before. I sat down to connect with Jesus, but I couldn’t connect. An hour went by before I truly felt myself zone into the place I wanted to be. Why did it take that long? Because recently I’ve let myself become the Queen of Fiddling.

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The Holiday’s brought plenty of joy and awesome family time, without a doubt. Although, it made for very little quiet time. I was like a gerbil caught in it’s wheel, for crying out loud; Traveling, activities, visitors, gifts, food, and Christmas movies. All of which had me spinning non-stop. This week, things began to calm down but for some reason I couldn’t remember how to get off my “wheel”. The moment I sat down for peace and quiet…I pulled out my phone to all the goodies a screen could offer:

Emails, Texts, FaceBook, Instagram, Snap Chat, wishful vacation shopping on GroupOn, ETC. 

After some time, I threw my phone down and closed my eyes trying to clear my mind and let God speak to me. This is what I had originally sat down to do while the boys napped. Elijah began to cry and at once I blamed my wasted time on my crying 18 month old. I comforted him, then let him cry it out hoping he’d fall back asleep.

I turned my attention to the Bible, and Eli’s cry became background noise.

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Ah-ha! That’s it…

Connection to our dreams, goals, priorities and God easily become drowned out by time-consuming fiddles. 

Think of someone who has lost their vision. Since there is nothing to be seen, they have an immaculate taste of the other senses. They hear whispers, smell smells, taste tastes, feel the feels better than any seeing person ever could.

ARG! How frequently I cave to entertainment where I don’t let myself have a quiet moment to think. It’s awkward to do nothing. One must look at a screen to be comfortable. *Rolls eyes* You know how it goes…The phone comes out:

In the waiting room.

On the bus.

In line at the grocery store.

In-between commercials on T.V.

In the bathroom. 

When do we give ourselves time to think?!

It is little distraction by little distraction, that the presence of God becomes our background noise.

There are a lot of exciting things going on around us. New inventions, a plethora of entertainment and activities–There’s always something to do. If there isn’t, we go stir crazy because of our heightened sense of pleasure. It’s become instilled in us that we always need to be doing something, never settling, always going…otherwise we are bored. For some reason, the quietness is scary to us. It’s foreign. But that my friends is where we find the Lord. That’s where we see Him, when we seek him in the quiet. The quiet is also where our dreams develop. It’s where our passions come alive when we give them room to grow. And where our priorities become appropriately aligned.

It starts with, well, starting! It you allow yourself to sit, with nothing to get side tracked with, you’ll see progress. Just begin. Begin to open up space for your mind to be comfortable with the quietness.

Together let’s put down the fiddle and make more room for:

…our dreams to develop

…our calling and passion to flourish.

…our knowledge of God to expand

…God to overwhelm you with the peace and joy of His presence. 

You will see yourself become more focused, level-headed and driven when you fully accept quietness into your everyday routine. It is in the seeking that we hear Him speaking.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” -Jeremiah 29:13

“…in Him we live, move and have our being.” -Acts 17:28

Now, put down that dang fiddle. 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” -Hebrews 12:1-2

→Keep moving forward→

Bri

Rev up! and GLOW

2U1A5410Two nights ago, 24 young girls and 11 rockin’ volunteers filled up a gym as they shined in the glowing purple hues of black light. With faces literally glowing from the body paint, we all moved to the upbeat sounds of music that would make any grown woman want to dance. After the night ended, one girl said that she looked around the room and even though it was dark, she could tell everyone was smiling. The minimal lighting allowed her and the rest of the girls to feel comfortable enough to let loose and dance even if it meant moving offbeat and looking ridiculous.

After sweating ourselves silly, we all raided the Smoothie bar where we created delicious bowls, topped with yummy fruit, granola, and other healthy toppings! Some of us then played around at the photo booth taking pictures in costume. Others freshened up with a fragrant face mask. Then, there were others who ran around with 50 glow bracelets linked together, letting out their inner creative child! 2U1A5484

After a time of stretching, we practiced stillness. With a cool lavender towel on our foreheads, we inhaled a prayer of, “I love you” to God, and exhaled as we allowed ourselves to hear God say it back to us, “I love you”.

This transitioned into storytime, of sorts. Where I shared my first experience of looking at myself in a mirror and seeing how God saw me–instead of seeing myself through the filter of how I thought the world saw me. I had looked at myself, with a filter of several lies attached to it including I was ugly, I need make up, not good enough so I have to layer up with material things, and so on. I had been lied to in middle school, and high school and believed them for several years after. It made me slightly paranoid that I would never be pretty enough for people to like me.

After taking the girls through Genesis 3:1-13, it was their turn to look inward. The girls wrote a lie they’ve believed on a balloon. After asking them to pop it, they found a little note inside with a truth to displace that lie that had been exposed. At the end, the girls came up and wrote down their truth, what God sees when He looks at them, on a full-length mirror. This was a huge expression of their faith; calling out the lie for what it is, and stepping into the freedom of the truth of who God says they are. Only our maker can tell us who we are. Why, oh why, would we want other broken and hurt reflections to define who we are? If they didn’t make you, they cannot define you.

As they left that night with newfound energy, hope, and friends, they also each left with a letter written by women of faith in our community! All women who sat down, spared a few minutes out of their busy schedules to love on those girls with their words and their testimony.

If that was you, thank you. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank you to all those who volunteered and led, and for doing it well. Thank you for being bold enough to talk to, to move with and engage those incredible young women who came out Saturday night.

 “I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Ephesians 3:18-21

Brianna Joy

Revelation Wellness Instructor at The Well

If you would like any info about The Well ministry events and classes, please contact me at: brijoyful@gmail.com. I host seasonal, faith and fitness classes: Rev Up! classes are cardio and strength-based and Flow classes involve light strength, stretching and meditative practice.

 

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No Roots

There are two things I would have rather been doing on a Sunday afternoon: Napping and watching Netflix. We had been invited out to a party by some new friends and everything in me clenched at the thought of the effort new relationships would take. We were just getting settled in a new home far from home and hardly knew anyone. The last thing I wanted to do was work on my skill at first impressions. That took too much work because there was too much thinking on my end about how we would come across to people, what they would think, or if we would be interesting enough to get an invite back.

Sounds depressing, I know. As much as I labeled fear as introvertedness, it never gave me the purpose and identity I truly was born to claim. Fear has looked a lot of ways for me: laziness, reservation, people-pleasing, and false humility to name a few. And although I’ve lived seemingly put together, the performing, striving and grasping for perfection has left me dry and lifeless! Drinking a glass of wine before social gatherings became my go-to for a while but I eventually realized that my dependency on that only blanketed my fear. I still felt like I was forced to leave the house, that I had to put on my fearless, yet fake face. Friends, I even used positive affirmations and bible verses to suppress fear but most of the time, they made me feel good for a day and rubbed off the next.

What was I doing to make fear and anxiety stick to me? Fear had become like another layer of skin that I wasn’t able to move past.

This is my story, my redemption story. Instead of fear holding me back, God has made the opposite happen: He is using my struggle to propel me out of that prison and into a life where I put fear to shame (Isaiah 61:7). Instead of me resorting to my hermit ways, He has drawn me out into His calling with great hope. Instead of closing my mouth when there’s something to be said, He has moved me to take steps forward into uncomfortable situations with exceptional peace. Instead of my reason for socializing being something I have to do, He has purposed me to love people like something I now get to do.

So, what was I doing to make fear and anxiety stick to me? I was doing nothing. I was expecting God to carry me through and do all the work while I sat back and took no steps outside my comfort. I wasn’t putting actions behind the bible verses and I wasn’t living as if I had God’s spirit residing in my heart.

You might want to change your weight, your attitude, your finances or perspective but nothing will have lasting change unless you look at the state of your heart first.

Jesus talks about our hearts like they are soil. Some hearts have rich, toiled, soil that welcomes truth and lives from it. Then there are other hearts that are full of weeds (lies) that choke out the truth of God’s promises. Other hearts are hard and rocky (doubtful/fearful) that don’t allow the verses to take root and grow into something beautiful.

Do you feel that no matter how much you read the bible and pray, no change comes? Do your goals and dreams come and go, depending on your mood? Is living comfortably your main goal, but deep down you want more purpose?

If I were to look at the “soil” of my heart when fear directed my lifestyle, it was most likely full of weeds. I read, I studied and listened to teachings on God’s Word then, sure! But lies like, me having to perform my best in order to have value and be liked, choked out the truth of God’s promises. My grip on lies deflected the truth. During that time, I needed to allow His spirit to toil my heart soil; exposing and turning up the rocks of doubt and fear. Instead, most decisions I made were based out of a rocky and weed-infested heart! No fruit can come from a garden that hasn’t been kept…and a booming garden doesn’t come in a day!

How do we tend to our heart’s garden then? You might not like the answer, but if you care enough about implementing serious change, you’ll do it.

  1. See it for what it is. Our unkept hearts have been lied to, ignored, stomped on and forgotten. Our hearts are the epicenter of feelings. How we feel is a guide and our feelings are great servants pointing us to the root of our struggles and joys!
  2. Put someone new in charge. Whoever is King or Gardener of our heart determines our reasons and results of daily decisions. What we value most determines our heart’s master! If you value the opinions of others, that shapes your garden into only what others want to see and get out of you. When Jesus is King of our heart, he plants your identity as His son or daughter…what would happen if you allowed that seed of truth to be planted? That curiosity is what keeps me saying, “I’m all yours God…you do your thing!
  3. Hand over the tools. It’s going to get uncomfortable. First of all, anything that is rooted deep into the earth is a nightmare to pull up. Instead of us trying to resolve all our human issues with pretty hands and positive self-talk, we must give Jesus the garden hoe. It’s time that we get comfortable being uncomfortable. How else does a garden make room for blossoms of fruit and immaculate color? I look back to my journey with fear and the one thing that stands out are all the small, uncomfortable times I gave God my yes. Lots of little, baby decisions that turned into big-overcoming habits!
  4. Water the truth. Even when I suffered or hurt and life seemed out of control, I kept choosing to go back to the truth. I listed out God’s promises and repeated them in the face of opposition. This involved turning on some worship songs on YouTube and belting my heart out in song as my RESPONSE to worry and sadness. I put sticky notes on our bathroom mirror, phone background, car dashboard, or nightstand so that I always had truth to confront the lies with.

It took time for me to see past myself, and understand that my life wasn’t really all about me. That it had less to do with my perfect-performance and more to do with what God would do if He took the stage. I hope that you can find grace and patience with yourself and gain a bit of ambitious expectancy of what God is doing and will do. You are God’s delight and His desire is for you to see the abundance that comes with allowing Him to til the soil of your heart. Your heart space is the rooting ground for His kingdom goodness to grow; where your dreams and His desires become one.

 “I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest. The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you. So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine.

 “I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless. If a person is separated from me, he is discarded; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire to be burned. But if you live in life-union with me and if my words live powerfully within you—then you can ask whatever you desire and it will be done. When your lives bear abundant fruit, you demonstrate that you are my mature disciples who glorify my Father!

“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts. If you keep my commands, you will live in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands, for I continually live nourished and empowered by his love. My purpose for telling you these things is so that the joy that I experience will fill your hearts with overflowing gladness!”

John 15:1-11, The Passion Translation

 

 

Welcome to Freedom

I’m slightly claustrophobic. An easy way to make an enemy out of me would be to trap me under a blanket or hide me away in an elevator. It’s not a fun feeling; being stuck in a place where hope is a word that holds no meaning. A lot of things can get us there: people’s accusations, lies, and hurt. Or our own circumstance, opposition, emotions, doubts, and negative self-talk.

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There is hope.

“Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” Zechariah 9:12

Some of us are in a place where we’ve been for so long, that we don’t even remember what it’s like to be free (or maybe we’ve never even known it). Where hoping is pointless because goodness seems impossible. A place where the only comfort we look to is in _______ (food, drink–you choose) and not The Comforter. Beautiful one, it’s time to start seeing your darkness, in the light.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

It’s Holy week…the week that led to the great rescue Jesus Christ did to set us free. Free from the dark place we might be presently trapped in. His whole life on earth was all to make way for God’s grand, heroic plan. As he was nailed and breathed His last, the blood that ran out of him was a sign of OUR PAIN, SIN, STRUGGLE, DISEASE being taken from us. He died in YOUR place, because He delights in YOU. His love is greater than our present darkness because he didn’t stay dead. By His death and resurrection, He beat death and anything that connects to it: SHAME, HATRED, ABUSE, ANGER, DEPRESSION, WORRY, LIES, FEAR…you fill in the blank!

No really, fill in the blank, “…and do not let yourselves be burdened again by ________”.  (Galations 5:1)

GIVE IT BACK TO ME.

Friend, if you’re holding onto any of the darkness, the time has never been better than now to give it back to JESUS. His whole living, was to die for you so that you don’t have to live in these dark places. So, what are we doing holding onto these things? They are going to come up throughout our life. Opposition is at every new turn, every attempt to move forward there is a reason to fear, lose hope and believe lies. The questions is: are you going to give into it by putting the darkness into a higher place than the hope of Christ (rescue, healing, freedom…to name a few)? OR are you going to face it and give it back to Jesus?!

What ever you filled in as being your darkness, well…it’s NOT yours. HOPE IS YOURS.  God wants you to give him back those burdens that He ALREADY took on for you.

If you want to live by HOPE instead of being stuck in whatever your darkness is, get ready to experience what FREEDOM feels like and the FULLNESS of JOY Jesus brings through that release.

If you have questions, need prayer or have anything you want to add to this, please email me. I’d love to be there for you, friend.

Be free! Bri Joy

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This is me and my lovely, weird and adorable little family. 

Check out these dope lyrics, MORE THAN CONQUERORS, Rend Collective.

When my hope and strength is gone
You’re the one who calls me on
You are the life
You are the fight
That’s in my soul
Oh, Your resurrection power
Burns like fire in my heart
When waters rise
I lift my eyes
Up to Your throne
We are more than conquerors, through Christ
You have overcome this world, this life
We will not bow to sin or to shame
We are defiant in Your name
You are the fire that cannot be tamed
You are the power in our veins
Our Lord, our God, our Conqueror
I will sing into the night
Christ is risen and on high
Greater is He
Living in me
Than in the world
No surrender, no retreat
We are free and we’re redeemed
We will declare
Over despair
You are the hope
We are more than conquerors, through Christ
You have overcome this world, this life
We will

 

3 Heart-Shaping Mantra’s

The fight over our souls has already been won by Jesus many moons ago. He was victorious for us, and that victory is set in stone. But the battle over our spirits contending with His is a continual battle. One of the greatest enemies in this battle to connect with Him is busyness. Not so much the busyness of our bodies, but of our heart and mind.

“Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

      Division of the heart happens when the word of God is choked out by our cares. Imagine that our body is a greenhouse and our heart and mind complex is the soil in which things are planted. The connection we have with God happens when we read the Bible, which is the most powerful seed in the universe.

When we read the word of God, we’re planting a seed with much potential. But what happens if this seed of God is planted on a thorn bush? And how did those thorns get there in the first place?

“The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.” Luke 8:14

       The soil of our heart can become crowded by our thorny-cares. In greek, the definition of cares literally means a divided mind. Entertaining our cares, worries, riches, and pleasures all empower inferior seed to compete with the ETERNAL one. The fight for “sunshine” and life is very real between what we entertain and the power of the word of God living in us. Thing is, we can be super consistent with our Bible reading but if we go on about our day letting other “seed” choke out His, we produce fruit that can be catastrophic to His plan. If we bring our attention to the one voyage set before us, to love God, we will see the bountiful fruit in our life that God promises: his blessing and riches, ETERNAL pleasures, and of course the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control.

My personal accomplishments can easily be my idol and create a DIVIDED heart within me. PRIDE follows performance based living. His blessing, reward and the fullness of God follows when I seek HIM with my WHOLE heart. When our ONE aim is to love God really well, our heart is WHOLE.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

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Are you curious what it’s like to have a heart that is made whole by God? It’s not a magical switch that you turn on, it takes action because it truly is a daily battle. Let’s make room for the seed of the Word of God to flourish with THESE 3 HEART MANTRAS…

Here are 3 daily mantras to prevent a heart divided between our flesh and our spirit.   In doing so, I believe there is TRUE HEALING not only to our spirits, but to our physical bodies as well!

“Listen carefully to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; or they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22

STEADY SPIRIT

Pray: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51:10

Recite: No matter how divided my heart was yesterday, God makes me new. As I seek Him, He makes my spirit strong and steady.

WILLING SPIRIT

Pray: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” Psalm 51:12

Recite: God desires joy for me. As I walk with love and obey Him, He sustains me.

BROKEN SPIRIT

Pray: “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart you God will not despise.” Psalm 51:17

Recite: My spirit connected to God’s is a lifeline. I need Him to survive well, to love well and to live well. I am His.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Peace and lots of love,

Bri Joy

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Get to your Goals in 2018

Mood: Coffeehouse Blend Playlist, Apple Music.

Today marks the start of a New Year: 2018, BABY! For some of us, this comes as a sigh of relief, as we see this as a new beginning to something better.

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One of the greatest lessons God taught me in 2017 was contentment. I’m not talking about your typical Sunday-School lesson either. The true understanding of contentment needed to come the way it did; through a series of events that left me emotionally and physically beaten. I was practically bed-ridden for two weeks in October– forced to process and do A LOT of self-examining and heart-checking. I didn’t even know that I had an issue with being ungrateful until this season in my life. I thought that problems had to be more obvious. Seeing our massive mounds of clean laundry, made me complain that I never have time to do it. Having to take out the recycles, had me complaining that I’d done this one-too many times this month. Not being able to eat all the foods I used to tolerate, had me complaining that it just wasn’t fair. It was also my impulsive shopping habits that concealed the ungratefulness of not having enough clothes in my closet. The heart change that I allowed God to do in me, was life changing. God has literally brought joy, understanding and patience into my life when I confront everyday things.

The start of a New Year is a great chance to start a new approach to how we do life. I have literally only kept one resolution in my whole life… that was the time that I promised myself I wouldn’t eat those massive-sized candy bars anymore (mini-sized bars were the ONLY exception, HA).

GOOD NEWS!

This is not your one and only chance to have a new start this year. No, it’s the start of a new year FULL of 365 NEW days that mark themselves as fresh beginnings and start-overs. Tapping into this year, I’m going to create goals that MAKE SENSE for MY life. Not for the life of someone else who I see, who seems to have their ducks all in a row. Not everyday will go according to my goals, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. I want to look ahead and expect to fail, to have shortcomings, temptations and trials. BUT WORD…

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-11

With that in mind, I also want to look ahead to new beginnings everyday, that allow the power of God to work through me and accomplish these goals.

Our approach to goals needs to come from a place of being GRATEFUL for what we have: which is TRUST in our God to lead us, sharpen us and hold us through it all. IMG_2245

2018 GOALS

Below you will see how I have split 5 main areas of my life that take my time and attention: Faith, Family, Business, Personal, and Social-life. Next, I listed multiple goals I have under each category, some in order of importance. Lastly, you’ll see a brief description of the action plan I have to go with it.

  1. Faith
    • Daily Bible reading and meditation
      • Set alarm clock for 5:30AM M-F and Sat/Sun plan for reading with Russ.
      • Pray more- Make a big jar with popsicle sticks and a marker. Every time there is a prayer request, write it down on a stick and place in jar. Place it out where I’ll see it everyday.
  2. Family
    • Engage more than maintain the kids
      • Uninterrupted play with them–set timer for at LEAST 15mins
      • Lead by example with health and fitness, faith and limited screen time.
      • Utilize Parent Cue
    • Grow in love with Russ
      • Monthly dates, weekly pow-wows, daily intentional sacrifices, go on two, 3-day excursions with Russ: Schedule these into Calendar!
    • Stay connected with Mom, Dad, Sister and Brother
      • Send letters, kids artwork and call at least 3x a week.
    • Go camping with the kids
      • Send invite to friends to join us 3 months out
    • Remodel parts of the house
      • Get graphing paper and draw up plan and dream of the end result.
  3. Personal
    • Stress less:
      • Rejoice more! (work on my ungratefulness) Philippians 4:4-9
      • Yoga weekly–breathe deeply!
      • Eat Carby-Paleo and start making fermented foods
      • Be more aware of God’s presence/Be real not perfect–sticky note reminders on mirrors!
      • Be active everyday–power lift the kids, Ninja warrior classes, running with friends, yoga, lift, HIIT, Bike, etc.
      • Less screen time- studies have shown that our breathing is shortened while we look at our phones and other devices!
  4. Business
    • Start personal training in-homes
      • make business cards and set hours
    • Start a VLOG
      • brainstorm and map out the design for studio in basement
      • Blog weekly and Insta post most days of the week
    • Become a independent consultant versus employee.
      • Schedule a meeting with bosses about logistics
      • Teach a young women’s JFIT class in the church gym, or school gyms.
      • Become a certified PPC (girls gone strong)
  5. Social-life Note: I don’t like to be super scheduled because everyone else has their own schedules that might not tie in with mine at the moment. My goal here is to be open and allow space for flexibility with people.
    • Be a mentor-friend to a certain middle school girl
      • monthly planned hangouts
    • Ladies night in/outs
    • Monthly dinners with a church family
    • Coffees dates
    • Plan a girls weekend away (wine tour, Quebec city, Boston, etc.)

After writing out those 5 main areas with their goal and action plan, we are going to break it down into our calendars. You can use a daily calendar or journal to stay organized and meet your goals.

A. Give each of the 5 main categories a color using highlighters or markers.

B. Take time to write out how much time each of those activities takes throughout your day or week.

C. On your calendar, write each activity in it’s own time slot and color code it. 

The goal of what Michelle Myers calls “Block Scheduling”, is to only do what is designated for the specific time slot. You only do work when it’s time for work, and family when its time for family. Eliminate all distractions that would keep you from those priorities–Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, texting, cleaning, cooking, fiddling etc.

YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!

  1. Grab a pen and journal (if you’re old school like me)
  2. Set your timer for 20 mins
  3. Split up 3-5 main areas of your life into their own brackets
  4. Write out at least one DOABLE goal for this year, under each category
  5. Under each goal, write out an action plan that will make this thing happen! (be as specific as possible)
  6. Next, fill up your calendar specifics with all the color-coded categories as stated above!

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11

 

Cheers to a Happy New Year!

-Bri joyfully fit image

 

 

 

God Loves the Hell out of You

“Let the love of God, love the hell out of you.” Alisa Keeton, Revelation Wellness.IMG_2212

His love means freedom from the cares of what we think we should look like, think we should weigh, or what we think others think.

His love means that we have power by his GRACE to obey and to live confidently.

His love means anxiety doesn’t win, God’s love is now our master.

His love means that the weightiness of our hearts (as broken people hurt by other broken people), becomes His and we can now live lightly; resting secure as His beloved.

We have a choice to yield to this crazy, unconditional love or deny it’s existence (either by outrightly denying or living naive of its presence).

Confession is the acknowledgment of something that weighs us down (maybe it’s even physical weight that burdens you); weight of something that keeps us from yielding to His way. Confession is also agreeing with God that it does not belong and you’re better off without it.

Confession allows our hearts to become exposed to God. Not that He doesn’t already know what’s going on inside, because He very well does. Through confession we are making the choice to not remain ignorant of the “gunk” building around our hearts, which weighs us down.

When we confess to God that our hearts get easily gunked up with the cares of this world, it allows His love to permeate; doing a deep work in and through us.

His love uproots the gunk of our hearts and replaces it with life-changing, freedom.

 “…God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance” Romans 2:4

His kindness and love make it easy to lean into Him when it comes to our inner battles. No matter how immature or shameful we might think our battles are, God cares way too much to let you be ruled by them. It’s up to you whether or not something is done about it. Go on and live freely, my friends.

 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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Harvest Moon Soup

Want to reap the goodness of Autumn through Wintertime? This bowl of harvest will carry you through! It’s not every night I throw ingredients together and it magically comes out delicious. If you dig creamy soups, with a mild spice, try my Harvest Moon!

Harvest Moon Soup, by Bri.
PALEO (DF/SF/GF)
Serves 6

Ingredients
3 lg. Carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch rounds
1 med/lg. sized Butternut squash, chopped into 1-1 1/2 inch chunks
1 sm. Onion, cut in half and sliced
1/2 cup Canned Coconut Milk
1 qt. Chicken broth (or Bone broth)
1 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Paprika 
1 heaping tsp parsley 
Pinch or two of Cinnamon
1 heaping tsp of Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt 

Instructions
1. Mix in all ingredients, except the coconut milk,into a large pot.
2. Bring to a simmer on Medium stovetop heat.
3. Give a good stir, and turn heat to low. Let sit for 2 hrs, this    draws out more flavor in the soup. 
4. Pour in 1/2 cup of coconut milk and blend with an immersion       blender right in the pot. (You may choose to blend in batches by     using a   blender too)
5. Serve with some crusty bread or Paleo rolls and you're set!


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