Fit for Freedom

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

If I were to give you one word explaining the reason why I blog, without a doubt it would be: freedom. It is and always has been the root of my writing.  This is because I’m so over expectations. Expectations hold us to the idea that if anything goes the opposite way of which we foresee, we get angry, sad, depressed, and anxious.

It’s funny, when I first started dating-to-marry (some call this courting), I expected flowers, romance, and lots of affirmation. When I didn’t get this, wow was I upset! I literally thought that he didn’t love me because he was not filling my expectations. There were a few times that I wondered if this would be his last fighting chance. Phew. I sure had some knots of worry and distrust to work out of my heart.

Eventually this guy (who is now my husband), ended up proposing which definitely proved how serious he was about me. All this to say, setting expectations can and will hold us in a type of prison. I want to tell you what freedom looks like and what it looks like to break out of expectations. I want you to experience freedom because with it comes great joy and perseverance.

How many of us hold expectations on our bodies? Much of what that relays is guilt, sadness, and an endless circuit on a hamster wheel. Why do we have such a hard time being unhappy with our appearances? We feel the need to work so hard to fix how we look or how we operate but friends this needs to be an INSIDE-OUT approach. Whether you are in the slumps about your weight and extra skin, or you are disabled in some way, shape or form, it starts with a transformation of your mind and soul! We like to fix our problems with extreme workout programs or diets. I’m here to tell you that those don’t last unless the fixing begins on the inside. Often times when the inside is healthy, the outside will reflect it in health and attitude.

“Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” Matthew 23:26

What happens before a resurrection of life? Grieving! We need to grieve the loss of our expectations. Do not feel silly about doing this, grieving is an essential piece to losing. Be open to those who can help you heal not simply make you feel better during this time. You may feel incapable of much, but let me tell you sister, when we feed to those thoughts of incompetence and not to the thoughts of God, we hold ourselves back from a great work. Meditate on Isaiah 55:8 “”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” 

We need to understand that we are called to something greater than ourselves. It took time for me to get over myself. It was not a flip of a switch because a rewiring of my brain needed to take place. Yes, my midsection might look like silly putty when I stretch it down to the floor, but I do not get hung up about it. No, I absolutely refuse to now because something changed in my heart. God revealed something big. I’m talking a turning point in my relationship with my body AND God himself. I’m talking fireworks of freedom y’all. You thought Independence day was the greatest mark of freedom in humanity, but I’m telling you it’s the day that you decide to go independent of Great Britain–or great expectation and run towards the Lord to discover His perfect plan for your body. His ways are higher than our ways!

Gosh, the world leaves such an imprint on our hearts when it comes to what we think we should look like or how our bodies should work. And in turn, how we understand relationships to work with our friends and spouses. The day that I turned to Jesus to be the decider of my fate, JOY entered in. Perseverance and peace followed close by. I wish I could light up your souls and show you how God broke the chains of expectation and released me to absolute freedom in how I live, breathe, move, eat, workout, interact with others, be a mom and a wife! God’s thoughts for us are so much better than our own. The only expectation that we should have, is on God. We expect him to do what He says in scriptures, because that is what He has promised: to be our healer, our guide, shelter, comfort, strength, redeemer and Savior. God ain’t no promise-breaker sister. Let Him in to your health and fitness journey, let Him into your lives! Then you will be FIT: sound physically and mentally: HEALTHY. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Friends, fitness is just a result of the work God is doing on your inside.

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5 

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The main thing that resulted in Joy was making the daily choice to love others really well. It seems so simple of a statement, but have you ever tried coaching 20 middle school girls?? A couple years ago I was coming out of a rough season in my life. Postpartum-anxiety hit me like a mallet as well as some lovely intestinal disruptions. I’d love to go into the story of how I got there, but God led me from social-anxiety to confidently coaching middle school  soccer in a matter of months. If any of you have social-anxiety, you can probably relate to how I felt speaking and leading in front of a bunch of little talking monkeys. The difference came when I prayed: Lord, I pray that everyone I come in contact today would feel loved and valued. This prayer set my mind right–my focus came off of me and how I was performing, to how can I love those girls and make them feel valued the most? My suffering turned to joy, the minute I turned my expectations over to God.

“Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:4

I see it everywhere in the Bible and in the world around us: there is great joy when we branch out and focus on helping other people. If you’re not a people-person, I have a feeling that God will work out something great in your life and grow you by loving others. There’s an awesome man in the Bible named Paul who God had called to reach out to the Thessalonians. He says, “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” 1 Thessalonians 2:19

Once our life becomes about something greater than ourselves, expectations crumble with depression, anxiety, ungratefulness, and self-loathing. Once our life becomes about something greater than ourselves, the result is joy and perseverance through the hard stuff.

If there’s a collar of expecation around your neck and doubt has you leashed to it, I challenge you to take a giant step of faith by grieving over the loss of it and finding what joy God brings as your redeemer.

With freedom, comes fruit. We’ll be diving into the topic of fruitfulness in next week’s blog, so stay tuned!

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

 

Peace and Joy!

Bri

 

Cease Striving

IMG_0376The majority of us either go one of two directions when it comes to taking care of our bodies:

We can go the way of should-ing ourselves: I should start eating less sugar! I should lose 10lbs! I should workout twice a day! Yet,with all of these thoughts we do nothing, become complacent, and maybe neglect our bodies.

Or,  we start a chase after the “perfect body”. This often times results in yo-yo’ing, where we go back and forth, starting new workout programs and diets and stopping them, just to begin another one 2 months later.

Last week we focused on putting those two mindsets to the side. Together, we are practicing a new perspective. One where we move and fuel our bodies from a place of CONFIDENCE because we know that we are already loved and valued by God, no matter what the heck we are doing.

“I give glory to God, simply by being myself.” Brennan Manning, Abbas Child.

Now, in order to develop and maintain this awareness that we can do everything in this God-confidence, one necessary thing needs to happen… we need to get alone with God.

It is in the quietness that we can turn from all the negative self-talk and fears to instead sink into the truth of what He says about us–that we are loved, redeemed, called, and are His daughters. The assurance that we are God’s comes in the stillness. Taking the time to be present with God is essential to being renewed in our minds. It is the key to wellness because it is the starting place to work towards a healthy body, spirit and soul.

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

IMG_4711There is something so sweet about children–unless they are drawing all over your walls with permanent marker or coating their face in your $30 lip stick. Even then, there is something to learn.

Children are not stressed, busy, fearful of their looks being sub-par, or down on themselves for gaining a little weight…Oh to be young again!

When I was a child, my parents had a giant painting, hanging up on our living room wall. It was a picture of Jesus with little lambs and children surrounding him. They were sitting under a tree, in brilliantly green grass. I would look at this picture as a child, and feel the warmth that Jesus gave those little ones just beaming off of their faces.

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Psalm 34:4-5

As I throw back some chocolate chips with tears in my eyes, I feel the magnetic force-field of God’s love drawing me into that picture. Sisters, that is exactly where He want’s us. Sitting next to Him, feeling His gaze of love and His arms of peace around us. How sad it must be for Him to see His daughters disappointed in their bodies, focused on things so mortal instead of focusing on the eternal gifts that He’s given us. He longs to draw us into His sanctuary of green grass. He says, Just be with me. You’ve done enough stressing and chasing, it is time that you come to me like a child. 

Young children are completely dependent on their parents. They have no lack of trust and no fear of going hungry, homeless or lonely. They are wired for adventure, and with no care of what others are thinking, they dive into whatever nutty-adventure or kooky-dance their mommy might be pulling them into.

I desperately need to go back to that. Not to where I’m acting like a child, but trusting and believing like one. With all the inner turmoil that gets piled up on my soul through the struggles of life, I stress. I easily will blow little things way out of proportion and exclaim “I’m so done!” Oh you guys, I’m super fun too, like when I analyze myself for what I’m doing wrong because every day seems like a whirlwind that I can’t slow down. The answer is in these words from God:

“Be still [cease striving], and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

My quiet time with Jesus has been so sweet. It used to be something that I “should” be doing, but now it’s something that I need to do. I’ll remember to do it during the day, and it perks me up. Last week, I literally found myself smiling once I remembered to sit myself down for Jesus-time. Just to sit and think about what I’m thinking about, say hello to God, and wait for Him to speak to my heart completely changes the approach I have on my day. Those little children who were with Jesus, were just that. They were with Him. They weren’t scrambling through scripture, as they memorize and study it. They weren’t fiddling in the kitchen, making sure there were no crumbs on the counters. They weren’t sleeping on the the 3rd round of the Snooze button. They didn’t even put a pot of coffee on.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures…” Psalm 23:2IMG_0358

One thing I like about children is that they’re not in a hurry. I am positive that I could keep my boys at the playground all day and the only thing they would ask to go do, would be to go eat.

With the average attention span sinking down to 8 seconds, it is time that we learn how to be bored again. A lot of us are uncomfortable with the thought of a quiet moment–now we have cellphones to distract us from those. Even in our quiet times with God, we might feel rushed to study the scriptures and read as much as we can in a sitting–but that can just become another form of busy.

“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” John 5:39

Jesus knew that many of the leaders in his day were well versed in the Holy Scriptures. Although, Jesus told them that they were missing out on life because they didn’t actually come to him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

If you are burdened by screaming babies, broken relationships, the inability to lose weight, a lack of belonging…the key to restoration is found in being with Christ. He formed you beautifully. He redeemed you, plugging your shame in for value. He has called you, and you will only find that calling when you cease the striving, breathe deep and simply sit with Him.

“But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you,…
    he who formed you…
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

I encourage you today to not go back to sleep just yet. I encourage you to make your first waking moments totally intentional. Go out on your porch, sit in your car, or at your table and just be. Pretend for a minute, that you are a child and simply show up to this little patch of fresh green grass that God has for you to lie down in. Allow yourself to not do anything but just be there. Think about your thoughts, let them float on by. Take some cooling breaths. Inhale, “God, here I am” and exhale, “to start again“.  (Thanks Alisa Keeton for that cue!) If you need more of a visual–go outside and find some real grass! I promise, the more you do this, the more your soul will be restored my friends.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23: 1-3

 

Rest up,

Bri

XOXO

 

Working Out Isn’t The Same Anymore

15936768_1356573141031717_7480876603427658376_oI remember clear as day, the swarm of feelings that came after having our first son…

Unconditional love, awe and utter amazement. This warm, smooth, and giggly bundle made us see each other in new light as we began to watch each new milestone being crossed.

What I didn’t expect was how disheartened I would be. My body had gone through a change that puberty could never top. The days went slow, but the months flew by as I began to become even more down and out about my reflection and the way my body sort of just fell past the place it used to sit firm.

TEARS came you guys. Actual TEARS over the thoughts of never being the same again. This poor attitude I had toward my image, pushed me to begin a 12-week workout program, about 12 months post-baby. “I’m going to prove to myself that I can get my body back” was my motivation the length of the time.

This is not a Mother’s sympathy blog, so please keep reading…IMG_9768

Some of us are still pushing ourselves to attain those 6-pack abs and slim thighs. And I’m here to dig past those surface-thoughts to the real reason we want those features. When it gets down to the heart of it, we all actually just want to be lavishly-loved and showered-on with adoration.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1-2

If you are like me, a serious re-wiring of your mind needs to happen when it comes to the approach on fitness [and food]. Love and affection has always been something I certainly craved to hear and to feel. Isn’t this what most of us seek out as we strive towards perfect bodies?

You my dear, are called for something so much greater than a sulking face of discontent. You are meant to be absolutely lavished on with the love of Christ, continually.  It’s this crazy kind of love that produces a fearless heart. I endlessly strived to perfect my figure to the best that it’s ever looked. I trained myself so hard because I believed that if I shaped up again, I would be happy. The striving for stronger, sleeker, sexier bodies is NOTHING compared to the results you receive from a life lived out of the LOVE God has for you. You are literally inseparable from it AND those results last forever, unlike our gym-commitments!

“But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.” (Ephesians 4:22-24, MSG)

DAUGHTERS of GOD! He has the power to renew your mind and the negative attitude you might hold. We like to trap ourselves to standards of beauty don’t we? Standards that require obsessive training and meal plans. Standards that make you believe that you are totally right in thinking that happiness comes with a thigh gap and your body back. Standards cradle the feelings of “I’m not good enough”.

The Re-Wiring

Repentance took place in my heart when I realized the chase I was in: working out to tighten up my chest, lift the booty and erase arm-flab. I was driven by fear of not being attractive enough for my husband or friends to love me. I repented of this deceit when I realized that I was already loved. The chase is done. No longer do I workout to make my body perfect and lovable because I know that I already am.

This is the starting place.

Know that you are already loved more than you can even imagine.

Work out, eat, and live from this place of security in Christ and no longer will you “throw in the towel” when you cheat on a diet or miss a week of exercise.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1-2

If you are contemplating starting a lifestyle of health and fitness, setting the view of yourself now is more important than any goals you will set for the future.

Your view must be how God sees you or else it will be an endless chase after something that will distract you from the joy of a body that beautifully reflects what God has done to your soul.

Sister, there is nothing you need to do in order to win true love. You already have it.

Your are already loved with perfect love.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John 3:16

Working out and my pursuit of health is not the same anymore. The chase for perfection is over and I’m ready to see  everlasting results.

How about you?

If you are contemplating  a lifestyle of fitness and/or want to know more of what this love of Jesus is all about, shoot me an email or DM!

I am happy to be there for you in your beginnings. 🙂

Love,

Bri Joy

XOXOIMG_7363

Gaining Definition

 “…your life is hidden with Christ.”

Colossians 3:3

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Gaining definition in my legs, arms and back are all good signs that my body is getting stronger and healthier. It feels incredible to know what a strong and agile physique feels like, without a doubt!

Although, the anatomical definition of muscles cannot be the only definition we have as women. Although a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into physical training, it’s not enough because you are more than what you see in the mirror. Yesterday I asked my son who is 4, “Owen, who would God say I am?” He looked up at me like the question was a joke and replied, ” Mommy”. That was easy. As we get older though, we easily make self-discovery a lot bigger than is. It’s automatic to let titles completely define us– daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, gardener, artist, musician, athlete, doctor, and so on. Like muscle definition, titles and hobbies cannot merely be what we hold onto for proof that we are something. It’s great to have those things be a part of us, but according to the Bible, our life, wholeness, freedom and true sense of calling is HIDDEN in Christ.

Why is it hidden? Why does it need to be something unraveled and discovered? Simply because God wants to be the one to define us. He wants to be the one to tell us who we are. He knows that when we hold onto what others [or ourselves] tell us, or when we try to make a name [or a body] for ourselves, our spirit and soul is compressed and the wonders of what God can do in us is limited.

Friends, we’ve all heard of the “fitness journey” but let’s talk about the “faith journey” which has an even more significant outcome.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” Hebrews 11:1

Faith most certainly ties in with fitness. Fitness takes on the appearance of being super physical. It’s what we see, that’s why we go into these journeys aiming to be toned, sleek and flab-free! I talk about fitness as a very integrated thing…meaning there’s more to you than BODY. Your body holds the abillity to do what you are called to do. You have a mind that is very influenced by your environment. You have a soul that inhabits the body, and that holds dreams, ambitions, and desires. You also have this mighty thing called a Spirit. Your Spirit is where you have the ability to know God! Fitness is all inclusive–body, mind, spirit, and soul! This is where FAITH comes in. Unlike the body, you cannot see FAITH. Faith would’t be faith if you could see it. The benefits far out weigh the perks of physical fitness if you can believe that!

There was a man named Abraham who lived a long time ago, and his story is is written in the Bible. He was a hundred years old, but God filled him in on all of the things that He still had planned for Abraham, including having a child with his infertile wife. When all seemed impossible, Abraham kept BELIEVING and living out His life trusting God and His promises.

“Without weakening his FAITH,  Abraham faced the fact that his body was as good as dead…Yet he did not waver through unbelief…but was STRENGTHENED in his FAITH.” Romans 4:19-25

The enemy wants to make us believe that fitness is all about that one thing: booty-poppin’-show-stoppin’ bod. Acknowledge when those thoughts try to own your mind, and let them drive right back out. Instead, let’s focus on the truth and what God defines us by.

We are redeemed, daughter’s of the King, free from the chains of sin and guilt, accepted, Temples of His spirit, friends of Jesus, justified, chosen, inseparable from the love of Christ, and entrusted with a calling.                           All of which are from God and happen to be ETERNAL.

“…put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; be made new in the attitude of your minds” Ephesians 4:22-24

Abraham was FULLY PERSUADED that God had power to do what He promised. Faith made Him strong in who he was, who God told him he was and in those truths he did not back down. #neverbackdown

If you plan to start a new pattern of movement and health in your life, GO FOR IT! Press into it knowing that there is more to you than BODY. The WHOLE-self needs fine tuning–body, mind, spirit and soul. A bikini body plan, that begins and ends with Summer is just not enough.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:1-4

Read those verses above again, then come back.

God is our personal trainer–you might want to call him your personal pruner instead! It is GOD who makes us perfect and beautiful. He is our HEALER. He makes us clean by His word. That’s where we will gain a FAITH that is RESILIENT. I know it’s heavy, but I am urging you to do some heavy lifting today. Ready for this? Lift the WORD of God. See what He has to say about who you are and wait to see His plan for your life unfold. Your attitude towards yourself will be made NEW.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

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My besties came to visit this weekend. We took care of our bodies by riding bikes and laughing a lot–this is getting fit in my eyes!

The Case of The Insecurities

It’s morning time. You wake up, stretch, proclaim that this day is good and start the routine. There may be a few mouths to feed, a diaper to change or a husband to hit upside the head (with a pillow), to get the gears of the house turning. Eventually you make your way into the bathroom, and if there’s a mirror in it, you catch a glance and say….well, what do you say? Or what do you think?

One criticizing look at ourselves and quickly our attitude’s reflect ungratefulness, shame, discontent and insecurity. With unspoken words, I’ll go through various body parts and tell  them what they need: the butt needs more squats, the “girls” need more push ups (or a bra?)…and so on. We all do it. We analyze our reflection and then inflict punishment by diet and exercise. IMG_8099

Is this what the relationship between health and our bodies is supposed to be? I swear, this is the same thing as using pruning shears to give yourself a hair cut. Exercise and diet have a different purpose than punishment, they serve us much better as a means to take care of ourselves rather than punishment and shame-slaying.

I’m here to tell you to stop. When our mind so roughly analyzes our physical form, it QUIETS the Spirit of God. It is utterly unacceptable to Him and completely destructive to our spirits.

“Always be joyful.  Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

Our thoughts of insecurity dampen the noise of GRACE that could be BOOMING through us. I’m ugly, I need to cut back, I’m gaining, I need to lose 10 inches….all this thinking may push us to join a program or begin a healthy lifestyle, sure. But when health and physical prowess come from a place of discontent and self-resentment, it only leads to another thing to be unhappy about.

It is normal to feel this way. Every woman (and man) goes through this, but we need to take our insecurities by the shirt collar and face them like the women we are. We are so much more than our flabby skin and wrinkled chins. We will never find 100% health, happiness and security until we understand the true purpose of our body, mind and soul.

Ok, so  now what do we do with this body of ours?! I’ve birthed two (HUGE) babies, got some kind of GI issues going on, and I’m no spring chicken! Is there hope? With great guilt and depression, I’ve worn the labels of Unmotivated, Insecure and Lack of direction and those are not pleasant places to be in. Girlfriends, if you want to truly understand what your body was made for, look no further than the one who created it. If we want to feel SECURE in our bodies and minds, we need to learn to be with the one who give us definition and life!

“Let your roots grow down into Him [God], and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7

Our God commands us to be still, to simply rest and be with Him. Read His Word, write it out, meditate. This is where our roots grow deep and where His work begins in us. If God is our #1, life will look a lot different than body shaming, number counting and roller coaster diets. It will be one full of strength, laughter and direction. A life of security in God rather than our appearance is: restful, passionate, purposeful, content, and you’ll finally get “it”. God will begin to show you what to do with your body; what your body, mind and soul were meant to do as a whole. He will unearth passions and talents that maybe you have forgotten were there. He will show you that you can trust Him. He will replace your fears with hope knowing your weakness binds you to God. A life of just getting by will become one with life-changing impact on you and those around you. By embracing imperfections AND strength you will become a woman of valor. Through physical, emotional and relational battles, a dependence on God will make you strong to the soul. True confidence in the self is God-confidence.

“The [woman] who trusts in the Lord will be blessed. The Lord will show [her] that He can be trusted.” Jeremiah 17:7

On average, our health and fitness journey’s begin with resentment of who we are, what we look like and a severe case of the insecurities. Our health needs to come from a place that is ALREADY confident and secure. God wants to do a DEEP work in you. The definition of perfection and beauty is truly how God sees us. He sees us as DAUGHTERS, BEAUTY, more than CONQUERORS, a women of WORTH, His TEMPLES,  FRIENDS, and His WORKMANSHIPS.

“She is clothed in strength & dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25IMG_9298

Next time you miss a workout or gain a pound, feel no guilt or depression because God fuels you and HE defines you. What you do and how you feel does NOT. You are complete body, mind and soul and confident by the Spirit of God IN YOU.

If a health journey comes from a place where our looks are of concern, then it ends there too. From shameful reflections to prideful ones, it easily becomes all about our physical appearance when we all know that we are much more than that.

“Your beauty should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle & quiet spirit. Which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:4

The first step in living a healthy lifestyle is contemplation. I want to hear from YOU! What are you contemplating doing with your health? Are you going through some of the things I described in this blog post? Don’t be afraid to reach out. This is a together thing.

#befearless #godconfidence

XOXO

Bri joy

 

 

Is Fitness Godly?

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8

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For a long time, God had no part of my fitness world. It really didn’t even come into my thinking that it could be something that involved Him.

For a long time, my physical health was simply that…mine. It’s not like I didn’t want God to make me whole or heal me, it’s just that I really didn’t think to go to Him with my health.

With great ease, I took control of my own health and physical fitness. Not with intent to disown God, but I really hadn’t learned this area of relationship with Him ( I’m still working on it).

God is not advertised in everything we see with our eyes. We often see fitness paired with sexiness, appeal to the opposite sex, perfection, guilt, vanity and obsession. Which really is opposite from all that God is. It makes sense that plugging God into our health journey might be foreign to us.

I’ve had a plethora of symptoms that pre-curse Auto-immune disease for the past 2 years. Constantly limiting myself from foods (and even limiting exercise) has been a big part of trying to heal myself. While I’ve learned a lot, I’ve also realized how much control I’ve held on my health.

“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!”  1 Thessalonians 5:23

When I get stressed out, I know that I don’t have God first in an area of my life. I know if He was first, He would be responsible for that area and I would be at peace. Stress is the main symptom that reveals my heart is in the wrong place. When we give every single area of our life to God’s control–meaning we completely entrust them to Him without worry– we then become complete in His fulness. Which is: peace, joy, hope, blessing, health and greatness through His righteousness.

Beautiful women! God was the one who laid the foundations of the earth; Who told the seas where to end, and owns the storehouses of snow, rain and hail. He doesn’t let the birds go without food or the flowers without color. We absolutely NEED Him in our health journey. Why? Because sin brought into this world disease, sickness, and ailments. When we turn to Christ and turn from sin, He makes us shameless and forgives us completely. The chains of sin are broken from us and in doing so, healing from what sin brought with it is possible too!

“You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.”1 Corinthians 3:16-17

When we make our health and fitness a way to pursue God and honor Him, it is most certainly Godly. On the other hand, feeding our bodies anything WE want OR trying super hard to make them look like what WE want them to look like OR even not caring …is incredibly destructive.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

God has a beautiful plan for your WHOLE body. Your body, mind and soul together make up a choir of melodies that can sing His songs and reflect His love and light. It takes a BRAVE and FAITHFUL woman (or man) to boldly step onto this path of faith and fitness. Your eyes see the reflection in the mirror, the pretty girl on Instagram or the drool-worthy double chocolate chunk ice cream in your freezer.

FAITH sees God, it sees the cross where Jesus died and disease and sin were cancelled.                                                                                                          FAITH sees God making you WHOLE and HOLY through this process.                           FAITH sees the promises of God and His faithfulness.

With every ounce of sweat and frustration, you are tested and your character is built. You let go of excuses and you run the race in front of you. When we are exercising, our body is tested, challenged and drained. Likewise, our spirit will be affected the same through all sorts of trials. In all respects we are given a choice to believe God is with us and he is dependable through trials which results in JOY. Or we can choose to believe that we have it under control and we will find a way to help ourselves. #choosejoy

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:1-3

Look at this journey with your FAITH instead of your eyes, and ask God if this is an area of your life you need to trust Him better with. If you are starting a faith and fitness journey for the first time, PLEASE email me. I’d love to hear where you are starting at and where you want to go.k

“What the eye of faith sees, the hand of faith appropriates.” F.F. Bosworth

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SUPER SNACK 001

IMG_8082Life can get a little out of hand and routine can slip through the cracks before we know it! One thing that keeps me going are good, healthy, revitalizing SNACKS! Not simply juicy Medjool dates and crunchy cashews. Nah, I’m talking SUPER SNACKS! Super snacks are the kind of workout you do, when you only have 5-7 minutes. I highly recommend spreading out a few of these snacks in your day if you can! I promise you’ll be satisfied. Helpful tip: If you’re a super snacker, wake up and put on workout clothes (or something you can move in) so that you are ready to go at any moment!

Click here for the workout of the week!!!!

30 SEC/EXERCISE
SPEED SKATERS IN-BETWEEN EACH:
SQUAT W/ TOE TAPS
CONE PICK UP
LAT PULL APART
THRUSTERS

SUPER SNACK 000

A snack is a very small meal that you enjoy at ANYTIME of the day, correct? It might as well be a workout too! Say you only have 5 minutes and want to make the most of your time. So for a quick energy boost you decide to super-snack on THIS (and maybe hold the banana or snap peas for after)!IMG_5442

SUPER SNACK: 5 MINUTES OF BOOTY BOOSTING

WATCH VIDEO DEMONSTRATION- THERE’S A WHOLE LOT OF CUTENESS, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED! FEEL FREE TO SKIP OVER BECAUSE I KNOW YOUR TIME IS SHORT 🙂

30 SECONDS AN EXERCISE

-IF WORKOUT IS UNILATERAL (SINGLE-SIDED), SWITCH TO OPPOSITE SIDE HALFWAY THROUGH!

NO REST IN BETWEEN

5 MINUTES STRONG

YOU CAN CHOOSE TO REPEAT THE SET UP TO 4X FOR A SOLID 20MIN SESSION

ON HANDS AND KNEES

FIRE HYDRANTS

FIRE HYDRANT-SIDE KICK

DONKEY KICKS- STRAIGH LEG

DONKEY KICKS- BENT LEG

ON YOUR BACK

HIP BRIDGES

HIP BRIDGE- 1 LEG EXTENDED

DEAD BUGS- RIGHT ARM TO OUTSIDE OF LEFT FOOT EXTENDED LEG, LEFT HAND TO OUTSIDE OF RIGHT FOOT EXTENDED LEG

ON YOUR BELLY

SUPERMAN

ALT. SUPERMAN- RIGHT ARM, LEFT LEG/ LEFT ARM, RIGHT LEG

STANDING UP

SQUAT KICK BACKS

 

Don’t forget to read the MISSION page and see what this is all about!

Let’s build each other up in conversation online and real-life to build a community of super women with strong souls AND bodies! We need each other!

LOVE>FEAR

XOXO
BRI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISSION

“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!” 1 Thessalonians 5:23

JOYFULLY FIT MISSIONIMG_8089

EXERCISING FAITH AND FITNESS

Does happiness come from bulging booties and a toned 6-pack?  It’s common to think that perfect happiness will come once one has reached their optimal physique. What if I told you that there is more to FITNESS than working out 200 hrs of your week and weaning yourself off calories?

In starting this blog, I want to bring in a new wave of thinking when it comes to FITNESS. To many of us fitness looks like unrealistic goals, comparison, buying into an expensive program, wishful thinking, no time or not knowing where to even start.

I bring you the concept of JOYFULLYFIT: FIT to live, FIT to survive, FIT for your calling and FIT to find JOY in this lifestyle of INTEGRATED FITNESS.

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THE INTEGRATED FITNESS APPROACH

Integrated fitness means combining different areas of health and fitness to see results beyond bodily fitness. Results that include consistency, healing, strength, mental resilience, wisdom and a faith strong enough to breakdown walls of doubt and insecurity.

Having an integrated approach to being fit is the only way to find adherence, fulfillment and happiness in living. 5 Critical elements to this mindset are: Mental, Nutritional, Physical, Spiritual and Environmental–all which exercise is necessary in applying. Too much focus on one of these areas can distract you from the rich benefits of tuning up the other pieces of yourself. You are not just a physical body that needs “shaping up” according to mainstream fitness. You are also not simply a mouth that needs nutrient-dense feeding. You are an all compassing mind, body, spirit, and soul . You may not realize it yet, but you have a great calling by God and He has given you impactful gifts and talents! Making sure to EXERCISE FAITH AND FITNESS will boost you in life, vitality and impact.

RULES OF THE HOUSE: 

These are REAL and EVERYDAY issues that we all have. As time passes, let’s learn to leave them at the doormat:

Guilt

A closed mind and heart

Negativity

Obsessive thoughts about appearance

Obsessive food behavior

Instead

Love God

Love people

Love yourself

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is EQUALLY important: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31

It’s easier said than done, but here we will learn, grow, play and pray with each other as we seek out better relationships with ourselves, the people around us and our Maker, God.

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Remember this: Your waistline can be measured. Your weight can be measured. The calories in Breakfast can be measured. But do you know what cannot be? THE LOVE OF CHRIST. That and only that will ever bring you HONEST FULFILLMENT and COMPLETION in all of the 5 elements listed above. You my dear, are FIT for Christ already. This truth will unravel in blog postings to come!

“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish immeasurably more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:19-20

ENDURANCE INSPIRED BY HOPE, PT 1

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

ROMANS 12:12

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Endurance training is no joke. Many competitive lifters fear it because of all the cardio it consists of. Although science backs up the fact that it actually can HELP you build muscle. You lose the muscle with cardio if you are not consuming adequate amounts of protein or you are doing it too often.

It is especially with exercise that keeping consistent and enduring through the sweat and heavy breathing that we clearly see endurance come into play. Don’t we also need it in our lives outside training as well? There is SO much that we have to endure on a daily basis from headaches, to kids screaming, to bosses breathing down our necks. I’m sure we all have our own methods of enduring, but how effective are they in silencing the impact it all has on our spirits and minds? There are stress management classes to prove how terrible we are at enduring–if you hear of one, sign me up!

What if there was a one way to endure the wild fires of trouble, disease and pain in your life? It’s too bad we don’t all live on Paradise Island as Amazon woman who simply lasso anything standing in their way.  Well, there is this lasso we could use figuratively. The Lasso of hope, by putting our HOPE IN GOD. It’s the cure all for when you “just can’t” anymore. I know it, because I tried it. A few years back I genuinely put my hope in God when I learned that trying to fix everything myself only wound me up in a big ball of stress and serious anxiety.

IMG_2275.JPGI have been inspired to endure the trials of this life because of what Jesus did and is continually doing for me. It is DAILY that I hope in Him and speak out truth of His WORD on my life and my family’s.

Jesus knows our pain, annoyances, impatience. He is God in human flesh who lived here and died here with torment, temptations and struggles in-between. He is the epitome of what endurance means:

 “Let us keep looking to Jesus. Our faith comes from Him and He is the One Who makes it perfect. He did not give up when He had to suffer shame and die on a cross. He knew of the joy that would be His later. Now He is sitting at the right side of God.” ROMANS 12:2

Girlfriends, look FORWARD to the JOY God promises he’ll bring to you. Endurance inspired by hope in Jesus Christ will fuel you for life. Ride it out, trust what He’s doing. If he said it, He’ll do it! There is no one you can depend on more.

STEP ONE…Have you vocally asked God to take the reigns on your life? Have you asked Him to fill you with His Spirit?  If you are mad at God, but haven’t done these things on the regular…you might want to consider doing so! He wants to meet your needs friends, and He will, if you let Him!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  ROMANS 15:13

 

BRI JOY