Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I can't believe today is the last day of 2013. I remember this day last year. I had in mind the things I would accomplish and what the coming year would bring. But as I look back over the year 2013, I have come to this realization:

I was wrong about everything...and I'm so glad.

This time last year I was sitting across the table from a man I barely knew outside of a gym setting. If you would've told me that this time next year I would be walking down the aisle in less than 3 months, I would've simply laughed at you.

If you would've told me that I would have purchased a home, once again, I would've laughed at you.

If you would've told me that I would be working with clients with various medical issues on a daily basis, I would've told you that you were crazy.

If you would've told me that I was approached by a lady, whom I have never met, and was asked to be a contributor on her Wholly Healing site, I would've said, "yeah, in your wildest dreams."

I thought I was just fine where I was in my life. My relationship with God was great, I had a great job and was enjoying making new friendships. Then God does what He does best, He throws a kink into what you've got going on.

As I look back over this year, I realized that yes, what I had in mind for 2013 would've been great. I would've been happy and I would've been content, but it would be nothing compared to what God had in store for me.

I realized that the dreams I had for myself this year were too safe, too boring, too complacent.

This year has been full of obstacles, but with those obstacles came an abundance of joy. You see, change is something everyone will face when they decide to follow Jesus. We must choose to trust Him on a daily basis, for He is the only one who knows what's right around the corner.

This year many dreams have come true. The man I have been praying for my whole life decided to make his appearance. My dream of contributing to a faith based wellness blog came true. My dream of being a homeowner came true. My dream job became a reality. With great struggle comes great reward. He is good.

As I wrap up 2013, I challenge you to take a look at what you hope is to come in year 2014. As you do everything in your power to stick to this new year's resolutions starting tomorrow, I pray that you will not rely on your own strength, but on God's. Ask Him what He would want you to do in this coming year. Give 2014 to Jesus...I know it'll be your best year yet.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Looking Back: He who promised is faithful!

23 years old. I can't believe I've arrived at 23. It's definitely one of the ages that I've always looked forward to being. I'm not sure why, but it's always an age that's stuck out in my head. I never counted down to 18 or even 21, but I always looked forward to being 23...and here I am!

Each year on my birthday I like to look back at the previous year and reflect on all that I've experienced. Let's just say year 22 was the fullest and most eventful year yet. None of the plans I had for myself came to pass...not one. It was full of discomfort, emotion, uncertainty and anxiety. Year 22 was by far my greatest year.

I know you're probably thinking, "this girl is nuts! Not one of those things sounds pleasant!" You're right. There were times during this past year that were the furthest thing from pleasant. I struggled with what career path I truly wanted to take and with the man who was persistent and continued to try to pursue a relationship with me. Things got uncomfortable very quickly.

Sometimes when we are stepping into what God has for us, we have to get uncomfortable.

I love the organization I work for. We are able to help a lot of people and are encouraged to stay true to our Christian values while doing so. I took a leap of faith and accepted a position that was much more demanding than the one I had. It was a great growth opportunity for me, so I took it! It ended up being a terrible fit for me. The job did not compliment my skill set, so the few months that I was in that position were very tough for me. After many months of praying about what I should do, another job opening became available. This job was right down my alley. I was able to work in the same organization, but work with special populations who needed specific care to help manage their medical issues. If I wouldn't have taken the first job and gotten uncomfortable, I probably wouldn't have been able to step into this job. God knew was He was doing and He was seeing if I would wait on Him to move on my behalf. And boy did He move!

This time last year (start of year 22) one of my gym buddies started texting me on the daily. I knew he was interested in getting to know me on a deeper level by the way he was acting. However, I had decided in my mind that I was not going to be dating anyone in the near future. I was tired of weak men who thought they wanted commitment, but then would chicken out once a relationship started getting serious. So I just decided that I would help him out by kindly rejecting him...8 months later I'm engaged to him. Crazy how that works.

Throughout this year, I have had to really work at trusting God. When things in life don't go according to plan, it's easy to become uneasy and fearful of what the future may hold. However, after continuing to seek the Lord and what He wanted for my life, the picture slowly but surely became clear. I said yes to the love of my life, without any anxiety, and knowing without a doubt that he was the one God had made for me.

As soon as Browning got up from one knee and we were walking back to celebrate with family, one thought came to mind:

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23 

As I look back on this past year, I am overwhelmed at God's faithfulness. I never in a million years would've imagined this happening to me in such a short amount of time. This goes to show that we should never underestimate Christ. He makes all things work together for good. So I encourage you next time you're feeling a little uncomfortable, do your best to embrace it! God is moving on your behalf and beauty is just around the corner! :)

Year 22 was a beautiful year. It was filled with more love and joy than I could've imagined. Here's to year 23. I know this coming year will be the best year yet, and possible the best year ever (March 22 I say "I do"). I'm taking one more step into becoming the woman God wants me to be. 

He promised that He would provide for me. That He would supply all of my needs. That He would give me the desires of my heart. I'm so grateful. He who promised is faithful!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jesus, be the center

The worship team at my church will play this song every once in a while and every time I hear it, I can't help but tear up. I have never heard truer words, "from my heart to the heavens, Jesus, be the center. It's all about You! Yes, it's all about You!"

Israel Houghton is the original artist to sing this song, but I found a clip of one of my church's worship leader's singing it. "Jesus At the Center of it All" I encourage you to click on the link and give it a listen.

As I prepare to enter marriage in just a few short months, I've really been thinking about what I want my marriage to mean. What do I want people to see when they look at Browning and I growing and living life together? I want them to think of the words, "Jesus, at the center." I know my marriage won't be perfect. I know at times it will be hard, but no matter what we go through, Jesus, be the center.

Nothing I do in this life is worth anything without Jesus. I could get by with being an "okay" wife without Him, but it's His love that gives me the ability to love my husband the way he needs to be loved. It gives me a purpose to fight for my marriage, making it the most important thing in my life. It gives me the hope that we will not become the dreaded "one out of every two marriages fail" statistic.  People can look at me like I'm crazy, but it truly is all about Him. The more I grow closer to Him, the more I realize this life is nothing without Him.

From my heart to the heavens, Jesus, be the center.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Believing God

It's easy to believe and trust God when things are just fine and dandy in life, but we tend to not feel that way when the boat starts to rock.

Maybe a job fell through, you made a costly mistake, your child didn't get that scholarship you were counting on, the government shuts down, the doctor's report wasn't what you expected, you're facing divorce, you missed that deadline at work. The list goes on and on.

I am the queen of being confident that God is in control when things are good, orderly, predictable, and safe. Then the boat starts to rock and I start to get a little seasick. That God that was good and in control five minutes before I started thinking of jumping shift is now all of a sudden being questioned. Do I really believe He's in control?

It pretty much comes down to this: not only am I letting my circumstances dictate my joy BUT I am also only choosing to have joy when things are going my way. How selfish!

In less than six months, I am going to be receiving a heavenly wake up call by making a covenant between Browning and God that basically means I will sacrifice and selflessly love my husband.

Hmm...selfless. That's a new word to add to my vocabulary.

I challenge you, along with myself, to really sit back and reflect. Are you one who lets your circumstances dictate your joy? Or do you truly praise the Lord through every trial and mountain top experience? If you are one of these people, let's be friends! I've heard from a few people that I am quite coachable! ;)


Today I'm praying that you will look to Christ through whatever you may be facing. You may be facing something pretty major or you may think what you're facing is silly and you can't quite figure out why you're concerned about it. It's okay! God is a great listener and He cares for you no matter how ridiculous you may feel.

Father, I thank you that You're a good God who is always in control, even when we may not feel that way all the time. Help us to find joy in all circumstances we face and to turn our eyes away from ourselves by looking to You to see what You are doing. Thank you, Lord, for never leaving our side! Amen.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Don't lose focus!

As I was scrolling through my Facebook wall this evening, I came across an article about engagement. In a nutshell, the article was about how the proposal and the wedding itself are becoming more important than the actual marriage in today's society. I completely agree.

Yes, I do think it's awesome when engagements get captured on video. Yes, I do think it's awesome to show off your ring. (It's exciting!) Yes, I do think it's fun to plan a wedding and enjoy your special day. However, I do not believe it's okay to become completely consumed by one day out of your entire life, although it's such an easy thing to do! I was able to go to a bridal show yesterday near my hometown. I had been looking forward to this event for a month, but when I arrived, I found myself disappointed. I passed by beautiful displays that were a little too elaborate for my taste, but they were beautiful nonetheless. However, I did pass by a few brides that just seemed to be completely consumed by their big day. Don't get me wrong, it's a very important and exciting day, but there's so much meaning behind it. 

I hope I don't come off as a complete fun-sucker, because that's not what I'm trying to do. Just trying to shift perspective.

Weddings are great. They are a sacred, beautiful union between you and your mate. This day is full of celebration with those closest to you because the bride and groom were made for each other. I do, however, feel as though that's not quite what this day is about anymore. TV shows, magazines and Internet sites advertise all of these different elaborate wedding ideas (elaborate is completely fine, by the way), but they only focus on the wedding. Rightfully so, their business is wedding supplies. But I feel as though we have lost sight of what a wedding is truly about. 

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'  and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ?  So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." -Matthew 19:4-6

When Browning got down on one knee and proposed to me, the first thing on my mind was, "Wow, I can't believe this man wants to spend the rest of his life with me!" 

Then the planning started... 
At first it was fun, new, and exciting. Then the planning became stressful, overwhelming, and no fun at all. I wasn't even looking forward to my wedding. I just wanted it done and over with. Talk about a sad way to feel --- this is supposed to be the most exciting time of my life! One day, after I was ready to call off the wedding and go to the courthouse, I challenged myself to just put away the plans for a while to refocus. I began thinking about Browning and how much he means to me. I thought about my confidence in him and how I knew he would take on the world for me. I thought about his devotion, love, and genuine spirit. I had a huge perspective shift. 

April 5, 2014 will be a very exciting day. I will wear a pretty white dress, carry beautiful flowers, stand beside six of my best friends, and say my vows to Browning in front of 150 family members and friends. We will have a great reception filled with laughter, dancing, and food. This is all extremely exciting and I'm looking forward to it!

However, the single greatest thing I'm looking forward to is calling Browning my husband. I have come to the point where I know I don't need a pretty dress, beautiful flowers, or to stand up in front of 150 people and say my vows to Browning. I don't need a great reception filled with laughter, dancing, and food. All I need is to be with him for the rest of my life. He is my best friend and the love of my life. I'm grateful that God blessed us with the resources to be able to have a beautiful wedding day, but I'm even more grateful that God has chosen me to be his wife. This is how I know he is the one for me. 

I pray for all of those who are going through the season of engagement in their lives. I pray that you will get back to what truly matters. (Why you fell in love in the first place!) I pray for those who may be in that stage soon. That you wouldn't get ahead of yourself and just enjoy this time getting to know your boyfriend/girlfriend. I pray for those who don't see anyone coming any time soon. I pray that you will be confident in who you are in Christ, trusting Him to bring you the right person at the perfect time. I pray that when you do enter that stage in your life, that you will remember what truly matters. This isn't about a daylong event in your life. This is about a covenant made before God and a lifetime spent with your best friend.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Opportunities

There is no greater feeling than God showing you favor! Over the last month I have been blessed to start an incredible new position at the YMCA that I'm extremely passionate about! I am now able to work with medical referral clients and be there fitness specialist as they embark on improving their lifestyles. I am by their side throughout a 12 week program, training them and cheering them on! I know that it is going to be extremely rewarding!

I also wanted to make a very exciting announcement! Christy Cotterman with Wholly Healing, LLC contacted me a few months ago telling me about an amazing opportunity she had for me. After speaking to her and getting to know her heart to see people live heathy lives, I have agreed to be a regular contributor on Wholly Healing's blog site. I am honored that she approached me and can only say that God's timing is perfect! My new job gives me a steady schedule where I am able to devote more time to my personal blog as well as the Wholly Healing Blog. I do hope that you will join me as I blog every Wednesday at www.whollyhealingexperience.com. There are also three other amazing blog contributors that post on different days of the week.

I just wanted to update that exciting news. I am hoping to blog more often now that life is a little more structured. I am going to make a goal to post on this blog once every two weeks- we'll see how it goes!

In the meantime, please know that I am praying for each of you as you continue to seek the Lord's face and make small changes to better your health- it's never too late to start making healthier decisions!

--Sarah :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

I'm Engaged!

Yes, you did read the title of this post correctly. I can tell you that the title of this post is the last thing I thought I would be blogging about next...but sometimes surprises happen. Yes, that's right... I'M ENGAGED!!!

Like legit engaged...

See! There's your proof!

So I'm sure you are all wondering how I tricked this amazing man into liking me. So I will share a little bit of our story :) 

I met Browning in December of 2011. We met after joining a CrossFit group at ECU and began working out together. We were both seeing other people at the time, but had a great time working out with the group. We continued to work out together up until I graduated in May of 2012 and I moved 4 hours away back to my hometown. He stayed at ECU to finish graduate school. For the most part, we lost touch. 

In October I went back to ECU to visit my roommates, who were in their senior year of nursing school. I texted the CrossFit group to see if they wanted to get together for lunch and a workout, but no one was available. I would say a little less than a month goes by and Browning randomly texts me while I'm  at my brother's state championship cross country meet. He apologized for not being able to get together when I was at ECU but wanted to make it up to me next time I was in town. I told him not to worry about it and we could definitely get the group (I played hard to get from the beginning...oops) together to hang out next time I was in town for a visit. 

He texted me the next day. and the day after...and the day after. Needless to say, I could tell that he was interested in getting to know me better. I was not interested in getting involved in any sort of relationship. I made that fact EXTREMELY clear thinking he would leave me alone and we could just be the gym buddies we had always been. He apparently interpreted my "no, I'm not interested," as, "Bring it on, Sanderson. You're gonna have to chase me and win me over." 

He continued to chase after me for 5 whole months. He would drive 4 hours once a month just to hang out with me...only for me to turn him down again and again...and (you guessed it) again.

The pursuit started in December of 2012. I didn't agree to be his girlfriend until April 28, 2013. I know what you're thinking...this guy sounds incredible, what the heck took you so long? I'll tell you...

I didn't have my first boyfriend until I was 19 years old. The first boyfriend I had was no good for me. The second guy I dated was a really sweet guy, but my personality was too dominant for him. The third guy was also a great guy, but we were chasing after two different things in life.

Then I met Browning. I couldn't control him. He had a mind of his own. He was stronger than me. He scared me to death. Not because I thought he could harm me, but because I knew he was the kind of man I needed. So in my sorry attempt to run away from this man who I couldn't control, I started running and coming up with any excuse I could find not to go on a date with him. Then after 4 months I realized he had been doing what I've always prayed for. He chased me. He pursued me and he had no intentions of stopping.

I have prayed for my future husband every day since I was 12 years old. I prayed that he would be a Godly man who loved the Lord with all of his heart. I prayed that he would be a leader and show others what it looks like to be a real man of integrity. I prayed that he would work hard and take pride in his work. I prayed that he would be spontaneous, creative and relaxed. I prayed that he would be the man that I needed. I also prayed that he would be my friend. 

I could not have asked for a better friend than Browning. He has seen me at my worst and at my very best. We met in a gym...you see a lot of people at their worst there. He was always encouraging me and challenging me. Most importantly, he helped me loosen up after stressful days. He was a natural leader who carried himself with integrity. Looking back, I realized he was everything I prayed for. 

So August 31, 2013 comes around. We are driving to spend a few days with his parents on Topsail Island...one of my favorite places, if not my favorite place in the entire world. We arrive and spent about a half hour with his folks and then Browning jumps up and announces that we were going on a bike ride. We rode around for a while and then began walking on the beach. We stopped up at Serenity's Point at the very tip of Topsail Island. He stopped walking and stood still, then very slowly he got down on one knee. At this point I have lost it. I knew exactly what was happening. He said some really sweet things that I don't remember...but I do remember him saying, "I love you. Sarah, will you marry me?" He insists that I said, "yes," but all I remember is nodding yes uncontrollably.

After getting my act together and posing for a nice picture taken from some random man on the beach (see below for picture), we headed back to the beach house.

His parents and sister were there waiting for us and they are so excited! Let me tell you, I could not have asked for a better family to marry into. They love the Lord, value family and have so much fun! I love being around them! 

So what does one do right when they get engaged? They call their mommy! I called my mom and told her the wonderful news. Then I called my dad... let me tell ya... there is something about your dad's voice right after you get engaged that makes you cry. Why? I don't know. I could barely get the words out. I love that man so much. For him to give me away to another man...he must think very highly of him. He told me that he was out with my mom and they would call me later. 

Little did I know that just 2 short hours later, I would walk into the kitchen for dinner and my mom and dad would be standing there. Browning had arranged all of this when he asked my dad for my hand. I lost it...again. Talk about an emotionally taxing day! But it has been the best day of my life so far. All I can say is that God is faithful. I don't deserve any of this!

I can't even begin to tell you how much it meant to have our families there with us. Our families are so important to us. I feel so blessed to not only have parents who have been together for 25 years, but to marry into a family where the parents are also still together. It's rare, but God is faithful and it can happen! It's how it should be. I know Browning and I are going to thrive in our marriage because of the Godly example that was set by our parents. 

So now I've started working on wedding plans...and fast. Six months is going to fly by! But I am so excited about spending the rest of my life with Browning. I know that we will grow in love, go on many adventures, work through the hard times and never forget to have a little fun. He is definitely my better half and I love him dearly!

I will post some pictures below, but if you wish to see more, please click on the video below to see a slideshow that was put together by my dad and Browning's sister :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

What's better than planned adventures? Surprise ones!

I'm not one to blog about a lot of things outside of what God is doing in my life/fitness, but this one must be written about!

My sweet, spontaneous boyfriend decided to take me on a surprise adventure last weekend. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew is that my parents had given the plan a thumbs up and that my inner OCD/control freak was having a hay day!

Friday after work I knew I needed to come home, get my bags and load up in his car...and off we went! This trip was broken up into legs. The first leg was a 4 hour drive of me not knowing where we were going. We ended up in his parent's driveway! I always enjoy visiting his parents. Talk about two incredible people! They own a bed and breakfast and I love being there and seeing how things work. These two have an amazing way of speaking life into people. There hasn't been one time where I've walked out of that house not feeling like I could take on the world!

When we arrived at the inn, we brought our stuff inside and found out his parents were out to dinner. So we unloaded our stuff in our rooms and took a walk down main street. This little town is adorable! Imagine the town in the movie, "The Notebook." Before we stopped to eat, we crossed the street and my boyfriend showed me a walkway with bricks. These bricks had military men and women's names on them, honoring them for their service. After looking around for a few minutes, I spotted his name. It was a proud moment for me! We stopped in a great restaurant in town. I would have to say it's by far the best restaurant I've ever been to! After our delicious meal we headed back to the inn. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks...the Eastern North Carolina allergies. It is one of the worst feelings! However, his dad came to the rescue with some benadryl and I slept like a baby that night!

The next morning I woke up and went downstairs to have breakfast with his family. His mother is an AMAZING cook! Maple bacon cupcakes...need I say more? I hope her cooking skills will rub off on me some day! After breakfast it was time to load up the car and head to the next location.

After driving about three hours in the car, we take the Quantico exit in Northern Virginia. After reading a few signs on the road, I figured out he was taking me to the National Museum of the Marine Corps. This was a really neat experience since this was such a huge part of his past. Going through the museum was a really neat experience for me. I've always been a huge supporter of the troops, so this was a neat way to learn more about what exactly they have to go through.

Don't I look like I would make a good marine? Yeah, I didn't think so either...

Standing in front of the National Museum of the Marine Corps!

After our second stop of the trip, we got back in the car and headed to one of my boyfriend's family friend's home. They were kind enough to let us stay the night! We dropped off our bags inside and I found out what the third surprise was...tickets to a Nationals baseball game! I was excited about this one since we were going to be able to go into DC. I had never been to DC before, so I knew it would be a neat experience! After about 45 minutes worth of metro rides, we arrive in the city and walk towards the stadium. Then we discovered the awesome food trucks that cook brisket. YUM.
Waiting on our delicious brisket from the food truck

Then we headed to the stadium. The Nationals didn't start out so hot, but they pulled out a win in the end!

We had incredible seats!

After the game, we went back to Virginia and got a good night's sleep. The next morning we got up and visited then got into the car to go to another surprise location. My boyfriend kept building it up, saying that this was going to be my favorite part of the trip...

and right he was! I love to bake! If I wasn't a fitness professional, I would bake for a living. DC Cupcakes has been one of my favorite shows for quite some time. I couldn't believe he remembered and brought me here before we headed home! This was definitely the most thoughtful stop of the entire trip. A man deserves some major brownie points for waiting in a ridiculously long line for cupcakes...but my goodness it was so worth it!

 This was the line to get in. You may see the cupcake shop at the very end of the building. The line was even longer when we got out!
I was SO excited!!

This was just the display case...there were tons of cupcakes in that shop! I can't believe they sell that many everyday!
I couldn't choose just one...so I bought seven. Yes, seven. Do not judge me! :D One for the road and six to enjoy with family when I got back home!

We walked around Georgetown for a little while. It was a really neat place! I enjoyed going into all of the shops and may or may not have purchased a new shirt and Lulu Lemon. ;)

But...you can't end a perfectly good surprise adventure without one of these:

My boyfriend's mom is awesome for packing these in our surprise trip bag. The only way I got a Lunchable when I was a kid was when I did good on a report card. Needless to say, I was really excited about this!

As I sit here re-living all that happened on my surprise trip, I just can't get over the fact that someone would love me enough to go through all of that trouble to plan. Ladies, never ever settle for less than the best. Yes, sometimes we do have our standards a little high and have to re-think our expectations (a lot of us can be way unrealistic with our expectations sometimes), but there really are men out there who will treat you like you're a princess. Sometimes it's hard to wait around while all of your friends are dating, but it's worth it. I didn't have my first date/boyfriend until I was 19 years old and in college! I'm so grateful for a wonderful boyfriend who loves the Lord and loves surprising me with fun things. It doesn't have to be a big trip for it to mean a lot. I'm just grateful that he opens my car door, works out with me and compliments my cooking. Look for that man who goes over and beyond to show you he cares. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Take a Deep Breath

Last night I was needing a relaxing evening. So I did what every girl does when she's feeling run down, I took a warm bath with bath salts. Talk about heaven on earth! As I was laying there, doing my best to relax, I felt the enemy attacking me with lies. I couldn't stop thinking about how I had been slacking on reading my Bible and truly focusing on growing closer to God. All I could think about was how I had been going through the motions, but not really making an effort to break the cycle. I felt extremely insecure, unworthy and was convinced that God was disappointed in me. 
So what do I do when I feel this way? I seek affirmation from other people. I immediately texted my boyfriend and told him the plans I had to grow closer to God... he was extremely supportive and provided me with plenty of affirmation, but it still wasn't good enough. I put the phone down and thought of who else I would contact next for support. After a few minutes, a thought came to mind, which could have only come from God Himself. I thought, "Sarah, you do this every time. Stop seeking affirmation from other people when you should be seeking affirmation from God and God alone." 
Then I saw a facebook status pop up on my cell phone. It was a quote shared on a friend from high school's status. After reading this quote, my entire perspective changed on what Jesus thinks of me.
 "When it comes to sin, the only one who has a right to condemn others is Jesus...and He refused."
I immediately was able to block out the enemies lies. Yes, I have been stuck in the motions for quite some time. I had put my relationship with God on the back burner because things had gotten so crazy and stressful at work... but this one statement set me free. Jesus is not mad at me. He isn't even frustrated with me. He understands that my heart wants to know Him more and that I'm trying my best. Yes, He wants me to pursue Him and know Him more each day, but if I screw up by not doing that every day, He still loves me.  

Talk about a load taken off of my shoulders. I don't need to prove to God that I'm good enough, because no matter what I do, I'll never be good enough. But thank goodness that He continues to pursue me every single day. 

Maybe you're in the same place I am right now. You're stuck in the motions and can't quite figure out how to break the cycle. Maybe you haven't spent time with Jesus in so long that you couldn't go through the motions even if you knew how. Maybe your relationship with Christ is on point right now or maybe you've never known Him at all. It doesn't matter where we are or have been. What matters is that today we choose to call on the name of the Lord. All we have to do is say the name of Jesus. There is so much power in it!

Friends, please don't give up. Even if you feel like you're not worth much of anything right now. Jesus loves you. He's crazy about you. Even if you only have 5 minutes a day to spend with Him...make the best of it. Read your Bible, pray driving down the road. Jesus understands that we are busy and don't have 2 hours set aside each day to spend with Him. 

Spending time with Jesus is just like exercise. You may not have 30 minutes a day to take a walk...but you may have 10 minutes breaks throughout your day to move around and get a little bit of exercise in. You can spend your time with Jesus like that too! It's not about quantity, it's about quality. Make the time you have available to spend with Jesus good. If you have concerns, tell Him about it. If you have something your happy about, thank Him for it. He wants you to communicate with Him.

Today I'm praying that God would change the way you think He thinks about you. I pray that as you struggle with thoughts of how you'll never be as spiritual as some famous pastor or author, that I struggle with the same thoughts too. We were never meant to compare ourselves to others, yet we do it a lot. God intends for you to be you. He wants to know your heart just as much as anyone else. 

"Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually!" -Psalm 105:4

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

For those needing some encouragement! You're not a mistake!

I meant to post this sooner, but I suppose this could be a timing thing. I wrote this blog as I was flying home from California last weekend. I hope you find it encouraging!

I am currently 39000 feet in the air, burdened for those who feel that they're a mistake...

To the girl who feels she has no purpose:
You are not a mistake. You were birthed with a purpose. Circumstances may not be the best for you at the moment, but your circumstances do not have to dictate your joy. Whether you believe in Him or not, God is using this "dry" season in your life to give you strength you never knew you had. I firmly believe that the strength given to you will open doors to places and opportunities you never thought were possible. You are much more than just "good enough." You carry greatness inside of you. You are pretty enough, you are smart enough, you have purpose. You have purpose until you take your very last breath...keep breathing. You're going to make it! You are loved.

To the man who feel he will never measure up:
You are a good man. That may be the first time that statement was ever said to you...but the statement is true. You are a good man. Maybe you don't feel like it at the moment, but there is greatness inside of you. Allow God to shape you and mold you into the man you are destined to be. You are better than just good enough. May you're rolling your eyes and thinking, "the girl writing this blog is nuts...she clearly doesn't know all that I've done." I hope you know that Jesus did all that needed to be done...your past stops here. He holds the power to cast your mistakes as far as the east is from the west. You are a good man with a great future.

There are plenty of days when I feel like there are plenty of people who could do my job better, who are smarter, prettier, etc. You would be surprised by how often I struggle with those thoughts. But you know what? Does the person who I know could do my job better than me have my job? No. Does the person who is smarter than me feel like they're adequate for the job they have? Probably not. Does the person who I believe to be prettier than me not have any insecurities about herself? I seriously doubt it.

I know I can't go through life ever being good enough on my own. I'm so grateful that Jesus knew that too. He is able to take every weakness I have and apply His strength to help me overcome. I know I'm not good enough, but greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. I'm so glad that I don't have to measure up...because 2000 years ago, after Jesus declared, "it is finished," that measuring stick was snapped in half, never to be used again.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I've been so slack!

I can't believe I haven't updated since January. Honestly, it feels like I just blogged last week- that's how fast time has been going.

There are many things going on in my life right now...God has taught me so much over the last few months and I can't wait to share! I will hopefully have a more detailed blog up soon. However, I did want to share this exciting news with you:

Renee Fisher has been inspiring me to continue reaching women with encouragement on relationships, body image and self worth. She is an energetic speaker, wonderful writer and has authored many books! I am honored to say that I am featured on her blog today as a guest writer. I wrote on the topic of "broken relationships." Please take a few minutes to visit her website and check out the post.


I appreciate Renee's heart to see single's all over the world encouraged by the love of Christ. One of the things I appreciate the most about her is how real she is with people. Although I haven't met Renee in person, I feel as if I know her through her writing. I am humbled and blessed for the opportunity to have one guest post on her site!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Don't forget His promises!

"When Lamech lived 182 years, he fathered a son and called he name Noah, saying, "Out of the ground that The Lord has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands." Genesis 5:29

"Noah found favor in God's eyes" -Genesis 6:8. God made Noah a promise to preserve him and his family because His favor of Noah. Noah was obedient to God and built this ridiculously large boat. Have you ever done anything because God told you to and people thought you were crazy? Yeah, imagine how Noah and his family felt. "Hey Noah, what's with the boat? We're in the desert." Noah replies, "Oh, you know, just building it because God told me too." Talk about being the talk of the town! "Have you seen that Noah guy building that big boat? Maybe we should suggest therapy."

Sometimes doing things God asks us to do might seem a little crazy or extreme, but my goodness I want God to show me favor- just like He did with Noah.

Then it was time to haul the animals and family into the ark. I bet that was a sight. I don't even want to imagine all of the name calling.

Then the rain came...and it poured...and poured.

Imagine Noah and his family on the ark hearing the screams and cries for help. People asking Noah for forgiveness, begging him to hear them out and let them on the boat. I can only imagine how he must have felt. I'm sure it felt like his heart was ripping out, but he stayed obedient to The Lord.

I'm sure he spent many dark nights on the ark. It was dirty, smelly and crowded. There was probably a lot of, "God, where are You? You promised me!" conversations. Sound familiar? I've had more than a few conversations like that.

But then, "God remembered Noah..." (Genesis 8:1a)

If you know the story, you'll remember that God used Noah and his family to re-populate the earth. Humankind got a second chance because Noah found favor with God. God made a promise and He came through in a bigger way than Noah could have ever imagined.

Maybe you're in a season of life where you're desperately crying out, "God, where are You? You promised me! Don't you remember?"

Friend, God has not forgotten about you. Just like He remembered Noah, He remembers you. It took Noah a lot of time and a lot of faith to be obedient to The Lord, which prepared him to receive a blessing when the time came.

When the time came...

If you are seeking The Lord with your whole heart and are being obedient to all He's telling you, then you're preparing for a blessing...when the time comes.

I don't know what it is you're believing God for. Maybe it's a job, finances, healing, provision, relationships or children, just to name a few. I'm here to tell you that God has not forgotten about you. He ALWAYS keeps His promises. Sometimes, okay most of the time, it looks a lot differently than we think.

God has not given up on you and He most certainly has not forgotten. It's okay to remind Him of His promises. He loves talking with you.

Today I pray that you will be reminded of His promises and know that He has not forgotten...it's simply not time.

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." -Genesis 28:15

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Dangers of Comparing

This is the time of year where gyms are at full capacity, junk food is left on the shelves at grocery stores and NIKE sales are through the roof. January 1 is national "clean slate day." Many will begin their journey of living a healthier life, but many will fail. I'm not trying to be a downer, but it's the truth.

I'm not a man, so I can't speak for them, but I know as a woman...walking into a gym can be one of the scariest scenarios imaginable. I, personally, feel like the gym can be one of two things: 1. The building blocks of a healthier and more confident self or 2. The breeding grounds of insecurity.

 Not everyone in a weight room looks like they have a perfect body, but the average can easily be overlooked. It's usually the very few (and I mean VERY few) that look like they stepped foot out of a swimsuit magazine, that we immediately take notice of. 9 times out of 10 the first thought that comes to mind is not, "oh wow, look at her! I'm so happy she has the discipline and drive to put in the work to look like that." You and I both know what comes to mind, "Shoot, I don't belong here. I'll NEVER look like her." I've said that to myself quite a few times. Okay, more than quite a few. Being in the line of work I am in can be extremely rewarding and exciting, but it can also be one of the hardest. I see a lot of in shape, healthy people on a daily basis, but I also speak to many people who have lived a life of never being able to stick with something. They can never quite pinpoint why, but I've come to discover that it has nothing to do with not being able to stick with something. It has everything to do with them not knowing who they are. Why? Because people are so busy comparing themselves to others. Women, don't even act like you don't know what I'm talking about.

Society has brainwashed us to think we are supposed to look a certain way. A look that is absolutely impossible to achieve. Yes, even models in magazines don't really look like that. Why do you think eating disorders (eating disorders can be considered not eating enough or eating too much) are at an all time high? Because we are operating off of comparing ourselves to others.

Let's get real:

I grew up as a bigger kid. I didn't wear the cool clothes, not because I couldn't afford them, but because I couldn't fit them. I wasn't really exposed to fitness until my dad got into it about 12 years ago. I still didn't pay much attention, but I was aware.
I started talking about dieting when I was in middle school. I didn't necessarily need to lose weight, but that's what all of the other girls were doing at school and in my family. I thought I should too. I started weight watchers in high school and failed...again, again and again.
The summer before college I was so worried about going to college and gaining all of this weight. Weight has been a generational issue in my family. I didn't want to fall into that. I began seeking The Lord on this issue. Why couldn't I stick to anything? Why was I so hard on myself? Why was I so insecure and fearful about what kind of shape I'd be in someday?
I played sports, attempted cardio activity (attempted being the key word... I think I'd still rather eat dirt than run to this day) and weight lifted my junior and senior year of high school, but I still didn't shed pounds or gain confidence. Why?

One day it hit me like a ton of bricks. I can't tell you exactly when this hit me, but I knew it was God. "My daughter, I created you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. The world tells you that you are one thing, but it is I who created you. I say who you are. You are my beautiful daughter. Your security is found in me and me alone."

Understand, I consider myself an extremely secure girl. I have a wonderful daddy. I've never had to question my worth or value, but I'd be lying if I said I haven't struggled with physical insecurities throughout my life. But I finally broke through a barrier that day.

I began to see myself through God's eyes and declaring who He said I am in His word.

"I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full and well." -Psalm 139:14

His works are wonderful. I am wonderful. You are wonderful.

I went to college knowing Whose I was. I'm not kidding, I lost 30 pounds my freshman year. It took a lot of hard work. But instead of seeing my body as a project that had to be perfect, I saw it as God's creation and His temple since He dwells inside of me. Something that was a constant process, not something to be fixed overnight.  I wanted to take care of it and honor it. I also wanted to be an example to other girls I knew were watching me. I wanted to prove that it wasn't impossible.

Well, after all that hard work, I felt too skinny. And I probably was. Isn't it funny how the thing we strive for so badly isn't all it's cut out to be once we get it sometimes? I was skinny, yes. I looked much better in a bathing suit, but good gosh I couldn't lift up anything without straining it seemed like. That's not good.

So I started this whole CrossFit thing that I annoy people with because I talk about it so much. With some good coaching and forced accountability *cough cough Garrett cough cough* (I know you're reading this) I went through years of college education and it finally clicked with a free CrossFit class...oh well. I got a great foundation for what it meant to be strong. As I transitioned out of college and into the work force, I ran into a lot of challenges. Scheduling being the biggest one. I decided that fitness was my priority and I would have to sacrifice the time and money, but my goodness it's worth it! I found a great box and a great coach who is now helping me become stronger. Mostly by assigning me the weight ill be lifting that day because he knows I can do more than I think I can do.

CrossFit is the sport of some of the most beautiful women on earth. Look at their website for 2 seconds and tell me I'm wrong. If I'm not careful, the insecurity will come back and weigh so heavy on me that I'll be operating out of the worldly fear again. Why? Because I begin to play the comparison game. "Gosh, I'm getting better, but I'll never be like her." "She's been doing this for a lot less time than me and she's better." "If I only had legs like that." It can go on and on if I let it.

The more I let those thoughts go through my mind, the less sensitive I become to the Holy Spirit who
is continually telling me who I am and Whose I am. Which is more important than anything. Ladies, look around you. It's the women with confidence, who know who they are that you want to be like, right? I've never wanted to be like a gorgeous girl who is insecure. Ever.

So, as you continue to strive to be healthy, strong and the best you can be, remember who God says you are. He says you are fearfully and wonderfully made! Also, remember this isn't a one time plan. Being healthy, taking care of your body...it's a lifelong process. No, you probably won't look like a sports illustrated model. I know I won't and I'm okay with that now. You will look like you because that's who you are. Striving to take care of yourself and be strong is beautiful. Walk with your head up, no matter what you may look like. Jesus takes delight in you. He calls you beautiful.

I pray for all of the ladies who struggle with insecurity that is so strong they don't feel worthy of getting out of bed in the morning. I pray that you will encounter God in a way like never before and begin to declare His Word over your life. I pray for the ladies who have never faced their insecurities because of the fear of losing to them. Jesus has already won the battle. Look to Him for strength. I also pray for the ladies who have faced their insecurities and who are learning to overcome them each day. Continue to walk strong and confident, knowing Who you belong too.