She’s Really Doing it.


The Beatiful Taren

There are few things in this world I love more than watching my friends do the thing they were created to do.

Last weekend my beautiful, talented, creative, loving friend Taren Maroun brought her beautiful face (and HAIR) into this town. We lived on the YWAM campus in Kona a few years back.  We hit it off IMMEDIATELY!!! She’s a little fire cracker oozing with creativity.

She graced Medford with her presence to help me with some media stuff. A few months back super late at night she text me and said, “What’s the password to your website? I’m on a roll, let me spruce it up.” So began the back and forth until she arrived.  We did some photos we shot some video and we are almost ready to launch the new website!  I’m so excited and God’s timing is SOOOO perfect.  Here is one of the demo videos we shot.

What Feeds Your Desires?


I’m just going to be real, here. Is that okay?

I figure I can pop on here every week or so and copy and paste from some fabulous diet and fitness website, and I can throw in some good scripture here and there, and I could list the rules for healthy living and I could call it good. And you, Lu’s gracious readers, would probably be too kind to call me out. You might call it good-ish, because you don’t know what else to say, or you might not comment at all. But still, I could just call it good and move on to the next step of my self improvement according to the latest trending topic online and hope no one sees what a fake I really am.

But it wouldn’t be good. Because it’s not honest. I’m shredded. God’s exposing some things in my heart and I don’t want to miss out on what He’s doing in me. So I would rather be real than good. I would rather risk this time in the freedom of being honest than to be a rule polisher. Is that okay?

Here’s the deal. It all comes down to trust.

Do I trust Jesus? Do I really trust him, or do I just know the list of stuff I’m supposed to do or not do as a Christian? Is my life meant to be about rules or about freedom? Do I trust him to do a new thing in me; something I’ve never seen before?

Look at Noah. God asks him to build a cruise ship 5 miles from town in the middle of the desert. He doesn’t waste a bunch of time asking why or how. He just grabs his hammer and gets to work. And here’s the thing; researchers say that rain did not exist before that time. Water from the sky was something Noah had never seen before. But Noah knew who he was. And Noah believed and lived as if God would do something new.

Look at Abraham. God asks him to sacrifice his own son; the precious son through which God was going to fulfill his promise to build a great nation. But he doesn’t waste a bunch of time asking why or how. He just grabs his knife and starts up the mountain. And here’s the thing; as far as I have heard God had not raised anyone from the dead before. Calling someone out from the grave was something Abraham had never seen. But Abraham knew who he was. And Abraham believed and lived as if God would do something new.

Look at me. God asks me to end my romance with food. He asks me trust Him to feed me. He dreams of lavishing blessing on my life, but I’m too busy blessing myself! I don’t want to waste a bunch of time asking how or why. I just want to tell myself NO for once, and say YES to whatever God wants to fill my life with. I want to know who I am. Looking back on my life I have never completely trusted God to fulfill my deepest desires and longings. I have searched for ways to delight myself, instead of delighting in Him.

This is Lu here…I want to make sure you are hearing what Jenna is saying!  She was filling her hearts desires with food…let that sink in……deeper, deeper, deeper!

But I am reminded today of who I am. And I believe Jesus and am determined to live as if God will do something new in me.

This might get messy. But I’ll take messy over good any day.

I trust Him.

From “Oceans/Where My Feet May Fail by Hillsong”

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

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

YouTube Video of Oceans

Jenna is married to her prom date (David) and is the proud mom of Ethan (22), Evan (20) and Ellis (18). She is learning how to live like Jesus and to love urgently, extravagantly and invisibly. She is a hopeless coffee freak, a mentor for teens and college kids, and blogger over at JUMPING INTO AWKWARD.

EXCUSES EXCUSES


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The great thing about writing your own blog is that you can plug whatever you wanna plug!!! Today I wanted to give a shout out to my friend Ivan Roman. He is the pastor at a new church in the valley called Empower Church and Training Center.  We meet in the Jackson Elementary Cafeteria on Sunday mornings at 10am. I met Ivan and his wonderful wife and three boys while living in Kona. They moved here last year when they felt the Lord called them to the valley. Ivan is an amazing man and has written a book called The Identity Manual. I bought the book today at church and have been blown away by it.

I was trying to write a blog post for tomorrow and was just coming up short, but I really wanted to write and tell you about this book. Around that same time Jenna told me she had a post…great now I can talk about the book and it will all go hand in hand….little did I know….God is just so creative and blows my mind sometimes.  Here is the front of the book and you will see what I’m getting at when you begin to the read the post by Jenna.

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Here’s Jenna back with more for us…

I’M JUST NOT ATHLETIC.
I realized recently this has been one of the anthems of my life.

Let’s pretend every person had to wear a HELLO-type name tag. And let’s pretend that instead of HELLO it said “I’M JUST NOT…”

What would mine say? Ok well today it might be “I’m just not wanting to wait for the next Hobbit movie.”

But most days mine would usually say I’M JUST NOT ATHLETIC.

Growing up, my sister was the ‘athletic one’ and I was the ‘creative one’, and I embraced that statement. Oh sure, I was on sports teams but no one (especially me) took me seriously. Ever. I spent most of the season praying to God the pitcher would walk me, or the ball would stay as far away from me as possible. I spent my free time being creative and not worrying about physical strength or fitness. And let’s not even discuss my sugar addiction. We would be here all night. And I justified it all with the lie that said I’M JUST NOT ATHLETIC.

If you ask me to get up before sunrise to craft a blog post, I’m all over it. Like 4:30 a.m. all over it. Because I’m creative. It’s what I do. It influences the way I live and relax and relate.

But ask me to get up before work and exercise? Surely you jest. Because I’m not athletic. It’s just not my thing. Go watch a movie? Pinterest? Research or write or take a road trip? Yes, please. Walk up that hill? Get my heart rate up? Actually run? Get pitty? Surely you jest.

But here’s the thing. Hear me, friend.

I’M JUST NOT ATHLETIC has now turned in to I’M JUST NOT HEALTHY.

And it scares me.

When I first met Lu, she shared about the lies that lurk within the “I’M JUST NOT…” statement. Every person has one. And every one is different. It made me think.

And to be honest it freaked me out a little.

What if the I’M JUST NOT ATHLETIC statement was my way of avoiding God’s best for my life? What if it just fed my fear of failure and inadequacy? What if when I ignore my body’s need for good fuel and exercise I am actually sabotaging a great adventure God wants to send me on? What if my choice to stay comfortable has put me on the path to crisis? What if God has another path for my life that I can’t walk right now because I’ve neglected my body?

Today, I have made a choice. Today I will not use I’M JUST NOT ATHLETIC as an excuse. I am on a new path now, and I’m no longer going to believe that lie.

Have you used an I’M JUST NOT statement in your life as an excuse? Or maybe it’s an I’M JUST statement. Maybe you’ve said it for so long it’s become part of the way you identify yourself. Maybe it’s time to throw it out. Maybe it’s time to make a choice and start a new path. Maybe it’s time to no longer believe that lie.
So what’s your I’M JUST NOT statement?
It’s time to throw that sucker out. Who’s with me?

546013_4557039413892_1468304744_nJenna is married to her prom date (David) and is the proud mom of Ethan (22), Evan (20) and Ellis (18). She is learning how to live like Jesus and to love urgently, extravagantly and invisibly. She is a hopeless coffee freak, a mentor for teens and college kids, and blogger over at JUMPING INTO AWKWARD.

How’s That Ride Treatin’ Ya?


Rollercoaster

Can I be frank with you?

Yes? Ok keep reading…

No? You should stop now, close the tab…..PSSHHHH…yeah right keep reading.

You’re body is not going to look like hers, you know why?

BECAUSE GOD DIDN’T MAKE YOU HER!

He made you, YOU!

We are all unique and different in the way that our bodies are shaped: apples, pears, hourglasses, and on and on. And there are things that we must do in order to take care of our bodies. I’m sorry to say it but if you’re taking care of your body the chances of you wanting someone else’s who knows what is quite slim….am I right?!?!? If you are eating well and exercising, you feel comfortable in your own skin….IIIIIIRRRRCCCCHHHHH….let’s go back.

FEEL COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN…

Oh you fit in your size 6 pants, you haven’t worn them in a few years and it’s time to get back in them? How many times have you been in and out of them? Can you see where I’m going?

That cycle, you know the one I’m talking about, the roller coaster, up, down, skinny, not so skinny, I feel wonderful, I feel amazing…you know that one. We can talk about food and exercise all day long, but here is the fact of the matter…

UNTIL YOU DEAL WITH THE MATTERS OF YOU HEART THAT KEEP YOU FROM THE FULLNESS OF YOUR HEALTH, YOU AIN’T NEVER GETTIN’ OFF THIS RIDE.

You will be keeping people like me in business. I love your business, but I don’t want your business.  I want you to be victorious, I want you to dig in, get messy, be broken, and get to the bottom of this. Why can’t you just be healthy all the time? YOU CAN, but you MUST CHOOSE IT.

There’s stuff, and it’s in the way, it’s keeping you from feeling comfortable in your own skin and it’s got nothing to do with the food you put in your mouth or the lack of videos you’ve been sweating to in your living room…it’s your heart.  I’m going to stop here for now, but I’m going to make this a to be continued and go piece by piece for as long I think necessary and hit on some issues, sound good?

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

 

You’re Looking a Little Pale My Friend


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“A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, and roving. Yet separation from the wildish nature causes a woman’s personality to become meager, thin, ghostly, spectral. We are not meant to be puny with frail hair and inability to leap up, inability to give chase, to birth, to create a life. When women’s lives are in stasis, ennui, it is always time for the wildish woman to emerge; it is time for the creating function of the psyche to flood the delta…It means to establish territory, to find one’s pack, to be in one’s body with certainty and pride regardless of the body’s gifts and limitations, to speak and act in one’s behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one’s cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as we can.”

-Ms. Estes from “Women Who Run with The Wolves”

That’s all folks…

 

 

Cageless Bird


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“Standing on the shore of decision, looking into the face of adventure. Desire to abandon all I know. What pushes me is rooted somewhere between misunderstanding and knowing. Knowing that what I want to understand is not within my reach, so I ponder my escape. Not knowing what lies ahead.  Adventure in theory is, is full of excitement and bleeds with passion for life. Adventure in reality is full of breathless moments, silent nights, and wounds that leave scares of memory on a heart.

Can I go the distance? Can I give all my mind to get what the messenger is saying? Can I surrender my knowing? Will I survive the humility of ignorance to obtain a treasure that earthly gold cannot buy? Will I ask the question of honesty, even if the answer leads me to the land of repentance?

All of these thoughts flood my mind.  As I stand on the shore of choosing and in the distance of my wandering I see with clear eyes a flock of wild beautiful birds.  Swooping clearly in my direction, as if they see me and are coming for me.  And how strange it is that their eyes are full of clarity.  And the melody of their flapping wings sings out, ‘We are coming for you’.

A song is waking up.  Wake up, songbird. We want to hear your melodies.  Songbird, wake up.  Start singing. You’re not in your cage anymore, bound by your shame anymore, the walls that held you in prison, the gate is flung wide open.  Start singing cageless bird.”

-Melissa Helser “Cageless Bird”

Willing to fight for the best version of you?


Do you ever feel like there’s a woman inside of you who’s dying to get out? 

My story begins with this statement a little over 3 years ago…everything looked good on the outside. My business was successful, I was a successful coach, I had great friends, I drove a pretty sweet car…well at 26 I thought it was sweet and truth be told if you asked me what kind of car it was at the time I probably couldn’t tell you…I go through cars like I go through underwear…I was all good on the outside, dying on the inside.

I wasn’t happy, but more than that I just wanted to be different. I wanted to be the things I felt on the inside but I just didn’t think it was who I was. I have been an athlete all of my life and have never gotten out of the profession, I’m now a gym owner and so the stigma just followed me. I was an athlete, I was intense, I was a badass, I was a beast. If I had a nickel for every time someone said I reminded them of Jillian Michaels…boy I would be rich….and most of the time it was followed up with, “well but you’re of course prettier.” She’s the woman on TV that is only caught on camera screaming at people, getting in their faces, lookin’ all hardcore all the time. Well let’s just say that’s who I was…on the outside. It’s who people saw, it’s who I projected all the while protecting my own heart, but everyday wishing I could be different.

But who I wanted to be was the girl that walked into the room and people found approachable rather than intimidating, I wanted to be the girl had a thin body with shovel handle arms that couldn’t pick up a 50# bag of dog food off the ground if she wanted to…. I actually still wish I had skinny little arms….really I do!!!!  I wanted to be fun, sweet, tender, gentle, patient, compassionate, gracious, but for the life of me I just didn’t know how to do that and pretty much just thought it wasn’t who I was. I just figured I would always be a hard shell that was quick with her mouth, intense, hardcore and unapproachable.
What I would have given for someone to say to me, “You’re that trainer who helps people become a better version or themselves.” “You’re that trainer who really loves her clients and boy they sure know it.” “You’re that trainer that asks people to step out of the their comfort zones and conquer things they never knew possible.” That usually wasn’t the case, I was the fitness nazi, the trainer that makes everyone throw up, the trainer they will NEVER come see because you will kill me…you get the idea.
I wanted to be different, so like any hard nosed, stubborn girl would do I went out looking for ways to fix myself. I looked for this book and that book, this seminar and that concept….I went looking.
Then it happened…..the words came out of her mouth and my life will never be the same. “There’s this man called Jesus and most people don’t know him like I do.” THAT WAS IT!!!! That’s what I was missing. I knew Jesus but I didn’t know him like she did. So I went looking for him and stumbled upon the most amazing journey that has lead me to this very day. A day where I can stand and say to you many tears have been cried, many fires have been walked through, many roads have been filled with twists, turns and plenty of pot holes, many times my heart has wanted to give up pack it in and be done because it’s hard. It’s a hard road that leads to breakthrough. It’s a hard road that leads to freedom. It’s a hard road that leads to KNOWING WHO YOU ARE and KNOWING WHO YOU WERE CREATED TO BE!!!! I KNOW….I KNOW THIS NOW!!!! (Can you hear me bellowing this from the depth of my guts!!!! I KNOW) And let me tell you it’s the most freeing thing in the entire world because God has given me the opportunity to be the clay on his wheel. He has offered me the opportunity to sit perfectly still, unyielding and allowed him to show me who I am.
What happens when God unfolds the diamonds he has placed inside of you? What happens when you realize truly who you are? What happens when you begin to see the lies you have lived behind all your life? What happens when you have broken the chains of bondage and walk a life of freedom? What happens when shame and guilt no longer hold you captive? What happens when you look in the mirror and see beauty first? What happens when you allow others to love you well?
I can tell you that amazing things happen, it’s not easy but it’s worth it. I am free and for the first time in my life I’m about to step out into an adventure I would never have dreamed of. I have lived safe, under control, and very responsible. But, I know who I am now and I know that it’s time to go. So in 10 short days I am walking away from the business that I built from the ground up with all of my blood, sweat and tears. I am selling all I own, packing two bags and moving to Kona, Hawaii to join YWAM in full time missions. It’s the scariest most exciting thing I have ever done and I cannot wait to see the dreams God has for me.
So I challenge you to step back and look at who you are…and decide who it is that you would really choose to be. What are the chains you are bound by? What’s holding you back?
Ok, now it’s your turn….