Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Art of Falling Gracefully

falling gracefullyI failed again. Life does not have a rewind button, and words spoken do not return to my mouth. I gossiped. I spoke a word that shouldn’t have been said. And it happened so fast, so naturally, so… like… me.

Ugh, will I ever gain control over my tongue?! I have been praying for help in this specific area for months now! But I keep messing up, failing, and falling to my shame and the humiliation of others.

Won’t God just please give me the self-control to shut UP!?

Maybe. But I have a feeling I encounter failure in this area for the rest of my life.

More importantly, I think God wants to teach me a different lesson first:

I used to be a figure skating instructor. Toddlers, young girls, even women in their 60’s learned the skills and technique to turn, jump, spiral, and spin; and I had the joy of teaching them.

The very first skill a skater must learn, though, is to fall. As much fun it is to glide through a beautiful routine and train for the big jumps and spins, the potential to hurt one’s body by falling incorrectly is too great to ignore.

To fall correctly while ice-skating, a person must aim to fall on his or her “heineken,” on the soft part of the butt-cheek. This spot will cushion the rest of the body from the impact, and will not easily break (though it may bruise). I had little kids who loved to fall on their knees, big kids who aimed for their tail-bones, and adults who  threw their hands back to catch themselves before they would fall on their bums. Each of these puts more weight and strain than the respective body-part can handle.

My Students and I in 2008
My Students and me in 2008

My students never appreciated me for it, but I forced them to practice falling correctly…. especially if they developed a habit of falling on the wrong area. My adult students were afraid to practice falling; but falling by accident is inevitable, and training your body to fall correctly is the best way to ensure a safe landing every time.

I can relate to those women so well now. I am afraid to fall. I don’t want to be forced to fall. I definitely don’t want to practice. But God has a great plan to train me in this life to be a faithful and graceful Daughter of God. Failing is inevitable, but I have developed a “bad-falling habit,” and my coach is going to retrain me to fall gracefully.

Every time I fall in this Christian-walk, I do so without any measure of gracefulness. I get down on myself, doubt God’s work in me, and flirt with the desire to quit. I want to hide in my room, under the covers, and ignore the spiritual battle upon my flesh. I feel like giving-up on ministry and even trying to make a difference in other’s lives. I want to duct-tape my mouth with a “it’s not worth hearing” label.

All of my thoughts spiral inward on me, myself, and I– and it’s not pretty. Like a figure-skater spazzing out of a triple-lutz, twisting her ankle, impacting her elbow, and landing flat on her side sprawled out all over the icy surface–I fail very ungracefully.

Over the past month, I have encountered my failures more times than I can count. Maybe I’m just suddenly aware of it, now that I am writing a blog labeled “Failures, Faith, and Freckles.” Maybe the Holy Spirit has a specific plan to “prune” me into a new level of sanctification and Christ-likeness, so He is re-training me to fall gracefully. Whatever the case, IT IS EXHAUSTING.

But He is the coach; I am the student. He knows the bigger picture for my safety, success, and overall beauty in this sport… er… life. So He teaches me to fail with grace: grace for myself, grace for the people around me, grace for the process. He trains me to swiftly rise up like it’s nothing… there is a song I am skating to and the crescendo approaches. I have an audience watching… not to see me sprawled out like a dead pigeon, though that may entertain them for a moment. No, I am in this life, like a skater gliding across the ice, to display a sense of beauty, grace, and artistic talent: not mine though… Christ’s!

To fall correctly in this Christian walk, I must glorify God from the ground. With humility and trust, I will set my mind on Christ. and the beautiful life-routine He has choreographed for me.

Un”Tangling” the idea of Submission


I’ve mentioned before that I am currently writing a Bible study for teenage girls. This month, I am persevering through to finish it and move forward with how God chooses to use it. Here is an excerpt for your enjoyment (and potential feedback for the study). This part comes from the chapter on Humility, from the study Delight: a Joyful Discovery of Biblical Womanhood. (Note that a delight is a woman of God, in the context of the study.) Thank you for reading… enjoy!

Imagine a different kind of Princess movie sequel to Disney’s Tangled:

UnknownRapunzel woke up early as usual. She had been married to her good-looking husband, for a few months now, and it was wonderful. They lived in their own little cottage near the castle; close enough to her parents she was now reunited with, but still their own place. She wandered outside and enjoyed a nice cup of tea in the morning sunshine. She chatted cheerfully with some older gentlemen on their way to work in the fields. A few minutes later, she started writing an encouraging letter to her parents. Glancing over her shoulder, she noticed a squirrel struggling to reach an acorn. She gently knocked it down for him then whistled her way back inside her home.

disney-tangled-rapunzel-pascal-flynn-disneys-rapunzel-16837562-1280-720Then she saw it. Her husband Eugene, had failed to shave again! Ever since her hair stopped being able to grow, she couldn’t stand the sight of any hair growing, even stubble on her husbands chin. “One little thing I ask, Flynn,” Rapunzel chided, purposefully using Eugene’s alias from his robbery-days, “just shave before I see you in the morning, is that so hard!?”

She carried on about how rude he was and inconsiderate of her feelings. After living so long with a woman who pretended to be her mother, and bossed her around incessantly, now it was Rapunzel’s turn for freedom. Her husband often asked her to look after the garden, help in the kitchen, or sometimes even just sit with him and read in front of the fire. But Rapunzel was her own person, and she was going to do her own thing.

20130122-155225.jpgWhile you will rarely witness a nagging session like this in a children’s movie about princesses and little squirrels and acorns; in reality, it happens all the time. A woman of humility must learn the value of submission. The word “submission” is another “nails on the chalkboard” word to many people. Some ladies associate it with being a “doormat” or never having an opinion of their own. Others feel that obedience means “being controlled.” As daughters of God, we must trust that God set up the idea of submission because He knows it is what is best for us! Submitting to authority means that a woman follows, obeys, and commits to a person or standard with humility. In the Bible we are commanded to submit to our family authorities (parents), the government, the church, and our husbands:

“Older women are to… encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.” (Titus 2:3-5)

Though you may not be married yet, one of the main purposes of this study is to prepare you for biblical womanhood, including being a wife someday. God’s design of marriage is so much more special than the relationship of a daughter with her parents, or a woman to the government. That is why the idea of submission must be more valued and cared for within a husband-wife relationship.

God designed marriage to be a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church (read Ephesians 5:21-33). When a woman disrespects, or disobeys her husband, she is painting a picture of God’s people disrespecting or disobeying Christ. The role of a wife is so much more than just being a help-meet to her husband; we get to share the story of the gospel through our very actions in relation to our husbands. A woman like Rapunzel at the beginning of this lesson paints a picture of God’s people who nag, and roll their eyes, and don’t appreciate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. That is how “God’s message is slandered;” when we disregard our husbands, we disregard the picture we are painting of Christ and the church.

A delight can practice being a woman of humility to the people around her, but as a wife it is crucial that she strive to be submissive even more, for the sake of her witness of Christ.

Lucky for us, being submissive is absolutely NOT being an opinion-less door mat who cleans and cooks and massages her husband’s stinky feet every night (though that can be an excellent practice of humility).

When I think of the word “submit,” I think of turning in a paper that is due in English class. When I “submit” my paper, it becomes the teacher’s. When I turn myself in to my husband, I become his. I am under his protection, guidance, and fellowship. I line up my desires and goals with his. A Christian wife can represent God’s people well when she submits to her husband, even if he may not be representing Christ well in his actions. God uses such humility and submission in great ways:

“In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the [Christian] message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live… For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and are not frightened by anything alarming.” (1 Peter 3:1, 5, 6)

A woman of humility prays for her husband instead of nags him. A delight even prays for him even before she meets him, submitting herself to God first, and secondly to the man He has prepared for her.

Rapunzel did well as a woman of humility to the lowly, her authorities, even animals. But the true test of humility towards others lies in how a lady treats her husband, regardless of his shaving habits.

  • Have you seen Tangled? What is your favorite part?
  •  Can you think of 3 people you are called by God to submit to at this point in your life?
  •  How can you work on being humble in your relationship with those people?

Share your ideas by commenting below!

The No-show Blues: leading a Bible study when only 1 person shows up

adult-bible-study2Ministering to college students includes a unique factor of epic inconsistency in numbers. Particularly for those of us in small-town ministries, most pastors and Bible study leaders have experienced the night when only 1 person shows up. Our experience typically follows a strict schedule of worry, insecurity, then eventual trust in God.

Within the first 1/2 hour ministry is supposed to begin, I will have gone through the following thinking process:

  1. Is this the right evening?
  2. Was there a major car accident blocking the road?
  3. Did everyone collaborate to go bowling and forgot to inform the one person who came to Bible study?
  4. Is my teaching/leading really that bad?
  5. I wonder if I should text all of them.
  6. I worked so hard on this lesson, should I save it for a larger group next week, or share it with just one person?

5824After making it through issues of personal insecurity presumed to be dealt with in my high-school years, I realize I need to cut the mental break-down and the small talk. This one person showed up to meet with God; it is my job to actually engage him/her* in some meaningful conversation.

So I move forward with the lesson. God planned it for this night for a reason, even if only for one person. We go deeper personally into the word, talking together about how it impacts each of us. There is more feedback and intimacy–not what I was expecting for the material. Eventually, we get to the topic of salvation. Turns out, this one person has never heard the gospel explained. Thinking themselves as a Christian by default, (s)he kept coming to Bible study.

I share my testimony, read truth from John and Romans, and wait for a response. The individual says thank you for sharing and promised to think hard about it. While (s)he hasn’t accepted Christ yet, (s)he keeps coming to Bible study (and, for the record, so does the rest of the group).

Regardless, this moment reminded me of my insecurity. With all my planning and organization, I am insufficient; I recall my great need to rely on the Holy Spirit. I rearrange the importance of salvation conversations in my mind. He gives me courage to hope for a 1-person Bible study more often.Young Adults

From now on in my study preparations, I pray to be faithful and reliant on Him for whatever opportunity He brings.

*name and gender withheld for confidential reasons

14 Days of Loving Jesus: Ideas

IMG_1394February is fast approaching. The stores are already crammed with pink, red, hearts, candy, and stuffed animals advertised marketed towards adults. By March we will see those stuffed animals at the local second-hand store. If you haven’t caught on to my annoyance of this holiday, here it is: I’m annoyed by it.

BUT! Because I can’t escape the constant bombardment to celebrate the holiday, I have decided to use all the red and pink paraphernalia as a reminder to celebrate love in a meaningful way: by showing love to Jesus.

These are 14 ideas on how to show love to Jesus during the Valentine’s season. Each suggestion corresponds to a “Love Language,” or avenue to express love. Only, these expressions are ways to love Jesus, our loving Savior, because He first loved us. Read 14 Days of Loving Jesus: the Project to get the why and “how to” on celebrating the season with Jesus in mind.

  1. Love_letterWrite an encouraging note to the seemingly “unnoticed” person in honor of Christ’s faithfulness to notice and never forget humanity, though we are undeserving.
  2. Do some neighborhood clean up: shovel, pick up trash, etc.
  3. Go for a walk with Jesus.
  4. Write to a Missionary or the child you support with Compassion International.
  5.  Write a love letter to Jesus. Seal it in an envelope and place it on the table during the season. (date the letter and save it for a few years. After a few years, open and read one from 3 years ago every year at Valentines)
  6. Wrap a Bible and give it to someone you have been praying for.
  7. flat,550x550,075,fBuy coffee for somebody, preferably a stranger (I bought coffee for a stressed out college student right before his final.)
  8. Wear a piece of gold-jewelry today as a reminder to thank King Jesus for denying all the riches of heaven to come save us.
  9. Offer to pray for a stranger, out loud with them, then offer a hug: I actually ran into a man who used to be a custodian at the college we do ministry at. I was so blessed to pray for him, in the middle of Walmart. Of all things, a complete stranger later struck up a conversation with me (also in Walmart) and I was able to pray for her too!
  10. Give a prayer foot-rub (or hand massage) to a family member.
  11. Read God’s Word…. its his love-letter to us, enjoy reveling in his love. Try the book of Colossians or some Psalms.
  12. In honor of Christ’s sacrifice, don’t eat any sweets today. When you get the craving for the cookies and candies of the season, be reminded to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8
  13. Share your testimony with someone today: I shared mine with a good friend I have known for several years. Even after all these years, this person had never heard how Christ saved me.
  14. Spend time with Jesus and recall the unique ways He loves you.

(Idea Sources: Lifeway Magazine, December 2012 issue; YouVersion Bible App reading plan: Rediscovering the Christmas Season; friends and family; college students; and my wonderful Junior-high and High-school Sunday-school girls.)

14 Days of Loving Jesus for Valentines Day: The Project

valentine 3

My husband and I have never recognized Valentines Day. Even when we dated we decided the holiday was an over-stimulated way to recognize what we celebrate everyday. The high expectations and pressure, and overall “cheesiness” of the holiday also kept us at bay.

This year, though, I think I am going to take all the giant hearts and chocolate obsessed grocery-aisles as reminders to celebrate my love for Jesus.

The Sunday-school class I teach for JH and High-school girls found a unique way to celebrate advent (in December). We made paper chains with 25 ways we can show love to Jesus during His Birthday month. Many of the ideas will work well for a Valentine’s advent as well!


Here is how we created our daily celebration of loving Jesus:

We started with the 5 Love Languages and applied them to ways we can love Jesus. For example

  • Physical Touch can be offering a hug to someone, or holding hands while praying for someone, etc.
  • Giving gifts could be giving a Bible away, or wrapping a present for an “Angel Tree” child.
  • Words of Affirmation: writing a love letter to Jesus and putting it under the tree.
  • Quality Time: spending time reading God’s Word, being still, or worshiping.
  • An Act of Service could look like making your sister’s bed (for the young ladies who still live with their families; my sister did this for me all the time and it always touched me deeply.)

Though it isn’t possible to physically touch Jesus, or actually give Him gifts or service, but Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40). Many of our tasks consisted of things we did for others, but always in the name of loving Jesus.

81802Next, we made paper chains as a reminder of each day’s love-task. We wrote one idea each on strips of paper. Each day, everyone completed their tasks and added a new chain till we had the perfect decoration by the holiday. You can have one chain for the family, or one chain per-person in the family.

You could fill a pretty vase with small notes of these suggestions, and take one out each day. Or fold each suggestion around a piece of chocolate in a chocolate box. You might not eat the entire box of chocolates when you focus on tangibly loving Jesus with each bite.

Or tie each suggestion to a rose. Keep 14 roses in the fridge or a back room; every day you complete the task, bring one rose out into a vase on the dining table; you can see the reminder of your growing relationship with God every day. Have fun and include your roommates or kids. Just remember to keep the focus on loving Jesus during Valentines.

Take some time over the next few days thinking about how God loves you. Get creative and write your ideas on how to “love because He first love us.” Share your ideas with us in a comment below. And don’t forget to get on the email list, because I’ll be posting ideas soon!

Shane and I will still treat V-day as any ole’ day (which is such a sigh of relief), but I think this exercise in loving Jesus will set my heart aflame for the Lord even more.

My 1/2 Marathon Playlist: oldies but goodies for day 10 of Encouraging Work-out Songs

GA-119_2_zoomIn light of it being the last day of 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-out Playlist, I decided to share my whole playlist from the 1/2 Marathon (where this whole encouraging work-out thing began.)

The other day I revived my old Ipod. Since getting a high-tech, music playing phone 1 year ago, I haven’t used my ipod classic. It amazes me how much has changed in a year, particularly in my music taste! Many of these songs are “oldies but goodies,” but many of these songs are still staples in my work out playlist. These are the songs I listened to for several hours while running the 1/2 Marathon; enjoy!

Our God, and No Chains on me by Chris Tomlin

We Were Made for You, and All Things, by Aaron Gillespie

Move forward by Bethany Dillon

Here is our King, Foreverandever etc., I saw the light, You are my Joy, Come Awake, O Praise Him, and We Win by David Crowder*Band

Its Not Good to be Alone by Brandon Heath

Day after Day by Kristian Stanfill

Here Come those Eyes by Chris Rice

Control by JJ Heller

In Exile by thrice

Desperate, Core of my Addiction, What I’ve Overcome, You Give Me that Feeling, Unbreakable, You Gave Me a Promise, and Brand New Day, by Fireflight

Stronger, These Days, Free, by Mandisa

Set Sail by Adam Jackson (A local Wyoming artist who played this song at our wedding. It was incredible, definitely check this music out!)

And of course, the wonderful 1/2 Marathon coordinators played Stronger by Kelly Clarkson at the half-way point… it was awesome!

I still don’t understand how I got through a work-out with such slow melodies and soothing tunes; I think in the end, what motivates me most is not pumping beats. When my heart is lead to soar and I am connecting with God–that is when I am most motivated to bring my body into submission, exercise self-control over my lazy tendencies, and go the distance to be a fit and godly woman.

Don’t forget tomorrow is YOUR PICK! (it would help if I had a few comments to work with 🙂

Catch up on all 10 days to an encouraging playlist here.

Kayaks and Colorful music…Encouraging Work out playlist Day 9: Movements by Rend Collective Experiment

Welcome to 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-Out Playlist: Day 9

2zp7azqHave you heard of Rend Collective Experiment? These guys are super imaginative in their music-making and praise of Jesus. Remaking instruments, hymns, and what it means to be an inspiring and adorable group of adults playing in the forest, this North Ireland worship band makes a wonderful addiction (addition) to the worship music scene.

After hearing the colorful “Movements,” my first thought was not “ooh, new running song.” Yet somehow quite organically it ended up in my work-out playlist. Check out the lyrics and you will see why.

 I wanna soar with You
Upon wings like eagles
But I’ll crawl with You too
When the dark and lonely questions come

I wanna stand true
No matter what’s new or comes through
I can’t stand still
Whatever hits I’ll keep making movements to You

I’m running fast and free to You
‘Causes You are the movement and fight in me
I’m running fast and free to You
‘Causes You are my home where I wanna be
Come move in me
Where I wanna be, come move in me

I wanna float with you
The currents driving me
But I’ll paddle hard too 
When the waves and rapids overcome 

I wanna stand firm
When my mind’s weak and my emotions squirm
I must stand true
Whatever hits I’ll keep making movements to You

I won’t walk away, won’t walk away

The lyrics I love best are the second verse: “I’ll paddle hard too, when the waves and rapids overcome…” Shane’s parents gave us Kayaks! for Christmas and I couldn’t be more ready for a few nearby mountain lakes to melt down so I can enjoy something like this:161918549072380886_14DzKpNW_c

Until then, I use the rowing machine at the gym to strengthen my arms (and my resolve to look hot on the lake) for summertime. I fake row, listening to “Movements”,and enjoying deep communion as I restate my vow of commitment to God, to keep moving with Him, toward Him. No matter what gets in the way, like my pride, the comments of other people, the distractions of the world, I will keep making movements to God, and to work-out and be fit.

Dorky Confession of the day: after I pull off a hard rowing work-out, I pop on nature sounds and water white-noise. Rowing casually with my eyes closed, I imagine a pristine lake and cool breeze. I like to think everyone in the gym gets a kick out of my dreamy moment to cool down. You’re welcome.)

Catch up on 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-Out Playlist:

Day 1: Undignified by Warr Acres

Day 2: Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

Day 3: Lay Me Down featuring Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin

Day 4: No Chains on Me by Chris Tomlin

Day 5: Free by Mandisa

Day 6: Core of My Addiction by Fireflight

Day 7: Oh Praise Him, David Crowder*Band

Day 8: Stronger by Hillsong

Day 9: Movements by Rend Collective Experiment

Tomorrow Day 10: Oldies but Goodies from the past! 

… Day 11: Your Choice! I’ll be featuring the songs YOU appreciate most in your work out. Don’t miss out, tell me your most motivating tune in a comment below!

Sports-Bras and Scripture…Work out playlist Day 8: Stronger by Hillsong

stay-strongWelcome to 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-Out Playlist: Day 8

Yes, I know, I have already featured 1 song titled “Stronger,” by Kelly Clarkson.  In fact, I almost used another song called Stronger, by Mandisa, which you should definitely look up here. Moral of the story? Songs titled “Stronger” are motivating and encouraging songs for the gym.

This song in particular, Stronger by Hillsong, is more of a cool-down song, but such a good reminder of deep truth. The lyrics popped into my head while I was getting dressed for the gym. I was hooking on my sports-bra and started singing to it: You are stronger, you are stronger….

See, I believe there is not greater force than an effective sports-bra. It takes 3 at best to keep my “girls” contained during my routine jog (this is a girls-only post by the way). Sometimes I just want to encouraging my straps to keep being strong.

Lucky for me, the song got stuck in my head. Since it is a slower song, I play it during the deep breaths and stretches post work-out. Breathing in deep, I am reminded that God is stronger, sin is broken, and Christ has saved us. Even if my workout wasn’t all I had hoped (or my sports-bra just didn’t make the cut), I find myself full of the joy of the Lord after meditating on truth.


There is love that came for us
Humbled to a sinner’s cross you broke my shame and sinfuless you rose again victorious

Faithfulness none can deny through the storm and through the fire there is truth that sets me free Jesus Christ who lives in me

You are stronger you are stronger
Sin is broken you have saved me it is written Christ is risen Jesus you are Lord of all

No beginning and no end You’re my hope and my defence you came to seek and save the lost you paid it all upon the cross

So let your name be lifted higher
Be lifted higher be lifted higher

2 Chronicles 16:9 says:

“For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”

I want to be that heart! Completely His. I know He will uphold me through all things…. He is strong enough. Friends may fail, family may be far away, my husband may not understand how to comfort, I will eat a cupcake and a milkshake all in one disappointment of a day…. my sports bra may wear out! But the Lord is stronger than all of it! In Him I put my trust.

Don’t forget, Day 11 is our BONUS day: your song picks… comment below with your favorite work out songs; I will share them in the post.

Catch up on 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-Out Playlist:

Day 1: Undignified by Warr Acres

Day 2: Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

Day 3: Lay Me Down featuring Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin

Day 4: No Chains on Me by Chris Tomlin

Day 5: Free by Mandisa

Day 6: Core of My Addiction by Fireflight

Day 7: Oh Praise Him, David Crowder*Band

Day 8: Stronger by Hillsong

Tomorrow Day 9! 

… Day 11: Your Choice! I’ll be featuring the songs YOU appreciate most in your work out. Don’t miss out, tell me your most motivating tune in a comment below!

Work out playlist Day 7: O Praise Him by David Crowder*Band

Welcome to 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-Out Playlist: Day 7


Today’s song is not your typical work out song… but it is one of the most important songs in my playlist. It is also one of the most prominent memories from my run in the Princess 1/2 Marathon.

Like many women, I sometimes struggle with low-confidence and insecurity. It seems at least once a week I let someone down or let myself down. I face personal failure every day, but it is always magnified when it affects someone else. Today, I walked into the gym with a heavy heart, the weight of a specific failure pressing down on me.

I have a tendency to want to please people. If I receive criticism (and sometimes I just assume I am being criticized), I enter into a wrestling match with my flesh. I know that the opinions of others should not define me: I AM A CHILD OF GOD! But my flesh, my human nature, wants to take over and wallow in self-pity and internal questioning.

Thank goodness for an encouraging playlist. I hear the happy piano trills of David Crowder*Band’s song O Praise Him and I am released…. liberated from all the self-focus, worry, and doubt.

I no longer look to me, what others think of me, or even what I think of me…. “ME” is out of the picture as I am drawn to worship. I crank up the treadmill a little faster, and just PRAISE GOD!

He is so worthy of it. So deserving. And you know what? It is so good for us too! When our focus gets off of us (whether that focus is positive or negative) and back on the “love so rescuing”, we are in the best place we can ever be.

So worship. Run, lift, sing, dance……… praise.

I walked out of the gym with a lighter heart (and a lighter weight) after praising God. He is shaping me; like shaping my body, it is going to take some time, but I know in the end that God, “who began a good work in [me], will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Catch up on 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-Out Playlist:

Day 1: Undignified by Warr Acres

Day 2: Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

Day 3: Lay Me Down featuring Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin

Day 4: No Chains on Me by Chris Tomlin

Day 5: Free by Mandisa

Day 6: Core of My Addiction by Fireflight

Day 7: Oh Praise Him, David Crowder*Band

… Tomorrow Day 8 

… Day 11: Your Choice! I’ll be featuring the songs YOU appreciate most in your work out. Don’t miss out, tell me your most motivating tune in a comment below!


Fit my Bikini in Two-thousand-thirteenie… or a goal more God-sized? Day 6 for Encouraging Work out playlist.

Floral Bikini on ClotheslineWelcome to 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-Out Playlist: Day 6

Bible and bikinis: makes a great honeymoon.

This year, I thought about making my New Year’s Resolution to get back to my wedding-weight. Two and 1/2 years ago, I slid into a white dress at 139 lbs. and I looked hot in my bikini for our honeymoon. Needless to say, things have changed.

For you college ladies, you may have been warned about the “freshmen 15″…. for you working women its the “cubical cinquenta” (50)…. for us newly weds, its the “newly-wed weight-woes.” Body change comes in all shapes and sizes after the honeymoon. We cook hearty meals for our husbands, bake cakes to celebrate each month-iversary, and make elaborate cookies he takes to work, making us the MVW: “most valuable wife” for the office. We cleverly think the exciting cardio in the bedroom will offset our heavy eating. Alas, the 1 year anniversary rolled around, and I was shopping for a swim-suit with coverage-frills instead of sexy-thrills. Maybe your first year of marriage didn’t look like this, lucky you. I know there are plenty of us who struggle with the “newly-wed weight-woes”, (some of you may also be mourning the post-pregnancy-pouch).

So I came up with the clever “Fit my Bikini in 2013-y! Mentally chanting it at the gym kept me motivated. Writing it on my goals list made me feel like a champ. After 1 week, it became an addiction.

Not good.

The Bible calls addiction Idolatry: valuing or pursuing something or someone more than God. When my silly little fitness goal became all I read about, wrote about, and pinned about on pinterest, I knew my heart was in the wrong place.

kneelingJesus did not die on the cross so my New Year’s Resolution could be to have a hot-body. 1 John 5:20-21 says

“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”

My greatest pursuit should be to know Him! Thankfully, a song on my work-out playlist reminds me of this:

Core of My Addiction by Fireflight


You’re the core of my addiction
I want to live, want to lose myself in You
You’re the heart of my obsession
I want to live, but I would die for You
I’m addicted

It reminds me to be obsessed with Jesus; to find my addictive “fix” in His Word, not a lower number on the scale. He is my addiction, so I must transfer my loyalty, my thoughts, my devotion away from a physical goal or desire and back to desiring Him.

bikiniI still want to fit into my bikini* by our anniversary in 2013, but I am pursuing God first! Having a fit body flows out of a desire to worship and honor God in my habits and health. The goal is not to look hot, but to glorify God. In the end, a good wife is not necessarily a woman with a hot-bod, but a woman in love with a great God.

How do you curb your addiction to fitness or being skinny? Help this poor idol-driven girl out and comment below. Scroll down for more songs that help keep my focus on God at the gym.

Your's Truly, Post work-out
Your’s Truly, Post work-out

Catch up on 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-Out Playlist:

Day 1: Undignified by Warr Acres

Day 2: Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

Day 3: Lay Me Down featuring Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin

Day 4: No Chains on Me by Chris Tomlin

Day 5: Free by Mandisa

Day 6: Core of my Addiction

… Day 11: Your Choice! I’ll be featuring the songs YOU appreciate most in your work out. Don’t miss out, tell me your most motivating tune in a comment below!

* I believe that modesty is the best policy in public places, but scantily-clad for your husband-lad is fantastic within the privacy of marriage. The truth is, though, I need to wear a bikini (or a sports bra) underneath my swimsuit or tankini just to keep the “girls” from running off into the deep end without life jackets. I must confess I am always looking for a cute bikini and sometimes wish I could fit into those tiny ones at Target. Want more modesty and practical dressing tips? Click here.