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How Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” helps me burn fat and beat the DEVIL, Work out playlist: day 2

Welcome to 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-Out Playlist: Day 2

gym-rage-aggressive-angry-workout-jpg_100031A half-marathon is a challenging but exciting 13.1 miles; even when running through Disney parks, there are moments of great discouragement.

One of the songs on my running playlists that helps me battle discouragement is Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.”

I know, I know, its not a “Christian” song. The lyrics are directed toward women experiencing a relationship break-up. The general goal is to help ladies feel stronger without their ex… to feel self-sufficient and self-focused.

While I completely disagree with this kind of self-focused thinking (not exactly Christ-honoring), I still value the song for this reason:

Recently, I have been experiencing a plethora of bad dreams; the kind of dreams that plant seeds of doubt and insecurity to the core of my being. I wake up feeling overwhelmed, even crushed sometimes. I know the dreams aren’t real, but I wake up with the emotions I experience in the dreams. It is not a fun way to start the day. I realize that the Devil is out to get me. The crushing doubts cripple me in my marriage, my ministry, and my relationship with God: the perfect recipe for Satan’s success.

I will admit that some of my dreams come from my subconscious, but I also believe there is an enemy of the almighty God, and he also has a plan for my life: destruction. What better way to destroy my heart than in subtle lies and emotional disturbances?

The mornings I wake up from these dreams, I head to the gym, put on my fightin’ face, and pop on “Stronger” as I jog or lift weights. I tend to rewrite some the lyrics in my head with the intentions of telling the Enemy where to stick it…. it usually goes something like this:

You know the bed feels warmer
Sleeping here alone*
You know I dream in color
And do the things I want

You think you’ve got the best of me
Think you’ve had enough the last laugh
Bet you think that everything good is gone
Think you left me broken down
Think that I’d come running back
Baby, you don’t know me, ’cause you’re dead wrong

Chorus:
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn’t mean I’m over ’cause you’re gone

Bridge:
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, and Jesus Christ
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone

You heard that I was starting over with someone new
They told you I was moving on, over you

You didn’t think that I’d come back
I’d come back swinging
You tried to break me, but you see

Chorus:
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn’t mean I’m over ’cause you’re gone

Bridge:
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, and Jesus Christ
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone

Thanks to you I got a new thing started
Thanks to you I’m not the broken-hearted
Thanks to you I’m finally thinking I’M FREE!
You know in the end the day you left is just my beginning
In the end

I’m not alone

You will see the lyric changes I made in bold. Also *I still sleep in the same bed as my husband, but the enemy is not invited…. so he can just stay out of my dreams.

oh-no-shes-upI hope you can take encouragement, and take up arms against the enemy… let your bicep curls be a reminder! “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

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

Day 1: Undignified, by Warr Acres

Day 2: Stronger, by Kelly Clarkson

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

Subscribe via email to get post updates right away, and please COMMENT below: What music inspires you in your work out and spiritual life? (PS… we are going to have a DAY 11 with all the songs you post about that encourage YOU during your work-out.)

Work out playlist Day 1: Undignified by Warr Acres

Welcome to 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-Out Playlist: Day 1

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpgToday, I would like to shine the spotlight on a worship band I recently discovered called Warr Acres. Their music is very upbeat and encouraging. Featuring one of my favorite female vocalists, Kristy Starling (who created 1 album in 2003 that I still listen to).

I really get pumped when I hear their song, Undignified. The lyrics push me to strive closer to God. If endurance is an issue for me during my work out, I put this song at the beginning AND the middle. It’s got “keep going” written all over it.

Here are the motivating lyrics:

Undignified

We were created only for You and for Your glory
Your love set us free
Our lives are for Your pleasure and not for man to measure
Who we’re meant to be

Every minute counts and today we choose to
Throw away our fear and to live a whole new
Life unashamed, unafraid to lose
Here we go

We won’t, won’t stop shouting
Can’t stop our feet from moving
We don’t care who’s watching
We’re undignified
We won’t, won’t stop lifting
Our hands to the risen King
Freedom comes with living
Undignified

Sing out, get loud
Let’s make a joyful sound
We won’t stop now
Our praise will fill this house

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

Day 1: Undignified by Warr Acres

Tomorrow……Day 2: Stronger, by Kelly Clarkson

 

10 days to an Encouraging Work-out Playlist

gym-musicI am by no means a fitness guru. My fitness goals consist of getting to the gym habitually… no weight loss, no “mile in under 10 minutes” goal… just hoping to build a habit.

Still, one thing I’ve got going for me is my AWESOME playlist-making skills. My workouts are not just a kick-in-the-butt; they are uplifting and encouraging in my walk (or run) with God. With the right choices of music, I feel I am not just battling fat, but battling flesh (the selfish side of me).

Almost a year ago, after we ran in the Princess 1/2 Marathon, my mom asked me to share my running playlist with her. It is full of songs to encourage us along the journey, not just keep us in-step with a catchy beat.

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My sister Hannah, my Mom Theresa, and me at the Princess 1/2 Marathon in Disney World, 2012

My mom and sister are running in the Princess 1/2 Marathon again. Though I can’t join them this year, I can provide some suggestions of impactful songs for the journey.

So here you go mom (and anyone else who’s interested), I am finally getting around to sharing my running playlist with you.

Some of the songs may include extensive explanations as to why they encourage me, others might just be a set of lyrics. I highly recommend getting a Spotify account for less than $9 a month (less expensive than buying 1 album a month) so you can download any of these songs to your iPod.

But before I start, I want to hear your ideas! What do you listen to to keep you running to Jesus and staying fit?

Comment below! Then check out the full list….

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

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!

Running in the Princess 1/2 Marathon

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My mom is running in the Princess Half-Marathon in Disney World this coming February. I am so beyond proud of her fitness journey; I know the race in Disney World will be another impactful way to commemorate how far she has come.

Hannah, Theresa, Becky 2012
Hannah, Theresa, Becky 2012

When I ran the Princess 1/2 Marathon with my mom and sister last year, I was amazed at what God was doing with me physically, and spiritually. God taught me so much through that journey.

0226120307bIt became a parallel race to my journey with God. First of all, when I gave my life to Christ, I was adopted as a child of God. If God is the King of kings, that makes me a princess.

0226120355It was just too fitting to wear a tiara for the Princess 1/2 Marathon.

But as a servant of the Almighty, I am also called to be a warrior in God’s army, strong and courageous.

Notice the tu-tu's
Notice the tu-tu’s

In my walk with God there are lots of people to run along side of…. some of them even seem a little crazy (you know, that church), but we are all running to Jesus, no matter our differences.

0226120904Still, loneliness can settle in, even among the crowd. I have to remember that even the people that “bug” me can still be greatest support as a Christian.

I will face evil…

Villains from Disney Princess movies
Villains from Disney Princess movies

I will feel like I can’t keep the pace…

Slow crowd near the Contemporary Resort
Slow crowd near the Contemporary Resort

Or maybe I’ll want to take an easier, faster route, like the Monorail…

Monorail track at Disney World
Monorail track at Disney World, the castle in the background

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There will be road blocks in my walk with God, but God will always provide a safe path for me.

I will get excited about my spiritual mile markers…. like baptism, sharing my testimony, developing healthy habits, and growing closer to God.
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I am so blessed to share this walk with God with my husband

This couple was so sweet.... still, I was happy to let my husband sleep in that morning :)
This couple was so sweet…. still, I was happy to let my husband sleep in that morning 🙂

Maybe I’ll someday get to carry someone else on the journey…

"Baby on Board"
“Baby on Board”
Main Street at Magic Kingdom
I live in a world of many kingdoms, many which are exciting and fulfilling….. like Main Street at Magic Kingdom
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But I never forget the vision of God’s kingdom… (see the castle ahead?)


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I am so blessed that God includes me in the picture of His Kingdom..
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God blesses me with encouragers along the way, like my pastors and mentors…

02261208070226120807aI will run into some pretty crazy people as a Christian…

I might even join them!!!

I might get way too excited to go to exotic places, but if God leads me, I will follow.

Splash Mountain!
Splash Mountain!

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Unlike 1/2 Marathons, we don’t get a “half-way-there” sign in life. Still, every day is another breath, another step, another opportunity to walk with God or lose heart….

Don’t lose heart.

No matter what look like, we are all princesses, so lets stop comparing and act daughters of God together.

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When I came to the castle in the Magic Kingdom, the song “Oh Praise Him” by David Crowder Band came on my running playlist. I was overwhelmed with the joy that I had “made it to the castle;” but when that song came on, my joy shifted to thinking of how amazing the joy will be when I finally make it to God’s castle!0226120810

As I “turned my ear to Heaven,” I was overwhelmed with the expectation of joy and unshifting rest I will experience when I reach heaven. I will truly be singing “O praise Him, He is Holy, Hallelujah, He is Holy.”

0226120810aCall it a runner’s high, but I actually started singing and skipping, running with my arms stretched out, just completely in love with Jesus and running figuratively to him.

It was then that I ran into my mom. Well really, she was running into me. Apparently she had been calling out my name for several minutes, trying to catch up to me…. all the while I was blasting worship music on my iPod, completely unaware of my surroundings. She finally tapped me on the shoulder; as soon as I noticed her she swiftly took a deep breath and a short pause (I have no idea how long she had been keeping my pace, but I have much longer legs than she does.)0226120858

From that point on we ran together. My mom was discouraged and in a lot of pain from a foot problem, but she is so tough. She could have written the definition of endurance that day.

In a race this large, safety precautions require people on bikes and driving vans to follow the final runners, just in case they need medical attention or would rather ride comfortably to the finish line in the air-conditioning. With the safety guys hovering like vultures behind us, we pressed on. The last mile was the longest. Everyone kept encouraging us, “You are almost there.” We wanted to bite their heads off.

My Mom and I, later in the race. The picture is a little warped, but its all I have.
My Mom and I, later in the race. The picture is a little warped, but its all I have.

But then…. the finish line. My mom picked up her pace and finished the race faithfully. I stopped and did a “Tebow” right before the finish line, putting my time a few seconds back in the name of Jesus and football. (I do NOT recommend doing this if you are not at the end of the line, with no one to run into you when you stop suddenly.)

It was a mind-altering journey to say the least. I grew leaps and bounds in my relationship with God that day; my confidence rose too, in pushing my body to new limits and reveling in the abilities God gave me. The final lesson is this:

0226121057aEveryone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:25-27

 

Want some uplifting music to get you through a 1/2 Marathon? Or maybe just get you through a routine workout? Follow me as I explore great must in 10 days to an Encouraging Workout Playlist.

5 Active Prayers for your Husband

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The new year is just around the corner, which makes now a great time to get into a better habit of praying for my husband. I’ve noticed quite a few fantastic guides for “praying for your husband” on pinterest lately. Unfortunately, I am easily distracted from dutifully keeping up with these prayers.

So, I decided to incorporate a few ideas of my own to actively pray for my husband. Each activity keeps me engaged and focused; I truly treasure connecting with God in this way, and growing in my marriage at the same time! In sharing these ideas, I hope to encourage other young (or seasoned) wives to become consistent prayer warriors for their men.

So here they are, 5 Active Prayers for your Husband, Parts 1-2:

1. Work-out Prayer time:

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I don’t work out as consistently as I should, but when I do, I find myself praying. Most of the time I pray for the fat to be gone (to the glory of God, of course, ahem). Sometimes, I focus more deeply on praying for God to strengthen me according to His will.

Recently, I began praying the same thing for my husband. As my muscles start to burn, I am reminded to pray for God to strengthen my husband’s spiritual muscles… To give him resolve and courage to do what is right every day. I pray for his strength in our marriage and as the head of our family. I pray to accept God’s help and training when a trial comes, that it might strengthen our dependence on Him.

I put the weights down and ask the Lord to help my husband to let go of the burdens he was not meant to carry; I pray that my husband would trust completely in the Lord throughout his everyday routine.

At the gym, try praying this for your husband: to be “strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that [he] may have great endurance and patience.” (Colossians 1:11 NIV)

Text/Write him prayers

imagesI keep a journal with letters to my husband. He often writes back with small notes or texts. Now there are days where I write to God in that journal about my husband. Again, it gives me something tangible to do which helps me focus. Writing prayers also keeps record of how God has answered them and grown our marriage through the years!

I also try to text my husband at key points during the day, letting him know that his wife is interceding on his behalf. I try to pay attention to when he has meetings, deadlines, and busy days at work, and I pray for God to grant him favor within his career.

You could also try leaving notes in his car, leaving a prayer on his voicemail, or emailing your prayers: “Let the peace of Christ rule in [my husband’s] heart, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:15, 17 NIV)

Check back tomorrow for ideas #3-4 in actively praying for your husband…