Tag Archives: Fitness

4 Good Reasons to Stop saying the F-word.

fword picOk, I’m not talking about that F-word… Though I would really like to stop seeing it appear on my Facebook feed. (Shameless plug, my friends.)

Nope, the abominable F-word I am talking about is… dare I say it on my blog?….. FAT.

There is a popular “pin” showing up on Pinterest* lately:


Inigo Montoya is correct. ALL women need to stop using that word. Here is why:

1. You are negatively critiquing God’s masterpiece.

Stop calling yourself fat, please. It hurts my heart. It hurts God’s heart.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

2. Your negative self-talk will stimulate someone else’s.

We need to stop saying the word “fat” for the sake of our mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

See, the word “fat” is a trigger word for other women (and men) who are struggling. Ask a former drug addict what triggers his craving for drugs he no longer uses…. he will say “anything from conversation about drug use to visual stimulation (like movies or pictures).”

It’s a battle to not give in to the temptation. The word “Fat” is the same kind of trigger. It doesn’t make us crave food persay, but it does stimulate that negative-self-talk nerve. We think, “Ooh, she is calling herself fat, well I a have a muffin top no-one can compete with.”

It becomes a self-depreciation epidemic. Internally or vocally, fat-thinking is contagious.

>>I need to pause here and remind myself not to internalize any of the words I am writing. It can be that powerful.<<

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:31

3. Your identity is in Christ.

The issue here is not the word “fat”. I made an amazing chicken chili the other day. When I was trimming the fat off of the chicken, I didn’t have a mental breakdown about my body. Nope, just making dinner.

The problem is the word that comes before “fat”: is / am

These are identity words. “I am fat/she is fat;” rather than “I have too many fat cells.”

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. –Solomon to his wife (also God’s words to His people), Song of Songs 1:15

We have to change the culture we live in. We have to create a shift in identity thinking for ourselves and our families.

Jesus is where our identity starts. If you have surrendered your life** to this One and only Savior, then He is your master… the only one who’s opinion matters. We are daughters of the King of kings… mighty warriors for His Kingdom…. the picture of His love and devotion to a lost and dying world.

We are not FAT.

We may have fat, but it is not who we are.  We can address our health, fitness, and shape in a way that glorifies God and compliments his healthy design for our bodies. But this process DOES NOT INVOLVE identity name calling!!!!

4. God has given us a purpose:

Many internet sensations would now be telling you to just love yourself more. That is bologna.

I am not advocating “love yourself” philosophy. I am encouraging a “get your eyes on Jesus” theology.

We don’t need to love ourselves more. Jesus love for us should be enough! When we get our eyes on Jesus, his death and resurrection to save us, and His work in our daily lives, our perspective changes: We love Jesus more. We think about Jesus, not whether or not we are fat or skinny. And when we are focusing on Jesus, we naturally start living the healthy life of a Christ-follower, spiritually, physically, and mentally.

This “fat identity” thing is only a distraction from the truth of our true purpose and sense of self: to love our God and share His love with the people around us. This is called GOOD NEWS. We cannot be positive about the good news of Jesus if we keep our attention on our negative perspective of our bodies.

I try very very hard to be positive about my body, for all the reasons above. But it is difficult to take a stand in a society that is overrun with parasitic paraphernalia (media) and conversations of negative thinking.

Will you join me in creating a new culture for Facebook, Pinterest, family get-togethers, locker-room self talk, conversations at the gym, and in-front-of-mirror perspectives?

Take down those pins. Delete those posts. Rewrite your Instagram pic descriptions. Change the culture.

#Beautifullymade    #ThankYouJesus

(Check out my “Life Shapers” Pinterest Board for creative and positive truths to pin)

I love you, and I am praying for you.


*Another thing that bothers me about the Pinterest picture is the women who feel they need to take pictures of their bodies in a way that displays so much skin. There is so much I could say about identity, security, and modesty, but I will save it for another day. For now, can we just get our eyes on Jesus, and stop asking for everyone else’s eyes to be on our bodies, whether we feel attractive or not…?

** Have you made the decision to follow Jesus? I would love to share my story with you about how Jesus changed my life. Read about it here.

Morning Routine: 10 Go for a Jog


Catch that sunrise. Breathe in the clear air before the smog settles in.

Sounds wonderful… now, but not at 5:55am. I have a really hard time motivating myself to actually jump out of bed a little earlier to go for a walk first thing. I don’t think that 20 minutes of sleep actually do anything for me, but they are very convincing in the moment.

So, in order to win the debate against my snooze button and embrace the fresh morning air, I will now list 7 reasons WHY a morning jog is just so sensational:

1. Jogging (or walking) in morning is a heart-healthy habit. It gets the blood pumping. Reminds me to avoid walking around zombie-style all day, as if I don’t have a pulse. I may not need to be aware of my cardio-vascular system in my mid-twenties, but its never too early to start a habit that will be helpful later.

2. It reminds me to stretch. It is awkward to run without stretching my muscles first. So it helps me kick out 2 healthy habits in one.

3. Here’s what I get to jog by every morning:

These epic alpacas are owned by the campus where we live, but we feel a certain attachment to them. They are, after all, our closest neighbors.

I feel like this reason alone should be sufficient. But I will continue.

4. 15 minutes of outdoor-activity freshens my perspective. I realize life is not all about laundry, missed blog posts, morning breath, and sleeping in. There is a big, bright world out there with God’s fingerprints all over it. Great reminder that the same beauty is imprinted on me. I am a beautiful part of creation too.

5. Jogging helps me stay in shape. I can strive to preserve the masterpiece God made me to be as a part of His creation.

6. It gives me a chance to listen to a motivating sermon podcast or my encouraging work out playlist. It’s another way I can multitask habits for a fantastic morning routine. I can simultaneously pursue outer fitness and focus on my inner-self looking more like Christ.

7. Cold showers feel great after a swift jog. I don’t worry about Shane taking all the hot water. Also, cold showers set a different tone for the day: energy and get-go. This is a productive change from my hot shower routine…. lackadaisical and dragging.

There you have it: 7 reasons not to hit the snooze button…Here’s to keeping up good habits in the morning!

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.


15 Tips on Dressing Modestly

Today, I am featuring the following post from Delight: a joyful discovery of Biblical Womanhood. Every once in a while, it is good to remember these handy tips to be fashionable and modest at the same time.

Dress your Best: Modesty Tips.

Lets just say it, for a skin- and curves-conscious woman, today’s fashion items are difficult to dress with. It feels like many shirts are designed to reveal more of your outer beauty and cheapen the inner-beauty. Shorts and skirts that ride up to high have the same effect, as does anything see through or revealing otherwise. A woman of God must dress her best, not just for the men around her and for God, but also to be a good example to the other women who are watching what they wear as well. Here are some tips on modesty and looking your best.


  1. Tops that reveal too much cleavage can be paired with a cute tank top underneath (beware of tank-tops with shelves, they will draw the neckline down throughout the day.)
  2. For bikinis, wear a solid tank-top (not white), work-out tank, or tankini on top. You still get the lift that one-piece swimming suits don’t offer, but you don’t have your cleavage or belly showing.
  3. Shirts that are too tight can be worn under jackets or sweaters (its easy to find a loop hole here by wearing your tight shirts under loose/see-through jackets or unbuttoned sweaters…. don’t do it.) The idea is, present yourself a woman of God, not a complete profile of the female body.
  4. Wear a solid tank top underneath button-up shirts, just in case the buttons gape open at your chest.
  5. Wear tub-tops and spaghetti strap shirts underneath cut jackets/sweaters or on top of solid t-shirts or wider strapped tank tops to cover bare shoulders (I’ve heard from quite a few brave and honest gentlemen, bare shoulders are a struggle sometimes).
  6. If your clothes are too tight, but you want to still wear them, consider hitting the gym or eating healthy foods. Some shirts can be perfectly modest for a person that is fit and healthy, but slightly immodest otherwise. Save the favorite shirt for the special day you are fit for it, or pass it on to someone for whom it will flatter well. Grab some godly girl-friends and go shopping for some clothes that make you look your best for where you are at right now (we all go through seasons of different sizes in our lives. Don’t beat yourself up for whatever season you are in, just be wise about it and dress the body you have now.)
  7. *A great way to make any top, from t-shirts to lower-cut blouses, look fantastic: have good posture. When you are sitting up straight, your shirt doesn’t have as much opportunity to slide down to reveal your bra or the “blessings” inside it. Having good posture accentuates the figure God created you with by tucking in the tummy, straightening the back, and giving the “girls” on top the lift they deserve (note: without pushing them out like super-breasts.) A woman with good posture reveals a woman who is confident and proud of the body God has given her.
  8. *If your income doesn’t allow for the cute fashion tops that your friends might have, try dressing up plain shirts with jewelry. A simple black blouse can turn into a great date night outfit with the right accessories. Find awesome necklaces at thrift stores, especially now while vintage is in. Make the most of the clothes you have by mixing and matching, or trading with friends.
  9. Bottoms: If your jeans are low-riders, find out just how low by squatting down backwards in front of a mirror; see if your bum-crack or underwear shows. If it does, either purchase new pants or find a long tank top to tuck in so that you’ll save the world from your plumber’s butt if you ever have to bend over, kneel down, or squat for whatever reason while wearing those pants (don’t kid yourself into thinking you wont).
  10. Shorts and skirts that are too tight or too short will show your underwear or the bottom rim of your bum when you bend over while keeping your knees straight. Test it in the mirror. If it rides up too far when you bend over, it will ride up every time you sit down, every time you walk, etc. For no good reason, they always seem to ride up. So frustrating, but not an unavoidable frustration. Buy longer shorts/skirts or pair them with leggings.
  11. *I never thought leggings were immodest, but one gentlemen once commented that leggings are just as tight and revealing of shape as a tight shirt or mini skirt. So even with leggings, make sure the shape of your body isn’t too obvious. Wear longer skirts or dresses/shirts with your leggings to make sure your “hiney” doesn’t become the object of attention instead of your heart.
  12. There are lots of skirts that are see-through, particularly in the sun light. If in doubt, buy a nice slip; I know it seems old fashioned, but you never know when the spot light will be on you and all of heaven and earth can see the shape of whats underneath your cute skirt.
  13. To look your best in all of your skirts, dresses, pants, etc. Keep that good posture rule going. Sit up straight, with your knees closed when needed, and display a lovely lady to the world around you.
  14. Remember, there are lots of different views on modesty, fashion, and clothing in general depending on what culture you find yourself in. When dressing your best for God, make sure He is the focus of your outfit choice, both inside and outside. If you ask Him to, the Holy Spirit will guide you into the best choice for you, and for the people around you.
  15. Don’t forget that children all over the world don’t have the option to be modest… they might not even have the option to get dressed in the morning. Use your outfit-making skills with gratitude and keep in mind to pray for, raise awareness, or go serve the poor who do not have that privilege! For more on this topic, click here.

Having an adorable wardrobe doesn’t have to come at the expense of immodesty. Have a blast making your outfit choices, then pin them on pinterest for others to get some perspective on dressing your best!

Work out playlist Day 5: Free by Mandisa

Welcome to 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-Out Playlist: Day 5

aaaYesterday, we talked about freedom from sin. Today, I want to focus my work-out and my spiritual life on what I am free to do. I am free from the burdens, yes, but I also have the freedom of a completely open door to Jesus. And I am going to run through it!

Mandisa does an excellent job identifying this in her jam session, “Free.”

Anyone who knows Mandisa’s story knows this girl has a lot to sing about, particularly in the area of Freedom. Inspiring and powerful, this beat’s got momentum. Singing about freedom includes more than broken chains…. this song SHOUTS truth of Jesus to the world.

Don’t worry
Don’t cry
That’s a voice I hear inside
But it’s hard for me to see
Tomorrow’s but a dream
‘Cause today’s reality is right in front of me

They say you’ll never make
They say you can never change it
What you are is what you’ll always be
They say that I should give up
Once you’re down you’ll never get up
But that’s not the truth for me

Who the son sets free
You best believe it’s free indeed
Wanna take it to the streets
My Lord Delivered me

Who the son sets free
You best believe it’s free indeed
Wanna dance and shout and scream
I’m free indeed!


Gonna tell the world what he did for me

I’ve tried and tried and tried
To make this mountain step aside
Or to climb it on my own
But what you did has more than helped
Do what I couldn’t do myself
You said that I was not alone

Then I thought I’d never make
Then you can along and then you changed it
Made a way somehow and brought me through
As I was just about to give up
You took me hand said baby get up
Now here I am because of you
Stand beause of you!

If you need a friend to the very end
To be there by you side
To get you through the hard times
The dark times of your life
To bring you into the dawn
He’s the one your lookin for
Your Savior
Your deliver

Lord delivered me


I love jogging to this song because I start thinking about who I can share the story of my freedom with (usually I end up writing it here.) The prospect of sharing my story can instigate a sense of fear, but I go back to “No chains on me” and crush the bondage of fear with a few push ups. If Jesus mission was to bring freedom to humanity from the bondage of sin (Luke 4:18), then as His daughter, I want to join Him in that! God has set me free to share freedom with others!

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

How will you share your story of Freedom? Try telling your jogging partner or work-out buddy what God has set you free from in your life. Comment below and let me know how it goes!

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

Next Monday……Day 6: Oh Praise Him, David Crowder*Band

… 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!


What chains are you wearing? Work out playlist Day 4: No Chains on Me

Welcome to 10 Days to an Encouraging Work-Out Playlist: Day 4

chainsToday, I am featuring a unique spiritual exercise I sometimes do while I work-out.

But first, our song for the day! Chris Tomlin gets another spot here at Failures, Faith, and Freckles with “No Chains on Me.

Another song with a decent jogging beat, No Chains on Me keeps pace with deep spiritual truth. This song was one of the greatest encouragements to me when I ran a 1/2 Marathon. When my body said “quit already, I’m tired,” my spirit found strength knowing that nothing can chain me down from running to Jesus. It motivated me to keep running the race.

During my work-out, lyrics like  “my heart is free, no chains on me,” help me visualize all the things that bind me from being all I can be as a woman of God, like my pride, insecurity, believing in the Devil’s lies. These are my chains, but Christ has broken everyone and given me freedom! (Hint to tomorrow’s song…)

Read the lyrics, then scroll down for a unique exercise to visualize that freedom from bondage.

This is the dream
A dream for the world to see You
A dream for the world to know You
To love Your name

Lift up a shout
Lift up a cry to shake the ground
Shout and the walls are coming down
Yeah, we’re running after You

Like a rolling stone, like a runaway train
No turning back, no more yesterdays
My heart is free, no chains on me

God, You raise me up, up from the grave
With the cross before, I’m on my way
My heart is free, no chains on me

Now is the time
Now is the time for freedom
Abandoned by cold religion
My heart on fire

We hear the sound
The sound of revival coming
The sound of Your people rising
Yeah, we’re running after You

The walls are coming down
Yeah, the walls are coming down
The walls are coming down

Yesterday, I mentioned how I want to lay down my body as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2). For me, working-out is a symbol of that, because it requires commitment, discipline, and forcing my body to submit: all good reminders for following Jesus Christ as well. While doing crunches the other day, I started laying my sins before God. With each squeeze of my stomach muscles, I confessed another characteristic that needed to be removed or re-shaped: “Lord help me get rid of my pride…. my self-centeredness….. gossip….. gluttony…. laziness…. self-sufficiency…. self-loathing…. lack of submission….. anger….

I asked God to discipline my spirit as I was disciplining my abs.

My amazing accountability partner, Jenny (also a very godly and fit woman), said its a good idea to think about other things than counting reps. Well I found that I lost track of how many crunches I was doing. I just felt the burn in my tummy and the burn in my selfish nature. It was saying “noooooo” but I was doing as Paul says:

galatians-516“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 9:27

With each blow, a chain was loosed. I acknowledge the potential for my own nature to enslave me, but instead, I will make my sin-nature my slave, forcing it to submit and serve the purpose of loving Christ. I am more than a conqueror, both over my flabby tummy, and my fleshly nature!

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, Passion: White Flag

Day 4: No Chains on Me by Chris Tomlin

Tomorrow……Day 5: Free by Mandisa

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