Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mean Girls in the Church?

Bullying. It's all over the news. Suicides. Accidental deaths. Petitions. Required teacher training. Just yesterday, I read in the news that Facebook has even developed an application to allow users to reach out for help if they experience cyberbullying.

The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center reports 1 in 3 students are involved with bullying. Gender is not an issue. Girls are just as involved with bullying as boys are...yet their bullying strategies are very different.

Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

I was reminded of this verse as I read 1 Timothy 3 this morning. Listing requirements for deacons and overseers, while men are warned against violence and their tempers, women are warned against being malicious gossips. Titus 2 reflects similar instruction.

Sadly, "mean girls" aren't confined to high school, or even to secular places. I've heard some of the most caddy comments at events that were supposed to be honoring Christ. A few of the worst rumors I've ever heard have been shared as prayer requests.

I'll admit it - I'm far from perfect in this year. But God gave me one truth this morning that I feel I should share: Women who walk with Christ are our allies - not our enemies. It's that simple. It doesn't matter if she's a cheerleader and you're in the drama club...if you're married and she's not...or if you can't see past your flaws and she seems perfect. We are all on the same team.

Of course, we're different. 1 Corinthians 12 compares the body of Christ to our physical bodies. We are composed of many different parts, but we need each of them to function properly. One part of our body is no less important than another. Just the same, we need Christians with different abilities, personalities and purposes.

I love this challenge from Elisabeth Elliot: "The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman." As much as we may be different, the bottom line is that we are the same kind of different.

God, I don't want to say anything negative about a woman who is striving to life for you. Lord, allow me to see how you have crafted her to do Your will, and help me to appreciate her as You do. Father, even if she has wronged me, remind me of all the times I have failed others and failed You. Thank you for Your forgiveness and Your grace. Help me to be more like You.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Stirs Your Affection for Christ?

In our young married small group, we are going through a study on Philippians by Matt Chandler. We are only 5 weeks in, and it's already been a huge encouragement...and challenge to all of us.

This past week, Matt asked a very specific question that initiated an awesome discussion. So, I pass the same question on to you.

What stirs your affection for the Lord?
After thinking for a few minutes, I realized that whenever I see the ocean, I can't help but be in awe of God's power. To think that these massive oceans were created by the sound of His voice....that He allowed a gentle lift of Moses' rod to part the Red Sea...that terrifying waves were calmed at Jesus' command....and that He walked on the very same waves. Yet, the very same God knows my name and desires to have a personal relationship with me. It's overwhelming.

I always come back from tropical vacations with a renewed sense of God being in control - and it's better that way.

Obviously, this means I am called to some sort of beach ministry....right? ;)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spiritually Fit

In less than 2 weeks, I am heading home to Knoxville. I am so excited to get to see my family and be in a city where the leaves actually change colors in the fall. (Texas, as much as I love you, you will never be as pretty as Tennessee. It just won't happen.)

I am also really excited to have two opportunities to share Christ's love - once with Fairview Baptist Church's women's ministry on Friday, Oct. 8 and the following day at Cedar Springs Christian Store on Clinton Highway from 12-3pm for a book signing.

Because of my fitness ministry, Myers Cross Training, I've been asked to speak at the women's banquet about being spiritually fit. For the past few weeks, I've had a blast digging into Scripture for God to show me what to share with these awesome ladies.

I was immediate struck by Paul's prayer by four desires that God has for us.

1) Glorious Inner Strength (aka the very same power that raised Christ from the dead!)

2) Christ's Presence in our Lives

3) Knowledge of His Love

4) Recognition that He is more capable to move greater in our lives than we have the knowledge to request....or even imagine.

I wonder if anyone is reading this post who has neglected to relinquish full control of their life over to God. Take it from someone who has tried and failed: If you think you can make better decisions than He can, you can't. If you are convinced you can live life alone, you're wrong.

Read the truths again. Won't you trust the character of the One True God who has such incredible desires for your life?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wondering Wednesday.....Boy or Girl?

It's a simple question today. I know what I think...but I want to know your thoughts.

Will Baby Myers be a boy or a girl?

P.S. We are happy either way, so there's no wrong answer!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Little Sins

"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all." - James 2:10

Bet you've never seen that verse cross-stitched in a pillow.

It's sad, but it's true. Think about the verses that you have memorized, that are hanging in frames around your house, that are etched on the walls of your church. We choose to display the pretty verses - the ones that talk about God's love, His grace, and His mercy.

Not that God isn't any of those things - He most certainly is! But I can't help but think...If we really want to grow in our faith and challenge ourselves to be more like Christ, we have to be reminded of some of Scripture's tougher truths....like the verse at the top of this post.

If you truly want to know how to live out your faith, the book of James is a great place to start. He doesn't sugar coat anything. He calls out the readers for being of the world, and He pushes them towards God to seek wisdom.

In this passage, James is in the middle of calling out the church for showing partiality - for favoring people in their congregations who wear fine clothes in jewelry over those who can't afford as much.

Now, they weren't kicking them out of the service. They were allowed to stay. But from the text, it's obvious that the poor people weren't as welcomed into the church as those who were wealthy.

As Christians, if we labeled the sin of partiality, it would fall into the "little sins" category. You know, little sins are not near as bad a "big sins" like adultery, murder, stealing, etc.

Yet, when we look at James 2:10, God doesn't seem to have the same categorization system for sins as we do.

Now, this verse doesn't mean that if you steal, God automatically put you down for committing the other nine commandments too. But it does mean that if you sin in one area, you're every bit as guilty for sin as someone who has broken all of God's laws.

To this day, I've never touched alcohol. I didn't smoke cigarettes or even think about experimenting with drugs. I didn't have sex until I was married. And I was appalled by those who did.

But my heart didn't ache for them because they had acted against God's holiness. I was just disappointed in them and satisfied that I would never do such a thing.

You know what that's called?

Pride. It's a sin.

I elevated myself above them just because of a category of behaviors that I didn't participate in. And that arrogance in my heart disgusted God just as much as any substance abuse or premarital sex.

Over the next few months, I want to study the "little sins" category we've created: lying, jealousy, bitterness/lack of forgiveness, judging, pride, arrogance, greed, worldliness, selfishness, etc. If you can think of an area you want me to explore, please leave a comment on this post, and I'll add it to my list.

Monday, September 13, 2010

*NEW* Project!

I've decided to start a new blog that's a little different from this one. It's called...

So I guess you know what that means....I'm pregnant! :)

James and I could not be more thrilled. For those of you who have been following this blog for a while know what an answer to prayer this precious baby is to us. God's faithfulness is overwhelming, and we are so excited.

I'd love to tell you the whole story...but it would take way too long to type. So, how about you hop over to youtube and check out my video?

Don't forget to leave me a comment! ;)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wondering Wednesday: What show should have never gone off the air?

Confession time: I miss Jack Bauer.

No, really, I do. I got so attached to Fox's 2002-2010 show, 24, that I really do miss Jack Bauer. Who doesn't? I mean how can you not miss the kind of series hero that says stuff like this...

"I see fifteen people held hostage on a bus, and everything else goes out the window. I will do whatever it takes to save them, and I mean whatever it takes ... Laws were written by much smarter men than me. And in the end, these laws have to be more important than the 15 people on the bus. I know that's right. In my mind, I know that's right. I just don't think my heart could ever have lived with it."

I remember some pretty sad moments in my TV past....when the cast of Home Improvement took their final bows, waving goodbye to the cast of Full House, the cast of Friends leaving Chandler & Monica's apartment for the last time, huddled in a circle...

But when Jack Bauer said thank you to Chloe O'Brien and disappeared forever, I lost it like I was Chloe!

How about you? In your opinion, what TV show show have NEVER gone off the air?

Oh, and just to clarify: Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

5 Smart Nutrition Tips

Last night, I was blessed to attend an incredible nutritional seminar with Dr. Bill Wheeler. Among other notable accomplishments, he served as Staff Nutritionist to the President of the United States (1976 -1981), Staff Nutritionist to the 1996 US Olympic Decathlon Team and Staff Nutritionist to the 2002 US Olympic Snowboarding Team. He has been the personal nutritionist for athletes like Bret Favre and Michael Jordan. It would take way too long to list all of the sports teams he has worked with, but feel free to google him and be impressed.

Here are a few of the evening's highlights:

1. Daily Value: We are misled when we believe that our multivitamin contains 100% of the nutrients that we need. Daily value is actually defined as the minimum amount of a nutrition that will prevent a nutritional deficiency in a 12-year-old.

Chances are, your body is not getting enough of the nutrients it needs. If you feel like you are constantly hungry even though you know you have eaten enough to satisfy your hunger, your body is probably lacking some of the key nutrients it needs.

Key nutrients that people are frequently lacking: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), calcium & magnesium (work best when taken together), and for anyone extremely active or over 30 -- glucosamine. Over the next few weeks, I will be writing blog posts of the significance behind each of these supplements.

2. If you work out consistently, you must think of yourself as an athlete. The more active you are, the quicker you will see results in performance, energy levels, muscle soreness and appetite reduction when you practice proper nutrition.

The stress that an athlete's body takes in a week is equivalent to about 7 months of stress for the average person. The problem that many athletes, especially female athletes, create for themselves is that they exercise like an athlete, but they eat like someone who needs to lose 50 lbs. The body is not properly fueled, the athlete doesn't see the desired results and cannot figure out why.

This problem can be fixed with proper nutrition. If you would like for me to help you come up with a plan for fueling your body with proper nutrition, please leave a comment on this blog with your email address. I would be happy to send you an example of what I eat on a regular basis and help you tweak that plan to fit your individual needs.

3. The most critical window of time to capitalize on for proper nutrition is within 60 minutes of finishing your workout. During your workout, you break down muscle fibers and empty your nutrient storage. It is dangerous to not replace what you have depleted.

Proper nutrition post-workout will improve workout results, reduce muscle soreness, and keep your muscle metabolism higher for the next 48 hours. Even if you are trying to lose weight, don't freak out about the extra calories. It will help you burn more over the next two days.

The perfect combination is a balance of protein and amino acids, simple and complex carbohydrates, creatine, and antioxidants, especially Vitamin E & Vitamin C. Again, let me know if you would like to know what I do for recovery post-workout, and I will gladly help you.

4. Research shows that men can absorb 35-40 grams of protein per meal, and women can absorb 30-35 grams per meal. Anything extra simply results in gas. The best guideline for how much protein you need is to consumer a gram of protein per pound of body weight.

So if you've been taking 2 or 3 scoops of protein powder at once, your body isn't receiving all of that protein. A good protein drink shouldn't be higher in protein than the grams listed above.

Also, all protein is not created equal. I don't like bad-mouthing other products...but there's one best-selling brand...let's call it "Muscle Cow Juice." The quality of protein in that brand is just one grade higher than what is fed to livestock. Yikes!

5. I saved the easiest tip for last: Your body needs at least 2-3 minutes of exposure to the sun per day. You cannot fully supplement what the sun can do for your body with proper nutrition. NOTHING can replace it. So even if it's just 2-3 minutes, make sure you spend some time outside each day. Your body will thank you.

Over the next few weeks, I will post specific products Dr. Wheeler recommends, the benefits, and how to use them properly. For now, this is enough information to get you started in the right direction. Please don't hesitate to contact me for help if you need it or if something about this post is unclear. If nothing else, I hope you understand the importance of nutrition and educating yourself to best take care of your body. It's the only one you're going to get!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wondering Wednesday: Customer Service

Today, I am making my third trip to Verizon Wireless in the past week for a malfunctioning phone... So in order to help me cheer up and have a better attitude, today's question is going to be about customer service.

What is the BEST customer service experience YOU have ever had? What company, what was the situation, and what impressed you so much about the way it was handled?

On a personal note, pray for patience and kindness for me as I go visit my friends at the cell phone company today...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

True Beauty: Transparency

Over the past few weeks, I've opened my inbox to have several emails from people I don't know. The email addresses are different, but the content is essentially the same. They are all from women who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior, they have read my recently-published book, and like me, they have at one point in their life, either now or previously, battled an eating disorder.

I've had ups and downs reading their notes. Sometimes, I can identify with their stories so well that I am brought to tears. Other times, I rejoice so loudly with their victory in Jesus over their past destructive behavior, I wake James up. (I check my emails in the morning, and I get up before him - whoops!)

However, today, I got a particular email that broke my heart more than others. Though this young woman has definitely had her share of struggle, it wasn't the details of her eating disorder, or even her depression, that devastated me.

She wrote...

"Last night, I told my sister and a handful of close friends [about my struggle with the eating disorder.] It is amazing to see how the Lord is already working through it. I have a few good friends who are currently struggling with eating disorders. I would have never been able to understand or relate, nor would they have ever told me, if I wasn't first upfront and vulnerable in front of them."

Three things in this paragraph caught my eye.

1. Of the handful of close friends she told who she knew she could count on to pray, a few of them (defined as at least 3 or more) are currently struggling with an eating disorder.

Maybe we've allowed ourselves to become immune to the statistics:

- 1 in 5 women currently have an eating disorder.

- 90% of the women who do have eating disorders are between the ages of 12-25.

- Twenty percent of the women who do survive anorexia will die prematurely due to health conditions caused by the eating disorder.

But those statistics don't represent numbers - they represent people. And they aren't strangers - they are people you know. She's the woman who sits in front of you on Sunday mornings in church. She's the student who walked by you on campus today. She's the young girl who just joined the youth group. She may even be your daughter, your mother....maybe even the pastor's wife.

We have all of the research, so being uneducated can't be the reason we don't act upon it. Certainly, we can't believe this type of unhealthy lifestyle is acceptable, so that can't be why we don't respond. Yet, remaining silent certainly takes less time and energy than dealing with the consequences of our actions or attempting to change.

2. If one person is willing to be vulnerable, others will follow.

The next time you're at church, test my "fine disease" theory. Ask five people how they are doing, and at least four of them will quickly respond to you, "Fine." Of course they are. I'm fine, you're fine...all of God's people are just fine!

We want to appear confident. Put-together. Solid. Because somehow, we have wrongly associated lack of difficulty in our life with godliness.


Don't believe me? Just check out Psalm 34:19 and 2 Timothy 3:12.

Persecution and affliction are not a maybe thing when you walk with Christ. It's not even a most-likely thing. It's a promise.

But what happens when we keep our struggles inside? We quietly pray, hoping that no one notices any broken pieces we haven't frantically tried to glue back together. When God restores the situation, we silently bow our heads and give Him praise.

Do you see what's wrong with this picture? We give God a golf clap (which is way lame, if you ask me, and one of the many reasons why I choose to watch football instead) when we should be wearing His jersey, jumping up and down, screaming with excitement as He runs us into the end zone!

Every time I share about my shortcomings in my walk with Christ, people line up to talk to me afterwards. Many times, it's just to utter the two words that were actually the subject line of the email I've referred to in this post: "Me too."

3. As soon as this young woman opened her mouth and shared her struggles, God started working in her life...and in the lives around her.

One of my favorite passages in Scripture is 2 Corinthians 4:5-9:

"For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

For this to make sense, we have to remember that "jars of clay" is an ancient metaphor for human weakness. So if you were just to isolate that one passage, it reads:

"But we have this treasure in human weakness to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

Make it even more personal: We have an opportunity in our human weakness to show others the power of God.

Picture for one second that you are that clay jar. Imperfection happens. Maybe it's anorexia, but maybe you struggle in another area: jealousy, gossip, sexual sin, drugs, lying. Maybe you're struggling in your marriage or maybe you're compromising your morals at work. But when you try to piece yourself back together, you're just a clay pot with a bunch of dull cracks.

However, when you share your struggles with others, when you admit your imperfections....that is when His light can shine through you to penetrate into the lives of others. And where does the light shine the brightest - in the pieces that are solid and held together? No. God's light shines brightest through the cracks of the jar of clay...in our human weakness.

Instead of seeing transparency as messy and broken, can we recognize it as the opportunity for God's light to shine brightly through us?

Transparency is beautiful.

Let Him bust down your wall.

Let him peel off your mask.

Allow Him to mold you into the very person He created you to be.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

*NEW* Wondering Wednesday

As much as I love to write, I also love to read. So NEW BLOG FEATURE starting this week....Each Wednesday, I will be posting a question on my blog. I would love for you to log in and leave your comment, answering the question in the blog post.

And you never know...I may randomly give out prizes to a random participant. So if you have an answer, you might as well post it. :)

So here it goes:

I was wondering...

When you were a kid, do you remember a comment (or have you heard your parents talk about a comment) you made when were younger that you can't believe you said?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Missing my niece...

Aunt Chelle & Katerbug at the beach - Summer 2010

Today, I am really missing my niece, Katelyn....so I decided to post the letter I wrote to her on the day that she was born...love you, Katerbug!

January 24, 2008

Dear Katelyn, 

Well, you’re finally here. Happy birthday! I would love to tell you that I am more excited about you being here than anyone else, but I think your parents may have me beat…by just a little bit! I was with them just moments after they first found out about you. The three of us just cried and hugged, dreaming of when this day would come…and now, the waiting is over! It’s a great story, but I should let your parents tell you. I’m not going to steal their thunder this early on in the game. 

As you get older and start asking to see your baby pictures, you won’t see any of your Aunt Chelle. The problem is…I am in graduate school in Texas, which is about 16 hours away from where you are. (That is about how long it would take if you watched your favorite movie ten times in a row.) So even though you won’t see my face, hopefully, this letter will show you that my heart was in Knoxville on your first official birthday.

I’m not gonna lie to you, Katerbug. I was pretty disappointed when you didn’t show up three days ago. I really wanted us to be birthday twins. Your Uncle James, on the other hand, wishes you would have held off a few days since his birthday is January 28. We are getting married in 120 days, so apparently, God is even using your birth to try and teach us compromise. (You’ll meet God soon, and you will love Him, I promise. Your parents will introduce you as soon as they can.) 

Speaking of your parents – wow, you have one amazing mom. I should know. She had great practice being a mom on me, her little sister. She was always holding my hand when I crossed the street, even though Gigi already had me on one side. She was the one who gave me advice the first time I liked a boy. (Don’t say gross – it will happen to you one day too!) And she was also the one who consoled me when I found out he liked someone else. I was like her dolls, except I was better, of course. Oh, and in case she tries to blame the fact that she can’t french braid on me…I can’t help it. Your mom has gotten much more gentle in her hair styling since she first learned how to French braid. 

She was more than my second “mom” though. Your mom is also my best friend. As soon as you learn to talk, you need to start bugging your parents to have another baby. If you take after your mom in personality as much as you look like her, you are going to be one amazing big sister, Katelyn. My next niece/nephew is one lucky kid.
Oh, and while I’m thinking about it. There will probably come a time when your mom gets on your nerves. You’ll think that she doesn’t know anything and that she can’t do anything right. But just remember that you heard it here first. Your mom loves you more than anyone else on this earth, and she wants what is best for you. Even if you don’t understand her, trust her. No matter how hard that is. About the time you are ready to finish high school, something inside of you will just click, and you will know that she was on your team the whole time, and you will be a better woman…because of her. Your Gigi did this for your mom and me, and your mom will do the same for you. You’ll find that as you get even older, you will hear her advice echo in your mind each time you are faced with a decision.

And let me just tell you one of the best things about being a girl – DADDY! Hands down. Your G-Daddy is one of God’s greatest gifts in my life. To this day, I still think he is the best, strongest man in the world (equal to your Uncle James, of course.) He’ll be the one who shows you why following God is the smartest decision you can ever make. You see, God is your Heavenly Father, which means, he’s just like your daddy…except better. I know that’s hard to imagine, but it’s true. Some little girls don’t have good examples of what a Heavenly Father would be like, but that’s not the case for you. He will shower you with unconditional love, spoil you as much as he can, (Try not to abuse that), and he will set the standard for the man you will marry someday. That guy has big shoes to fill, but we are already praying that God will shape him to be the spiritual leader that you need.

I know I’ve talked a lot about God, and you probably don’t even remember Him right now. It’s okay. It’s been a big day, coming out of your mom’s womb and everything. You’ve been preoccupied with other things. But God was the man who created you. He formed you in His image, and you are fearfully and wonderfully made. As he molded your shape and taught you how to smile, He developed a plan for your life. You have a bright and beautiful future ahead of you, sweet Katelyn. You simply have to trust Him with all of your heart and not rely on your own strength. Then, He will direct your paths and work for your good, since you are called for His purpose.
He’s put some of His best in your path. Your mom has an incredible servant’s heart (that she learned from Gigi), and your dad works harder than anyone I know, and he will provide you with everything you will ever need. Your G-Daddy is the closest living, breathing example of Christ that you will ever encounter. I pray daily that by the time you are old enough to read this letter that your Aunt Michelle and Uncle James will be closer to you in distance…but I promise that you are in my thoughts and prayers everyday.

I haven’t actually laid eyes on you yet. I haven’t held you in my arms. But I can already tell you that I love you more than I ever thought possible. I promise that no matter how far away I live, if you need me, I’ll be there as soon as I can get to you. Since I can’t be there physically to change your diapers or tickle your little toes, I’m going to do the next best thing. I’m going to pray for you. 

Sweet Heavenly Father, I submit the life of my precious Katelyn to you. God, I pray that you would give her everything her heart desires. Use her to change the world for you. Send your angels to gather around her and protect her. Make her heart yearn to learn Your Word, and help her to be able to recite your teaching to resist the devil’s temptations. Use the sun’s warmth to remind her family’s love. Every time she sees a sunset or a mountain range, have her reflect on Your power. Don’t let anything stand in the way between her relationship with You. Amen.

We’ll get to have fun soon, I promise. So you just grow up sweet and strong, and know that your Aunt Chelle loves you. And bout that birthday twin thing, three days is close enough to still be twins, don’t you think? ☺

Love always in Him,
Aunt Chelle

Colossians 3:23

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Life Dream & Worst Nightmare Came True...

When I was in 1st grade, I wrote my first book. It was 222 pages of notebook paper - double spaced hand-written, unillustrated (except for the lovely cover...apologies to anyone who can actually draw who views this.) As many careers as I explored throughout my years growing up, one thing never changed: I was going to write a book. So in many ways, by releasing The Look that Kills: An Anorexic's Addiction to Control, my longest life dream has become reality.

Yet, it's a bittersweet dream come true. I remember the day after I admitted to my family that I had an eating disorder and needed help. I heard God's voice echo in my head: "Write it down."

Why? I thought. I never want anyone to find out about this ever. Why do I need to write it down?

A similar dialogue went back and forth several times before I finally obeyed. After all, I'd always said that writing was my therapy. Maybe writing it down would be part of my healing process. So, whenever anything significant happened throughout my recovery process, I would frequently keep a record of what happened either in a locked file on my computer or scribbled in my prayer journal.

That all changed on Mother's Day in 2009. I wrote one particular blog entry, and God triggered a different thought in my mind: Did you really think this was all about you?

Suddenly, I was faced with the scary realization that God wanted me to share everything I had been through: every lie, every unkind word, every deceitful action, every selfish decision....As a perfectionist who has spent most of my life proving that I am always right and covering up anything that someone could potentially view as a mistake, this was totally unchartered ground.

I came up with a compromise in my mind. I would write my story...but I would write it as fiction. That way, God would be pleased; after all, my story would be out there. But I could totally save face and put off my shortcomings on a fictional character.

In my mind, I justified that I might widen my audience by writing it as fiction. After all, wouldn't that be less threatening to someone who had an eating disorder? Instead of thinking that someone had given them yet another book about their problem, this could be a "beach read."

But after writing a few chapters, my story was all there....but something was missing. The actual events were all there, but it was bigger than that. It needed...transparency. Authenticity. And the hardest of all -- humility. And God didn't need to be a supportive character. He needed to be the center of the entire plot.

So, taking a deep breath....I erased the fictional account and started over on the writing project that is now The Look that Kills.

It is my prayer that more than reading my story, you will be drawn to the merciful God who created you. He longs to use you. He desires a relationship with you. And no matter what you've been through, He is fully capable of making it beautiful.

"and provide for those who grieve in Zion— 
       to bestow on them a crown of beauty 
       instead of ashes, 
       the oil of gladness 
       instead of mourning, 
       and a garment of praise 
       instead of a spirit of despair. 
       They will be called oaks of righteousness, 
       a planting of the LORD 
       for the display of his splendor."

Isaiah 61:3

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Confession of Doubt & Request for Prayer

"...He [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." - John 8:44

For the past few days, I've been repeating this verse to myself over and over again, especially that one little phrase: "There is no truth in him."

In case you don't know, I'm in the process right now of publishing my first book. It's called The Look that Kills: An Anorexic's Addiction to Control, and it should be available by the end of the summer. (In case you've never read my testimony, click here for a teaser of what the book is about.)

I'm so thankful that I wrote that account of my testimony within a few days of when it actually happened. I remember sobbing as I wrote it because I could remember each moment with such detail. I felt so overwhelmed, so thankful and so amazed that God would have gone to such great lengths to draw me back to Himself....even when I just took a baby step back in His direction (James 4:8).

But just a few weeks of the day when I fell, I began doubting it ever happened.

At first, I thought it was just me. After all, at that time, I had been extremely far from the Lord. When the doubts began, I was shocked and ashamed of my own disbelief.

The first time I was asked to share my testimony in public, my doubt was paralyzing. I wasn't even sure if I waa going to be able to go through with it.

Michelle....really? You went how long without eating and you ran how far? Is that even physically possible?

Michelle, you love telling great stories. are you sure your testimony just wasn't up to your standard? And if the story you're telling isn't even true, do you really think God would even use it?

Finally, from beginning to read the Bible again, something triggered. This was spiritual warfare. This didn't mean that I was super spiritual or that I was so special that Satan was attacking me. It just meant that Satan was literally using his oldest trick in the book.

This trick he was using went all the way back to the Garden of Eden when he tempted Eve: "Did God really say that?" (Genesis 3:1).

Thankfully, though each time before I share my testimony, Satan seems to creep these doubts back into my mind, God is bigger. Those close to me know about my struggles, and they are faithful to pray for me specifically as I am preparing to share my story with others.

But now that I am just a mere weeks away from the release of my story being released into the public, these doubts have escalated to a new level. It's to the point to where as I am turning off my alarm clock, I have to immediately begin praying for God's protection. I can't let my guard down for a second.

For example, this past week, I was a rushed getting ready in the morning, and I was going to have to have my quiet time later than usual. Those few hours were exhausting, as Satan delivered one low blow after another. (I mean, who likes the thought of standing before God in judgement and being asked why I created a new testimony when He had already given me one?)

I am still going to begin everyday with personal dependency on the Lord to begin praying as soon as my feet hit the floor. After all, I know that I should not "be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present [my] requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard [my] heart and [my] mind in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7). But I also know James 5:16 says "the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

That's why I am asking you to join me in prayer that the doubts will cease -- that not a single second of God's glory will be robbed by insecurity planted by the enemy. I want to be able to tell my story with full confidence in Christ.

If you don't know exactly the words to pray, that's fine. Romans 8:26 says, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Please just lift me up whenever the Holy Spirit brings me to your mind.

Ironically enough, I had doubts of whether I should write this blog or not. Friday afternoon, I decided to just write it. When I was finished, I would decide whether or not to publish it. So poured my heart out as I have just done. Then, when I clicked "publish post," my server timed out, and I lost everything. That's when I knew I had to publish it.

Satan didn't want God's people joining in prayer against him. He liked me trying to fight the battle alone - because he knew he stood a better chance of beating me down that way.

But I know that my God is bigger than any enemy and prayer is more powerful than any insecurity or doubt that Satan can muster. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your prayers. I am confident that as I stand with Christ who strengthens me, with the support of my brothers and sisters in Him, Satan will not get any victory from my life.

"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth." - Colossians 1:3-6

Sidenote: If you are interesting in learning more about spiritual warfare, this is one of my favorite resources on the subject:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Burn Fat with FAT!

Burn Fat with Healthy Fat: A Review of Beachbody's Core Omega 3 Supplement

Right now, we seem to be in the middle of a "carbophobic" phase. Anything that even resembles a carbohydrate is viewed as being public enemy #1. Many feel that anyone wanting to lose weight, burn body fat, and lower blood cholesterol levels should stay away from this macronutrient. Funny, as not too long ago the same was thought about dietary fat. For many, many years the main diet recommended for getting in shape fast and transforming your body was always very low in fat. Well, we now know better and realize the importance of having fat, especially the "right kinds" of fats in our nutrition.

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids: They are necessary for human health but the body can't make them. We have to get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and krill, some plants, and nut oils. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. They have also become popular because they may reduce the risk of heart disease. However, it?s simply too difficult to get the benefits of them without supplementing with a reliable dietary supplement like BeachBody's Core Omega 3 fatty acid pills.

Before I go into the real benefits, I must tell you my FAVORITE thing about this supplement. I've taken essential fatty acid supplements for about 7 years now...and this is the first one that doesn't make me feel like I'm swallowing fish eggs. There is no fishy odor or aftertaste to this one!! Now....back to the real reason you should incorporate this into your health regimen. :)

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

It is important to have a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. The typical American diet tends to contain 14-25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.

Advanced Nutrient Release

Beachbody's soft gel capsules use an advanced delivery system that releases in the intestines, not in the stomach. That means no stomach upset, and no unpleasant aftertaste.

100% Pure, Premium Ingredients

Not all fish oils are created equal. Beachbody's Core Omega-3 comes from the purest wild Atlantic coldwater fish sources, and is absolutely guaranteed to be free of harmful PCBs and heavy metal contaminants typically found in fish available in markets and grocery stores.

Core Omega-3 may be beneficial for:

Promoting healthy heart function

Promoting healthy blood pressure

Promoting healthy blood viscosity and cardiovascular health

Promoting healthy joints

Promoting healthy immune function

Promoting healthy brain and nerve function

Supporting and maintaining healthy retina and eye function

A month's supply is just $21.95 + shipping! (OR Order on autoship (home direct) and shipping is FREE!)

To view the nutrition label of Beachbody's Core Omega 3 supplement, click here: http://www.beachbody.com/text/products/supplements/omega3/Core_Omega-3.pdf

To purchase, shop nutritional products here: http://www.turbomichelle.com/

Let me know how I can help you reach your goals this summer!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Water - The Forgotten Nutrient?

If you are trying to lose weight, watch thie video for an easy way to stay on track. More vidoes like this are available when you become a FREE member of http://www.turbomichelle.com. Sign up today to get great fitness tips, recipes and other health info.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Summer Shakedown!

"Out of sight, out of mind."

Often, that phrase is associated with relationships...but thanks to sweaters, coats and all of the other winter layers we add, this quote applies to weight gain as well. In fact, the tendency to gain weight during the winter months is higher than any other season.

Now, I know you all know that I'm a fitness freak. I am. I love working out. However, I would be lying to you if I told you that high intensity workouts were the main component of achieving optimal health.

You can workout like a beast and still be overweight.

How is that possible? Easy. Many people develop the misconception that if they work out, they earn the right to eat whatever they want.


Nutrition is critical. In fact, research shows that achieving a healthy weight for your body is as much as 75-80% about nutrition.

That's why I'm initiating the Summer Shakedown. During the month of May, I am offering a one-time offer for my friends and fans of Myers Cross Training.

Here's all you have to do: Head to http://www.michelleshakesit.com and order a bag of Shakeology on Home Direct. (There's no contract - this simply means that until you tell Beachbody otherwise, you will be shipped a bag of Shakeology every 30 days. This also gets you two FREE DVD workouts AND free shipping each month. Who doesn't love free stuff?!)

For the month of May, you will replace one meal a day with Shakeology. (No matter what flavor you choose - Chocolate or Greenberry - I promise, I have recipes that you will not only like, you will LOVE!) Check out the video on my website for more details about this amazing product.

But that's not all...

PERK #1 - At the beginning of each week, I will be sending you a COMPLETE MENU for the week. That's right. For no additional cost to you, I will give you a complete meal plan for the entire month.

This is not a crash diet. You will not be starving yourself for weight loss. This is pure and simple clean eating at its best.

PERK #2 - Though I will not be giving you a specific exercise plan to follow, I will offer little pieces of advice and challenges to do throughout the week. Remember - small changes add up to big results over time. (However, if you would like a more detailed exercise routine - send me a message, and we will work something out for you!)

PERK #3 - There's nothing to lose...except some inches or a few pounds.

At the end of the 30 days, you will have more energy than you've had in a long time. You will feel refreshed. You'll be sleeping better. You'll see a dramatic difference in areas of your health where you were struggling - lowered cholesterol, blood pressure, stabilized blood sugar levels.

The focus is an increase in your overall health. Weight loss and inches lost will undoubtably occur, but I don't want that to be your focus. Think of any changes that occur in your physical appearance as positive side effects.

This an investment in your future - to be the best spouse/parent/child/friend/employee you can possibly be. Medication, trips to the doctor, missed days at work - all of those things cost far more than a product that I have seen serve as a catalyst in many people's lifestyles.

Notice, I'm not saying that you can drink Shakeology for one meal a day, eat whatever you want for the rest of the day and still lose weight. It's a great product - in fact, the nutrition and science behind the ingredients are so far beyond what any other company is producing, I'll say it's the BEST product out there - but it's not a miracle drug. However, along with clean eating, replacing one meal a day with Shakeology will accelerate your results and help you maintain them.

You will have to decide to do this. You will have to commit to follow through with that decision. And if you do those two things, you will succeed.

So what's next?

Step on to Shakedown Street!

Post a comment here, and I will contact you! The last day to sign up is Thursday, April 22. That will ensure that your Shakeology will arrive and you can start with the group on May 1.

Looking forward to going on this journey with you!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Innocent but Charged AND Guilty but Free

Yesterday, when I checked the mail, I had no idea how it would affect my next 24 hours. It seemed pretty standard. Some coupons, an advertisement, a few bills....and at the bottom of the stack, a letter to me from the City of Arlington. (Back story: In late January, I was pulled over for having out-of-state tags. Since I am one credit hour short of being a full-time student, James and I had to go ahead and become Texas residents. We got our vehicles inspected and got new titles and registration at the DMV. Since we turned in our paperwork on time, we went back to our normal routine.) I figured this letter would be a receipt for that transaction.

But it wasn't. It was a warrant for my arrest.


Apparently when we turned out stuff in to the court, we faxed a copy of my registration and sent in a photo of my new Texas plates by mail. Though we were told they could be received separately, somewhere, things got crossed, and the city of Arlington didn't show that I had proof of registration. They only had photos.

No warning. No courtesy phone call. Just a warrant for my arrest. (With a $500 bail fee.)

Normally, I think I might have been able to have a sense of humor about this. But with graduation a month away and pressing school deadlines, a busy season with my job, and not to mention, the week of Easter when I'm married to a pastor....there is not extra time in my week right now to deal with anything else. There is nothing funny about this.

By this time, it was already 5pm, so the court was closed for the day. Ironically, I just had to go to praise team rehearsal (you know, where most criminals go) and wait it out until this morning.

More back story. In addition to getting my Texas plates, we also had to get our Texas driver's licenses. Well, my Tennessee license still had my maiden name on it....and while my license still had my maiden name, I couldn't change my social security card because the names on both cards are supposed to be the same. (By the way, both offices want you to get the OTHER one changed first. It's a blast.) So, I filed to get a new social security card, and it finally came in the mail. Now, I could get my Texas license.

Except I didn't just get to fill out the transfer license form. Because you see, in the time period of waiting on my new social security card to get here, my license expired...and the state of Texas doesn't even give one day's grace period. If you have an expired license, you have to start all over again. So like a 15-year-old, I had to take the written driver's exam. PLUS, I had to make an appointment to come back and take the actual DRIVING test...which was schedule for today.

Do I need to remind you that there's a warrant for my arrest?

So this morning, I get together all of my life documents, and James and I head to the driver's license office for me to take my exam. I arrive at 7:30, get the first appointment for 8:30, and we waited. The examiner comes out to my car, asks for my insurance, and I hand it over.

It expired on March 28.

Today is March 31.

REALLY?! What insurance expires on the 28th of the month?!

So, I go back inside, make my second appointment for 10:15am, and James and I go to his office so State Farm can fax us an updated copy of our insurance.

While we're waiting on that, I decide to call the warrant office. Guess what? They need proof that my car was covered on the day that I was pulled over. We call and get that faxed to us as well.

Our insurance agent sent us the right insurance...but for the wrong vehicle. Take 2.

Around 10am, we head back to the driver's license test with updated insurance and even MORE forms. Trying to be calm, I go through the practical driving exam....even suffer through parallel parking, although I was really tempted when he asked me to parallel park to step out of my car and yell, "JAMES!" (Because that's REALLY how I parallel park.)

I pass. Whew. One thing out of the way. It's around 11am now, and we headed down to the Arlington Municipal Court. After waiting in line, I hand the woman behind the counter all of the documentation that I have and explain my case.

"Oh, well, you need to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and pay your penalty fee for getting a ticket," she says.

"Which is?" I ask.

"We show that you paid for your ticket when you sent in the photo of your new plates, but you have to pay a penalty fee to the DMV. It will probably be about $10."

If I wasn't frustrated before, now I'm REALLY feeling it. If I needed to go to the DMV first, why in the world would the form send me to the Municipal Court?!

I wasn't going to get anywhere by arguing, so James and I just drove to the DMV, paid our $8.15 penalty fee, and drove back to the court. More waiting.

On a positive note, I got a phone call while we were waiting that the fax of my proof of insurance went through. There is no longer a warrant for my arrest at this point. Awesome....glad to know I'm no longer a criminal since I did everything to follow through on my end in the first place!

At this point, I've gathered quite a stack of paperwork. After giving the woman behind the counter what seemed like 15 different documents, she was finally satisfied. Writing one more check for the day, James and I walked out. Now, it's a little after noon, and we are both exhausted.

After arriving home, I couldn't help but think about how much time was wasted this morning. IF the city had called me to let me know they were missing documentation. IF the social security office hadn't given me such a hard time about not having changed my license first. IF the driver's license office had let me renew my license on time without waiting for my new social security card to come in. IF my car insurance card had been valid just three more days. IF they had told me to pay the penalty fee at the DMV before I drove to the courthouse...etc, etc, etc.

I finally just broke down and cried. Tears of frustration. Tears of guilt for wasting my husband's morning during a busy week. Tears of exhaustion. Tears of being treated like a criminal when I had done nothing wrong.

Realizing I wasn't going to get anywhere with my day until I stopped to pray for patience, I felt my Savior ask, "Michelle, how do you think it felt when you did that to me?"

Because he was charged for a crime that he didn't commit. Not just any crime. My crime. Your crime.

He was arrested....betrayed by one of his best friends...while he was praying. He went before Caiaphas, the high priest. That wasn't enough. He then appeared before Pilate. He was beaten. The crowd spit on him. His closest friends denied they even knew Him. The crowd chose to release a murderer into society instead of releasing Jesus. The very people that He came to save were shouting, "CRUCIFY HIM!"

They humiliated him. They put him through an excruciating death.

But Jesus wasn't frustrated. With humility that I cannot even grasp, He pleaded to his Father, "Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34).

Jesus wasn't just talking about the crowd who was gathered around the cross when He spoke those words. We've all sinned. We all fall short of God's glory. (Romans 3:23). I may not have physically driven the nails into his hands, but it was my sin that nailed Jesus to that cross. I am guilty. I deserve death.

But I'm free. When Christ suffered for my sin, it was so He could bring me to God - the righteous for the unrighteous. (1 Peter 3:18).There's no penalty fee waiting for us on this earth. There's no outstanding warrant waiting for us when we get to heaven.

If we simply confess that we are sinners, that Jesus came and lived a sinless life as an atonement for our sins, and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. (Romans 10:9-10).

As frustrating as the past 24 hours have been, I am so thankful that I got a fresh touch from God today. Yet another reminder of why my life is not about me...but about Him - and that He receives the glory for my life.

It is my deepest desire that everyone have the assurance that Christ's death covered your sins ONCE and for ALL....if you just believe in Him. After you believe in Him, you start to walk with HIm...because whoever says He lives in Christ must walk as Jesus did. (1 John 2:6). It is the journey of a lifetime....with a final destination more glorious than the greatest imagination.

I hope the lyrics to Chris Tomlin's "My Chains Are Gone" have a new meaning for you as we approach our Savior's death and resurrection this weekend. Please leave a comment on this post if you have questions about what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ. There's nothing I would rather do than tell you about our Savior.

"My chains are gone.
I've been set free.
My God, my Savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood His mercy reigns.
Unending love, Amazing grace."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10-Day Dairy Free Challenge

I am starting this today...so I thought I would share. I have been diagnosed as "lactose sensitive," but I've never really experimented with the thought of giving up dairy completely. For those of you who know me, you know that I hate cheese (in all forms - cheddar, macaroni, Doritos, Cheese-Its, etc.) but I LOVE yogurt, milk and ice cream... :)

Milk protein allergies and lactose intolerance have been linked to a wide array of physical symptoms. For some, it is as simple as lethargy or weight gain, for others crippling migraines and "autoimmune" type symptoms are a lifestyle complication. There is a great deal of research linking dairy to prostate cancer, breast cancer, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease.

For some of you, this may not be an issue. You may not ever experience any type of adverse reaction when you have dairy products...but it ALWAYS leaves me feeling worse than before I ingested it. So i'm going to check it out and see if a dairy-free diet helps. It's only 10 days -- I can do anything for 10 days!

While a dairy-free life is essential for those who are lactose intolerant, it may help more people than we realize to eliminate dairy: increased energy, easier (or more permanent) weight loss, and increased muscle mass. There have been numerous research studies which evidence the benefits of a dairy free diet, and there have been some inconclusive ones as well. The fact is, we as humans share many common health traits, but we are all still individuals. The only study that can conclude what is absolutely best for your health is your own. Prove it to yourself!

How Do I Begin the Challenge?

Visit this web site to get started!

Also, one of my favorite non-dairy substitutes (I use it in protein shakes, with cereal and in my morning coffee - Unsweetened Almond Breeze. It's SO good! You will find it in the grocery store located near the soy milk. I've put a picture of it here so you can recognize it in the store!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Overall Wellness: A Note from Debbie Siebers

Debbie Siebers, best known for the Slim-in-6 series took a few moments out of her busy schedule to tell me about a few small steps she takes to improve her overall health and wellness. If you've never checked out any of Debbie's workouts, check out this website. Click Shop, browse by trainer, and drag to Debbie's name. They are GREAT workouts! (Feel free to contact me about any of the purchases - purchasing from that link not only gets you access to workout and nutritional products, but you get me as your coach for free!)

Exercise and wellness is not ALL about bouncing around and burning calories. Here are a few tips from Debbie that don't require more energy, but will help you make the most out of your workout routine.

Find some good tunes and focus. Debbie says, "Music is what drives my spirits and lifts me up!" Each day, she incorporates breathing exercises, which she does while listening to soft, soothing music. "These CDs help me empty my mind an thoroughly relax my body and nervous system."

Listen to your body. "I also take about 15-20 minutes to prepare my body before I workout. As we get older, our muscles get stiffer, which is a bummer. But, like anything else, we just have to be consistent to take good care of ourselves."

Don't get in a rut - take it outside! "Getting out in nature relaxes me, and I feel most in touch with myself and what is important," Debbie explains. "It grounds me and makes me feel so appreciative and grateful for all that I have." I've got to agree with her on this point. While hiking in Hawaii last week and running outside this past Sunday in Dallas, I was amazed at the beauty of God's creation and the small blessings that we so often take for granted.

Thanks, Debbie, for contributing and supporting my blog. You're awesome - keep doing all you do!

Follow Debbie on Twitter -- @debbiesiebers

You can also give me a follow if you aren't already -- @michellemyers24

Friday, February 12, 2010

Does God's Presence Shine Through Me?

This morning, I was reading in Exodus 34. Moses has spent 40 days and nights on Mount Sinai with the Lord. During this time, Moses begged God to let him see His glory. God could only allow Moses to see His back, because God said "no man can see Me and live (Exodus 33:20). God also entrusted Moses with the Ten Commandments. So 40 days later, Moses comes back down the mountain, Aaron and the other Israelite leaders were afraid to come near him. Moses had to have been confused.
Exodus 34:29 says that Moses didn't know that his skin of his face was shining because of Him speaking with the Lord. Yes, you read that right. His skin was shining! This served as proof to the Israelites that Moses' words came straight from the One true God.

There are a few things I learned from Moses in this passage so God's love will shine through me:

1) I have to spend time with the Lord daily -- without distraction.

In Exodus 34:2, God says to Moses, "Be ready by the morning..." Now, I'm not going to say this will work for everyone, but I know that for me, this is the only time I can give God my undivided attention. Before I even look at my email, begin to think about work, or even the responsibilities around my home, I know that the morning is the best time I can spend with God without interruption. If I wait until later in the day, it seems my cell phone is ringing, an appointment gets shifted, or another responsibility pops into my mind. Beginning my day with God gives Him priority. It aligns my heart to think about Him first. My relationship with Him comes before anything else in my life. I trust that when He is my top priority, He will take care of everything else.

2) My personal relationship with God must be just that -- individual.

Exodus 34:3 instructs Moses to come up to the mountain alone - not even to let flocks graze opposite of the mountain. Just because my husband's a Godly man, just because my dad is a pastor, just because I attend church every Sunday....that will not save me. I have to have my own alone time with Christ. Fellowship with other believers is important, but intimacy develops with alone time. If you NEVER had one-on-one time with your spouse, would that effect your intimacy? Of course. It is the same way with our relationship with Christ. Spending time reading His word, conversing with Him in prayer, even singing worship solos to Him is ultimately the best way for me to fall deeper in love with Christ.

3) With obedience and preparation, I must go above and beyond to make sure my personal time with the Lord happens.

Exodus 34:4 discusses Moses' obedience to do just as the Lord says. Also, Moses knew the Lord was going to tell him important things, so he took two stone tablets with Him. I don't know if you've ever been hiking - but it's tough! As a fitness fanatic, the first time I ever climbed a mountain, I was underprepared for the physical exertion I was about to go through! Not only did Moses do that, but he did it lugging two large stone tablets. Some days, spending quality time with the Lord is going to be a struggle. It's going to be inconvenient. But Moses knew that He needed to be prepared to share what God was going to teach him with the Israelites, so he did what was necessary. It may mean getting up an extra hour early. It may mean shuffling some of my schedule around. But it always boils down to this fact: I've never regretted a single moment that I've spend with the Lord.

4) I must surrender everything I am to be 100% humbly His.

When the Lord passed before Him, Moses "quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshipped" (Exodus 34:8). I can't let pride, selfish ambition or anything else get in the way of remembering that anything that I am in a result of everything God is. I cannot do anything on my own power, and nothing I have belongs to me. It has simply been entrusted to me by the God of the universe. Exodus 34:29 says that Moses didn't even know that His face was shining. Moses wasn't gloating about His time spent with the Lord. His humility allowed God to shine through Him.

5. I must get rid of things in my life that do not push me closer to God.

Moses went without food and water for the 40 days that he was on the mountain (Exodus 34:28). He wanted to be that focused on God. This is not limited to food, though I think fasting is an important spiritual practice. However, I need to continually ask myself - is there anything in my life that is holding me back from what God has called me to do? Hebrews 12:1-3 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Have you ever been around one of those people where Jesus' love just radiated out of them? Of course, I could name dozens of pastors and Christian speakers who regularly reflect Christ. However, when I am outside the church and can tell by the light in someone's eyes, the passion of their words, the kindness of the heart WHO their life belongs to...I am so overwhelmed by the greatness of God. When His influence over a person captives who they are, it inspires me to be more and do more for Christ.

To those people in my life, I say thank you. I need the accountability. I'm praying that my life will be a shining example for the Lord....just as brightly as Moses' face was before the Israelites.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

OVER THE TOP Blog Award Survey

A new friend, Lauren, gave me this award. Lauren serves alongside her husband, Matt, who is the high school pastor, at our church. Check out her blog by clicking here.

I'm always honored when I get encouragement from others about this blog because it just seems to be an outpouring of what God is teaching me, what's going on in our lives & random thoughts for living a healthier lifestyle. As part of the award, I am supposed to answer the following questions with just a one word response. Here it goes! (Also, don't forget to check out the blogs I pass the award to!)

Where is your cell phone? Attached
Your hair? Post-workout - sweet!
Your mother? Servant
Your father? Hero
Your dream last night? Uneventful?
Your favorite drink? Passion Tea (Starbucks)
Your dream/goal? Family
What room are you in? Home Office
What is your hobby? Teaching
Your fear? Disobedience (God)
Where do you want to be in six years? Mommy
Where were you last night? Night class
Something you aren't? Quiet
Muffins? Bagels
Wish list item? Tropical vacation
Last thing you did? Read my Bible
Where did you grow up? Memphis
What are you wearing? Turbowear
Your TV? 24
Your pets? Bauer (James and I want a dog for protection - Bauer...named after Jack Bauer. No one will mess with us!)
Friends? Authentic
Your life? Blessed
Your mood? Thankful
Missing someone? Katelyn...love my niece.
Vehicle? Texas plates - just became an official TX resident on Friday!
SOmething your not wearing? Shoes
Your favorite store? TJ Maxx
Your favorite color? Green
When was the last time you laughed? Breakfast with James
Last time you cried? Last time I skyped with Katerbug....miss that kid.
Your best friend? James
One place you could go over and over? California
One person who emails you regularly? Platinum Presenters :)
Favorite place to eat? Panera Bread

I pass this award onto...

Stephanie: a childhood best friend who is godly woman, an amazing mother of 3 and as creative as they come. Love you, Steph! Check out her blogs at www.braithwaitblog.blogspot.com and www.reasonstogather.blogspot.com.

SheSeeks.org: a branch of Proverbs 31 Ministries, geared towards young women 18-26

Unlocking Femininity: a great blog co-written by great friends Diane, Gabrielle, Katie F, Katie M & Sarah - Come see what the Bible has to say about biblical womanhood!