Faith Over Fear

Recently my husband and I started working out at a gym called Athletic Republic. It has been a FAT minute since I worked out in a gym with a trainer. Honestly, it has been a refreshing change to work out with someone who pushes me, rather than relying on myself.

The other day our trainer had us doing box jumps. I started off on level 2. It was fairly easy, so the next round I went up to level 3. He looked at me and said, “go up to the next one (level 4). You can do it.”

Ummmm…. I am not a spring chicken, nor have I ever considered myself a springy chicken. So, I half-heartedly attempted to jump, and then fear took over. Regrettably, I stepped away…hating that fear inside of myself the entire day.

These workouts have produced a lot of moments where I find I have trust issues. Whether it is running backwards on a treadmill and letting go of the bar, doing pull-ups, plyo pushups, or box jumps, I find I lack trust within myself to accomplish them.

And I hate it. I hate feeling fear.

I know God hears my heart. I know He understands how much I hate feeling fear. I also know He is not going to take it away from me. He is going to let me work through it, because on the other side is power, strength and courage.

One of the ways He knows He can reach me is through words. I had begun to read a book this past weekend called Think Like A Warrior by Darrin Donnelly. It talks about five inner beliefs that make one unstoppable. The last one is choosing faith over fear.

For so long I have justified my fears and allowed them to rule over me. It is easy to justify them, because it feels like they are protecting us from some inherent harm. When in all reality they are doing more harm by keeping us in the same place, not living.

The opposite of fear is faith. Faith in God. Faith in the abilities and gifts He has given us. Faith that life is full of opportunity and growth. Faith that, even if we get hurt, we will grow. Faith that we are more than we think we are. Faith that the next step is renewal. Faith that there is more than what we see right now.

Faith in God

“You see when we place our dependence on God, we no longer have to worry. This type of faith allows us to be bold, even recklessly bold, in the pursuit of our dreams. Faith in God takes confidence to a whole new level. It provides us with help along the way as well as sureness in our action. We can know with certainty that if we give our absolute best, God will take care of the rest.”

There is power in faith. Power over fear. Power over weakness. Power over the unknown. Power over anything holding us back. It is only accessible when we CHOOSE it.

Choosing faith is something that needs to be done all day, every day. It is a power that adds upon itself, giving us confidence in the next step. It is truly a gift from God.

I love that He is so aware of us. I love that He sends us the ability to be strong through faith. I love that He knows each of our fears and provides us a way through them. Knowing this helps me know I am His.

Today I choose faith over fear.

Not Broken

The other night I was scrolling through Facebook, just passing time really, when I found something that changed everything. I wasn’t searching for answers, nor was I looking for inspiration. That is why it was so impactful.

It was as if it was placed right there, right then for the purpose of answering a question that has been in my heart for a very long time.

It was a story about a family who learned how to be with their autistic son. For so long they thought that there was something broken and it needed to be fixed. Instead, they discovered that as they learned him by doing what he did, there was nothing broken. He was exactly who he was born to be.

As I read that story, it was as if a door opened up in my heart and mind. For so long, I have battled with understanding who I am and finding my unique purpose in life. I have watched people and wondered how they figured out who they are and the purpose that they live. I felt like being in my forties, I should have it figured out. I should know.

But I don’t.

I have felt for so long that I really have nothing to offer (an adversarial lie). I am not artistic. I am not business-oriented. I am not really outgoing. I am not a lot of things. This thinking has left me feeling broken.

So that led me to ask the question…What am I?

As I read the story, one thought came more powerfully than anything else…

I AM NOT BROKEN. There is nothing in me that needs to be fixed.

I am learning me. I am learning that spirit that existed long before this life on earth. I am finding my way on the journey God has placed me on. It is my journey.

On this journey, I have discovered so many things. I have seen things I do not like. I have just barely learned it is because they do not fit with who I truly am. On the other hand, I have seen and embraced things that I love, because they tap into that spirit. These are the things that light my soul on fire. They are unique to me and my journey.

A huge part of understanding and learning me is those who I surround myself with. I am drawn to people who are strong, have an inner power, and a strong desire to become more. They bring out the best in me. I truly hope that it goes both ways.

I believe that there is a great power that is unleashed as we find and accept who we truly are. It lies deep within our souls and requires us to search. It is found in those things that light our souls on fire and speak deeply to our souls. For so long I tried to push them down, thinking I needed to be something else.

Not anymore.

I am a child of God. I am who I am. I am so much more than I ever thought. My journey is far from over.

Take time and discover you… Listen, be patient, and you will learn.

Limiting God

Sometimes I truly hope I can express what is going on inside. As much as I want to be able to translate the feelings of my heart and the lessons I am learning into words, I find I am not as skilled as I would like to be. Refinement comes through action, so here we go.

Last week I had a gut check of faith. Acting on inspiration from Heaven, our family has sold our home and purchased a spec home in another town. It will take a few weeks for this home to be completed, so we are staying with my kind parents in the meantime. After all of the chaos of packing and moving, we settled into their home and the stillness settled in. I am learning that I do not do well sitting still.

My mind started to race and think about why we were moving and doubts began to creep in. The adversary is quite skilled because these thoughts didn’t feel like doubts, they felt like legitimate ideas. One idea would lead to another and to another until my mind was racing and I had forgotten all of the miracles that had led us to where we were buying our home. Fear set into my heart and I could not see my way forward.

After a sleepless night, I found myself on a car ride with my husband where I shared all that was going on in my heart and soul. He patiently listened to all of my concerns and never once told me that I was wrong. Instead he took me out to the house we are buying. To be honest, I did not want to be there. I had truly convinced myself that it was not where we were supposed to be, so it was the last place I wanted to be.

He found a bucket, put his jacket on it (he is a true gentleman) and sat me down. Through inspiration from God, he reminded me of everything that had happened to bring us there. We had offers on two other homes, but neither worked out. We were NOT going to look for a home in this particular town, but it was the only one we liked. New construction/spec homes were never anything we considered, yet it was the one that felt the best. After we put an offer on it, all of the paths began to open to get us there. It truly has been one miracle after another. He told me to rejoice and let God show me why we are supposed to be there. It will always be a special moment to me.

After a good amount of sleep, my heart was healed and I began to see things as they are.

I had allowed fear to take over and hold me back from an amazing adventure and opportunity for our family. Rather than using fear to drive me forward, I had let it hold me back. We have never been able to see the whole reason for why we have moved in the past, because the experiences have shaped us one at a time. I had forgotten this.

I realized that my fears and doubts limited the power of God in my life. They had became the barriers that restrained inspiration, joy and strength that would drive me forward.

Yet, the moment I turned to Him and Jesus Christ through prayer and talking to my husband, they were right there. There wasn’t a hesitation on their part. It was as if they were waiting for me to invite them to help me take down the walls I had built.

In moments of reflection, I see how much their power was limited because of me. Rather than submit, I chose to let fear to take over. In fear, I felt defeated, overwhelmed, tired, impatient, weak, defiant, stagnant.

As soon as I let Them in, I began to feel creative, hopeful, peaceful, receptive, powerful, centered.

Which led me to the question… Are there more places in life where I limit God?

Yes.

The power comes in recognizing them to overcome. It takes courage to face the walls we have built with our fears and doubts. It takes more strength than we have to tear them down on our own. The incredible moments come when we accept help and allow His power to manifest in our lives. It is always humbling to see how much He knows us and loves us.

Who Am I Feeding?

I remember reading the tale of the two wolves that live inside us. One wolf is all that is negative. He is the one that engenders anger, greed, fear, jealousy, inferiority, and resentment. The other wolf is all that is GOOD. It is joy, confidence, strength, love, humility, truth, compassion, and peace. The wolves constantly battle. As in all battles, the stronger one prevails. Which one is victorious?

It is the one we feed.

The battles within us are greater than anything we see in the world. Our souls are constantly bombarded with thoughts, ideas, and reflections of those things that are meant to pull us down and forget WHO WE TRULY ARE. Some days the bad wolf wins a lot of ground. And other days the good wolf is triumphant and powerful.

There is so much power in finding and knowing who we are.

Like most teenagers, I didn’t know who I was. I fed the wolves inside me whatever was in front of me. Never being intentional, just what was there…good or bad. As a result, I struggled with confidence, friends (not really having very many), treating my body as I should instead of using it as a tool, sadness, feeling unworthy to have good things and real love, and the list goes on and on. I had moments of good things, but they came when I was surrounded by good people, reading a good book, and serving others. I am grateful for these brief moments of light.

With the wisdom that comes with age, I see that my lack of intention and focus on the good, truly left me in a place that I COULD NOT SEE THAT I AM A CHILD OF GOD. I could not see that because I AM HIS, I am worthy of all the good in life, I am a powerful beast, I am beautiful (even those days, you know what I mean), I am everything I want to be.

The more I focused my eyes and heart on God and Jesus Christ, the more my heart began to heal.

They are the only ones who could heal me. No amount of therapy could. No amount of well-intended words could change the internal dialogue. No amount of doing things that ‘made me happy’ could.

I had to open the door to them. I had to put myself in those places that allowed their love to pierce my stony heart. It had to be me.

It still has to be me.

There is truly a battle that goes on EVERY DAY. Some days I feed the bad wolf. I know it because sadness, frustration, loneliness, negative self-talk, emptiness and despair all take over my thoughts and actions.

But the days I feed the good wolf through creativity, work, exercise, reading uplifting words, serving, and productivity, I gain a greater understanding of who I am.

In that understanding is power, peace, knowledge, hope, strength, love, a hunger for more, energy, and so much more.

I believe that all of our souls crave this. They thrive on all of the good that comes from knowing we are here for a higher purpose. The only way for this purpose to unfold is by tapping into the goodness of God and Jesus Christ. It is turning away from those things that leave us uncomfortably numb, that don’t provide anything but escape, that causes us to turn inward.

It takes a lot of effort to do this and turn towards the goodness. Yet, every time I have done this, my efforts have been greatly rewarded.

I am sure the battle between the wolves will continue.

It is who I choose to feed that will determine who wins today… and every day.

 

The Bridge

Towards the end of my trail run is a beautiful bridge that crosses over a little river running out of the mountains. It is one of my favorite places, because 1. it marks the final ascent on my run and 2. it has taught me many lessons about myself. thebridge

The bridge sits high up above the water. It is a very sturdy bridge made of solid wood and steel. There are no movements from the bridge as it is crossed, be it running or walking. Did I mention it is very high up?

Ever since I can remember, I have had a paralyzing fear of heights. There is no rush of happy adrenaline for me when I am high up, it is pure flight adrenaline. Some days I wish I knew what caused this intense fear, so I could overcome. For now, I will continue to live with it and learn from it.

The first time I crossed the bridge, I walked straight down the middle, my eyes focused on the other side. I counted my steps so that I knew I was making progress and would shortly be off the bridge. My fear of heights truly blinded me to the beauty that one sees and hears in that place. I could not look up to see the green trees nor see the river that was happily passing below. I simply survived that part of the hike, going and coming.

As I have thought back on that particular hike, I realized that fear truly blinds us to the amazing truths and opportunities that God has placed before us. Not trusting in the security of His love and our Savior denies us the ability to fully live up to our potential and see our incredible world.

Another lesson I learned came as I ran across the bridge the first time I conquered the trail running. On the other side of the bridge, I realized that I felt no fear. This moment was very powerful to me at this time of my life.

There have been many days that have felt heavy and very overwhelming. Uncertainty has cast a huge shadow over our lives and some days are downright scary. This fear is so acute when I feel like I do not have the ability to move, fix the situation or create what is needed to move forward. I lose sense of who I am and Whose I am.

Running across the bridge that day taught me that as long I am moving, trusting in the solid foundation of my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, fear cannot overtake me. The storms of uncertainty may rage and the sanctifying fires may burn, however I know I can overcome if I keep moving along the path They have given me.

changing treesA few times I have stopped my run and carefully walked across the bridge, taking the time to see, listen and feel everything around me. I have swallowed my fear, pushing it down to a place where it has little power over me. The sounds of the birds singing and the water gurgling fill my soul with pure happiness. Watching the trees change color and prepare themselves for winter is breathtaking. Feeling the warmth of the sun and the coolness of the canyon all at once is very renewing.

I learned that I have power over my fear. I learned that the creations of God are truly gifts to our souls, enabling us to become so much more. I learned that looking, hearing and feeling are imperative to recognizing how He works in my life. In all of our lives. I learned that He knows me, understands my fear and strengthens me as He teaches me.

This bridge has become a sacred place to me. It is a natural temple wherein I see His hand, feel His love and hear His voice.

 

Abundance

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were talking about life as it is, has been and where we want it to be. As we reviewed our past few years of specified growth, our eyes were opened as we saw things, that once allowed us to survive, that now hold us back from moving forward.abundance

I believe it is human nature to survive, however it is human choice to thrive. There are times in our lives for both actions, however to thrive we need to have open hearts and minds to the abundance that is in the world.

We have lived on faith, miracles and the greatest of generosity of those who love us for the past 3-4 years. It has been a path of scarcity, creativity and, at times, painful growth from the inside out. There have been more days than not that required fighting to keep my head and heart above water, hoping that at some point Heavenly Father would deliver us from it all.

And yet, I would not change a moment.

I love how Heavenly Father teaches me. He quietly unfolds the mysteries and answers the questions that are in my mind. I have watched so many people who thrive in their lives, they live and are so open to what the world has to offer them. I have wondered if that is something that I actually could attain, or if who I am meant to be was not that person. I ask a lot of questions to be taught as I am traveling on a dark, rough path. I truly want to understand so that I can have peace knowing it is His will.

As Kevin and I talked about our mindset it became obvious to us that we have lived for so long in scarcity mode that our minds have embraced it as how life is going to be. Truthfully, there was no peace with this realization. I looked at how I have talked, thought and acted as if there would not be enough and we needed to ‘pull in’ ‘hunker down’ and ‘not live’. While these actions are appropriate for very short periods of time to get our footing in rough spots, they are not meant to be long-term.

We were not created in a world of abundance to simply survive.

At some point in our conversation the word abundance was brought up. My mind caught hold of that word and it was as if an explosion took place. Where my mind and spirit was bound down before in scarcity, those walls were literally obliterated. I felt a freedom that I had not felt in so long I had forgotten about. I felt an openness in my mind and spirit….creativity returned, the need to reach out began to peek through, and the ability to receive inspiration opened up.

Each day I have found that when my mind is focused on abundance those things that would weigh me down have no effect on me. It is as though heaven opened up and I am able to understand why things happen at a new level. I see how the hand of God is working in our lives. Things that once caused so much fear and gut wrenching anxiety are now opportunities for ideas, creativity and blessings to be given.

I have found that within abundance we have the power to reach out, the ability to let go and the strength to move forward with faith…even when the road isn’t built yet.

God created this world with abundance everywhere. It is time for us to go get it.

Winds of Change

fall-leavesToday I sat on a bar stool in my kitchen, looking out of the window at the beautiful mountains just east of our home. They are on fire with the beautiful colors of fall. I took a few moments to simply clear my mind of everything that has been crowding it lately and I quietly sat.

As if by a magic that only nature possesses, a gentle breeze came through the yard. As it made its way through, it picked up some of the leaves on the trees and set them free. The effect was beautiful. As the leaves swirled around, my heart-felt a deep peace that it hasn’t felt in months. It was a moment I captured there, because a camera would never do it justice.

I am not really sure how it happens, but the winds of change blow in our lives too. Sometimes they are the strength of a hurricane leaving a path of change and abrupt growth. Other times they are as gentle as this breeze bringing hope and life. I have experienced both and would not change what either brings.

The beauty of hurricane winds in our lives is that we are changed into new creatures. The sheer force and constant beatings strip away that which we do not need. This process of aggressive erosion is painful to a spirit and mind that wants to keep these aspects of who we are. I know I have a Heavenly Father who loves me beyond comprehension. I know He knows who I am meant to be and so He sends these winds to create the growth I need to become. I also know He knows I am strong enough to come through this storm, even when I can’t see this strength in myself.

As the hurricane passes, we come across these beautiful, quiet breezes. They are a gift. The only way we truly appreciate their gentleness is surviving the storm that has shaped us. The peace and hope they bring penetrate our souls and allow us to heal from the inside. The only way we get to experience these moments is when we are quiet in our hearts and minds. It is then that the power of the breeze is manifested.

I see His hand through all of this. I see how He has shaped my heart into new and beautiful forms. I see how my Savior has held my hand and carried me when I couldn’t stand against the winds that were pulling me down. I see how the Rock I have stood on gave me the strength to stand. I see Their love.

Change is inevitable….it is wonderful.

Healing My Limitations

healingAt one point in my life I was a runner. I loved the freedom I felt as I found a steady rhythm that match my music and soul. Not only did I find strength in my body, but I found strength in my mind as I would let go.

One day I experienced a pain like no other pain I had felt. It seemed like there was a knife cutting through the side of my knee. No matter how much I worked at it, I could not run through this pain. 

I spent many years trying different types of shoes, thinking there was a magical pair that would heal my knee. I worked at stretching, interval running, strengthening and so forth. There never was a long term solution, so I simply ‘accepted’ the fact that I was not to run anymore.

My heart has wanted to run so many times, especially now that we live in an area where it is safe to run. Not only is it safe, it is incredibly beautiful.

I have been pondering this knee pain and the limitation I felt it had put in my life. I decided last week that I would return to running, one way or another, I would run again.

It is amazing how Heavenly Father orchestrates our lives. When we have a desire in our hearts, it seems as though life aligns to realize it.

I am now one belt away from earning my black belt in karate. This is has been a journey in and of itself. One of the requirements is running. When I heard this my heart dropped and my body went into ‘you can’t because of your knee’ mode. I felt it so profoundly in every part of me. I felt the power the limitation had over me.

With a background in Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, I ran through all of the scenarios in my mind of this chronic knee pain. I couldn’t find a solution that would work for me. I hate that more than anything, because I feel so trapped.

Today I decided I would get on the treadmill, no matter what. I am not going to let this win. My husband started to challenge my thoughts of being limited by ‘knee pain’. He wouldn’t let me make any excuses or allow anything that resembled limited thinking. He knows just the right buttons to push to get me thinking and moving forward (I will say that as I stepped on the treadmill I had a growl in my head).

As I began to run, I focused my thoughts on healing and strength. I found a gait that was so comfortable, a pace that was perfect and a rhythm that spoke to my soul. I could feel fearful knee pain thoughts creeping in. I decided not to allow them access to my mind, body and soul. As I fought them off, I felt myself relax and enjoy the little journey I was on.

That short little run was one of the most healing experiences I have had. My self-imposed limitations had affected my body to such a degree that I was not able to do something that I truly love. Healing that limitation and turning it into a freedom was so powerful to my mind, body and soul.

Our minds are a gift from Heavenly Father. There is so much power that lies within them…power to become incredible or nothing at all. It is all in how we choose to exercise this power. Today I chose to let it heal me.

I Can Take A Hit

SparringOne of the most incredible journeys I have ever embarked on started 3 years ago right before Mother’s Day. My family had been doing karate and I decided it was time I needed to join them. Stepping on the mat for the very first time was nothing short of intimidating. It was one of the most scary steps I have ever taken…and it was one of the best steps I have ever taken.

One of the disciplines we study in karate is sparring. I will be honest, it has not been my most favorite aspect. Yet, I have learned so much from this. A couple of weeks ago it was sparring training night. After suiting up in the foot pads, hand pads and headgear (definitely one of my finer looks I may say), I was ready to go.

I made a decision that night that I would just go for it. I let go of the dislike and trepidation that I feel when I am all padded up. As the night would have it I sparred against some younglings and finally against my 6’6″ husband and our instructor, who both are pretty incredible at sparring. Regardless to say, I took some pretty good hits (I would like to say I dealt some pretty good hits too).

Now, we don’t spar to kill each other. It is a discipline of control, speed, power and strategy. I did come away with some pretty trophies, but not the kind you put on a shelf. These trophies were black and blue… honestly my favorite kind.

The best trophy I received, however, came as a quiet thought that entered into my heart and mind.

KarateI can take a hit.

This knowledge is powerful. It tells me that I am strong, that I am capable, that I don’t quit. It tells me that when I make a decision to fight, I will have the strength and power to overcome whatever blow is dealt.

It is so true in my life off of the mat too. We have been in a perpetual ‘sparring match’ for quite sometime. There have been days when I feel like I have been hit in the face, kicked in the head, blitzed, knocked down and pulled up for more. I haven’t quit. I have simply adjusted my padding and assumed the sparring stance.

It is through little decisions, made on a daily basis, that has given me the power and strength I need to take a hit. Little decisions of prayer, communing with Heavenly Father, spending time with my family, searching His words and seeing the blessings…every little and last one of them.

Life is not easy. There will never be a time in my life when there is not something out there ready to strike. The best thing I can do is pad up and be ready.

More For Moms

fieldFor over a year my husband and I have been working to find a ‘niche’ to help as many people as we could. With the journey we have been on, we have wanted to use the talents and gifts we have received from Heavenly Father, life and education. We have researched many possibilities, and yet, the answer was so close to home.

My husband is a talented hypnotherapist, teacher and coach. He is so gifted at giving people the opportunity to grow within themselves by overcoming things that have been holding them back. His ability to teach is truly a gift from Heaven, because it comes so naturally to him. He is such a great blessing to me and our children.Continue reading “More For Moms”