Sweat from the Heart

Sweat from the heart.

What does that even mean?

Several years ago I was inspired by a quote on a tea bag. It read, “Sing from the heart.” While I waited for my tea to steep, I pondered over the words, and then broke it down.

It wasn’t saying to sing from the mouth, or the lungs, or the belly- all the places you’re supposed to sing from – it was saying to sing from the heart.

The heart references passion and love. It is implying that you are to sing with passion and love. 

So, whatever we do, we are to do it with passion and love. It should come from our heart.

“Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others.” Colossians 3:23

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

As a coach and owner at Alamo 180 I do what God puts on my heart with passion and love. As a Prayer Ministry Leader at City Church Downtown, I do what God puts on my heart with passion and love. Same applies with raising my children, loving my husband, and getting in my daily workouts. 

So wherever God leads you, whatever He calls you to do, sweat from the heart.

Featured post

Primed for Endurance

If you’re an endurance athlete, you can relate to what the scriptures say about endurance.

Sometimes when I come across scripture that mentions endurance, I’m like “oh I’ve done an Ironman, I get it!” But you don’t have to have trained for and completed an Ironman to understand the endurance it takes to follow Jesus.

There is a strong comparison to the grit it takes to train for endurance events to the grit it takes to follow Jesus. We were created for endurance. It’s in our DNA. And it might be why so many gravitate towards endurance races.

In Romans 15:4 it says, “…through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures we have hope.”

In this life, it’s all about endurance and the daily dose of encouragement from God’s word to stay the course. It gives hope.

Sounds a lot like endurance training if you ask me. Daily enduring the training and your coach and loved ones encouraging you along the way. It keeps you committed and gives hope for race day.

Worth mentioning since we’re discussing endurance…

While we’re primed for endurance, ask yourself: what are you enduring daily?  

Are you enduring a life of defeat? Do you feel you’ll never measure up, so you daily endure the negativity from yourself or what others say or think about you? Do you live a life of believing lies?

Or are you enduring a life of possibilities and hope? Are you believing what scriptures say about you – that you are chosen and you are loved? Do you live a life of believing truths?

Endurance is a good thing. We are primed and ready for it. But remember, it’s not just about enduring unnecessary negativity. Endure the right things. If peace doesn’t lead you, don’t follow.

When in doubt on what to follow, head to the scriptures. You’ll get all the tips you need on endurance and encouragement. There is so much life and love on every page.

0 + 0 = 0

0+0=0

My eye was drawn to this math problem on my daughter’s addition practice table mat.

Of course I’m going to ask God what He wants me to know about this. He intentionally highlighted it for me.

I immediately got two answers:

Nothing + nothing = nothing. 
You can’t make something out of nothing. 
Zero time in God’s presence + zero time serving of others = zero kingdom impact. 
If you don’t spend time in God’s presence being filled up, then you can’t pour out and serve others. You can’t pour from an empty cup. You can’t give when you have nothing. 

To expand on it more, no time spent with God means you don’t truly know Him. And if you don’t truly know Him, then how can you share His thoughts and heart with others? How can you truly build up and encourage others? If you want to make a kingdom impact, you can’t operate from a sum of zero.

We were created to be in presence with God and in presence with others. If we do neither, we have made zero kingdom impact.

Jesus said in Matthew 9:37, “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”

What does your "kingdom impact" math equation look like? 

 

Break free from anxiety

I’m noticing a common struggle that keeps popping up in conversations – anxiety. But I’m not pointing fingers because it’s something I deal with, too. Anxiety doesn’t discriminate.

So what is anxiety?

The good ‘ol dictionary defines it as: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

But check out this second definition: the desire to do something, typically accompanied by unease.

Anxiety is more than just sitting and stewing with worry and nervousness, it can also be a compulsive behavior. A need to control and do something, even if it makes you feel uneasy during or after the process.

But how does one even become anxious? Where does anxiety come from?

The answer is fear.

Fear is the root and the fruit it produces is worry, unbelief, need to control, anxiety, addiction, apathy, isolation.

When you are anxious you are living in fear.

Satan will use anxiety as a tool to try and block you from hearing God’s voice. When you live with fear, it hinders your ability to hear from God. With your anxious thoughts running through your mind, you can’t hear what God has to say. God is always speaking, but we can’t fully listen when we are distracted with our own anxious thoughts. So if you can’t hear from God, it’s easy to start making decisions, especially compulsive ones, apart from Him. And we all know the result of decision making without God. Been there, done that, and I don’t want a t-shirt.

Now with wisdom of what you’re dealing with, you can accurately fight the enemy with Jesus. You have to know how satan attacks you in order to fight victoriously. Yes the battle has been won, and yes there is power in Jesus’ name, but your prayers need to be specific, not general, when fighting the enemy.

So how do you accurately fight the enemy with Jesus? Try these steps that help you break free from the enemy’s entanglement.

  1. Spend quiet time with God. Play some soaking music.
  2. Ask Jesus: “Do I have a root of fear? When did it first form? Why is it there?
  3. Ask Jesus: “What is the lie I am believing?” For example, it might be that you don’t trust God, so you believe the lie that you need to do it on your own.
  4. Break the agreement with the lie that you learned. Say to Jesus: “I break agreement with the lie that_________.” So with the prior example, “Jesus I break agreement with the lie that I have to take matters in my own hands.”
  5. Ask Jesus: “what is the truth? What is it that you want me to know?” This is where He wants to reveal Himself to you!
  6. Ask for forgiveness: If it is something someone did to you, count up the debt (what they owed you and thus didn’t receive) and then choose to forgive them. If it’s something you did, ask Jesus to forgive you for believing a lie.
  7. Ask Jesus what He wants to give you instead. Jesus always trades up. So give Him your fear and wait for what He gives you in return!

I LOVE to do these steps because I’m always amazed at what God reveals to me. It’s amazing to me how much junk I carry around and the lies I have been believing. I’m in a season of some serious purging and I’ve never felt better. Are you ready to purge too? 

Proverbs 12:25 says, Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

There’s nothing better than being glad from a good word from the best source. So spend some time soaking in God’s presence to hear what He has to say. If you’ve never made quiet time to spend with Him, it might be awkward at first. But have more faith in Him wanting to show up and reveal Himself to you, than you trying to find Him. He wants to make Himself known. 

Want to try an activation to hear from Him? I wrote one here that I like doing 

One of the most powerful prayers you can pray is, “God, give me your eyes. Let me see myself how you see me.” I’ve recently been teaching this to my daughter as she encounters situations at school that make her feel “less than.” It’s been powerful to see it in her life and her confidence has grown. It’s been powerful in my life. I have taken to a boldness I’ve never had before. I have also noticed more peace in my life. 

I saw a meme that said something to the effect of: if you can trust a puzzle company to have every piece in the box to complete the puzzle, then why can’t you trust God to have every piece to complete your life?

Matthew 6:27, And who of you by worrying can add one hour to the length of his life?

Worry won’t add a single minute and it weighs us down. Let the creator of the universe put all the pieces of your life together. Live in peace, not worry. Live in freedom, not fear. It’s time to let that s–t go!

Do the steps to uproot fear, hear from God, and live in freedom!

I’d love to hear how it works for you! Please share in the comments!

Would you know if the Holy Spirit was missing?

I once heard a pastor on the radio say something to the effect of “if the Holy Spirit was to leave, there would be many Christians that wouldn’t notice for weeks, even months.”

Whoa.

What?

Hearing that shocked me. It prompted some deep reflection and questioning in my life.  

I challenge you to ask yourself the question: Would you know if the Holy Spirit was missing?

Or maybe the first question you’re needing to ask is, “what is the Holy Spirit?”

It’s the helper. In John 16:7 Jesus says, “it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Comforter won’t come. If I do go away, he will come because I will send him to you.”  Then in John 16:13, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth…he will tell you about your future, he will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me.

If the Holy Spirit wasn’t here, we wouldn’t receive comfort, nurturing, instruction, etc. And we wouldn’t have God’s thoughts and ideas about us presented to us. We would be lost making our own decisions…and that is a bad, dead-end, lifeless place to be in.

Also, in Romans 8:6, If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.

And with the Holy Spirit in us, we can do the same works as Jesus, and even greater! Says so in John 14:12.

Annnnd, in Romans 14:17, For the kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Simply put, the kingdom of God is IN the Holy Spirit. If we are in tune with the Holy Spirit, we are in tune with the kingdom of God. 

So, let’s go back to the question. Would you know if the Holy Spirit was missing?

My answer today would be a yes! I would know within minutes if the Holy Spirit was gone. But that hasn’t always been my answer. Honestly, there were many seasons in my life where I just did my own thing. I let Him in when it was convenient, but it was on my terms. Let me tell you, those seasons were exhausting, joyless, lifeless and full of bad decisions. I had a God-shaped hole in my heart that I filled with so many things other than Him. In those seasons, the Holy Spirit could have been gone for months and I wouldn’t have known.

In my defense (and maybe yours, too?), listening to the Holy Spirit wasn’t something I was taught how to do in my early churchgoing years. I grew up in a church that didn’t talk about the supernatural realm, so I knew nothing about it, much less how to even operate in it. Being a Christian meant I read my Bible and went to church to sing songs and listen to a sermon. Honestly, Christian life was boring to me back then. So much so, I stopped going to church for a period of time. Hence, the seasons of doing my own thing.

My desire to hear from God grew in college at a Bible study that offered free pizza. In all honesty, I attended because of the pizza (read: broke college student needed dinner), but it was at that time that seeds were planted. God will use your partial “yes.”

It’s one thing to believe in God and go to church, but it’s a whole different thing to know and experience God supernaturally through the Holy Spirit. He wants to talk to us. He wants a real relationship. And let me tell you, life with the Holy Spirit is anything but boring! 

When I began (nervously) saying “yes” to Him is when I began to see real fruit in my life. I’m happier, more appreciative, productive, make better decisions, and am at peace. Life is more exciting! I walk in fullness. And I love partnering and operating with Him in the spiritual gifts. No longer do I feel like I’m just “getting by.” My life no longer feels empty. I talk to God daily and trust He is with me and for me (says so in Deuteronomy 31:8). I’ve also seen how He has shown up for me and because of that my faith has grown.

If you would like to experience God beyond the church walls, I challenge you to go for it! It’s one thing to know of Him, it’s another to know Him. Experience God in a supernatural way for yourself. If the Bible says so (it does in Revelation 3:20 and Matthew 11:27-30 and more) then it’s real and go for it!

Ask God to show up in your workouts. Ask Him to show up at your work, on your drive, at school, when you’re at the coffee shop, during a big life decision, when you’re down in the dumps, wherever! He will come! He sends His comforter/instructor/counselor, the Holy Spirit.

Check out my post on how to do a writing activation to practice spending time with God and learning how to hear from Him. 

Check out this great post (that I didn’t write) on the ways the Holy Spirit talks to us. 

Feel free to comment! I would love to hear your thoughts!

Writing Activation

Ready to do some spiritual training?

This activation was new to me, but I was ready to give it a try. And it did not disappoint! I challenge you to give it a try, too! 

I heard about this activation from one of the streaming sermons I listen to online.

Writing Activation: 15 minutes of soaking and 45 minutes of writing.

But I didn’t have time for that. I had only 15 minutes, so I made it 5 minutes of soaking and 10 minutes of writing. I knew God would show up in my small window of time. The way I viewed it was like this: I tell my athletes that any amount of exercise is better than nothing. If you can’t do your hour run on your training plan, but can manage a 15 minute run, do it because it is better than no run. Same applies with spiritual training.

So what is soaking? It’s taking time to be quiet and still in worship. It’s being in God’s presence without having to do anything but sit and soak Him in. I like to listen to instrumental tracks while I just sit and wait for Him to show up. This form of worship is soooo good for the spirit and soul!

After Levi went down for a nap (Cora would be home in 15 minutes, hence the short amount of time), I made some hot tea and plopped down on the couch, and had my notepad and pen ready.

Step 1: I played this track on my phone.

Step 2: I prayed these words: “Holy Spirit come! God I will have more faith in your ability to show up than in my ability to try and find you. I also come expectant so bring it on!”

Step 3: He came! And I wrote down words as they came to my mind. 

First word I got was “goodness.” I wrote it down. A few moments later I got the word “peace.” And then words began to flood in. I wrote down any thought that came to mind. Some were funny and made me laugh, others were weird and probably my thoughts (like I got the word “spider” – huh?), and some words were repetitive. I almost didn’t write the repetitive ones down, but then I remembered that God works in themes. I began to notice themes in the words I wrote down. I got the sense that He wanted me to focus on the repetitive words in my everyday doings. Soon, I began to get full sentences. I began to run out of room on my paper.

At the end of the activation, I looked at what I wrote. All the words were positive and encouraging. My favorite was “I’m so proud of you.” I also got some prophetic words from God. I will hold on to those with hope! You can read more about prophetic words from God on this post.

I urge you to give this activation a try! God loves to show up and reveal Himself to us. I had a LOT of fun with this activation and plan to make it a regular thing. If you want to learn how to discern His voice, this activation is a great way to achieve that. Plus it’s nice to know what He wants to communicate with you. I felt peace in my spirit and so refreshed. 

Set aside some quiet time, get comfortable, grab a pen and paper, put on some instrumental music and go for it! I can’t wait to hear how He shows up for you!

Spiritual Training

One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to create a place to share about prophetic ministry. It’s alive and active in me, and according to scripture, it’s ready to be alive and active in anyone with a heart ready to receive it.

Ready to get activated? Then keep on reading!

Acts 2:17-21 – “It shall be in the last days,” God says, “that I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams….”

See! It’s being poured out to all, and if you want it, go get you some!

You might be asking…”so what exactly is prophetic ministry?”

Prophetic ministry has a lot of definitions, but simply put, it’s getting a message from God about someone and then delivering that message with the purpose to reconcile them back to Him.

Let’s talk about prophetic ministry in simple terms, and since I’m a coach, the examples are exercise related.

An encouraging word spoken over someone such as “you look really good” will inspire and motivate them to keep following their exercise and/or diet regimen. Words like “you have made huge improvements from when you started running 6 months ago” will motivate them to keep working hard to one day run that 5K, 10K or half or full marathon. Even words like “I’m so proud of you” or “I’m inspired by you” motivate people to keep doing what they are doing. These positive words inspire them to pursue their potential. They are a “love push” into the right direction.

If someone said “you need to lose weight and then you’ll run better and faster” chances are that would not motivate them to keep at it. In fact, it would probably have the opposite effect. Here’s an example: I had those exact words spoken over me in college, and it did not motivate me to run faster. Instead, it negatively impacted my relationship with running and food for years.

Giving prophetic words operate in the same manner. It’s focus is on the positive. It’s calling out the good in someone to bring them to the revelation of the glory of God. It awakens them to their calling. It awakens them to the idea that a God above loves them. And in many cases, it changes the trajectory of their lives. It reconciles them to God. It’s a “love push” into the right direction. But if your prophetic words sound much like the “encouraging word” I got in college, then check your heart. The focus should be on the positive, not the negative.

Familiar with this verse? Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” This encouraging prophetic word was delivered from the prophet Jeremiah to God’s people while they were in Babylonian captivity (because they disobeyed God). God didn’t send a negative message, but rather a positive one. God uses prophetic ministry in the same way today by addressing people’s potential.

The last days, as referenced in the above scripture of Acts 2:17-21, are the great and glorious days and they are happening now. If you want to partner with God and participate in the ministry of reconciliation that has been assigned to ALL Christians, the time to step up and out is now!

Have doubts? Normal! I used to read in scripture about the gifts of prophecy, but never thought it was for me. I used to believe if God wanted me to have it, He would have already given it to me. I didn’t have a boldness or a confidence to ask for it. I felt I was unworthy to receive such a gift. I also believed that other people were “better Christians” than me and therefore they deserved it more than me. What a lie! If you have similar beliefs, I challenge you to rethink it! Maybe it’s the enemy trying to stop you from sharing God’s word because the prophetic is a powerful way to do it!

If you want to partner with God, give him your best YES! Just say “yes.” I challenge you, while reading this, to put out your hands in receiving mode and pray this prayer out loud: “God I want to partner with you. I want to bring people into a revelation of your goodness. I want to love people like you love people. I desire to have the spiritual gift of prophecy. I desire to partner with you and speak your truth and love over people. I am worthy to receive this spiritual gift because of whose I am. I am your child and your word says that you desire to give me good gifts. I want to use this gift with you to bring people to you.” (feel free to add in your own words).

Also, I impart to you a boldness as you go out into the world. I pray that you would be bold as you share God’s word, that you would be bold as you begin practicing hearing from God, and that you would be bold in taking risks. If you want to receive this impartation, simply say “I receive it.”

How to practice? Take that boldness and start going up to people. If God gives you a word over someone at work, deliver it. If it’s someone standing next to you at the starting line of your race, give the word. If it’s a person watering their grass as you run by, turn back around and share the word. Personally, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped on a run to deliver a prophetic word. God will take you anywhere. 

And know this, we learn by practicing. Practicing means that mistakes will happen. Embrace the mistakes because that is how you will learn if you heard God correctly. And it’s a process of growth. Just like marathoners started with 1 mile practice runs in the beginning, we start with one or two words and build up from there. Keep your eyes, ears, mind and spirit open and ready. Take risks and go for it! 

Now before you leave here thinking I am super smart, I’m not. I just read manuals and listen to podcasts on prophetic ministry.  Leaders should be learners! I’m learning all I can any chance I get. Currently, I’m studying the “Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry” manual by Kris Vallotton. It’s an easy read and it’s the book our prayer team is currently studying.

Desire the gifts, partner with God and become a world changer. It adds more to your life than you could imagine!

Maybe you’re so completely new to this, and slightly overwhelmed, but your interest is piqued! Great! Follow my blog because I’ll share my “God stories” with you! I have lots and can’t wait to share them with you!

Also, I would LOVE to hear your “God stories”! Please share your testimonies with me! We all learn from each other.

The WHY behind this blog

I started this blog because God prompted me to do it. My goal is to share what it’s like to be both physically and spiritually active and healthy. I want to inspire you to make fitness part of your everyday, but more importantly, to make His Kingdom part of your everyday. To get out of your comfort zone both physically and spiritually. A healthy body, void of a healthy spirit, is weak. And a healthy spirit, void of a healthy body is also weak. But a healthy body and spirit…watch out world! 

For a long while my heart had been torn between my pursuit of coaching and prayer ministry. Both are my passion, but for a long while I felt like I was living two separate lives. You can read more about my story here. I felt as if I needed to pick one, but just as that thought came, God showed me how I can combine the two. I can help people #makea180 in both body and spirit! I have so many ideas of how this will unfold (and am currently pursuing training and mentorship in these ideas) but for now, baby steps. I’m just moving forward as I am prompted.

As you read through my posts, you will notice topics such as triathlon, running, strength training, prayer, prophetic, entreprenuership, and more! It is my greatest hope that in sharing my stories you will become inspired to be both physically and spiritual active and alive!

Embrace your journey

I’m in my mid-thirties and I feel like life is starting to finally make sense. I feel like I’m at the exact spot I’m supposed to be. And I would have NEVER thought it would look anything like this.

I’m a coach and owner at Alamo 180, Prayer Ministry Leader at City Church Downtown, and a wife, mother and athlete. Wife, mother and athlete was something I saw myself becoming, but coach and Prayer Ministry Leader….whaaaat???

I had more bad coaches than good growing up as a swimmer and runner. The profession was tainted in my mind and I wanted nothing to do with it. I made a vow that I would do anything but become a coach. Joke is on me. I make my living as a coach.

Prayer was something that seemed empty to me growing up. I felt like my words just bounced around the walls in my room. Was God even listening? The quiet setting had it’s own challenges, and now ask me to pray out loud in a group setting – oh HECK NO!!! Nervous sweating, stumbling on my words, and heavy breathing. I remember one bible study in college where we each took turns praying out loud. I got into a deeper and deeper panic as my turn kept getting closer. My friend looked over at me to see if I was okay because I was breathing hard. Imagine sprinting up a hill. Yeah, that was my breathing pattern. Although I wanted to give up because prayer scared me, God didn’t let that happen. Now I’m a Prayer Ministry Leader. I pray over people in all types of settings. And I LOVE it!!! Joke is on me again.

Don’t run from what you’re scared of. It just might be your life’s calling. Embrace your journey and trust God in the process.

Coach by trade, friend of God by occupation.

I borrowed these words by Smith Wigglesworth (1859 – 1947) who said of himself “Plumber by trade, friend of God by occupation.”

So good.

Give him your job. He can do it better than you can. Partner with Him and together you’ll do amazing things. You’ll accomplish far greater things with Him than you could apart from Him. How do I know this? Because I’ve tried it both ways. One leaves you drained, the other fulfilled. And you can’t fill from an empty cup…just saying…

I challenge you to partner with God in your profession. Give Him your hopes and dreams and then hold on tight because it’s a wild, fun ride!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑